Jack’s Blog

June 29, 2014

Apologies to those who may have posted comments on the site that I have not accepted. Have had a lot of spam and been sorting through it.

This post is on the excommunication by the Church of Kate Kelly, the founder of the Mormon women’s group Ordain Women.

I’m all for any well-intentioned institution, whether religious, corporate or government, to protect itself from people trying to bring it down. But in this case, I believe the Church overreacted and brought upon itself unnecessary negative political and public relations consequences. Better to act like the Catholics and ignore detractors, even those that want the institution to change its views.

Please view the news page on this website for an assessment by David Holland, a professor at Harvard’s Divinity School and the son of Mormon Apostle Jeffrey Holland, who says that “most Mormons of all persuasions – those whose sympathies lie with Kelly, those who sympathize with her bishop, and the significant number that I think feel for both – regret the fact that this chapter of the story has ended in this way.”

March 17, 2014

On the media page, I have added the 2012 performance at the Tony Awards by the Broadcast cast of "Hello" from the hit musical The Book of Mormon.  It's poking humor, but not too far from reality in its portrayal of the young, cleancut Mormon missionaries. The Church has always strived for broad recognition in American society. But sometimes that can be a two-edged sword.

 

Hello Tony Awards

 

 

February 28, 2014

Jerry Joseph is not Mormon. But the former resident of the Mormon religious capital of Salt Lake City named his band The Jackmormons. I've attached a video on the media page of him performing. A bit lengthy, but not if you like his style of music (which I happen to). Joseph said he named his band The Jackmormons because he knew that one day Mormon Mitt Romney would be running for president and the band would be in a sweet spot. Regardless of his reasons, such publiclty is bringing awareness to a term that was almost always used exclusively only within the Mormon culture.  In his song, Salt Lake City, he writes: "The angel on the temple plays a silent horn again. I've got a funny feeling the flock he guards won't let me in today." Welcome to Jack World. 

Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 27, 2014

Admittedly, I've been a little hard on The Church in recent posts on this site. Mainly because I think a number of facts emanating from Salt Lake City in the past couple of years demand so. But honestly, there are a number of wonderful practicing Mormons, many of whom are my friends, that are the truest reflection of the best values of the faith. Many of those values I still embrace. So, in that spirit, I have added a video of one of my favorite practicing Mormons, Rowdy Gaines, to the Culture and Counter Culture page. Olympic medalist Rowdy was a convert to The Church. He is a self-effacing man and athlete who lives his faith but doesn't presume to stick in other peoples' faces.  

 

February 24, 2014

Well, obviously been awhile. But Jack is back.

I will be posting two new entries on the Polygamy and Gay Angels pages.

The recent federal court rulings in Utah finding polygamous and gay marriage unconstitutional have obviously rocked that state and its predominant religion. I've said previously that the vigorous Church opposition to gay marriage has been a two–sided coin. To allow gay marriage means to open up the debate about polygamous marriage. After all, if same sex couples can form a marital union, why can't multiple wives chose to marry a husband of their own volition? Polygamy, despite the Church's official position, is still rooted deeply in Uah and Arizona Mormon culture and remains an element in the Church's official scriptures. Polygamy, more than gay marriage, has the potential to deeply divide the practicing Mormon faith.

I'm not advocating here, although I do believe two things: All churches have the right to decide whom to marry in their citadels, but they do not have the right to advocate for social discrimination. Second, if polygamous marriage is allowed, it should be between willing adults without the potential for abuse of minor children or spouses.

The federal court rulings in Utah are making their way to the Supreme Court, which, in the case of gay marriage, has already leaned toward establishing sexual preference for citizens as a protected class under the Constitution. The Church has already subdued its historic vitriol to homosexuality, now taking the position that to be homsexual is not a sin, but its practice is the sin. (Before, the very notion of gay inclination was considered a sin). On the issue of polygamy, the Church has remained largely silent. Given that the Church has never renounced the revelelation of Prophet Joseph Smith establishing polygamy through offical Church doctrine and scripture, that is not surprising. (The Church's renunciation of polygamy was essentially an official "manifesto", forced by the federal government in 1890, instructing Mormons to no longer practice it).

