EP 572 – Membership Has Its Privileges

TWiM_EP572_LDS_Church_Membership_Perks
Latter-day Saints step up their aid to Ukrainians, LDS Living overlooks the best thing about Church membership, temple updates, and more!

Geoff and Devin have plenty to discuss on this week’s episode, from the saints in Ukraine and Russia, to weird LDS Living articles about the “privileges” of membership, temple news, and, of course, former senator Joseph Lieberman.

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Transcript

00:00.00
Geoff Openshaw
Hey everybody? how’s it going. Thanks for tuning in it’s this week in mormons I’m Geoff Openenshaw and it’s great to have all of you with us this week we’re thrilled to bring to you the greatest in latter day saint news that you could ever possibly dream up lot of.

00:04.36
Devin Thorpe
And I’m devonthorpe.

00:16.30
Geoff Openshaw
Interesting random stuff this week. A bunch of temple news. The church dropped a whole bunch of temple information for groundbreakings and designs and things like that last friday so that’s cool. Obviously some updates on Ukraine and what’s being done there. What more can be done there and sort and also the situation in Russia is is what it means for missionaries. Pat Robertson is a lunatic maybe we’ll get to that. We’ll see some clarity on Byu does it actually get federal funding who’s to say and some great information on how to abandon prejudice how to be a little more little greener with our meeting houses all kinds of good stuff and of course roots tech happened over the. End of last week and through the weekend and we’ll have a a few things that might have come out of that. So. It’s gonna be great. We’re excited all of you are here. We hope you’ll go to this week in http://mormons.com and you can get the the links to any of the articles we discuss on here transcript of this show all that good stuff and so lastly a plug for our Patreon friends. Thanks to everyone on Patreon who sports the show you keep the show going.

00:57.89
Devin Thorpe
M.

01:14.47
Geoff Openshaw
So if you want to keep this show going get over there right now while you’re listening http://patreon.com/thisweek in mormons sign up, put up like three bucks a month tremendous and I will love you forever. Whoever is the newest Patreon this week I will read a shout out to you next week on humble knee that’ll happen and you will be famous the world over. Anyway, Devin what’s going on man. How’s life. How’s Florida.

01:34.88
Devin Thorpe
Ah, life is good. Life is good. Ah you know I’ve been trying to acquire a trailer a camping trailer that.

01:44.28
Geoff Openshaw
I Thought you did acquire a camping trailer. No.

01:48.30
Devin Thorpe
Yeah I’ve been wanting to get one for a long time now I’ve been talking about it for a while and but been looking for one that I can tow with my Chevy bolt and and last week we got one. We brought it home I have the trailer in my garage as you can imagine ah a trailer small enough to be towed by a chevy bolt fits in the garage. So.

01:52.77
Geoff Openshaw
Sure sure nice.

02:07.81
Geoff Openshaw
Is it actually a trailer or is it one of those like pop up tent trailers. You know when it’s It’s a roast long thing and then it pops open into more. That’s cool though little more camping than like a full kitchen inside or something like yeah.

02:07.87
Devin Thorpe
Ah, we’re Excited. We’re ready to go. Yeah, it’s kind of a pop-up trailer like that. Yeah, yeah, yeah, So yeah, you know I we’ve got a little fridge a little sink and we’ll probably get. You know like a ah 2 burner stove thing in there and yeah.

02:29.85
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah, that’s cool I guess the real benefit too as far as range for um I’m assuming towing will ding the range on the bolt a little bit but at least you’re in Florida which is very flat and you’re not going to face face any uphill challenges or depletion in that case.

02:37.30
Devin Thorpe
Um, yeah, yes. Yeah, not not with our local efforts. You know if we hit the road we’ll we’ll have to see how far we can go what we hit. You know when we go north into Georgia but Florida it. You’re right? It’s pretty flat. Yeah.

02:56.12
Geoff Openshaw
That is pretty flat. That’s cool man that’s fun I have not been to Jacksonville but I’m going to take your word for it and but I’ve been to Florida I know how flat it is I read some stat once it was tongue in cheek. But I think it was true that the tallest mountain in Florida is space mountain at Disney world.

03:02.65
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

03:14.51
Devin Thorpe
Ah, yeah, it it may be that the tallest mountain in Florida I think is about three hundred feet so I don’t know how tall space mountain is but it might rival that.

03:22.92
Geoff Openshaw
I like say all of oh here we go Britain Hill in Florida is three hundred and forty five feet above sea level actually don’t think space mountains three hundred and forty five feet above sea level. It’s it’s full what they called its relief might be sorry I’m looking at Wikipedia now signs that say Florida’s highest point. And it’s just like a valley and it’s basically on the Alabama border. Well that’s exciting Florida congratulations to everyone there. good good times cool whole good deal. Well, it’s been a good show nice to be able to tune in. Thanks everyone. Thanks.

03:47.18
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks for having me. It’s really a joy to be with you every week whenever I mean when my week comes up. Yeah yeah.

03:58.15
Geoff Openshaw
Um, ah yeah, when it happens when your number comes up things get real. Ah and it’s ah yeah, it’s always good to have you here Devin ah, we should do okay, well all right folks you you heard it here first.

04:07.60
Devin Thorpe
Thanks for having me. We’ll see you next time.

04:15.70
Devin Thorpe
There.

04:16.37
Geoff Openshaw
So obviously a lot has been going on in the world I think some of the shock of the Ukraine situation at least that part of it’s worn off at least for me, you know that like the the pressing need like I had and I haven’t really recorded since since all this really went down rove to all of you. Um, you know I was last almost two weeks ago now but I was just like glued to Twitter. That’s the only place you had updates you had journalists on the ground and a couple people trying to get information out there and I was you know I didn’t get much sleep I was up a bunch of the night just trying to see what was going on at least that part of it subsided a little bit and I can kind of check in for more regular news. But. Yeah, the situation in Ukraine is definitely gosh. It’s just so heartbreaking. it’s it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life I mean I’ve I’ve watched you know for the past eight years you’ve had the seizure of crimea you’ve had russian troops and russian-backed quoteunquote separatists active in the Donas in Eastern Ukraine

05:00.57
Devin Thorpe
Um, yeah.

05:14.72
Geoff Openshaw
That’s been going on and and like eight years ago I remember being like oh geez like what is happening right now with with the the crisis with crimea and all that. But now this is like nothing I’ve ever seen none of us have seen really in a very long time one country. With its troops from that country. No proxy wars no anything else actually go in and say I am invading country next door and I’m doing what I want we’ve seen a lot of civil strife we’ve seen obviously we’ve seen the United States go into some countries and say you know be nice or we’re gonna bring democracy to you which we’ve done. Um, it’s it’s a. Mixed results but still even that’s different than like a neighboring thing because this is like literally Putin is trying to wipe Ukraine off the map and just absorb it into Russia. It’s not and he is also doing what in many ways the us has done very differently I don’t condone it but he’s trying to force regime change in Ukraine. And have something more friendlier to his interests. So obviously there you yes you could say there are many actors around the world who have been guilty of trying to force regime change in different countries. That’s totally fair, but anyway, ah. I know I could rable I could do the whole show on just talking about Ukraine devvan and and do nothing on the latter-day saint front just talk about the issues. But it’s something.

06:23.20
Devin Thorpe
Now it. It. It’s extremely painful but it is pleasing to see organizations including the church step up to organize relief efforts and what I love about. Church participating in that effort and they’re not the only ones I want to be clear about that. But but they’re among those who have permanent infrastructure and volunteers and ordinary people on the ground in Europe. So as people flow into Poland there are.

06:43.60
Geoff Openshaw
Sure.

06:58.88
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah, yeah.

