Another week

March 29, 2009

Work this week was mostly about learning Django and meeting with our main software vendor to evaluate our use of their products. Not to mention the disaster recovery test which was very educational. It’s a good thing it wasn’t a real disaster.

Thursday night was pack meeting, our Blue and Gold Banquet which had to be postponed from last month due to a scheduling conflict. David bridged over to Scouts, and then Friday night went on his first camp out.

Yesterday Jonathan had a soccer game and then his team pictures. (They lost the game but had fun.) From there we went to my mother-in-law’s house to celebrate her birthday. I left early to take Sam to work and to be home when David got home from scouts. Then we went back and got the rest of the family and came home, and Amanda, Julia, and I got dressed quickly and went to the Stake Center for the Young Women’s broadcast. (My current calling involves setting up the equipment for broadcasts.) So it was a pretty busy day.

Adam Connor, one of my coworkers, posted a link to this on our intranet bulletin board site: High-powered mathematicians take on free will.

The gist of it is this: They say they have proved that if humans have free will, then elementary particles — like atoms and electrons — possess free will as well.

I have occasionally pondered whether or not elementary particles have free will, and if I had to guess I’d say the answer is “yes.”

The universe is a much stranger place than we think it is. People are always trying to put reality in safe little boxes, and often try to use religion or “science” to keep it there. But real science, and revealed religion, don’t cooperate; the weirdness keeps escaping if you pay honest attention.

Everybody look out…

March 25, 2009

Sam got his driver’s license today.

In other news, we had a pretty heavy hailstorm blow through this afternoon.

Speaking of the temple

March 21, 2009

One of the things we were asked to do at Stake Conference was have a family night lesson on the temple and then take the kids to visit the temple grounds. Since this week was Spring Break we had the lesson on Monday and then I took yesterday off work and we went down to San Antonio. Sarah got off work early and met us there.

Jonathan and Andrew by the pool

Jonathan and Andrew by the pool

Everybody except Daniel (who took the picture.)

Everybody except Daniel (who took the picture.)

The kids.

The kids.

Julia and I

Julia and I

This morning Julia, Daniel, and I went back (and again met Sarah there) for an endowment session and to do some initiatory. It’s really great having a temple less than two hours away.

Thoughts on “sacred”

March 20, 2009

Last night at Institute class* Sis. Smith, the instructor, mentioned a blog post she had made about Big Love and the temple that almost got her interviewed on NPR. (Part of her post was quoted by the Salt Lake Tribune as well.) She remarked that she’s decided we would be better off describing the temple ceremonies as “private” rather than “sacred” since our society has pretty much lost the idea of sacred, but people understand privacy. She’s probably right, but I’m not ready to give up on the concept of sacredness just yet.

In fact, I think the problem goes beyond just the sacred. It seems we’re losing the idea that context matters to the meaning of our speech or our acts; that what might be appropriate to do and say in one situation might not be appropriate in another.

”Sacred” comes from the Latin word sacer which besides “holy” can also mean “accursed”. If I remember correctly, my Latin teacher suggested that the idea behind the root was “set apart from the mundane or ordinary,” whether for good or for evil. In other words, it refers to something that has a special context separate from our temporal life. When you take it out of that context, it loses whatever meaning it has.

That’s why we’re upset about the temple ceremonies being portrayed on a TV show, whether in a sympathetic or hostile matter: when you remove them from their correct context, you destroy their meaning.

(* We studied the first part of Psalms last semester; this semester we finished Psalms and are now in Proverbs.)

Happy Birthday, David!

March 17, 2009

David is 11 today!

Before opening the presents

Before opening the presents

After opening the presents

After opening the presents

With his cake.

With his cake.

With his siblings

With his siblings

(Sam was at work.)

Happy pi day

March 14, 2009

Sarah came home for the weekend and reminded us that today is pi day (3.14). Julia and Sarah made a chocolate cream pie after dinner, but it doesn’t look like it will be ready to eat until tomorrow.

Today Jonathan was supposed to have a soccer game, but it got canceled because the field was all wet. (We’ve had a lot of cold rain the past three days.)