Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Agency is Awesome

February 22nd, 2017 by G.

Image result for painting a wall

If you’ve ever taken on some small project–going to the temple, ticking off a list of chores, reducing your food budget for the month– and seen it through despite friction and your own fatigue, one thing will be obvious: agency is awesome.  It feels great to set your mind to something and then do it. (more…)

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February 22nd, 2017 08:18:42

Real Christianity is Contagious

February 21st, 2017 by G.

The way that can be said is not the true way.

Neal A. Maxwell is a mine.  Every sentence is a sermon.  (more…)

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February 21st, 2017 08:30:35

Too Young to Work

February 20th, 2017 by G.

On the sweetness of Mormon life. (more…)

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February 20th, 2017 07:21:18

Elites without Kids

February 15th, 2017 by Patrick Henry

File:Taiwan-population-pyramid-2014.svg - Wikipedia

 

That is a population pyramid.  I picked it randomly.  There are lots of places that look the same.  Spain and Slovenia and Singapore and China and lots of places here in America. (more…)

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February 15th, 2017 07:45:16

The Symbol of Our Worship

February 14th, 2017 by G.

He then asked: “If you do not use the cross, what is the symbol of your religion?”

I replied that the lives of our people must become the only meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, therefore, the symbol of our worship.

thus Gordon B. Hinckley, from the Sunday morning session of the April 1975 General Conference. This anecdote was meaningful to him, and he brought it up more than once later.

We of course must be those symbols ourselves. But we must also surround ourselves with saints. Surround ourselves with symbols of Christ. It lifts up the soul.

Other Posts from the Sunday Morning Session of the April 1975 General Conference

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February 14th, 2017 08:30:23

The Holy Self

February 08th, 2017 by G.

Self worship is a curse.  I take back nothing I have said against it.

But my littlest is at the age where she is discovering herself.  She wanders around the house chanting to herself: [Name] is my name!  [Name] is my name!  It makes her happy.

No one who has seen a toddler in the middle of a shrieking storm of “mine” can ever disbelieve in the natural man again.  At the same time, I cannot see her waggle her eyebrows in delight when I give her an apple and croon, “this apple is mine!” and believe that the self and individuality is all wrong.

The Buddha, God bless him, got it wrong.

The self is not holy just because.  That is the modern error.  But there is a core of selfhood that is.  It would be unholy to jettison that part of selfhood.  It is, ultimately, what we have to offer God.

His joy is our joy at judgment day, when, eyes wide with surprise and delight, we croon “these blessings are mine!  these blessings are mine!”

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February 08th, 2017 07:35:15

Rebellion to God is Rebellion to Self

February 07th, 2017 by G.

Being a Christian is hard. Let’s not kid around. The more seriously you try it, the harder it gets, until you reach the breakthrough. The idea that religion is a bunch of harsh rules that require abject submission to a harsh and demanding God is a caricature–but it is a caricature that every faithful man will experience at some point. (Almost everything is the experience of knitting together a series of caricatures.)

But there is a point to it all. When we are learning to submit to God, not least we are learning to submit to our own will. We are not eliminating our own agency and our own desires. We are taming them until they can be brought into the whole. We are ensuring that some irruption of will or desire now doesn’t make that will or desire unworkable forever. Submission now preserves all of our full characteristics for the eternities. Obedience to God is saying that every part of ourself is too precious to ever lose.

Character is determined by the extent to which we can master ourselves toward good ends. It is difficult to say just what builds good character, but we know it when we see it. It always commands our admiration, and the absence of it our pity.

-thus Elder Tanner

Other Talks from the Priesthood session of the April 1975 General Conference

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February 07th, 2017 07:50:00

Archimedes’ Lever

February 05th, 2017 by G.

But in the end, everything will hinge on the private decisions of individuals; perhaps even of one single individual – this is how the world works (although we never know the sepficis, in mortal life).

The threads of causality converge on a point of decision, then diverge-out from that point.

At that point it might be You – You will, soon, be brought to some point, and will make a difficult choice. You cannot ever know that your choice is not the one at the convergence point of a vast portion of the web, your choice the origin of many other changes.

And anyway, nothing is insignificant in this world – everything matters, because anything might be crucial.

(There are no ‘unimportant people’.)

How you decide, how you perform on that single test of integrity, could determine the future of the nations.

Be ready.

-thus Bruce Charlton

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February 05th, 2017 18:00:56

Small Promises

February 02nd, 2017 by G.

An old woman knew herself to be dying.  She called her son, a captain of soldiers, to visit her bedside.

“My son,” she said, “you know that I have something of the second sight.  I have told you that greatness can be yours if you but reach for it, but you have refused to try.  Now I ask for something less.  I ask you to make me a small promise.  On the first anniversary of my death, on that day, tell no lies.” (more…)

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February 02nd, 2017 10:10:59

Peace with Muscles

January 31st, 2017 by G.

