A General Conference Dream

Author’s Note: For those not familiar with my religion, once every six months our church has its semi-annual general conference.  This conference is broadcast by satellite and internet around the world, and church members forego meeting in their usual congregations in order to tune into five 2-hour sessions of church leaders speaking kindly from behind a pulpit, and singing by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Last night I had a dream about General Conference.  I dreamed that they had decided to make Conference a lot more ‘accessible’ and ‘relevant’ to children.  They did this by making it a lot less of a stable camera pointing at the podium.  In fact, most of it wasn’t filmed at the Conference Center at all.

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Reflections of Christ, Part II

A few months ago, I posted a public endorsement of the Reflections of Christ photography project.

Since then, Mark Mabry and company have indeed released their work in picture book format, as well as a DVD and fine art prints.  I happen to have my favorite print hanging in my hallway as we speak, (it’s the one on the home page of the website) signed and dated by the artist.

Well, these guys are at it again with Another Testament of Christ, which depicts Christ’s visit to the Americas after his resurrection and final ascension in Jerusalem.  If you’ve never heard this story, you might want to check out The Book of Mormon as this is it’s central message.  It is yet another testament of Christ’s divine mission to redeem all mankind.

I absolutely love their work.

Here is the video which previews their latest project, Another Testament of Christ:

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Newsletters: A Sign of the True Church

Yesterday, in Bishopric meeting, we were presented with the Young Women’s Newsletter, put together by our recently re-vamped Young Women’s Presidency.

It was cute, informational, highlighted the girls and their upcoming activities, and I’m sure made everyone smile who saw it that day.

Yes, friends, a newsletter is definitely a sign of the true church.

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We’re All Just Lumps of Coal

In shopping for my first diamond, I learned a lot of things (other than how expensive jewelry is).  I learned all about those pesky 4 C’s: cut, clarity, color, carat.

Clarity is the silliest one of all.  Supposedly, a perfect diamond has no ‘inclusions’; permanent flaws or marks in the inside of the stone.  As I was choosing a stone, the saleswoman would tell me about each stone, show me the stone under a magnifying glass, and point out to me all of the flaws and inclusions of each.

I just pretended to see them…

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Mormons Made Simple

Thanks to Axe for the tip on this website, Mormons Made Simple.

Generally, people rarely take the time to clearly explain the main tenants of the LDS/Mormon faith, and as a result most of the general public know very little about our core beliefs.

Although I think  the illustrations in these movies are super-corny, they do get at the core facts of my religion, without editorial and without overwrought musical underscoring either.

As I’ve repeatedly stated, I find my religion just as unbelievable as any other religion on the earth. I don’t insist that anyone believe what I believe, I only insist that they become factually educated so that when we discuss religion, we can do so in an educated, respectful manner, rather than working from a slanted, incomplete view of my faith.

Journalists Writing About Mormonism

Being part of an often marginalized, minority religion is hard.  Not because of the religious beliefs themselves, but because of the ignorance, misunderstanding, and skepticism that surrounds it from the outsider’s perspective.

“The Media” (whatever that is) often writes stories about my religion that I have a problem with.  What is my problem?  They seem to treat my faith different from every other nutty religious sect.  Can’t they see that all religion is equally nutty?

How come I rarely see an article about Christianity say “a guy name Jesus was purported to have died on the cross, and then rose from the dead 3 days later.”  That would offend Christians the world over.

And yet they can write this about my faith:

Mormons believe in a version of Christianity that stems from a new chapter of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, allegedly recorded on gold tablets by inhabitants of North America shortly after the time of Christ.

The tablets were discovered in the 1820s – or so the story goes – by the religion’s founder, Joseph Smith. Smith’s own standing as a polygamist has laced the argument over gay versus “traditional” marriage with a heavy dose of irony.

* emphasis added

So… aside from the factual errors of the article, which are many, it’s the tone of the piece that bothers me.  My religion is always “alleged” and “purported” and “so the story goes.” Why does other religions get an assumption of truth while mine is always assumed untrue?

The journalist pre-disposes the reader to not believe the story either.  (Which in this case is, of course, revealing their bias against our stance on Prop 8 in California)

It kind of sucks.

Keep Your Right-Wing Nuttery To Yourself

Last week in Sunday School, I had another one of those shake-your-head-and-sigh-out-loud moments.

We were discussing… uhh.. God… and related subject matter (in other words I have no clue what the context of the discussion was) when this lady – out of the blue – raises her hand and reminds us that the ‘real battle’ is having accurate information as to what is really going on in the world, and that the wickedly-liberal-Satanically-run-news-media is always just trying to lead the world into a moral black hole.  Then, in the same breath, she admonished us to rely on her favorite conservative ‘news website’.  (Turns out, the website is just a political action website, using cherry-picked propaganda from past church leaders.  So instead of even talking about current events, she was really just pushing her political agenda at church…. UGGGGG…)

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