Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Glengarry Gen Conf



by Donna Bardsley:


It's General Conference Weekend, and for all of us LDS lifestyle and design bloggers, that means one thing and one thing only:

It's time to flood the earth with free General Conference Printables.

Let me have your attention for a moment, because you're still talking about what? Last weekend's General Women's Meeting? That was just a warm-up, brothers and sisters. We've got eight hours of conference ahead of us— this is not for the faint of heart, or those lacking in Adobe Illustrator skills.

You call yourself a designer? You make clip art for Primary? Go play with the Nursery kids.

Only one things counts, and it's General Conference. Everybody loves #LDSConf Printables. Everybody except Satan. Because even he knows the power of good design principles.

Repeat after me: ABCP. Always Be Creating Printables.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Joy and Sadness of a Productive Summer



by Shawn Tucker:


This past summer was particularly productive. I teach at a small, liberal arts University in North Carolina. Summer is the only time that I can do research, since teaching and other responsibilities take up most of my time during the rest of the year. And this summer was particularly productive. But there is something sad about why this summer was productive. Let me explain.

This summer I only have two of my four children at home. My oldest is serving as a missionary in Nevada, and my second child was off at BYU. I was home with my 15-year-old and my 11-year-old sons. We did some fun things together this summer including going to the pool, playing basketball, and seeing family. But only having half of my children at home, and having my remaining children a bit older, I found that I could get more of my academic work done. In fact this summer I completed the second half of a book manuscript. I was very happy to get that project done, but I learned something interesting in the process. Never before in my life could I have been as productive. It is not that I am smarter than before, it is just that I have fewer children at home. And when I got the book manuscript completed not only did I feel grateful to have it done, but I also felt grateful that I had never done so much previously. Every other summer I had spent more time with my children. I do not regret that at all, and as a matter fact I would prefer to be unproductive if it meant spending more time with my kids. If I would have completed a similar project in years past, it would have taken too much time from being with my children. To use this metaphor: I would have got to the top of my ladder only to realize that it had been leaning against the wrong wall.

And that is one of the nice lessons I have learned from being 45 years old and having older children. I do not regret that for most of my career I have been a father first and an employee second. I have done a good job at my job, but I have never let that job become my primary focus. So it is bittersweet now that I can spend more time and be more productive at my job precisely because my real job, my most satisfying job, requires somewhat less of my time.

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Shawn Tucker grew up with amazing parents and five younger, wonderful siblings. He served as a missionary in Chile during the Plebiscite and the first post-dictatorship election. After his mission, he attended BYU, where he married ... you guessed it ... his wife. They both graduated, with Shawn earning a BA in Humanities. Fearing that his BA in Humanities, which is essentially a degree in Jeopardy, would not be sufficient, Shawn completed graduate work in the same ... stuff ... at Florida State University. He currently teaches at Elon University in North Carolina. He and ... you guessed it ... his wife have four great children. Twitter: @MoTabEnquirer. Website: motabenquirer.blogspot.com.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gifImage credit: clarkrc (used with permission).

Friday, September 26, 2014

MMM Library: Famous Mormons…or Not



by A-Dub:


Mormons love to tell non-Mormons about famous Mormons. If you’re a football fan, a Mormon must mention that Steve Young is a Mormon; if pressed he or she might mention Ty Detmer. Mitt Romney and Orrin Hatch get mentioned in the conservative political arena. Mormon democrats [cough, sputter] will mention Harry Reid. Until recently, ex-football player turned Little House on the Prairie actor Merlin Olsen was the top actor mentioned. Now we’ve got Napoleon Dynamite to give us some tots. Gladys Knight, David Archuleta from American Idol and Stephanie Meyer of Twilight fame can keep us entertained. The catch is that we generally don’t claim someone as Mormon unless they are “active” (which I personally think sounds like a term for a terrorist cell). This is why Paul Walker and Alice Cooper don’t generally get mentioned.