06:59.64
Devin Thorpe
Mormons there who can help and can provide immediate relief that the whole humanitarian structure of the church can be activated to support that community and that’s that’s a wonderful, wonderful. And and there are other organizations like I say that are similarly situated like like rotary is a similar organization global in scope local people on the ground but but I love to see organizations like the church engaging in that way to to provide relief because I mean. When you try to figure out where you’re going to put one point seven million people who showed up ah over twelve days we got some work to do. This is not going to take care of itself. You know, but with with just the uhcr working on it right? It’s going to take all hands on deck.

07:49.12
Geoff Openshaw
Right? right.

07:52.74
Devin Thorpe
And it could be. You know folks are saying that this this tide could quickly get to 4 or 5000000 people ah you know before summer I mean it just there are a lot of people trying to leave.

07:59.69
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah I mean Ukraine has Ukraine has 40000000 people like this isn’t Kiev is about 3000000 that’s just that’s Kiev I mean there’s a whole lot of other country out there. Um.

08:07.23
Devin Thorpe
Um, yeah.

08:13.73
Geoff Openshaw
It’s absolutely tragic I’m glad too like you said we’re not the only ones involved but I’m glad we are involved like why would we not be but we’ve been trying to be very actively engaged in providing relief which is good. That’s been in one of the names of 1 of our core organizations write relief um to the people.

08:16.55
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yeah.

08:25.27
Devin Thorpe
You have.

08:29.58
Geoff Openshaw
And of course the church is not. You know we’re not sending Javelin Missiles As far as I’m aware I don’t think we have rows and I don’t think those are part of the hedge funds I don’t think they are for all I’m not sure but that’s that’s not our job but we can at least provide relief. Obviously the church is response.

08:32.72
Devin Thorpe
A yeah yeah.

08:48.60
Geoff Openshaw
Has to be in many ways. Neutral I’ve sort of made peace with this I was among many when the church is their church I know the sisters talked about this a bit last week the church issued the statement when the Russia’s invasion started. It was it. Read very much like it went through lawyers first and then some marketing people and that was it. It didn’t even name anyone involved it just said we pray for an end to the um, the armed conflict and you could have swapped that out for any armed conflict around the world. It didn’t it didn’t say if it was civil strife or anything else. So very little. It did.

09:16.12
Devin Thorpe
App.

09:20.38
Geoff Openshaw
Thankfully and rightfully point to the fact that there’s peace in Christ and we hope people can find that and think about peace and we care about peace and the church has a long history of pushing for peace. You should see some of the things released by the church during world war ii during other skirm other skirmishes other minor skirmishes as Joe Biden would say right? minor incursions.

09:37.69
Devin Thorpe
A f.

09:39.89
Geoff Openshaw
But the church has been very outspoken about wanting peace and so for many this was frustrating and I admit I found myself among them when this was first released I was like okay I get it like we care about our relationship with Russia I get it but the statement didn’t even say like. Use the word Ukraine anywhere in it I’ll still stand by that you could at least name the location that’s happening and it really reads like we are very very afraid of upsetting Russia and I get it. We have kind of a tenuous relationship there at best right now ever since Russia enacted their little so-called anti-terrorism law that.

09:56.60
Devin Thorpe
Um, man. Yeah yeah.

10:14.44
Geoff Openshaw
Greatly prohibits and restricts not just the way our our volunteers quote unquote can function in Russia’s just the way members can even worship in Russia I have to imagine this plays a factor in why that we still haven’t heard about where the temple’s going to go in Russia that was announced nearly four years ago ah like I get it. We have a.

10:18.32
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

10:31.33
Geoff Openshaw
A troubling and complicated relationship with that country right now and we don’t want to imperil the safety or the or what freedom to worship the members of the church. Theres still do have and so I understand why the church say even even if it’s factual even saying Russia invaded Ukraine.

10:40.51
Devin Thorpe
Yes.

10:50.16
Geoff Openshaw
Which that is a that’s a neutral statement. Okay because Ukraine did not invade Russia Russia invaded Ukraine you can go back and forth about the reasons for things or whatever else. It might be but like that’s a fair statement but I so I was frustrated but like I get it. The church is not a.

10:53.21
Devin Thorpe
It’s factual right.

11:05.53
Geoff Openshaw
Democratization ngo I mean if you really look at how many places the church functions in that are not functional democracies but are borderline autocracies globally it’s ah’s it’s all over the place I mean if you look at what like West Africa the church is blowing up in west yeah china well in China’s even something else. It’s you know, like off the books in a way in China.

11:10.89
Devin Thorpe
Or full on autocracies China.

11:23.98
Geoff Openshaw
West Africa is a great example. West Africa um you hear about membership surging all over the place. We’ve announced many temples in the region. That’s wonderful. But of all these west african nations. Basically only Ghana is the one that is like a functional pluralistic democracy all the other ones are flawed democracies or potentially worse than that. Church’s priority is to function in a country and bring people the opportunity to hear the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and make covenants that can return them and exalt them and things like that right? That’s our job as a church on the flip side our job as a church can be to ah you know. Like call stuff out what what had happened? yeah.

12:02.72
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, you know it is frustrating and I think I think they’re you’re absolutely right I think about some of the things that went on during the cold war and even during world war ii the church did a lot of things. Ah that could be described as appeasing. Ah, to Hitler and to um to the ah Soviet Union after the after world war two and and yet it gets back to what you’re talking about their goal wasn’t to play a role in establishing.

12:35.51
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah.

12:41.73
Devin Thorpe
Democracy their role isn’t even that of the un in terms of trying to bring peace. Their the role is to help individuals come closer to Christ now and it is frustrating at times I think for a lot of us that the church doesn’t. Ah, take a more political more active role sometimes in things where we see clear black and whites. Ah, but maybe maybe it’s absence from those debates on on on you know on mass in in the hole. Aggregation of history is is better than not. But.

13:22.68
Geoff Openshaw
Well I mean you can look at it this way during the cold war. It was not difficult to find general authorities speak out very openly against the Soviet Union from the pulpit and general conference. 1 of their names was ezra tap Benson perhaps more than others but this but this he wasn’t alone. Okay.

13:34.79
Devin Thorpe
Ah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

13:40.49
Geoff Openshaw
But the big difference was we didn’t have like members and missionaries in those countries back then it wasn’t like that I mean members missionaries came to Ukraine in 9090 Soviet Union had yet to fall and we dedicated the country for the preaching of the gospel in September of 9091 the Soviet Union fell apart in the day after Christmas of 9091 as one everything. Everything completely fell apart and when Ukraine became like totally totally independent, but that’s the big difference. It’s really easy to be totally against a barbaric totalitarian whatever regime when you don’t have members of the church to be affected more or less I’m sure there were been members at some point I should know.

14:13.41
Devin Thorpe
Yeah. Yeah, well I get in Berlin and and there are a lot of members in East Germany that’s where I think the most the biggest block of church you know during the cold war that probably where they were.

14:19.48
Geoff Openshaw
Well enough right? but like probably in like imperial Russia probably had members at some point things like right? but and there were and and the czechr. Yeah yeah, and czechoslovakia had members who wrote out the entire cold war. And do it quietly like we have examples of that of course so like we get it but it was a lot easier back then to pick on a country but I still can’t help but feel like they’re still good and evil you know it’s almost like what if if you picture or if you’ve got a binadi about ready to be burned at the stake and like what if we issue a statement and say yeah, but there’s nice people on both sides.

14:37.16
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

14:45.16
Devin Thorpe
F.

14:54.54
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, it’s right, It feels like that sometimes doesn’t it. Yeah, it’s true. Yeah, it’s it’s a struggle. Yeah.

