Thursday, August 9, 2012


SALT LAKE CITY, UT—This week Church headquarters has received a large number of letters expressing how the Olympic Games have inspired members around the world.

One such letter is from Ana Santos Villanueva of Bogotá, Columbia who writes that seeing the courage and dedication of so many athletes has renewed her motivation to prepare for the temple. Her teenage sons Ricardo and Jorge were initially not as inspired, but Sister Villanueva reported that they were clearly excited by the efforts of the female beach volleyball athletes.

“When I asked them if they could see how those athletes work and struggle,” noted Sister Villanueva, “they could hardly talk, they were so moved.”  When Sister Villanueva asked if they also felt the inspirational burnings of the Spirit, “they nodded in reverent affirmation.” 

Sister Ashley James, who is currently serving a full-time mission in Ames, Iowa, wrote to the First Presidency about “watching the entire opening ceremony in the home of the ward mission leader. It reminded me of how many countries there are in the world and how there are people just like me who are, right now, spreading the gospel’s good news.”  

She elaborated on how all of the different events taught her about working with different investigators. “I’m glad that I watched all of the badminton and the judo events, and not just sports that everyone knows,” explained Sister James, “as those events showed me how sometimes you have to be patient and sometimes you have to pull and grab, spiritually, when doing the Lord’s work.” Sister James concluded that, “it took a while for my companion to understand, but I was finally able to explain to her how synchronized swimming teaches about cheerfulness and fencing explains how Nephi killed Laban.”

Many members reported that the Games inspired new resolutions. Typical of these is a letter from Todd Lane of Oklahoma City. A life-time member and father of three, Brother Lane wrote that “after seen Gabby Douglas and Oscar Pistorius, their dedication and hard-work, I decided that I’m sure that by the end of the year I can complete the entire Pearl of Great Price. I CAN DO IT”  

Gordon Abrams of Philadelphia affirmed, in a similar vein, “this year I will be the Dream Team of home teachers!  I will probably visit all my three families by December!”

Friday, August 3, 2012


By Barley B. Bratt

This is NOT the NRA
BOSTON, MA—Sources close to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney confirmed that four of Romney’s staffers resigned effective Monday, July 17th. All four staffers happen to be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and apparently all had worshiped together on Sunday July 16. Early indications are that elements of the previous day’s Sunday School lesson dealing with chapters 23 through 29 of the book of Alma in the Book of Mormon led to their resignations.

One staffer was Margaret Peat (24) originally from Oxnard, California. Peat reportedly told other Romney volunteers that she could not ignore Romney’s connections with the National Rifle Association. “When the Lamanites converted to the Lord,” Peat explained, “they buried their weapons. They didn’t stockpile them or irrationally defend the right to carry the most lethal killing machines ever invented.”

A second staffer, David Berg (23) from Arlington, Virginia wrote a lengthy resignation note to Romney pointing out the discrepancy between his immigration policy and the Nephite approach to the influx of Anti-Nephi-Lehis. Part of Berg’s letter read, “I don’t want a commander-in-chief who builds walls and scares the vulnerable when the Nephite chief judge not only welcomed immigrants but vowed to protect them.”

Barlow’s close friend Nathan Yates (26) from Falls Church, Virginia reportedly vacillated on those immigration policy conflicts. When Yates had argued that maybe the Nephites “just let them come to pick fruit,” Berg pointed out that the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, unlike undocumented immigrants in the United States, were specifically not treated as slaves.

The fourth staffer, Vince Payton (23) from Hollywood, Florida left after Romney rejected his proposal to rename the Republican party the Anti-Lincoln-Washingtons.