Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

What is Love?

July 28th, 2015 by G.

The natural American thing is to think of love as a  kind of gauzy sentiment.  This isn’t the worst definition.  It roughly corresponds to day to day reality.  But where it breaks down, it breaks down badly.  It is impossible to square with God’s nature.  And it makes you try to force yourself to feel gauzy sentiment about people, which is silly.

The old school Catholic definition of love is willing the good of another.  That also isn’t a bad definition.  It gets at something important and turns you away from making your own feelings your purpose to making other people your purpose.  It also helps to explain the well-known phenomenon where serving people gradually leads you to feeling sentiment for them.

But the best definition is that love is delighting in the good of another.  Love is relishing.

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July 28th, 2015 12:54:19

Thanks. It’s been really swell.

July 27th, 2015 by Vader

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July 27th, 2015 21:55:04

Were Laman and Lemuel Deuteronomists?

July 27th, 2015 by G.

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July 27th, 2015 08:03:57

A Date with An Ironing Board

July 27th, 2015 by G.

Ironing Boards

On the sweetness of Mormon life.

It’s Saturday evening, and you need to do some ironing for Sunday and the week. Your wife, your lovely one, says, “do you remember when you ironed on one of our dates?” You don’t. She tells you. (more…)

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July 27th, 2015 08:00:04

Naea Bennet, Sabbath Hero

July 26th, 2015 by G.

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July 26th, 2015 05:04:01

When we ask in prayer for help, and the answer is negative

July 24th, 2015 by Bruce Charlton

The efficacy of prayer is not something which can be established empirically, because there is always another explanation for anything – in extremis anything, no matter how apparently miraculous, can be explained-away by mental illness, mass delusion or lying.

But the validity of prayer does need to be confirmed inwardly and personally by each person – and this is typically by a prayer being grated in such a way that we are convinced (even if, as is usual, we would not be able to convince others – that does not matter, because the prayer was of the nature of a private communication between the prayer and God).

However, not all prayers are granted. Why is this?

In a bigger picture, prayer is one way that we are helped in this life – by the interventions of divine powers. And asking for, and getting, such divine help is one of the important rocks of faith. But why do we not receive more help, since life is so difficult?

Such a question can only be answered if we understand the basic purposes of mortal living, and in particular, why life is some kind of struggle for most people most of the time. If we are able to appreciate that life is a kind of educational process, then we may realize why help is provided, and not provided, in the way it is.

When someone is learning there is a time for help – that is what teachers are supposed to do – and there is a time for solitary struggle – for practice, for grappling with problems, for try, try, try again.

So, one important reason that prayers are not answered will certainly be that we are being required to do something from our own resources, because that is the only way we can learn. In effect, in the unanswered prayer, we were asking the divine powers to ‘do our homework’ – when this homework was vital to our learning.

Now, this is not the only reason, nor is it always the reason, prayers are unanswered – but it is surely one of the reasons, and perhaps a neglected reason: prayers are not answered, help is not given, when it is important that we do something without help, for our own good: when we have asked for help instead of participating in the learning process that is life.

This does not mean we should not have asked for help in the first place, because we can’t always know the nature of the situation (if in doubt: ask); but it does mean that when we have asked for help and received a negative answer, we then acknowledge the validity of that reply, and act accordingly.


Note: I feel that the refusing of help to someone who has asked for it, must be one of the most difficult and painful things for the loving divine powers – especially when their refusal to help is misunderstood as indifference or dislike. Parents will know the situation in which they are asked for help by a child, and they could help their child, but the parent knows that such ‘help’ would actually harm the child’s development, and that it is necessary (or, at least, better) that the child is not helped. However, often the child cannot understand this, but feels only a sense of betrayal at being refused help that the parent could have given; and the child reacts with anger and resentment against the parent – may lapse into hatred which may be extreme and lasting. In the end, the parent may simply have to tolerate the situation; in hope that, at some point in the future, the child will recognize that the refusal of help was motivated by love.