14:56.73
Geoff Openshaw
You know like it’s a little bit and so and I want to be clear everybody I think Devin and I are both on the same page. We totally understand that the church walks a fine line here and its priority is to function but sometimes you want to say you know like do what is right? Let the consequence follow and just like straight up.

15:06.94
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

15:14.20
Geoff Openshaw
Condemn what is happening unjustly even if the church doesn’t want to weighde in on what is a geopolitical matter. You know so ah, but even after like 119 at least they issued a statement that said like we pray for president Bush you know they they at least named some people.

15:15.11
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

15:27.99
Devin Thorpe
Um, yeah.

15:30.59
Geoff Openshaw
This is this is at that level. You know for Ukraine it’s a big deal and we don’t um, of course we don’t all want to get wrapped into a war war 3 that would be pretty bad and if if I can’t can I put on my political science hat briefly. Okay, there’s a lot of talk about why we don’t have a no fly zone.

15:36.60
Devin Thorpe
No, no yeah, please do.

15:47.56
Geoff Openshaw
Ah of they pulled americans americans like overwhelmingly in favor of establishing a no flies zone on Ukraine so the issue here ladies and gentlemen is a nofly zone doesn’t mean we like sign an edict and say there will be no flying over Ukraine and everyone gets involved I knowly zone means nato planes patrol Ukrainian airspace and scrub it of russians and scrub it of.

15:56.93
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

16:03.50
Devin Thorpe
Like shoot it shit them down.

16:06.80
Geoff Openshaw
Russian Anti-air systems. Yes, it’s direct engagement with an enemy we call it a nofly zone but what it really means is a like myfly zone because it do that You think like I mean maybe Ukrainian planes would play ball and not take off and then pick off Russians but it’s it’s about superiority in the air domain and it is not.

16:15.72
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yeah.

16:23.31
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

16:26.20
Geoff Openshaw
And we’re not ready to put like actual Nato planes against russian forces because then that is war with Nato and Russia and that’s just the thing. No.

16:30.57
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yeah, it’s we we cannot go there. Ah we cannot have a shooting war with a country that has nuclear weapons that’s kind.

16:36.72
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah I just want people to understand. That’s what and that is the reason why people are wondering for the most part. Why why? Nato is being very delicate with the way they do things it’s because of that. Yeah I mean like we had no problem in the 90 s just bombing Serbia. After you know all the atrocities against ethnic albanians right? like it was like it was Serbia sure they’re russians they’re Russia’s ally back in the 90 s but it’s like it’s Serbia. They don’t have nukes. They have an underdeveloped military. Yeah, they got in a couple shots against us like when they shot down an f one seventeen. But for the most part like we’ve got this.

17:16.60
Devin Thorpe
It can’t yeah it’s really frustrating I think a lot of us would love love that idea of a no-fly zone Some of us want to see you know drones used all kinds of different things but the minute we start shooting at them. They shoot right back at us and and.

17:16.15
Geoff Openshaw
But you don’t go up against Russia like we just can’t it’s way more complicated than that.

17:35.60
Devin Thorpe
Like you say you can’t have a nofly zone without shooting if you don’t enforce it. It doesn’t exist and to enforce it. You got to shoot up. You got to shoot your guns.

17:43.19
Geoff Openshaw
Isn’t it. Um, it’s kind of funny though the way all these things can work because like we’ve we’ve seen publicly the us or Nato at least they want to send they want Poland to supply ukrainians with polish jets and then we basically like reimburse the polish and give them other jets is kind of what they’re saying I just I love the. Funny gamesmanship in these situations where it’s like Russia. No Russia knows this is happening but Russia’s like all right, that’s cool. It’s not Nato attacking us. Even if you’re like you’re just letting the ukrainians borrow the car and that’s fine I think the the optics of those sorts of things are just just very curious to me.

18:00.16
Devin Thorpe
Sort of like the lend lease program.

18:14.88
Devin Thorpe
Yes, it reminds me of of ah Fdr’s lend lease program when congress wouldn’t support money for weapons for.

18:18.19
Geoff Openshaw
Ah.

18:29.18
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah.

18:30.30
Devin Thorpe
UK during world war ii he developed a lend lease program where we would give them I think it even included ammo that we loaned to them ammo that they would theoretically return after the war right.

18:37.25
Geoff Openshaw
oh yeah, yes yes oh yeah or it’s like when you want to you know arm the contras in central america and you know you’re Ronald Reagan and what do you do you just get stuff. Okay, so but ah so anyway, sorry we’re.

18:51.50
Devin Thorpe
It’s the same thing. Yeah.

18:54.49
Geoff Openshaw
To digress too much. There are some other stories. We’ve talked about ah american volunteers I referenced missionaries a few minutes ago we called them volunteers in Russia they’re not allowed to be called missionaries all the american ones are gone the the church yanked them out kind of quietly I’m sure you saw they they took them out of Ukraine as well. Back in January but now all the ones who were in Russia. Which surprisingly was not that many. It’s the interesting thing here to read is how much we’ve clearly scaled back how many americans were in Russia at the time because as of mid-february this was according to church spokesman sam penrod fifty young volunteers were taking took assignments outside of russia russias a big country. It has consolidated some like missions in recent years but still like spread across all of our work in russia just 50 americans that tells you how much we’ve probably been pulling in from other countries ideally and sending citizens of ah the united states elsewhere so So

19:43.83
Devin Thorpe
Um, yeah.

19:47.13
Geoff Openshaw
That’s 1 thing although another one I want to bring up real quick that I was just very touched by and then we can we can leave Ukraine. The byu singers did something very very cool. They got members from the different biu choirs and somewhere on bu’s campus and they sang a ukrainian language version of come now found of every blessing and it’s. They they actually had ukrainian speakers help them with pronunciation before they did it. It’s just a simple video. They posted on their Facebook page but I thought this was just a very It was a very classy move and very moving. You know they didn’t get all the way up through like here I raised my ebenezer. It wasn’t like the full thing which would have been even cooler.

20:24.13
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

20:25.58
Geoff Openshaw
But just like I mean good for them. How very very moving for them to do that and it’s beautiful. It’s amazing to hear the quality of those voices in that in that timber that you expect to hear. But then hear them singing in Ukrainian this tune that many of us love you know, probably the most at this point the most famous non- hymnbook hymn I think that that we hear and so I just wanted to tip my hat to the the singers there over it at buyu good for them good for them.

20:50.44
Devin Thorpe
That’s cool. Well I was pleased to see this week that elder cook gave. Ah you know gave an official recognition from the church. To senator retired senator Joseph Lieberman gave him the that’s right, they gave him the visionary leadership award. He. Um, yeah, so and that was kind of cool I I worked in the Us senate.

21:07.53
Geoff Openshaw
Former vice presidential candidate Joe Lieber almost vice president Joe Lieberman

21:24.11
Devin Thorpe
Way back in the olden days. In fact, so I was there when he was a freshman senator ah back in the 80 s and early 90 s and he was a very well respected guy on both sides of the aisle. Ah you know, really one of the. People who served in I think in either house with the most class the most integrity and and he he wasn’t an abrasive. Yeah, there are few people that are you know, very honest. And integrity is a word. You do just describe them. But sometimes you’d also describe them as maybe being bristly or her ah a bit prickly but not Joe Lieberman he was very gracious and well off on both sides so it was great to see him recognize for this.

22:04.58
Geoff Openshaw
Um.

22:14.27
Geoff Openshaw
do do we have any idea why they singled out Joseph Lieberman for the first award. Yeah.

22:17.47
Devin Thorpe
Oh it’s about religion. Yeah, so it’s the religious freedom and so he of course is a member of the faithful you know, faithful member of the jewish faith and ah practicing and so he has had a history of. Ah, trying to protect religious rights in in the United States and elsewhere and so I think it’s that that it’s that history that that they singled him out for but a very ah very important reminder you know that you know just tonight in our conversation. We sometimes take our religious freedom for granted here in the United States because it is in the constitution and is so well protected but in Russia in China at places I have been spent a lot of time in both places. Yeah, it’s it’s not like this It’s very different.