Stay tuned. It's going to be a wild ride.

Jack

 

 

 

April 28, 2013

Been a long weekend in Jack's Corner. I've revamped the site and added a new posting section, Jack's Forum. Still trying to figure out how to add previous posts to it, so deepest apologies to all of you who have taken the time to offer your observations and comments and can't see them for the time being.  Hope to resolve that soon, but in the meantime, please make future posts to the Forum.

Couple of new items: A link on the news site to the weird story of Manti Te'o, a practicing Mormon, whose internet and phone involvement with a fictitious girlfriend (who turned out to be a man perpetrating a hoax) caused national headlines. (Te'o, a Notre Dame football player, was recently drafted by the San Diego Chargers).  Don't know if there is any connection, but the name,"Manti", also belongs to one of the oldest Mormon temples in Utah.

On another front, a new link in the news page to the Church's backpedalling on same-sex attraction. Turns out, much to the chagrin of other conservative religions, that the Church is not opposed to young men with same-sex attraction being Boy Scouts. What a difference the Proposition 8 debacle in California has made.

April 27, 2013

Site Update: All please bear with me – long day here in Jack's Corner. Learned the hard way never to "tinker" with a website. I have re-crafted the pages to remove commentary because it is inconvenient in some cases since commentators have to scroll to the bottom of the page. I will soon be posting a new page, "Jack's Forum" to allow a more consolidated venue for comments. I am hopeful I can transfer the bulk of your previous posts to that locale. In the meantime, thanks for your patience.

 

April 17, 2013

Okay, Jacks, Exes and Nons, I have been consumed of late by the sweeping social currents swirling around the Mormon faith.

When I was a 20-something, I remember the Church desperately trying to mainstream itself (the major push on “families can be forever” over Joseph Smith finding the gold plates of the Book of Mormon as its message). The objective was the Church’s acceptance by American society as not something simply as a cult, but a legitimate Christian religion.

In many ways, the Church has succeeded.

Since I was young, and the Church was, indeed, considered even more then than now a cult, Mormons have had a visible presidential candidate and, on a per capita basis for their population numbers, currently hold a disparate number of seats in the United States Senate than justified by the Mormons in the U.S. population: Seven out of the 100 Senators are Mormon, or 14% of the Senate. The Mormon population of the U.S. is about 2%.

In the Church’s Doctrine and Covenants, a compilation of revelations to the Prophet Joseph Smith, God says, “For of him unto whom much is given much is required…” (Section 82 Verse 3). (Note the similarity to the statement of Jesus in the New Testament (Luke 12:48) “…For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required…”)

The point is this: For decades, the Church has strived to be in the mainstream spotlight.

Well, here the Church is now – visible nationally as a religion, and the subject of popular media exposure, from talk show hosts to a play on Broadway.  Yet it is now faced with social questions about its views of women being on equal ground with men in being ordained to the Mormon Priesthood; its perceived intolerance toward same-sex attraction; and its blind eye toward polygamy, rampant in the Mormon strongholds of Utah and Arizona. (The Church renounced polygamy in the 1800s and currently excommunicates any members that attempt to practice it. However, the Church has not actively been engaged in efforts to end the practice in its bastions).

In a real way, the Church faces the biblical statement of the Prophet Hosea (Hosea 8:7): “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind…”

The Church has sown the wind through a decades-long public relations campaign to remake itself (We are Christians; we believe in the Bible, too; we are not a cult) by appealing to the news media to spread its message.

The elected politicians who are its members are both numerous and influential nationally.

 Its members now number in the millions (nearly 15 million) across the world.

Its financial coffers, through Mormon-owned businesses and from the tithes of its membership, are substantial.

As for reaping the whirlwind?

The Church can no longer expect that its self-definition will be accepted by those who read about it, hear about it, and see its portrayal in pop culture.  Once exposed in the mass media, the image-making is turned over by that same media to see the other side of the story and the Church is now under intense scrutiny.

