Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

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.

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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!”


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

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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…)

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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.


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June 28th, 2017 06:37:48

Are We There Yet?

June 27th, 2017 by G.


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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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