22:54.33
Geoff Openshaw
Oh yeah.

23:11.94
Geoff Openshaw
It’s a different beast.

23:12.35
Devin Thorpe
Religion is tightly controlled and almost persecuted especially in Russia well and even in China and China in both in both countries I mean think about all this talk talk about ah the the genocide of the weaker people in.

23:16.00
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah, and I mean and.

23:25.70
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah, who are who are muslim. Yeah, they’re muslim and they’re and they’re turkic. They’re also not Han Chinese so that’s another another issue. Yeah.

23:28.71
Devin Thorpe
In China that’s about religion right? because those wigurs are muslims and so yeah, yes, but I think it’s fair to think of that as primarily a ah religious issue. The chinese really don’t like religion. Ah. And it is somewhat miraculous that there are thousands and thousands of practicing latter day saints in in China despite that. But ah yes, you know the the rights we have here in the United States are precious and to be revered.

23:57.00
Geoff Openshaw
Um, the situation. Um, well.

24:04.31
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah, and I think like you said it’s easy to forget that you know we we squabble over interesting kind of minutia of religious freedom here in the us and that’s almost a luxury to do so and 1 thing that does frustrate me sometimes we’ll have a lot. There will always be talks about religious freedom and general conference.

24:13.84
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yeah.

24:22.40
Geoff Openshaw
There was a drinking game see hoff and elder Razband says those words during his next conference talk but he will I promise it’ll happen but um, like you bring up Russia and it’s another thing to think about with the war Ukraine. We should have linked to it. There was a great great. Great. Great peace over at religion news talking about how. This whole war isn’t just about like straight up geopolitics or the glory of formerly imperialist Russia there is there is a religious element to it because Putin has very much weaponized the russian orthodox church and made it so russian orthodoxy is a a core component of russian identity at the expense of any other faiths. Which is all the more ironic because Russia itself if you look at a map of Russia that country ain’t like all just russians who are orthodox people I mean other than in the caucasus region. Most people are muslims and they ah and they speak different languages. They don’t speak russian as their they know russian because of history. But you know it’s it’s. Degastan and in Gushchea and Chechnya and all those places that you’ve heard of you’ve got kalmicia which is the only buddhist part of Europe that’s a fun little bit of trivia folks if you want to bring that one home to calmic are different people. Um, totartann are tadar people who are muslims as well and the Kazan is one of the largest cities in Russia. It’s funny. You don’t hear about much as much of that. Um, and that like they’re okay being russians but like attacking somewhere like Ukraine where the ukrainian orthodox church has broken off and tried to be autocephalous and these are all so like pain points for what’s going on over there. So sorry I I digress a wee bit but you’re right? You’re really right? We should not take our religious freedom for granted because.

25:45.31
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

25:53.37
Geoff Openshaw
Um I can go to church every Sunday and the worst thing that happens to me is they say hey you’ve needed to wear a mask for a little while oh boohoo like my life gone on. It’s been okay, it hasn’t has’t like encumbered my actual freedom to worship and speaking a little bit of of zealed covid ah, but we have less and less news with covid because like.

25:58.96
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yeah, that’s right.

26:11.83
Geoff Openshaw
You know, obviously the Pandemic’s just over That’s it. We’re done. But.

26:15.50
Devin Thorpe
Ah I think you know I laugh when you say that but I guess in fairness, the Cdc is now saying in fact, that’s what was happening right? and WHO is we’re transitioning from from its covid’s not over but the pandemic is over and we’re we’re transitioning into an endemic phase of.

26:25.62
Geoff Openshaw
That’s that’s just happening and we.

26:35.40
Devin Thorpe
Ah, disease.

26:35.23
Geoff Openshaw
That’s that’s the hope. But that’s the 1 thing to remember though is no one has actually declared covid endemic yet and I don’t think we’re really there I mean a lot of hospitalization rates are still as high as they were or higher than they were like in July of last year when we were happy about vaccines but it wasn’t out of the woods completely.

26:40.40
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

26:45.90
Devin Thorpe
Um, yeah, right.

26:52.15
Geoff Openshaw
But now more people are vaccinated. Other people have been infected. So hopefully it holds you know I’m hopeful like everybody else and as part of that The church has announced kind of quietly that all the church history sites that had been open since May June of last year but with restrictions restricted restricted hours Covid related safety measures.

26:55.42
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

27:11.89
Geoff Openshaw
Are now all reopened just as normal as it was pre- pandemicdemic so hours of the same group larger groups can be accommodated no need to wear masks so that’s cool. You know you can go if you’re going to Palmyra you can go tour the grandin building now which is indoors and see the history of the book of mormon printing and. And that’s that’s ah, that’s good for fun just for but sincerely for some fun because we’ve talked about how the Cdc in the United States is now ranking. They’ve got this new county ranking tool. Basically your county your county can be ranked low medium or high as far as covid risk low means you can like. You don’t really need to worry about wearing a mask indoors the chance of transmission is low, good good good medium is basically the same except they encourage you to talk to your physician if you have concerns about your own health or like you know, kind of case by case high means they actually still recommend wearing a mask indoors in a highly high county. So I only bring this up because it’s kind of funny because a lot of the church history sites I dare say a plurality perhaps even a majority of them are currently in high counties I’m hopeful that won’t mean much because they’re also in very rural areas in general I mean there’s not a lot around them but like. if you’re going to mormon battalion visitor center in San Diego san Diego County is still rateed high if you’re in Jackson County Missouri to go to independence visitor center high liberty jail hi hollins mill hi the far west temple site in Calwell County this one’s great because I’ve been there a few times. Um. Unless you for some reason had a party on the grounds I don’t see what would happen even though it’s high because it’s just like off a little highway and there it is and it’s beautiful and it’s wonderful. Anyway, the grandin building that I mentioned like Palmyra is high for me. It’s a little amusing because we’re like oh you don’t need to wear a mask even though Cdc says you might still consider it. Indoors at least in some of these these places a lot of places like I’m sure going to you know Martin’s cove mormon Trail site in Wyoming is’ probably outdoors for the most part so Whoop Dedoo but don’t go to that independent if you go to the independence visitor center call them out people say hey this is a high county this is Jackson.

29:19.58
Devin Thorpe
Ah help? Yeah well ah this week moving on just a little bit the church announced that it is.

29:22.27
Geoff Openshaw
What are you doing there old people come on. That’s all. But yeah, either way, it’s good news. You can visit Church history stuff and it’s fine.

29:39.15
Devin Thorpe
Putting more solar panels on buildings in Australia and in elsewhere in the south pacific which is cool and it it reminds us that it has put solar panels on a few other buildings and I find this wonderful I’m thrilled I’m excited but i.

29:44.57
Geoff Openshaw
Very cool.

29:58.43
Devin Thorpe
Can’t say all of this without expressing just a little bit of disappointment that we’re slow in getting there. The church has all of the right language you know god has given us all we have so we have an obligation to use these resources wisely. And to respect the earth ah you know church spokesman said yeah and that’s been true for a long time and solar panels have been anything since we put them on a ah chapel in Farmington twelve years ago ah so I’m hoping this is.

30:29.43
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah, has been a little while.

30:35.50
Devin Thorpe
Beginning of an acceleration of greenifying these chapels around the world I mean we’ve got a lot of rooftops.

