Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Nephite Story didn’t End Well

August 14th, 2017 by G.

The direction the Right is going sometimes reminds me of the Nephites.  I don’t know whether the parallel I’m seeing is real or not–I don’t vouch for it–but sometimes I do see a parallel.

The Nephites (or, within the Nephites, the Church) sometimes responded to unrelenting persecution and hatred by aping their enemies.
Alma 4:

For they saw and beheld with great sorrow that the people of the church began to be lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and to set their hearts upon riches and upon the vain things of the world, that they began to be scornful, one towards another, and they began to persecute those that did not believe according to their own will and pleasure.

And thus, in this eighth year of the reign of the judges, there began to be great contentions among the people of the church; yea, there were envyings, and strife, and malice, and persecutions, and pride, even to exceed the pride of those who did not belong to the church of God.

Or the Nephites in the last days of their civilization, who correctly perceived that the Lamanites would never stop until they had exterminated all the Nephites–and invaded the Lamanites to, I suppose, exterminate them first, and thus prompted their own extermination ahead of schedule.

This is not a direction I hope for the Right.

On the other hand, if politics is war by other means, for the longest time the Right has been practicing pacifism by other means, and the record is one of unremitting failure.

Comments (2)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags:
Tags:
August 14th, 2017 07:27:51

Mene Mene Step 3

July 27th, 2017 by G.

What do various ideologies look like when weighed in the Step 3 balance? (more…)

Comments (1)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: ,
Tags: ,
July 27th, 2017 14:57:33

An Abortive America

July 21st, 2017 by G.

I spent a few days at a family reunion out where my people are from. I caught a glimpse of an abortive America.

It was an aristocratic America, but to understand what I mean, you must reject everything lacy and coiffed and rich about the term aristocratic.

I mean deep pride in your family name and your ancestors. Deep pride in the places they built. The literal structures that they built, and the farms and the irrigation systems and the ways of life. Deep pride even in their scandals. Not pride in the sense of “son, I’m proud of you.” Spanish hidalgo pride.

(and, of course, there is the hereditary right to bear arms . . .)

That isn’t the country we live in. If it were, we’d live in a different America, better in some ways, worse in others.

I believe that the tremendous variety of human ways of being is delightful to God.

Comments (4)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags:
Tags:
July 21st, 2017 06:40:11

Love without Law

July 12th, 2017 by G.

Neither is love without the law in the Lord, and they twain shall become one flesh.

The crisis of our times is a religious crisis.

Christianity is a religion of both Law and Love. . . .

The Progressive ethos can be seen as a commitment to Love perverted by the rejection of Law. When you deny people guidance and declare them free to do whatever they wish, individuals react differently. Some choose to act in harmony with the Law, others choose to follow their baser instincts. Consequences still accrue according to the Law: virtue brings good fortune to oneself and one’s community, vice brings misery. When groups tend toward different choices and then reap the results, the Progressive is in a bind. How to keep denying the Law when its consequences are staring you in the face?

The answer is to double down. No consequence should be explained in terms of the choices that led to it. . . .

There is only so much you can blame on unfavorable conditions before it starts to ring hollow. What if you’ve already heaped every material advantage on the disadvantaged and they still stay behind? If it is not the conditions then it must be the Other holding them down. . . .

So we arrive at the inevitable conclusion. Nothing helps against this sabotaging Other; he must be immensely powerful and irredeemably evil. If the downtrodden are to be helped, the Other must be stopped – destroyed if that’s what it takes.

-thus Contingent, not Arbitrary

Comments Off on Love without Law
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: ,
July 12th, 2017 06:19:30

Beguiled

July 12th, 2017 by G.

There are prophets, scriptures, and things said and done in holy places that support the point of view that Eve’s tasting of the fruit was a deliberate, wise choice.

On the other hand, there are prophets, scriptures, and things said and done in holy places that suggest it was something like a sin. The language of cursing and punishment is used, and Eve says she was beguiled. (more…)

Comments (10)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags:
Tags:
July 12th, 2017 06:09:16

Imagining the Scriptures

July 11th, 2017 by G.

A guy once said something like mankind is just a bunch of method actors, all stuck inside their part. He said it like it was a bad thing.

Reading the scriptures for content is good. Reading for story is good. Imagining the story may be better.

Now, just a few words to you young men. Have you ever imagined yourself to be the Prophet Joseph Smith when he was fourteen and received his glorious vision? Or David when he was playing his harp for King Saul? Or Joseph who had dreams and visions and saw in a dream how his father and mother and all his brothers and their families would bow down to him? Have you ever thought of yourself as being Nephi, who, under very difficult circumstances, defied his rebellious brothers and went into the city of Jerusalem and singlehandedly obtained the plates which were vital to the posterity of Lehi and his family? Have you ever thought of yourself as being the young Nephi who gave leadership in large measure to his older brothers and to his father’s family?

Can you think of yourself as being Nephi who heard his father excitedly call attention to something he had found just outside the door of his tent?

Elder Kimball.

Salvation starts with playing a part.

Zeno’s paradox doesn’t work. Not only is space not infinitely divisible, but if it were, infinitely divisible time would allow all those infintiely small gaps to be crossed. But what about character change? What are the units of change in the soul? How does what I am become what I am not?
Imagination and pretense is what bridges the otherwise impossible gap.

Comments (4)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: ,
July 11th, 2017 07:30:17

The New Fox and the Grapes II

July 11th, 2017 by G.

