"I don't think anyone should write their autobiography until after they're dead." - Samuel Goldwyn

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Question #86826 posted on 05/30/2016 2:50 a.m.
Q:

Dear Tally M and Spectre,

...Do we talk first or do you talk first? We talk first?

-The Rest of Us

A:

Dear Everyone,

We were keeping it quiet for a while but we are too excited to hold it in anymore decided it is time to tell everyone that Tally M. and I are getting married! We were the secret Board couple. I wasn't lying when I said it was meIt's kind of a funny coincidence, though, that Sunday Night Banter also happened to get engaged at the same time as us but no, he is not dating Tally, that would be me.

I'm very excited to spend the rest of my life with Tally. As regular readers already know, Tally's pretty amazing and I'm glad I could convince her to spend more time with me. She is very spiritual and understanding. I couldn't ask for anyone to love me more than her. We share lots of nerdy interests and less nerdy interests. We constantly quote songs to each other (a large portion of which is Hamilton) and I call her my pine tree because she's so sappy. And I love every bit of it.

Now for some stories. I filled out her dating application (which is now closed, in case you were wondering) about a year ago, before I had any hope of ever meeting her. She rejected my application because "he's too into Doctor Who for me." Irony, right? After we met, I really decided I wanted to ask her out so I was waiting for the right moment and, since I didn't have her number, I sent her a Facebook message. Our first date went very well. Like, I went home and wrote in my journal "I just got off the best date I've ever been on in my life." Later I took a screen shot of my first FB message to her because I thought it would be cool to see where our relationship all started if it worked out. Since things did work out, I'm really glad I have it. We also just happened to start dating as soon as she moved away from Provo but we still get to see each other often and we call each night and make sure to pray together.

I'm the luckiest guy in the world.

-Spectre

A:

Dear Doctor,

I'd like to take this moment to introduce our Board couple name: Spectrally!

But in all seriousness, I'm really excited to marry Spectre. He's exactly what I hoped for (and more) in a husband. And I'm not kidding. One day when we were spending time in my apartment, I pulled out one of my journals where I'd made a list of things I wanted in a future spouse, and somehow he has fulfilled all of those things. Not only that, but there are little things about him that I didn't know I wanted in a spouse until I saw them in him. Someone commented on our engagement announcement on Facebook with, "[Tally], you might be one of the most fortunate girls in the world. [Spectre] is by far one of the most Christlike, wonderful men I've known and befriended." I completely and wholeheartedly agree. He literally makes me cry in happiness, which is a really really weird experience if you haven't done that before and then all of the sudden you start doing it regularly. (I'm going to blame hormones.)

Like Spectre, I also thought our first date went really well, to the point where when I was talking to my parents the day afterwards, I was pretty sure that he and I would end up together. My mom asked if we were looking at an October wedding or a February wedding, and I sheepishly replied, "Probably October." Yeah, we're getting married in August. 

I think the biggest thing that helped our relationship is how open we are with each other. The fact that we were both Board writers probably helped, especially because I knew that he already knew a lot about who I was and some of the things I deal with and vice versa. He's been one of the biggest blessings in my life recently, mostly because it means that those things that I've had to struggle with almost entirely on my own I can now share with him. I'm so grateful he's chosen to love me in spite of my weaknesses.

-Tally M.


0 Corrections
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Question #86823 posted on 05/29/2016 9:34 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board Writers,

According to http://names.whitepages.com, how popular is your real first name?

-3577th most popular

A:

Dear person,

My first name is only slightly less popular than the 26,697th most popular name, "Services." That should give you an idea of how weird my first name is.

-Sheebs

A:

Dear Danial,

This seems like a good way to undermine our anonymity. I'll only say that I come in the top 250, which is honestly much higher than I thought.

-The Entomophagist

A:

Dear 3577

I'm in the top 100. Woohoo!

However, according to this website, only 72 people in the US have my last name. Try undermining my identity with THAT!

Cheers,

The Lone Musketeer

A:

Dear 3577,

Frere (the website doesn't like my grave accent, even though I do) is the 53,709th most popular name in the U.S. Since there are 97 Frere's, it gives me great satisfaction to be able to quote Dr. Tobias Fünke when I say that "there are dozens of us! DOZENS!"

Also apparently Delaware has the most Frere's per capita of any state. So...that's pretty cool I guess.

-Frère Rubik's real name is much more popular; it's in the top 250.

A:

Dear you,

I'm the only one in the United States of America with the same first and last name as myself. You're not getting any more out of me.

-Squirrel

A:

Dear Popular Kid,

[Alta] is the 393rd most popular name for women in the US. This is really surprising to me, because I haven't met very many people with my name. 

However, turns out there is only one other person in the entire United States who has my exact same name (first and last), and she's over 65. Will I soon be the last? Who knows! (Sorry for the morbid thoughts).

Alta ranks as the 1,957th most popular name, in case you were wondering, and is apparently extra popular in Oklahoma.

-Alta

A:

Dear name,

My name is in the top 1400 USA names for boys.

You, the reader, right now: "But, April....you're a girl...right?"

Why yes, yes I am.  I'm glad you've been paying attention up until now, reader.  My real name is a boy's name.

And not a "it's-a-boy's-name-but-over-the-years-it's-become-so-overrun-with-girls-using-the-same-name-so-it's-basically-unisex-like-the-names-Casey-or-Taylor-are-unisex-now" kind of boy's name.  

The website you linked to says that there are approximately 150 girls with my name in the entire nation.  And that still seems really high to me.  Here's a list of reasons why:

  1. My name is so severely not-a-girl's name that I have never met another girl with my name, but I knew at least three boys my age (in a very small town) with the same name.
  2. My name is so severely not-a-girl's name that when Andy and I were dating, he refused to use pronouns like "her" and "she" when talking about me.  Andy would say "oh, my partner, [April], and I...." just to freak people out before they actually met me.
  3. My name is so severely not-a-girl's name that the friends of my older siblings who had not yet met me thought my siblings meant to say "dog" instead of "sister" when talking about me.
  4. My name is so severely not-a-girl's name, that it's a more popular DOG'S name than it is a girl's name.
  5. My name is so severely not-a-girl's name, that when I was waiting for my missionary (who I did NOT end up marrying, surprise!), I tried reaching out to a Facebook support group of girlfriends that were waiting for missionaries, and they wouldn't accept me in their group because they thought I WAS A BOY WAITING FOR ANOTHER BOY.
  6. (This one is my personal favorite/most maddening experience): My name is so severely not-a-girl's name, my insurance company once barred me from buying birth control pills because they had marked me as a boy in their records.
  7. My name is so severely not-a-girl's name, that if I told you my real first name right now, literally every single one of you would know who I am with the most casual of Facebook searches.

All that being said, I've tried for years to find a feminine name that suits me better, and for the life of me, there's never been another name that fits me as well as [April] does.

-April Ludgate, with a shoutout to Mom and Dad for the name.  I love you, but no more naming.

A:

Dear you,

My real first name is somewhere in the 1,500-1,600 range in terms of popularity, which is higher than I was expecting. It makes me sad to admit that the highest concentration of my name is in Utah.

I'm also confused to announce that there are 0 people in the U.S. with my first and last name combination. Someone has been lying to me. Or the government, I suppose.

Love,

Luciana

A:

Dear Not Super Popular Name,

I'll give you a hint, my name is in the top 50 most popular boy names. Oo, now you can narrow it down to 50 names!

There are 220 people in the US who have my first and last name. I actually know of 4 people with my first and last name, including another guy that lived in my apartment complex and a BYU professor. It was awesome to find the professor's classroom with a sign that said "[Spectre]'s class is cancelled because he is sick." I really wanted to take that sign.

-Spectre

P.S. There are actually 18 people in the US named Spectre. That's cool. Now I kind of want to name my child Spectre.

A:

Dear 3577,

According to that site, my first name is a bit more popular than 1200, but not quite as popular as 1100.

According to wolframalpha (which includes US birth data and this includes people of all ages with the name) my name is in the 250 range for the US. I'm not sure which site is more accurate or if they take their data differently, thus resulting in the different rankings.

Also, for your reading pleasure, here are some fun facts about my name from gleaned from both whitepages and wolframalpha:

-the most common age of people with my name is ~5 years old.

-The vast majority of people with my name are 10 years old or younger.

-My name is currently in the top 5 most popular names for new babies born in the US (or at least it was in 2014, I don't know how much that has changed since then).

-My name is very decidedly a boy name with ~99.3% of people with this name being male and only about ~0.7% being female.

~Dr. Occam (whose parents were apparently ahead of the times when they named him)

A:

Dear Doctor,

It's between 550 and 600 most popular, but I'm pretty sure most of them don't pronounce it the same way I do.

And there's apparently only one person with my full name and they live in Ohio?

But according to WolframAlpha, it's between 150 and 200 for girls, and most of them are only four years old.

-Tally M.

A:

Dear you,

My name is in the low 800s for popularity, which surprised me, because that makes it seem like people should know how to spell it. They never do.

-Zedability


0 Corrections
Question #86821 posted on 05/29/2016 9:25 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why does the official Disney logo say "Walp Gisnep" instead of "Walt Disney"? Don't they know their own name?!

--Mickep Monse

A:

Dear Mickey,

The font that the Disney parks use as their signature is actually how Walt Disney signed his own name. I'm sure we've all had trouble reading someone's signature, it's just the nature of cursive-ish script. The Entomophagist does a great job of helping one visualize the way it's supposed to be read-- I recommend scrolling down.

--Squirrel

A:

Dear Mortimer,

I've highlighted the t, D, and y, along with all the other more intuitive letters to help you visualize the actual name.

walt disney.png

The question you should really be asking is, if Walt wrote in small caps, why is there a jot above the i?

-The Entomophagist

A:

Dear Dolan Duck,

I'm ashamed at how old I was before I was able to read his signature.

Spoiler alert: I was already married when I finally figured it out.

-April Ludgate


0 Corrections
Question #86822 posted on 05/29/2016 9:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

You won! Are you happy? Is it everything you imagined? What will you do now?

-Last is First

A:

Dear Doctor,

What will I do now? I think I'll marry him.

ring.jpg

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Last But not Least,

And I'll marry her. 

Engaged.jpg

-Spectre

P.S. I definitely won.


