Tag Archives: deseret news

Making the transition from seminary to institute

One of my responsibilities in our stake is to work with the young single adults, our YSA branch presidency, and the Institute Teacher. One of our biggest challenges is in getting the YSA to attend institute.

When you are a youth in the Church, it is generally expected that you will attend seminary. Not everyone goes, but there is definitely that expectation. If you are from an active family and plan on serving a mission (male or female), you are almost definitely going to attend seminary. However, in our area, Institute is just not a big thing. We want it to be, but when there isn’t that “critical mass” of YSA in one area, there just isn’t that momentum.

Anyway, that is just background as to why I’m sharing this article. The Deseret News recently had a nice article about making the transition from seminary to institute.

As an 18-year-old freshman at Utah State University, Bradon Capener registered for classes at the Logan Institute of Religion for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he admits he didn’t see the value and rarely attended.

It wasn’t until Capener returned from serving a Mormon mission a few years later and “decided to get involved” that he realized what he had been missing.

It’s a good read…

Voice of Lehi anonymous no more, after 26 years

One more Palmyra Pageant relate item before I post the pictures this afternoon…

This interesting item was in the Deseret News:

Until this year, Michael Bennett had never been to the Hill Cumorah Pageant in New York.

Which is odd.

He has performed in the pageant for the past 26 years.

Bennett is the voice of Lehi — four different Lehis, actually.

Bumper stickers references in General Conference

The other day I saw a bumper sticker which said “Get rich quick – Count your blessings”. It kind of looked like this:

It reminded me of an article I had seen on the Deseret News web site after General Conference. You will probably recall that President Uchtdorf told of seeing a bumper sticker that said “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”

Well, someone  at Deseret News found at least 8 references to bumper stickers in General Conference. The oldest one seems to be from 1978.

Awesome Lego model of the Bountiful Utah Temple

A few days ago the Deseret News had an article about a temple made from Lego. The man was asked by the local Primary President to make a model of the temple. Well, it took it several months and used over 13,000 pieces. The end result was an absolutely amazing replica of the Bountiful Utah Temple. Here is a reduced size picture. You should read the whole article to get more details, see this picture larger, as well as a couple of other pictures.

What’s wrong with Elder Hales?

If you saw General Conference, you definitely noticed that Elder Robert D Hales looked significantly different. He looked “puffy”, spoke from a chair, and had oxygen tubes in his nose. He didn’t say what was wrong with him. Elder Ballard and President Monson both referred to how it was nice to see him, but no one shared what was wrong.

Yesterday and today the Church News & Events page, the LDS Newsroom, and the Deseret News all posted about a statement issued by Elder Hales:

I continue to work with doctors and physical therapists to regain my strength. I am grateful for the faith and prayers that made it possible for me to participate in general conference and resume my responsibilities. I am touched by the many kind expressions of love and support shown to me and your continued prayers.

None of the three sources I mentioned talk about what the health challenges were that Elder Hales faced.

Do you think it was a good idea to post the statement, or does it lead to more questions? Part of me says they should share what is wrong with him. There are millions of people who are concerned about him, and continually using the phrase “health challenges” seems pointless. Another part of me says that it is his health, and he deserves privacy, so we should all back off. Yet another part of me says that if Elder Hales shared what is wrong with him, there would be critics of the Church who would use that as an excuse to talk about the “old men” who lead the Church and that they aren’t capable.

I’m still not settled on what I think the best way is to handle this, but I do know that I hope for the best for Elder Hales. I hope and pray that he isn’t suffering, and that he recovers.

Leadership Training Conference with Elder Ballard

This past Saturday I attended a Priesthood Leadership Conference held at the Brampton Ontario Stake Centre (beside the Toronto Temple). It was presided over by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy traveled with him. Our Area Authority, W. T. David Murray was also there. The whole meeting lasted 4 1/2 hours (including a 1/2 lunch break). Even though an apostle was going to be there, I have to admit the thought of driving an hour and a half to go to another meeting wasn’t very appealing. It turned out to be a fantastic meeting. I am so glad I went.

Here are a few random notes:

  • Elder Ballard sounded good, and looked about the same as he does in General Conference
  • The technology setup was neat. When I heard this was going to be for all of Eastern Canada, I assumed it would be done via satellite, but it was done via a webcast. Through the whole meeting there was a screen up that showed people in Ottawa, Sudbury, Montreal, and in a few places in the Maritime provinces.
  • Rather than having them up at the pulpit, the first couple rows of pews were removed and a stage was setup. There was a long table with three chairs setup at the front of the room where they sat. It gave a more intimate feeling to the meeting. I was in the third row, about 20 feet away.
  • Throughout the meeting, you certainly could feel the humility of each of the men
  • Elder Ballard wore a Canada flag pin
  • Elder Ballard spoke of several problems, and each time told us to “Fix it!”
  • As a side note, after sitting through 4 hours of meetings, it occurred to me that pornography wasn’t mentioned once

We were never asked not to share our notes, so I’ll share a few highlights , but not everything (I had 6 pages of notes!)

