Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rome Italy Temple

Rome temple update

So, I must admit something: I cried today when I found out President Monson went to Rome to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony for the Rome, Italy temple. To have been part (an exceedingly miniscule part, mind you) of the work that has lead to this great blessing is truly humbling. Kudos to all the missionaries and members that have given their all for the gospel in Italy. This temple is yours. Here's an email from about the groundbreaking. It has a link to an artist's rendering of the temple site, and an estimated completion date: 2013.

Dear Rome Italy Temple Mailing List subscribers:

In conjunction with the groundbreaking ceremony held today for the Rome Italy Temple, the Church has launched an official website revealing details of the plans for the temple complex, which will feature a stake center, patron housing facility, family history center, and visitors center, all surrounded by meticulous landscaping. An inspiring video presentation has been created, which displays the future complex from a variety of angles.





Kindest regards,

Rick Satterfield

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fry time

Inspired by Erick and Gretchen's recent trip to the Alabama State Fair, we decided to deep fry some sweet treats. Here was the line up:

(1) Sandwich cookies
(2) Twinkies
(3) Ho-hos
(4) Banana
(5) Peanut butter cups

We modified a pancake batter and used it as the coating. The best of the bunch was the sandwich cookies. They were warm and chewy. Mmm. The same cannot be said for fried twinkies. I was hoping the frying process would make the twinkie (usually a disgusting little snack more fit for animal feed than human consumption. (Parenthetical to my explanatory parenthetical: Demaree likes twinkies and gets mad at me when I insult them as I just did.)) taste better. It didn't. It just tasted like deep fried bad. After a disastrous first attempt with the ho-ho, the second turned out. Maybe it's just because deep frying anything chocolate is bound to be tasty, but the ho-ho was pretty darn good. Likewise, the banana was yummy. Honestly, warm banana in the middle of a sweet batter, how could that be bad? And then there was the peanut butter cup. The batter didn't stick, so the cup came out and melted all over creation. It was at this point, after ingesting far too much of sweets and fried batter for one night, that we ended our experiment.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thoughts on Elder Packer

For whatever reason, I don't normally comment on Mormon matters on this blog. I am, however, making an exception to quickly comment on the reaction to Elder Packer's talk "Cleansing the Inner Vessel" from the Sunday morning session of conference. His talk has generated protests from some individuals because they argue Elder Packer was unduly harsh on gays (i.e., he said homosexual relations are a sin), because he said homosexual unions are not ordained of God, and because he intimated gays can change through the power of Christ's atonement. News organizations have covered this story. Protests have been launched. General mayhem has ensued.

Heres my initial reaction:

Of course Elder Packer, and Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ said homosexuality is a sin. Jesus, as Jehovah, said the same thing through his Old Testament prophets. He said the same thing through His New Testament prophets. He's said the same thing through his modern-day prophets. In fact, every prophetic utterance on this subject in Mormon scripture (which includes utterances from the beginning of time to the present) states homosexuality is a sin. This isn't new stuff. It's old stuff. Old as the hills.

It's equally normal that Elder Packer would say people with same gender attraction would be able to change. Since Mormon scripture states innumerable times the atonement of Christ can change you, your heart, and your actions, then it is without doubt you can change. Thus, Elder Packer's assertion is absolutely consonant with 1 Nephi 3:7:

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things the Lord has commanded, for I know the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

If we could not change and comply with God's standard for sexual morality, then the atonement is limited and 1 Nephi 3:7 is wrong. However, we know the atonement is not limited, and we know scripture is not wrong. Change by means of the atonement of Christ is possible for all sins, all temptations, all people. Gayness is not a special sin outside the reach of the atonement. It is but one sin among diverse sins, all of which are covered by Christ and His overarching love.

But, to be honest, these most disturbing reactions to Elder Packer's talk have come from active members of the Church. Many, in discussions with those critical of Elder Packer, have criticized him for his tone. They argue Elder Packer's tone was inappropriately harsh. He should have been more conciliatory; his opinions more muted, they argue. Really? His tone? This is an argument about style, not substance. These members are openly criticizing an Apostle for his tone when everything he said is absolutely consistent with every word of revealed scripture. We should spend less time whining about Elder Packer's tone and more time ruminating on the eternal truths Christ chose to reveal through him. Tone. You must be kidding me.

Ultimately, we would be well to remember how Joseph Smith acted when a woman came to him and told him the latest gossip about him. He said he listened to the woman and the terrible things others were saying about him, and instead of dismissing them as lies, he examined the gossip for any kernel of truth, and then took those kernels and used them to correct his actions and improve himself. Joseph cared not about tone; he cared about what was right. He cared about changing himself to become more like Christ. May we all do the same.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New logo

With the help of Lisa Clayson, I think I've come up with Brown Law, LLC's logo. Let me know what you think.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Time with Nonna

Grandma was up about a week ago, so we went on a family hike up the canyon. Everything's always better when grandparents are involved.