30:40.70
Geoff Openshaw
And I believe as part of that I guess Arizona comes to mind and I might be speaking out of turn I don’t think I am though solar is one component of it but isn’t the church also trying to be more proactive and also landscaping more appropriate for the climate. So if you’re in Arizona you like like a lot you might have just more you know gravel and.

30:59.70
Devin Thorpe
Um, yeah.

30:59.74
Geoff Openshaw
Rock features and and Flora that is more appropriate for where you are rather than a very heartily watered lawn that has no natural business being there I believe they’re doing that as well which is good. That’s being good stewards of the Earth I mean.

31:06.46
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yeah, yeah, and they and they article talks about this articles here. We’re looking at is in the church news talks also about the fact that since the 1950 s The Church has been thoughtful about. Ah, building materials especially focused on making sure that buildings are well insulated and that.

31:27.75
Geoff Openshaw
Ao, unless you’re building 1 of president Hinkley’s many temples in the south didn’t we didn’t think those ones through but that’s okay, what well you know they kind of they had to be rebuilt. You know if you that’s what they they were rebuilt from the ground up because they had.

31:30.42
Devin Thorpe
And oh no.

31:42.71
Devin Thorpe
Oh wow, That’s all right? No, that’s good. We need to move on. We got a lot of stuff yet yet to chat about.

31:43.43
Geoff Openshaw
Rot and mold and problems like that it was real. Yeah, sorry to me to catch you off there Devin but we don’t have to cover. This is not a show where we have to cover every single thing we we go where the mood takes us right? That’s that’s how it is but.

31:55.89
Devin Thorpe
Okay, good good. Yeah.

31:59.94
Geoff Openshaw
Ah, quick handful of temple updates that we hinted at so I said the church dropped a few things. First of all the ephram temple. Ah the design has been released. Ephram is kind of smack dab in the middle of Utah for context this is the temple the church announced in May of last year and did so during the saga that was starting. It was like ongoing this time last year around the manai Utah temple and if you’re newer to the show or miss this the issue was the original plan for the Mantai Temple was to gut it effectively remove the historic murals. No longer be a live endowment session. It was one of 2 temples that even offered that remaining in the church and just set up a bunch of like single rooms improve capacity. All those sorts of things basically take out everything that was historic in the temple and replace it with modern conveniences to make it easier to just do the endowment like you do everywhere else. In terms of efficacy makes total sense in terms of caring about preserving the historical record of latter-day saints. It made no sense and people were actually pretty upset about this and there were like there were you know changes dot orgs and and campaigns and letters written in and salt lakeke went did a couple of rounds here for at first saying like well. Maybe we’ll look into something we can do and then they said well maybe we’ll actually preserve the Manerva Tiger murals and we’ll put them in the church history library and like okay that’s cool eventually got to the point the church said here’s what we’re gonna do we’ll preserve the murals in the temple instead. We’re still going to make the temple so it has modern the slideshow now right? No more live session. Um, and we’ll change it like that. But we’re going to leave the temple more alone. Otherwise so the issue here was capacity arguing that the manemp just can’t because of it being a live progressive endowment could not handle as many people which is true though. They’re not as efficient for that sense. So instead the church announced a temple in ephram up the road which were snow colleges. It’s like the largest settlement and it’s probably I mean it’s like ten or fifteen minutes up the road from mantai if my memory serves and right over by snow colleges they’re going to build a temple there shockingly not eighty Thousand Square feet like all the Utah ones this one’s only going to be thirty Nine Thousand Square feet ah 4 instruction rooms 3 ceiling rooms. 1 baptistry looks like 2 floors to me and they just they release the drawing. That’s all we have the rendering. We don’t necessarily have the groundbreak or anything like that. But that’s a thing it looks nice. Cool design I’m okay with it. You know. Don’t have anything else to say about that one really? Ah, other temple ones. Update real quick the cape bearday temple cape bearde is an african archipead chick nation I’ve decided archipalad good is an adjective I can use set of islands off the coast of western of western Africa. Um.

34:38.17
Devin Thorpe
And I think very good.

34:44.23
Geoff Openshaw
Very small temple but they’ve announced the open house dates and the dedication date for this temple which is pretty cool because this one was only announced I think in I want to say what 2018 I mean it’s they’ve moved very quickly on this one actually comparatively. It was announced. October Twenty Eighteen they broke around in May Twenty nineteen and it will be dedicated on Sunday June nineteenth so that’s a yeah, yeah, it’s pretty ah, pretty quick. Pretty good pretty good speed

35:03.25
Devin Thorpe
Wow, that’s no rome temple. What did Rome take like 14 years

35:15.73
Geoff Openshaw
The hard thing with Rome is it took a long time to break around and then they just kind of dragged for a long time actual construction because other temples they’ve announced like the one in Ukraine and then just not they announced it and then they didn’t touch it for like eight or nine years actually building it. But then when they built it it was you know 3 years like normal so it’s gone up very quickly. Great for the saints of Cape Verde there’s like 4 stakes there.

35:19.81
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

35:28.52
Devin Thorpe
Um, yeah.

35:35.40
Geoff Openshaw
Church is robust. The saints are currently assigned to the lisbon Portugal temple and presumably they will be assigned to their own temple. It’s going to be very tiny too less than Nine Thousand Square feet of temple but that serves their needs which is great. All Devin I’m sorry.

35:44.94
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yeah, it’s the priesthood. Not the ah not the not the yeah structure that matters please.

35:52.87
Geoff Openshaw
Exactly and lastly Devin if you’ll indulge me 1 more other bit of temple news that also came out on zif Friday day. They’ve announced the groundbreaking date for 3 other temples. The smithfield Utah temple the Burley Idaho temple and the temple for yours truly where I grew up yo Belinda California which has made me very excited. Ah, they’ve got they got the dates for all 3 your Belinda’s going to happen and so I haven put the date in the article I probably just like skip the most important thing Saturday June eighteenth, they’re gonna break ground for that one demolish the meeting house build a temple there the one in smithfield ualic’ is kind of like the one in ephraim just more stately larger taller. And you know about eighty Thousand Square Feet Smithfield’s in Cash Valley we long talked about there potentially being a second temple in cash valley with the Logan Temple is famously overpacked even even without covid restrictions. So ah on June eighteenth Twenty Twenty two you will have. Ah, elder quentinell cook and elder gary e stevenson will be there at the groundbreaking for that temple and the temple in Burrley Idaho is going to be underway about Forty Thousand Square Feet Burley is kind of close to twin falls and many people were were intrigued when the church announced the temple there because it’s not too far from twin falls and as the sister said Burley was nothing more than a place to get gas and.

37:07.10
Devin Thorpe
Here.

37:08.63
Geoff Openshaw
And 1 of their podcast but they get a temple and that’s great. So ah, groundbreaking is all around another fun thing I learned from this is I admit I was humbled. Okay I had a good experience here. Devin I um, instantly thought oh of course the temple in Utah is gonna have 2 apostles show up for the groundbreaking. Of course. And then the temple and burrleley is going to have an elder Nielsen of the presidency of the 70 and of course my lowly or Belinda Temple and’ have the the president of the North America west area who’s in the 70 right? You’re thinking like of course they send out the real cavalry for the Utah one. Why wouldn’t they Utah favoritism. Until I remembered president Nelson’s words that he said for dedications he likes to let different members of the 12 go and do this He’s far less concerned about himself dedicating these temples he wants the 12 to have these experiences and I thought to myself. Maybe that also plays into groundbreakings and that can be emotionally resonant. Resonant for all of them and sure enough elder cook born and raised in the Logan Area he spent a lot of his life in the bay area in California but he went to Utah State University has a lot of experience there. Elder Stevenson was born and raised in cash valley immediately I was humbled Elder Nielsen who will oversee Burley Idaho was born in Berley Idaho so that’s important to him and even elder Clegg I believe who’s going to be doing o bragg sorry who’s going to be presiding over the Linda Temple was born and raised in Los Angeles so everyone just a good reminder to me, you can make snap judgments and then be reminded that there actually might be something more going on. So I appreciate that and appreciated the chance to learn. Thank you, everyone.

