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.

Random thoughts about handing out Books of Mormon

About three years ago I made a pledge to hand out 12 Books of Mormon a year. I have more than met that goal. I would estimate I have handed out more than 45 Books of Mormon over the last three years.

Now to be fair to readers, I should point out that I travel all over the world and bring Books of Mormon with me. Only about a dozen or so of the books I have handed out (four a year) are to people near where I live. The vast majority have been to acquaintances in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Panama, the UK and Hong Kong whom I have met over the years. A lot of them have been taxi drivers.

Random thought number one: the plural is Books of Mormon, not Book of Mormons. (If you have seen “The Best Two Years,” there is a funny scene regarding this that I tried to link, but I could not find it on Youtube).

Random thought number two: if you want to hand out Books of Mormon, you must bring them with you when you go someplace. Stop reading this right now and go put a Book of Mormon in your car or your briefcase or your purse or your backpack. If you do not have a Book of Mormon, you can either get one from the missionaries or order them on-line here. I cannot emphasize this enough: go put a Book of Mormon someplace so you can hand it out.

Random thought number three: I have encountered a LOT more atheists lately than I remember from a decade ago. Has anybody else noticed this trend? My experiences do not count as a scientific survey, but the average person seems to have migrated from “I am spiritual and believe in the value of religion but don’t go to Church” or “I am Catholic” to “I don’t believe in a God that would allow people to suffer on the Earth.” I am amazed at how many people openly claim to be atheist. Is this a sign of the times?

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Ordain Women: thanks for nothing

This is a guest post by Kyleigh Ruth, who describes herself as “a mother of two girls, a Registered Nurse and wife. Born in Utah, she fell in love with the deserts of Arizona and now is proud to call it home.”

By Kyleigh Ruth

I will never join the Ordain Women movement. To unite myself with their cause is to admit that somehow I am less because I do not hold the priesthood.

Which I simply can not do. I refuse to adhere to a position that demands that I am inferior to a man in any way besides the genetic predisposition for upper body strength and the ability to father a child. Ordain Women would have me admit that I am inferior and then join the crusade to somehow fix this perceived inequality.

I am not less in the eyes of God or in the eyes of this Church because I am a woman and definitely not because I don’t have the priesthood. I have never felt this way and neither have the vast number of women that participate in Church activity. Lifted from the OW Facebook page “Women are powerless in matters of church governance and can make no autonomous decisions, even at the highest levels, Kelly said.”

There you have it. Women are powerless. We can make no autonomous decisions, according to the lovely Kate Kelly. Hold on, let me see if I feel powerless.

Nope.

Let me see if I can make an autonomous decision.

I think I can… Yes, yes I can.

Why don’t I feel powerless? Perhaps it is because I come from a long line of women who are the leaders in the home. Women who love, respect and revere their husbands, but whose insight and reasoning guide the family.

Maybe it’s because on my mission, I made plenty of autonomous decisions about where to go, what to teach, what to do and how to do it. I was blessed to serve with sisters who were powerhouses, razing the land with nothing but righteousness in their wake. We, as sisters had our own leadership roles, Trainers, that would plan and execute training, solve problems, delegate responsibility and ensure the proper function of our Visitor’s Center. My wise mission president sought the Trainers’ insight about transfers and even recommendation of elders for mission leadership positions.
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Guest post: Apostasy For Dummies

This is a guest post by Michael Davidson.

Have you ever been tempted to hang out with a group of edgy Mormons, like those who are bitter that the Church places greater value on a woman being a mother and wife rather than a doctor or lawyer? Do you sympathize with folks who have some weird ideas about the Gospel, like those who are calling for female ordination? Do you have a sibling or parent who thinks that the Church perpetrates “an antiquated and unequal model in both the domestic and ecclesiastical realms?” Be careful, you might just be flirting with apostasy.

“But Brother Davidson,” you say, “how can we know whether or not these friends or family members are apostates?” That is an excellent question, and while I don’t know your friends and family personally, hopefully this post will give you a clue as to how to judge a righteous judgment on this regard. Elder Faust, in his October 1993 General Conference address, gives some clear guidelines that you can apply to any situation. He quoted the Handbook of Instructions as saying, “among the activities considered apostate to the Church include when members (1) repeatedly act in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders; (2) persist in teaching as Church doctrine information that is not Church doctrine after being corrected by their bishops or higher authority; or (3) continue to follow the teachings of apostate cults (such as those that advocate plural marriage) after being corrected by their bishops or higher authority.” This definition remains in the Handbook today with no alteration.

Elder Faust then expanded on the topic by warning against apostasy. He said “those men and women who persist in publicly challenging basic doctrines, practices, and establishment of the Church sever themselves from the Spirit of the Lord and forfeit their right to place and influence in the Church.” It’s ironic that most of the apostates in the history of the Church tend to want to influence or change the Church, but the act of apostasy strips them of any right to have influence in the Church that they might otherwise have enjoyed. Elder Faust also warned in this talk that “There is a certain arrogance in thinking that any of us may be more spiritually intelligent, more learned, or more righteous than the Councils called to preside over us. Those Councils are more in tune with the Lord than any individual persons they preside over, and the individual members of the Councils are generally guided by those Councils.”

Additionally, did you know that the Handbook says that “a disciplinary counsel must be held when evidence suggests that a member may have committed … apostasy?” According to the Handbook, your bishop and your stake president have no discretion in deciding whether to convene a disciplinary counsel if there is evidence of possible apostasy. They simply must do it. As a result, it is therefore pretty important to be careful to stay on this side of the apostasy line if you don’t want to end up in a disciplinary counsel.

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