0 Corrections
Question #86819 posted on 05/29/2016 8:49 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How much do you feel like people are actors in a play, given a certain role that they just have to make the most of? Do you ever feel constrained by what societal expectations there are for you based off of your situation?

-Scintillation

A:

Dear Stinky,

Often, the one who most limits our potential is the one staring back at us in the mirror.

Cheers,

The Lone Musketeer

A:

Dear S,

If I am an actor in a play, I am constrained by the plot and the role I'm given. If life is a play, however, I have complete creative control over that role. Just like an actor uses a script as a framework to build a character, I like to think that I use my situation in life to build the character I want to be. If there is no script, I have more freedom, but no foundation to build on. 

Yes, I suppose I sometimes do feel constrained by expectations. That feeling irritates me so much, though, that I get angry and actively set fire to those expectations. I crave independent thought, and while I can't control societal expectations, I can separate them from my personal desires. It's frustrating to evaluate every thought and decision to find its origin, but I believe it's worth doing in order to live the life I want to. 

It's not strictly relevant, but you reminded me of a Chuck Palahniuk quote I like: "If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character…Would you slow down? Or speed up?" 

-TEN

A:

Dear Scint,

I have a shirt that says "If life's a stage then where's my spotlight?" I like this because it has sentimental value from high school but I also like that it emphasizes the importance of my own role in my life.

I imagine a fake scenario where a lot of people are sitting in a theater watching my life and are interested in seeing me. That imaginary audience doesn't just want to watch a play, they want to watch me. So if they don't care about what play I'm doing, I get to decide what I'm doing on my stage of life. My life is in my control. That puts a lot of pressure on me to do something worthwhile so sometimes I do things that are simply what society would expect of me because I can't really think of anything else to do and, if society has deemed it as a "worthwhile" activity, then why not do it?

I admit that there are times when I feel pressured to follow societal views when I may not want to but there are lots of other things that I'm comfortable doing because they are societal expectations, such as keeping busy and getting a good job because I'm going to college or going on a mission when I turned 19 (before the age change). I don't think that societal expectations are inherently bad but you should examine what that expectation means for you. Do you agree with it? Will following it be beneficial to you? Are you comfortable with it? I've felt more confident in myself after examining these kinds of things because it helped me to discover the kind of person I want to be and to know specifically what things I need to do to develop into the person I want to be.

-Spectre 

A:

Dear you,

I don't feel as though I'm an actor in a play. In the last year or so I've realized that I need to do whatever makes me happy, not worry about whether I'm pleasing those around me. I certainly don't want to disappoint people, but my goals for myself are far more important than the goals other people try to set for me.

Admittedly, I'm a naturally rebellious person, and it took a lot of struggle to get where I am today. Of course at times I feel the pressure of society, but I've slowly trained myself not to care. It matters to me what others think of me, but it doesn't affect how I feel about myself.

When I was younger, I always felt a lot of pressure. Forgoing humility for a second, I'm intelligent. I don't know my IQ or anything, but for as long as I can remember I've been smarter than the vast majority of my peers. I started walking at 11 months, and starting talking in sentences at around the same time. I started reading when I was three, and in first grade and kindergarten my teachers would assign me book reports and stick me in the corner while they helped the rest of the students. In second grade I started an accelerated program, and even then I excelled. My grades were always perfect and my test scores exceptional with little effort required.

I apologize if I sound braggy; that isn't my intention. Of course intelligence is a blessing, but it could also be a stressful thing. If my grade was hovering around an A-, I was terrified that it would drop lower, because a B was beneath me. Everyone always expected me to be perfect, including my parents, my teachers, and my fellow students. For a long time I managed to meet those expectations, but it could be exhausting. I developed the mentality that to be less than perfect was unacceptable, therefore even the slight possibility of failing was horrifying. And in my mind, a B was failing. I didn't have to study for most tests, but I would stress about them even in my sleep.

I didn't get in to my top choice of college, which was a bit of a letdown, even though it had been a long shot. But I got a scholarship to BYU, and I jumped right in to taking classes for my major. I enjoyed them, but while planning my schedule for the next four years I looked at the class choices and realized I would be more engaged with a different major. But even with that knowledge, I was reluctant to change it. I had chosen my original major by attempting to interpret something my patriarchal blessing mentioned, and I didn't want to miss out on blessings or take a different direction than God wanted me to.

But I thought and prayed about it, and ultimately came to the decision to change my major to history. I love history, and I've loved the classes I've taken. It was a good choice for me, even though history is not a credit-intensive major, and even though the social sciences are not the most marketable majors out there. As I anticipate graduating I'm nervous about my future, but I don't regret choosing history. It worked for me. But just today my coworkers said, "I don't understand why someone with a brain as big as yours is studying history," and "You're too smart to be going to BYU."

Even though I suppose those could be construed as compliments, they were hurtful. They sent the message that my choices are not really my own. Because I'm intelligent, I have some greater responsibility to the world at large than the average person. By choosing what some would dub an easier path, I'm neglecting my duty somehow.

Of course, I want to contribute something to the world. But when I was a teenager, I thought because I was intelligent that I had to contribute in some visible and memorable way. I thought I would end up being a prominent figure, someone who people would remember and venerate. I chose my career path in part because my patriarchal blessing seemed to support that idea. I had an exact idea of what I wanted to do with my life, and it involved being in the public eye and under intense pressure and scrutiny. I thought, because I was intelligent, that I had to do something like that, and that I would ultimately be happy that way.

It's taken a while to realize how silly that was. I don't like being the center of attention. I don't take criticism well. I don't care if I ever have my own Wikipedia page. Yes, I'm an intelligent person, but that doesn't mean I have to put everyone else before myself. Do I have the potential to be a doctor or a Congresswoman or a CEO? Probably. But just because I'm capable of doing something doesn't mean I have to do it. Just because other people might not be capable doesn't mean it's my responsibility. My brain is a gift that I can use to bless lives, but it's also something I have to use to bless my own.

I finally came to that realization when I realized I care more about individual lives than I do the general public. I would rather be an influential person for a handful of others than do something that will change millions of lives. I'm happier that way, and it brings much more meaning into my life. I don't need to be important professionally if I can be important personally, and I can pursue that goal no matter what other people think I should be doing instead.

At times, I still worry that I'm going to disappoint people, especially my parents. But I have to keep reminding myself that it isn't a bad thing to prioritize my own happiness. I don't owe anything to anyone, and the only one I need to listen to is my Heavenly Father. I want my family, friends, teachers, and other associates to be proud of me. I don't want to get stuck in a job that doesn't allow me to use my prodigious smarts. But what I do with my life is my choice, and it should be something that makes me happy. I don't have to give in to societal pressure, and I don't have to feel guilty about putting myself first sometimes.

Love,

Luciana


0 Corrections
Question #86816 posted on 05/29/2016 7:28 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What are your thoughts on the practice of interweaving the Gospel into every Facebook post or using it almost exclusively as a missionary tool - particularly when it makes you/the poster sound like a COMPLETELY different person than they are in real life?

An example: I have a friend who, in person, is witty, snarky, somewhat irreverent at times, and fun to be around. Like a normal person she expresses frustration about parenthood, her family, her in-laws, etc. at times in addition to expressions of love and appreciation or funny stories. She has an interesting job. She's active and devoted LDS but it's not like she just talks about it all the time in person or stops random people on the street to share the Gospel with them. And so on. In short, she's real.

But her Facebook is like a different person. Literally every post and blog entry has to make some Churchy reference. Any mention of her family (immediate, in-law and extended) is followed by some gush about how blessed she is for eternal families (even if I heard her complain about the same family only a few hours earlier). Every photo has a religious themed hashtag. Honestly, it just comes across as so fake and cheesy and almost forced.

I understand that people want to share the Gospel and that their social media is theirs to do with what they like. But it just seems like it should be a little more natural, you know? I feel like if I were a non-member friend of hers, I'd probably be turned OFF wanting to learn more about the Church because she comes across as condescending and a bit of a zealot. She seems like a picture-perfect Stepford wife, and it makes me sad, because I think she's so much more interesting and truly inspiring when she's not trying to put on this facade - when you know about her struggles and can hear her humor and her efforts to live the Gospel and love others despite difficulties.

This isn't about what I should do about her, because it's her choice, obviously. But what have you found is an appropriate and effective use of social media in terms of being an example and sharing the Gospel?


-werido

A:

Dear Doctor,

I use social media to share the gospel, and I also have a lot of friends who do. Personally, I'm not a fan of having all of my status updates be a quote from a general authority or from the scriptures. I prefer to share it in regards to something I've been thinking about lately. 

It's a hard thing to navigate. I want sharing the gospel to come as a natural extension of who I am, of being myself, but I don't want to be overbearing.

When it comes down to it, I'll post what I want to post, and people will follow or unfollow me as they will.

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Wendigo,

I agree with you that it should be a natural thing when you post churchy stuff on Facebook or other social media. I think what Tally said she does is a good strategy.  It sounds like she posts on social media when something in particular strikes her or when she's been thinking about it already which is what most people do for anything they post whether or not it's religious. It just happens that for her (and obviously other members of the church as well) among the important and "twitter-worthy" things that go on in life are things related to the gospel.

Facebook asks you "What's on your mind?" And I don't honestly believe that average people only ever have gospel/churchy stuff on their minds, so only posting those things can come off as fake like you said. On the other hand, you do have to look at it in context. Every member knows the stereotypical RM who always talks about what happened on their mission, but if they've only been home for a year or less* that makes sense since the majority of their recent life experience was "on the mission." In the same way, someone who is more deeply and consistently immersed in the church - through callings, scripture study, or whatever - will probably have a greater percentage of their day-to-day thoughts and experiences that they might post about be church/gospel related than someone who only, say, reads scriptures once or twice a month and does the bare minimum in their calling.

So yeah, it's kind of a hard line to find, but I think ultimately you should be as genuine and natural as possible about posting church/gospel-related stuff (or really anything for that matter) on social media.

Also (and I'm still working on this myself) try not to judge other people too much on what they post on their social media. The Internet will be a better place if we can all do that.

~Dr. Occam

*Note this is just an example timeframe. I'm not saying that if you talk about your mission more than a year after the fact that it makes you "one of those RM's."

