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Faith Like a Rock

Posted on Aug 8, 2015 in In the News, Journal, Last Days

As part of an ongoing open dialogue about church history the LDS Church this week shared two items of historical significance: the original printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon and photos of the seer stone Joseph Smith used in his early translation efforts. As you can imagine, the response from the public and the media was something to see. Almost all focused on the seer stone. And could you blame them? I was curious about it myself and as I viewed the press released on LDS.org I was immediately beset with two thoughts: the first was that I had seen the image before — somewhere, somehow way in the past. The second thought was, well, why did I care? I think it is simple human curiosity. But as you can imagine the reaction to the photo was pretty sharp. On one forum I frequent a member of the Church asked, “That’s it? From that came revelations from God?”. On Facebook a non-member I know looked at it and responded, “If that doesn’t prove Joseph Smith was a fraud I don’t know what does.” To that all I say “hold on”. Think about it. Talk about it. If you had the chance to walk the deck of Noah’s ark, would you? If you could...

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How Ordain Women and Gay Marriage are Similar

Posted on Jun 30, 2015 in In the News, Journal, Last Days

The calendar has been set all year long for big news coming from the Supreme Court about same sex marriage. We knew all year what the outcome would be. Still I’ve waited to respond because I wanted to see how the world would respond. And it has not disappointed. The world has responded badly. I’ve been surprised. I thought the news would be met with more quiet resignation and with dignified celebration. I haven’t seen much reasonable in response on either side, to be honest with you. From fervent “Christians” I have seen defiant fist-to-the-sky declarations of condemnation. That surprised me. Disagree? Okay. Then disagree. But threaten, condemn to hell, and look to leave the country? C’mon. But the gay community response has been surprising too. There has been so much name calling by the gay community over those who hold an opposing view that the stink of hypocrisy is almost too much. I didn’t say a word, though my feelings about same sex marriage have been published here for over a decade. I got hate mail calling me a homophobic bigot…and signed with the hashtag #LoveWins. Bizarre, indeed. Social media has been a wonder to watch. Corporations changed their logos to rainbow themed variants. And supporters added a rainbow overlay to their profile...

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Season of Change

Posted on Jun 22, 2015 in Family, Family News, Journal

2015 is shaping up to be quite the season of change for us. Here it is only June and already we have dealt with a job change, a death in the family and now a move. It is heartbreaking to consider our move from Richmond, a community and a place we had grown to love quickly. The past three years there have been good to us in ways I never anticipated. Just three years ago when we left Babylon...

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Lessons from Lindsey Stirling

Posted on May 22, 2015 in In the News, Journal, Pop Culture

I was way ahead of my kids in discovering Lindsey Stirling. I enjoyed her on You Tube long before most discovered her. But let’s face it. I’m in my fifties. My sun does not rise or set on anyone in music any more. So I was a bit taken aback recently when I saw Lindsey was making news for something other than her music. And the news was not good. It was all about this dress: Well now. I’m...

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Why Christianity is Shrinking

Posted on May 12, 2015 in In the News, Journal, Last Days

For months within the LDS Church there has been open speculation about why the added increase in missionaries has not resulted in an added increase in converts. How is it possible that baptisms have not gone up with more than 85,000 missionaries now in the field? The answers are many and they are obvious. Today Pew Research released their annual survey of religion and found that Christianity itself is shrinking at a rapid pace in the United States. “The...

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Why I Said Goodbye to Letterman Decades Ago

Posted on May 5, 2015 in Journal, Pop Culture

Pop culture is celebrating the career of David Letterman this month, who retires after 33 years on late night television. Hear that? That’s the sound of one hand clapping. That is all I have left for Letterman. I was an original Letterman groupie. Back in the day I watched Johnny Carson, yes, with most of America but then I stayed up and watched Letterman. Because I could. Most of the working world couldn’t stay up that late but I...

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Yes, Your Gay Family is as Fake as the Day is Long

Posted on Apr 27, 2015 in In the News, Journal

The LGBT community is all atwitter over General Conference comments from Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles when he declared “We want our voice to be heard against all of the counterfeit and alternative lifestyles that try to replace the family organization that God Himself established.” That’s offensive language to the LGBT community. They couldn’t wait to declare themselves legitimate as soon as Elder Perry said otherwise. The most stinging rebuke comes from a...

