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.

If you think the Church’s policies are unjust, you need to read this

I did not write the following analogy, but I will happily post it here in the hopes it will reach people who feel Church policies are unjust.

If you are feeling angry and emotional about Church policies, my advice is not to comment at M* because your comments will not be seen by anybody. If you have sincere questions (and are not a troll pretending to ask sincere questions), then hopefully this analogy will help you. If you already understand the role of modern-day prophets, then I believe this analogy will help you explain the Church to others.

“Here’s a simple analogy that most people should be able to understand.

There’s a special concert being performed in a beautiful concert hall. You have several choices as to what you can do.

You can ignore the concert and go and do something else that is more to your liking.

You can enter the concert hall and listen to the beautiful music and enjoy it if you’re willing to pay the price of admission.

If you have prepared yourself sufficiently, you may participate in the orchestra, under the direction of the conductor. You will follow the conductor. You will read the music. You will sit in your assigned section as directed.

You can choose to go and start your own orchestra (or rock band) with any other musicians that you’d like to associate with and have your own concert with your own music.

Here’s what you can’t do.

You can’t stand up in the middle of the performance and ridicule the orchestra and the conductor. If you do, you will be asked to leave the concert hall.

If you’re a member of the orchestra and you play the violin, you cannot go and sit in the percussion section. If you do, you will likely be asked to get back in line or leave the stage.

If you’re a member of the orchestra, you cannot suddenly decide that you want to play the oboe part on your viola. If you do, you will likely be asked to get back in line or leave the stage.

You will have disqualified yourself from participating and you will no longer be part of the orchestra. You can blame the conductor. You can blame the other members of the orchestra and call them “sheeple” because they willingly choose to follow the conductor, play their assigned parts, and be part of the “crowd.”

In any case, those in the orchestra who play the selected music, in their assigned seats, and who follow the conductor’s direction, will be part of a beautiful experience that they would otherwise never experience. Similarly, those audience members who sit and pay attention will enjoy the beautiful music that has been presented to them.”

New Church policies on same-sex marriage

A Church spokesman confirmed changes in the Church handbook regarding apostasy and same-sex marriage and the children the grow up on same-sex households.

I am going to quote from a KSL story that is respectful and appears accurate.

SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church confirmed Thursday that children living with same-sex parents or guardians will not be allowed membership in the church until reaching “legal age” and the individual “disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.”

The new instructions are included in a revision to the Church Handbook of Instructions for leaders.

The criteria for membership also requires an individual to no longer be living with a parent “who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.” A mission president or a stake president must now request approval from the Office of the First Presidency to baptize and confirm, ordain, or recommend missionary service for an individual in these circumstances.

Church spokesman Erik Hawkins released the following statement:
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Lots of interesting tidbits in the latest Pew poll on religion

A lot of the focus from the latest Pew poll on religion will be on how the U.S. is becoming less religious, but that is not even close to the whole story. In fact, Pew notes that:

Among the roughly three-quarters of U.S. adults who do claim a religion, there has been no discernible drop in most measures of religious commitment. Indeed, by some conventional measures, religiously affiliated Americans are, on average, even more devout than they were a few years ago.

The religious are becoming more religious, and young people are less religious but are more “spiritual.”

The Pew poll of 35,000 people in 2014 was an update on a similar poll taken in 2007. Some of the most interesting details were released today, Nov. 3.

Here are some highlights I found interesting:

*Mormons are more likely to say they pray daily, read scriptures, attend Gospel study groups, share the Gospel and attend church than they were seven years earlier.
*Mormons, along with the rest of the world, are much more likely to say that “homosexuality should be accepted by society.”
*People who are generally not religious are much more likely to be associated with the Democratic party, and this tendency is growing significantly.
*There has been very little movement in the last seven years in peoples’ views on abortion. Mormons are least likely to say that abortion should be legal in all/most cases.

There is a lot more there. Please check it out and read it yourself.

Revisiting a prophetic talk

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Neal A. Maxwell’s talk “All Hell is Moved” from 1977 seems to be starkly prophetic for our times. I would like to highlight some of the most interesting points.

The theme of my address comes from a prophecy in President George Q. Cannon’s speech given in the Tabernacle in May of 1866. President Cannon spoke of the generations that had passed before the restoration of the gospel during which the adversary was indifferent and unconcerned with regard to the fractious religious movements among mankind which were not based upon the fulness of truth. However, President Cannon observed that the movement of the Holy Priesthood of God and the Church were restored, “then all hell is moved.” He catalogued the forms of resistance that can be expected when “all hell is moved.”

President Cannon, who knew that the adversary regards this telestial turf as his own, said that Satan will vigorously resist all rezoning efforts because this is his world. President Cannon further observed that the Saints—meaning you and I—must not make the mistake of assuming the existence of any truce between the forces of Satan and God. To believe so, said President Cannon, is “a very great delusion, and a very common one.”

President Cannon then warned that the forms of resistance to righteousness will strike us “with wonder and astonishment.” This, he said, would occur because “the war” which was waged in heaven has been transferred to the earth,” and that this conflict, he said, “will [come to] occupy the thoughts and minds of all the inhabitants of the earth” (Journal of Discourses 11:227–29). Brothers and sisters, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be at the epicenter of all that.

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