Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Easter in Pictures and in Words

April 21st, 2014 by Adam G.

BradfordPear

On the sweetness of Mormon life.

Easter Morning. You take family pictures under the Bradford Pear. Then you take more pictures after you remember to remove the hanging mosquito trap.

You go to church. You take the sacrament. A girl receives the gift of the Holy Ghost.

(more…)

Comments (4)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , , , ,
April 21st, 2014 15:25:16

What We Could Learn from the Amish

April 08th, 2014 by Adam G.

The Amish are one of the few healthy communities in the modern world by the simplest and most profound metric.

At the same time, they aren’t able to excel in math, technology, art, or society. Their (very effective and admirable) solution is also self-limiting.

But the Mormon model isn’t ideal either. It allows more individual and family excellence and much more missionary work. But it isn’t as good at promoting real community (I know, because I grew up in an old-fashioned stake in one of the Mormon settlements on the Deseret periphery that was still run the old way, and I can see the very big distance between then and now. It’s not just my youthful nostalgia either. My father moved there as an adult from the urban wards where he grew up; he gets choked up remembering the experience). And it isn’t as effective at retaining the young or even at having young. Though still quite good, mind you.

What’s needed, I think, is for Mormons to capture a little bit of that old experimental flair. We need more Mormon intentional communities. All kinds of efforts. We need more failures, basically.

Comments (3)
Filed under: We transcend your bourgeois categories | Tags: , , , , ,
April 08th, 2014 12:13:08

Aphorisms about Punishment and Repentance

April 07th, 2014 by Adam G.

A person or a society has not learned its lesson when it denies there is any lesson to learn.

Here

(more…)

Comments (3)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , ,
April 07th, 2014 08:46:07

Ears to Hear

April 04th, 2014 by John Mansfield

Back in 1985, I was a missionary serving in Argentina. Not much news from the United States reached my ears. Destruction of the Challenger space shuttle. Deaths of Orson Welles and Yul Brynner. Among the things that didn’t penetrate the filter of distance and irrelevance were two bombing murders committed by a forger in Salt Lake City. (more…)

Comments (4)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , ,
April 04th, 2014 13:00:32

We See the Past with a God’s Eye View

April 03rd, 2014 by Adam G.

The past with the clarity and beauty of a Bruegel's landscape

The past with the clarity and beauty of a Bruegel landscape

Why is living in the past so popular a pastime?
. . . .

(more…)

Comments (8)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , ,
April 03rd, 2014 01:30:23

No Repentance without Punishment

March 28th, 2014 by Adam G.

Comments (0)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
March 28th, 2014 09:44:36

A Fairytale told by Moses and Darwin

March 27th, 2014 by Adam G.

This is a fairy tale told by Moses and Darwin. (more…)

Comments (1)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
March 27th, 2014 11:00:27

A Massive Exodus of Mormons

March 25th, 2014 by Adam G.

Hello? Hello? Is anyone still reading this? I hope I’m not the last. (more…)

Comments (31)
Filed under: Brilliantly Lit,Deseret Review | Tags: , ,
March 25th, 2014 09:59:14

Pray for those things we need

March 24th, 2014 by Zen

images

We are given a great deal of direction in how and what to pray for.

We are told, that “for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matt 6:8) and even the very hairs of our heads are numbered (Luke 12:7)

The D&C reminds us, “Remember that without faith you can do nothing; therefore ask in faith. Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not.” (D&C 8:10)

Nephi says “Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss”. (2nd Ne. 4:35)

Similarly, James writes, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:3)

Of particular note, let us draw attention to D&C 88:63-65

Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you;
And if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.”  (emphasis mine)

This is not a post about prayer. It is about the things we would be inclined to pray for. Even those things we would call needs.

God does not look at needs as we do. If we insist even on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, as a bare minimum, we could be quite wrong. What should we call needs? Human Companionship? Moroni spent 36 years without companionship, so if that is a need, then either God does not care much about needs, or He takes a very different view of it. It is not unconcern, or callousness, but a very different prioritization than we may have.  Other examples of people put into or left in, difficult situations, is not hard to find in either scriptures or Christian history. 

When we insist on what we think are needs, but are not, then we are in the same position as praying for things we do not truly need. And if we are not very careful, it will be to our own condemnation. 

This is an interesting topic because it is seamlessly intertwined with the philosophy of Sex-First.

I have certainly been single long enough (and a single father of teenage daughters) that I can testify that “it is not good for man to be alone”. (Gen 2:18Abr. 5:14) Sexual relations are an important part of a health married life, but at no point since the creation of Adam and Eve has sex been put as a high priority, not any more than eating has.

Following the hubbub of Elder Callister’s talk on sexual morality, there were several detractors. Among them, was the usually much better Natasha Helfer Parker.

Among many other things, she complains that it is not realistic or healthy to expect LGBTQ to be morally pure. It is too hard, and giving up too much. There are similar complaints about

This is the problem with modern philosophies that place sex first in both priority and identity. You are, of course, welcome to do that if you want, but as long as you do, the commandments will be an iron fetter to you. That fetter is the Wicked Traditions of our Fathers. (D&C 123:7-8)

We cannot keep the commandments when we insist and cling to, things we are sure must be needs. These may well turn to our condemnation.

What are our needs then? After the Savior had spent 40 days fasting, and legitimately needed to eat (a need if there ever was one), he was tempted by food. He replied simply and directly, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt 4:4)

 

Comments (6)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , ,
March 24th, 2014 01:16:50

Brief History and Analysis of Mormonism.

March 22nd, 2014 by Bookslinger

Comments (7)
Filed under: Brilliantly Lit,Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , ,
March 22nd, 2014 10:02:56

Deification of the Dust

March 19th, 2014 by Adam G.

http://glennterryart.com/?q=node/82

glennterryart.com

Adam and Eve were created from the dust, the scriptures tell us. We haven’t escaped that lowly origin. Dust is where we come from, dust is who we are, and dust is where we are headed. (more…)

Comments (0)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , ,
March 19th, 2014 11:18:14

Mormons in Strange Places

March 18th, 2014 by John Mansfield

Comments (4)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags:
Tags:
March 18th, 2014 07:54:10

Deification: the Difference between Paradise and Heaven

March 17th, 2014 by Adam G.

Bruce Charlton has a valuable essay up on theosis and the difference between Eden and Exaltation.

Offers of paradise are merely us as we are dwelling in perfect conditions; but in real Heaven it is us as we have become, dwelling in perfect conditions: the gap between us as we are and us as we have become is called theosis – it is the process through which men become more like God.

Salvation is qualitative (yes-no) while Theosis is quantitative (how much?).

Read the whole thing.

Comments (0)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , ,
March 17th, 2014 12:31:45

Small and Large Graces

March 17th, 2014 by Adam G.

On the sweetness of Mormon life:

Your Elders Quorum President asks you to go on rescue visits after church with someone from the stake. You don’t like accosting strangers. You never have. You are sweating it a bit. “Watch out,” you think, “I’m getting sucked into that churchy thing.” You resolve to do it. You feel peace. When you get to Church, Bishop tells you its been called off. (more…)

Comments (6)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , ,
March 17th, 2014 09:55:21

The Rebellious Obedience of Satan and Cain

March 12th, 2014 by Adam G.

Cain and Abel

When Satan gets caught in the Garden, he doesn’t own up. Satan-like, he contrives a shuffling excuse. “I was only doing what’s been done in other worlds,” he says. In so saying he had loosed a stream of Mormon speculation about what he meant. (more…)

Comments (7)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , ,
March 12th, 2014 11:23:11