Our friend the Bonald points to various scientists answering the question of what scientific concept they wish were more widely understood. Signaling, one says. The sexes, another says. They are, like, real, man. The one that made me laugh was the scientist who said, the scientific method. Not peer review, “consensus,” sophisticated models. It’s coming up with ideas and testing them over and over. Amen.
Normative text is displayed in black. Archaic spellings and capitalization have been modernized. Annotation to distinguish changes from version 1.27 has been dropped, on the grounds that it was visually confusing and tended to steer reviewers away from careful review of the original test of version 1.27.
Rationale is displayed in red. Rationale is non-normative, but is provided to call out differences from release 1.27, better define terms of art, offer the reasoning behind the normative text, and offer other clarifications.
I have probably said something snide about “checklist” Mormonism a time or two. But rules, checklists, and practicality have the same relationship to spirituality that flesh has to spirit. The former provides form, content, and meaning to the latter. The former is often the best route to the latter. Eating is more important than studying nutritional principles.
I have read and written breathless little sermons on the spiritual value of gardening. The glories of creation and all that. I love them.
But the Mormon says, “Why should you garden? For the cheap vegetables.” (NB: it takes a fair amount of mental independence these days to grow cheap vegetables. Much of the gardening advice out there will get you growing very expensive vegetables indeed.) (more…)
I have regretted that we don’t have a friendship ordinance (for our non-Mormon friends, “ordinance” is the Mormon word for a sacrament). Friendship bonds are holy bonds. I would like them to be sealed.
Yesterday I wondered if maybe we do have such an ordinance. (more…)
Saturday you drive a van of youth, ages 12 – 17, 3 hours to the temple. They talk happily the whole time. Riddles, books, rubik’s cubes, music. You are amazed at the health of it.
Sunday one of them slowly, gropingly, fervently bears his testimony about the temple. It was his first time.
Your Elder Quorums’ President is in a kilt. His daughter saved her money to buy it for him for Christmas, he says. So he is wearing it.
You meet a man who is there for the first time. His family will be joining him in June. You invite him over to dinner along with your home-teaching family. It turns out he had been fasting because he was sad from loneliness.
Every year there is an end to Christmas day and an end to the Christmas season. It is always a bit melancholy. Each of us will have a last Christmas of our life. That will be a bit melancholy too.
Our kind of Christmas will end someday too. Someday there will be a Last Christmas within the circle of the world.
But this year I have had an intimation that at the true last Christmas, Christ will be there. It will not be sad at all. (more…)
The initial intervention is assumed to be uncaused – hence undetermined – while everything after that point is assumed to be determined (albeit in a non-linear fashion).
-thus Bruce Charlton
How we are Mary and Overlooked Christmas Scriptures and We are Joseph and Mary and Holding the Messiah–four essays on being a father or a mother or a recipient of revelation. See also this brief meditation on the comparison between Mary and the tree of life.
An ant was scurrying busily back to his anthill with some small grain. “What a waste,” a parrot said as it settled down by him. “All this effort, and it will all come to nothing when a bull happens to step on your hill and crush it.”
The ant took notice of the parrot’s words and scurried away towards the fence. “Even worse!” the parrot called. “There are even more animals in that pasture over there!”
But the ant was not headed to the other pasture. The ant had stopped at the fence and was scouting for locations for a new hill under the fence itself. “Even worse!” the parrot called. “Birds that pray on ants will perch above you on the railing, and the uncropped grass that grows underneath the fence will block your view of them. You will be devoured!” The ant then looked for a barer patch under the fence, but the parrot told him it was only bare because a rivulet sometimes flowed through it during rains, which would drown the hill. When the ant found a different spot that was bare of grass due to rocks, the parrot warned the ant that the rocks would surely absorb the heat of the sun and bake the ant.
“I was foolish to listen to you,” the ant replied. “Your warnings reflect no considered judgment. I will return to my hill, reflect on what is to be done, and do what I can. Apart from that, I will be merry, because frantic fretting will do nothing to ward off disaster.”
Moral: Spend your worry frugally.
The Book of Revelation is an exceedingly mysterious and symbolic text; and I have never been convinced by any particular interpretation of its meanings.
It seems like a multi-referential code, understandable to an initiate of the time, no doubt; but whose ‘key’ has been (to a significant extent) lost. Consequently, guesswork is required, and results will be tentative… (more…)