To some Jews, Muslims and Amish, a beard connotes piety and religious compliance. It can signal a man’s identity and sign of affiliation.
For Mormons, though, it has another meaning entirely.
The other day, my children and I were discussing as part of our supper conversation opposites. You know, like, hot and cold, hard and soft, light and dark.
I asked them what the opposite of â€œmanâ€ is, and immediately, they answered, â€œWoman!â€
But I wonder, are men and women opposites? They donâ€™t look like opposites; anatomically, they are more similar than different. They donâ€™t act like opposites; they do a lot of the same things.
Some might say, oh, but women are more spiritual. But if a woman is kind, does that mean a man is unkind? If a woman is soft-spoken, does that mean a man is angry?
Some might say, oh, but men are stronger and faster. Even if that is true, that isnâ€™t the same as saying a man is strong and woman is weak or a man is fast and a woman is slow.
Frankly, I donâ€™t see how men and women can be considered opposites in any way.
The Deseret News recently published a storyÂ about Gary Lawrence, who released a book clarifying common misconceptions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One thing popped out at me.
â€œIn a survey, Lawrence found that only 3 out of 10 people say Mormons are only members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have nothing to do with polygamous groups. About 45 percent of people polled thought all believers in the Book of Mormon are called Mormons, while 25 percent had no opinion.â€
Thatâ€™s not a misconception; itâ€™s true. Mormonism covers all the churches that claim to descend from Joseph Smith. Itâ€™s no different from all the churches claiming to be Christian.
Itâ€™s ironic the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to argue they be included in the definition of Christian, but insist on a monopoly of the term â€œMormon.â€
By now, I am sure most of our readers have heard Warren Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has been sentenced to life imprisonment sexually assaulting two minors.
What I wonder though is why Jeffs has to be in prison for life for having consensual sex with two underage girls while men who violently beat and rape their wives/girlfriends are out in just a few years (if convicted at all).
Sure, I know the first reaction of our readers will likely be, â€œConsensual?! Are you freaking kidding me?â€ Of course, I recognize that even if these children were consensual, they have been raised in a community from when they were little to be expected to become a plural wife. Some might call this brainwashing.
Regardless, the point of my post isnâ€™t to determine whether what Jeffs did was with actual, objective consent; my point is why much more violent acts are treated much more lightly in our society.
I have been asked to teach the elders quorum lesson next Sunday on lesson 37 (Family Responsibilities) from the Gospel Principles manual. I decided I want to focus on the responsibilities specific to the elders as husbands and fathers. Also, I prefer teaching from the scriptures, but use the manual as a guide to finding scriptures.
Here are the scriptures I have come up with so far:
- 3 Ne 18:21
- Col 3:21
- 1 Ne 1:1; Mosiah 1:2
- 2 Ne 25:26
- Mosiah 4:14â€“15
- Eccl 9:9
- Gen 2:24
- D&C 42:22
- 1 Ne 5:6
- Col 3:19
- Eph 5:25
- 1 Cor 7:3
The Canadian Press ran a story today about an Ontario judge releasing several accused individuals because the prosecuting attorney was absent. While reading the story today, one thing stuck out. Here is an excerpt from the Toronto Star (other newspapers copied and pasted the same article);
The accused included a man deemed to be a violent schizophrenic, a spouse charged in a domestic abuse case, a disbarred lawyer charged with fraud and a robbery suspect.
I get why the original writer said â€œspouse charged in a domestic abuse case,â€ â€œdisbarred lawyer charged with fraud,â€ and â€œrobbery suspect.â€ The writer was trying to show the types of crimes committed, and who they are (lawyer and spouse) also says something about their crime (spousalÂ abuseÂ and fraud while practising law).
But the first example he gives is lacking any actual context. No crime is mentioned, no charge is mentioned. All that is mentioned is that the person has schizophrenia and that the person has been violent.
The writer implies (probably not intentionally) that being schizophrenic is the crime.
Is it any wonder people with schizophrenia are portrayed as psychotic in movies when prejudice like this still exists in news media?
As explained last week, ancient â€œhistoriansâ€ often understood things differently than we do today. It was pointed out, for example, that the â€œearthâ€ was not understood in the same way 20th-century people understand the term â€œearth.â€