Mormons are kind of like Canadians in their need to mention famous Mormons (e.g. “Hey, did you know Brian Adams is Canadian?!”). I think it stems from some kind of persecution complex, which dates back to getting kicked out of Missouri and Illinois. We feel the need to validate our beliefs by associating ourselves with famous people that aren’t fringe weirdos like the rest of us. If we can get enough famous people, maybe everyone will stop thinking we’re a cult, right? Maybe if Canada can produce enough famous Canadians they can stop being the United States’ little brother.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Holy Ghost, Right On Time



by Scott Heffernan:


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Scott Heffernan is a graphic designer and photographer in Seattle. He works on the creative team at Archie McPhee doing all manner of strange things. He grew up a child of the ‘80s in Salt Lake City, served a mission to England/Wales, and got a degree in American Sign Language from the University of Utah. After marrying his sweetheart, they moved to Seattle and had three beautiful baby boys together. He loves toys, skateboarding, and thrift store shopping and has impeccable Modar. Twitter: @ScottHeffernan. Tumblr: ScottHeff.tumblr.com.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gifImage credit: Scott Heffernan.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

BrothersForSisters



by Seattle Jon:

As you watch the video below, pretend Ms. Watson is Mormon and pretend the people sitting in the elevated seats are general authorities. Thoughts?



A full transcript of Watson's speech can be read here. More information on HeForShe here.

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Seattle Jon is a family man, little league coach, urban farmer and businessman living in Seattle. He currently gets up early with the markets to trade bonds for a living. In his spare time he enjoys movies, thrifting and is an avid reader. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the Japan Fukuoka mission field. He has one wife, four kids and three chickens.

Monday, September 22, 2014

President Clark, Stewardships, and Variety



by Shawn Tucker:


There is some buzz about something President Clark of BYU-Idaho posted recently. You can read about that buzz here and here. My intention is not to refute anything in particular but simply to add one more point-of-view.

It is helpful for me to work under the assumptions that President Clark is a wise, thoughtful person who genuinely loves those he serves. I assume that he takes his particular stewardship very seriously. I also assume that he sees sides and has experiences with that stewardship that I could never know. Given these assumptions, it seems reasonable for me to also assume that his best judgment and his sincere affection are behind what he wrote.

What helps me think about what President Clark does in his stewardship is how others have responded to what I do in mine. I teach Institute in North Carolina, and on more than one occasion members who do not attend my class have expressed concerns about what we do. I pray every day for my Institute students by name, and I try to use all of my faculties to connect them with blessings God has for them via our time together. I find tremendous joy and satisfaction in this work. But I sometimes do things that do not fit what outsiders might expect of Institute.

While I think all of us should be very, very critical, bravely and humbly asking the most pressing and difficult questions about how we are doing what God has asked us to do, I wonder about how much we should question what others do in their stewardships. How much can I reasonably expect the Lord might tell me about how someone else is meeting the needs of those that she or he serves? What really is my role making such judgments? I will add that, on the surface, the letter President Clark wrote does not seem to line up with what I expect I might write, but perhaps Zion is better off for that. Perhaps variety and difference add to a richness that should neither be judged off-handedly nor dismissed by those who do not have that specific stewardship.

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Shawn Tucker grew up with amazing parents and five younger, wonderful siblings. He served as a missionary in Chile during the Plebiscite and the first post-dictatorship election. After his mission, he attended BYU, where he married ... you guessed it ... his wife. They both graduated, with Shawn earning a BA in Humanities. Fearing that his BA in Humanities, which is essentially a degree in Jeopardy, would not be sufficient, Shawn completed graduate work in the same ... stuff ... at Florida State University. He currently teaches at Elon University in North Carolina. He and ... you guessed it ... his wife have four great children. Twitter: @MoTabEnquirer. Website: motabenquirer.blogspot.com.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gifImage credit: Ken Lund (used with permission) (image has been cropped).