A:

Dear Frito,

"Both Feet Forward". Please read it. This is by far the best devotional I've heard here at BYU. It's about how the best way to share the gospel is by just being your ordinary self. You might want to share it with your friend, too. Or everybody. It's just really good.

Cheers,

The Lone Musketeer

A:

Dear you,

As a disclaimer, I'm a very private person, and there are very few instances in which I'll discuss my inner feelings, especially as they relate to religious belief. I didn't serve a mission for that reason (among others), and emotional discussion outside of a church setting often makes me uncomfortable.

But I don't think using Facebook and other social media to share the gospel is a terribly good idea, at least not on an individual level.

Of course, there are ways that people do it effectively. There are people who can communicate spiritual truths over the internet. But that's not a very large portion of the population.

But honestly, conversion is a difficult thing. It requires feeling the Spirit, which isn't something you often accomplish on Facebook. And, to be honest, anyone who posts exclusively about one thing isn't going to be popular anyway. I hardly see or talk to the vast majority of my Facebook friends, but I still care about them and want to know what's going on in their lives. I'm much less interested in hearing about their religion, whether they share my beliefs or not. I'm glad to know they're happy, but that's not why I have a Facebook account and that's not why I check it.

From what I understand, religious belief is dwindling, especially among millennials. Fewer and fewer people are interested in organized religion, viewing it as old-fashioned and unnecessary. Someone who posts about their faith zealously on Facebook or other social media isn't going to suddenly convince the atheists and agnostics, they're just going to make the idea of religion seem overpowering. That is not an effective way to share the gospel, by making it seem like the entire focus of your life. Ideally, religion should be, but that's not an attractive notion to most people who don't profess religious belief. If people are happy without it, then they won't feel the need to change, even if you constantly post about how it makes you happy.

I'm not saying that no one should ever post about their religious beliefs. For many people, religion is a huge part of their lives, and sharing that part of themselves on social media is a natural thing. But I take umbrage at the posts that seem preachy or rely too heavily on rhetoric. If religion makes you happy, great. I'm glad. But people who post too often about it bother me, because it feels like they're trying to shove their own spirituality down my throat.

For instance, there's a girl in my ward who keeps a religiously themed blog, which she updates frequently. Every time she updates it, she posts about it on the ward Facebook page. On the surface, that's an admirable thing, but it has gotten super irritating.

One of my biggest complaints about Mormonism is that, inadvertently I'm sure, it seems to homogenize its adherents. BYU is the best summary of this, forbidding outlandish hairstyles and colors, as well as beards. Of course, that isn't going to erase the individuality that every person possesses. But it sends the message that the ideal Mormon doesn't draw attention to themselves, and is a staunch conformist. I think that's a dangerous attitude to propagate. Interpreted broadly, it could imply that the ideal Mormon man must marry then work and provide for a family, while an ideal Mormon woman should stay home and raise children. The idea that conforming to social norms or social morals makes one Mormon more orthodox than another is incorrect and frightening. In theory, it could marginalize a lot of people who might already struggle with how they're different from the stereotypical Mormon.

Unfortunately, that idea is exactly contrary to what the LDS church actually teaches. We profess to love everyone equally, and believe that every single person can benefit from the gospel in their lives. But the culture speaks differently. It tells us a that a woman who works is neglecting her primary duty as a wife and mother. It tells us that a Mormon with tattoos is rebellious and not as spiritual as they should be. It tells us that someone who doesn't hold a calling isn't a good Mormon because they aren't serving the members of their ward. None of these attitudes is Christ-like, but they are at times prevalent in Mormon culture. They are attitudes that are painful and marginalizing to a lot of people who may be struggling to accept their place in the Church but are still trying to live its values.

I admire people who are openly spiritual. But I think it's a bad thing if the first word I would use to describe someone is "Mormon," like the girl from my ward. Being a faithful representative of the faith is a good thing. But when you actively promote yourself as Mormon, especially on Facebook where you're likely to have a lot of nonmember friends, you can send an unfortunate message. If you're the only Mormon that your Facebook friends know, then by posting solely about spiritual matters, you're in effect telling them, This is what Mormons are. This is what Mormons do.

As an active Mormon, but one who disagrees with certain aspects of the faith, that's not the image I want presented of my beliefs. I don't want to be seen as a religious zealot whose entire personality is consumed by spreading my beliefs. I'm sure that's not how people who post frequently want to present themselves either, but you can't control how other people see you. Again, I admire attempts to enhance personal spirituality, and to introduce others to the gospel. But preachy Facebook posts are not the way to go about it.

Ammon is probably my favorite scriptural prophet, and not because of all the arm chopping. He and his brothers decide to serve a mission among the Lamanites, wanting to share the joys of the gospel with them. When Ammon first arrives, he is captured by Lamanites and taken before the King. King Lamoni asks him whether he planned to live among the Lamanites. In Alma 17:23, possibly my favorite scripture, Ammon replies, "Yea, I desire to dwell among this people for a time; yea, and perhaps until the day I die." This sentiment pleases the king, and he treats Ammon very generously, but Ammon politely declines, instead declaring that he wishes to be Lamoni's servant.

Ammon spends three days serving the Lamanite king before the flocks are scattered by wicked and mischievous men. Ammon then does his whole superhero thing, realizing it's a chance to teach them. His fellow servants are astonished at his actions, and tell the king all about the incident. He asks them where he can find Ammon, he is astonished to hear that Ammon has humbly gone back to work, preparing the horses for travel. In Alma 18:10, he says, "Surely there has not been any servant among all my servants that has been so faithful as this man." He summons Ammon to him, but is at a loss for words. Inspired by the Spirit, in verse 17 Ammon explains that, "I am a man, and am thy servant; therefore whatsoever thou desirest which is right, that will I do." Only upon the king's continued inquiry did Ammon share the truths of the gospel.

Though his primary goal was to be a missionary, Ammon did not go in with scriptures blazing and his testimony on his lips. He desired fervently to share his joy with the Lamanites, but knew preaching would be an ineffective strategy. Instead, Ammon let his beliefs shine through his demeanor, knowing that a humble and unassuming servant could be more effective than a missionary who risked his life by knocking on doors and suffering persecution. While the Lamanites are often described as hateful and hard-hearted in the Book of Mormon, Lamoni is touched by Ammon's quiet devotion, and through him many were converted.

I'm aware that Ammon's missionary strategy is not the only effective tactic for spreading the gospel. Thousands of missionaries go tracting throughout the world, and still meet with success. But for someone like me, Ammon's example is incredibly powerful. I'm never going to be comfortable walking up to a stranger and offering to share the gospel. I'm probably never going to be comfortable sharing the gospel with anyone if it's unsolicited, no matter how close I am to them. But Ammon proves that I can be an effective missionary regardless. By living a quiet life, but by letting my love of the gospel shine through my actions, I can still change the lives of my loved ones. I don't have to be an obvious missionary in order to make people intrigued by the gospel. If I'm living my life the way I want to, God's love can shine through me even if I never say a single word about my religious beliefs.

I'm not trying to condemn those who share the gospel on social media, and I apologize if I sound overly critical of them. A lot of it is my own bias, because that's not a strategy I would ever pursue. Their attempts to spread the gospel are admirable, and are probably sometimes effective. But personally, that's not how I would choose to represent the gospel, and it's a very different presentation than I prefer to make. Sharing your beliefs organically is fine, but making it the purpose of your social media usage is, in my opinion, not going to be an effective missionary strategy for most people.

Hopefully all of that makes sense, because I found it hard to communicate my thoughts coherently. I think living in a Christ-like manner is always going to be a better strategy than trying to present yourself that way on social media. I think those who post solely about spiritual matters aren't presenting an accurate picture of the Mormon faith.

Also, I apologize for writing you a novel. Often I start an answer and realize I have a lot more to say than I expected.

Love,

Luciana


0 Corrections
Question #86817 posted on 05/29/2016 7:20 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Hey! So what's the deal with brunch? I mean, if it's a combination of breakfast and lunch, how come there's no lupper, or no linner?

-Jeannie

A:

Dear Doctor,

I've definitely had linner before.

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Jeannie,

It's because other than Tally, nobody has had lupper or linner or dunch. 

Dear Tally,

You do you.

-Sunday Night Banter

A:

Dear Sunday Night Banter,

Linner was actually a common occurrence in our house. I think you're just behind on the times.

Dear Jeannie and Tally M.,

As chief spokesperson for the Organization Against Meal Discrimination, I'd just like to reassure you that you are welcome to combine whichever meals your heart desires. Don't let the haters stop you.

-the Goose Girl

A:

Dear Goose Girl,

I can combine any meals I want to? Dinkfast? Lunsert? This seems like it should be too dangerous to be done by anyone other than licensed professionals.

Dear Jeannie,

What about second breakfast? Elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon Tea? Dinner? Supper?

I think the real problem is that we, as a culture, have not adopted the Hobbit schedule of mealtimes.

-Frère Rubik

A:

Dear Jeannie, 

Brunch did not exist in my home. 

Lunfest is MUCH better (it's got "fest" in the name, after all).

-April Ludgate

P.S. - long live Brinner.

A:

Dear everybody,

Lupper has a big problem. See this schedule:

9:00 am - breakfast

3:30 pm - lupper

Let's just pause and process for a moment. Is this really the last meal you want to eat today? Because if I was you I would be sad and hungry unless I added...

8:00 pm - actual supper 

I would argue that lupper doesn't exist because it actually ends up being late lunch in real life. 

-Sheebs


0 Corrections
Question #86493 posted on 05/29/2016 5:23 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So I knew its been a few years since question #71841, but I saw Dragon Lady answered some questions for this year's alumni reunion. Could we get another one of those Dragon Lady's awesome Old Testament stories? I love reading scripture stories with different perspectives.

-I'm a fan

A:

Dear friend ~

I appreciate your patience. You asked this question during alumni week and are only now getting an answer. I apologize. Alumni week was far busier than I anticipated, and it took all my time just to attempt to keep up. I did go down to BYU where I spent several hours reading and copying commentaries (and also helped a cute senior lady do her family history work. You're welcome, random Swedish family, for no longer having a bunch of duplicates!)

