Archive for the 'Mormon Culture' Category

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Engineers

Church leaders have long encouraged members to get all the education that they can. And with emphasis on men taking a primary role as providers, and my having four sons, encouraging my boys to get a good education and picking a good career has been frequently on my mind.

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Mormons and Conflict

With my limited experience and training in project management, I have been able to learn a few things about conflict resolution. This has been a significant benefit in helping me understand myself and others when it comes to conflict. One helpful source for sorting this out is the Thomas-Kilman survey which is a nice and easy way to analyze how an individual usually deals with conflict.

I was reviewing my results of this survey, and found myself wondering if this might explain how many Mormons behave during times of conflict. I realize that defining what is a typical Mormon is getting more difficult as time goes on. Perhaps it is impossible. I also realize that much of this will reveal my personal perceptions of what is considered stereotypical Mormon behavior. But I thought it might be fun and useful anyway.

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A Family Night with the Nielsons

‘Boooo-ooooys, F. H. E. roooooom, Nooooo-ooooow!’, Dad bellows the customary announcement down the staircase. Boys number 3 and 4 race up to see who can get ‘the chair’. Boy 1 walks slowly, obeying the instructions. Boy 2 really drags his feet, he would prefer to play the PS2.

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Remembering Names

Remembering names can be an important initial step in developing good human relations. It is a subtle compliment that shows that you care about this new person in your life. This can have positive affects in nearly every aspect of life. This skill can come in especially handy in fellowshiping efforts for investigators and new members. How great it would be to meet an investigator that the missionaries bring to church one week, and to remember their names the next week – or during the week if you run into them at the grocery store or something.

Unfortunately, many people feel that they are terrible with names. It is common to hear someone say this. But anyone with a desire to remember names can greatly improve their abilities in this area by using a few simple techniques.

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Blind Obedience

My number three son is learning to take a shower and wash his hair all by himself. After a few times of doing this it became evident that he was not doing a very good job of washing his hair. I told him to get in the bathtub and fill it up. I told him I would be back in a few minutes to show him how to wash his hair again. He agreed without complaint.

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How Far Would Brigham Young Have To Go…?

How far would Brigham Young have to go to cause you to have a crisis of faith or weaken your testimony?

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If I Ever Go Inactive…

From my limited observations, it appears that if a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints stops going to their church, they often do not begin attending another church. They simply do not go to any church. I have observed this with family, friends, and various inactive members in the many wards I have lived in. I think that would be the case for me as well. I have no intention of ever being inactive, I’m just thinking hypothetically.

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Valerie joined the church several years ago. She was pregnant, and came to church alone. Her husband had no interest in the church. She hoped that some day he would show some interest, and in the meantime was hoping to raise her first child in the gospel. Her parents and brother were also hopeful future recipients of the gospel.

I was fortunate to be able to help the missionaries in teaching Valerie, and was honored to accept an assignment to be her first home teacher. We taught her the new member discussions, and began the regular home teaching routine. Things went well, and then her daughter was born.

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Stake Youth Dances -OR- Why Dancing is So Stupid

One of my favorite television shows is Seinfeld. In one of the episodes Jerry is talking to his girlfriend of the week, and the conversation goes something like this:

GotW: Do you like dancing, Jerry?

Jerry: Not really.

GotW: Why not?

Jerry: Because dancing is so stupid.

Jerry pretty well sums up my feelings about dancing. I don’t like dancing at all, even to my favorite music (live concert tomorrow!), unless you count perceptible head bobbing and occasional air drums.

Continue reading ‘Stake Youth Dances -OR- Why Dancing is So Stupid’

A Memory of Elder Faust

By now you may have heard that Elder James Faust has died.  There is an article about his death here.

 I am reminded of a story my father told me about an experience he had with Elder Faust.  Elder Faust was the one who released my father from the stake presidency and reorganized a new presidency.  During a planning meeting for the stake conference Elder Faust instructed that the release of the old presidency and the sustaining of the new presidency would be the first order of business.  After that was completed, he asked if my father would conduct any other stake business that needed to be done.  My father objected.  He explained to Elder Faust that he would then be released, and would not be in the stake presidency any more.  My father suggested that one of the new presidency members might be a better choice to conduct this business.  Elder Faust said no, and that he would like my father to conduct the business.

 After the planning meeting was over, my father approached Elder Faust and again objected to conducting the business after having been released.  Elder Faust grasped my father by the lapels of his suit jacket and pulled him in close.  Elder Faust then said something like this, ‘Brother Nielson, I am an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am presiding at this meeting.  I would like for you to cunduct the stake business.  Do you understand?’  My father meekly said yes, and then Elder Faust ‘released’ him.

 I will miss Elder Faust.  I frequently liked his conference talks.  My best wishes go out to his family and friends.


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