All I ask is that the candidates court me until the bitter end.

 [My first political post in a long, long while.  This is my one statement on the current campaign.  Other than here, I'm going to stay away from political posts because I abhor the lack of charity that permeates them.  The basic idea behind this was borrowed from Ann Althouse].

Yes, I’m conservative (mostly).  Yes, I’m an Alaskan (despite being in Texas at the moment).  If you think you know how I’m going to vote, you’re probably wrong.

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How to Give a Great Sacrament Meeting Talk – Part 5 of 5: Delivery

Part 4 (Memory) here. Part 3.5 (Using Analogies) here. Part 3 (Style) here. Part 2 (Arrangement) here. Part 1.5 (Sources) here. Part 1 (Invention) here. Part 0 (introduction) here.

Well, it’s been awhile, and despite the title, this is not the last installment.

Delivery is something that can be overdone, and when it is overdone, it ruins the talk.

I’ve seen people with horrid delivery move me to tears and plenty of well-versed orators have left me feeling cold.

The first rule is: The Spirit matters most. The second is: Don’t fake your delivery.

That said, here are some ways you can improve the delivery of your talk without faking it. You don’t have to be trained in public speaking (although that’s always a plus, when not overdone), but there are small things anyone can do to improve the delivery of their talk. And if you have the Spirit in your words, a well-delivered talk can move from very good to great (or even excellent). Continue reading

My Father in the September Ensign. (And what didn’t make it in)

Page 19 -21.  It’s part of a larger article (that starts on page 18_, but his anecdote about high school wrestling and promptings from the spirit can be found on those pages.  Though the artists rendering on page 20 is all wrong.  It looks nothing like my father and the school color and logo in the picture aren’t of any high school I’ve ever seen.

Now, here’s what didn’t make it in the issue: Continue reading

How to Give a Great Sacrament Meeting Talk – Part 3.5 of 5: Style (Analogies)

Part 3 here. Part 2 here. Part 1.5 here. Part 1 here. Part 0 here.

Analogies, metaphors, similes, allegories, etc. all can work well in a sacrament meeting talk (or gospel lesson). They can also be where the talk (or lesson) fails completely. Because Jesus taught in parables (which, when asked, Jesus interpreted allegorically), these types of teaching tools have the highest possible endorsement. But caution is also warranted.

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Mormons appear in the most interesting places…. #2: Steroid Nation

Though my reading matter currently focuses on my dissertation, occasionally I read something not at all related, just to keep myself sane and my mind from becoming too specialized (although it’s interesting how often this “extracurricular” reading works its way into my dissertation).

Though I am not much of a sports guy, I do exercise regularly (specifically, I do CrossFit) – so, when I saw this book, I thought it looked interesting enough to read. Steroid Nation: Juiced Home Run Totals, Anti-aging Miracles, and a Hercules in Every High School: The Secret History of America’s True Drug Addiction by Shaun Assael is an interesting, well written book that deals with the use and abuse of steroids and other drugs in America. Full of lots of interesting anecdotes, salacious scandals, and depressing stories, overall I enjoyed it.

Except for the part about Mormons. Because, according to this author, Mormonism is partly to blame for steroid abuse in America.

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