38:42.17
Devin Thorpe
Yes, well very cool. You know, um it is exciting to see the the temples opening up around the world it. It is just a wonderful sign of the the growth and maturation of the church. Um.

38:57.28
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah, yeah, no.

39:01.54
Devin Thorpe
I I thought it was really interesting. Ah this week by common consent published an analysis of federal funding for the various Brigham young university campuses. Ah, Michael Austin wrote this piece for my common consent. Yeah, yeah, so so I think there is a naive group of people out there who really believe that and then there’s ah this counter argument of.

39:19.66
Geoff Openshaw
Wait Um I’d heard they don’t get federal money. That’s why they can do whatever they want isn’t that.

39:37.67
Devin Thorpe
Just slightly less naive people who think that because ah byu gets in fact, a lot of federal money and some indirectly grants made to students who pay the grant money to beyu in effect and that actually comes through byu. So it’s more direct that I’m.

39:56.85
Geoff Openshaw
Right.

39:57.65
Devin Thorpe
Making it sound and then of course there’s research grants BY you doesn’t get a lot of that money by comparison with say the university of utah up the road but they get some federal grant money for that and so it adds up to hundreds of millions of dollars and so you know it’s interesting.

40:04.26
Geoff Openshaw
Picture.

40:17.16
Devin Thorpe
Why we’re having this discussion though and I want to to bring this back to a little bit of direct context and and it it comes to quite specifically this year students at you complained. About the way lgbt q students were being treated at uiu. Um and under title nine and the federal government the department of education came in and did a quick look at the nature of the complaints. Conducted I think what? even they acknowledged was an investigation. It was very short within just a few weeks. they they said yeah it’s it’s all copacetic and by you was the first university in the country to establish kind of a. Ah, rules of the game that largely exempted byu from these kinds of rules because of the religious nature of the school and since many other schools that are religiously based have done the same kinds of things and so this is yeah, it’s a longstanding practice.

41:21.96
Geoff Openshaw
We are trailblazers good for us. Yeah.

41:28.79
Devin Thorpe
And so I think it’s important to note that yes because of this money title 9 applies to beyu and the federal government having no incentive to give byu a pass. It doesn’t deserve has looked specifically at the practices. And the law and concluded all as well and I think it’s okay to to have differing views than the than the federal governments at at this time but I think that the bottom line is ah. You know the folks at Buy Common Consider right? There’s a lot of federal money there and that’s why B Why you is subject to some regulation but ah, the federal government has recently taken a look very specifically at what many of us would think of as its worst behaviors and the federal government said it’s all good.

42:09.99
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah.

42:21.80
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah, you know? and even if like the federal government was saying like we don’t love what we’re seeing. They’re talking about compliance with title nine and they’re saying you have a religious exemption. You haven’t violated as far as we’re aware right. You know you can make the moral case or other cases all day long. But as far as the federal government’s concerned as you said oh goodness what else do I touch on here Devin right now hey because because you know because it’s the tribune and peggy fletcher stack is Peggy Fletcher stack

42:39.48
Devin Thorpe
Ep.

42:54.56
Geoff Openshaw
Headline mormon stories podcaster John dolin makes two hundred and thirty six thousand dollars a year year from his nonprofit is that too much like I don’t know I mean if you start a Ah, even if I don’t like what’s going on if you start a business and it’s successful. Even if it’s a nonprofit I mean there’s a lot of people who run sizable nonprofits. Executives who make money similar to that though I would say for the size of mormon stories or the mormon open stories foundation which gets a lot of its most like it’s money from donations and in you know in 2019 they had four hundred and sixty four thousand dollars in donations to keep it running.

43:16.40
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

43:32.79
Geoff Openshaw
Which is a lot of money for sure. But if that is your revenue and that’s solely your revenue and half of that revenue is going to your founder and Ceo I mean I don’t know how many other organizations want to part with half of their revenue stream directly to the boss that in that sense. It could seem.

43:46.10
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yeah, it’s yeah.

43:50.52
Geoff Openshaw
Like a lot because like I know a lot of people who work in the nonprofit. The association space and their top executives are well compensated, but these are also firms we’re talking multimillion dollars that they’re rolling through every year in budget. So.

43:58.90
Devin Thorpe
Right? You know I don’t know what president Nelson makes and he has a variety of his a coterie of aids and all these things so it’s hard to make apples to apples. But I suspect that his.

44:13.60
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah, of course.

44:18.63
Devin Thorpe
Allowance salary. However, he’s compensated is probably pretty close to that and so if you it because of what John does that is in a way a fair comparison so he’s earning what I’m going to call. Ah, comparable amount to president Nelson ah President Nelson runs an organization that among other things has a balance sheet with a hundred billion dollars on it and ah has you know revenue on the order of. 7000000000 if rumors are to be believed. Ah so yeah I think you know I I think if you make that comparison John looks like he’s doing all right? And yeah.

45:06.76
Geoff Openshaw
Oh he’s doing fine I mean the man lives in Cash Valley and if you’re making 200 um Utah’s housing bubble notwithstanding still if you’re making 240 grand a year in cash valley I think you’re ah you’re doing all right. 1 thing I found interesting is.

45:19.90
Devin Thorpe
You’re doing all right? Yeah, he’s not worried about where to get his groceries.

45:23.43
Geoff Openshaw
New but this is ballooned a lot I mean we talked about jule and salary because they would publish the open Storie Foundation’s budget and expenditures as a nonprofit every year there’ was a stretch when they didn’t do it and it raised a lot of eyebrows. Everyone’s like what are they being Cagey about now. Um and we saw that back then? yeah delin was only raking in 60 or 70 grand a year which still if you don’t have debt.

45:32.98
Devin Thorpe
Ah.

45:43.37
Geoff Openshaw
And back then if you’re living in Cash Valley is fine. Um I do think it’s interesting that dlan apparently told the board not to give him another raise like he just said they’ve set my salary generously at a fixed level 1 matching what he earned when he was an executive at Microsoft Seventeen years ago but

45:44.34
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

46:01.24
Geoff Openshaw
He walked away from that I don’t know maybe so who knows so like yeah I people get all like in a huff about this kind of stuff. There are some people they have whistle a whistleblower claim that does say that Delinda kind of patted the board with people who would ensure he got paid more handsomely.

46:02.77
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

46:20.69
Geoff Openshaw
Ah, than perhaps he deserves or that Delin maintained as the trip says inadequate boundaries between donations to the podcast and dole’s own life coaching business and that dele sort of Blurs the line between personal and professional expenses.

46:33.69
Devin Thorpe
Oh yeah.

46:34.23
Geoff Openshaw
Those things are worth considering those the things you have to sort out internally as an organization and it’s a board’s job to keep tabs on that and see if there is malfeasance or not.

46:38.93
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, that can really come back to to buy ah an organization and the people behind it because that the I r says it’s not really a nonprofit because those things are too blurry. It’s really problematic. So I hope hope that doesn’t have a gym.

46:52.87
Geoff Openshaw
I just still can’t forget that time I saw John Dolan posting somewhere that like he was Goingnna be flying down to record somebody for his podcast like I don’t know he was flying down to California from Utah or something like that and he was baking people to pay for him to upgrade to first class and I was like this it reeked of like. Kate Kelly laptop thing when Kate Kelly I needed everyone to pitch in to buy her ah laptop I was just like dude just buy your own laptop just upgrade your own ticket like this just seemed weird to me. But oh well, it’s fine I don’t know that doesn’t bug me much I don’t really care good for you. John.