Second, by most estimates, nearly half of the membership listed on the Church’s rolls that are used to justify its legitimacy have either left the religion entirely or become “inactive.”

There are millions of Mormon lives that have been unalterably affected by the Church’s teachings and doctrine, yet unreceptive to the scolding and sternness of the leaders in Salt Lake and their surrogates in the local wards and stakes.  They are the disenfranchised, not fitting the stereotype of the “active” Mormon, and, yet, many of them still embrace the basic tenets of their religion.

The biggest whirlwind facing Mormonism, even more than the scoffing from non-Mormon society, is that those members of the larger Mormon family are not being silent anymore. They are blogging, writing to newspapers and making their feelings known to practicing Mormon family members. Yes, they can be shunned, excommunicated or enticed back, which isn’t happening.

Will the Church make a course adjustment to be more compatible with today’s society and, more importantly, to address the hemorrhaging of its membership?

Does it dwindle away after 200 years?

Does it remain, as some critics say, a modern-day corporation run by middle-aged white businessmen focused on money?

Or does it return to its founding roots and try to be more inclusive of the larger Mormon family?

Some random questions for thought and discussion.

Stay tuned for future thoughts on how Mormonism, the only American-founded religion that once offered some of the most progressive views of its time, can truly return to its roots.

Much is required.

Proudly Jack

Jack of Diamonds

April 14, 2013

New story on Turn, Turn, Turn page about the recent about-face of the Church on gay members. As noted below, the social issues are heating up.  More to come about the division in Salt Lake between traditionalist and more reform-minded leaders. A bit Catholic.

April 14, 2013

Just when Salt Lake had thought it had put the gay issue behind it (temporarily, in my view) a new issue arises for the Church from society's evolving social mores: women. Now, a growing number of practicing women (and men, for that matter) are advocating for the ordination of women to the Mormon Priesthood. Men have had sole right in the Mormon faith to be ordained as lay priesthood holders since the Church's founding nearly 200 years ago.

I plan to create a new page on this site for the discussion. In the meantime, below is a link to the Ordain Women site with the stories of practicing Mormons and why they support the ordination  of women.

http://ordainwomen.org/

Ordain Women

Mormon women seeking equality and ordination to the priesthood

Ordain Women

April 14, 2013

Site update: On the media page I have added the clip from God's Army (below) as well as a second clip showing the arrival in Los Angeles of the new missionary portrayed in the film. When you're nineteen, going to a place far from home for two years can be a bit overwhelming.

 

April 9, 2013

I cited in a previous post (March 26, 2013) an example of practicing Mormons in the creative arts. There are probably a larger number, however, who have become Ex or Jack. Below is clip from the 2000 movie, "God's Army", directed by Richard Dutcher, a Brigham Young University film graduate and a father of seven children who ultimately left the religion, citing that as a significant reason for a divorce. Prior to his letting go of the faith, he had earned the nickname “Father of Mormon Cinema.”

The movie is a story of faith found and faith lost among a group of Mormon missionaries in Los Angeles. Dutcher appears in the film as the older missionary who trains his young "greenie" companion. The scenes of the door-to-door encounters are very real, at least from my own experience. The end of the clip shows the kind of camaraderie that develops among young missionaries who spend 24-7 with each other.

I will be posting some additional material from the movie on the Media page and an interview with Dutcher about why he left the Mormon faith on the Counter Culture page.

Jack

 

 

April 6, 2013

News: The Church’s semi-annual conference in Salt Lake City is underway and it starts out with a bang. Check out the news section on this site for the Salt Lake Tribune story about the sermon by Elder Boyd K. Packer, the senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

He just can’t help himself.

At a time when the political winds are blowing against the Church’s stance on same sex attraction and same-sex marriage, Elder Packer says, “Tolerance is a virtue, but, like all virtues, when exaggerated it transforms itself into a vice. We need to be careful of the ‘tolerance trap’ so that we are not swallowed up in it."

So, a virtue (tolerance) can transform itself into a vice? Really? What exactly, is a “tolerance trap”?

