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Thread: Mormonism in the Media

  1. #1
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Mormonism in the Media

    Jana Reiss, who I think is a fair, prolific (and not apologetic) commentator on Mormonism, has this interesting piece on her blog:

    Do Mormons get fair treatment in the media? A Q&A with J.B. Haws

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  2. #2
    Malleus Cougarorum Solon's Avatar
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    Slate recently put out a cool write-up on the Deseret Alphabet.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault...he_church.html

    The blog also contains a link to a deseret-alphabet translation of the XKCD cartoons.
    Kind of fun



    http://www.deseretalphabet.info/XKCD/1380.html


    I'm not sure I really buy the idea that I heard as a kid, that the Deseret Alphabet was primarily intended to help non-English-speaking immigrants assimilate. Sure, that might have been part of the story, but this really drives at heightening the peculiarity of God's peculiar people, and of emphasizing separation with the rest of the world.

    On the one hand, interest in philology & an increased emphasis on "scientific" linguistics is typical of the 19th century (Esperanto, anyone?).
    One the other hand, inventing a secret code for the initiates is a surefire way to emphasize exclusivity.

    At any rate, the alphabet speaks to Brigham Young's boldness of vision.
    σοφῷ ἀνδρὶ Ἑλλὰς πάντα.
    -- Flavius Philostratus, Life of Apollonius 1.35.2.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    Slate recently put out a cool write-up on the Deseret Alphabet.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault...he_church.html

    The blog also contains a link to a deseret-alphabet translation of the XKCD cartoons.
    Kind of fun



    http://www.deseretalphabet.info/XKCD/1380.html


    I'm not sure I really buy the idea that I heard as a kid, that the Deseret Alphabet was primarily intended to help non-English-speaking immigrants assimilate. Sure, that might have been part of the story, but this really drives at heightening the peculiarity of God's peculiar people, and of emphasizing separation with the rest of the world.

    On the one hand, interest in philology & an increased emphasis on "scientific" linguistics is typical of the 19th century (Esperanto, anyone?).
    One the other hand, inventing a secret code for the initiates is a surefire way to emphasize exclusivity.

    At any rate, the alphabet speaks to Brigham Young's boldness of vision.
    I used to have a copy of the Book of Mormon in the Deseret Alphabet and a school book too. I can't remember the exact phrasing in it, but it basically explained it was about exclusiveness, the building up of Zion and to protect the people against their enemies.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    I used to have a copy of the Book of Mormon in the Deseret Alphabet and a school book too. I can't remember the exact phrasing in it, but it basically explained it was about exclusiveness, the building up of Zion and to protect the people against their enemies.
    Ha should have read the article first. That was what my Book of Mormon looked like and the school primer. I wonder what happened to those actually...

  5. #5
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Good grief. Everything about the look and feel of that site is a shameless rip-off of the New York Times. I had to make sure this wasn't a Times article.

    As for the content, there's certainly nothing really untrue or offensive about it (I guess I'm a little offended by the refusal to own up to the responsiblity for the current problem of polygamy), but nothing really thought provoking or even original either.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    Good grief. Everything about the look and feel of that site is a shameless rip-off of the New York Times. I had to make sure this wasn't a Times article.

    As for the content, there's certainly nothing really untrue or offensive about it (I guess I'm a little offended by the refusal to own up to the responsiblity for the current problem of polygamy), but nothing really thought provoking or even original either.
    If it looks like a New York Times special feature it's because each site respectively is using the same Web framework as the backbone for their layout. The New York Times didn't invent it and they are not the first to employ it, for special features or op-eds.

    As a white, middle aged American do you own up to every and any cultural peculiarity unique to United States? If not, why not? You are as much to blame as anyone.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by tooblue View Post
    If it looks like a New York Times special feature it's because each site respectively is using the same Web framework as the backbone for their layout. The New York Times didn't invent it and they are not the first to employ it, for special features or op-eds.

    As a white, middle aged American do you own up to every and any cultural peculiarity unique to United States? If not, why not? You are as much to blame as anyone.
    I have never before seen this except for the Times. I doubt the Times' look and feal comes from an off the shelf product. And this was painstakingly created to ape the Times.