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July 24th, 2015 23:31:25

Sony Self-Censors

July 24th, 2015 by G.

Orwell got it wrong.  In reality, you stomp on your own face forever.


Inner Big Brother is Best Big Brother.

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July 24th, 2015 13:30:01

Pioneer Day

July 24th, 2015 by G.

Happy Pioneer Day!


Family Search is running a ‘find your pioneer ancestors‘ thingummy today.  Check it out.  It would be an act of filial piety. (more…)

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July 24th, 2015 10:58:48

Too Much Holiness

July 24th, 2015 by G.


It’s hard to know when to stop being holy. Some things we are supposed to be doing, there are no natural stopping points. Can you ever do enough missionary work, when more people are born every minute then you can talk to in 60 seconds? Can you ever baptize the dead enough, when they die faster than you can baptize? Don’t run faster than you have strength, the scripture says. But conscience always whispers that maybe we have just a little bit more strength than we will let ourselves know. (more…)

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July 24th, 2015 10:20:43

All the Worlds thy hands have made

July 23rd, 2015 by Zen

Instead of just staring down the pessimistic prospects before us, let’s take a look at some of the amazing wonders this age offers us.

The NYT has nice list of discovered solar systems, all shown to scale, with planets moving at appropriate relative speeds.

The last one listed is ours, so you see how these all compare.

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July 23rd, 2015 20:02:38

Companies that Pay for Planned Parenthood

July 23rd, 2015 by Man SL

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July 23rd, 2015 07:48:56

The Benedict Option in Higher Education

July 22nd, 2015 by Patrick Henry

The next attack on religious freedom is probably against schools.  The Bob Jones precedent and accreditation make it a more vulnerable target.  Progressivism dominates higher education, which makes progressives more worked up about enemies in “their” territory and which gives them an advantage in operating on the terrain.  For instance, most professors and administrators at even the most traditionalist schools were probably educated elsewhere and have been deeply acculturated in progressivism.  This acculturation continues every time they go to a conference or read professional publications.

One solution is for faith schools to cooperate with each other.  They could form their own accrediting body, for instance.

The only problem is that the largest faith schools have already surrendered.  Baylor just removed the prohibition against homosexual acts from their honor code.   Notre Dame’s white flag was already hoisted.

Our prominent allies are itching to be on the other side.  We must reorient our expectations from actual allies.  It will be the small Christian colleges that aren’t very prestigious.  We are going to have to look for friends among groups that are going to be more lowly and despised than we are accustomed to.  To a certain extent, we may have to be sheltering them than vice versa.



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July 22nd, 2015 08:04:03

Reverse Psychology

July 22nd, 2015 by G.

A nice middlebrow short story.  The only failure is the part where he talked the patient out of not seeing Dr. Trauer again, which was written clumsily.

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July 22nd, 2015 07:25:02

Trollope and the Decline in Quality

July 21st, 2015 by G.

I just finished The Prime Minister by Trollope.  It was wonderful.  Deft characterization, easy, effortless writing, a based worldview.  All in the service of what was, really, a Victorian domestic drama (*cough* soap opera *cough*).

What struck me most was that Trollope was apparently unconscious of his skill.  Any modern writer who could write that well would be very aware that he stood out from the crowd and would try to be more artistic and literary as a consequence.


Where has all the middlebrow gone?


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July 21st, 2015 10:53:11

Sins, Shouting and Housetops

July 20th, 2015 by Zen


A certain verse about sins being shouted from the housetops comes to mind. Not that I would like to see mine shouted about, still it is hard to have much sympathy for the devil, here.

Hackers are threatening to release names, and all kinds of pervy details and nude photos from pro-cheating website, AshleyMadison. 37 Million different profiles worth, even ones they charged people to officially ‘delete’.

As one twitter commenter put it, It is amazing how much trust untrustworthy people, put into a site for untrustworthy people.

Interestingly, it is a site with more women than men. Odd.

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July 20th, 2015 18:36:35