Thursday, January 18, 2007

Eugene England and Chilly Bananas

I have two things to say to you people. One is serious, and the other involves a banana pretending to be a worm.

Which do you want first?

Ok, I'll start with the serious stuff. So, periodically, I get in a church funk, and these funks usually manifest themselves in the form of thoughts, thoughts like this: "church is boring, and there are a lot of wackos who I should probably love as fellow children of God, but who bug the crap out of me; so what's the point?" Anyways, I recently came across this essay called "Why the Church is as True as the Gospel" by Eugene England that gives a spectacular response to my grumblings. For the more mature of you bloggers out there it probably just regurgitates the obvious, but it was pretty helpful for me.

Now on to bananas. After class on Tuesday evening I was walking to the Metro station from school. I saw a banana on a bench. But this was not one of your usual, solitary, bananas; oh no, this banana had a companion. The companion was not a monkey (that would've been cool), nor was it an orange. Instead, resting comfortably next to my chilly yellow friend was a crisp copy of the Book of Mormon. Why a banana and a Book of Mormon would hang out on the dark streets of Washington DC is a question for the ages. My only theory is this: some young and zealous missionary thought that he (or she) could "trick" an unsuspecting homeless person into reading the BoM a la Vincenzo Di Francesca. The banana was the worm, and the Book was the hook. Ha!! That'll teach homless people to pick up uneaten fruit at night.

*sheldon, I'm writing this during the time i've set aside to prepare for that thing you've forced me into....just so you know.


At 1/19/2007 07:25:00 AM,

Can you explain the picture? Where is that church and why does their sign say that?

At 1/19/2007 10:13:00 AM,


At 1/20/2007 10:47:00 PM,

Actually, on the mission I used to strategically leave Books of Mormon in funky places. I even have pictures of some of my placings, e.g. nestled in the "bamboo forest" on the hike up to Sugar Loaf in Rio de Janeiro... The goal was to create one of those Vincenzo stories worthy of the Ensign... shameless, I know.

But if you ever read a story in the back of the Ensign about some dude who changed his life when he found a Book of Mormon amongst the bamboo at Pao de Acucar, after having left despondently from his home in ____... you know it was me.

At 1/22/2007 09:02:00 PM,


California actually misses you.

I've never read one of these BofM hide-and-seek Ensign stories. Maybe they could integrate this idea into next season's Amazing Race.

P.S. I love this essay by England - has helped me weather numerous funks.

At 1/25/2007 02:12:00 AM,


Great post. I have been really interested in Eugene England lately; that's a great essay. I have to believe that some people don't need an essay like this to understand Christianity and community, but I did, and it has blessed me.

Has anyone read the Clayton Christensen article in the February Ensign? It is amazing, I think. It's not every month that the Ensign publishes a piece from a member of the Harvard Business School faculty, esp. one that freely suggests that our current methods and procedures in a lot of areas of the church should be reconsidered. It made me giddy with excitement at lunch yesterday, if that says anything.

(Note on the zionsbest version of "Why the Church is as True as the Gospel": the text is a little weird with occasional repeated portions. And the end of the essay--the last few paragraphs starting with "many years ago a blunt bishop..."--is actually pasted from the essay "Lusterware" by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Worth noting to prove that England doesn't just close his essay with a block quote that tends to refute his thesis. Weird blemishes, but don't let this discourage you. This is a great website for printing hard to find pieces. My compliments, zionsbest! Sorry for the detour.) 

Posted by Jason

At 1/28/2007 11:33:00 AM,

1 - Eugene's the man.

2 - Perhaps the banana was given as a bribe to take the Book of Mormon and, after the deal was done, the receipient had second thoughts?

3 - Still mad at Sheldon for forcing you into that "thing"? I thought you said it was Grant's fault... Or is Sheldon ultimately responsible for Grant too?

At 1/28/2007 12:54:00 PM,

I liked that article. Usually when someone posts a link to a long piece of reading like that I think I will read it some day and never do, but since I am trying to use my Sundays at least a little more for church type stuff (and because for some reason they have a bye week between the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl) I actually read this one.

At 1/28/2007 06:28:00 PM,

Marc - For the record, Chris' mantra is "Blame EVERYTHING on Sheldon." It doesn't seem to matter how related it actually is. This one happens to be closer to the mark.

At 1/28/2007 09:48:00 PM,

Ultimately, and unfortunately, it's all my fault; and I only jokingly blame sheldon for everything "bad" that happens to me. Grant didn't hold a gun to my head either. It's all me!! Lesson learned.

Not that I didn't think the moot court was well done and highly valuable. I just would've rather not been a participant, but again, that's my own doing.


At 1/28/2007 09:49:00 PM,


Is that enough?

At 1/29/2007 03:58:00 PM,

Just think Chris, you'll have that much more perspective when you help out with next year's moot court ;)




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