    They are trying to absolve the LDS movement of any responsiblity for polygamy and its attendant social ills. Were someone for some reason to write a piece defending all white males as misunderstood and underappreciated because of the atrocities some white males have committed I don't see how that could be done without acknowleding that there still exists injury to society resulting from atrocities committed by some white males.

    This is just a puff piece. It's not worth getting into an argument about. It's got no more substance than those I'm a Mormon billboards. Nobody is saying all Mormons are like Warren Jeffs.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    I have never before seen this except for the Times. I doubt the Times' look and feal comes from an off the shelf product. And this was painstakingly created to ape the Times.

    They are trying to absolve the LDS movement of any responsiblity for polygamy and its attendant social ills. Were someone for some reason to write a piece defending all white males as misunderstood and underappreciated because of the atrocities some white males have committed I don't see how that could be done without acknowleding that there still exists injury to society resulting from atrocities committed by some white males.

    This is just a puff piece. It's not worth getting into an argument about. It's got no more substance than those I'm a Mormon billboards. Nobody is saying all Mormons are like Warren Jeffs.
    I teach this stuff for a living. It's off the shelf. For example, you can find the framework for free at http://tympanus.net/codrops/

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by tooblue View Post
    I teach this stuff for a living. It's off the shelf. For example, you can find the framework for free at http://tympanus.net/codrops/
    You are correct. And this format was chosen specifically for a reason.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    You are correct. And this format was chosen specifically for a reason.
    Of course it was. Because it renders the site responsive ... like every other site on the World Wide Web that wants it's content to flow naturally as it is resized on any given device that may be accessing it, and for no other reason. Please, don't be so daft. The New York Times didn't invent responsive design. Nor are they first, second or even third adopters ... they are late generation adopters of responsive design practices like nearly every other Site on the WWW.
    Last edited by tooblue; 12-02-2014 at 10:04 PM.

  12. #12
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I liked this:


    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  13. #13

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I liked this:

    I've been following these ladies for a while. They're great. Glad that they're voice is being heard. It just needs to be amplified about x10,000.

  15. #15
    Malleus Cougarorum Solon's Avatar
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    The Mormon Leaks on YouTube.
    Kind of interesting, and sure to stir controversy.

    i was kind of impressed with Gerritt Gong. He seemed cool and patient under questioning.

    https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCJTIFO9JJWiXABNXHDUKj4A
    σοφῷ ἀνδρὶ Ἑλλὰς πάντα.
    -- Flavius Philostratus, Life of Apollonius 1.35.2.

  16. #16
    Gerritt Gong is a highly educated and extremely experienced government official with years of work in international relations and security before he became a college professor.

    He is giving a well-researched and important high-level presentation on Wikileaks and how it could affect the church.

    So why in the HELL are the Q12 so concerned about whether Julian Assange and Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning were gay.

    There is a real concern that truly damaging information could have been released, and they were only concerned about how the leaks could be used to 'further the gay agenda'.

    These need to get outside of their tiny, little, restrictive, bubbles.

  17. #17
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    Gerritt Gong is a highly educated and extremely experienced government official with years of work in international relations and security before he became a college professor.

    He is giving a well-researched and important high-level presentation on Wikileaks and how it could affect the church.

    So why in the HELL are the Q12 so concerned about whether Julian Assange and Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning were gay.

    There is a real concern that truly damaging information could have been released, and they were only concerned about how the leaks could be used to 'further the gay agenda'.

    These need to get outside of their tiny, little, restrictive, bubbles.
    I will just speculate. I am not defending for opposing anything. This appears to be a strategy meeting. What might be called the "gay lobby" (nothing pejorative intended there, merely a descriptive term) is highly organized and quite influential. It also is not friendly, by and large, to the church, for obvious reasons. It seems logical to ask if those individuals are tied into that lobby.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  18. #18
    Malleus Cougarorum Solon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    Gerritt Gong is a highly educated and extremely experienced government official with years of work in international relations and security before he became a college professor.

    He is giving a well-researched and important high-level presentation on Wikileaks and how it could affect the church.

    So why in the HELL are the Q12 so concerned about whether Julian Assange and Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning were gay.