Then alumni week was over and the editors graciously said I could finish the answer and just email it to them. So I caught up on all the things I neglected during alumni week, and then I got very sick. 3.5 days I was completely out for the count, then I was very weak and it took awhile to get back to speed on life again. And then I spent a couple of days desperately trying to prep for vacation.

So for you, dear reader, I am typing this answer on my phone while on vacation in the middle of the forest. I hope that is sufficient penance.
I asked the other writers what story they wanted me to talk about. Together we decided on Genesis 27, when Jacob and Rebekah tricks Esau and Isaac into giving Jacob the birthright and blessing.

Let's summarize the story in lay man's terms here, shall we?

Rebekah got pregnant and the baby was moving so much that she complained, “Oh my goodness! I'm gonna die! Why would I want to live with Tigger in my belly?!” I think every woman who has ever been pregnant can commiserate.

What? You don't think Rebekah complained about Tigger? Fine. The Hebrew literally translates as “Wherefore, then, am I?” It could be argued that she wasn't actually wishing to die, but was worried about a miscarriage and was asking God, “If this pregnancy is just going to end in a miscarriage, why did you even let me get pregnant in answer to Isaac's prayer?” This seems like a much less whiny interpretation, and makes more sense as to why it's put in the Bible. Rebekah seems to have a strong testimony of revelation, so when Isaac is promised children, Rebekah's testimony is shaken when reality seems to contradict the revelation. Ever had that happen to you? Makes Rebekah feel a bit more like a real person, huh? Instead of just whining, or walking away from her testimony, she clung to it and asked for more revelation. She turned to God and asked why. She asked for clarifying revelation.

The Lord gave her the revelation she sought, not only confirming that the pregnancy was viable and her child would live, but also that she was having twins! By telling her both of their futures, he was also giving her peace that her pregnancy would end well. It also gave her revelation for the future: that the eldest would serve the younger.

This is important. In Old Testament times, the eldest, by tradition, received the birthright, but it could be passed on to the younger brother instead. This happened with Isaac, when he was born after Ishmael, and it would happen again with Jacob's sons, when Joseph ended up with the birthright, despite having 10 older brothers. Both are interesting stories, but perhaps stories for another question another day. Handing down the birthright to a younger son, while not common, was also not unheard of.

I would hope, though we don't know (even biblical commentators disagree, some saying he knew and some saying he didn't), that Rebekah would have told Isaac about this revelation she was given. She trusted his revelation that she would have a child, so why wouldn't she tell him about her revelation?

Ok, feminists, here is your moment to get riled up. It is possible that she didn't tell him. Why? Because the patriarchy was very strong and women weren't always listened to. Perhaps she feared she would be laughed at or scorned. If she didn't tell him, or if she did and he didn't believe her, it could explain why Isaac tried so hard later to give Esau the blessing, despite revelation to the contrary.

But, I like to believe the best in people, and I like to believe that our ancient fathers had good relationships with their wives, different as those relationships may be from our own ideals. So I choose to believe that she did tell him and he did believe her.

So the babies are born, Esau first, and then Jacob, holding on to his brother's heel.

The boys grow up and turn out to be very different. Esau disregards traditions and does whatever brings him pleasure now, with no regard to the future. We see this a couple of times.
First, when he sells his birthright to Jacob for a mess of pottage. Which, honestly, sounds really gross. A mess of pottage? Really? Don't worry, though, it is better translated as a stew.
So Esau is a wild man. He prefers to be out hunting wild game. It's pleasurable, but exhausting work. He came home from one trip, famished. All he really wanted was some food. When he walked in the door, the smell of stew was strong and delicious, and probably wiped all reason from his mind. The boy was hangry.

Whether he plotted it, or if it was chance, Jacob saw his chance and seized upon it. He offered a trade: warm scrumptious, delicious stew for Esau's birthright.

Esau, who cared little for spiritual things, almost flippantly gave it away. “Psh. What good is the stupid birthright gonna do if I die of hunger? Give me the stinkin' stew!” Jacob, wanting to make sure Esau is serious, made him promise. “Yes, fine, I swear it! Can I have the bowl now?”

And thus the deal was struck.

The next time we see Esau disregarding the wishes of others and the future for his own immediate pleasure, Esau took two pagan women as wives, much to the dismay of his parents. “They made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah.” Please note the scripture lists both parents here, not just Rebekah. Isaac wasn't pleased here either.

Now we're at the meat of the story. The part writers were like, “Dude, DL, how does this make any sense? Rebekah and Jacob, the literal head of the house of Israel, lied to and tricked his father into giving him the blessing instead of Esau! Is Isaac a prophet or what? How does Jacob become the prophet with a resume like this?”

Those are very good questions. Glad you asked them.

But before you get all excited, I don't know the answer. But it has led me to some interesting ideas, so I'll tell you about those. Give you some food for thought, too.

Isaac has a favorite son. Esau. He's his oldest. His pride and joy. He makes the best venison. Oh man. Sooooo good. Something about him just tugs at Isaac's heartstrings and makes him beam with pride. Sure, he's a little rebellious and has made some really bad decisions that have broken daddy's heart, but he's just a boy. He'll grow out of it eventually. Besides, love is blind. Besides, the eldest son should get the blessing. That's just the way it should be done. Rebekah is fine of reminding him that he was a younger son, too, but that was different. He was the eldest son of the first wife. His older brother, Ishmael, was the son of a concubine. Completely different circumstance. And yes, there is the revelation Rebekah had back when she was pregnant, but that was over 40 years ago. Time and distance have made that seem less relevant.

Rebekah also has a favorite. From the time God told her that the youngest would rule, she's harbored tender feelings towards her baby. She knew full well that all tradition and peer pressure would lead Isaac to prefer Esau for the blessing, though he should know better, being the younger usurper himself. Knowing she would likely need to rise to his aid to make sure her revelation was fulfilled, she took her little darling under her wing.

They both loved both of their sons, obviously. Parents do. But, especially as adults, it's common for a child to have more of a bond with one parent than another. I think the reverse can be true as well. These aren't teenagers we're talking about here. Esau was 40 when he got married. These are middle aged men. They've had plenty of time to bond with their preferred parent and to really think through what they want in life.

Spoiler: I'm going to tell you my conclusion before I recount the story.

People are stupid and imperfect and selfish. We all are trying to overcome the natural man, and thank goodness for repentance, because we all fail miserably often. Even leaders in the Church. A visible calling does not a perfect person make.

The beautiful thing? God still loves us and can work through imperfect people to bring about His perfect purposes. There is no “one path” to perfection. There are many. As many as there are people on the earth. More even. We can come to a fork in the road, pick the wrong path, and still make it back to the right path.

God is similar. There is no predestination. He won't force us to do the right thing. But an imperfect mortal is not going to stop His eternal purposes. Instead, He allows us to make mistakes and do stupid things with good intentions, and while many things will go wrong and we'll still suffer the consequences of our actions, God's purposes will still shine through. There is probably an ideal way that God would prefer, and that will be happiest for everyone, but He won't force us into it. He also won't let us thwart His plan.

Isaac, Rebekah, Esau and Jacob fit this perfectly. They are very, very human. They make selfish choices and suffer the consequences. That doesn't make any of them bad people, any more than you are a bad person because you make stupid mistakes and suffer the consequences.

Sometimes we make the mistake of putting visible spiritual people on a pedestal—one we would never want to be on ourselves.

We forget that Jacob was a real person. Yes, he became the head of the house of Israel. Yes, he became a great prophet. But he wasn't either at this point. And even if he had been, prophets aren't perfect either. That didn't excuse him from his actions—he still paid the price of his mistakes—but it also doesn't make him evil or unworthy of becoming a prophet.

Enough pontificating. Let's tell the story.

Isaac was very old. Old enough he thought he would die soon. Old enough that he felt it was time to pass on the blessing he had received from his father, Abraham, to his son before he died.

Maybe Isaac knew about Rebekah's revelation. Maybe he forgot over the years. Maybe he didn't put any stock into a woman's revelation. Maybe his fondness for Esau overshadowed his judgment. Maybe Rebekah never told him. Maybe he hoped that giving such a spiritual blessing to his wayward son would be a catalyst for change. Whatever the reason, Isaac willingly chose to give his blessing to his first-born son, Esau.

So Isaac asked Esau to go hunting and to cook some venison the way Isaac loved.

Everyone in this story makes immediate mistakes. Everyone except Esau. Looking just at this story, it's easy to feel bad for Esau. It's easy to see him as the victim. But if you look at the entire story, you can see how he has always treated his spiritual heritage lightly. His mistakes have been throughout his life.

Esau obeyed immediately. He went out to hunt venison.

Meanwhile, Rebekah had heard what Isaac planned. She saw her husband planning to give his blessing to the wrong son. She trusted her revelation, but didn't trust God to make it happen. Who knows what would have happened if she had instead gone to her room and prayed or to her husband and talked to him. I'm inclined to believe that God would have still found a way to give the blessing to Jacob. She didn't. (Or perhaps she felt like she was following the Spirit by doing what she did. It's harder to believe the Spirit would lead someone in deceit, but then again, Nephi and Laban anyone? Who am I to judge.)

So Rebekah takes matters into her own hands and has Jacob go kill two goat kids so she can cook it the way Isaac likes. The plan is that Jacob will serve Isaac the goats, pretending it's venison and that he's Esau so that he'll get the blessing.

Jacob's mistake is that he runs with the plan. He doesn't question the ethicality of it at all. Only the execution. “But mom, this won't work. Dad might be blind, but he sees with his hands now. Esau is super hairy and I'm not! I can't just will my arm hair to grow. Dad will know I'm trying to deceive him, and he'll curse me instead of blessing me!”
Rebekah has so much faith in the prophecy and her plan that she willingly takes the curse upon herself, reassuring Jacob.

Rebekah must have been a very talented lady. She not only cooked goat to taste like deer (I'm guessing it was spicy, because you can't taste anything else when your tongue is on fire), but she also sewed together the goat fur into sleeves and a collar in a natural way that made Jacob feel hairy and smell like wild game. Gotta give her credit for that!
So Jacob took the meat into his dad. Please note that Isaac was not easily fooled. First he questioned Jacob's voice as not Esau's. Then he questioned how quickly the meat was made. Then he insisted on feeling Jacob for hair. Mostly, but not entirely convinced, he asked with sincerity, “Art thou my very son Esau?” You'd better believe Jacob is sweating by that point. As he should.

