Sunday, November 22, 2009

Remembering the Past

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

Today I've been reflecting on the scripture “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10). I look at the world today and cannot help but feel profoundly sad. Elder M. Russell Ballard Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke these words at General Conference in April 2009:

You don’t have to be a Latter-day Saint—you don’t even have to be religious—to see the repeating pattern of history in the lives of God’s children as recorded in the Old Testament. Time and again we see the cycle of righteousness followed by wickedness. Similarly, the Book of Mormon records that ancient civilizations of this continent followed exactly the same pattern: righteousness followed by prosperity, followed by material comforts, followed by greed, followed by pride, followed by wickedness and a collapse of morality until the people brought calamities upon themselves sufficient to stir them up to humility, repentance, and change.

If you are reading this post, do you agree with what Elder Ballard said? I do.

Elder Ballard also said:

We live in an era when the boundaries of good taste and public decency are being pushed to the point where there are no boundaries at all. The commandments of God have taken a beating in the vacillating marketplace of ideas that absolutely rejects the notion of right and wrong. Certain factions of society seem generally mistrustful of anyone who chooses to live according to religious belief. And when people of faith attempt to warn others of the possible consequences of their sinful choices, they are scoffed at and ridiculed, and their most sacred rites and cherished values are publicly mocked.

There was a time I would have scoffed at what Elder Ballard said. I would have thought "What does he know? He's just a stuffy old man and too old-fashioned in his thinking." But MY thinking has changed.

I pray that the calamities we have brought upon ourselves will "stir us up to humility, repentance, and change."

M. Russell Ballard, “Learning the Lessons of the Past,” Ensign, May 2009, 31–34

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gratuitous Kiss

On a recent episode of the new TV series FlashForward, there was a scene where two women kissed. It was known that they were lesbians. I read today that some people found the kissing scene "gratuitous." Why would anyone think such a scene was unwarranted? Why is it okay to show a male and female kissing, but not two females kissing? Why is one acceptable and the other is not?

I also read today where some active members of the LDS Church have decided they will no longer watch FlashForward because of the female-female kissing scene.

This is bugging the heck out of me today, so I thought I'd vent about it here on my blog.

Tell me … Would you honestly stop watching a TV series because of one scene?

And what is so horrendous about showing two women kissing?

Please leave a comment. Your thoughts would be most appreciated.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Utah Mormons

It's Saturday night and I've been doing some research. My topic was Mormon culture and, in particular, Utah Mormons. There has often been talk about the difference between Utah Mormons and Mormons in the "mission field." I came upon this interesting list.

What it Means to be a Utah Mormon Top Ten List

- I don’t know how to describe one, but I know one when I see one.

- “Utah Mormons” take Mormonism to the extreme

- “Utah Mormons” are characterized by their explicitives (Gosh!, Darn!, Heck!, and Fetch!)

- “Utah Mormons” think General Authorities are like rock stars (my wife loved this one…she shared with me an experience she had a BYU when some of her friends waited to see Elder Eyring and get their pictures and his autograph. When they came back they were pumped and going crazy…like you’d see at a rock concert

- “Utah Mormons” love green Jell-o

- Except for being on a mission, a Utah Mormon has never ventured outside of the “Mormon Corridor”

- “Utah Mormons” are nice, kind, and loving people

- “Utah Mormons” may take for granted what they have

- “Utah Mormons” are innocent in their knowledge of other faiths and/or cultures

- A “Utah Mormon” is someone who would be content living in Utah County all of their days

Having lived in Salt Lake City (1978-1982), I would tend to agree with most of these observations.

If you are a "Utah Mormon," what are you thoughts about this list?