The significance of Elder Packer's comment is the timing. The U.S. Supreme Court will rule in June on California’s Proposition 8, which passed in large part because of the Church’s advocacy.  The Court may very well decide that the rulings by lower federal courts declaring the matter unconstitutional may stand, allowing gay marriage to resume in California.

This issue has become the Numero Uno political matter affecting the Church, and it is dividing it. To be fair, as pointed out on this site, the Church has launched a new website urging tolerance for its members with same-sex attraction. 

But unlike the outside political pressure in the 1970s that brought the Church to change its stance on African Americans holding the Mormon priesthood, this cultural issue is directly affecting rank-and-file practicing members who have children and family members who are openly or closeted gay.

Also, note the story in the Tribune about Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican and practicing Mormon, who has stated that civil unions for same-sex couples may be an acceptable way to preserve the institution of marriage as between men and women.

So, the political side of the Church is starting to break with Elder Packer’s hardline religious stance.

Interesting conundrum.

 

March 29, 2013

Site Update: I've tried to update the individual pages to allow for comments. We'll see how it works!

Also, with Easter coming up, check out the News page about how Mormons are starting to emulate other Christian religious traditions.

Happy Easter.

Jack

Tulips

 

March 26, 2013

I noted when I launched this site that it would be a "celebration of the breadth and diversity of all the Mormon people and their influence in U.S. history and culture "  Despite some of my recent prodding urging the Church and its practicing members to re-focus on the underpinnings that made us who we are as a people, I am committed to sharing the positive, too.

One of the great stories of Mormons in America is the pioneer trek across the plains to Utah. Many of those who made the journey were poor immigrants from Europe who had converted to Mormonism. A large number were from England. 

As children, we were taught the song "Pioneer Children"  which says "Pioneer children sang as they walked…"

Below is a clip from a movie to be released in May entitled "Ephraim's Rescue."  The lead actor is a practicing Mormon and the director is Mormon, as well. It tells the story of the rescue of a group of Mormons crossing the Great Plains with handcarts and suffering an early winter before they could reach the Salt Lake Valley.

In Utah, sometimes the pioneers' story, to me, is a bit overdone by their descendants, as it becomes a status symbol. But the story, nevertheless, is a remarkable chapter in American history. I have not seen the movie, of course, since it has not yet been released, but the trailer below looks impressive.

Jack

 

 

 

March 24, 2013

I find it appropriate that I post this and a new page on Palm Sunday (though not by design) the day Christians believe that Jesus, who preached love for others, rode into Jerusalem to meet his death at the hands of angry men.  In this new page, I hope to address thoughts related to tolerance, compassion, and yes, love, within the Church.

This will be a bit of lengthy post, but because of the topic matter of “Gay Angels”, I want to make clear my thoughts on what, for many, is a controversial and emotional matter.

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to take up the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. California’s Proposition 8 banning gay marriage, one of two statutes the Court will review, resulted in large part because of the Church’s successful political activism in that state. 

My intent is not to make the page an advocacy for sexual orientation one way or another, but to discuss the six-decades-old war the Church has waged on homosexuality and the resulting toll on its own gay members; the Church’s standing in modern day America because of it; and its course corrections since Proposition 8’s passage in California.

First, the name of the new page, “Gay Angels”.  My wife for many years has had a theory – that angels, as described in Mormon and Biblical scripture, are spirits who entered this world gay.  (The Church teaches that all humans existed as pre-Earth spirits before they were born).

Mormon theology also teaches that individuals cannot achieve “exaltation” unless they are married (man and woman) in the Mormon Temple for “time and all eternity”.  In the Book of Mormon, the Church’s flagship book of scripture, there is not a single reference to Moroni – the angel who appeared to Joseph Smith to give him the gold plates on which the book was written and whose golden likeness adorns Mormon temples worldwide – as having a wife or family, unlike other Book of Mormon prophets, such as Nephi and Lehi.

How then does that explain the existence in scripture of heavenly beings (angels) who may not have been married?  In the scriptures, the angels are messengers from God.  The Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith described the angel Moroni as an “angel of light” whose “whole person was glorious beyond description.” So, if the angel Moroni was not “exalted”, what was he?