Apparently convinced, Isaac says, “Let's eat!” They do, but Isaac is using it for another test. Does it taste right? Then under the pretext of giving him a kiss, he smelled Jacob's clothes.
Finally, Isaac gave Jacob his blessing.

I think that deep down, Isaac knew. He was obviously very suspicious. He put Jacob through all sorts of tests. He even said that the voice was Jacob's. He had to have a small inkling that maybe, just maybe, it was really Jacob. He could have called in a servant and asked. He could have called for Jacob to come in. There were plenty of opportunity for him to have outside verification. He could have postponed the blessing until he was sure. But he didn't. He gave the blessing knowing there was a chance he was giving it to Jacob instead. Perhaps he deceived himself into believing it was Esau. Maybe he feared death so much that he rushed into it, not taking thought for the consequences.
Isaac's consequence was that in his blindness towards his son, he suffered a loss of his personal preference when God had other plans. He later also lost proximity to his son Jacob for the end of life.

Esau's consequences for a lifetime of poor choices was the loss of the birthright and the blessing. He was so used to getting his immediate desire, that the loss of the blessing hit him hard and he begged and begged until his dad gave him another, and inferior, blessing. He also opened himself up to Satan and let anger consume him, to the point that he plotted his brother's murder, knowing that with Jacob's death, before he had children, the birthright and blessing would come back to him.

When Rebekah heard Esau plotting, she once again jumped to Jacob's aid. Knowing that fleeing would make him look bad to everyone, she provided a feasible excuse for him to leave. Esau wasn't going to kill Jacob until after Isaac's death, lest it anger Isaac to revoke the blessing completely, so Rebekah had a little time.

Rebekah went to Isaac and bemoaned Esau's wives to him. “If Jacob takes a wife like Esau did, I would have no reason to live.” Isaac agreed, so he called Jacob in to give him another blessing and to charge him to go take a wife from his cousins.

Clearly Isaac is not angry with either Jacob or Rebekah here. If he were, why would he listen to Rebekah? Why would he give Jacob another blessing? He had accepted what had happened. We are missing so many details of this story. I really want to know why Isaac is so chill about the whole thing. But apparently that is not pertinent to my eternal salvation, so it's not in the scriptures. It's enough to know that Isaac had accepted it.

Jacob's consequence was that he had to fear for his life and flee. He never saw either of his parents again. He lived over 14 years having the promise of a blessing, but knowing that his brother had the physical manifestation of the blessing and birthright.

Rebekah's consequence was that she had to send Jacob, her favorite son that she fought so hard for, away. She never got to see him again. Instead she watched Esau take charge of everything she believed Jacob should have. At that point, there was nothing she could do. She just had to have faith that God would really make His promises happen.

Everyone in this story was human and flawed. Everyone made mistakes and did stupid things. Everyone put their own desires over their faith in God. Everyone suffered the consequences of their actions. Yet through all the middle of human choice, God passed the Abrahmic covenant through the line He had chosen. Could it have turned out differently? Could Jacob have been a better role model for a Mormonad? Absolutely. But he didn't.

Stories don't have to be idyllic to teach a lesson. This story is applicable to you.

Have you ever known anyone to leave the church because of a mistake a leader made, whether it be their bishop, the current prophet, or Joseph Smith?

Has your testimony ever been shaken because something you knew to be true seemed to be falling apart at the seams?

Have you ever thought what you knew or what you wanted was more important than what God wanted?

Have you ever made a stupid mistake and worried that you had lost everything? That God didn't love you anymore and had abandoned you?

There is follow up. When Esau opened his eyes and looked outside himself enough to see how important a proper marriage was, he went and took a wife from the daughters of Ishmael. Later, when he had time to let his anger cool and realize what he had lost in scaring off his brother, he was able to welcome him back with open arms.

After many years and much suffering, Jacob was able to return home and claim his birthright and blessing. He was also able to fully love his brother for who he was, instead of spending his life trying to win something he felt rightfully belonged to him.

Both Isaac and Rebekah got their wishes of seeing both of their sons well married. Their legacy lives on in their posterity, who ended up living peacefully, and in prosperity. (Though neither lived to see it.)

At the end, they all won. Just like we will if we keep repenting of our dumb mistakes. But along the journey, we are going to make messes of things. We are going to alienate people with our choices. We are going to be selfish and not look past ourselves. We are going to suffer the consequences of our actions. But it's comforting to know through it all that we're not alone. That even our spiritual heroes were imperfect. That while we mess up our own lives, we will never mess up the eternal plan of our Heavenly Father.

And with that, my thumbs are exhausted and people are playing games without me.

I hope you learned something from this story! I know I sure did.

~ Dragon Lady


0 Corrections
Question #86811 posted on 05/29/2016 4:31 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

It's summer! And I'm thinking that I might take a dance class during summer semester, just for fun. It looks like the options are Social Dance, Ballroom Dance ("Intl," not sure what that means) and Latin Dance (also "Intl"). Which of these do you recommend?

Of course, there are other beginning dance classes offered as well, these are just the ones that stood out to me. So if you'd rather recommend one I didn't mention, go for it.

Thanks!

-Pear

A:

Dear Pear,

Ok, Dance 180 (social dance) is awesome! I've taken it twice and it's super fun. Everyone should totally take it at some point in their time here at BYU. I haven't taken 184 or 185 (Intl. Ballroom and Latin respectively), but I can tell you the main differences between the three classes.

Like Tally said below, the international classes focus a lot more on technique than social dance does.  This is reflected in the fact that in 184 and 185 you learn (or at least focus on) only 2 dances over the course of the semester compared to 4 in 180.  The dances you learn in each class are as follows:

Dance 180 (Social Dance) - Foxtrot, Chacha, Waltz, Triple Swing

Dance 184 (Intl. Ballroom) - Waltz, Quickstep

Dance 185 (Latin) - Samba, Rumba

180 is great for general learning so you can go to a dance and not be confined to the "Deacon Shuffle" or "Stake-Dance-Swing," and it's nice because you learn several different styles of dance that you can do to a wide variety of songs (as opposed to Latin or Ballroom which might be confined to a smaller variety of songs).  Ultimately it depends on what and how you want to learn, but generally speaking everyone I know who's taken any one of these classes has really enjoyed it and often gone on to take the following classes (200 and 300 level) later on.  So go for it! Learn to dance and make all the guys/girls swoon over your fantastic abilities! Or, if you already have a significant other, get them to take it with you so you can have another fun activity for date nights or whatever.

Best of luck!

~Dr. Occam

A:

Dear E'lir,

If you are looking to do it "just for fun", then you should definitely take Social Dance (Dance 180). There are likely to be more people in a summer dance class who are really serious about dance than there are in classes during the Fall/Winter. You are likely to get more people who are also looking to "just have fun" in a social dance class than in an international dance class. You'll simply probably have more fun in a social dance. Also, there are likely to be more people in your average social dance class than an international dance class. Even more importantly, there is a greater likelihood of having an even number of guys to girls in a social dance class than any other dance class in the summer. And let me tell you, having two girls to every guy in your class is simply miserable.

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger 

A:

Dear Doctor,

I took international ballroom last summer, and it was a great decision. Unlike Social Dance, there was a lot more focus on technique, so I felt like I actually became a better dancer. I'd already taken through 380 in Social Dance, but I grew a lot in 184 and 284. If you seriously want to learn how to dance, do the international classes. If you want to learn for fun, take social, and then take international later if you feel like it.

-Tally M.


0 Corrections
Question #86813 posted on 05/29/2016 3:38 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Someone asked a question about writing a letter to an apostle to thank them for a talk. I've had a question I wanted to ask a particular apostle about something they said in a fireside a few years ago.

If I did want to write to an apostle, what address would I send it to? I tried just messaging on their facebook page, but it didn't have the option to do that. Do I need to add their page first?

-HK

A:

Dear HydroKicker,

For one thing, the official Facebook pages for general authorities aren't really meant to serve as a means of correspondence. People can like the page and leave comments, but I don't think any of those comments are ever responded to (also, I don't believe the general authorities manage the pages themselves). 

For another, since we've been talking recently about writing directly to general authorities, I thought I'd just link to the official Handbook 2 entry on communication with Church Headquarters. Though it doesn't mention anything regarding letters of gratitude, the handbook discourages writing to general authorities with questions about doctrine or personal matters, and recommends that such matters be discussed with local bishops or stake presidents. 

If you have some sort of doctrinal question, I would recommend talking to your local leaders first. Not only are they called to do such a thing, but as that same entry says, they actually can write directly to the First Presidency with doctrinal questions on behalf of their members.

Another reason for talking to your bishop first is that he actually might be able to give you a more accurate address. When I tried writing to President Eyring, the best thing I had to work with was some letterhead that my mission president had lying around from a letter he got from Church Headquarters, which is what I'm passing on to you.

So, if you do want to try writing directly to someone, I'd try an address like this:

[Apostle Name]

50 East North Temple Street

Salt Lake City, UT

84150

That's the address to the Church Office Building, with the apostle's name slapped on top. That's as good as I (or the internet) can do for you under the given circumstances.

-Frère Rubik


0 Corrections
Posted on 05/29/2016 2:32 p.m. New Correction on: #86797 I know you are supposed to put an AED on a bare chest, but does that ...
Question #86810 posted on 05/29/2016 1:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

May I just say that I think Luciana is my favorite writer?

-Secret Admirer

A:

Dear Secret,

Yes, yes you can. Although I'd rather be your favorite, Luciana is cool too.

-Sunday Night Banter

A:

Sweet Reader,

You are always welcome to say nice things about me. And email me, if you like. Your admiration doesn't have to be a secret, you know.

Love,

Luciana


0 Corrections
Question #86807 posted on 05/29/2016 12:06 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Does eating frozen grapes help someone to process things faster in their brain? What's that all about?

-Ironic Chef

A:

Dear Irony,

No, they're just yummy. In fact, most of the time the frozen grapes distract me from my work, because, heck, they're just GOOD. I've never seen anything about their magical ability to increase thinking capacity. 

The cold does keep me awake, though. That's why I also eat frozen vegetables (from the bag) when I study. It's a good and light snack. 