47:18.50
Devin Thorpe
A FF.

47:29.54
Devin Thorpe
Yep, so ah at roots tech last week the church announced that it was bringing together a couple of different databases and merging them into one.

47:40.80
Geoff Openshaw
Ok, 5

47:42.77
Devin Thorpe
This is kind of a technical thing because it doesn’t mean there’s any new data. But I do a little bit of family history I’m pretty regular I’m pretty avid and you know when you can search 1 place instead of 2 places. Life is much better. You know I would love if you could do all the searching in exactly 1 place and I think we’re headed toward that for a variety of reasons and this is just another step. So this is good so it merged the.

48:07.70
Geoff Openshaw
Right.

48:17.30
Devin Thorpe
Let me be clear about it. It’s the pioneer database and the missionary database now called the church history biographical database. So.

48:19.56
Geoff Openshaw
Um, and I think they date from different time too right? Okay and I think in looking at this was the issue I think that they were just created at different times in history. So they function independently that makes sense. Yeah, put it all under one house I mean I would you.

48:33.14
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yeah, the the guy that now serves as the and church historian and recorder it’s a guy named Le Grandd Curtis and yeah i’ve.

48:44.68
Geoff Openshaw
Yes.

48:49.81
Devin Thorpe
Am interested in that a little bit because I know him just a little bit. He’s an extraordinary guy Very very kind man very admire him. Yeah, you know that’s not true I’m sure it’s not true people. Love you.

48:58.81
Geoff Openshaw
Not something people will say about me when I pass unfortunately a couple quick ones here for you this one’s funny I know this is not a new thing per se but I was drawn to it in this past week and it was someone shared. Ah, new type of sign that was in front of a church building. You know you know in most of our church ones we have that classic the the church logo often kind of inset into some kind of stone looking plaque out front. Not the one that’s just on the building but you know out like on the street level to indicate what’s going on maybe sort of framed by some brick. Whatever you want.

49:18.61
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

49:34.31
Geoff Openshaw
Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints in Gilbert Arizona they have a big blue billboardish thing out front that says all are welcome. It has a very artsy looking image of the savior the meeting time starts and then it just says church of Jesus Christ Dot Org that is all it says to indicate where you are. I think this is very interesting I mean it is correct. We are the church of Jesus Christ it’s true the latter day saint’s part you know, specified in the doctrine in covenants for a reason but I also think wonder for me this this feels like very like evangelical to me. Personally this feels very like generic. Something bible church all or welcome like that kind of deal right? and that is not knocking the people of those faces. That’s just like what I’ve seen aesthetically in terms of other religions and I think we’re very locked in as latter-day saints into the the design language the way we present that so anything new can seem jarring you know i.

50:14.33
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yeah.

50:32.24
Geoff Openshaw
Remember some hubbub back in what was it the early 90 s when they moved away from the kind of staggered logo that had everything the same size and tried to you know focus make it a little bit more evenly linear and focus it more on the savior people took note of that but this one is very interesting because it’s not the church’s official logo of course, but it’s a.

50:46.68
Devin Thorpe
Right? Which isn’t a logo I’m not sure what do they call it symbol I think you’re right I think it’s a symbol. But.

50:52.40
Geoff Openshaw
Oh they call it the symbol right? which has that which has which has the logo type and then that picture of the savior above it. So I guess I don’t know my feelings of this are I just I have. Broader concerns that I think as a church we’re kind of getting more and more vaguely anonymously Christian on purpose and I part of me I like being more included but I also kind of dislike that I feel like we’re losing some of our peculiarity and I worry about it’s just getting sort of lost in the rest of mainstream christianity to to.

51:20.54
Devin Thorpe
Yeah I don’t think we have to worry too much about being losing our peculiarity. My friend it just me just me but I don’t think we’re at too much risk of that. Ah yeah, but.

51:25.18
Geoff Openshaw
Oh no, Devin it’s gone man.

51:34.89
Geoff Openshaw
What do we think about the fact that it’s not the correct name of the church given everything we hear in general conference.

51:38.35
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, no I Do you think this is a sign that a word made or a stake made or do you think the church did this.

51:45.72
Geoff Openshaw
Ah, we posted I posted this on our Instagram and people commented and said these are all over Arizona in parts of Arizona so I want to think the church did it and I would I would.

51:54.50
Devin Thorpe
Okay, so this is.

52:01.40
Geoff Openshaw
And wards like really go Rogue like that like I proposed putting signs up and stuff here and there and people are very reticent to put any sign except for that official plaque out front in our churches. Unlike a lot of other churches but we just don’t do it right.

52:05.39
Devin Thorpe
Yeah. No, that’s right, you know the the classic church sign with the little reader board that changes every week not going to happen at a mormon church anytime soon because president Nelson’s too busy to approve all of those each week um so yeah, I’m curious about this. It. It appears to me that.

52:16.70
Geoff Openshaw
New New. Update.

52:29.93
Devin Thorpe
This is not the sign of the church right? that a sign that says you know this is the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints is still emblazoned on the building somewhere. This is more an out front sign. It looks to me right? and.

52:34.90
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah.

52:46.99
Devin Thorpe
That is intended to say come visit us. Ah, you’re welcome here and it has the church times and then it just has the the url for the church so people can check it out So I don’t think it’s intended to be the sign. It’s intended to be an invitation in addition to the sign.

52:48.13
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah, yeah.

53:04.94
Geoff Openshaw
Mmm.

53:06.53
Devin Thorpe
And this one also appears to me. It’s a very nice sign for a temporary sign and I suspect that it is ah there as a test to see if it does anything right? does it increase Attendance does it. Ah. Improve baptisms and that kind of thing and we’ll you know if it works we’ll all have one of these.

53:30.86
Geoff Openshaw
That sign alone will increase baptisms sorry.

53:35.49
Devin Thorpe
Well, you know if you had 1 in front of every building you could. You could do some data analysis and figure that out. You know.

53:42.57
Geoff Openshaw
Oh yeah, I’d be wild I got to look up where this one is on Google maps. Anyway, it’s not a big deal but I thought it was interesting. That’s all.

53:49.30
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, it is kind of interesting for sure. So um, let’s see I wanted to just talk about the passing of sister packer Donna Smith Packer who was president packer’s wife died. You know this.

54:03.54
Geoff Openshaw
Okay.

54:08.64
Devin Thorpe
You know one of those things I hate to admit that I had lost track of the fact that she was still alive. He died. So so many years ago she was 94 and she was of course famous for her love of family history work and a big family. And so it is certainly it’s it’s hard to call it a shame given that you know she’s with the life love of her life again. After having been separated for almost seven years ah it it is remarkable. Yeah hard to believe that isn’t it. But yeah, it’s it is well worth our time to pause and acknowledge that.

54:45.96
Geoff Openshaw
It’s been that long man. It’s pack. Wow by Alex the seller packer passed away.

55:00.40
Devin Thorpe
She has passed after her decades of service in the church.

55:04.65
Geoff Openshaw
We go. Well not to be glib. But here’s a ah, an article I think you appreciate this one too Devin from Lds living membership has its privileges 38 benefits of church membership. We may not think about and I can’t help but read this in like is this a ah. Ah, is this like a Costco situation like what like 1 of the perk I’m getting perks now I don’t it’s fine. It’s fine. Um, and it’s funny because it even talks about like an old American Express campaign that was all about like the privileges right? And so apparently they do tell the story about a um a member Gordon Bowen

55:23.86
Devin Thorpe
A.

55:36.77
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yeah.

