Handbook #2 Highlights: Recreational Hypnotism

[Cross Posted from Sixteen Small Stones]

Background

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has two handbooks that represent the church’s policies, procedures, and guidelines. While Handbook #1 is available only for Stake Presidents and Bishops in the church, Handbook #2 is meant to be a guide for members of ward and stake councils and is available to anyone.

handbook2

It is important for all members to be familiar with the content of Handbook #2, but in my experience, even among very devout and active members of the church, there are many who don’t even know the handbook is available, let alone what it says.

I have been reading through Handbook #2 and there are a number of policies and positions of the church of which I suspect many church members are not aware. This is the first in a series of blog posts in which I will highlight some of the interesting contents of the handbook.

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Mormon Monuments at the U.S. Capitol and Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

[Cross posted from Sixteen Small Stones]

Statue of Lady Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol BuildingMy family visited Washington D.C. for a vacation this October. We had a wonderful time exploring the National Monuments and Smithsonian Museums. There is so much to learn, think about, and do, and never enough time for all of it. It was also a great time to talk with our children about our country, its history, and its founding documents and principles.

I want to highlight a couple of unexpected encounters with Mormonism and LDS related ideas we had while there, with photos I took myself.

LDS visitors to Washington D.C. may be interested in going out of their way to see some of these Mormon monuments. And should Mitt Romney be successful in winning the election for President of the United States, interest in some of these may increase among those who are not members of the LDS church as well.

The U.S. Capitol Building is beautiful. The room where the House of Representatives used to meet from 1819 to 1857 is now the National Statuary Hall, where they display statues of prominent Americans. Each state of the Union is allowed to send two statues, of either bronze or marble, to be displayed at the Capitol, many in the statuary hall. Continue reading

LDS Immigration Policy an Issue in Arizona Senate Race, or “The Case Against Russell Pearce”

The following guest post comes from Brent Ellsworth, an Arizona attorney, and author of  “The Case Against Russell Pearce.”

Mitt Romney is not the only LDS candidate receiving national media attention this election cycle.

Russell Pearce is also on the media “watch” list.  Pearce is one of two LDS candidates for an open state senate seat in the Arizona primary on August 28.  His opponent is Bob Worsley, founder of SkyMall, who is seeking his first elected office.

Pearce was the moving force behind the passage in 2010 of Arizona Senate Bill 1070, the first state law to enact “enforcement only” provisions to address the problem of undocumented immigrants at the state level.  The stated objective of such legislation is to make life so unbearable for undocumented immigrants that they will voluntarily leave and return to their countries of origin.  “Attrition through enforcement.”  Pearce also attracted national attention when in November 2011, while President of the Arizona State Senate, he was removed from office in a humiliating and controversial recall election.

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On Being a Believing, Traditional Mormon in an Amoral, “Nuanced” World

By any standard, I am still in the bloom and pluck of life, being only 35 years of age currently.  My physical health is outstanding, my hair is not going prematurely gray, and by contemporary American standards I am fit and within my recommended weight limit.  Financially I am fine (although “secure” is probably not the appropriate word).  I have a brilliant, loving wife and special children.  Truly, there is much to be thankful for.

And yet…I have sobering moments of reflection in which I survey the climate and landscape and resist shudders of despair.  By nature I am not overly pessimistic; I truly believe that over time, the good guys eventually win.  I look forward, with an eye of faith, to the time when righteousness will cover the earth as the waves cover the sea. Continue reading