LDS Conference April 1975 – Faith Is Not An Easy Solution To Life’s Problems.

For part of last year I participated in the General Conference Odyssey, but had to stop because of time constraints and other priorities. The project is ongoing and in 2017 I will be attempting to contribute again as time permits.

My previous contributions can be found here. Posts by other bloggers writing about the April 1975 General Conference today are linked at the end of this post.  You can also visit the project group on Facebook.

Today we are writing about the Friday Morning Session of the April 1975 Conference.

In 1975, Elder Marion D. Hanks was an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He had previously served in England as mission president. Serving under his direction in England were young Elders Jeffrey R. Holland and Quentin L. Cook, both of whom are now Apostles.

In April 1975, Elder Hanks gave a wonderful sermon on trusting the Lord through affliction. He taught that “Faith is confidence and trust in the character and purposes of God.

He recognizes that there is a “siren song of invitation to ‘curse God and die’—die spiritually, die as to things pertaining to righteousness, die to hope and holiness and faith…” But Elder Hanks emphasizes that he is not just speaking abstractly. He points to the inspiring examples of goodness, courage, and kindness in our own communities and neighborhoods that go unsung and unreported by a media the focuses on the sensational. But the unsung heroes he cites are not those who escaped suffering through faith, but those who “have met difficulties with courage…who had little but ingenuity and will and courage and faith” even as they continue to suffer. Continue reading

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Utahns Should Vote for Conservative Independent Candidate Evan McMullin


Utah Friends,

According to a new poll by the Deseret News, Conservative 3rd Party Candidate Evan McMullin is in a statistical tie with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to win Utah’s electoral votes for President of the United States (26%, 26%, 22% ±4%).

Will McMullin win the presidency? No.

Do I agree with all of his policy positions? No.

But I encourage my conservative Utah friends to vote for McMullin anyway. He is the most conservative candidate on the ballot and he can win Utah. Continue reading

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Thoughts on Voting 3rd Party in a 2-Party System

The Constitutional form of government in the U.S. tends to stabilize into a binary, two-party system. The two-party system requires those two major parties to form coalitions that will attract the support of various groups and interests in order to win.

While it is true that third party candidates have essentially zero chance of winning, voting for them still sends signals that the two major parties consider when trying to form a winning coalition for the next election. If a significant number of people vote for McMullin or Johnson or Stein, it sends signals that affect party platforms and positions in future elections.It is perfectly reasonable and honorable to vote in order to send a signal for the direction you want the country to go, with an eye toward influencing the party coalition calculus of future elections, even if the candidate cannot win the current election. Continue reading

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Link Dump – The Most Interesting Articles Regarding Donald Trump & His Campaign


No American politician is ever as great as his most ardent adulators say or as bad as his most vitriolic detractors say.” – Carson Holloway

For better or for worse, the presidential campaign of Donald Trump has certainly disrupted the Republican Party and the Conservative movement. While it is hard to step away from the emotion and frenzy of the election, there are some interesting and important conversations happening.

Here is a list of the most interesting articles I have read regarding Donald Trump. Some are pro-Trump, quite a few are anti-Trump, some are ambivalent. Some of them are quite lengthy. Some might be offensive.

In sharing these I am not necessarily agreeing with or endorsing what any of these authors say. But I do think that it is valuable to consider the best arguments from disagreeing sides.
Continue reading

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A Lament About Our Post-Constitutional Politics



The world is full of problems. Serious problems: poverty, crime, injustice, corruption, disease, violence, bigotry, terrorism, and on and on. It always has been. And it is natural for people to want to fix all the problems– or at least all of the problems that affect them personally. But people also disagree about how the problems ought to be fixed.

Society is complex and fixing one problem often causes other, unintended problems. So many of the solutions people want are really just an exchange of one set of problems for another set. And the set of problems you are willing to accept in exchange for fixing your current problems is often not the same set that your neighbor is willing to accept.

The devil you don’t have to deal with yet sometimes seems more bearable than the devil that vexes you now– even if they are both devils. Continue reading

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