Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Merit Badges for Men

February 21st, 2018 by Patrick Henry

As noted here recently, capitalism absolutely does destroy what it relies on for existence, like an unchecked fire.  But what capitalism destroys, capitalism can also provide partial measures to correct.  That we don’t usually see those correctives is evidence of enemy action.  It is moot that your enemy is not the arsonist if they stop you from putting out the blaze.

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February 21st, 2018 11:03:51

Peter to Judas

February 15th, 2018 by JRL in AZ

Not sure if this is all doctrinally sound, but I sure was proud of myself when I wrote it:


You smiled and betrayed with a kiss and a word.

I in anger drew my sword

And drew the rebuke of our loving Lord.

You did once, but I did thrice

Abandon and betray our Christ.

You hanged yourself on a tree

While I wept softly, bitterly.

And that is where the differences lie

That separate you and I.

While you fell down, your lifeblood spent,

And moldered in a field of blood,

I learned to change, turn, repent,

And give my hands and heart to God.

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February 15th, 2018 21:07:08

The Bull in the Mire

February 15th, 2018 by G.

See the source image

After a rain, the bull found that his favorite spot was muddy.  He could no longer stand there proudly upright as he had used to do.  He shifted this way and that and tried different ways of holding his feet, to no avail.

A swan observed, fastidiously, that he was now quite dirty and suggested he move.  But the thick-witted bull replied that a little mire didn’t bother him.  It wasn’t cleanliness he wanted, but firm footing.

Moral: Repentance is the simple observation that if you wish a better life, you must lead a different life.

Moral: Repentance means changing your foundation.

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February 15th, 2018 06:34:29

An Eternal Hope in Christ

February 13th, 2018 by G.

Now this system of revealed religion which has come to us by revelation is a very practical religion. It deals with flocks and herds and properties; it teaches us how to get along with each other here and now; it is a way of life that turns a dreary and drab mortal existence into a glorious and exhilarating experience.

But it is much more than this. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the eternal plan of salvation. It is the plan devised and announced by God, the Eternal Father, for the salvation of all who will believe and obey.

We are eternal beings. We have no way of comprehending how long we dwelt in the presence of God as his spirit children. We are here in mortality for a moment of testing and trial. Then we will come forth in the resurrection, receive an inheritance in whatever kingdom we deserve, and go on living the commandments to all eternity.

This life consists of a brief yesterday, a few short hours of today, and a few moments tomorrow. The oldest men among us scarcely live longer than a hundred years. But the life that is to be is forever. It will have no end. Men will rise from the grave and not die after. Life is eternal, unending; never after the resurrection will the children of our Father taste death. (more…)

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February 13th, 2018 07:30:13

What Freedom Requires

February 12th, 2018 by G.

Freedom is a basic experience. It is more vivid and immediate than our senses. Any empiricist who does not believe in freedom isn’t one.

Full freedom includes the ability to choose not to be free. (more…)

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February 12th, 2018 10:33:05

Bearing Testimony is Submission

February 09th, 2018 by G.

Why do people not want to bear testimony? the teacher asked. It was off the cuff. That was not what the lesson was about.

I thought over some of my experiences bearing testimony. Sometimes flat and uninspiring. Once, bearing testimony in an angry way in an argument as a way of staking out my position, like a bull pawing the ground–and the Holy Ghost took over and broke me and my arguer down into tears. Once, bearing testimony at a door on my mission as a way of breaking off a pointless dispute–and the Holy Ghost took over and broke me and the resident down into tears.

I think people sometimes hesitate because they hate the lack of control. When you bear testimony, you are turning yourself to God. You aren’t in charge anymore. You may break down when you didn’t want to, and say things you hadn’t planned. You may want to really touch your audience but nothing. Testimony proposes, God disposes.

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February 09th, 2018 07:45:15

Coin-Operated Hips

February 02nd, 2018 by G.

A certain people had coin-operated hips. When they hit their full growth, a small metal box would appear on their side with a slot to insert coins. When they wanted to bend, they would have to insert a small coin. A dial on the box would wind up to 30 minutes and then tick down.

They all believed that frequent use of the hips was good for joint health.  It was one of those things that “everyone knows.”  So they all carried coin pouches around, used the coins frequently, and would loan each other coins on need.  If someone weren’t using coins much, there would be talk and maybe some benevolent counsel on how to get back in the habit.

Another people had the same device, but rarely used it.  They just put up with the inconvenience of not bending.  They had adapted to some extent.   All their shelves were high, for instance.  But the inconvenience was still real.  They expected it, though, and those few who frequently used coins were admired but not emulated.  If a man ran out of coins, no one would lend him one.  It was a luxury, not a need.  Imagine a relative who lost his job asking for a loan.  You might give him cash for food and rent.  You wouldn’t give him cash for his country club fees.

In another land, no one had the device.  Their hips were free.  But one day, one man alone developed one.   It was unfair.  No one else had to pay.  Each month the expense would be noticeable! So he often tried to avoid paying to bend, or forgot to bring coin with him.  The result was that over time his hips became stiffer and stiffer.  He slowly became less able to bend even when he inserted a coin.

