Posted on December 27, 2008 by Dennis
This is the second of a series of short posts entitled “Meditations on Time.” In this series I will explore some of my thoughts and experiences concerning time and the gospel.
In my previous post, I talked about my childhood fear of living forever. As a young boy, I thought that living forever would be boring and even frightening. I concluded that I would simply live in the present and not worry too much about it.
What I’m aiming to do in this series is to discuss why this childhood view — simply live in the present — is problematic.
I know it’s a couple days after Christmas, but I would like to briefly talk about Ebenezer Scrooge’s resolution at the end of A Christmas Carol. After being shown his tombstone by the Ghost of Christmas Future, Scrooge pleas:
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.
Filed under: Literature, Relationships, Religious Experience | Tagged: A Christmas Carol, alienation, Atonement, Charles Dickens, Christmas, consumerism, Cratchitt, death, Ebenezer Scrooge, eternal life, existentialism, Fezziwig, Ghost of Christmas Future, Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, Gospel of Jesus Christ, Irvin Yalom, Jesus Christ, Latter-day Saints, LDS, materialism, Mormons, oncology, time, Tiny Tim | 3 Comments »
Posted on October 9, 2008 by Dennis
The Church has released a few details about the newly announced temples in Philadelphia, Kansas City, Rome, Calgary, and Córdoba Argentina.
Here is what I know:
Filed under: Architecture, Mormon Culture | Tagged: Alberta, Alexander Doniphan, Broad Street Philadelphia, Caldwell County Missouri, Calgary, Córdoba Argentina, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, City Hall Philadelphia, Clay County Missouri, Far West, Haun's Mill, Italy, Jack Mormons, Kansas City, Liberty Jail, Manhattan Temple, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Rome, Shoal Creek Missouri, temples, Tuscany/Royal Oak C-Train station, Villa Belgrano | 6 Comments »
Posted on August 13, 2008 by Jeff Thayne
Today, I would like to consider two different genres of fiction: fantasy and science fiction. The way in which I talk about them will probably be different than the way a literary expert would talk about them; I make no claims to any serious research in this post, but rather I would just like to share some personal thoughts I have had when comparing the two genres.
Today, we live in a world where it is assumed that everything that happens has a “scientific explanation.” This means more than that everything is explanable; it means that everything is understandable and accountable in terms of matter governed by mathematical laws. If anything out of the ordinary happens, we simply assume that it can be explained scientifically, even if we don’t exactly know how yet. This modern perspective is often called scientific naturalism. This perspective is intricately connected with determinism, which is the assumption that all events are predictable, if you know all of the antecedent circumstances. In other words, whatever happens, happens inevitably. Continue reading
Filed under: Literature, Philosophy, Science | Tagged: agency, Aristotle, biology, determinism, fantasy, fiction, free will, God, LDS, magic, Mormons, psychology, reductionism, science fiction, scientific naturalism, spirits, teleology | 20 Comments »
Posted on July 19, 2008 by Trevor
I’ve been really enjoying the McCain-Obama discussions over the past several weeks. They’ve become increasingly relevant for me as I feel my political views are so rapidly changing due to my Eastern European adventures. There seems to be more and more political questioning and discussion. Though there seems to be polarization on some fronts, on the whole I’ve noticed a greater desire for understanding in web discussions.
My time here in Poland has facilitated me moving more to the right politically and economically than ever before. Yet a few films have been on my mind lately that point, in some ways, to the left. I wanted to share a short list. Continue reading
Filed under: Film, Politics | Tagged: 9/11, Al Gore, Alex Gibney, An Inconvenient Truth, An Unreasonable Man, Andrew Jarecki, Bowling for Columbine, Eisenhower, Enron, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Errol Morris, Fahrenheit 9/11, Fight Club, Fog of War, Fortune Magazine, Frank Capra, global warming, Hearts and Minds, Iraq war, Michael Moore, Ralph Nader, Robert McNamara, Vietnam War, war, Why We Fight | 4 Comments »
Posted on July 9, 2008 by Dennis
I hope everyone has had a chance to read Deirdre Paulsen’s excellent (short) article in this month’s Ensign, “Faith in His Step and a Song in His Heart.” Sister Paulsen tells the story of Paulo Tvuarde, a Brazilian Latter-day Saint who, out of necessity, walked 25 miles (40 km) to church each week (usually missing once a month) for at least 14 years. This required him to begin walking at 3 a.m. The story was an inspiring one for me, when I thought of Paulo and the sacrifices that he made to worship and be with his fellow saints each week.
Reading Paulo’s story also reminded me, of course, how small a matter it is that my (pregnant) wife and I have started to leave 10 minutes earlier in order to walk about a half mile to church each week. We are happy to see several other walking couples in our ward, including several with infants and toddlers. But we walkers are a very small minority in my ward and stake. (We are in a BYU married stake with nine wards that meet in the same building; our apartment is probably the average distance from the meetinghouse.) Continue reading
Filed under: Mormon Culture, Poetry, Relationships | Tagged: addiction, automobiles, community, Deirdre Paulsen, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, exercise, gas prices, globalization, LDS, leisure, Mormon Culture, Mormons, nature, oil, oil addiction, Out of Your Car Off Your Horse, Paulo Tvuarde, The Problem of Tobacco, tobacco, walking, walking to church, Wendell Berry | 11 Comments »
Posted on June 14, 2008 by Dennis
Everyone is worried about the economy, including the inflation of the U.S. dollar.
But I wish to express my concerns about a different kind of inflation: ovation inflation.
Years ago I came to the term “ovation inflation” independently, but after I googled the term about a month ago, I realized, once again, that I am not as unique as I thought. “Ovation inflation” has been discussed in blogs, online magazines, and even the Wall Street Journal. In her WSJ article, Joanne Kaufman called ovation inflation “one more example of our society’s tendency to supersize every experience, emotion and commodity.” Continue reading
Filed under: Mormon Culture, Music, Theatre | Tagged: BYU, BYU Mens' Chorus, fine arts, H.M.S. Pinafore, Hale Center Theatre, Hillary Hahn, LDS Church, Mormon Culture, Mormons, ovation inflation, standing ovations, Temple Square, Theatre, Utah Symphony | 18 Comments »
Posted on June 2, 2008 by Trevor
Dennis suggested that I post a few recommendations for films that readers of the blog might find fruitful. I hope that others here will find this helpful or at least of interest. I often post different lists (my own favorites as well as those of critics I admire and loathe) on my blog Toward an LDS Cinema. Continue reading
Filed under: Film | Tagged: A Man Escaped, Agnes Varda, Beauty and the Beast, Cache, canon, Christianity, Dardennes Brothers, French New Wave, Jacques Demy, Jean Cocteau, Jean-Luc Godard, John Malkovich, Micheal Haneke, Nicolas Philibert, Notre Musique, Places in the Heart, Raul Ruiz, Robert Benton, Robert Bresson, Rosetta, Terry Gilliam, The Children of Paradise, The Gleaners and I, The Son, Time Regained, To Be And To Have, Towards an LDS Cinema | 5 Comments »