The Little Drummer Boy

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honour Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give a King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

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In this season of giving, the greatest gift of all was the gift of our Saviour. May you all have a wonderful, spirit filled Christmas.

The Arithmetic of Souls

I’m not anywhere close to considering myself a biology expert, however I do find the subject fascinating and I find the implications of biology on religion to be eye opening.

Mormon doctrine, the stuff generated in my lifetime anyway, tends to avoid teaching concepts that conflict with science. Science, however, doesn’t seem to mind infringing.

Take the point that Sam Harris, author of the controversial book Letter to a Christian Nation, raises. He articulates that the math behind a belief in one soul for every living being does not add up.

Take for a moment that there are souls in this petri dish, and that every three day old blastocyst is en-souled. Well unfortunately embryos at that age can split into twins. So what’s happening there? We have one soul turning into two souls?

Embryos at a later stage can fuse back into what is called a chimera—a single individual born of two embryos. So do we have two souls becoming one soul? This arithmetic of souls doesn’t make much sense.

What I’m wondering is, how does one reconcile this very simple mathematical dilemma?

Leadership Now & Then

There’s something I don’t get.

My entire married life, the only callings I have received have been leadership callings. Elders quorum presidencies, ward mission leader, young men presidency, stake mission presidency, ward clerk. I have no idea why. I don’t think I do a particularly good job, and I honestly don’t think I have any leadership skills; I’m certainly not a very good motivator.

But what really gets me is that this is completely opposite of my mission experience. I never once had any leadership experience on my mission (except for my last trunky month training). No district leader, no zone leader, no AP. I was never even a senior companion (always a “co-companion”).

I don’t know why there’s this contrast either. On my mission, I read my scriptures every day (for at least an hour). I prayed often. I got along with my companions. Sure, every so often, I slept in or caught a video. But I loved to teach and I was good at it. I struggled with resolving concerns for the first half of my mission or so, but the last half, I was a pretty good teacher.

I hated finding though. I detested it in fact. I wish back then I had a secretary to make my appointments for me like I do now. I hated asking for referrals and knocking on doors (selective tracting is what we called it in Utah). All I wanted to do was teach.

The baptisms weren’t even that important. Sure I was caught up in all the hype and the numbers game, but teaching and seeing progression was the real thrill for me.

I certainly teach less now. I read my scriptures less. I pray less. I watch TV and movies more. I listen to music more. I even kiss more.

So why? Why is it now that I seem to be focusing less on spiritual things and more on temporal things, I am given leadership callings? And for that matter, only leadership callings?

Purpose of baptism

Likely because our oldest daughter is turning eight next month, I was recently thinking about baptism ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù specifically regarding baptism in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of the things I was pondering is the purpose of baptism. I think its purpose is multi-faceted, and here are a few of the reasons I came up with why people are to be baptised (cultural reasons not included):

  • It’s a commandment
  • To follow Jesus’s example
  • As a sign of our covenant to mourn with and comfort others
  • As a sign of willingness to keep the commandments and remember Jesus
  • Because we want to be children of Christ
  • As a symbol of starting a new life
  • To live in heaven

Can you think of others?