Let me stress that the title “Gay Angels” is not intended to offend my friends or others who are gay. Rather, it is intended as a metaphor to address a question to Mormon culture, as well as many other religions, about the possibility that gay people are gay because that is who they are, just like heterosexuals are who they are. People do not “choose” to become gay (please watch in particular one video clip on the page of a fictional interchange between a gay Mormon and his bishop).

The main emphasis in the page about the Church’s stance on same-sex attraction is focused mostly on male same-sex attraction, rather than female, since it seems the Church’s admonitions have been directed largely toward men.  Exalted males must hold the priesthood, which women cannot, and males are encouraged at an early age to marry and become patriarchs of families.

In the interests of full disclosure, I personally believe that marriage should be allowed for same-sex couples. I have many practicing Mormon friends, and family members, who are adamantly anti-homosexual, believing that homosexuality is immoral.  I respect their right to their personal views. I do not respect, however, hatred of any kind, whether it is based on race or sexuality. 

As a Jack who still holds many of the values he was raised with dear to his heart, you will see on this page examples of what pains me: bigotry by some ranking leaders of the Church toward one class of people; the human toll on many church members resulting from such intolerance; an unapologetic arrogance by church leaders in Salt Lake City demonstrated by blatantly involving the Church in political matters.

Many Mormon families have had to deal with the issue of children who are gay, particularly because of the stated view of some prominent church officials that their children’s feelings are contrary to the natural order of things.  The new section will explore the Church’s ever increasing grappling with the issue of same-sex attraction and gay rights.

Selah.

Jack

 

March 23, 2013

Been reading the recent posts and trying to respond to suggestions. In that regard, some have noted some typos in the copy as viewed on their screens. I think that may be a formatting issue with the web host, since I spell check everything on a word doc before posting. However, I have added a new spell checker program through the host, so hopefully that will take care of the problem. Let me know if you still have issues.

Also, a heads-up with an apology in advance. Tomorrow I will be loading a new page, but the blog explaining it will be a bit long because I want to give some context to the page.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Jack

Jack of Diamonds

 

March 19, 2013

Working on the new page, little bit behind. In the meantime, have noted the comments about some of the problems in how the site shows on the screen. Working on that, too. Thanks for your patience.

March 10, 2013

Thanks to all who recently posted and for your comments. This week, expect a new page that some may consider controversial. Hint: The U.S. Supreme Court this month takes up the issue of gay marriage.

Jack

March 3, 2013

I've added a new "News" page to the site. As I mention on the new page, apologies while I work out the quirks, but in the short-term a cut-and-paste-to-browser of the link will be needed. In the meantime, check out the Sandy, Utah, stake president's speech in which he uses the pulpit to decry the 2012 elections by the people to choose "Socialism over capitalism; Entitlements over free enterprise; Redistribution and regulation over self reliance." So, the Church's policy oh politics? To "not endorse, promote or oppose political parties, candidates or platforms." Hmm. Seems pretty clear where his political philosophies lie, which is fine by me, but don't use a church position or your pulpit to espouse them.

The Church's response? He wasn't speaking for the Church as a whole. Well, that's reassuring, considering that practicing members have become more and more incendiary on a political and philosophical level, fueled by comments such as these. In his speech he quoted two of the most zealous members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to justify his views. Just sayin'.

I try not to be too political on this site because I have friends, both orthodox and Jack, who have a diverse variety of views that I respect. But, to me, this kind of thing has to be addressed because a pulpit was used to browbeat and buttress conformity to one point of view. If it we're coming from the other side of the spectrum, it would be denounced by the Church leaders in Salt Lake immediately. But don't give up, Jacks. Read the story and you'll see that some orthodox and practicing Mormons offered their own two cents.

March 3, 2013

Thanks to those who have read and posted while I have been “less active” on the site. (For those who don’t know, “less active” is the Mormon PC term for what we used to call “inactive.”) You know, people like Jack! But stay tuned, exciting times in Mormon world, including the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on gay marriage and the new-and-improved LDS scriptures.

