Friday, July 31, 2009

That's my brother

With traveling and trying to catch up on work I've been a little slow reading email. It's too bad, too. I would have seen this lovely picture of my brother planting a kiss on his friend's cheek much earlier.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Quick learner


At dinner in Sedona I bought Sylvia a book on baby desert animals. Among the babies was a Javelina, who goes, "snort, snort." You know what Sylvia's favorite sound is of late? That's right--snorting like a pig. Whenever she starts, the adults around her crack up 'cause it's just so darn cute.

She's got another trick too--one she developed today. When a sliver of flesh shows up between my shirt and pants she leans in and blows--giving me a zerbet, just like her dad. I can't believe they're already ganging up on me!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wiggle-butt


Sylvia has lost the title of "Princess," according to her Grandma Hasterok. Her new title is "Wiggle-butt."

Genetics wins.

Monday, July 20, 2009

brave

I probably won't post this until it's on the next page, just to prove how brave I really am.

Today in Sunday School the story of Thomas Marsh and the milk strippings was brought up. An occasional reader of BCC, I had read this post that explains there's more to Bro. Marsh's story than he and his wife leaving over spilled milk. So, when the story was brought up I said it was apocryphal and that Bro. Marsh left the church over concerns that the church membership were involved in mob violence themselves and that the leadership was not doing enough to quell the escalating tempers.

And for that I was called brave by a visiting member of the Stake Presidency.

I'm not so sure it was bravery as much as annoyance. The previous comments on what caused people to go apostate focused on things like homosexuality and disagreeing with the church's stance on prop 8. Useful.

Also, exceptionally annoying given a conversation I had with my mom while we were visiting Utah in which she claimed there were inappropriately strong cultural pressures within the church that obscure the gospel. I swore up and down that wasn't the case outside Utah, that once you pass outside the Zion curtain people have to develop deeper testimonies. And not one week later what am I confronted with but a bunch of cultural nonsense masquerading as the gospel. I hate the taste of crow.

The story could be so much more helpful to those of us who struggle with real issues, particularly if it were, say, juxtaposed with individuals who had similar issues and stayed in the church. Bro. Marsh's concerns about the violence the saints were perpetuating on their neighbors were very valid, and I think one could make a good analogy with prop 8 (even as I shudder to think of actually bringing it up in a group of faithful saints as I am quite certain the party line would be the only valid response for most people). I'm aware of quite a few members who had a negative response to the church's involvement in prop 8, some of them to the extent that it damaged their testimony of the LDS church or of the prophet. I'm sure there were individuals who fell into inactivity, some who at the very least contemplated inactivity. How useful would it have been to talk about Bro. Marsh and his concerns with respect, to let those with deep-seated, valid concerns know there are others out there who have disagreed--valiantly--with church leaders in the past and later regretted leaving? How much more useful would it be to also find some examples of individuals who disagreed and stayed? Compare and contrast is great, and would be wonderful in a lesson on apostasy, as long as the contrast isn't between some wicked person who left and us righteous people who've stayed. That just turns the person who left into a whipping boy (or girl). Not so useful, unless, of course, you're trying to pressure people into staying by basically ridiculing those who do.

Are we so immature as a church that we're incapable of looking at people's reasons for leaving as, at least occasionally, having some validity, even if leaving isn't the right response? Would it be so hard to talk about ways people with real concerns stay? I'm sure there are a number of examples from fairly recent history of people who had concerns about the priesthood ban and yet stayed and saw the reversal of that policy. Could we not talk about some of them instead of making fun of Bro. Marsh and minimizing his concerns?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Oh say can you see


After a rainy, drizzly day, the weather cleared and we went to see fireworks. Sylvia hardly noticed--I think she spent the time Derrick and I were watching fireworks wondering why I wasn't holding her. I was attempting to take cool pictures of fireworks (the above is probably my favorite, and I had to crop it).

Happy Independence day!