Here are some fun facts about grapes from WebMD. I didn't know they were such a good source of Vitamin K and C. And that grape seeds (which are edible) are a great source of antioxidants. Fascinating!

I love WebMD.

Cheers,

The Lone Musketeer


0 Corrections
Question #86803 posted on 05/29/2016 12:06 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

When do you think it's appropriate to read someone's journal?

Some say never, but there have been times when important information can be discovered. A good number of mass shooters wrote about their plans in their journals, discovered only after the fact. I also once heard a story where a mother discovered her daughter was abusing classmates by randomly looking in her diary.
Do you think there are appropriate times to read others journals? Would you ever do it?

-Axe Cop

A:

Dear you,

Once, I read my sister's journal. The first entry I flipped to was about how she read my journal and felt really guilty.

I stopped reading my sister's journal.

-Zedability

A:

Dear Kvothe,

Are there appropriate times to read another person's journal? Probably not. 

Would you ever do it? To be honest, I do it all the time. I don't go out and find people's journals, but if you are writing in yours while next to me at church, I will read it. If you leave it out and open, I will read it. I have absolutely no respect for other peoples' privacy.  

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger (who makes her living by prying into people's lives, which is pretty perfect)

A:

Dear person,

Unless you suspect someone is planning to kill someone, never. If anybody ever read my journals I would probably never trust them again. Few things would feel more violating.

-Sheebs

A:

Dear Smartist,

Police don't search a home (representing a rather big breach of privacy) unless they have probable cause. Granted, that stipulation has likely been bent and twisted a fair amount in its lifetime, but I think the principle holds true: you shouldn't go breaching someone's privacy unless you have a good reason to do so. In the case of journals, I think you need a very, very, very good reason. Though journal-writers vary in terms of content and writing-style (e.g. personal vs. impersonal), as a rule a journal or diary is essentially an extension of the writer's mind, and so by reading their journal you are practically probing their mind.

Granted, our minds aren't always focused on very private or personal details. An example: I've been keeping a daily journal ever since I was about 14, so I have close to ten years of entries, all written in identical black Moleskine lined journals. I remember in high school my mom expressed an interest in reading my journals. At the time, it didn't seem like the strangest request (my guess is either that she was just curious about why I was suddenly writing so much or that she just wanted to read more of my writing), but it still felt a bit too personal. It didn't seem unreasonable, then, to tell her that she could read them as soon as I left on my mission. Fast-forward to the days leading up to my mission, and I still wasn't comfortable with people reading my journals, but I sort of left the matter open-ended. My parents emailed me later once my mission had started and said they'd decided that they wouldn't read them. A few weeks later, though, I got a letter from my sister. Apparently, one night she was pretending like she was me, so she jumped up on my bed and started messing around with my stuff. That included grabbing one of my journals at random and starting to read a passage. When my mom found out, she got really mad at my sister and made her promise not to do it again, which she did. My sister then sent me an apology. However, as she noted, it's not like she had stumbled on any of my closest-kept secrets: the entry she read from was me describing how I ate pizza and apple pie that day. 

It's also an interesting topic for me, because I very much write in my journal with an audience in mind. I write thinking that someone is going to read it. Who is that someone? Often, in practice, it's me, but I don't think that's usually who I'm writing to in my mind. I guess I imagine future children or grandchildren reading the entries and gaining some profound sense of connection to me in my old age/death. However, actually considering them reading my journals makes me anxious in the present, and I'm not sure when that'll change; fresh off of my mission, I found one of my dad's mission journals and started reading it. He being a middle child, he was non-confrontational when he saw me reading it, but fortunately I had the sense to realize that he wasn't very comfortable with it and so I stopped.

So, that's a lot of thoughts, but here's what I'll close with: I think 99 times out of 100, any information you would gain by reading a journal could be obtained through verbal communication with the journal writer. Only consider reading the journal under extreme duress.

-Frère Rubik

A:

Dear Axeman,

I once read through my mother's high school journal. And, boy, was it entertaining! Here's hoping that today is not the day my mother decides to read the Board.

But after reading all of these responses, I feel like I probably shouldn't have done that without permission. If I told my mom, she might be a bit embarrassed, but not mad. She probably would've let me if I asked. But still, it's her property and her thoughts...I might need to go talk to her.

Cheers,

The Lone Musketeer

A:

Dear Reader,

I feel awkward looking at someone's Facebook for more than 30 seconds, so I don't think I would go so far as to actually read someone's journal. As for my own journals, I probably wouldn't care that much. Just don't tell me you read them because that makes it weird.

-Kirito

A:

Dear you,

My gut instinct says it's never appropriate to read someone's journal. But my gut instinct is warring with my nosey side and my strong internal desire to better understand the people I love.

I can't say for sure that I would never read anyone's journal. But I would never do so out of idle curiosity; I would only do it if I felt a pressing need. And even then I would feel super guilty.

Love,

Luciana


0 Corrections
Question #86805 posted on 05/29/2016 10:28 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I spend a decent amount of time on social media and around the internet. I'm coming to the realization that most of the content I scroll through and consume is of very little actual interest to me.

I want to know how I can harness the internet to provide me with specific, enlightening content that I care about. I'm an artist and a writer, so, in my case, I would love to have a regularly-updated feed of content that pertains to those interests — a "one-stop shop" that will both gather the content I already subscribe to (via RSS, for instance) AND present me with more content based on my preferences and suggestions. How cool would it be if the internet were more helpful than distracting!?

Does such a thing exist? Is there anything that comes close? At the end of the day, I know there's great information and content out there. I just 1) don't know where to find it, and 2) don't know how to manage it all in a seamless place. Thanks for the help.

-Will

A:

Dear Doctor,

A Tumblr dash can provide you with suggestions, and you can subscribe to stuff (this may or may not work, but it's the closest thing I can think of). 

If you want to make sure to avoid the infamous porn that comes with tumblr, you can download the xkit extension and block anything tagged nsfw. That being said, I've had a tumblr for just over a year now and haven't had any inappropriate content on my dash, so it also just depends on who you follow.

-Tally M.


0 Corrections
Question #86808 posted on 05/29/2016 7:08 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I read that in the average Human's lifetime, they will grow circa 590 miles of hair. How true is this statement? That's a whole lotta hair!!

-Vogue Villain

P.s. what would you do with 590 miles of hair (if you had it all at once)?

A:

Dear VV,

Wikipedia says that hair grows at an average rate of 6 inches per year. If you live to be 80, that's only 40 feet.

However, multiplying that by the number of hairs on your head (about 100,000 for the average black-haired person, according to Harvard), brings us to 48 million inches, or 757.6 miles. That's one really long hair.

Maybe I'm weird, but I'd probably have a sweater made of it or something. Now you've got me wondering what the textile properties of human hair are.

-The Entomophagist


0 Corrections
Question #86806 posted on 05/29/2016 4:56 a.m.
Q:

Dear Luciana,

Having answered your Catch-22 question, I pose one to you in turn:

The character Luciana, while significant, doesn't have a very big role in the book overall. Outside of her titular chapter, I think she's mentioned once or twice. Why did you choose her character in particular to represent yourself here on the 100 Hour Board?

-Frère Rubik

A:

Dear Mr. Rubik,

First off, I had a really hard time trying to come up with an adequate 'nym. I wanted something simple and easy to type, since I would be using it a lot. I wanted something unique and hopefully memorable, but also something that represented my personality.

As I've mentioned before, Catch-22 is my favorite book. I find it incredibly compelling, and it was one of the first books I read that really influenced how I think about the world.

The name Luciana refers to both the character and the significance of the book itself in my life. The first time I read it, I hated it. I found the lack of a linear timeline utterly incomprehensible, and that drove me crazy. But after the first hundred pages or so, I realized that Joseph Heller is a genius and, more importantly, emotionally manipulative. I genuinely cared about his characters, and by the end realized what a masterpiece it was.

And so the name symbolizes my relationship with the novel, which I think can also reveal something about me, if you want to think deeply about it. On the surface, I'm a very grumpy person. I'm very vocal about when I hate something, and there are a lot of things that I hate. But, as a general rule, the more I get to know something the more I appreciate it. That holds especially true with people. The more intimately I know something, the more I love them and understand their intricacies. So, on one level, I chose Luciana because there are very few female characters in the book, and I don't want to go by Nurse Duckett.

However, I chose the name more because I admire her character, both for herself and for what she represents to Yossarian. The large scar on her back signals that she's suffered a great deal in her life, but she doesn't lose hope. She's still a relatively happy and hopeful person. But she's also a cynic. When Yossarian says he'll marry her, she laughs and insists that he won't. She gives him her contact information even though she's sure that he'll rip it up triumphantly.

She's also resourceful. She devours the meal Yossarian buys her, showing that she's probably perpetually hungry, but she does not surrender to prostitution like many of the other female characters do. She makes it clear to Yossarian that she's not going to sleep with him just because he was kind and generous to her, but she still manages to get what she wants.

Luciana is also a symbol of hope to Yossarian. Though admittedly he falls in love with every woman he sleeps with, I think Luciana is special. Because she didn't ask for money, and because she wasn't afraid to challenge him, and because she seemed to understand him so well, he remains hopeful that he'll find her again. She represents a respite from his weary world, and also perhaps the idea that happiness is still attainable.

I really appreciate the idea of finding hope even in dire situations. Even when constantly facing death or court martial, Luciana still stands as a symbol of hope, and that's one of my goals in life, to remind people that there is always hope and happiness ahead.

Thanks for this question. I might have to reread Catch-22 again now.

Love,

Luciana


0 Corrections
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Question #86804 posted on 05/28/2016 11:44 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is it true that people are leaving the Church "in droves"?

-Alone on the Pew?

A:

Dear Alone,

The Church doesn't release information about how many people leave so we only have conjecture and anecdotal evidence on the matter.  This website, by an author calling himself "kimballthenom", uses the Church's annual statistical reports, as well as other sources, and attempts to extract meaningful information about activity rates and resignations.  The methodology section is very thorough which allows you to read in detail how the statistics were used and argue whether it was appropriate or not.

