This year our family is doing a new educational Christmas Advent for the 12 days of Christmas. This advent idea was given to me by my good friend, Yvonne Averett. She has two girls ages 9 and 11, and made it for them. They are a homeschool family, and this is one of the ways that they are inviting the Christmas Spirit and Christ into their homeschool this year. I know not everyone who reads my blog is a Christian, but I am and loved this idea. So, I thought I would pass it along. I am always up for family learning and good homeschool ideas. Continue reading
. . . of a Mormon Mission. Many pundits wonder what Romney can do next. They say his political fortunes are over, as he isn’t a powerful force in the Senate like Kerry or McCain. He doesn’t have a faithful ideological following like Huckabee. For a weakened GOP, unless you count the continued success of the other House, they hardly want to be reminded of the lost opportunity for expanded power by giving him a political position. To be honest, he was always a political outsider even when accused of belonging to the ruling party elite. Those who have studiously followed his rise know he built what he did out of whole cloth. Conservatives never completely supported him and the only office he held was Governor in a Democratic state (Chris Christie is similar, but he lost all chances of going anywhere with his support of Obama during Sandy). He never had any solid backings in the Party other than his own will and inertia. Unless there is a surprise in the wings, he has nowhere in politics to go.
The other possibility floating around is he will go back into business. Sounds logical at first, but his current history says otherwise. He hasn’t seen the inside of a corporate boardroom outside of a friendly visit since taking over the Salt Lake Olympics. He has enough money and to spare to last the lifetime of his whole family put together. Since he isn’t the greedy Gordon Gekko that the media and others have painted him, he is old enough to retire from making more money. On the other hand, if he does do anything of his own volition this will most likely be the course taken. He is known to have saved big risky businesses. Perhaps he could take on advocating small upstarts. Just because he lost the U.S. Presidency doesn’t mean he can’t do some good as a private citizen.
Yet, he could have greater things in store for him than Earthly positions and jobs. Even Mormon commentators in the traditional media didn’t talk about religious opportunities. With the expected increase in missionaries there is going to be the need for leaders. He and his wife seem very qualified for the position of Mormon Mission President. Where? Only the Lord and his servants know, if they decide this at all. Utah, however, should be on the top of the list. Continue reading
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.
|Sure, the Church is politically neutral and doesn’t endorse candidates. But does that mean the prophets have said nothing about who and what to vote for?
Guest post by Jelaire Richardson and Nathan Richardson
Imagine if someone asked you what kind of music you like to listen to or purchase, and which kind you avoid. You tell her your favorite genres and list a few of your favorite artists and songs. You also tell her which genres and singers you don’t like. When she asks you why you choose the way you do, you tell her, “Well, a big part is because of what the living prophets have taught about music and media.”
Your friend gets a disapproving look and says, “The Church maintains strict neutrality on music. It does not endorse or sanction individual bands, or record labels, or genres.”
You reply, “Well yeah, I’m not saying they’ve compiled a list of individual songs or artists that are approved or disapproved. But they’ve definitely given some specific advice on what to seek out, and warnings on what to watch out for.”
“I thought they just gave the general advice that the members should ‘choose artists they believe will most nearly carry out their ideas of good music.’ My ideas of good music are based on aesthetic qualities. How much it appeals to me. Concepts I learned in my music theory class. Nifty album art. Those are my criteria, since we haven’t really been given anything more specific than that.”
“But we have been.”
“Well, For the Strength of Youth says, ‘Do not listen to music that encourages immorality or glorifies violence through its lyrics, beat, or intensity. Do not listen to music that uses vulgar or offensive language or promotes evil practices.’ So I’m definitely not going to listen to someone like Marilyn Manson.”
“The Church does not micro-manage the members’ decisions on music. It’s wrong of you to give people the impression that the Church has official positions on individual musicians. It’s going to make people think Mormons are brainwashed.”
“I wasn’t saying anything like that. But we do have more than just vague directions. We have guidelines to help us choose wisely, and in some cases those guidelines are fairly specific.”
“I don’t think the Brethren would have advice one way or the other on whether I listened to, say, Marilyn Manson. In fact, I bet I could find general authority quotes that were in favor of his music. Besides, you’re never going to find musicians who don’t swear. They all do it. And any who don’t are probably so sappy or amateurish that they’d be terrible to listen to.”
* * *
Of course, in this story, the friend is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. While the Church might not have a detailed, specific position on individual people or groups, that doesn’t mean they’ve given no counsel on how to choose music. A wise, faithful Latter-day Saint will search out the prophets’ counsel and try to make his own criteria match the Brethren’s.
We are likely months away from Romney picking a running mate, but that should not impede us from guessing and hypothesizing who the best pick is, and who the VP candidate might actually be.
Normally, I am hesitant to wade too deep into political waters, however, this discussion seems innocuous enough, no? Continue reading