(Aesop’s fine original here.)

One afternoon a fox was walking through the forest and spotted a bunch of grapes hanging from over a lofty branch.

“Just the thing to quench my thirst,” quoth he.

Taking a few steps back, the fox jumped and just missed the hanging grapes. Again the fox took a few paces back and tried to reach them but still failed.

Finally, the enraged fox said, “those grapes are oppressing me!”

Moral:

When we feel ourselves unfortunate, we look for someone or something to blame.

Comments Off on The New Fox and the Grapes II
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: ,
Tags: ,
July 11th, 2017 05:40:17

They the Builders of the Nation

July 04th, 2017 by G.

At one of the bicentennial general conferences, President Benson was full of the red, white, and blue . . . and the beehive.

I pay fervent tribute to the forebears who made this possible—the Founding Fathers of this republic and our Mormon pioneers. I pay tribute to their faithful deeds, their noble lives, and their lasting lessons of faith in God, courage, industry, self-reliance, and integrity.

My emphasis.  We Mormons are the heirs of a twice-founded nation.

Image result for flag beehive

from lunarmotion.com

And to a surprising extent, President Benson seemed to see the American founding as more of a moral and spiritual founding, like the Pioneer one. (more…)

Comments (1)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: ,
July 04th, 2017 07:30:27

A Little American Heresy

June 28th, 2017 by Patrick Henry

If a guy kept punching you, and every time he punched you he hollered, “Remember the Alamo,” you might come to hate the Alamo.

Equality is our Alamo.  Equality they say while they attack tradition, institutions, the faith, the family, order, prosperity, happiness.  Equality they say while the Devil cackles.  And it is hard to not come to hate the idea, even if it were being badly abused.  Even if it were to have almost nothing to do how its being used.

(more…)

Comments (2)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: ,
June 28th, 2017 06:37:48

Are We There Yet?

June 27th, 2017 by G.

No.

Now may I speak, not to the slackers in the Kingdom, but to those who carry their own load and more; not to those lulled into false security, but to those buffeted by false insecurity, who, though laboring devotedly in the Kingdom, have recurring feelings of falling forever short.

Earlier disciples who heard Jesus preach some exacting doctrines were also anxious and said, “Who then can be saved?” (Mark 10:26.)

The first thing to be said of this feeling of inadequacy is that it is normal. There is no way the Church can honestly describe where we must yet go and what we must yet do without creating a sense of immense distance.

-thus Elder Maxwell. (more…)

Comments Off on Are We There Yet?
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: ,
June 27th, 2017 07:30:57

The Voices of Men

June 26th, 2017 by G.

I remembered why I go to Stake Priesthood meeting. (more…)

Comments (2)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags:
Tags:
June 26th, 2017 07:16:21

Family Preparedness

June 20th, 2017 by G.

Reading an old Welfare session of General Conference is an interesting experience. It’s very temporal and in a petit bourgeois way. Class instincts you didn’t even know you had rebel.

So it was a relief to see a talk by Spencer W. Kimball about “Family Preparedness.” At last, something about strengthening the family, instead of about food storage! (more…)

Comments (7)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: ,
June 20th, 2017 07:12:41

Sustainable Society

June 20th, 2017 by Patrick Henry

At some point I fell out of the conventional political spectrum.  Maybe it was when I talked to the old about the history they’d lived, which was different from what was in the textbooks.  But I think it was actually when I first asked myself two questions.

  1.  What kind of people are needed to sustain the kind of society we have?  and
  2. What does our society do to preserve or create those kind of people?

The answer to the second was it does jack all. Worse, it degrades those kinds of people. Our society was a spendthrift. It was spending down the social capital whose earnings it relied on. Our society was unsustainable.

But no one who mattered seemed to care.

And the problem was worse than I realized then.

At the demographic level, modernity selects systematically against modern populations. The people it prefers, it consumes.

-from here.

We live lives of ease and luxury. We are history’s gentry. But we are the gentry in a 19th C. novel. We are the heirs, but the current holder of the property is a degenerate drunk who is mortgaging heavily and trashing the estates. We can count ourselves fortunate if its only our inheritance and our family name that is ruined.

Comments Off on Sustainable Society
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags:
Tags:
June 20th, 2017 06:48:22

Heaven is Glory

June 16th, 2017 by G.

The scriptures are aggressively old school. Who talks about glory any more? The scriptures do. The prophets from the beginning down through Joseph Smith used glory to describe the afterlife, in a way that makes it seem that glory is not just a description but somehow the essence of the thing. The scriptures mention glory more than they mention love.

They are “kingdoms of glory,” or “degrees of glory.” Judgment determines the glory that we can endure. Heaven simply is our current existence, plus glory. “That same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory.” Glory was God’s object in the council in heaven, and desire for it was the motive of Satan’s rebellion.

Indeed, we call God’s realm “the heavens,” or in other words, the sky, where clouds pile up, white on white, light on light, glory on glory.

Comments (5)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags:
Tags:
June 16th, 2017 07:15:41

The Baptism of the Son

June 12th, 2017 by G.

On the sweetness of Mormon life.

An old cowboy bears his testimony. he is being released from the bishopric. It is his 3rd bishopric. He cries when he speaks. He say’s he’ll miss the friendship. His successor is a dirt contractor who “grew up rough.”
(more…)

Comments Off on The Baptism of the Son
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: ,
June 12th, 2017 04:43:05