According to kimballthenom, activity rates slid from ~41% in 2000 to ~33% in 2015.  With a reported Church membership of 15,634,199 at the end of 2015, that 8% activity drop would be a little over 1.25 million members.

rev2_Figure2_Activity_Rate.png
(Source: http://www.fullerconsideration.com/membership.php)

Estimating how many people have their names removed from the Church's records is a particularly difficult task, but kimballthenom seems to make reasonable assumptions in the methodology.  According to his work, resignations began ticking up dramatically around 1985 (which correlates with the scandal of the Salamander Letter).  Resignations potentially rose from a baseline of ~10,000 per year prior to 1985 to a peak of ~100,000 per year around the mid-1990's (which correlates with the September Six excommunications).  Resignations then began generally decreasing, potentially down to as few as ~30,000 per year around 2013.  But 2014 shows a potential spike back up to ~90,000 per year and, as far as I can tell, this data hasn't been updated after the 2015 statistical report was released in April 2016.  With the November 2015 policy change declaring gay couples to be apostates and banning their children from Church membership, I would expect to see the resignation number remain high for 2016.

rev2_Figure3_Annual_Apostasy.png
(Source: http://www.fullerconsideration.com/membership.php)

In April 2016 Elder Holland asserted, "We are in the midst of incredible growth, of staggering growth in the Church. It's the biggest problem we have."  Based on the Church's annual statistical reports, the Church membership growth rate from 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 was just under 2% for each year.  It would seem logical that if the Church has "staggering growth" somewhere (most likely Africa and South America) and that the total growth is ~2% then there must be an almost symmetric, "staggering," loss of members somewhere (most likely North America and Europe).

Anecdotally, Church leadership seems to be spending more time on messages of "doubting your doubts" and "staying in the boat" which may suggest that doing otherwise is a rising problem.

Does this qualify as "leaving in droves"?  I'm not sure, but I don't think it can be argued as insignificant either.

-Curious Physics Minor


0 Corrections
Question #86800 posted on 05/28/2016 5:36 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Hey! What's the deal with decaf? How do they get the caffeine out of there, and then where does it go?

-Jeannie

A:

Dear Jeannie,

The short answer is that they extract it with some sort of solvent, which is then evaporated so they can use the caffeine in caffeinated beverages and medicines.

The trouble with decaffeination is that it's really hard to only extract the caffeine, without all the other components, like proteins, sugars, organic acids, and flavor compounds. You can extract it with hot water, but you end up washing out most of the flavor too because, you know, that's how they make coffee. There are some ways to do it with water that make it more selective for caffeine, like the Swiss Water Process, which basically goes like this:

The first batch of beans is discarded, since all the good* stuff was extracted with the caffeine, but subsequent batches only have the caffeine removed because the other compounds are already there, preventing osmotic flow. Unlike with the solvent and supercritical fluid extraction methods explained below, the caffeine in the filter can't be recovered, it just burns up when the charcoal is reactivated.

Organic solvents that selectively remove caffeine (typically dichloromethane or ethyl acetate) can also be used to decaffeinate coffee beans either directly or indirectly. Indirect solvent extraction is a lot like the Swiss Water process, except they extract the caffeine from the water with a solvent instead of filtering it through activated charcoal. Direct solvent extraction involves steaming the beans to facilitate extraction, then rinsing them with the solvent for several hours, followed by another steaming to get rid of any left over solvent. Extraction with ethyl acetate is sometimes referred to as "natural" decaffeination, since ethyl acetate is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Both solvents are very volatile, and will be almost completely removed from the beans during the roasting process, which is why the FDA says that they're safe to use.

Coffee oils from spent coffee grounds can also be used instead of water in a process similar to indirect solvent extraction.

The most expensive method (which is therefore only used to mass-produce commercial grade, less exotic decaf) of caffeine extraction is supercritical fluid extraction, which uses 'liquid' CO2 to extract only the caffeine from the steamed or briefly soaked beans. The caffeine is released from the CO2 when it is depressurized back to a gas in a separate chamber. This method is good at getting a very selective extraction, but again, it's too expensive to use on the really good* coffees that are produced in smaller quantities.

There is also work being done on bioengineering (either through traditional breeding or so-called genetic modification) coffee plants to not produce caffeine in the bean. This is referred to as decaffito, and it's really promising, but from what I can tell the researchers haven't been able to overcome certain obstacles yet.

-The Entomophagist, who realized after making this lengthy response that the question was a Seinfeld quote and hopes you actually wanted to know

 

* I don't actually like coffee, so don't take that word too literally.


0 Corrections
Question #86802 posted on 05/28/2016 5:36 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Everybody knows an older person who phrases things in insensitive ways. Whether it's your grandpa who says things about another race, or your mom who just doesn't understand The Gays, or a member on your mission who had strong opinions about non-Christians, we've all been there. From what I gather, this sort of younger-older generational gap is as old as time.

What do you think we will say that will cause our grandchildren to cringe?

-My Name Here

A:

Dear you,

Right now, we tend to use gendered pronouns even if there isn't a specified gender for what we're talking about. For instance, people use "he" when talking about a hypothetical doctor, or "she" when talking about a hypothetical nurse. I think people are paying more attention to making things gender-neutral when there isn't a clear reason to gender it, and that will become the norm in the future.

-Zedability

A:

Dear Monty,

Personally, I think they'll cringe about how PC we are.

Along that note, I have a hilarious story about my grandpa in Smith's. I'm not going to tell it via the Board, because I've never heard someone be that blatantly racist before. But the hilarious thing was that he had no idea that was inappropriate. None. Benefits of growing up in Northern Utah, my friends!

Cheers,

The Lone Musketeer


0 Corrections
Question #86801 posted on 05/28/2016 4:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If I checked out a book at the HBLL and that book was fairly old and, through no fault of my own, the very fragile paperback cover began to fall off, what should I do to avoid being fined/punished for damaging a book?

-Aqua

A:

Dear Aqua,

Flee the country. Preferably to Canada or Iceland.

Good luck.

-Frère Rubik

A:

Dear person,

Leave the country immediately. Don't let the librarians find out. Otherwise there is no hope... 

-Sheebs

A:

Dear Patron,

It is too late. We already know. We are coming to find you. We are coming to get you.

-A Librarian

A:

Dear you,

It doesn't really matter what you do; Tammy will find you.

-Zedability

A:

Dear you,

Just suffer the fine. Canada is too cold.

~Anne, Certainly

A:

Dear Wata,

I'm gonna break up this party with an actually serious answer. You're welcome.

Just bring it in and explain it to the circulation clerks what happened. We're usually quite understanding.

If we end up fining you, sorry.

-"I'm a librarian! Mind tricks don't work on me, ONLY MONEY."


0 Corrections
Question #86798 posted on 05/28/2016 3:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If you were to create a hard copy Book of The Archives, how would you organize it for readability?

Would you organize by Writer?
Would you organize by year?
Would you organize by subject?
Would you organize alphabetically?
Would you organize by some other way?
Which way would be most interesting?

-Would you, Could you

A:

Dear Doctor,

I'd organize it chronologically, with a very comprehensive index in the back.

I wish I could do this better online as it is. If only you guys would stop tagging things as "Personal Purity."

-Tally M.


0 Corrections
Question #86796 posted on 05/28/2016 11:31 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So I don’t text well, I’ve been told that before, and I feel like in many dating scenarios, my ability to communicate through texting is a pretty serious detriment to me. How do people successfully become good texters? How long is the average conversational text? On an average day, what do people text about?

-me

A:

Dear Doctor,

Practice!

Respond quickly, but within reason (i.e., don't respond right away if you're at work and need to focus). Throw out the rule about waiting twice the amount of time the other person responds or whatever rule you've heard, because that's ridiculous. Of course, Luciana contradicts this advice below, so, clearly there isn't a perfect solution. Ignoring the texting rule (and mentioning that to Significant M.) was what was best for us.

The average text conversation between Significant M. and I isn't much more than about ten texts/messages long. We usually end up texting about funny/interesting/cute things that we're thinking about or that are happening in our lives. Most of my 'flirtatious' conversations with people prior to this were pretty similar, though they might've gone on for longer about more inane things.

-Tally M.

A:

Dear you,

I believe in using proper grammar when texting. Especially if texting is the most prominent means of communication in dating situations, the way you text is a primary manner in which people assess you. If you want to present yourself as sophisticated, then your texting should reflect that. If you want to seem cheerful, then use exclamation points and happy faces. Decide what about yourself you want to convey, and tailor your texts accordingly. Be sincere, but in dating you can also present an angle.

You should also develop the ability to read the tone of the conversation. If you get one word replies, or if the other person takes a really long time to respond, then they probably aren't interested in a sustained conversation. The length of a conversation depends on what you have to talk about, and how much time the individuals have to dedicate to it.

I think it's also important to learn about timing of texts. You don't want to be the person who texts too often, and you don't want to be the person who's bad at responding. Ideally, you should pay attention to how often the other person texts you, and time your responses accordingly. If it takes them an hour, they probably aren't looking for an immediate conversation, so you might seem too eager by responding immediately. If they respond in two minutes, then feel free to initiate a lengthier conversation.

Honestly, being a good texter just takes practice. The most important thing is to learn to read the social cues. Beyond that, try to capture your own uniqueness.

Good luck!

Love,

Luciana


0 Corrections
Question #86687 posted on 05/28/2016 11:30 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

It's taking me a really long time to load the 100 hour board. Can we see some stats for alumni week? Number of Questions, Answers, Words, Pages, Gigabytes used?

-Dallin

A:

Daaaaaaaallin,

Amen, brother! It was hard enough keeping up on the backlog of (awesome) questions/answers that happened during alumni week/spring midterms without the increased loading time! First world Board writer probs, dude.

I don't know why I'm answering this question, as I do not have access to the data requested. You just sounded like you needed a commiseration buddy. 