Friday, September 19, 2014

Linger Longer 35




Linger Longer is a series where we highlight religious and non-religious articles, as well as mormon-related podcasts. Click here for previous lists.

Bloggernacle (religious sites)
Why Leaders Speaking in Their Native Tongue Matters (Feminist Mormon Housewives)
On Struggling With Questions and Doubts (Feminist Mormon Housewives)
Raising Kids in the Heart of the Pride Cycle (By Common Consent)
In Dialogue: The Best of Ten Years of Mormon Blogging (Times and Seasons)
The Incredible Shrinking Statistical Report (Zelophehad's Daughters)
Church Hop: Community of Christ (Doves and Serpents)
Equal and Opposite Sins? (Millenial Star)
Do We Need to Walk A Tightrope? (Artistic Preaching)
A Fifteen-Week Reading Course in the Mormon Novel (A Motley Vision)
Complexity in the Children's Literature Corner (Dawning of a Brighter Day)
Genesis of Doubt (Worlds Without End)
Sermons and Step-Parenting (Dandelion Mama)
To Be a Vessel (Mormon Women Project)
How Do I Teach My Kids About Pornography (The Mormon Therapist)
There Are No Closed Off Souls (No More Strangers)

Mormon-Related Podcasts
Episode 115: Finding God Again Through Science (FMH Podcast)
Episodes 491-492: Mara and Danny Kofoed: A Blog About Love (Mormon Stories)
Episode 247: The "Best Thing" About Mormonism - 2 (Mormon Matters)

Off-Bloggernacle (non-religious sites)
Paint the EarthRocket Golf, Far-Traveling Objects and Enforced by Radar (What If?)
The Best Way to Win an Argument (BBC)
A Theory of Jerks (Aeon)
In Search of America's Best Burrito (FiveThirtyEight)
What Ethan Swan Learned from Tracking Every Tattoo in the NBA (FiveThirtyEight)
Why You Shouldn't Drive Slowly in the Left Lane (Vox)
The Fermi Paradox (Wait But Why)
The End of Sleep? (Aeon)
Why Are Some Countries Good at Soccer? (Priceonomics)
How the American Diet Has Failed (The Washington Post)
The Rise of the A**hole Sports Dad (GQ)
Modesty: I Don't Think it Means What You Think it Means (Q)
How the Mormons Conquered America (Nautilus)
The Myth of America's Golden Age (Politico Magazine)
The Power of Two (The Atlantic)
How Did Cool Become Such a Big Deal (Humanities Magazine)
Zoo Animals and Their Discontents (The New York Times)
The Fifty Greatest Summer Blockbusters: Part 1 (The Dissolve)
The Fifty Greatest Summer Blockbusters: Part 2 (The Dissolve)
The Fifty Greatest Summer Blockbusters: Part 3 (The Dissolve)
The Worst Free-Throw Shooter (Pacific Standard)
45 Years Ago We Landed Men on the Moon (The Atlantic)
How to Survive Air Travel (Medium)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Duty and Passion Can Co-Exist



by Dustin:


In 2006 while attending grad school I stumbled upon an interesting phenomenon gripping the Elder's Quorum of the Ward: a belief that duty and passion can't co-exist in career.

A year earlier I had quit my job in public relations to figure out my passion and follow it. My wife, one-year-old daughter, and I packed up a moving truck and set out into the great unknown. We carried no debt which made the leap easier and we had calculated the bare minimum we could live off of to sustain us while I explored career paths. It was shockingly little.

I landed in a degree program that was aligned with my passion -- educational leadership -- and was knee deep in it in 2006 when we invited a family from the Ward over for dinner. He was in law school and I asked him to tell me about the day when he woke up and said, "I'm going to be a lawyer." His wife was deep in conversation with my wife and he hushed his voice and leaned in to answer my question.

"I don't actually want to be a lawyer."

Whoa. What?! Then why in the world ...

"I just didn't know what else to do when I graduated and it seemed like a viable option."

