About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

Gary Johnson sees no value in religious liberty and implies that Mormons want religious liberty so they can shoot people dead

I wish I were making this up. Long-time readers know that I am an economic libertarian. I was planning on voting for Libertarian party candidate Gary Johnson. No longer. Johnson has a long history of left-wing activism on various social issues (he is virulently pro abortion and pro drug use and pro gay marriage). I was willing to forgive all that because the other choices are Hillary and Trump. No longer.

Please read this. Continue reading

Eight things the prophets didn’t say

This is one of those must-read articles if you follow social media. There are so many things false things passed around on the internet, that sometimes the very elect will be fooled!

Here’s one example:

If you vote for the lesser of two evils you are still voting for evil and you will be judged for it. You should always vote for the best possible candidate, whether they have a chance of winning or not, and then, even if the worst possible candidate wins, the Lord will bless our country more because more people were willing to stand up for what is right.

Supposedly this was said by President Ezra Taft Benson, but nobody has found any confirmation of it, and the quotation may simply be made up. (We welcome any evidence that President Benson actually said this).

The moral of the story is: check and double-check any quotations from the prophets before passing them on.

Were the Ammonites pacifists?

Most readers will be familiar with the story of the people of Ammon. Because of Ammon’s missionary work to the Lamanites (and the work of his brothers), many of them were converted. They repented of their war-like ways and buried their weapons of war. They were attacked by other Lamanites but allowed themselves to be killed rather than fight back. They then emigrated to Nephite lands and were protected from further battle by the Nephites. Later, their children fought to help protect the Nephites and became the “stripling warriors.”

At first glance, it appears the Ammonites were clearly pacifists. But this post makes some good points worth considering.

To sum up, the Ammonites may not be considered pacifists because:

1)They allowed the Nephites to protect them through force of arms.
2)They try at one point to take up arms again but are convinced not to by Helaman (see Alma 53).
3)They provided material support to war efforts on their behalf.
4)They never encourage pacifism in others.
5)They never express a coherent anti-war philosophy.
Continue reading

Going to church while on vacation

I am on vacation in the Rocky Mountains with the family. We went to church today and there was an announced crowd at Sacrament meeting of more than 400 people. The reason they announced the crowd was that this was apparently a record. The chapel was filled, as well as the two overflow rooms, Primary and Relief Society. It took nine members of the Aaronic Priesthood 40 minutes to administer the Sacrament.

It was Fast Sunday, so we also heard some nice testimonies. During the testimonies, we learned that normally there are fewer than 100 people in the chapel for Sacrament meeting. The year-round residents were astounded but impressed to see so many people there for church.

When you go to Church on vacation you have to do a bit of planning. You need to bring something resembling Sunday clothes. When you have children, this adds a bit of stress because something is always forgotten. In our case, I forgot to bring a tie and a belt for my slacks. My wife forgot to bring a skirt. The kids forgot their Sunday shoes. So we were a motley crew sitting in the back today. But we were happy to be there among the Saints, and I don’t think anybody cared that we weren’t in our Sunday best.

I have been to Church literally around the world while on vacation or traveling for work. I regularly go to church near Waikiki in Hawaii. I have been to a small chapel in Puerto Montt, Chile where the members all kept their down jackets on throughout the service, even though the building was heated. I have been to chapels in London and Hong Kong. Sometimes I just stay for Sacrament — more often I stay all three hours.

I am happy to report that Church services in southern Chile are almost exactly the same as services in the U.S., Hong Kong and London. And I am also happy to report that people have been friendly and welcoming in nearly every chapel I have attended. So, the Church is true, even on vacation.

Feel free to share some of your stories about church services while traveling.