John C. Wright has announced the Last Crusade. It is mostly silly, of course. But on the other hand, it is what most of us who have children are already doing. One has to stand against the great maw of modernity that is gaping wide to eat your kids up. It is easy to be gloomy and despairing about it.

In a 1975 conference talk, Brother H. Burke Petersen recited the usual gloomy statistics. Divorce, illegitimacy, and so on. They are all much worse now.

Then he turned to the words of the Lord. (more…)

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January 31st, 2017 08:30:44

The Freud Fashion

January 26th, 2017 by Man SL

 

Screenshot 2017-01-25 23.56.23

Freudianism is going the way of other midcentury shibboleths, like respectable journalism and nudist colonies.

It was always a farce, and always obviously a farce. “How could respectable people bring themselves to believe such things?” is the same question as “How could people wear bell bottoms?”

Smart, bookish people need to admit to themselves that they are fashion whores
just like everybody else.

Except for me. Oh, shoot, is this thing on?

* * *

The funny thing looking back was how much courage it took to publicly laugh at Freud’s absurd pretensions to be scientific. Apparently, you had to have the immense self-confidence of a Vladimir Nabokov to scoff at Freud.

Read the whole thing.

You’d probably describe C.S. Lewis as having immense self-confidence too. Or immense confidence in God. Either way, the chapter from A Pilgrim’s Regress on the spirit of the age should be required reading. It does down Freud and a whole slew of modern thought cankers all at the same time.

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January 26th, 2017 07:40:26

All

January 24th, 2017 by G.

In Brother Hales’ first conference talk, he told how he had accepted the call.  He had originally been asked to be a mission president, and because his personal, business, and family affairs were in order, he was free to obey.

A few weeks later the phone rang again. This time it was a man whom I have greatly admired—Brother Arthur Haycock. I spoke to him briefly; and then, the prophet’s voice—distinctive, clear, the clarion call.

“Brother Hales, do you mind if we change your mission?”

I had thought I was going to the London England Mission. But I figured someone else would have that call, and I said, “I will be glad to go to whatever place you send me.”

He said, “Do you mind if we change it to Salt Lake City?”

And I said, “No, that will be fine, President.”

“Do you mind if it is little bit longer than three years?”

“However long you want it, President.”

“We would like a lifetime of service.”

-thus Brother Hales.  This story of unquestioning obedience is the centerpiece of a talk on free agency.  “Free to obey” is a good summary.  The kind of freedom you have on vacation is great.  But the kind of creative freedom an artist has to pursue their vision, to improve their vision, to cleanse the inner vessel and express more truly the inner fire, is a better freedom.  That is the kind of freedom the man of God has.

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January 24th, 2017 08:30:19

Christ is All Things to All People

January 23rd, 2017 by G.

Image result for christ knocking

Christ knocks on our door.  That means that He comes to us–wherever our lane is, whatever our drive is, He walks down it.

If we live in Mouse Utopia, most people’s experience of the Christ will be extremely soft and gentle.  He will appear to them as an apostle to special snowflakes.  He will appear to them almost as a caricature of Himself, as the insipid figure of Mercy from A Canticle for Liebowitz.  Because He will make himself a fool for our sake, just as He expects us to do for His.

But the way He appears to them is not the way He is.  He is all things.  To others of us, He will appear in sterner, merrier guise.  Don’t be deceived into believing that the nature of the people and the society around you are a revelation of the final nature of the Christ.  The Living Water pours itself into what vessels it must, but it is not those vessels.

Yes, he is soft with those that need it, which is all of us at times.  But also, He laughs at me.  We have precious moments of cameraderie, brotherhood, of father and son.  There are tender mercies.  He also lets me taste His anger.  The word to me is sometimes, “shut up and soldier.”

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January 23rd, 2017 07:47:50

People who don’t think the Brethren are inspired (ie, receive revelation)…

January 18th, 2017 by Bookslinger

… aren’t receiving revelation themselves.  Otherwise, they would know “how it works.”  (more…)

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January 18th, 2017 20:13:24

The Samaritan in the Age of Obama and Trump

January 18th, 2017 by G.

A certain man fell among thieves, and was robbed and beaten and left for dead.

A Levite walking by took a selfie pic with a concerned face, and posted it to Facebook, with the comment that somebody should do something and it was time to stop the hate. It got lots of likes and re-shares.

And a priest walking by also saw the man, and a took a photo, and tweeted it, #NoMoreRepublicanSpendingCuts. And lo, the hashtag trended, and a celebrity did retweet it. And verily the counter hashtag, #VictimLivesMatter, which shared a clip of a Democratic congressman calling for an end to oppressive policing in the Jerusalem area, also trended.

And a Samaritan passed by, who possessed not even a smart phone, neither did he watch the news. And he had compassion on the man, and bound his wounds, and took care of him.

Who then was this man’s neighbor?

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January 18th, 2017 06:18:02