November 9, 2012

Below is a link to the Church's website that seeks to mainstream Mormonism.

All well, and good.

But what about some of our "odd"  beliefs in this new PR campaign? Planet Kolob? No mention. Pearl of Great Price? No mention. Multitudes of Gods?. Definitely forget about that one. All the incredible things we were raised with and had to defend? Invisible.

It's great that the Church is highlighting the diversity of the Mormon faith. But how about the millions of Jacks who still hold many of the basic precepts of our religion close to their hearts? Any outreach there? No.

We are the crazy aunt in the basement.

http://mormon.org/

 

November 9, 2012

The election is over and the "Mormon Moment" in a presidential bid is gone. But I'd like to address the Mormon religion, in part, over Mitt Romney's political defeat on one issue.

During his campaign, Romney offered this quote, which has been roundly rebuked:

“All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that's an entitlement.”

Ironic, since the Mormon religion was one of the first institutions in America to create a welfare system. It was called the Law of Consecration, which required the haves to contribute to the Church to care for the have nots.

“…remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them…” Doctrine and Covenants, Section 42, Verse 30

“…every man who has need may be amply supplied and receive according to his wants.” Doctrine and Covenants, Section 42, Verse 33

Not much different from this: “…from each according to his ability, to each according to his need…” Karl Marx

So, my message to practicing members who feel just like Romney, stop looking down on the rest of non-Mormon society who need help as takers. We started the welfare system for good reason.

 

October 24, 2012

Jacks and Practicing: With apologies for any offense, I couldn't help myself.

 

 

September 24, 2012

My wife recently asked me if I was going to become more confrontational with the Church on this site. I don't mean to be. But I have posted on the politics section a story about David Twede, a Mormon blogger who claims he was summoned before Church authorities and threatened with disfellowshipment or excommunication. If indeed, as the story indicates, he shared confidential information about the Church's temple ceremonies, well, that's a bit of a weighty matter. Any of us who have been to the Temple know that. But if it was simply because he criticized Mitt Romney or the Church, that's another matter. The issue is that in this day and age, the Church continues to use excommunication as a means to contain infractions, even criticism, by its members. That needs to stop. Unless a church member is openly hostile to the religion, and seeks to actively bring it down, the Church should act more like the Catholics and just ignore its internal detractors. Excommunication, as a means of control, is, in itself, a heresy.

  

September 18, 2012

Their Treasure Is Their God

As I’ve emphasized before, I do want not to turn this site solely political. I intend it to be both a celebration of the best contributions to American society of Mormon belief, as well as a loyal opposition to its excesses. But it’s difficult to ignore politics in a presidential race when one of the contenders is LDS. First, I want to say that I believe that there are great number of LDS elected officials who are good examples of the best attributes of our religion. That said, I believe Mitt Romney is an embarrassment to the Mormon faith, through blind ambition and a lack of compassion to others.  Check out the most recent addition to the politics section, which describes his comments about 47 percent of Americans being, essentially, lazy takers and undeserving of government help. The author, writing in the Salt Lake Tribune, is LDS. The LDS religion, both past and present, has a history of caring for the less fortunate. While orthodox LDS are fine with the church welfare system, many are suspect with regards to help to non-LDS provided by the federal government.  I say to them, if you truly believe in the book that so many religions mock us for, read its passages. Either it’s divinely inspired, or it’s not.

 

September 7, 2012

I've added a new page "The Counter Culture" in which I will share the stories of Jacks and former Mormons in the creative arts, many of whom have either left our religion or put it on ice. My personal belief is that the rigid orthodoxy of the Church leadership in Salt Lake and that of the practicing members who demand total conformity have drained the religion of some of its greatest assets – the artists, writers and musicians who, by their nature, are non-conformists. They are not hostile. They simply want to adhere to their religion in the ways that they can. Orthodox Mormons call them "menu Mormons" – picking and choosing the precepts to which they will adhere. I'm not advocating that there should not be some basic principles, as in any religion or creed, to which people are expected to abide. But the current temperament in the Church is so unyielding that half its membership feels alienated. They are left with little choice but to walk away. If we look at a religion as a family, we don’t toss out family members because we don't like everything they do or don't do.