    There is a real concern that truly damaging information could have been released, and they were only concerned about how the leaks could be used to 'further the gay agenda'.

    These need to get outside of their tiny, little, restrictive, bubbles.
    I wish we had exact dates on these videos. If I remember correctly, there was an LDS handbook 1 on Wikileaks at one time a few years ago.

    yep. I did recall correctly: https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Mormon_Ch...ructions,_2006

    edit: apparently there are exact dates. This trib article has dates.
    http://www.sltrib.com/lifestyle/fait...-in?fullpage=1
    Last edited by Solon; 10-02-2016 at 08:04 PM.
    σοφῷ ἀνδρὶ Ἑλλὰς πάντα.
    -- Flavius Philostratus, Life of Apollonius 1.35.2.

  19. #19
    Ill be interested in seeing who it was who leaked these. Disgruntled former employee who is now a Dehlinite or Kellyite? Hacker? Photo op john was on this one pretty early in the game...

  20. #20
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Church response.

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/8...-apostles.html


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  21. #21
    1. Gordon Smith's remarks are probably the most damaging. Voted for the Iraq War to open up Iraq for missionaries? Uh-Oh. Mitt may find some relief in not winning, in 2012.

    2. The fixation with the LGBT movement will be damaging, but mostly within the LDS ecosystem, maybe being a Xth "final nail" in BYU's Big12 application - but nobody else cares, too much. I'm sure the LGBT movement will use it to their advantage, but their list of targets is vast. Within the LDS ecosystem, the damage may linger into the future, like the priesthood ban did, long after it was eliminated.

    3. There is some solace to be found in how this doesn't really shock too much, and among the various "leaks" scandals, this just doesn't hold up, compared to what we're hearing about how Trump was fixated on how "hot" contestants (and even camera operators) on The Apprentice were - but that they weren't as hot as his daughter, Ivanka, of course. (Reasonable Republicans should start to hope he doesn't win, as he'll indelibly label the GOP as the "Party of Pervs", for a generation.)

    4. We live in an age where information overload is chronic, and numbing. Everyone has filters, the days of Walter Cronkite telling the nation how things are is long gone. The brethren are going to have to work harder if they really want to stay in the news cycle for an extended trip.
    Last edited by Ma'ake; 10-03-2016 at 09:13 AM.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    1. Gordon Smith's remarks are probably the most damaging. Voted for the Iraq War to open up Iraq for missionaries? Uh-Oh. Mitt may find some relief in not winning, in 2012.

    2. The fixation with the LGBT movement will be damaging, but mostly within the LDS ecosystem, maybe being a Xth "final nail" in BYU's Big12 application - but nobody else cares, too much. I'm sure the LGBT movement will use it to their advantage, but their list of targets is vast. Within the LDS ecosystem, the damage may linger into the future, like the priesthood ban did, long after it was eliminated.

    3. There is some solace to be found in how this doesn't really shock too much, and among the various "leaks" scandals, this just doesn't hold up, compared to what we're hearing about how Trump was fixated on how "hot" contestants (and even camera operators) on The Apprentice were - but that they weren't as hot as his daughter, Ivanka, of course. (Reasonable Republicans should start to hope he doesn't win, as he'll indelibly label the GOP as the "Party of Pervs", for a generation.)

    4. We live in an age where information overload is chronic, and numbing. Everyone has filters, the days of Walter Cronkite telling the nation how things are is long gone. The brethren are going to have to work harder if they really want to stay in the news cycle for an extended trip.
    I agree on #1, although I'll note that is his opinion and not something that the Q12 brethren were saying to him. We've all sat in meeting with kooks before and the normal Mormon reaction is to put your head down and let the goof push through.

    I watched the video that has people in a supposed uproar over the 'gay agenda' remark by Oaks. After an 8 minute presentation about Wikileaks and Pvt Manning Oaks says something like, "Did you say he was gay? That's the first time I've heard that..." presumably because he was familiar with the story of Manning leaking info to Wikileaks already. He then speculates that maybe the media suppressed that part of the story as part of the 'Gay Agenda'. Then someone off camera, not sure what he is talking about, asks if Assange is gay. Entire discussion on that was about 1 minute in length, so hardly something that you could conclude was an obsession. We already know the church is concerned about that and I think he was just ruminating off the cuff, not that that was the actual big takeaway from the meeting. People are also critical that is all they seem to focus on, but we also don't even know what else they talked about that day. I know my Mormon meetings and there is no such thing as a 10 minute Mormon meeting.

