Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

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…)

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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June 12th, 2017 04:43:05

Unlooked-for Blessings

June 07th, 2017 by G.

Traveling in the South.  Like everyone else, I like to get a sense of place so I try to do plan out things that fit in the Southern mold.   Those were fine.  But the best thing I did was unexpected.  On a hot, muggy day I had a bus to catch but I was early for it.  There was a big portico shaded by some tall oaks, and some rocking chairs on it.  So I sat and rocked without any care for the time, and felt a sense of what you might call Southernness well up around me.  I couldn’t have planned it.  If I had, it wouldn’t have worked.

C.S. Lewis talks about the  perversity of things.  Anyone who does home repair or gardening knows it.  Nothing ever quite works like you wanted.  To the point that when it does go smoothly, going as planned is itself a joyful surprise.  If things worked like they wanted to, they could not frustrate us or delight us,  because they would not really be outside of ourselves.  If no frustration, no happy surprise, then no relationship.

Grace is the happiest surprise.  Sinning with the plan to repent is a contradiction in terms.

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June 07th, 2017 06:51:57

The Ages of Mormon Man

June 05th, 2017 by G.

one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Image result for shakespeare the ages of man

Shakespeare had his ages of Man.  The Gospel also has its stages for Man.  Faith. Repentance.  Baptism.  The Gift of the Holy Ghost.  Endure to the End.

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June 05th, 2017 11:01:57

The Grace of Consequences

May 31st, 2017 by G.

There’s a talk by L. Tom Perry in the Sunday afternoon session of the April 1976 general conference that anyone who is interested in our recent posts on freedom and agency should also be interested in. We’ve been saying that consequences are keys to agency. No consequences, no agency. Brother Perry taught that too, but as one having authority.

Brother Perry spends a lot of time talking about the orderliness of creation and the predictability of divine law, without which meaningful choice of meaningful consequences would be impossible. He teaches that our choices ultimately have to be anchored or oriented towards that divine order, because it is only that order that makes them possible in the first place. To choose against that order is to embrace self-contradiction.

Here’s a line relevant to some of our recent discussions on educating for freedom:

Because all that they would ever need had been supplied them, it was now possible to hold them accountable for their mortal performance.

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May 31st, 2017 07:30:17

Notes towards a definition of freedom, part 4

May 24th, 2017 by Vader

In the previous posts of this series, I developed a definition of freedom as the ability to make meaningful and consequential decisions; briefly discussed the three key concepts in this definition (ability, meaningfulness, and consequence); and described liberty as the set of social constructs we erect to sustain freedom.


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May 24th, 2017 14:44:16


May 24th, 2017 by G.

Our own Lord Vader has been thinking carefully about agency and what it means for politics. See Notes 1, 2, and 3. It’s good stuff. The man breathes so heavily because his brain needs the oxygen.

I’ve been thinking a bit along the same lines. Must be something in the air.

Self-government famously requires a responsible people.

Our current form of self-government is democracy and has been for awhile.

Democracy has some problems. One of them is that while it relies on having a responsible people voting, it does nothing to teach that responsibility. In fact, the democratic form pushes against responsibility. The thrifty farmer gets the same vote as the gambler and the drunk. (more…)

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May 24th, 2017 12:46:09

The Honest Man

May 23rd, 2017 by G.

More and more, honesty is not a virtue our society prizes but fails to live.  More and more, it is a virtue that we reject as for dupes.  And more and more, it is.

What I failed to realize when I was younger is that honesty is a societal virtue.  It is a virtue whose purpose and sense is in relation to society at large. (more…)

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May 23rd, 2017 07:30:10

The Truth of Nostalgia

May 22nd, 2017 by G.

I have nostalgia for lives I’ve never lived.

I was just driving through a tiny foothills Spanish colonial landgrant.  There are a few small adobes, willows and cottonwoods by the streams, a twisted apple tree, a few cattle, stacks of firewood, everyone related.  And I felt a strong sense of the distinctness and value of their life.  And an attraction, like nostalgia.

That’s what the best tourism usually is.  Nostalgia for unlived lives.  Imaginative communion with them. (more…)

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May 22nd, 2017 10:20:35

Notes towards a definition of freedom, part 3

May 15th, 2017 by Vader

In the first part of this series of posts, I proposed a definition of freedom as the ability to make meaningful and consequential choices. I offered some explanation of the three elements of this definition, namely: ability, meaningfulness, and consequence. In the second part of this series of posts, I reflected on the significance of freedom as a gift from God, pointed out that there is strong opposition to freedom, and described liberty as the set of social and legal constructs we are duty-bound to erect and sustain to protect and enhance freedom.

In this post, I will discuss some of the aspects of liberty that support the second element of freedom, namely, meaningfulness.


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May 15th, 2017 05:19:17

Arguing with Satan

May 11th, 2017 by G.

Here is a temple thought.

Satan has more than a bit part in the creation story.  But basically all he does is talk.  No one takes what he says seriously. No one enters into discussions with him.   They all just defy him or command him or condemn him.  No one converses with him.  Except Eve–and with all due respect for the recent Mormon trend of affirming the consequent, I am not altogether convinced that she was altogether prudent to do so.

I wonder how much our taste for reasoning with people is just a cultural thing.  Not that there is anything wrong with cultural things.  But they do not convert directly into eternal things.

God reasons some in the scriptures, but mostly not.  Mostly He just offers glory or misery.  He doesn’t offer logic, he offers a choice.  Christ debates the Pharisees and Sadducees–but mostly he ignores their logic with rhetoric and jumps over the conversation they are trying to have to a higher truth.

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May 11th, 2017 08:48:41

And Given in Marriage

May 10th, 2017 by G.

The scriptures like to point out–it happens more than once–that on the verge of some catastrophic punishment for their gigantic wickedness, the people are going around “marrying and giving in marriage.”  Which is odd.  Getting married doesn’t seem so awfully wicked. (more…)

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May 10th, 2017 08:31:15

Free Pigs

May 08th, 2017 by G.

In a storm, one part of a pigsty fence was broken, leaving a gap.  When the pig saw it, he thought, “freedom!” and trotted out, determined to live or die, survive or thrive, depending on his own choices and fortune.

A passing wild pig saw the gap and trotted in.  “Freedom!” he thought.  “No more worries, no more cares.  I hope somebody fixes that fence.”


The first freedom is choosing what freedom is.

See also the Garden of Eden.

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May 08th, 2017 10:20:20