Saturday, October 27, 2012

It is Almost Here

No, this is not about the elections. Rather this is about something almost equal in importance. You guessed it – Ward Date Night!!!

Let me make sure you all have clarity about the evening so that any misgivings can be avoided.

Exemption from the dancing ban. Yes, I know I have classified dancing as one of the seven deadly sins. You guys don’t listen to me anyway, so don’t use my aversion to dancing as an excuse not to come. To be clear:

  • This is not a ward dance.
  • Your are not expected to be an experienced dancer.
  • You will not walk away from this event proficient in dancing.

Sister Mullen will be teaching all aspects of etiquette that will be used at some time in your life. Her main goal is to prepare you for the real world, most especially, the business world. She uses basic dancing skills to provide you greater confidence is an unfamiliar word. So don’t stress over the dancing.

This is a date, albeit assigned. Guys, once you are told who your date is, you MUST contact her immediately and go through that painful process of asking her out. I would encourage you to have this done by Tuesday, if not earlier. Because this is an “assigned” date, the normal pressure that attends the dating game is gone. She will say yes.

Girls, you will say yes, right?

The dress is Sunday formal. Do not spend any money renting fancy clothes. This is not prom. Rather wear what you would to church. If you are military, you are welcome to wear your dress uniform. We will all be impressed.

There will be food. The food will be great and there will be enough for all. You will be served by experienced waiters (well, maybe not that experience).

You will have fun! No, this is not by way of commandment. But Sister Mullen makes the whole evening great. Also, you will be with fellow ward members and any time we get together we have fun.

If you have not signed up, please do so as soon as possible. Contact Rachel Winiecke today.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not of the World

image For most of my working career, I have been the only LDS person among my co-workers. Even now, while I live in Utah, I am almost always the only member of the church on all teams I work on. While this has been a great experience, it has led to some rather difficult situations.

On those rare occasions when I travel and meet face to face with members from my team, I quickly realize that we do not all share the same standards. For example, after the work day is over, the vast majority of team members enjoy going to the bar or seeking out entertainment that is not consistent with my standards.

image Along with that, there is a tendency for team members to use profane language and to share vulgar and inappropriate stories and jokes with each other. Now, I want to make it clear, these are not bad people; in fact, quite the opposite, these are very good people. This is simply the reality of living in a fallen world.

I bring this up because almost all of you will find yourselves in similar situations in the not do distant future. In fact, some of you are facing such situations today. Let me share with you some advice that has worked well for me.

image Stand your ground. Simply because everyone else is participating in conversations or activities inconsistent with LDS standards does not mean you have to. In my own situation, over time I have gained more respect by not participating in any activities that would compromised my standards.

Live the standards at all times. The real measure of your devotion to Christ is how you live your standards when no one is watching or when you are with a group of friends. Don’t let the questionable standards of others cloud your judgment.

image If my mother could see me, would I still act this way? Typically, our resistance against the world weakens when we are relaxed and with friends. This is when we must be on our guard against the filth so prevalent in our society. Do your best to act as you would if our mother was in the room with you.

Discipline defines the disciple. In my opinion, the use of profanity and the occasional foray into vulgarity represent a severe lack of discipline. Likewise, it violates the charge we all have to bridle our passions. Think before you speak.

I am convinced that if you can apply these four simple suggestions into your lives that you will never struggle with being in the world and not of it. Also, I promise that those with whom you associate, both in and out of the church, will hold you in higher esteem and respect you for being true to your standards.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Which Fork to Use?

image So, do you hate that awkward moment when you sit down at a table and there are more forks than you know what do to with? Or perhaps you sat down at a round table and could never quite determine which glass was yours. And what about that napkin? Does it stay on your lap, tuck into your collar, or do you really even need it? (Most guys don’t.)

Well, this is your lucky day. On Friday, November 2, we will have our second Ward Date Night of the semester. This is no ordinary Date Night because we are not ordinary ward. This Date Night will include a formal multi-course dinner, expert instructions on proper etiquette, basic dancing instructions, and a most wonderful time.

image Do all you can now to clear your calendar to attend this great event. It is the third time our ward as done this an each time all participants have had a great fun. More information will be coming in the next weeks.

image Lest you forget, D&C 139:1 reads: “Thou salt willingly attend Ward Date Night.”

We look forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This Ain’t High School

This post is directed at the male population of this ward but I encourage the sisters to read as well. I would really appreciate comments from anyone as this may be a bit lecture-y.

I have had a few complaints from the female population regarding questionable topics of casual conversation from the male population of our ward. Now, I am not assuming this is a rampant problem. In fact, I am convinced this is a very minor problem. But big or little, it is still a problem and one that is easily resolved.

First, I strongly recommend to all Priesthood holders, that you refrain from treating the sisters like one of the guys. They are not one of the guys and in most cases they resent being treated like one of the guys.

But how do you know if you are treating them like one of the guys? Well, with questions such as this, I always look for a pattern that is easy to apply.

If you are going to make a joke or say something that you hope to be funny, before you open your mouth, ask yourself if you would say that in front of or directed at your mother. If there is even the slightest chance that you would not, then don’t say it.

Second, learn to elevate your casual conversation. In High School, comments about bodily functions, body parts, and similar related topics are easy ways to get a quick laugh from the gang. Likewise, using off-colored language always got snickers from the pack. Those days are over.

It is just not funny any more. Sure, you may still get a laugh now and then, but the price to you is too high. A frequent return to locker room slang will only set you apart as one lacking the maturity to function in the adult world.

Is it worth it? I hope not.

Third, it is NEVER appropriate to make rude, insulting, or off-color comments about girl’s bodies in their presence. If you want a free pass to the social purgatory, make this mistake more than once. In fact, make it once and you may already be on the train to limbo.

Likewise, it is equally unacceptable to speak of girls is such a way when you are with the guys.

Come on Elders, let’s be men. Better yet, let’s be worthy of the priesthood you hold. Take the time to do some self-evaluation. Have the courage to make those course corrections necessary. We can all be better.

Sisters, don’t accept such disrespect. If you can, say something. If you can’t walk away. They will get the message.