So why don't you do something else?

"I can't. I'm in deep. I figure I've just got to buckle down and earn a living. Support the fam."

Why can't you do both? Do something else and still earn a living?

"Too much unknown. It's probably not feasible anyway. Better to just do this for a decade or two and then do what I really want."

A decade. Or two. That's a long time.

Over the next year as we invited others over I heard the same story over and over again. Guy doesn't know what to do when he graduates. Driven by a sense of duty, he enrolls in a degree program to take his place in society working a job he lacks passion for but with the hope that one day he can quit and do what he really wants.

This post has a high risk of sounding judgy, so let me pause and simply state my belief. You can do both. You can both pursue your passion and bring home the bacon. They aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, we need you to do it. The world needs it. Positive change is made when people pursue passion with purpose.

There's nothing wrong with being duty-driven. That's not my angle. And if passion isn't important and duty is, that's okay too. But if you want to pursue passion AND you feel a sense of duty to provide for your family, this post is for you. It's possible, and as with anything unconventional it takes effort, intentional work, and focus. It may take some sacrifices -- the kind that the whole family has to be behind -- and you may not succeed right away. But it can happen.

I can't tell you how to do it in a 300-word post. There's simply too much to cover. But if you need some guidance start here and here. You may also want to read Seth Godin, Steven Pressfield, and Chris Guillenbeau to name a few. I also write about the topic on my blog and, in the spirit of pursuing passion and purpose, am aiming to publish a book in October to help clarify the process.

The blessing of agency is that we get to choose what we do. We choose our work. I love this advice from President Eyring's father: "You ought to find something that you love so much that when you don't have to think about anything, that's what you think about." It's never too late to choose your work.

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Dustin currently lives in Houston, Texas with his wife and four children. After serving a mission in Puerto Rico, he set the tone for a happy marriage by failing Dating and Marriage Prep at BYU-Idaho. He then showed why this happened, dragging his family around the nation with nine moves in seven years, all in the name of figuring out what to do with his life. He found his way into leadership development and now works at YES Prep Public Schools training teachers to be leaders and as a private consultant for businesses and non-profits. He especially enjoys helping people figure out their best-fit career and get into it and spits serious game on the topic at www.dustinpeterson.me. He loves bacon, Dallas sports teams, and long walks on the beach. Email him at dustin (at) dustinpeterson (dot) me. Twitter: @dustin_lead.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gifImage credit: Czarina Cleopatra Mendoza (used with permission).

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For



by Reid:

I recently saw a friend deploy a Jedi mind trick in an attempt to evade being 'volunteered' for an assignment at a church function. He waved his hand and said "these aren't the droids you're looking for." Genius! Though a relatively new convert, he demonstrated maturity well beyond his years in the Church in that moment. Even though he was only joking around, his bold move really got me thinking about the Jedi mind trick.

For those that need a refresher on how the mind trick is played to perfection, review the dialogue from this scene in Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope here.*

Obi-Wan Kanobi uses the Jedi mind trick on stormtroopers
at a checkpoint at Mos Eisley spaceport on Tatooine.

Obi-Wan Kanobi assured young Luke Skywalker that the mind trick could be employed to good effect since "the force can have a strong influence on the weak minded." My friend had no other options. Tactically speaking it was a brilliant move. But it didn't work for him. He and his wife were 'volunteered' anyways. They took it all in stride. You win some and lose some, right?

There's actually a number of other examples in which the Jedi mind trick didn't work--even for a Jedi. Luke had it working pretty well with Bib Fortuna, but things got sideways in a hurry when he tried it on Jabba the Hutt** (here to watch Luke's strikeout). In Qui-Gon Jinn's attempted use of the mind trick, things went poorly from the outset.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Esperanto in General Conference?



by Eliana:


Why I care about conference talks in non-English:

  • Less ethnocentric. I don't want to debate blue suits/white shirts, but this is a small step in recognizing that English and North American culture is not inherently more righteous.

