Monday, May 23, 2011

At Church

So I went to the bathroom at Church today and as I was washing my hands I noticed that my tie was a little short. So I untied it and evened it out. However, as I started to tie my tie I started thinking too much about tying my tie. Since I pretty much tie my tie out of muscle memory, as I thought about how to tie my tie the muscle memory went away and I forgot what to do. This occasionally happens. When it does I usually try to think about something else and for some reason, focusing on something else helps return the muscle memory. However, as I tried to think about something else I became overwhelmed with the thought of how awkward it would be if someone else came into the bathroom and saw me struggling to tie my tie. Just then someone came into the bathroom which just made the situation worse. I turned by back from him and tried a couple more times to spark my muscle memory but I still couldn't do it. Finally, I went into a stall, closed the door, and for some reason the thin metal wall gave me the confidence needed to revive my muscle memory and I tied my tie. I then flushed the toilet so no one would suspect a thing and I left. That is all.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Erik's Daily Universe Response

Several times throughout his time at BYU, Erik has sent in responses to BYU's newspaper, the Daily Universe. He has been published on a couple occasions and below is one of them. The first article is the original viewpoint editorial in the newspaper, the second is Erik's response. (I will try to post his other published articles as well later.)


Viewpoint: Stand up or sit down

By Allison Goett

- Mon, 05/16/2011 - 22:30

Where has this world gone?

Like many students at Brigham Young University, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Not only do I consider myself a member, but I wholly believe in the teachings of the Church — all of them.

I know others — even other members at BYU — who do not feel the same.

Take former U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. and his interview with Time Magazine for example.

“I’m a very spiritual person … and proud of my Mormon roots,” Huntsman said as reported by the Deseret News. “I come from a long line of saloon keepers and proselytizers, and I draw from both sides.”

He also told the Time reporter he found his membership status “tough to define.”

I don’t get it.

I don’t mind if he no longer considers himself LDS — every American citizen has the right and privilege to express their religious freedom — but he needs to stop sitting on both sides of the fence.

It’s the religious ambiguity that bothers me, not the lack of religious declaration.

Please understand I do not hold Huntsman to a higher standard because he works in the public eye. I hold everyone — including myself — to the same standard.

In middle school, I realized the time had come for me to decide, absolutely, if I would walk the line, or commit to the gospel. I chose the gospel.

In high school, I made sure I knew the teachings of the Church. I wore my clothes to my knees and covered my shoulders. I didn’t drink; I didn’t party.

In college, I continue the previous pattern. I follow the Honor Code, listen to my church leaders and try to improve myself each day.

I know these examples hardly scratch the surface of true Latter-day Saint principles; however, every day multitudes of people can’t keep these basic precepts.

I can hear the complaints now — I’m judgmental, closed minded and confused. People tell me I expect too much; I point out flaws and think I’m better than everyone else.

None of that is true. I am not perfect at this.

I have nothing against those who struggle, yet try to right themselves.

I have nothing against those who find themselves lost, but begin to search for the better path.

I have nothing against those who rebel and no longer believe in the Church.

However, it’s the “Jack Mormons,” the fence sitters and the Jon Huntsmans of the world who get my goat.

You cannot be both Mormon and a drinker.

You cannot have the LDS vote and the Anti’s.

You cannot stand up as a member of the Church then sit down when your beliefs become inconvenient.

So to those of you who may sit on the fence: please pick a side.

I do not judge you for your beliefs, I do not think of you as a bad person.

This world has too many wishy-washy people, tossed about by the waves of public opinion and self-doubt.

Do not be one of thovse people. Embrace who you are, what you believe and what you worship.

Ignore the opinions of the world, your peers and, sometimes, your family. Look inside yourself. See who you are. Make a personal plan of who you want to be.

Most of all, be proud of who you are. If you find yourself in a wish-washy situation, figure out why, and figure out how to set yourself free from half-baked ideas and shakey opinions.

You’re worth more than feeble opinions and shady beliefs.

Don’t forget that.

Letter: Benefit of the Doubt

Letter: Benefit of the Doubt |

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 21:24

The Viewpoint editorial “Stand up or sit down” seemed to draw a lot of information from the statement by Jon Huntsman Jr. saying his Mormonism is “hard to define.”

The author was fairly comfortable assuming Huntsman’s statement was one of weakness and Huntsman needed to either buck up and believe everything or get out of the Church.

This may come from the common belief inactivity in the Church is only caused by laziness, pride or sin.

However, I know quite a few people that might give a similar response as Huntsman, but instead of saying it out of laziness and fence sitting, they say it because that is where thoughtful and prayerful study has led them.

The author said, “Embrace who you are, what you believe and what you worship.”

Well, many people believe the Church is a great institution and the leaders are sincere and often inspired, but not all the claims of the Church are correct.

They still want to be a part of the LDS community because it is their culture, they love it and they believe in some of its claims (to varying degrees), but they are not sure how to define their situation.

This inability to define if one is Mormon or not may come from the black and white tendency of some to define Mormonism as orthodox Mormonism and anything less as not Mormonism.

Many people find themselves in ambiguity not because they won’t stand up for what they believe but because that is what they believe — that is the testimony they have gained.

Let’s not marginalize these sincere and good people by saying they are weak or sinful.

It’s a bit hypocritical to profess the power of personal revelation when the answers are convenient to your world view, but to deny that very power when the answers led someone to a more ambiguous belief.

While I do not know if this is where Huntsman is coming from, I think I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Erik McCarthy
Gilbert, Ariz.