Cheers,

The Lone Musketeer


0 Corrections
Question #86773 posted on 05/28/2016 11:30 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
For years I have struggled with something I have been taught and heard at church and even in conference and I guess I just want to know if anyone else has felt this or can help me understand it better. As long as I can remember I have heard talks and lessons about how women are more spiritual than men, how women hold up the church. I feel like every conference, and many times in between I hear about how special women are and how God loves them so much. I remember one seminary teacher telling us "God counts His daughters' tears, and don't forget that if you ever make a woman cry". and "Nothing is more precious to God than His daughters." Also that "Men have the priesthood because it's the only way they could get back to Heavenly Father, women don't need it because they are more in tune with the Spirit." I'm not trying to contradict any of this, but honestly after hearing things like this my whole life I just have had a hard time feeling wanted or loved by Heavenly Father, like being a man means I was not as righteous in the pre mortal existence. Or like if I ever have a conflict with a woman, God is more on her side than mine. I just really struggle with feeling inadequate and like I'm inherently worth less than any of my sisters in the grand scheme of things. I just wish someone could explain this doctrine to me, but I've always been too scared to ask. I'm sorry if this question offends anyone, that's really not my intention. I just feel like a second class citizen in the grand scheme of things and it honestly hurts.
-son

A:

Dear Doctor,

I addressed this in Board Question #83471, and I'm going to copy what I put there because it's pertinent.

I really liked the commentary provided by the FAIR wiki.

It is possible that the idea that women are not capable of perdition is part of a phenomenon of so-called "woman worship" that sometimes goes on at church—we may see elements of this in Brigham Young's conviction that women are more pure, and less tainted by the sins of the world, and thus do not risk utter damnation in quite the same way. Social factors also doubtless played a role, since the dangerous enemies of the Church in the 19th century were virtually all men. Social factors should also be considered, since Victorian thought tended to speak of women in exalted, angelic terms—the view was that women were responsible to civilize men and help them control their baser instincts, and their domestic domain was thereby a refuge from the corruption and competition the man's workaday world.

In a modern manifestation of "woman worship," men in the Church often put themselves down, praising the sisters, saying their wives are more righteous than they are, that there are "more women in heaven," mothers are all angels, and so on. It's a nice sentiment, but:

  • it may be incorrect–how can we know?
  • it can come across as condescending, even if intended sincerely; and
  • it does not do justice to the variety of the female mortal experience.

Men who think that women are, as a whole, better may not know enough women or perhaps don't know the women they do know well enough. Women are generally socialized to be social networkers and are on average more concerned with the social consequences to their actions (e.g., hurting someone's feelings, betraying someone, being embarrassed, etc.).

The reality is that women are just as human and flawed as men, and capable of good and evil to the same capacity as men. They are simply different and therefore prone to different behaviors. But, on the other hand, perhaps some of this difference in style protects them from the type of behaviors that merit perdition. If so, one can hardly complain.

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Son,

Everybody else has already said a bunch of amazing stuff, but I just thought that, as a man, I'd chip in my two cents. Men are not better than women; women are not different than men. Individually and collectively, I think there are some aspects of the gospel that men are more suited to than women, but I also think the inverse is true. 

As the other writers have pointed out, I think a lot of the comments you refer to stem from the fact that women have often been under-appreciated in the work they do in the Church and in the home, and people trying to correct that tend to over-compensate.

Know that God loves you just as much as He loves all of his sons, and that is the exact same amount that He loves all of His daughters. Try to avoid comparing yourself to others, male or female, and focus on what you know you're doing well and what you need to improve on. Therein lies happiness.

-Frère Rubik

A:

Dear Son,

One of my religion professors put it like this (I'm paraphrasing):

For so much of history, women were marginalized, in the background, shunned, enslaved, and unappreciated.  The pendulum swung so far over in the favor of men for so long.  Many men justified their behavior in the name of religion, an action that no doubt broke our Heavenly Parents' hearts.  Only recently, that pendulum has come more towards the center.  However, now there are many people who wish to swing the pendulum so far over in favor of women, in order to right the wrongs they suffered for thousands of years.  That pendulum should never swing either way.  God's pendulum is always centered, and ours should be, too.

I believe that we are extremely guilty of trying to swing the pendulum within the church, but depending on who your local leaders are (or even the President of the Church and time period they grew up in), it can be swung either way.  Some believe women are more spiritual than men, some believe men are the rightful owners of their wives and families.  

It is important to remember that we are all imperfect with our own biases, prejudices, and personal beliefs, and this applies to leaders of the Church just the same.  A perfect God has none of these prejudices, and His opinion of you is the only one that matters.

-April Ludgate

A:

Dear Friend,

I love that you asked this question and I love what's been said. I'm just going to add some personal opinions and experiences.

I can tell you, from first-hand experience, that women have problems. Not just "Oh, am I good enough?" problems, but actual problems with living the gospel and worthiness. I do believe men and women have distinct differences, including inherent strengths and weaknesses. But in the end, we're all human. One of the similarities is that we are all fallen and give in to the natural man. 

Perhaps women are often "glorified"  because sisters tend to be more open with the "Am I good enough?" question. I'm positive men feel the same way, but sisters seem to be more comfortable expressing it on a regular basis. Many women are very comfortable degrading themselves. I'll never cease to be amazed at how hard women can be on themselves, especially in the Church.

Perhaps this strain of thought is a "grass is greener" response. I could see this being a result of a faulty belief that "it's easier to live the gospel as a woman". We all have different strengths and weaknesses in this life. Sometimes these traits tend to follow genders. But, as with any stereotype, you get into trouble when you start assuming it applies to everyone in all situations.  

I think the most likely reason for these statements is misplaced humility. By glorifying someone else and degrading yourself, you are somehow more humble. And at the same time, you can buoy up people who are already hard on themselves! Kill two birds with one stone! But this is NOT humility. This type of "humility" causes more problems than it will ever solve. 

This style of thought has been concerning to me, too. Personally, I'm very uncomfortable when a bishop will come into Relief Society and say, "Sisters, you're more righteous than the brethren in this ward". And it has happened multiple times to me at BYU. I don't believe that statement at all. Like April's professor said, the pendulum SHOULD NOT swing. We are all equal in the eyes of God. I believe that.

In closing, can I just say that I look up to a lot of men? There are several men in my life that I look up to spiritually, and many are my peers. I'd like to express a thank you to all the amazing men I've had the privilege of meeting. You've helped me more than you'll ever know. 

Cheers,

The Lone Musketeer


0 Corrections
Question #86793 posted on 05/28/2016 11:28 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What percentage of the adult membership of the church is single? What percentage of them are inactive? Please cite reference if possible.

-Disbeliever

A:

Dear Not a Member of Smash Mouth,

Other than the yearly statistical report given at General Conference, it is difficult to find resources that look into the more specific sections of the Church that you ask about.  I did my best, but some of this information is based on cross-sections, sample sizes, or is simply outdated.  Just a little disclaimer for you as we delve further into this subject.

Inactivity rates differ from country to country.  According to this helpful site:

"less than half of individuals claimed as members by the LDS Church worldwide identify the LDS Church as their faith of preference. The percentage varies from the mid-sixties in the United States to 20-27% in Latin America."

I know this is not part of what you asked, but I think this little tidbit of information is surprising: 

 "...existing data suggests that the number of Latter-day Saints attending church worldwide on an average Sunday cannot exceed 30% of official membership figures, and is likely closer to the upper twenties."

My reaction when reading this: 

whatthewhat.gif

(source)

That number is way lower than I thought. 30% of LDS people even attend church regularly??  Whoa.

Here is my findings for single adults in the Church.  This statistic comes from the Religious Studies Center at BYU, and they get pretty detailed in this Vital Statistics Report.  However, this report is 24 years old.  It's also the most detailed and accurate finding I can get my hands on, so I think it is time for an update.  The chart below shows the average LDS household composition in 4 major countries, and is prefaced by this:

 "Less information is available on LDS household composition, but sample surveys show characteristics of the United States, Britain, Mexico, and Japan in the early 1980s. In fig. 4.16 (shown below), three types of households are distinguished: (1) married couples with one or both being LDS; (2) households headed by LDS singles (never married, divorced, or widowed); and (3) households with LDS children but in which neither husband nor wife nor single head is LDS. Married-couple households are the majority in the United States and Britain and form a slight majority in Mexico. Single households constitute 20–30 percent."

Fig. 4.16:

snippingtool.PNG

That's the best information I can find.  I really hope that the Church and statistical analysts will create a more accurate and in-depth report of our members in the near future. 

-April Ludgate


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Question #86757 posted on 05/28/2016 11:10 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why are there no portions of the "King Follett Discourse" to be found in the Doctrine & Covenants?

-Ando from Idaho

A:

Dear Ando,

For those who are not familiar with the King Follett Discourse, it can be found here.

In my cursory research, I have come across many different internal debates that have occurred over this document, and have come to some of my own conclusions: 

  • In 1902, Church President Joseph F. Smith did not want it the Discourse published in The History of the Church.  President Smith never gave a reason for his decision, so it is left up to the individual to decide why.  Some people believe President Smith was uncomfortable with the teachings in the Discourse, but it is entirely speculation.  
  • The Discourse was later added to The History of the Church, but with some disclaimers included. and From The History of the Church, vol. 6, pages 302–17: “...there are some imperfections in the report and some thoughts expressed by the Prophet which were not fully rounded out and made complete...” (emphasis added).  It could be that many people were simply confused by some of Joseph Smith's thoughts, and later leaders of the church did not want to confuse people on important church doctrine.
  • Even though it was later added, the Church no longer claims The History of the Church as an official Church publication.  Therefore, it could be that everything in it should be taken with a grain of salt.  Researchers did find that there were over 64,000 words either added or deleted to the publication (some historians claim this as a common practice during the original 19th century publication of it), and the King Follett Discourse is a small portion of it that (undoubtedly) has its own flaws.
  • Another potential reason could be that since there is technically no verbatim copy of the speech itself, leaders may feel uncomfortable adding the discourse as it stands now, which is a conglomerate of what multiple scribes heard.  As stated above, there are no doubt some inaccuracies or missing pieces that may have been beneficial to the Discourse, and therefore could be proven detrimental for the Discourse as a whole.
  • Not everything that every prophet says is canonized.  In fact, most of what prophets say is not canonized.  There have only been a handful of additions to our standard works since the original publication of the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.
  • I cannot find any evidence that anyone has actually tried to add the Discourse to our canon.  I feel that many other policy changes, talks, announcements, or other addendum would be added to our canon before the Discourse.

I conclude this with my own disclaimer: I am by no means a Church historian, but merely an amateur Church history enthusiast.  It is possible I am entirely wrong in my findings, and if there is a more experienced historian reading this, you are welcome to add corrections.

-April Ludgate


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