So if someone is told to pay ten percent tithing, and he pays eleven percent, does that make him more obedient? If someone is told not to drink coffee and never drinks anything hot, does that make her more obedient? If someone it told to read a page of the Book of Mormon a day and reads two, does that make him more obedient?

Developmental Progress and Public School

Erin Anderssen wrote in The Globe and Mail yesterday:

An estimated one in four children show up on that first day of school, short on the basic tools they need to succeed, from simple language to fine motor skills to co-operating with classmates.

The article then goes on to allude that this is often the fault of the upbringing and environment of the children. Naturally, it is so easy to put blame on the parents for not providing a challenging and sensory experience for their children?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s preschool years. It is easy to blame the parents for neglecting or abusing their children. It is easy to blame the parents for being lazy and uncaring.

What is never just as easy is to question the public education systems?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ (and some private systems) premise that somehow grouping children by age is the best course to determine developmental progress. This, of course, is ludicrous given that children develop at different rates. Grouping them by age naturally creates developmental problems that wouldn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t exist if children were grouped by developmental rates.

What is also equally ludicrous is that after graduation from high school, individuals are virtually never grouped by age again in the real world. School is a make-believe reality that has no resemblance of actual reality.

It is no wonder that so many parents opt to homeschool their children.

Big Love

An email is circulating among LDS circles regarding the HBO series, Big Love. The email is typical social action stuff (i.e. write to the station, complain about the show, take a stand, yadda, yadda, yadda).

A couple of points are made in the letter I thought I would briefly comment on here:

Parodies of beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints occur- belief in priesthood by a man blessing his hunting rifle, belief in personal revelation from the Holy Ghost by dramatic visions that the polygamous leader discusses casually with a friend. Talk of “celestial kingdom”, “free agency”, and the “Choose the Right” slogan are included.

Other than perhaps the “Choose The Right” slogan ( I am not familiar with the context with which its usage appeared on the show), none of the above is specific to only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Big Love. . . demeans and distorts sacred beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. By setting the show in Salt Lake City, it blurs the line between the Church and the long renounced practice of polygamy.

Right. Because no other Mormon denominations or followers exist in Salt Lake City. Even so, I wish the originator of this email would explain exactly how it is demeaning and distorting. Is it because they are sexualising polygamy (implied by the earlier statement that it is a “sexually driven show”)? Seems odd then that a sacred belief (if they are indeed referring to polygamy) would be long renounced, or that a long renounced belief would be sacred. After all, I thought polygamy was a practice.

Official Declarations

Though not really the point of his post, Hellmut of at Beyond Ourselves brought up an interesting note in his Sex and Salvation post.

One finds the following point made in the Official Declaration 2:

In early June of this year, the First Presidency announced that a revelation had been received by President Spencer W. Kimball extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church.

In contrast, Official Declaration 1 has this to say:

Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise.

There is nothing in my teachings to the Church or in those of my associates, during the time specified, which can be reasonably construed to inculcate or encourage polygamy; and when any Elder of the Church has used language which appeared to convey any such teaching, he has been promptly reproved. And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.

Can we say that both of these declarations, given their different natures (one based in revelation one in response to legal pressures), are equal in authority?