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Befuddling Gender Identity

Posted on Apr 25, 2015 in In the News, Journal, Last Days

Bruce Jenner says he’s confused. And America is listening, applauding and calling him brave. I say not so fast. Let’s really talk about what is going on here. The sports world of the 1970s was in many ways a raw, exciting time. I was a child of the 1970s and I loved the dramatics of baseball, the excitement of the Olympics and the blood-and-guts play of the NFL. There were many iconic sports heroes of the era including Muhammad...

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Millennials and Marriage

Posted on Apr 17, 2015 in In the News, Journal, Last Days

Marriage is the rage of debate in society these days. That is ironic because fewer and fewer people are actually getting married. I’m stuck in a strange void on this. I married, albeit late in life, because that was what I wanted since I was a kid. It took me what seemed like forever to find the right person. I was 28. Back in my day that was considered something of an exception. Not any more. All the survey...

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Lessons in Living

Posted on Apr 14, 2015 in Family News, Journal

Yesterday we picked up where we left off — and life goes on for the rest of us. I don’t mind admitting that things are awkward. I’m not really a central player in this drama of my family that is, oh, so normal. It affects me but not like it affects my father. He has the real adjustment and I’m concerned about him. In the days since Mom passed he has been honest enough to admit it is more...

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Life Begins Anew

Posted on Apr 8, 2015 in Family, Family News, Journal

Mother has passed away. What a journey it has been. As we prepare for her funeral this weekend I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by all I am learning from this experience. I knew it would be something new. Losing a parent is not something you practice for. In many ways, I’ve operated more in the role of a child and a son these past two weeks than I have in many years. It can be like putting on...

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Sacred Moments

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 in Family, Family News, Journal

Earlier this week the hospice nurse told us that things would progress in the dying process with my Mom “in a couple of days”. But still she lingers. Not that I’m complaining. These are days of many sacred moments. We are all processing it in our own ways. We know now that there is no going back. We know how this ends. But we are learning there is a process to dying — a physical process and a spiritual...

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Saying Goodbye

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 in Family, Family News, Journal

Another late night up with Mom. It’s like many others I’ve had in recent years. There was the time in 2010 right after her stroke. That time in the hospital in 2012 when she was out of her mind. Or that time in 2014 when she had fluid in her lungs and could barely breathe. Tonight is different. Mom’s body is in the process of shutting down. She is dying. I don’t want to dwell much on the details...

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Dealing with Living While One is Dying

Posted on Mar 21, 2015 in Family, Journal

It has been another wrenching week in our family as my mother continues her slow decline. My Dad admitted to me this week that we are at a new stage in her illness. He is scared, troubled and trying everything he can think of. The complexities of her health issues are now starting to focus on one thing: end stage liver disease. It is a relentless and cruel way to pass. But at this point I’m wondering if the...

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An Open Letter to a Dear Old Friend

Posted on Mar 14, 2015 in Family News, Journal

I received a brief note from a dear old friend who sometimes pokes his nose on these pages. He’s wanting some personal news and complains I don’t share as much about my world as I used to, that these pages seemingly are dedicated solely to opinions of the world, religion and politics. He’s right and he’s wrong about that. Just because you cannot publicly see them does not mean I do not write personal things. I’m a shy person....

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Marriage is Theology

Posted on Mar 12, 2015 in Church, In the News, Journal

Any survey or poll can and usually is manipulated to showcase an end. In an article posted in National Review about marriage and Christianity the author expresses great shock at the results of a survey that shows LDS members hold a more traditional view of marriage over just about any other sect of Christianity. The article then asks this absurd question: Leaving theology aside, what can we learn from the Mormons? To that I say: don’t leave theology aside....

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Check Your Faithful Agitation at the Door

Posted on Mar 1, 2015 in In the News, Journal, Last Days

The word in the bloggernacle these days is “faithful agitation”. The term equates to instituting change in the Church through protest — a notion that is beyond silly to me. It is born, of course, of the sad fiasco of the Ordain Women effort and the deluded rantings of the likes the John Dehlin and Denver Snuffer, all vocal critics and now former members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They claim that the only way...