  • Romance languages. Dreamy. Everything sounds better.

  • Young Folk. We need to have people who look like us to look up to. This is a problem in the larger church (non-local level leaders) that has many valid causes. Hearing someone who speaks your language in a leadership position is powerful in seeing yourself there someday.

  • Respect. How would you feel having to stand in front of the largest audience of your life and not be able to speak in the way you are most comfortable.

What else am I missing? What are your thoughts on the subject?

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Eliana Osborn was raised on cold weather and wild animals in Anchorage, Alaska, setting the stage for her adult life in the Sunniest Place on Earth in Arizona. She grew up in the church and didn't know there were places where conformity was preached. She has degrees. She writes. She teaches. She has some kids. She even has a husband. She's trying to do her best.
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Monday, September 15, 2014

LDS Perspectives on the S-Word



by Richard Tait:


I was raised in an orthodox Mormon home where some words were forbidden by family members of all ages. The S-word was one of them. However, since we are all modern, Mormon, and manly here, I thought it the perfect venue to explore alternative aspects of … stupidity.

Stupidity in Marriage

WARNING: THIS IS A LEXICALLY EXPLICIT EXPLANATION OF HOW TO END AN ARGUMENT THAT MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR YOUNG WIVES. MEN, PLEASE TEST THIS AT HOME BEFORE YOU TRY IT IN PUBLIC.

In my research on threads of stupidity that run through familial relationships, I have discovered a foolproof method of quickly and safely ending any argument with your wife. It consists of judicious application of three simple yet powerful words: "Because I'm Stupid." Here is how it works:

At sometime during your marriage relationship, possibly early on, you are going to do something stupid to really tick off your wife. It could be an act as simple as leaving dirty socks strewn across the living room, or as serious as totaling the minivan. Tensions will degenerate; harsh looks and words will fly recklessly between the both of you. Then your sweet mate, the wife of your eternities, will unleash the dreaded rhetorical question. This is a question that was never meant to be answered; its sole purpose is to trap you in a smelly pile of your own guilt, from which there is no escape. It usually comes out something like "Why do you NEVER pick up your smelly, filthy socks?" or, "What in the heck were you thinking when you ran into the back of that schoolbus?"

How do your wives expect you to respond to these questions? They are confident that you will vigorously try and defend yourself against their accusations, more often than not with a lame excuse like "the socks are same color as the living room carpet, so what's the problem?" or "don't worry - we have good car insurance and the bus was empty except for a few of those squirrely teenagers that have been causing problems in the neighborhood."

The lame excuses don't work; it's a sign that your wives have won. If they are going to win anyway (and they will, because smelly socks do NOT belong on the living room floor, and there really is NO EXCUSE for rear-ending a schoolbus), we should at least be able conclude the loss with creativity and flair. This is the point where, instead of the lame excuse, you respond with the three most disarming words in bilateral connubial dialogue: "because I'm stupid."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

MMM Library: 9-11 Remembrances



by Seattle Jon:


What do you remember? Leave a comment ...

Seattle Jon
I was an investment banker in Baltimore on 9-11. I was at my desk when the first and second planes hit the towers. I remember the guy who sat across from me (he was also LDS) turning around and saying, "Hey, there are planes hitting buildings in New York." When the third plane hit the Pentagon, he turned around again and said, "Dude ... I think this is the end of the world." His statement sent chills through me. Soon after, we went down to the trading floor where we watched both towers fall on fifty television screens. It was horrifying to think what our headquartered colleagues across the street from the towers were going through. Baltimore essentially shut down, and I was only able to get out of the city because I knew a few cabbies. I spent the next few days glued to the news, worrying about my wife and daughter in Utah.

