Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Meaning of Christmas

On this special day, let us remember the true meaning of Christmas: Jesus Christ came down to bring light where there was darkness and love where there was hate. He is the reason Christmas is worth celebrating. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

How the Grinch Stole...Utah?

 "Every Who Down in Who-ville Liked Christmas a lot... But the Grinch, Who lived just north of Who-ville, Did NOT!" - Dr. Seuss1 

Children everywhere know and love Dr. Suess' classic story How the Grinch Stole Christmas! It is beloved for its catchy rhymes, its whimsical spirit, and most of all for its message on the true spirit of Christmas. So when Hollywood came out with a feature-length movie based on this beloved book, it became an instant hit, grossing over $345 million worldwide.2 Ron Howard directed the movie with Brian Grazer producing, and Jim Carrey portrayed the iconic title character.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Things Mormon Culture Does Right

"As a way to help us keep the commandments of God, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have what we call a gospel culture. It is a distinctive way of life, a set of values and expectations and practices common to all members." - Elder Dallin H. Oaks1

Love it or hate it, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at least at the local level, brings with it a culture rife with eccentric customs, unfortunate social norms, and far-fetched folklore. These things are not endorsed by the Church proper, but they are perpetuated by the Mormon community and become just as much a part of Mormon life as our official beliefs and practices. Thankfully, many of the bad ideas of Mormon culture are being changed and rooted out as Mormonism matures and expands. Church members are having conversations every day about what it means to be Mormon and how we can make our imperfect culture better match our heavenly cause. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

To Measure a Mission

“For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul.” (Doctrine and Covenants 4:4)

When President Monson announced the change in missionary age limits in October 20121, it drastically changed Mormon culture. Suddenly every worthy young man could begin his mission immediately after high school and every young woman could enter the field at age 19. Since then there has been a huge influx of young people choosing to serve.