Monthly Archives: May 2009

Sealing work at the temple

Last night was our monthly ward temple night. Instead of going through an endowment session, we had arranged for a couple of sealers to be available, and 16 of us did sealings. I’ve attended several sealings, and have done work once before for the deceased, but I had never done sealings for an hour and a half. It’s tough work!

The sealer that was with our group (we divided into two sealing rooms) spoke almost non-stop for the entire time, and only coughed or cleared his throat once. I told him I was impressed, and he just laughed. I had forgotten that the entire ceremony (including the pronouncement of blessings) is repeated, not just the basic initial part. This makes the sealing of spouses kind of long. The sealing of a child to their parents is relatively quick, but even that is about 4x as long as the baptism prayer (I went over it in my head as the sealer was speaking).

As my wife and I finished up the sealings we were doing, the sealer said we could kiss each other. Apparently I made a funny face. It just caught me off guard. It’s not that I don’t like kissing my wife, but I didn’t know we were done, and in my head I was trying to figure out what a kiss had to do with anything, and I didn’t know if he was joking or not. Thankfully my wife has already forgiven me for the look πŸ™‚

Overall, the 16 of us did about 400 sealings. It was a nice evening.

Ten important kisses in history

CNN is carrying a mental_floss article about the Ten important kisses in history. As could have been expected, the kiss that Judah gave Jesus is in the top spot:

Nothing ends a good “bromance” quite like flagrant, murderous betrayal. A long time ago, a wandering preacher named Jesus was doing pretty well for himself — building up a following and promoting religious teachings — until one of his buddies sold him out to the authorities. In exchange for 30 pieces of silver, Judas Iscariot kissed Jesus on the cheek and, by doing so, identified him to Roman soldiers.

Although Judas double-crossed his best friend for a paltry sum, some scholars argue that Judas is the secret hero of Christianity.

The Mormon Channel

First off, I’m sorry for the lack of posts. As I mentioned before, we’ve moved, and I’ve been so busy patching/sanind/priming/painting/laying floor/changing outlets and of course, working at a job and serving in my calling, I just haven’t had a chance to post much. It seems that things are settling down now a bit, and so posts should become more regular.

Anyway, there have been an awful lot of posts over the last couple of days about the new Mormon Channel. This is a radio “service” that the Church has started up. It will be broadcast online, as well as via HDRadio in markets where the Church/Bonneville owns/runs regular stations.

mormon_channel_logo

The official site describes it this way:

The Mormon Channel is the official radio station of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The channel originates from Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah and broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Content for the station comes from the vast archives of the Church, along with several new series created specifically for this station. The Mormon Channel also features great programming from various partner organizations, including Deseret Book, Bonneville International, Deseret News, LDS Business College, and the campuses of Brigham Young University.

I’m curious to see what kind of content they use. They of course have to be careful with using non-official material, as then they would in effect be approving it. It would seem that everything would have to be Church-produced. In some cases this is a good thing, in others it might make it a bad thing. Only time will tell.

The site runs on a sub-domain of the main LDS.org domain. I’ve added Radio.LDS.Org to the Official web sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints page.

Mormon Prophet Tattoos

You’ve got to see it to believe it… a man has tattoos of Joseph Smith to Gordon B. Hinckley tattooed on his back!

Linking between Church sites

This isn’t anything earth shattering, but it is something I came across yesterday. The Church owns the Deseret News and the Church News. The Deseret News started up a more Mormon-specific site called Mormon Times. Yesterday I came across an article about the retirement of some Mormon Tabernacle Choir members. The article I saw was on the Deseret News site and was called Sing farewell: Bittersweet moment for choir members. It only had a paragraph and it linked to the Mormon Times article with the same name of Sing farewell: Bittersweet moment for choir members. This article was 3 paragraphs long and then linked to the Church News article called Sing farewell: Bittersweet moment. This is the real article and is 12 paragraphs long.

Come on people… don’t make me travel from site to site to get the news I want!

Stones, Zeppelin Songs Combat Crickets

I first heard about this on NPR’s Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

Most members are aware of the story from early Utah when some crickets were eating crops and seagulls came and ate them. The type of cricket has been called Mormon Crickets.

Anyway, these so called Mormon Crickets are causing a problem in Nevada, and officials are trying to use heavy metal music to chase them away.