    I remember when Elder Perry talked about 'counterfeit lifestyles' and thinking, "That is probably the nicest thing a 92yo man has ever said about homosexuality." Much of the same with all of this, I don't think a new thing was even revealed about the Q12 and people are getting up in arms over reports of what was said versus watching it themselves, because if they did I doubt they'd see much of a story.

    I was also thinking of the context of these discussions, etc. in relation to a meeting I sat in about two weeks ago. I was sitting in on a meeting of a client of mine, all people I know very well. They were covering some recruiting efforts (something that had nothing to do with me) and one of the male recruiters talked about how he had taken a male potential recruiting target to a movie. Another guys joked, "Ross is resorting to dating his recruits now..." and everyone laughed. He then joked back, "I'm willing to switch sides for you boss..." to more laughter, and then his boss said, "For me? I'm a little curious..." to even more laughter. I'm thinking if that snippet of conversation was recorded and released you'd have a lot of people upset at this company and me sitting there being complicit in the joke or something. Yet all of us here have sat in on a meeting like that with no big deal.

    So I just can't get wound up by a bunch of people very familiar with each other sitting in a non-policy binding meeting asking different questions or making different jokes. I've sat in enough meetings like that to know better. Plus you get familiar enough with people you almost know the questions they are going to ask. Other than Oaks asking what he did, nobody seemed remotely rousted about that issue.

    In short, even taking off my Mormon goggles I'm having a hard time seeing this as a story at all.
    Last edited by Rocker Ute; 10-03-2016 at 09:56 AM.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    I agree on #1, although I'll note that is his [Gordon Smith's] opinion and not something that the Q12 brethren were saying to him. We've all sat in meeting with kooks before and the normal Mormon reaction is to put your head down and let the goof push through.
    The timeline on Gordon Smith's positions on Iraq are interesting, though not that "scandalous". Voted to authorized force in Iraq in late 2002, like many others, including H Clinton. In 2006 began criticizing the Iraq War. Then in 2008-09, gave this explanation to this internal LDS committee, said he felt strong about the Iraq topic, at the time. Almost a confession / rationalization.

    So, I don't think he was a kook, but rather was reflecting on his decision, and sharing a personal faith "revelation/prompting" aspect.

    One thing that has taken a beating in the past 10-15 years is the general "Gift of Discernment" notion. From the photo of Apostle GBH shaking hands with Mark Hoffman, to a lot of other examples, the level of "certainty" leaders have about topics is subdued, compared to the past, in general.

    Explaining previous pronouncements, policies, even "conditional prophecies" is a toughie, because social understandings move at tsunami speeds, and the Internet has everything in the past 150 years at our fingertips. I was long out of the church, but reading about JFS's opinions about the Apollo program was eyebrow raising, since I grew up being taught the top level guys were basically oracles of divine thinking. He was saying nothing not too different from the First Presidency letters in the late 40s on race, but they shy away from those kind of pronouncements, nowadays... although the young womens leader's recent remarks may take some heat.

    History is an unforgiving prism.

  24. #24
    Malleus Cougarorum Solon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    I agree on #1, although I'll note that is his opinion and not something that the Q12 brethren were saying to him. We've all sat in meeting with kooks before and the normal Mormon reaction is to put your head down and let the goof push through.

    I watched the video that has people in a supposed uproar over the 'gay agenda' remark by Oaks. After an 8 minute presentation about Wikileaks and Pvt Manning Oaks says something like, "Did you say he was gay? That's the first time I've heard that..." presumably because he was familiar with the story of Manning leaking info to Wikileaks already. He then speculates that maybe the media suppressed that part of the story as part of the 'Gay Agenda'. Then someone off camera, not sure what he is talking about, asks if Assange is gay. Entire discussion on that was about 1 minute in length, so hardly something that you could conclude was an obsession. We already know the church is concerned about that and I think he was just ruminating off the cuff, not that that was the actual big takeaway from the meeting. People are also critical that is all they seem to focus on, but we also don't even know what else they talked about that day. I know my Mormon meetings and there is no such thing as a 10 minute Mormon meeting.