Scott Heffernan
I was on a mission in Bristol, England on 9/11. We happened to be tracting door-to-door when the attacks began. We knocked on a woman’s door, introduced ourselves as missionaries, and she curtly told us she was not interested. As we were walking away she said, “Wait…Have you seen what’s going on?...I think you better come in.” We watched her TV in shock and confusion as the first tower burned, a plane crashed into the second tower, and then both towers collapsed. It was a heavy, heavy day and the mission changed a great deal after that.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A List I Will Stand Behind



by Melissa Condie:


I know it is somewhat of a popular thing in church culture to create lists about what you are looking for in a future spouse, but last Sunday, at my YSA ward, I participated in an activity that was different, creating a list I like much better.

What do you want your future home to be like? was the question, which is way more revealing than the selfish, nit-picky-finicky sort of prejudiced list we are apt to make. Humans come in all sorts of shapes and forms, exhibiting several types of qualities. I do not think you need a "list" to decide if you like someone or not. I say that you pick who you like, and you adapt your mental equilibriums around that person because you love 'em, regardless of how they compare to your preconceived notions.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Can You Talk Good English?



by Eliana:


I made friends with a woman at church several years ago, the one you do, based on compatible children. We were miserably pregnant at the same time too, so our bond was sealed for life. She happens to be smart and funny and sardonic which helped too. Oh, and she's Japanese which is slightly less rare than finding a blue lobster in our community. 

Through my friend I met a few other Japanese women, and when she moved away I got to know one lady in particular quite well. Eventually, through my Yakuza-like insider connections to the hub of the Japanese diaspora on the US-Mexico border, I met Rina.

Rina is my conversation partner. We meet each week for an hour to talk. (I suspect my husband might be paying her to try to use up my word allotment each day.) Rina wants to practice her English and noticed, through various social encounters, that I speak clearly. I have so few talents that I appreciate such a compliment and immediately liked her.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Back to School Tips for High School/College Students



by Shawn Tucker:


We hate to see them go and we love to see them go. Just sayin’. Here are some tips that might help them.

Practical Tip: Zotero. Zotero is a free bibliography management software. A what? What it does is easily insert citations for papers. So let’s say that your high school or college student has to write a paper with citations. This program makes it very, very easy. With the push of a button it also generates the Works Cited or Bibliography. And, if the student has done it in the wrong format, say MLA instead of APA, with the click of another button Zotero can change all of the citations and bibliography to another style. It is very easy to use, and it makes writing papers less tedious. Finally, Zotero is essential for longer papers and things like dissertations.

Friday, September 5, 2014

MMM Library: Endure to the End Zone



by Scott Heffernan:


This post was originally published August 10, 2011.

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Scott Heffernan is an artist, designer, and photographer living in Seattle. He works on the creative team at Archie McPhee, doing all manner of strange things. He grew up a child of the 80s in Salt Lake City and loves skateboarding, toys, and thrifting. He served a mission in England/Wales and has a degree in American Sign Language from the University of Utah. He has one wife and two kids. Twitter: @ScottHeffernan. Tumblr: ScottHeff.tumblr.com.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?



by Pete Codella:


Sometimes events in the world cause us to pause and ponder why God lets seemingly good, innocent people suffer at the hands of seemingly bad, evil people.

The world has witnessed this over and over, starting with humankind's first family, Adam and Eve, and their sons Abel and Cain.

A recent instance of this played out in a place I lived and loved for six years as a boy: Spring, Texas.

A family of seven was confronted and then murdered — all but the oldest child (because she played dead until the gunman left) — by a former family relative. Clearly, that x-brother-in-law has major issues.

The oldest child, a 15-year-old girl named Cassidy Stay, was able to call 9-1-1 after her x-uncle left the home and police captured him before he continued his family killing spree.

Shortly after her release from the hospital in July, she shared these words:

"Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light," paraphrasing a quote by Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter books and movies.

Here's a July 12, 2014 news report from KSL in Salt Lake City that recaps the story:



The story continues with a kind gesture by JK Rowling, author of Harry Potter, who reached out to Cassidy following her remarks that included Dumbledore's quote from The Prisoner of Azkaban movie (see this article in The Guardian).