My wife asked me tonight what my objective is with this website. It's three-fold: to let non-Mormons know about the breadth and depth of our nearly 200-year-old religion, the only faith ever established in America; to urge practicing Mormons and the Church leadership in Salt Lake to return to the sense of family and inclusion that set us apart so long ago; and to convince non-orthodox Mormons that they don't have to walk away.

Like any enduring community, we have every reason to be proud – of our history, of our historic contributions to the country, and of the best and most progressive tenets of our faith. We crossed the plains and died in bitter winter snows to settle the West. We were the first religion to teach that people could communicate directly with their Maker. We established one of the first welfare systems in this nation’s history to care for the poor (and yes, it was socialism – the sharing by the better-off with the lesser-off). We made mistakes, like any other faith. They should be weighed in the balance with the good.

But we have lost our way –  through unbridled materialism, unthinking conformism, and a passive willingness to eschew our history to be accepted. We prefer to be bland rather than bold.

Hence,  the reason for this site. It’s time for some discourse in this so-called Mormon Moment.

 

September 5, 2012

I don’t want this site to become a solely political one.  My desire is to view current American politics through the prism of the best values of the Mormon faith and its history.  But given that the Republican nominee for the presidency of the United States is LDS, I feel compelled to comment. In the remaining weeks of the election, you will see items related to politics posted on this site. They will be from my own perspective. In the interests of full disclosure, I am a center Democrat. But I do not have a visceral dislike of the other party. But when Mitt Romney “acknowledges” his faith by saying, “We were — we were Mormons. And growing up in Michigan, that might have seemed unusual or out of place…”, I don’t put that in the same league as a Harry Reid, a Mormon and majority leader of the United States Senate, who is reviled by the church’s rank-and-file for being a Democrat, saying, “I am a Democrat because I am a Mormon, not in spite of it.” (On an aside, Reid voted against a constitutional amendment to make marriage between one man and one woman despite the Church’s unyielding stance on homosexuality). In terms of Mitt Romney, his politics are based in greed and egotism. His unbridled ambition is a grievous fault because it gives way to unprincipled actions.  Mitt Romney has demonstrated that he will do and say anything he can to be President of the United States. And that’s not true Mormonism.

Proudly Jack

 

September 4, 2012

Jacks and Practicing: Church says you can drink Coke! Check out the new new tab "Turn, Turn, Turn", in which we will begin exploring the ever changing practices of the One True Church.

 

August 1, 2012

Look soon for an offering about the "Mormon Moment" in the politics section. In the meantime, check out the running – and openly disagreeable – debate between two nationally powerful Mormon politicians (page 2 Politics section). LDS are not as unified, as many non-Mormons believe, in their political views.

 

July 14, 2012

All, apologies for not being active (for Jacks, pardon the pun), but as we like to say, been tending to other obligations. However, I plan to be engaged again soon. Thanks to those of you who have posted. In the meantime, please check out the politics section with the news article on how the Church makes it money. Also, soon to come, a piece on the "Mormon Moment" and the presidential election. Jack

October 19, 2011 – The site is currently under construction, but please feel free in the interim to comment on the page offerings before I start to post blog entries. 

Jack

 November 17, 2011

I was in a restaurant (not in Utah) the other day having lunch and talked to a bartender who, in discussing his growing up years, casually mentioned that his family was “German-Mormon.” The mother’s half were immigrants from Germany and the father’s half was descended from pioneers.  Baptized at eight, the bartender now considers himself a Jack. His family is split between non-Mormon, Jacks, and, what I like to call orthodox, or as they like to say, “active.” We had a good conversation. Jacks are everywhere.   

 November 18, 2011

Additions coming soon to the Polygamy section of the site and here's a teaser from The Church-sanctioned "Daughters In My Kingdom:The History and Work of Relief Society":

"As a result of a general misunderstanding about the Latter-day Saints and their beliefs, the national government passed legislation fobidding polygamous marriages."

Wow. Good fodder for discussion.