New Goal (Posting it here so I’ll do it)

I still haven’t found a way to maintain a blog along with 2 jobs and all my family responsibilities (BTW, my body fat percentage as of 12/08/14 was 24%, down from close to 33% in May.), but I have still tried to complete some various goals related to self-improvement.  Some are easy to maintain, others are hard.  I’ve been doing one for a week and a half now and it has been very hard to not fall behind, so now I’m posting it publicly so I’ll be more inclined to do it.

I have found that in the last 6 years or so it is much harder to pay close attention to General Conference the weekend it actually airs.  Part of that had to do with the fact that UNT held a campus wide open house the first Saturday of April while I worked there, but part of it has to do with the fact that with 4 kids in the house it is hard to just sit down and listen.  We find things for them to do and encourage their participation in conference, but distractions pop up.  For some reason I was thinking about this during sacrament meeting a couple weeks ago while we were visiting Texas, and I thought up a way to play catch up with some of the recent session: each week I’d devote to listening to one apostle (including those in the First Presidency) and listen to one talk a day from the last 5 General Conferences on weekdays.

…and then I promptly forgot that I wanted to do that.

But then on December 7th I remembered and made a chart on my Google Drive and actually put on all the links to the talks and assigned them to days.  Luckily if I started on the 8th, I’d still finish before the April 2015 General Conference.  I listened to the two talks assigned for the 8th, and 9th

…and then didn’t listen to another one until yesterday when I started playing catch up on the goal.

Today I managed to properly catch up, but seeing as how I forgot for two weeks that I wanted to do this, and then got 4 talks behind right in the opening days of the goal, I needed more accountability.  Thus this blog post.

While I’d like to promise that I will publish something each Friday when I finish with my thoughts about the theme the apostle seemed to have, the last few months have shown that I don’t have a schedule that can permit such a promise.  However, I will likely post an update every so often on the progress I’ve made or something I’ve learned.

So if you like this goal or idea, feel free to share in it or modify it to fit your schedule and lifestyle. Or come up with your own goal to do, after all a good healthy S.M.A.R.T. goal is necessary every so often for all of us.

The Conference Center

October 2014 Conference Wordle

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Quick followup thought on General Conference

I’ll write more on this later in the week when the official remarks are published, but I think that Elder Dallin H. Oaks talk from General Priesthood Session on Saturday night with well worth some brief comments.

As I was following conference on Twitter (in all honesty, General Conference is pretty much the only time I ever use Twitter) and I was disappointed in the responses that his talk seemed to be generating.

The first group were predominately men, and in general the comments were: “Boom! #ElderOaks just schools #Ordainwomen, #dropsmic”  This, in my opinion, totally mischaracterizes his talk, and is a completely inappropriate way to deal with members of the church who have publicly stated that feel marginalized and misunderstood.  The reality is that this talk schools all of us.  This talk took existing information and presented it in a way that reiterates what the priesthood is, while opening our eyes to a grander vision of the potential for the priesthood in our church and lives.

The second group were supporters of Ordain Women who seemed to quickly dismiss his remarks thinking he was digging in and arguing for the status quo (although, I’ve noticed this morning that many seem to have stepped back from that). This talk was not about maintaining the status quo, if anything it was laying the groundwork for a changes and shifts that are likely coming.

I think that Elder Oaks talk should come as an assurance to those women who feel marginalized and underutilized in the Church.  It shows that those in positions of control are thinking about this issue and discussing it at depth.  I expect this is the first of many talks that will trigger a paradigm shift (I know, I know, it’s a cliched buzzword, but I couldn’t find an adequate synonym) in how we as a Church look at the priesthood and the roles women fulfill through their priesthood authority.  I believe we will discover that through priesthood keys there are a great many roles that women can fulfill when that authority is delegated to them.  This talk certainly justifies an expansion of areas where women can fulfill priesthood opportunities.  I think this list of considerations is a good place to start.

I know that the Lord cares about each and every one of us, especially those who sit in our pews and silently feel ostracized either by ideology or socialization.  Our church structure and culture are NOT perfect.  Our organization is simply the best that His chosen servants have come up with based on guidelines in the scriptures coupled with ongoing revelation.  Our culture is comprised of imperfect people, so of course it is imperfect.  I think that changes will come in a manner the Lord sees fit, and will probably look very different from many people’s expectations.  It will probably happen too slow for some and too fast for others, but the result will be a church that operates in a more Celestial manner in relation to the roles of men and women.

I hope to be able to delve in more deeply when the talk is published later this week.