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.

Pres Obama meets with Church leaders in Utah, Pres Monson skips meeting to preserve his strength for Conference

obama and Church leaders

President Obama made his first trip ever as president to Utah on Thursday. He met with Church leaders and local politicians, but not with President Monson, who is preserving his strength for General Conference

From the Deseret News:

Traffic was cleared before Obama’s motorcade made its way from Hill onto I-15, diverting onto Legacy Parkway and winding back to downtown Salt Lake City just before 9:15 p.m.

Obama met with LDS Church leaders at the hotel, including President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of First Presidency, and Elder L. Tom Perry and Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Deputy White House press secretary Eric Schultz said they were expected to talk about the church’s long record of service, including its work on disaster relief and other humanitarian issues, and the need to fix the nation’s broken immigration system.

The leaders were also to discuss the need to forge more common ground across differences and to promote service to neighbors, both in the United States and around the world.

LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson did not attend the meeting.

“Because of the need to preserve his strength for this weekend’s general conference, it was felt that the logistics of meeting away from church offices, with the walking and the waiting periods associated with a presidential visit, would regrettably not be conducive to President Monson’s participation,” said church spokesman Eric Hawkins.

Hawkins said President Monson remembers fondly his visit to the White House to present Obama with his personal family history in 2009.

President Obama has visited many “red states” in the last few months, and this was his first time in Utah as president.

To see the history of presidential visits to Utah, see this.

Harry Reid justifies lying about Mitt’s taxes: “Romney didn’t win, did he?”

I wish this were an April Fool’s joke, but it is not.

Harry Reid, a Latter-day Saint, has no regrets about lying about Mitt Romney not paying taxes because his fellow Democrat won the presidency in 2012.

Here is what Harry Reid said:

CNN’s Dana Bash asked the then-Senate majority leader about his 2012 remark that Romney hadn’t paid his taxes in 12 years.

“So no regrets about Mitt Romney, about the Koch brothers, because people have even called it McCarthyite,” Bash asked.

“Well, they can call it whatever they want,” Reid said. “Romney didn’t win, did he?”

So, according to Harry Reid’s moral compass, you can lie about anything, including who should be the president of the United States, as long as you win.

How can LDS parents possibly point to this sad, pathetic man as an example for anything positive when he justifies lying as long as you get what you want?

The embarrassment that is Harry Reid just became a shameful example of all that is wrong with America today. When Mormons look back on Harry Reid’s tenure, they will see a man who refused to repent about bearing false witness, a man who reveled in his dishonesty because he achieved worldly gains.

As Megyn Kelly said last night, it is just disgusting.

Elder Holland provides reassurance

Many of the world’s trends are worrisome. But Church leaders are continually upbeat, so it probably is a good idea to try to emulate them. Elder Holland gave a great talk Feb. 6 to CES educators.

Here are some highlights:

We know for certain that if and when everything else in the latter days is down or dying; if governments, economies, industries, and institutions crumble; if societies and cultures become a quagmire of chaos and insecurity, nevertheless, through it all the gospel of Jesus Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that bears that gospel to the world will stand triumphant. It will stand undefiled in God’s hand until the very Son of God Himself comes to rule and reign as Lord of lords and King of kings. Nothing is more certain in this world. Nothing is more sure. Nothing could be more of an antidote to anxiety. As the Prophet Joseph declared, and as a generation of missionaries quote with fervor: The truth of God will sweep every country and sound in every ear. No unhallowed hand can stop it from progressing. Still true.

Elder Holland said one of his primary concerns is that members are delaying getting married and having children because they are so worried about the world.

Let me list some specific things that I think you should teach your students to be glad about and over which they should cease being fearful. I note, for example, getting married, having families, and welcoming children into the world. We in the presiding councils of the Church hear far too often—and perhaps you do as well—that many of our youth and young adults are terrified to get married. In extreme cases they are fearful that the world is about to end in blood and disaster—something they don’t want to take a spouse or child into. In less severe, more common cases, they are fearful that the world will just get more difficult, that jobs will be too hard to find, and that one should be out of school, out of debt, have a career, and own a home before considering marriage.

Good grief! On that formula Sister Holland and I still wouldn’t be married! Seriously, when we got married we were both still undergraduates at BYU, with neither set of parents able to help us at all financially, no way to imagine all the graduate education we had yet ahead of us, and this with $300 dollars between us on our wedding day! Now that may not be the ideal way to start a marriage, but what a marriage it has been and what we would have missed if we had waited even one day longer than we did once we knew that that marriage was right. Sure, there was sacrifice; certainly there were restless days and weeks and months; certainly there was some burning of the midnight oil. But I tremble to think what we would have lost if we had taken “counsel from our fears,” 15 as President James E. Faust would later tell me over and over and over that I and no one else should ever do. What if we had delayed inordinately? What would we have missed?

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The Church responds to Dehlin’s comment on disciplinary council

The Church issued this statement:

SALT LAKE CITY —
Holding a disciplinary council for a member of the Church is not something that any local leader takes lightly. Such councils are always held in private, and the member is always invited to be a part of that discussion. The decision as to whether to hold a disciplinary council, when and for what reasons rests with the local leader who knows the individual best. Local leaders operate under general principles and guidelines of the Church.

Such councils are always far better when all involved respect the principle of confidentiality. At the very least, this principle helps those members who wish to return to full fellowship at a later date. When the member has chosen to air their grievances in public, the Church reserves the right to correct the public record. In this case, attempts have been made to create the impression that the disciplinary council convened on Sunday, February 8, 2015, and which has resulted in a loss of Church membership or excommunication of Mr. Dehlin arose largely because of his views on same-sex marriage and priesthood ordination for women. Although his stated positions on those subjects are not consistent with the Church’s teachings, they were not cited in the local leader’s letter delivered to Mr. Dehlin on February 9, which spelled out the reasons for the local council’s unanimous decision, as follows:

Disputing the nature of our Heavenly Father and the divinity of Jesus Christ.
Statements that the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham are fraudulent and works of fiction.
Statements and teachings that reject The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as being the true Church with power and authority from God.
In his letter the local leader stated, “I want you to know, Brother Dehlin, that this action was not taken against you because you have doubts or because you were asking questions about Church doctrine. I also want you to know that I acknowledge your right to criticize the Church and its doctrines and to try to persuade others to your cause. Our Heavenly Father has given us moral agency to decide how we will live our lives, and cherished free speech rights in this country allow you to openly state your opinions. But you do not have the right to remain a member of the Church in good standing while openly and publicly trying to convince others that Church teachings are in error.”

View local leader’s letter courtesy of the Deseret News

Church discipline is not designed to be the end of the process, but the beginning of the road back to full fellowship. One who leaves the Church is always welcome to attend weekly worship services and is always welcome to return to Church membership through the grace and Atonement of Jesus Christ.