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

An Open Letter to Matt Walsh Regarding His Assertion that Suicide Is a Choice



by John Landbeck:


In summary, Matt, you are wrong.

Now, there are a lot of people that think you (Matt Walsh) are wrong, all the time. But that is often because they disagree with your principles of religion, spirituality, and morality.

I disagree with your conclusions, not your principles. I think your vision on suicide is too narrow, and you have missed the mark. I think you have a responsibility to speak from a position of great influence with more care and nuance, and to better represent the spiritually-based life.

You state, over and over again in your article, that suicide is a choice. That Robin Williams chose to do this to himself. I ask, how can you *possibly* know that?

Surely you recognize, as a student of human nature (both biological and spiritual) that a person's behavior is never just one thing. Yes, YES, we have responsibility for the actions we elect. I am certain of that. But we also inhabit a complex system of influences. Genetics, culture, family, history, chemistry, whimsy, temptation. To presume that any person can look at another's choice, and conclude how much of the choice was personal agency, and how much was external factors is ... ludicrous. We, individually, can only ever truly be certain of what we, individually are responsible for choosing. Only we can know our own guilt.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Giveaway: Murder By Sacrament, A Signature Books Title



Signature Books continues to be a friend to MMM. They got in touch recently asking if we'd like to giveaway two advance reader copies of Murder By Sacrament, Paul M. Edwards' highly anticipated follow-up to The Angel Acronym. Of course we said yes.

Murder By Sacrament: Murder in the bucolic town of Independence, Missouri, is not everyday news. Especially when it occurs in the temple owned by the Reorganized Mormons. Once again, philosophy instructor and amateur sleuth Toom Taggart becomes embroiled in a homicide investigation. In this second novel, Edwards re-acquaints readers with the likeable, curmudgeonly professor who shocks fellow Latter Day Saints by drinking coffee. By coincidence, Taggart is called to oversee the Church’s education department, just as the author himself was some years ago. This gives Taggart even more reason to explore the inner offices at Church headquarters—places and hushed conversations are not meant for outsiders—all of which the author describes with a wink and a nod. Taggart is annoyed at having to navigate the political structure of the bureaucracy, but he cannot bring himself to leave. He is able to teach, and he likes his proximity to Church archives, local bookstores, and the woman who, according to fate, is still seeing the policeman from The Angel Acronym. All the major characters are back, and Taggart’s romantic rival is given the new murder case, meaning that he has to rely once again on Taggart for his knowledge of the Church’s secrets. This gives both men a reason to keep an eye on the other, making for entertaining situations in a funny, insider send-up of the RLDS community.

Signature Books is a press specializing in subjects related to Utah, Mormonism, and Western Americana. Signature published its first book, Saintspeak by Orson Scott Card, in 1981, and continues to publish eight to ten books a year dealing with Mormon history, fiction, essay, humor and art. Best-selling and/or award-winning titles from the press include Peterson's The Backslider, Quinn's Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, Compton's In Sacred Loneliness and the diaries of Joseph Smith, Heber C. Kimball, Wilford Woodruff, B. H. Roberts and Reed Smoot, among others. Purchase any of these titles and more through Signature's online store.

For this giveaway, Signature is generously providing two advance reader copies of its forthcoming title Murder By Sacrament. The winners will have a few weeks jump on the rest of you who'll have to wait until the book releases in October. To enter the giveaway, follow the guidelines below.

Giveaway Guidelines:
• Leave a comment on this post.
• Six days to enter (closes Sunday, September 7th at midnight).
• Winners announced week of Monday, September 8th.
• Winners must respond via email with their addresses to claim the books.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day



In honor of Labor Day, we present pioneer midwives who between the three of them experienced countless labors (we assume, although Caroline Hardie couldn't have been in high demand - look at that scowl!).

taken from the Relief Society Magazine, 1917

Other MMM Posts

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