About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

George Washington’s Thanksgiving proclamation

George Washington issued a proclamation on October 3, 1789, designating Thursday, November 26 as a national day of thanks. In his proclamation, Washington declared that the necessity for such a day sprung from the Almighty’s care of Americans prior to the Revolution, assistance to them in achieving independence, and help in establishing the constitutional government.

 

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

 

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

 

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

 

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

 

The inevitable hypocrisy of the political morality police

There is a lot of talk about “morality” in politics these days.  Roy Moore, a senate candidate from Alabama who has been accused of sexual improprieties, is roundly condemned.  And of course President Trump is accused of various moral outrages on an hourly basis.

I am struck by how many of my friends seem to be outraged by Republicans Roy Moore and President Trump but did not care at all about President Clinton, Sen. Ted Kennedy, former presidential candidate John Edwards and Anthony Weiner.  In fact, when I mentioned the scandals regarding these people, who happen to be Democrats, some of my Democratic friends did not know anything about them until I gave them some links.  And in the same way, I see a lot of people defending Roy Moore and President Trump who were quick to criticize all of the Democrats.

So, there is hypocrisy all around when it comes to sexual issues.  But morality does not only have to do with sexuality of course.  What about the immorality of stealing other peoples’ property and encouraging people to covet the property of others?  I wrote about the forgotten eight and 10th commandments, which are often ignored when looking at politics.  But how about the morality of a U.S. foreign policy that, according to one source, has resulted in millions of deaths since World War II?   As Americans, we may see many of the conflicts promoted by the United States as noble causes, and certainly some were, but if our father or mother were killed by a U.S. bomb in Afghanistan, Iraq or Vietnam, perhaps we would feel very differently about the issue.   Finding morality in war is a very difficult thing, as the Book of Mormon reminds us again and again.

Or how about the morality of supporting laws that have resulted in tens of millions of babies being killed in the Unites States alone since 1973?  Abortion kills 2900 babies a day right now in the United States.  Abortion is a complex issue, and I don’t want to minimize that, but I find the moral preening about guns supposedly being the problem insufferable when the same people have no problem with 2900 abortions a day.

One of the reasons I oppose capital punishment is that there are credible studies showing that one in 25 of the people killed were innocent of the charges.  The fact that my tax money is helping kill innocent people in the U.S. is very bothersome to me.  I have a moral problem with it.

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Speaking on campus and the ctrl-left

I wanted to bring your attention to this very well done post by an academic.  He is about to speak on campus in a way that will certainly offend the alt right.  But he does not fear the alt right because, frankly, they are pathetic and powerless.

But, I’m not afraid of angering white supremacists; they’re evil, but they don’t frighten me. Because I know they are a powerless group of isolated and outcast individuals with little to no social standing in their own communities, who are resorted to anonymous online forums for human contact. They are pathetic, and I’m not enough of a coward to shrink away from shadows in a basement.

White supremacy is, of course, evil. It cost me nothing to say that, and means nothing when I do say it, as everyone either agrees with it already, or is a white supremacist and doesn’t care what society thinks about them.

White supremacy is also stupid. It is lazy thinking. It is the kind of mental shortcut that the feeble-minded rely on. It is the sort of excuse that the weak-willed cower to, lacking the testicular fortitude to face their own inadequacies. It’s the kind of pseudo-intellectualism the internet is famous for, citing poorly analyzed statistics, when all it would take is meeting one normal, middle-class African American to see the fatuity of it all — that blacks and whites are the same race, because there is only the one race of Adam.

My comments might make them mad, but what are they going to do? Make memes about me?

But the writer does fear any possible offense to the ctrl-left.  (I would describe it as the out of control left).  The reason?  They are in power and are ruthless and capable of causing real harm, especially to academics who dare to speak out.

Read the whole thing.

 

General Conference changes

In a message sent to Church leadership, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announced changes for future general conferences. The following letter is to be read in sacrament meetings throughout the world:

“In the spirit of reducing and simplifying the work of the Church and the demands made upon leaders and members, we are pleased to announce that the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve has decided to modify the general conference meeting schedule.

“Beginning in April 2018, the general women’s session will no longer be held on the Saturday preceding the other sessions of general conference. Rather, the general priesthood and general women’s sessions will each be held annually, with the general priesthood session being in April and the general women’s session being in October. These meetings will originate from the Conference Center on Saturday evening following the morning and afternoon sessions of the conference.

“The sesson times of general conference will not change.”

Stop expecting other Church members to be perfect

This post is aimed at people who have left the Church or are thinking of leaving the Church.

This post is going to be unusual and not what you usually read at Mormon blogs.

Here is my plea:  “Stop expecting other Church members to be perfect.  Nobody is perfect.  No Church member believes he or she is perfect.  We all know that we are ALL imperfect.  And this means that occasionally, for reasons beyond our control, we may say something tactless or mean-spirited or intolerant or judgmental.  And the reason we may do this is that we are not perfect.”

I am asking people who have left the Church or who are thinking of leaving to have charity and love for those of us (yes, that includes me) who are imperfect.  And because we are imperfect, we will not always interact with you the way you would like us to.

I will be frank:  it is a bit unfair of you to expect other people to deal with you perfectly when you know that is an impossibility.  Nobody can read your mind.  And even if we spent hours upon hours in training trying to become more tactful, it is extremely likely that we will still say or do something imperfectly.  And we would probably say something you find offensive, or hurtful or intolerant or judgmental — even if we did not intend to.

Here is the thing about mortality:  the people around us, especially those in the Church, are both A)well-intentioned but B)flawed.  Just about every active member around you *wants* you to stay at church.  If you have ever attended a bishopric meeting or a ward council meeting, one of the primary subjects being discussed is:  how do we help sister or brother so-and-so feel more welcome at church?  So, the point I am making is that people are trying, in their imperfect way, to help you feel more comfortable in the Gospel.

But again I must be frank:  articles like this one seem to miss an important point.  They miss that everybody is accountable for their actions, include those who decide to take offense at something an imperfect person does or says.

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