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The Sad Deception of John Dehlin

Posted on Feb 6, 2015 in Church, In the News, Journal, Last Days

You might be hearing in the national media more news about a prominent Mormon ex-communication. If John Dehlin gets his way, that is exactly what will happen. For the record, Dehlin is facing a church disciplinary council and they will excommunicate him. He will go on national media and claim this is all about same sex marriage and ordaining women. Dehlin released an 11-page press release announcing the disciplinary council and he has organized a “vigil” outside the building...

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Sinners, Saints and Sad Facts of Forgiveness

Posted on Jan 15, 2015 in Family, In the News, Journal, Last Days

It’s been a while since the media has had anything negative to say about the LDS Church but today the long awaited news they were seeking broke: John Dehlin appears headed for a Church disciplinary court. Dehlin is an intellectual disaffected Mormon who runs MormonStories.org, an anti-Mormon community and publication that caters to other intellectual disaffected Mormons and serves to criticize Church doctrine, history and practice. To listen to the national media today, it sure sounds like the Church...

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Not Dead — Yet

Posted on Jan 12, 2015 in Journal

I had a friend check-in with me to observe that he was glad to see I had not died. I was relieved to hear that myself. He thought something was seriously wrong for me to be so absent from these parts, failing even to post a gloating piece about the Giants winning their third World Championship in five seasons. I will admit that is a pretty grievous sin. But I’m not dead. Maybe “mostly dead”, but not dead completely....

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2015 Celebrity Dead Pool

Posted on Jan 1, 2015 in Journal, Pop Culture

Last night as we were engaged in the annual family traditions of New Year’s Eve I had a daughter ask how I did in 2014 with my celebrity dead pool picks. I honestly told her that I had no clue — I couldn’t even remember who I had selected a year ago. So today, as is my New Year’s Day ritual, I’m looking at last year’s list. What was I even thinking? I didn’t pick ANYONE right last year....

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Stop Diluting the Power of Faith

Posted on Jul 10, 2014 in Church, In the News, Journal

Why do we have to prove the Church is true? For some this is a personal struggle. For others, it is a public mission. For even others it seems to be their course to do just the opposite — even within the Church. They want to expose the warts of Mormon history for all the world to see because…why? I’m not really sure. As the controversy swirling around John Dehlin and his MormonStories.org website continues I can’t help but...

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What Family History Has Taught Me About America

Posted on Jul 4, 2014 in Family, Journal

I weep at times for the lost meaning of America on today’s youth. Being the 4th of July we will celebrate with barbeques and fireworks but the knee-bending love of America that I knew more in my own youth is hardly reverential any more. The very idea of America wasn’t even close to reality in the days of Gabriel Westover of Taunton, Somerset County, England back in the 1590s. He died a young man under circumstances that are not...

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How to Manufacture an Election

Posted on Jul 2, 2014 in In the News, Journal

Since giving up politics after the 2012 election I have scarcely mentioned news of the world or politicians. They make me sick, pick a party. But today a new poll came out indicating President Obama is the worst president of the past 70 years. I think that is kind of tame. He’s the worse ever. If I had the energy I would have kept up with the scandals — Benghazi, the VA, the IRS Tea Party targeting, the Bergdahl...

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Distinctions Between Faith and Apostasy

Posted on Jun 28, 2014 in Church, Journal

There have been many lessons for me throughout this whole Ordain Women ordeal — large and small. Perhaps the most curious to me has been in those discussions I have with others. Those who oppose my views tend to be direct and vocal. Some post comments here in response but many others just respond openly on their own websites. Others email me personally to call me names and make their arguments in vulgar ways. On this issue of Ordain...

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Real Mormon Feminists

Posted on Jun 28, 2014 in Church, In the News, Journal

The course of the past couple of weeks has led to a barrage of hateful email coming from so-called “Mormon Feminists”. I recognize the bulk of this comes as a result of my pointed opinions of Kate Kelly and Ordain Women. I also recognize that the pack mentality of some within these circles means I have to endure a lot of criticism from people talking about something they’ve never clearly studied and obviously don’t understand. Kate Kelly promotes herself...

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