    I remember when Elder Perry talked about 'counterfeit lifestyles' and thinking, "That is probably the nicest thing a 92yo man has ever said about homosexuality." Much of the same with all of this, I don't think a new thing was even revealed about the Q12 and people are getting up in arms over reports of what was said versus watching it themselves, because if they did I doubt they'd see much of a story.

    I was also thinking of the context of these discussions, etc. in relation to a meeting I sat in about two weeks ago. I was sitting in on a meeting of a client of mine, all people I know very well. They were covering some recruiting efforts (something that had nothing to do with me) and one of the male recruiters talked about how he had taken a male potential recruiting target to a movie. Another guys joked, "Ross is resorting to dating his recruits now..." and everyone laughed. He then joked back, "I'm willing to switch sides for you boss..." to more laughter, and then his boss said, "For me? I'm a little curious..." to even more laughter. I'm thinking if that snippet of conversation was recorded and released you'd have a lot of people upset at this company and me sitting there being complicit in the joke or something. Yet all of us here have sat in on a meeting like that with no big deal.

    So I just can't get wound up by a bunch of people very familiar with each other sitting in a non-policy binding meeting asking different questions or making different jokes. I've sat in enough meetings like that to know better. Plus you get familiar enough with people you almost know the questions they are going to ask. Other than Oaks asking what he did, nobody seemed remotely rousted about that issue.

    In short, even taking off my Mormon goggles I'm having a hard time seeing this as a story at all.
    It's not up to me whether it's scandalous or not, but I found it fascinating to see leadership in non-General-Conference speaking situations.
    Not that we needed any reminders, but it really brought home to me how corporate the church is.
    While I don't really fault the church for that, that board room is a loooong ways from a group of ex-fishermen huddling in a house in 1st century Capernaum.
    σοφῷ ἀνδρὶ Ἑλλὰς πάντα.
    -- Flavius Philostratus, Life of Apollonius 1.35.2.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    I agree on #1, although I'll note that is his opinion and not something that the Q12 brethren were saying to him. We've all sat in meeting with kooks before and the normal Mormon reaction is to put your head down and let the goof push through.

    I watched the video that has people in a supposed uproar over the 'gay agenda' remark by Oaks. After an 8 minute presentation about Wikileaks and Pvt Manning Oaks says something like, "Did you say he was gay? That's the first time I've heard that..." presumably because he was familiar with the story of Manning leaking info to Wikileaks already. He then speculates that maybe the media suppressed that part of the story as part of the 'Gay Agenda'. Then someone off camera, not sure what he is talking about, asks if Assange is gay. Entire discussion on that was about 1 minute in length, so hardly something that you could conclude was an obsession. We already know the church is concerned about that and I think he was just ruminating off the cuff, not that that was the actual big takeaway from the meeting. People are also critical that is all they seem to focus on, but we also don't even know what else they talked about that day. I know my Mormon meetings and there is no such thing as a 10 minute Mormon meeting.

    I remember when Elder Perry talked about 'counterfeit lifestyles' and thinking, "That is probably the nicest thing a 92yo man has ever said about homosexuality." Much of the same with all of this, I don't think a new thing was even revealed about the Q12 and people are getting up in arms over reports of what was said versus watching it themselves, because if they did I doubt they'd see much of a story.

    I was also thinking of the context of these discussions, etc. in relation to a meeting I sat in about two weeks ago. I was sitting in on a meeting of a client of mine, all people I know very well. They were covering some recruiting efforts (something that had nothing to do with me) and one of the male recruiters talked about how he had taken a male potential recruiting target to a movie. Another guys joked, "Ross is resorting to dating his recruits now..." and everyone laughed. He then joked back, "I'm willing to switch sides for you boss..." to more laughter, and then his boss said, "For me? I'm a little curious..." to even more laughter. I'm thinking if that snippet of conversation was recorded and released you'd have a lot of people upset at this company and me sitting there being complicit in the joke or something. Yet all of us here have sat in on a meeting like that with no big deal.

