About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

Evan McMullin’s dangerous Syrian policy

Evan McMullin, the Mormon #neverTrump candidate supported by well-known neo-conservatives in Washington, is surging in Utah.  The chances of his winning Utah are quite high.

I am #neverMcMullin, and I wrote this post about why, but I will admit that McMullin taking Utah instead of Trump and Clinton would be mostly a good thing.  I can understand the arguments of my friends who are voting for McMullin at the very least to send a protest vote against the horrible Hillary and the terrible Trump.

Still, I want to point out that McMullin’s signature issue — his policy in Syria — is fatally flawed and dangerous.  McMullin will not be the next president, but Hillary probably will.  When you look at the big picture, McMullin’s Syrian policy is basically HIllary’s Syrian policy.  They are both wrong, and they are risking a war with Russia over a country that is not central to U.S. interests.  I feel compelled to speak out in opposition.

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Revelation during the Fort Collins Temple Dedication

Some readers may know that the Fort Collins temple was dedicated over the weekend.  You can read about it here.


To sum up the details:  President Uchtdorf was in town with Elder Renlund and several other Church officials.  On Saturday there was a massive cultural celebration in Hughes Stadium, where the CSU football team plays.  More than 20,000 people were there.  On Sunday, President Uchtdorf placed mortar around the cornerstone and presided over three dedicatory sessions.

During the dedicatory sessions, many chapels were consecrated as extensions of the temple so all baptized members could watch the dedication.  We gathered in our local chapel with two of our baptized children.

All of the events were surrounded by a peaceful feeling of the sacred.  I kept on thinking back to past temple dedications — especially the Kirtland temple dedication in 1836 — and how temple dedications are accompanied by the Spirit and very often personal revelation.

And the exciting part for our family was that my wife and I had some personal revelations of our own.

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Church asks members to oppose legal marijuana, assisted suicide

This Deseret News article says it all:

The LDS Church’s First Presidency is asking the faith’s members in four western states to oppose bills that would legalize doctor-assisted suicide and recreational marijuana use.

Church President Thomas S. Monson and his counselors sent a letter Wednesday to Mormons in Colorado, where Proposition 106 would legalize physician-assisted suicide.

“We urge church members to let their voices be heard in opposition to measures that would legalize physician-assisted suicide,” said the letter signed by President Monson, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who make up the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

They sent a similar letter Wednesday to Mormons in Arizona, California and Nevada about marijuana legislation.

“We urge church members to let their voices be heard in opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana use,” the letter said.

I don’t think the Church could have been more clear:  the Brethren oppose the legalization of marijuana, and they want members to make it clear that they oppose the legalization of marijuana. Taken in conjunction with the Church’s opposition to medical marijuana in Utah, it seems clear to me at least that our leaders do not want latter-day Saints to support marijuana legalization in any form.  (Note to readers:  there may be some nuances that I am not aware of:  if you disagree with my description of the Church’s position, please let me know in the comments).

I am a libertarian-leaning person, and I voted for marijuana legalization in Colorado.  To be clear on my position:  I don’t think anybody should use any drug, including cannabis, recreationally.  I think recreational marijuana is bad for you.  My support of legalization in Colorado is primarily on practical grounds:  many juries will not convict people for MJ possession or for growing MJ because of overwhelming support for marijuana legalization in Colorado.  So, cops used to spend months tracking down violators, and prosecutors used to spend months putting together a case, but then juries would let people go because they thought marijuana should be legal.  It was getting to the point where prosecutors could not even empanel a jury.  So, from a purely practical standpoint, it didn’t make sense (in my mind) for police and prosecutors to spend time on such a losing cause.

So, how should I respond to the Church’s growing opposition to MJ legalization?

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Why I am #neverMcMullin

A lot of friends I respect are getting behind Evan McMullin as a possible presidential candidate.

I am #neverMcMullin.

This post will explain why.  But first an important disclaimer.  By all accounts McMullin, who is LDS, is a moral person.  Unlike at least two other presidential candidates, he has not disqualified himself by being a corrupt, lying jerk.  So, I can understand the desire, especially by Mormons, to try to find a candidate to support.  And you could certainly do worse than McMullin.

But I cannot support him, and I think Mormons are being somewhat naive in supporting him.

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Am I the only one who can’t find any uplifting entertainment anymore?

My wife and I used to love watching a new movie or a TV show after putting the kids to bed.  In addition, I love downloading TV shows to watch while on the airplane because I am constantly traveling for work.

This process has become increasingly frustrating.  I’ll become interested in a show and then, out of nowhere, there will be an extremely explicit and completely gratuitous sex scene or excessively bloody battle scene.  Or the actors, for no reason at all, will begin dropping F-bombs and S-bombs left and right.

I am actually a pretty grizzled veteran when it comes to this stuff.  I got baptized in my mid-30s, and I saw plenty of bad stuff in the movies before I joined the Church.  So it’s not as if I am a delicate flower who has never seen nudity or blood or heard bad language.  I can even understand the point that sometimes a movie is made better by explicit scenes.  If you really want to understand and feel what the Normandy invasion was about, then “Saving Private Ryan” with all of its violence is a good choice.  My feeling is that the violence in “Saving Private Ryan” is not gratuitous, whereas so many movies these days are filled with completely unnecessary garbage that is extraneous to the actual story.

Here is what I want:  stories about human being doing real things, having real romances, overcoming difficult problems, but without explicit sex scenes, bloody violence or any F-bombs or S-bombs.  Is that too much to ask?

I maintain it is not, and I think there are a lot of people who agree with me.  Even my friends outside the Church complain about all of the garbage in the entertainment world.

So, there are two purposes to this post.  The first is that Wheat & Tares has a podcast dedicated to discussing entertainment that promotes family values.  I have not listened to it yet, but I will download the first few episodes and let you know what I think.  You can find the podcast here.

The second purpose of this post is for readers to suggest some movies or TV shows that fulfill the requirements above.  Again, what I want are real stories without explicit sex scenes, bloody violence or swearing.  It would be a bonus if the movie promoted family values and faith, but I am not even insisting on that.  I just want to get through a movie or TV show without being disgusted.

Here are some of my favorites movies just to get the discussion started.  I watch so many movies and TV shows because of my travel schedule that this list could be very long, but here is a start.

Pride & Prejudice (the movie version or the BBC version — they are both good).

Downton Abbey

Poldark (BBC series)

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Shenandoah (Jimmy Stewart movie from the 1960s)

Groundhog Day

Most movies made before 1965 or so on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

I am a big fan of musicals and have watched all of the biggest musicals, from Fiddler on the Roof to Singin’ in the Rain.

As I said, this is just a start.  Please let me know some of your favorites in the comments below.