Imagine waking up with a cricket on your head. Imagine crickets swarming everywhere outside your house. It sounds like some kind of Biblical plague, but it’s actually affecting Tuscarora, Nev. so badly that the residents have resorted to blasting rock ‘n’ roll to combat them…

To me, the most noteworthy thing about this, is that when mentioned on Wait, Wait… there weren’t really any Mormon-related joke. One panelist mentioned that Mormons, like crickets, reproduce a lot, but that was it. There were no jokes about polygamy, nothing about getting rid of Mormons, etc. It would seem that we are indeed making some progress πŸ™‚

Does God Want You to Be Bankrupt?

One of my Google Alerts the other day linked to a New York Times article called Does God Want You to Be Bankrupt? where the reporter quotes N. Elden Tanner. As far as I could find, the author, Ron Leiber is not a Mormon, and so it is interesting that he would quote someone from the Church.

The article is about debt and bankruptcy, and mentions how many churches have doctrine that compares them to slavery. Here is the main quote that mentions the Church:

Still, the notion of enslavement, albeit of the psychological sort, survived to modern times. N. Eldon Tanner, a leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote: β€œThose who structure their standard of living to allow a little surplus control their circumstances. Those who spend a little more than they earn are controlled by their circumstances. They are in bondage.”

“One For The Money”

I was offline for a few days while we moved. We recently bought a second house. Some family will be living in our original house, while we moved into this other house. My family will be covering mortgage/taxes and their basic utilities, and the house remains in my name and I get the equity. Once the mortgage is paid off, they’ll just give me a bit of money to help with my other house. It was quite a decision for us to decide whether this was a risk we were willing to take, and figuring out how it would affect our finances. In the end, we obviously decided that it was worth it. It may make things tight for a short time, but in the long run, it’s better for us (we’ll have equity in two houses) as well as family (they will have a cheap place to live in the long run).

Anyway, I tell you this because at the request of the stake presidency, our ward recently had a combined MP/RS lesson on family finances. It was based on the booklet “One For The Money“, which is based on a talk by Elder Marvin J. Ashton from 1975. We gave everyone a copy of that booklet, along with a copy of the short “All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances” booklet (both are available at no charge from the Distribution Centre). I led the discussion. We read each of the 12 suggestions (but didn’t read all of the information about each one) and tried to get a discussion going. Of course, the main thing that we wanted to get out of it was practical tips on how to manage our money. What has worked for other people? How do you setup your budget? How do you stay on budget? You get the idea…

I had the Relief Society President take a few notes, and the following week we had a small handout for everyone that consisted of the following notes:


Elder Marvin J. Ashton’s points:

  1. Pay an honest tithing
  2. Learn to manage money before it manages you
  3. Learn self-discipline and self-restraint in money matters
  4. Use a budget
  5. Teach family members early the importance of working and earning
  6. Teach children to make money decisions in keeping with their capacities to comprehend
  7. Teach each family member to contribute to the total family welfare
  8. Make education a continuing process
  9. Work toward home ownership
  10. Appropriately involve yourself in an insurance program
  11. Understand the influence of external forces on family finances and investments
  12. Appropriately involve yourself in a food storage and emergency preparedness program

Notes/suggestions:

  • Financial peace of mind is not determined by how much we make, but is depended upon how much we spend – Elder Ashton
  • Just because you make more, doesn’t mean you have to spend more. Try to save a little each time you get paid, so you can build up a reserve.
  • It takes great faith to say “We can’t afford it” – Elder Hales
  • It might be obvious that we don’t need or can’t afford the big things (TV’s, stereo equipment, new computers, etc), but there are often small things we don’t need (fast food, small toys, junk food, etc).
  • Paying tithing really does open the windows of heaven.
  • Both husband and wife should work together on the family finances. This doesn’t mean they both do the exact same thing, but they both know what is going on, and both have equal say in how the money is spent.
  • Focus on needs and not wants.
  • Use a budget, including allowing each spouse to have a designated amount for themselves.
  • Participate in leisure activities (sports, movies, etc) within the bounds of your budget.
  • Each family member should be contributing in some way.
  • Make a plan to get out of debt and stick to the plan.
  • Get an appropriate amount of insurance, but don’t duplicate it. Coverage from a job, with a mortgage, or other existing coverage may be enough.
  • Accumulate food storage, grow a garden, be prepared

These few points and suggestions are not intended to be all-inclusive or exhaustive. Rather, it is hoped that a need has been brought to the surface for our serious consideration. We need to recognize and be aware of these basic guidelines for wise money management.


If you are interested, you can download the handout here.