    So I just can't get wound up by a bunch of people very familiar with each other sitting in a non-policy binding meeting asking different questions or making different jokes. I've sat in enough meetings like that to know better. Plus you get familiar enough with people you almost know the questions they are going to ask. Other than Oaks asking what he did, nobody seemed remotely rousted about that issue.

    In short, even taking off my Mormon goggles I'm having a hard time seeing this as a story at all.
    The big takeaway is mormon apostles sit through a lot of boring meetings in unattractive rooms.

    Learning that Oaks is obsessed with the "gay" agenda and media bias? Not that big of a deal, everyone knows that already.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Applejack View Post
    The big takeaway is mormon apostles sit through a lot of boring meetings in unattractive rooms.

    Learning that Oaks is obsessed with the "gay" agenda and media bias? Not that big of a deal, everyone knows that already.
    Oh, and LOL at the apostle (I forget which, Andersen?) who can't for the life pronounce Al-Jazeera. He must try 30 different iterations (Al-Jazzeer, Al-Jazz, Al-Jazeeri) but he can't get it. Reminds me of my mom trying to say Bjorn.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    It's not up to me whether it's scandalous or not, but I found it fascinating to see leadership in non-General-Conference speaking situations.
    Not that we needed any reminders, but it really brought home to me how corporate the church is.
    While I don't really fault the church for that, that board room is a loooong ways from a group of ex-fishermen huddling in a house in 1st century Capernaum.
    Absolutely. This is corrosive of the deification of themselves they've carefully cultivated. Do they sound like gods?

    It's well documented Oaks is obsessed with homosexuality. In the 70s He was writing legal memos about stopping the homosexual agenda. This hatred has probably warped his whole outlook about everything.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    The timeline on Gordon Smith's positions on Iraq are interesting, though not that "scandalous". Voted to authorized force in Iraq in late 2002, like many others, including H Clinton. In 2006 began criticizing the Iraq War. Then in 2008-09, gave this explanation to this internal LDS committee, said he felt strong about the Iraq topic, at the time. Almost a confession / rationalization.

    So, I don't think he was a kook, but rather was reflecting on his decision, and sharing a personal faith "revelation/prompting" aspect.

    One thing that has taken a beating in the past 10-15 years is the general "Gift of Discernment" notion. From the photo of Apostle GBH shaking hands with Mark Hoffman, to a lot of other examples, the level of "certainty" leaders have about topics is subdued, compared to the past, in general.

    Explaining previous pronouncements, policies, even "conditional prophecies" is a toughie, because social understandings move at tsunami speeds, and the Internet has everything in the past 150 years at our fingertips. I was long out of the church, but reading about JFS's opinions about the Apollo program was eyebrow raising, since I grew up being taught the top level guys were basically oracles of divine thinking. He was saying nothing not too different from the First Presidency letters in the late 40s on race, but they shy away from those kind of pronouncements, nowadays... although the young womens leader's recent remarks may take some heat.

    History is an unforgiving prism.
    The Iraq war stuff was a meh, the 'most important certificate...' thing or whatever he said was kooky to me. Look, if you are religious God wins. But as most of us agreed, when you are work your job is to do your job, which is why most LDS people didn't support that clerk who refused to do gay marriages. So I would say that he should say, "I was elected to represent my constituents..." kind of like Romney said when questioned about his affiliations. That was the stuff I found weird. I'll also say all of that sounded more like political pandering than the truth. I know politicians in Utah who would say the same thing to their church leaders and pop open a beer right after.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Applejack View Post
    The big takeaway is mormon apostles sit through a lot of boring meetings in unattractive rooms.

    Learning that Oaks is obsessed with the "gay" agenda and media bias? Not that big of a deal, everyone knows that already.
    Applejack sums up what I was trying to say in two sentences. Hats off.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    This is corrosive of the deification of themselves they've carefully cultivated. Do they sound like gods?
    Lol. Yes, yes they do. Keep in mind your own perceptions are warped by decades of fixation on a subject.

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