Thursday, October 12, 2006


Coming soon: Recent BYU Forum, Dr. Aswan discusses Middle Eastern relations, with some veiled criticisms of the Bush administration (what else would you expect?). He was introduced in glowing terms by Boyd K. Packer. Interesting...

Quotes and commentary pending.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hailing a new-ris'n star...

Those of you who watch the heavens of the blogosphere carefully will not have missed the arrival of a new light on the horizon. We look forward to upcoming posts (in spite of the author's misconceptions about birth-order preeminence). With crypic commentary and a mysterious title, the blog only yet lacks the inclusion of sacred geometry to complete this lagoon of gnosis...

لا الله الا الله ، لكن غوردون هينكلي - وهو النبي.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ding-dong! The witch is dead!

Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh... However, there was some news I just found out that is good, and kind of sad too. On the plus side, one of the wasps, long buzzing around the heads of members and LDS apologists is gone. On the sad side, what is there to show but time wasted in bitterness and fruitless enterprise. The following was printed in the Salt Lake Tribune on the 3rd or 4th of October:

Jerald D. Tanner 06/01/38 ~ 10/01/06 Jerald D. Tanner, age 68, died peacefully on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2006, due to complications associated with Alzheimer's disease. He was born June 1, 1938, in Provo, Utah, to George and Helen Tanner. He married Sandra McGee on June 14, 1959, in Mission Hills, California. He graduated from West High School, attended the University of Utah and graduated from Salt Lake Trade Technical Institute in 1959. After a few years as a machinist Jerald launched his own business, Modern Microfilm Co. and began publishing historical research [for lack of a better term]. He closed his business in 1983 and established the non-profit organization Utah Lighthouse Ministry, which continues to publish his research. He authored more than forty books, including "Mormonism-Shadow or Reality?", and in 1980 his book "The Changing World of Mormonism" was published by Moody Press. For many years Jerald served on the board of the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake, volunteered in the office and held prayer time with the men throughout the week. He also served as an Elder and was on the Governing Board for Discovery Christian Community. He was a quiet man who loved to pray and memorize scriptures. He also enjoyed walks, hikes, Jazz games, animals, and an occasional practical joke, especially if it was his idea. We will all miss his keen mind, sense of humor and gentle teasing [and his undying vilification of all things Mormon]. Jerald's commitment to Christ was an inspiration to many people [who also happen to hate Mormons]. Jerald was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Ruth Mellor. He is survived by his wife, Sandra; three children, April (Brian) Muegge, Dennis (Sherri) Tanner, Teresa (Chuck) Vanderpool; five grandchildren, Nathan, Samuel, Vanessa, William and Brandi; two sisters, Irene (Carl) Bonner and Evelyn (Chris) Miller; plus numerous nieces, nephews and his special friends and co-workers, Wendell, Marlene, Mark and Tony. During Jerald's long illness, he was lovingly cared for by his wife of 47 years until the final four days of his life. The family wishes to thank all those at CareSource Hospice facility for their compassion and support. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006, at 10:30 a.m. at the Salt Lake Christian Center, 4300 South 700 East, Murray, Utah. The family will receive visitors from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. prior to the service. In lieu of flowers the family suggests that donations be made in Jerald's memory to the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake or CareSource Hospice. Condolences may be sent to

One wonders how early the Alzheimers set in... In any case, I am sorely tempted to send some--er--condolences.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Another moronic BYU editorial...

At last, I think I have found it! A veritable Holy Grail of Latter-day idiocy! The following letter to the editor was published in the Y's daily rag--The Daily Universe:

Devotional Dancing Disaster

In response to the blasphemous performance of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” in Devotional, we the aggrieved take this opportunity to express our disgust, revulsion and deep disappointment in the failing judgment of all those who took part in enabling this to occur.

Our sacred hymns are not to be the background music for provocative dancing they are to invite the Holy Spirit and inspire reverence in those who hear.

"Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” happens to be one of our favorite hymns. We have oft times been inspired by the beauty of the words and music, while pondering on our relationship with the Savior and our place in the universe. Performances of hymns are meant to turn our minds to God, to leave us renewed, and enlightened, in a quiet spirit of reverence. Applause should never be elicited in response to a sacred hymn. Hymns should never be used in a routine or setting to garner loud, rambunctious approval from a riotous crowd. This sacrilegious misuse of consecrated music has deeply offended many of our student body. We write this in hopes that nothing of this nature will ever happen again.

Heidi McLaren
West Row, England

Rebecca Fluckiger
Allen, Texas

(As much fun as it would be to make a few puns on Rebecca F's last name, I will resist the opportunity.) In any case, their comments were completely ridiculous. The performance they refer to was totally appropriate (modern dancing ain't my thing, but you know...)

In an effort to help them, I submitted the following (printing pending):

1) The dance itself was not "provocative" or inappropriate in any way. If it made you lusty, perhaps you could talk to your priesthood leader about it; that is not a normal reaction to such innocuous stimuli.

2) BYU Choirs (even CJ and the MoTabs) regularly sing such "consecrated" hymns and receive applause. It is really the only way to display appreciation and approval in such a setting. Perhaps your misconceptions about the evils of clapping come from the LDS practice of not applauding in the chapel. (I have personally seen the Prohpet himself clap during a performance. A shock, I know.)

3) You seem to imply that dancing draws one's mind away from the divine. Michal might agree, but David would not (2 Sam. 6:12-17). In the passage in question, the phrase "before the Lord," the sacrifices, and the linen ephod all lend a temple-like significance to his sacred dance. In fact, Brigham Young, before leaving Nauvoo, held a dance in the temple—and a sleep-over!

4) Asceticism, such as you exhibit, is more often a cause of pride than an indicator of righteousness.

I'm not sure they will respond; winnowing the thesaurus like they did must take some time. How else could they have come up with such revoltingly bloated prose?

Yes, it's the "Lord's University".

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Oaks Smackdown

Oaks proposed a beautiful argument in what was a mostly comforting talk about the healing power of Christ and His atonement. However, there is a necessary and unbending corollary to that truth: because Christ is so powerful, so able to heal, there is NO EXCUSE not to take advantage of it. Thus if we remain unhealed, we want it that way.

Additionally, he (with characteristic lucidity) made a point that gives the lie to those fringe members with strange ideas about homosexuality and the gospel; quoting a letter from someone who had succeeded in altering their orientation, he said:

"...Many people focus on the causes of same-gender attraction. There is no need to determine why I have this challenge. I don't know if I was born with it, or if environmental factors contributed to it. The fact of the matter is that I have this struggle in my life. And what I do with it from this point forward is what matters."

Well, well, "Affirmation-ites," put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

General Conference, Oct 2006

Well, General Conference went off well. Of course, Holland - as per usual - was dynamic and eloquent. It seemed that President Hinckley looked a little more feeble, but what do you expect: he's 96!