Another man in that same country also came down with coin-operated hips.  His dial was broken, however.  There was no upper limit on how much time he could buy.  A surgeon who examined him told him that a cure would cost him thousands of dollars.  The man paid it, naturally.  He needed to be able to use his hips.


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February 02nd, 2018 06:24:55

The Swimmers and the Land

January 24th, 2018 by G.

They are a slow and sleepy people, drifting in the upper waters, lazily flapping open and closed their gills. They idly avoid going deeper, where the oxygen is lower.

Sometimes one swims to the surface and tastes the pure air. They have lungs to breathe it, this people. When they do, they wake up. Vigor, alertness, acuity. The sea, it has been said, is salty from the tears of joy and sorrow they weep when they first come up for air.


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January 24th, 2018 07:03:47

Order vs. Order

January 23rd, 2018 by G.

At the mythic level, the conflict between God and Devil is the conflict between Order and Chaos.   In the scriptures, the Dragon represents the primordial chaos from which God formed creation.

Doubtless the Devil doesn’t see it that way.  At least, doubtless he didn’t use to see it that way.

If asked, he would have said that he was for order too, just a different order.  The real conflict was order vs. order, he would have said. (more…)

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January 23rd, 2018 06:56:11

Family, covenants, and battles

January 22nd, 2018 by JRL in AZ

Looking over my noisy brood at church yesterday, these verses came to my mind:

And now remember, my son, that God has entrusted you with these things, which are sacred, which he has kept sacred, and also which he will keep and preserve for a wise purpose in him, that he may show forth his power unto future generations.

And now behold, I tell you by the spirit of prophecy, that if ye transgress the commandments of God, behold, these things which are sacred shall be taken away from you by the power of God, and ye shall be delivered up unto Satan, that he may sift you as chaff before the wind.

But if ye keep the commandments of God, and do with these things which are sacred according to that which the Lord doth command you, (for you must appeal unto the Lord for all things whatsoever ye must do with them) behold, no power of earth or hell can take them from you, for God is powerful to the fulfilling of all his words.

Alma 37:14-16. Powerful encouragement indeed.

After church, my wife shared a talk that she heard in another ward in which the speaker used these verses and applied them to parents:

And it came to pass that when the men of Moroni saw the fierceness and the anger of the Lamanites, they were about to shrink and flee from them. And Moroni, perceiving their intent, sent forth and inspired their hearts with these thoughts—yea, the thoughts of their lands, their liberty, yea, their freedom from bondage.

And it came to pass that they turned upon the Lamanites, and they cried with one voice unto the Lord their God, for their liberty and their freedom from bondage.

And they began to stand against the Lamanites with power; and in that selfsame hour that they cried unto the Lord for their freedom, the Lamanites began to flee before them; and they fled even to the waters of Sidon.

Alma 43:48-50. And I thought, “The battle is joined! I’m the Daddy!”

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January 22nd, 2018 20:16:32

The Journey isn’t Over Yet

January 15th, 2018 by G.

Sometimes we Mormons feel like we have all the answers and are just retreading the same old path.  (Or at least descriptions of all the answers.  “Prayer” and “study the scriptures” aren’t answers, they are just words.  Actual prayer and actual scripture study are answers.)

If so, we are only half right.  We may be retreading the same old path.  But that is not all the path there is.  If we prayed and study the scriptures, we would soon find ourselves beyond the fields we know. (more…)

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January 15th, 2018 10:28:27

Nothing Good is Ever Lost

January 15th, 2018 by G.

We had some excellent comments on the post about grief and loss when anything good slips into the past. (more…)

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January 15th, 2018 08:10:34

Your Body is not a Punishment

January 12th, 2018 by G.

The Masculinist sent out his latest letter yesterday. Good stuff. The gist is that men who are looking for marriage need to be both a good long-term prospect but also a good short-term prospect. He calls it Attraction + Investment. He contrasts it with the “Servant Leader” evangelical model which is all about how to be a good dad and husband but not at all about how to be a desirable dad and husband. Or about getting married in the first place. I think he’s on to something. I am a melancholy introverted intellectualish inoffensive Mormon guy, but I am and always have been about the cockiest punk of a melancholy introverted intellectualish inoffensive Mormon guy that can be imagined. And I ended up marrying just way way out of my league. This insight applies to both sexes, by the way. The G. daughters are solid, stable, compassionate people but they are also having their attention directed to matters of dress, grooming, fitness, and the small graces. Forever starts with Flirting or Eternity starts with Easy on the Eyes. (more…)

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January 12th, 2018 12:25:15

Here We Meet Upon this Road

January 11th, 2018 by G.

One of the missionaries in our ward said she really likes a Mormon group called the Nashville Tribute Band. Her favorite song was one called “Apostles“:

I could criticize the song, but it does have the strange power of cheap music.  And the song has a heck of a situation: a last meeting of the New Testament Apostles before they go out across the world never to see each other again. (more…)

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January 11th, 2018 07:11:54

Feast and Famine

January 08th, 2018 by G.

God appears to Moses, and then when He leaves, the devil.

The devil appeared to Joseph Smith, and then God.

Feast, then famine.  Famine, then feast.


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January 08th, 2018 06:44:56