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.

Church again slams OW movement

Church spokesman Michael Otterson reminded Church members Friday that the Ordain Women movement is nothing more than a publicity stunt that distracts from the positive spirit of General Conference.

“Avoiding distraction from a sacred church gathering is also the operating principle in relation to Temple Square,” Otterson wrote. “Last year, the staged protest was extremely disruptive to that atmosphere. While we made an exception to policy and accommodated media cameras last October, protesters exploited that decision to hold a media event.”

Further, Otterson wrote, “posturing for news cameras in the shadow of the Salt Lake Temple is not what General Conference is about, and leaders and members were rightly offended by it.”

Otterson is referring to the protest at October General Conference against the Church by OW movement members intent on asking for the priesthood. Ninety percent of Mormon women — and 95 percent of active members — say women should not be eligible for the priesthood. The OW movement vows to repeat this protest for April Conference, despite being asked repeatedly to stand down by the Church.

Careful readers will note some deliberate language used by Otterson in a very polite but pointed letter. Notice the use of the words “staged protest” and “disruptive” and “exploited” and “posturing” and “rightly offended.”

The Church is making it clear to all members that the OW has nothing to do with a faithful petition by active members. Instead, the OW movement is being exposed for what it truly is: a publicity stunt led mostly by opponents of the Church.

It is morally wrong to call for ‘civil disobedience’ against the Church

There have been some truly absurd things floating around the Mormon blogs these days. The single most absurd has to be this post, in which the writer calls for “civil disobedience” against the Church on the issue of women and the priesthood.

Make no mistake: the writer is a supporter and promoter of the Ordain Women (OW) movement, which seeks to force the Church to take a stand on the priesthood that 90 percent of Mormon women do not support.

But the post is especially silly because the writer apparently does not know the difference between civil disobedience against the government (very often a laudable thing) and civil disobedience against a private, voluntary organization.

The writer is correct to point out that disobedience against unjust laws is often necessary in a republic like ours. The civil rights movement provides a classic case of just disobedience: Rosa Parks truly is a hero for refusing to give up her seat to a white person. But Rosa Parks was disobeying a government law that forced her into second-class status. It was the government of Montgomery, Alabama, which is a monopoly institution enforcing monopoly laws, that was oppressing her. There were no other busses in Montgomery for her to take. If she wanted to get from one part of town to another via the bus system, she was forced to submit to unjust laws.

The contrast with the Church should be obvious. Nobody is forcing you to go to Church, and when you go to Church, you are not forced to do anything. I address this in the post “Us” vs. “Them.” If you do not like the way the Church is run, you can go to another church.
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Thoughts on having a baby in 2014

This is a guest post by Jamie Huston.

Last fall my wife and I learned we were having another baby. Since I already have three boys and three girls, I don’t have any preference about the new baby’s gender. As the time drew nearer to find out what we’re having, I still found myself having separate worries based on gender.

If it’s a girl, she might have a harder time finding a devout Mormon mate when she grows up. Most of the single adults I know or know of are women, and there seems to be a regular meme out there that laments a young woman’s chances for finding a worthy husband these days.

Of course, she’ll be in good company. If she’s unable to marry, she’ll have plenty of friends with whom to commiserate. She and those friends will most likely also be more educated than the would-be suitors around them. Far more women than men go to college (last semester I taught a college class with seventeen students, only four of whom were male, and three of those young men failed).

In fact, in education generally women now dominate. I also teach at a magnet high school for the arts (we just won our 11th Grammy award), a school where the student body is more than two-thirds female. But that’s an arts school—surely the magnet schools for technology and science are mostly male, right? I just checked the accountability reports for those four magnet schools in my district, and the female population at each ranges from 54% to 59%.

Also on the plus side if the baby is a girl, she’ll get to grow up in a world fanatically devoted to building her up and offering her every opportunity it can dream of. How many TV shows and movies have my current daughters seen where the explicit message is “make your dreams come true?” Everything from tween pop music to the logos on the only shirts available at the major retail outlets coach girls to believe in themselves and do whatever they want to do.
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Church asks OW movement to stand down

Read this story here.

To sum up, the Church has told a movement of dissident Mormon women who say they want the priesthood that their demands are not helping create meaningful discussions for Church members.

From the Deseret News story:

The letter, signed by Jessica Moody, also said the church is unable to fulfill a request made by the “Ordain Women” group for tickets to the church’s semiannual general priesthood meeting next month because the meeting “is designed to strengthen men and boys as they receive specific instruction about their roles and responsibilities.”

“Women in the church, by a very large majority, do not share your advocacy for priesthood ordination for women and consider that position to be extreme,” Moody said. “Declaring such an objective to be non-negotiable, as you have done, actually detracts from the helpful discussions that church leaders have held as they seek to listen to the thoughts, concerns, and hopes of women inside and outside of church leadership. Ordination of women to the priesthood is a matter of doctrine that is contrary to the Lord’s revealed organization for His church.”

Members of Ordain Women (OW) were told that they should keep any demonstrations against the Church to the “free speech zones” outside temple square, which is a subtle but pointed message to the group that their demands force them outside of the mainstream within the Church.

“Your organization has again publicized its intention to demonstrate on Temple Square during the April 5 priesthood session. Activist events like this detract from the sacred environment of Temple Square and the spirit of harmony sought at General Conference. Please reconsider.

“If you feel you must come and demonstrate, we ask that you do so in free speech zones adjacent to Temple Square, which have long been established for those wishing to voice differing viewpoints. They can be found on the attached map.

“As fellow Latter-day Saints and friends of the church, we invite you to help us maintain the peaceful environment of Temple Square and ask that you please follow these details in your continued planning. In addition, consistent with long-standing policy, news media cameras will not be allowed on Temple Square during General Conference.

The OW movement is also being told to refrain from propaganda efforts similar to those used at past conferences where the movement tried to use public media to show themselves as oppressed martyrs. Despite their efforts, almost no women in the Church show much sympathy. Recent polls have shown that more than 90 percent of Church women do not want priesthood ordination.

After months of agitation, the OW movement has garnered a total of 2,076 “likes” on its Facebook page. A counter-movement started last week called “Mormon Women Stand” already has 2840 “likes” with hundreds being added every day. The “Mormon Women Stand” page says the following: “As we ‘Stand’ together, we…unequivocally sustain the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles…and stand in support of how the Lord has delegated priesthood authority to organize and administer the gospel among all of His children.”

Meanwhile, members of the OW movement apparently believe that the prophets are not as inspired as they are.

The Church has spoken on this issue. Will the supposedly faithful members of the OW movement listen or will they move to direct opposition to the Lord’s Church?

The war on boys

If you turn on the news these days, one of the first things you will discover is that “being a boy” will very often get you thrown out of school, suspended or even arrested.

Consider, for example, this 10-year-old boy who was suspended for pointing his finger like a gun. Or this eight-year-old boy who used his finger as a gun. Or this six-year-old boy

You know the slogan, “point your finger, go to jail.”

The very fact that there exists one school administrator, not to mention many, who does not understand that this is simply how boys play is alarming enough.

But this is only the beginning of the war on boys. Matt Walsh goes into great detail in this excellent post.
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