Scripture Mastery

Here's a fun website for those of you trying to keep up with your seminary students: LDS Scripture Mastery. All it needs now is an rss feed. Thanks for the great site David.


More about Alma the Younger's poetry

I'm not sure how I missed it, but Meridian Magazine published a third article about the poetry of Alma the Younger back in November. The only reason I noticed it is that they just published a fourth. Looks like an early Christmas present to me.

A quick change of format

I've just added Ebenezer Orthodoxy's recent comments hack to my sidebar. Thanks Ebenezer!


Writing a Hymn

Orson Scott Card has written a series of articles about writing hymns. This struck a chord with me and reminded me of an article from FARMS, Two Hymns Based on Nephi's Psalm (available in PDF only).

I've appreciated Alma the Younger's poetic style for a long time, so I sat down to try my hand at a hymn influenced by his words. This work is based on Mosiah 27:24-31 and Alma 36:12-24

I was caught fast by sin's cold chain,
He took away my pain.
My limbs received their strength again,
I stood upon my feet.

I stood in darkness, endless night,
'til Jesus touch'd my sight.
Then oh what joy, what marv'lous light,
my soul was filled with joy.

The world groans in its bitterness,
but soon the Son will bless.
Each knee will bow, each tongue confess,
that Jesus is the Christ.

I don't have any music written for this, but it should work well with the music from any 8686 hymn (slower music seems to fit the best).

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


Aspirin and too-tight hats

There's a new blog entry by John Bytheway at the Mormon-Life section of Deseret Book. He talks about an important facet of the way we (human beings) often think — focusing on symptoms and not causes.

I'm spending a lot of time looking at home teaching and other indicators of conversion in my ward right now. The desire for a quick fix to poor home teaching is not only not going to help 'fix' home teaching, it's liable to hurt.

(This entry's title comes from my comment at John's blog.)


Good Bye Wump Blog

Wump Blog is going away while Danithew concentrates on finishing his Master's degree. Wump Blog has been a favored read of mine for quite a while. At least I can take solace in Danithew's comment that he's not going away, just his blog. I'll look forward to seeing his ocasional comments, and (when the time comes) a return to blogging.


A New Stake Presidency - Part 3

About four weeks after our bishopric was reorganized, I got a phone call from the stake executive secretary asking my wife and I to come in and meet with our new stake president the next morning. During this meeting, he asked me to serve as the new elders quorum president. I spent a good deal of the day praying about the quorum, my role, and who should serve as counselors.

The elders quorum presidency was reorganized two weeks later. I have two wonderful brethren serving as my counselors, a member of the young men's presidnecy and the former second counselor. The following week, the last of the cascading callings took place. While there will be changes in the future, we've hit the end of a series of changes that have been enlightening and inspiring. At one point during this course, I wrote the following in my journal:

There are a number of brethren in the ward who could be called as our new bishop. This has lead my family and I to do a great deal of thinking and praying -- Are we living the gospel to the best of our ability? Are we going to be able to support our new bishop and his counselors? Will we be able to be a strength to the ward in this time of change?

No matter what happens, this has been a fruitful time for us. We have identified many places where we can improve. I hope that we will exercise our faith and make these improvments.

Indeed, times of change present us all with many opportunities for introspection and growth. It's up to us whether we'll take advantage of those opportunities.


A New Stake Presidency - Part 2

It took longer than I'd thought it would for our Bishopric to be reorganized. Once again, the time leading up to it were awash in speculation. Having felt the witness I'd prayed for when the stake presidency was called, I began praying for the same kind of witness in this reorganization. My ten year old son and I spent some time talking about why it was important to have your own testimony and witness of these callings, and he spent some time praying for a witness himself.

When the call came (in mid-October), I was again blessed with a confirmation of the call. The new bishop is a very humble man, who has a great deal of leadership experience. His first counselor was first counselor to our previous bishop as well. The new second counselor was serving as the president of the elders quorum, which meant there was more churn ahead.

In a nice show of meekly serving, the former second counselor helped pass the sacrement the week after the reorganization (we have three active Young Men). He ended up passing sacrament to the new bishopric and the others on the stand.

new blog to read

I just followed a pointer to Virtual Theology. I have to say that I enjoyed it. I'll look forward to reading it in the future.


A New Stake Presidency -- Part 1

Some time ago, I wrote about the impending reorganization of our stake presidency and implied that I'd be writing more about it. I'm finally getting around to it.

In the days leading up to Stake Conference (in September), I seemed to spend more and more time praying that I'd be able to have a witness of the callings being made. It was on my mind a lot, and the speculation that whirled about made the topic hard to avoid.

During one of the initial sessions, I had the opportunity to sit with Elder Sorenson. It's always interesting to be in the presence of a general authority, in my experience they bring a special presence. Having just been taught by him, and knowing that we had either already called, or was just getting ready to call, the new stake president I felt a strong confirmation of the business he would be conducting.

Then in our Sunday morning session, Elder Sorenson announced the new presidency. The president and his first counselor where both called from the high council. They were men who I respected and who's spirituality I'd experienced. The real shock came when they announced the new second counselor, my bishop. Over the last two years I've worked closely with him as the ward clerk and as the ward mission leader. I know that he'll be a tremendous asset to the stake and will make an excellent counselor. Once again, I felt a strong confirmation of the calling of these brethren.

With our bishop moving on to a new calling, more changes lie ahead.

a pattern of procrastination (and a side note)

I've been trying to write about the patterns mentioned in my last post, but I haven't been able to get any traction. Instead of fighting it any longer, I'll just write about some other stuff for a while.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm saddened to see that so many people are getting involved in the apparent action against Brother Palmer. Publishing a press release or otherwise discussing something that should remain a private matter strikes me as both inappropriate and incredibly sad.