Ashley Jones - March 01, 2012
Roy Prete's new book, Embracing the Future: Preparing for Life After Retirement provides some great insight on an adventure the Brethren are increasingly discussing: senior missions.
If you’ve listened, watched, or attended General Conference the last
couple of years, you’ll probably notice a trend that is becoming
increasingly more common: the call for senior couples to serve missions.
I have to admit, my stomach always gets a few butterflies when I hear the Brethren talk about that because I know my parents fall into that age bracket of able senior couples. Is it bad that I’m a little selfish and want my mom to myself? Yes, it probably is. But as the call has become more common, so have the conversations in my family about my parents getting ready to serve a mission.
What happens to dad’s business? What about the weddings and births that will happen while mom is away? Are they financially ready and able to retire? How is their health? What happens when they come home from their mission and are retired? Are they ready for retired life?
There is a great book in stores right now that answers all of these questions: Embracing the Future: Preparing for Life after Retirement. Roy Prete, the author, gives some great tips on all the different phases of retired life as members of the Church, and specific to my parents, what to expect as they prepare for a mission as a retired couple.
A few tips Prete shares (that come straight from the chairman of Missionary Health Services for the Church) for couples getting ready to serve missions include:
· Start eating a healthy diet now – don’t wait until you get your mission call.
Emily McClure - February 16, 2012
Did you know that e-books aren't just for people who can't fit real books into their luggage? They're also a way for rare and out-of-print books to be made more available - and thanks to tireless work by some LDS scholars, some significant out-of-print books are now available to the general public.
I remember when I first learned about the joy of e-books. Up until the year 2009, I’d been only slightly interested in any form of digitized book; I loved being able to drive or work out while listening to a book on CD or iPod, but I was staunchly against e-books or Kindle versions of my favorites. To me, the feel of a book, its smell, the way I could watch my reading progress as I read page by page, was more important than keeping up technologically.
Then, in that fateful year, I started working at a library (perfect for me because I was surrounded by print books). As a library aide, when I was waiting at the desk for a confused patron to notice me, I wasn’t allowed to do anything that would distract my attention from patrons—no Facebook, no homework, no reading. All we were allowed to do was read an eBook or peruse the library databases. And that’s when I discovered the power of the e-book. I suddenly had hours of reading available to me whenever work was slow. And then I realized that, if I didn’t have room for a favorite book in my bookbag, I could also just connect to an e-book online without overstuffing my bag. Needless to say, I have continued my exploration of the digital literary world.
I recently discovered that the e-book isn’t just a poster child for the future of literature, nor is it just for those who can’t fit a print version of a book in their luggage. The e-book is also an invaluable method of preserving old books and making them available to more than just trained specialists. It’s almost like a form of family history, preserving the works of those revered authors whose books can’t hold up under non-digital strain.
Emily McClure - February 13, 2012
The female trio Mercy River is taking things in a different direction with their most recent album, and we think it's a direction you'll enjoy.
Remember when Gladys Knight, the lead singer of rhythm and blues band The Pips, added LDS inspirational hymns to her already large repertoire of music genres? I think I am not alone in saying that, at the time, I wondered how Knight fans would feel when their favorite R&B singer began to work with contemporary Christian material. Was it possible the same singer that won a Grammy for “Midnight Train to Georgia” in 1974 could be the same singer that crooned “I Am a Child of God” in 2005? Obviously, my doubts were not only proven groundless, they were also completely obliterated—Knight has gone on to have great success with her latest musical genre, and she is a favorite performer with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
My point is that some bands/singers can change their established material or tone, and they can do so with great results. Such is the case with up-and-comer band Mercy River, the group comprised of all-mom singers Brooke Stone, Whitney Permann, and Soni Muller. The band’s first two albums, Mercy River and Beautiful Dawn, offered inspirational music with a Celtic tone, and they were wildly popular with the Mormon community and at events such as Time Out for Women. Nevertheless, the band has decided to take its music in a different direction with its newest album, Higher. Instead of evolving to inspirational jazz, however, Mercy River is trying out a sort of pop-country sound (think Hilary Weeks), and it’s really working well.
Ashley Evanson - January 12, 2012
My stake has recently seen a slew of disciplinary counsels that all started with technology. It's alarming, and it's got me thinking: what's the best way to avoid these things with an unavoidable reality like technology?
My stake was recently given a very serious and reprimanding Sunday School lesson by our stake presidency, and rightfully so. In the past two months, there have been eight disciplinary counsels in my stake. Eight! Yikes. Of course details weren't given, but we were warned that most of the problems began with the same thing: technology.
What started as innocent socializing became the downfall of these members. Men and women became friends with old flames on social media, they began texting neighbors of the opposite sex, and they casually e-mailed other ward members. But these innocent acts quickly escalated, and everything went downhill.
Obviously, technology and media are not bad things (after all, we have a great piece also running today on sharing the gospel through technology, not to mention I'm an online editor and practically live on the computer and my cell phone), but I think the solution to this problem is transparency. I personally believe married couples should have a shared knowledge of all computer, cell phone, and social media accounts and passwords. Of course I don't think I need to notify my husband every time I message someone of the opposite sex; that would be ridiculous. But I do think that if he wanted to read what I was writing, he should have full access to that, no questions asked. Basically, no secret interactions should ever be taking place.
Patrick Dunshee - December 26, 2011
Read the top five insights that one of the insiders on the Joseph Smith Papers Project gained from the newest volume.
The Joseph Smith Papers: Journals, Vol. 2 (1841-1843) is the second in the best-selling Journals series of The Joseph Smith Papers Project. The volume covers daily entries in Joseph Smith’s journals during much of the Nauvoo period, from December 1841 to April 1843, an exciting yet tumultuous time in the prophet’s life. And although this is not your normal bedtime reading (most journals would not qualify as a page-turner, particularly journals from this time period), elements of this volume are both fascinating and inspiring. Following are five insights gleaned from this important volume:
1. Joseph as a Dynamic Civic Leader
In addition to his role as prophet of the growing group of Church members, Joseph served as general of the Nauvoo Legion, as well as mayor and chief justice for the city of Nauvoo. Journal entries reference items handled in city council and other civic meetings, which provide a unique look into Joseph’s leadership and management style. One such entry describes an event that took place during a court proceeding, with Joseph presiding as chief justice. During the proceeding, Joseph noticed through the window two boys fighting across the street. He immediately excused himself and walked out of the courthouse and across the street to the two boys. After rebuking the bystanders for not intervening earlier, Joseph separates the two fighting boys, and says, according to the journal entry “Nobody is allowed to fight in this city but me.”