—————–

Elder Clayton showed us this picture and we discussed what we saw.

The picture shows a pearl in a nice box. We discussed what the pearl and the box might be. Some people said it could be a man. The pearl is the heart. Others said it could be the Church (box) and the doctrine (the pearl). Elder Clayton then read from a talk by President Packer at the dedication of the Conference Center. President Packer shared a parable:

A merchant man seeking precious jewels found at last the perfect pearl. He had the finest craftsman carve a superb jewel box and line it with blue velvet. He put his pearl of great price on display so others could share his treasure. He watched as people came to see it. Soon he turned away in sorrow. It was the box they admired, not the pearl.
Boyd K. Packer, “The Cloven Tongues of Fire,” Ensign, May 2000, 7

Of course there is no right or wrong answer, but the point they were trying to make is that the pearl is the one thing that you need to do, whatever that may be. Don’t be distracted by the other things. We need to focus on the important thing(s).

—————–

Elder Ballard told us about some training that President Monson had done with all of the General Authorities. He spoke on the topic of “The Rescue”. He showed us this picture:

This is a painting by Joseph Mallord William Turner. It shows a boat in danger off in the distance, and they’ve set off a flare. There is another boat going out to rescue them. There are also people on the shore. Regardless of what the artist was showing, there are some clear gospel parallels. There are people in desperate need that we need to rescue. Sometimes it is hard or even dangerous, but there are people counting on us.

—————–

Elder Ballard said he and President Monson have known each other since 1951. President Monson used to work for Deseret News and Elder Ballard worked at his father’s car lot. President Monson used to come around and pick up the classified ads.

—————–

Elder Murray (I think it was him) shared the store of Clinton T. Duffy. I believe this was from a talk called Judge Righteously by Bishop Keith McMullin, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric at LDS Business College Devotional on September 15, 2009.

“…famed prison warden Clinton T. Duffy, who became the warden at California’s San Quentin Prison in 1940. When he was appointed, he began one of the most dramatic housecleaning jobs in penal history. He fired the brutish captain of guards and six of his lieutenants. He closed up a dungeon of airless, lightless, unfurnished, iron-door [clad] stone cells into which convicts were thrown as punishment for even the most trivial offenses. At the time he became warden, men were being fed from buckets. He installed a cafeteria and hired a dietitian. To the horror of his staff, he strolled, unarmed, into the prison yard and chatted with convicts. To their infinite surprise, he strolled out again. He established a broad program of vocational training. He was the first warden to let prisoners listen to radios in their cells. He encouraged athletics, inaugurated a prison newspaper to which he contributed a regular column and established the first prison chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous. In cleaning up San Quentin, he became one of the best-known, most admired prison administrators in U.S. penal history. But the most eloquent acclaim came from inside the walls, from the prisoners themselves, who truly respected him.
“A critic who knew of Warden Duffy’s efforts to rehabilitate the men said to him, ‘Don’t you know that leopards can’t change their spots?’
Responded Warden Duffy, ‘You should know that I don’t work with leopards. I work with men, and men change every day.’”

Great line there at the end!

—————–

As part of his concluding testimony, Elder Ballard shared “The Oak Tree” poem by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr:

A mighty wind blew night and day
It stole the oak tree’s leaves away
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark

But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around
The weary wind gave up and spoke.
How can you still be standing Oak?

The oak tree said, I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two
Carry every leaf away
Shake my limbs, and make me sway

But I have roots stretched in the earth
Growing stronger since my birth
You’ll never touch them, for you see
They are the deepest part of me

Until today, I wasn’t sure
Of just how much I could endure
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you
I’m stronger than I ever knew

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.

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!

Church leaders at Inauguration and National Prayer Service

I’m sure you’ve seen many reports about this, but President Uchtdorf and Elder Ballard represented the Church at the Inauguration of Barack Obama. They stayed over, and were there for the National Prayer Service as well. The Church Newsroom posted a couple of pictures, and the Deseret News covered it as well:

President Uchtdorf was very kind in his comments:

It was inspiring to be an eyewitness to this peaceful, impressive, transfer of power and the swearing-in of the first African American president. We pray for President Barack Obama’s success in these challenging times and join in his expressions of hope and optimism.

It was interesting seeing the nice picture of President Uchtdorf and Elder Ballard. Here were two Apostles of the Lord, standing in a crowd of over a million people. Probably very few knew who they were, and even fewer knew of their authority and calling.