Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Watching a Travel Channel show about Disneyland, the voice over mentions that Club 33 is the only place in the park where you can buy alcohol.

Hyrum: We don’t drink alcohol.

Me: Good job, buddy. That’s right.

Hyrum:  Jesus said we don’t drink alcohol because it puts holes in our teeth. That’s why they call it alco-hole.


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Michelle: Dear Heavenly Father, we’re thankful for a new day for swim lessons and potty training…

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Michelle made a special breakfast today, which we’ll only get to after a great deal of slightly related background exposition.

You see, it’s General Conference Sunday, which for us is a much bigger deal than Super Bowl Sunday. That’s because it’s one of only two Sundays out of the year where we stay home and don’t go to church.

Now, don’t get me wrongI love going to church, could talk for hours about the benefits of doing so and all that. But sometimes, just sometimesusually when I’ve stayed up way too late at nightI wish I didn’t have to wake up early enough to shower, eat, get the kids dressed and drive 30 minutes to get to our 9:00 am meeting. I do it, but just sometimes, that snooze button looks really enticing.

So twice a year, the first Sundays of April and October, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a world conference that we call General Conference. The leaders of the church speak to the entire church, teaching, encouraging, pointing the way the Lord would have us go for the next 6 months. There are five two-hour sessions that are spread over two days (three on Saturday and two on Sunday), which sounds like a lot, but there are two-hour breaks between each session, so you can still get other things done.

The conference is physically held in Salt Lake City, UT in the Conference Center, a massive, 21,000+ seat theater-type building constructed because the Tabernacle, the  world-famous home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir that was built by the Mormon pioneers in the latter half of the 1800s, is simply too small to accommodate everyone that wants to attend conference and hear the prophet and the other leaders of the church speak in person.

In order to reach the rest of the nearly 13 million members of the church worldwide, the conference proceedings are carried by satellite, cable and the internet to anyone who wants to watch. After going for about 6 months without cable, we recently signed up for the Dish network specifically because they carry BYU-TV, a satellite channel run out of BYU that carries church broadcasts (such as General Conference).

The sessions start at 10 am and 2 pm Mountain time, which means that for us here in Kansas, they don’t start until 11 am and 3 pm. Those extra 2½ hours on Sunday morning are like little miracles built right into the program of the church. Michelle likes to take that time to make a special breakfast that we can enjoy together, since most Sundays we just throw something together for everyone to eat in the car on the way to church. This morning’s meal was fantastic: eggs, sausage patties, English muffins and cheese (to make breakfast sandwiches), with hash browns, cantaloupe, bananas and orange juice. Wow.

I tore right into mine (after we said a prayer to bless the food, of course) with delight. It was fantastic. The kids seemed to be doing well, toowhile Chloe doesn’t really care for cantaloupe, we know that they love everything else we served, so we figured they would love the meal. We did note that they had a lot more food than they usually get for breakfast, so we mentally and emotionally prepared ourselves for the likelihood of them not eating everything.

When they stopped a bit earlier than even we had predicted, we tried to convince them to eat just a bite or two more. Quite surprising was the fact that Chloe didn’t touch her cheese. She normally devours cheese and asks for more before she’s even touched anything else. Hyrum’s the same. So, Michelle pointed to the cheese, stacked on top of her English muffin because there simply hadn’t been any other room anywhere else on the plate for it. Given that the muffins had been toasted, the cheese had turned a bit translucent. It never melted, but it sure had been thinking about it.  She asked Chloe to take a bite, but Chloe recoiled and said

But I don’t like sweaty cheese.

And frankly, I couldn’t blame her.

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There is no misfortune so bad that whining about it won’t make it worse.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

(Today and tomorrow, the 177th Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be taking place in Salt Lake City, UT. A number of leaders of the church will be speaking on a variety of topics. I’ll be posting some of my favorite tidbits as they come along. If you wish to listen or watch the conference online, click the above link to the conference and you’ll find a number of options and languages available to you.)

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the unpleasant aftermath

The Young Men and Young Women from church had a combined activity at the local little 4-lane bowling alley, The Lincoln Street Lanes, during Spring Break. Initially, we thought we’d need to rent the whole thing, all 4 lanes. When we counted better, we realized we’d probably only need three. As it turned out, we had 19 bowlers (6 people on 2 lanes, with 7 on the last) and could probably have done well with the extra lane. Oh well, we saved the church some money.

As everyone left, they handed their shoes to the clerk who lined them all up on the counter. It was too good to pass up.

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In the November 2006 issue of Wired, Gary Wolf writes of his experiences with a group of intellectuals that are setting out to start an all out war with what they see as the greatest single threat to civilization at the moment. Yes, I said the greatest threat to civilization, and they are not exaggerating when they say this. What could they possibly fear so deeply? What makes them lose sleep?


And no, lest you begin to think I’m referring to Islamic extremists who blow themselves up in the name of their God, they don’t mean them. They mean me: a normal Joe who believes in God. They mean the billions of Jews, Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims, Native Americans…essentially, anyone with a spiritual or religious belief whether they’re staunch practitioners or not. It doesn’t matter to them what God people believe init’s all the same to them.

They are called the New Atheists and they want to replace your faith with reason, religion with rational thought, salvation with science.


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At many times throughout a parent’s life, it can seem as if no matter how many times we try, our children never even seem to be aware that we are speaking to them. Giving them counsel. Trying to teach them. Reach them. Actually communicate with them. Anything.

But occasionally, very rarely, and always when they think we aren’t paying attention, we can see: something has gotten through.

Take this weekend, for example. However, to successfully take this weekend as an example, you’ll need a bit of background. Okay, it’s actually going to be a lot of background. So much so, that the original point may seem like a far away and distant place, just at the edge of memory. Especially since Rik is telling the story. So, apologies in advance, and on with the background. (more…)

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