Heart, might, mind and soul (a midweek makeup svithe)


I've been getting to bed at 2am more nights than not the last two weeks which has made me cranky and scattered and so, while I have thought about what I will be teaching in elders quorum this Sunday, I have not connected the dots. And I would love to get your input on this because odds are my cognitive capacities will not be restored by Sunday.

When Lady Steed and I lived in Provo, I remember one meeting at which spoke a member of the stake presidency. As he began to segue from talking about his former mustache to his topic, it quickly became clear that it was time for a discussion on porn, much like that my ward had with the bishop last week. But he surprised me. Most of the counseling issues in our stake, most!, were because newly married men were neglecting their wives in favor of video games. You heard me right. Video games were winning the race against nubile young wives.

That's dot one.

Dot two is a terrific article I just read about Brigham Young's take on novels (hint: he hated them).

Dot three is something that sounds very similar, but this time it's our own Elder Bednar tchtching my Twitter habit

Then, just last night as I was brushing my teeth, I read a great article on the world's cognitive surplus. People have donated 100,000,000 hours of time to Wikipedia. Isn't that incredible? And, flipside, Americans watch 2,000,000,000 hours of tv every year. Isn't that incredible. Cognitive surplus. What are we doing with the talents with which the Lord hath given us amble time to magnify?

Which leads to another apostle, Elder Ballard this time, and his take on the digital world.

These are our texts for elders quorum. And, I submit, the issues raised here are of significant importance to everyone --- to both our success as human beings, and our eventual salvation (particularly if we're interested in trading up from salvation to the salvation/exaltation package deal).

Please. Help me connect the dots.

previous svithe


  1. I actually remember listening to--and loving--the Elder Bednar talk, because I especially liked his take on his title phrase of "Things as They Really Are." Unfortunately, I'm growing to know more and more people these days who aren't entirely sure about how to locate their own realities.

    That's not to say that 'reality' as a topic isn't subjective, because let's face it...it kind of is. But I liked the distinction between virtual reality and actual reality. It seems to me as though Elder Ballard's talk, in its own way, falls nicely into the paradigm: to me, blogging/tweeting/what-have-you about Church-related doctrines, etc.--or even about truth in general, or I would personally expand it to even the AoF 13's "anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy"--seems a virtual means of reporting actual reality (for lack of a better term).

    It has always struck me that the Internet provides a valuable way of connecting with people who share similar values and beliefs, but it also (in some sense) de-peoples those we do not know personally. When it comes to blogging, Facebooking, etc., etc. it seems inevitable that connections online are made in similar ways to the connections we make in person--except that I would say the online connections are more tenuous and more likely to be ephemeral (although they won't necessarily be ephemeral).

    Something else I just thought of (not even sure any of this is helpful or even makes sense): our relationships with certain types of virtual reality end up enacting a shoddy imitation of faith where we believe and exercise trust in something/someone that we don't see but that we some believe is true (in some sense of the word). Foundations, then, seem immensely important: faith in a true foundation (Christ) never leads us astray and isn't a shoddy imitation of anything else.

  2. And that should say that we somehow believe is true... There are other thoughts stirring in my brain, but I can't make them cohere. I'll see if they don't gel in the morning...

  3. Theric, the link of late nights, video games, porn, twitter and wikipedia is obvious.

    these are things that keep people up late, in the dark secrecy of a house where all others have gone to bed. any one of them easily leads into hours wasted on another.

    they also lead to family members annoyed that while they spent their evening reasonably sleeping (the general) you have wasted time and made yourself irritable from shame or frustration.

  4. .

    Hey....what are you insinuating?

    Although I will say that Lady Steed's current baby party preparations are making me feel much the same way.

  5. .

    You might not be finishing your thought, Conf, so I'll just say now that the idea of placing faith in the wrong direction is a good point and something I too should consider more.

  6. Sorry. I have a gnat-like attention span these days... and I woke up the morning after I wrote that and wasn't sure what else exactly had been percolating. But I think I was mostly getting at misplaced faith, in some sense.

  7. .

    [Edit: Corrected spelling of Lady Steed's name.]