Another Ruby book announced

Pro Ruby by Andrew Patzer from Apress. This looks like it's fast becoming a crowded field.


I loved it!

Beowulf is a great read. It’s very different from the Latin/Greek poetry (and the poetry influenced by them). My favorite translation is this one by Seamus Heaney.


Train Station Scenery

originally uploaded by pate.
Last year, my son and I went out to shoot some photo's to help him fulfill a Webelos requirement. We spent the morning down at the Sounder commuter rail station in Kent. I always thought this was a cool looking building, and his picture of it is great. Digital cameras and kids seem like a wonderful combination.

When I finally get around to building my dream N-scale railroad, this building is going to be a part of it.

Busy week

It looks like the coming week is going to be a busy one. In addition to the YW broadcast and general conference, I'm headed down to Salt Lake City on Wednesday on a one-day business trip, then heading over to the Seattle.rb meeting on Thursday.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to sit down to some smothered burritos with cheese and onions at La Frontera while I'm in Salt Lake -- they are one of the things I've really missed from the time I spent there.

The Seattle.rb meeting should be really cool. We're going to do an advanced session on Ruby on Rails and try to build a web application for storing and searching information (including inscriptions, data, and photos) from cemetaries.

a bit of a change

I've been semi-maintaining two separate blogs (a technical one, and this one) for a while. Since I keep falling behind on both of them, I've decided to bring them together under one umbrella and add some toys from flickr and 43 things, two sites that I've also been playing with. I'll be trying to clean things up a bit over the next week or so, but hopefully this will help me be a bit more 'engaged' in keeping both kinds of blog entries up to date.


Priesthood Preparation -- Lesson 1

Here's my draft outline for the first Priesthood Preparation lesson.

I Gaining a testimony of Jesus Christ (Alma 32)
A Why does it matter?
B How can I do it?
1 Personal and family scripture study
2 Personal and family prayer
3 Regular attendance at meetings
4 Giving service
II Priesthood Organization
A Aaronic
1 Role
2 Offices and duties
B Melchezidek
1 Role
2 Offices and duties
C Quorums
1 Purposes of
2 Membership in
3 Activities of
III Keeping Covenants
A Many kinds of covenants
B Basic principles
1 Understanding the covenant
2 Having a testimony
3 Having integrity
4 Making a daily effort
IV The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood
A Group reading of D & C 84:33-41
B Discuss individual application
C Magnifying callings

Does this look reasonable to everyone? What would you add/change?


Priesthood Advancement

In my stake, there used to be a 'Priesthood Preparation' class taught by the High Council. They've recently set this aside and asked each ward to put together something similar on their own. (They did provide their materials, but several of the leaders in my ward felt we could improve on them.) I've started to put together my ideas for such a class and wanted to share them here where I could get feedback on them.

I'm hoping to keep the class to five sessions of one hour. Each lesson will be built around one or two recent conference talks, supplemented with scriptures, and topped of with (a lot of) discussion. I expect that the talks and scriptures referenced in the lesson plan/handout will more than fill a one hour lesson, and hope that it will provide study material for the paricipants. I also intend to pass out each lesson plan at least one week ahead to allow people to read over and think about the material before we meet.

Lesson one will cover the importance and development of a testimony of Jesus Christ and the importance of being ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood. I'm thinking about using The Key of the Knowledge of God for one of the talks for this one.

Lesson two will cover Perfecting the Saints (our roles as husbands and fathers, service, and performing ordinances). I haven't settled on any talks yet for this one.

Lesson three will cover Proclaiming the Gospel (being a member missionary and doing home teaching). No talks yet for this one.

Lesson four will cover Redeeming the Dead (the importance of temple ordinances for ourselves and our families). No talks yet for this one either.

Lesson five will cover enduring to the end. I'm thinking about using Press On for this one.

I'm not committed to either of the talks above, but they both seemed to fit well with the theme of that lesson.

How can you help? I'd love feedback about the basic ideas, suggestions for talks that I might use, or specific recommendations for the individual lessons. As I get feedback, and work through my own thoughts, I'll post outlines for each of the lessons.

Comment away. Please.

Also looking at language in the Book of Mormon

Over on Millenial Star, Bryan Pocock is also taking a look at language in the Book of Mormon. He's focusing on phrases not often found in English, like the 'the something of Person' instead of 'Person's something'. A nice read.


Alessia and Adelbert Denaux

There's a very important discussion aboutAlessia and Adelbert Denaux over on Times & Seasons. If you've not already gone to look at it, you should now.


Wortschatz -- harrow

And in a quick second post, the second of two words: harrow.

This one is used outside of the Book of Mormon, but only in materials that should have been part of the plates of brass. It's use is also a bit more diverse.

The first uses are in 2 Sam 12:31 & 1 Chron 20:3. In these cases it is used to describe the implement. David is described as using harrows and other tools to put the people of Rabbah and the other cities of the children of Ammon to death.

In Job 39:10, the term is used strictly in the agricultural sense.

In 2 Ne 9:47 Jacob uses the term in a spiritual context as part of a triplet:
awake you
harrow up your souls
be plain unto you

The term is used to describe Zeezrom by Mormon (who may have been quoting Alma the Younger, see my discussion of tribulation) in Alma 14:6 and Alma 15:3. The first of these also looks like a triplet to me:
Zeezrom was astonished
his soul was harrowed up
he was encircled by the pains of hell

Ammon used the term in his missionary discourse in Alma 26:6. He describes the converts as being safe from being harrowed up by the whirlwind because they are safely gathered. This seems to be a different, more physical usage than the previous Book of Mormon uses of 'harrow'.

Alma the Younger also uses the term in his missionary sermone. In Alma 29:9, he is concerned that he is harrowed up in his desire -- like Ammon's use this seems to be more of an active, physical use rather than the spiritual meaning used by Jacob and about Zeezrom.

Alma uses the word four times in his second telling of his conversion story; Alma 36:12,17,19. The usage in verse 12 looks like a triplet again:
I was racked with torment
my soul was harrowed up
[I] was racked with all my sins

Alma also uses the word in teaching his son, Corianton. In Alma 39:7, he uses the term in a Jacobean sense.

Mormon makes the last use of the term that I could find in Mormon 5:8. In this case he is apologizing for bringing the awful vision of carnage before us.

I was especially interested at seeing how often Alma the Younger and Ammon used the terms 'harrow' and 'rack' together.

Wortschatz -- racked

Next up is the first of two words: racked.

I could only find it used in 4 places in the scriptures; twice by Alma, once by Ammon, and once by Moroni.

It first appears in Mosiah 27:29, where Alma is giving the first version of his great penitential discourse. Alma uses the term to describe the state of his soul while encumbered by sin.

Ammon uses it next, in Alma 26:9 he describes the Lamanites as being racked with hatred were it not for his (and his brothers') teaching the gospel.

Alma pickes the term up again in his second penitential discourse (Alma 36:12,14,16-17), given to his son Helamen. Again, he uses it to describe the guilt and suffering he experiences as a result of sin.

The last reference is found in Momon 9:3 where Moroni uses the term in the same context as Alma.