About John Mansfield

Mansfield in the desertA third-generation southern Nevadan, I have lived in exile most of my life in such places as Los Alamos, Baltimore, Los Angeles, the western suburbs of Detroit, and currently the northern suburbs of Washington, D.C. I work as a fluid dynamics engineer. I was baptized at age twelve in the font of the Las Vegas Nevada Central Stake Center, and on my nineteenth birthday I received the endowment in the St. George Temple. I served as a missionary mostly in the Patagonia of Argentina from 1985 to 1987. My true calling in the Church seems to be working with Cub Scouts, whom I have served in different capacities in four states most years since 1992. (My oldest boy turned eight in 2004.) I also currently teach Sunday School to the thirteen-year-olds. I hold degrees from two universities named for men who died in the 1870s, the Brigham Young University and the Johns Hopkins University. My wife is Elizabeth Pack Mansfield, who comes from New Mexico's north central mountains and studied molecular biology at the same two schools I attended. We have four sons, whose care and admonition, along with care of my aged father, require much of Elizabeth's time. She currently serves the Church as Mia-Maid advisor, ward music chairman, and choir director, and plays violin whenever she can. One day, I would like to make shoes.

Thomas S. Monson’s Thirty Year Absence from [BYU Speeches]

When I was a youth, I learned two things about BYU that set it apart from what I would be able to experience at other colleges. One of these things was that apostles frequently addressed the student body at devotionals and firesides. During my time there, a typical year would include a half dozen apostles speaking in the Marriott Center usually on Fast Sunday evenings and about as many Seventies at Tuesday morning devotionals. Continue reading

Where the bighorns are a’ grazing

The Killers’ sixth annual Christmas song, “The Cowboy’s Christmas Ball,” is out. The video for last year’s had Brandon Flowers singing atop a tall downtown Las Vegas building with a stunning twilight skyline behind him. The lyrics for this one celebrate the rest of the Silver State. “Way out in old Nevada // where the Truckee’s waters flow,” the tune begins in an echo of the state song. Unlike last year’s Flamingo-ish number, this time it’s a full four-for-four Killers production that’s come out of their Battle Born Studio. It’s a cheerful piece that should add a smile to everyone’s Christmas. Enjoy.

Thinking about Michael Ignatieff and Barack Obama

Canada’s federal election Monday produced an unusual return. (Allow me to disclaim at the outset that my knowledge and experience of Canada and the politics of her people are very limited.) Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party increased its number of seats in the 308-member House of Commons from 143 to 167, so it can now form a majority government. The separatist Bloc Quebecois was reduced from 47 seats to only 4, its leader Giles Duceppe among those unseated, and the left New Democrat Party nearly tripled its seats from 37 to 102. The Green Party won its first seat ever.

More noteworthy than all the above put together, the center-left Liberal Party of Canada finished third for the first time in a history going back to 1867. This is the party of Pierre Trudeau, Jean Chretian, and Paul Martin, which governed Canada for 69 years of the 20th Century and the first five years of the 21 Century. Among those losing seats as the Liberal share fell from 77 to 34 was party leader Michael Ignatieff.
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