Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why You Don't Do Genealogy

I was digging through some old papers and I found a page that were some notes I used to give a talk on genealogy. Right at the top was my list of the ...

Top Ten Reasons for Not Doing Genealogy!

10- I prefer to live in the future, not the past
9- I'm always getting shushed in the Family History Library for giggling at all the funny, old-fashioned names.
8-I feel that my ancestors deserve some privacy, now that they're dead
7-I can barely put up with the relatives that I KNOW of...
6-I'm looking for my royal lineage, and I keep finding cattle rustlers and horse theives.
5-I get real nervous when my wife says, "Wow, honey! They had twelve kids!"
4-I get real nervous when my husband answers, "But sweetie, that was because he had three wives!"
3-I can't even remember my own WIFE's birthday, much less my great-great-grandmothers!
2-I start out at and within minutes I'm watching Weird Al videos on YouTube!

And the number one excuse for not doing genealogy:

1-Knowing my relatives, they won't make it to the Celestial Kingdom anyway!

Mark Hansen

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Proud Dad Moment: Brendon in the Kitchen

So, I come home from work today, and my son bounces up to me and says, “Guess what, Dad? I’m making pizza!”

Now to understand my reaction of fear mixed with intrigue you have to understand two facts. One: The last time my son and his friends attempted to make pizza, they didn’t use a recipe, because one of them “already knew how”. Even though they promised Jodi they would clean up after themselves, the kitchen was left like a tomato hurricane had blown through. As proud of their pizzas as they were, they ended up looking like cheesy hockey pucks. The taste wasn’t too far off of that, either.

Two: The teacher of his fifth grade class had made an assignment where they have to read a book with some sort of instructions, do the thing it instructs, and then teach it to the class. Brendon chose a cookbook, and making pizza as his thing.

So, with all that in mind, I walked toward the kitchen, very afraid of what I would find. I was shocked. The kitchen was a mess, true, but then it was when I left for work this morning, too. The part that he’d been using was relatively clean, and cluttered only by the few tools I could tell he had used. There was a mixing bowl full of dough, quietly rising. I looked close. It looked like pizza dough, quietly rising. It suddenly dawned on me that he was actually making pizza!

So, while he was telling me the story of how he’d done it, and how he’d had troubles finding the yeast, and some of the spices for the sauce (which he also made from scratch), I started looking through the fridge for toppings. I found some pepperoni and salami, and some shredded cheddar and jack cheese mix.

So, I looked over his shoulder while he spread the dough, then the sauce. Then the cheese and toppings. Finally, more cheese. It looked great. He put it in the oven, and set the timer.

And what a taste feast we all had when he pulled it out! I’m still in awe. He found a recipe on his own, started to make it, sought help only when he needed it, and finished it. And it tasted GREAT! Wow. I am amazed!
Mark Hansen

Music as Worship

Over at LDS blogs, there’s a blog entry about music as a form of worship. I’m on board with this. I wish everyone would sing and drown out the organ. Instead we often get the “Mormon Mumble”.

This article sparks two memories in my mind.

The first happened as I came into the MTC. Every night, all of us that were on a single floor of the dorm at the MTC would gather for what we called “Floor Prayer”. We would sing a hymn (in Spanish, ‘cause that’s what we were all studying), and all kneel in prayer. We were all enthused and eager to learn. For many of us, being focused on the Gospel all day was a very new thing, so spirits were high.

So, when we sang, it rang through the halls. I had never before heard hymns sung that way. It grabbed me and lifted me up in a way that I’d never known hymns could do. It was truly the first time I’d ever experienced music AS WORSHIP, rather than just another phase of a meeting. It was an ear-opening experience.

Another experience happened many years later. We had been invited to attend a non-denominational Christian Sunday worship service with some friends. We did, and on the surface, we had a great time. It’s interesting, but at the time, that meeting served to strengthen my own testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and the Priesthood, but that’s a topic for another blog day.

One thing I noticed, however, is that everyone sang. When I say that, I mean EVERYONE sang, and sang with gusto. When the time came in the service to open up their songbooks, everyone stood and sang out. Nobody seemed to care how well they sang, they just all raised their voices. I was suddenly jealous. I wished that we could muster that kind of enthusiasm while we’re corralling the kids and reading our lesson manuals.

I’ve noticed, over the years, that the more involved the congregation is in the singing, the more they are involved in the meeting. If more ward music directors and bishops understood that, sacrament meeting would start really making a difference in people’s lives.

Mark Hansen

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Praying and Elections

Should we be praying to help us decide who to vote for?

It’s an interesting question. I mean, on the one hand, it’s a pretty important decision, and like all important decisions, I pray about it.

On the other hand, if we were all praying about it to the same God, doesn’t it make sense that He would give us all the same answer? Maybe that’s why Utah is practically a one-party state, right?

But I don’t think God works that way. Until He sends his Son in all His Glory to rule, we have to have earthly governments. Those governments are established by humans and managed by humans, flawed as we are.

In addition to that, God give us our freedom and our choice. We can decide who will lead us. In Alma 10: 19, it says, “…Yea, well did he say that if the time should come that the voice of this people should choose iniquity, that is, if the time should come that this people should fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction.”

We do believe in being subject to kings, rulers, magistrates, bla bla bla. We live in a nation where we get to choose them. We have to choose them. So, how do we decide. We all live in different circumstances and different backgrounds. We have different challenges. We need different kinds of help. Government means different things to different people.

I don’t think we should ask God who to vote for.

Here’s what I imagine God wants us to do (I could very well be wrong): I think he wants us to look at our lives, and the lives of those around us. I think he wants us to pray to clarify the political issues and rhetoric that are spinning around us. We should pray to better understand what’s going on. We should exercise our own will to study what the candidates and parties are saying and doing. We should pray to be able to discern the truth as we’re doing that.

And then we should choose to vote for the candidates that best represent the clarified view from our own perspectives.

Mark Hansen

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Songs Of Zion

Can Mark Rap?

From time to time here here in Mo’ Boy I’ve reviewed various LDS rappers. I’ve even lamented that there seems to be a lot more going on in LDS rap these days than there is in LDS rock.

Be that as it may, there’s one of these guys that I’ve actually had a chance to meet face to face on a number of occasions. That’s Clayton, AKA Arhythmatik. Great rapper, great guy.

At the fest, someone asked about that name. When I said it was his stage name, they asked, “What’s his real name: Social Studies?” We all got a good chuckle over that one. Of course, you’d have to spell it funny to make it work. Hmmm…

“Soshul Studeez” …?

Anyway, about a year ago, as I might have mentioned in one of my many blogs before, he and I started collaborating on a rock/rap hybrid tune called “Shine the Light”. The original intent was for me to create the basic track, and sing the chorus, and he would rap the verses. But after he sent me the first verse, he suggested I rap the second verse. I was hesitant, but he encouraged.

I felt totally out of place, but I gave it a shot anyway, and in the long run, I’m pretty pleased with myself. Anyway, after a lot of technical back and forth, with him adding something and then me adding something else, I’ve finally finished the rock mix of the tune! I’m so stoked. It’s available at my site, on the music page for free download.

Arhythmatik is also still working on a more hip-hop mix, and I can’t wait to hear that. Collaboration is so much fun!

Mark Hansen


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