55:43.90
Geoff Openshaw
Member of the church who actually pitched the church sort of using this language and actually saying the rumor is that he actually pitch it to the church to say use it as use it for American Express to pitch it to the church and say like say membership has its privileges. Yeah, so so ah, many of these I agree with I just feel like this is a.

55:57.94
Devin Thorpe
Ah, yeah.

56:02.00
Geoff Openshaw
It’s just kind of a bizarre article. But um, but things like things like growth right? like you discover new talents you connect with people like like president oakes talked about in his last conference talk about the need for a church like you connect with people from different backgrounds because wards are based on where you live and then that’s it.

56:15.61
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

56:17.25
Geoff Openshaw
And so you work with and collaborate with people that you might not associate with otherwise in your work and personal life. That’s great. You can build leadership skills and then some of the smaller ones here and all of these came from replies she had by the way on Twitter so it’s meant to be humorous in some ways but like you know. Work ethic no money spent on alcohol tobacco and gambling um mentor figures emphasis on family access to a free basketball court. A free wedding venue and gorgeous location I don’t think many. Regard. The stake center is a gorgeous location I mean there’s a couple you know isolated buildings that are in very oh you’re so smart look at you go see I was just thinking about the you know you know you know it’s just it’s.

56:52.90
Devin Thorpe
Ah, maybe is she thinking about the temple.

57:02.55
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, you know that’s the thing with this article I have to admit I’m I’m a little offended by the premise that one would be so glib as to talk about membership having its privileges. It sounds elitist in its tone ah exclusive. Ah, condescending unnerving. But there’s not 1 item on the list that I didn’t agree with was something we get from our membership but ah, you know that it isn’t about that I would frankly call on Lds living to to do better. Ah. You know the the gospel is about the atonement of Jesus Christ to drawing us nearer to that. It’s not about having a bunch of benefits. You know we didn’t join so that we could have a cheap wedding venue. Ah, and.

57:55.00
Geoff Openshaw
I’m I’m just bummed we don’t yet all right I mean I was hoping they’d give us like airport lounge access or something but that’s yet to materialized. Unfortunately, that.

57:55.68
Devin Thorpe
It’s a little offensive to me to even talk about it in those terms I have to admit.

58:07.90
Devin Thorpe
Yeah I should be more patient with more loving. Okay.

58:09.45
Geoff Openshaw
So okay, I’m gonna give you 1 other one that I think you’ll enjoy a little bit more though Devin so this came across this is this is this is this is a game by the church in terms of um, how to advertise this came off of Instagram. And what they did is they took an image for the looks like it’s the game wordle that many of you know and love and worked its way it says godly bible light truth Jesus faith is the correct answer when you get to the end for one. That’s a bad wordle. Score I mean the very fact that you go from truth and then then.

58:30.18
Devin Thorpe
Yep, have.

58:36.59
Devin Thorpe
Yes, to Jesus someone’s not planned. You’re not playing well right? It’s it’s very I need to talk to whoever did this about their their wertle strategy clearly.

58:44.40
Geoff Openshaw
To do like that’s bad strategy. That’s bad. That’s not a good way to play wordle so that that part but I think this is like so. I do think this is um I think this is pretty a game though in terms of advertising I like I think this is it’s smart. It’s in the moment there were some that kind of cracked up that they said I know I’m overanalyzing this but I can’t help but see how ironic is that the words godly and Jesus have no letter hits and the correct.

58:55.78
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

59:07.23
Devin Thorpe
Ah, yeah, yeah, yeah I see the yeah.

59:09.73
Geoff Openshaw
What did I get but this is the cut. This is the come unto Christ Instagram account. You can go find that one and I just want to tip my hat I think this is pretty clever even with even with that little joke there about the fact that godly and Jesus aren’t represented on it.

59:16.81
Devin Thorpe
Um, yeah.

59:24.18
Devin Thorpe
F.

59:27.22
Geoff Openshaw
But I like that I like that they can pull that out I think whoever came up with that deserves a commendation. So.

59:28.94
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, and you know it is very timely I am unnerved by the fact that they they play to you after they play to you that wasn’t in there and it just you just wouldn’t do that hey.

59:42.37
Geoff Openshaw
It’s a little weird. It’s not the way you play the game.

59:44.27
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, I’m just I’m so stressed by 2 wasting 2 You know testing b twice on the second line he just wouldn’t do that. It’s such bad wordle play. Such bad word play but still I think your your point is wellm made very clever at.

59:50.74
Geoff Openshaw
Why would you do this? ah.

59:59.45
Geoff Openshaw
Um, I’m also surprised the final answer was not Jesus and it was something else just thought you know interesting, but it was good. Good job people.

01:00:03.68
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, yes, and it’s you know faith it would more likely especially with these letters would have been caught by the fourth or fifth at the latest but Jesus could have gone ah to the fifth because having two s’s.

01:00:22.18
Geoff Openshaw
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, it’s a mess.

01:00:22.53
Devin Thorpe
Is actually going to throw you off if you play wordtle right? It’s hard when there’s a second copy of 1 letter because you don’t go there. You don’t go there? Yeah yeah, so yeah gee I bet Jesus is not ah a word. Ah.

01:00:38.73
Geoff Openshaw
In wortle sometimes I know the New York The New York Times has taken a few out all that happen. So.

01:00:41.39
Devin Thorpe
In word, All yeah I don’t think they play proper names so it probably isn’t in there but it would be a tough one to get maybe tough tough wordle. No I think we’ve had a a good run.

01:00:50.55
Geoff Openshaw
Um, all right anything else. You want to hit on Devin. You don’t you don’t want to talk about non old duck conducting the tabernac require I mean what? a what a moment what a moment for them. I.

01:00:57.79
Devin Thorpe
Ending on wordrtle is very appropriate in my mind I Love wertle. Now that was a long time ago. What? what? What cost you to think about this again, It’s just been I see yes because it.

01:01:09.61
Geoff Openshaw
Oh though, they they shared it last week as a kind of hey remember when in 1988 when Donald when someone when Donald Duck conducted zipppiy do da during rehearsal in the tabernacle choir funny things to think about there obviously is zippy. Yeah.

01:01:20.64
Devin Thorpe
In March March Nineteen eighty Eight kind of.

01:01:26.28
Geoff Openshaw
Obviously zipppiy dooc comes from the racist film song of the south. So it’s funny to bring that one up, but it’s a cute song also who was the Donald Duck who was in there conducting and I have it on good authority. It was Danny Angel no I’m kidding I don’t know who it was.

01:01:29.32
Devin Thorpe
Now.

01:01:40.18
Devin Thorpe
No way. Oh.

01:01:45.79
Geoff Openshaw
It it was Ezra Taft benz it was president Nelson he was in the 12 by then he is he is the masked conductor. The new the new show on Fox yeah, so that that’ll be pretty good.

01:01:47.74
Devin Thorpe
Ah, who notes yeah he was. He was so yeah, the mask conductor have.

01:02:00.38
Geoff Openshaw
Alrighty this has been a good week. Everybody thanks for his taking that time to sit with us. Thanks for humoring me sincerely on Ukraine stuff I can I can run off on this. It’s been very top of my mind the past a little bit so it’s like truly like I know maybe it can be a lot but I appreciate all you taking the time to listen to that and think about it and hopefully there can be a resolve to the situation there.

01:02:08.37
Devin Thorpe
I Mean it’s been more.

01:02:17.71
Devin Thorpe
Oh let’s let’s pray for peace.

01:02:19.49
Geoff Openshaw
Ah, resolve that doesn’t mean a resolve doesn’t mean capitulate and give me your country but like something you know more reasonable like coexistence. For example, yeah, oh the hilarious thing was I found a I put a Facebook status up from eight years ago because when I lived in Ukraine we did a.

01:02:24.61
Devin Thorpe
Well yeah, like how about they leave let them be.

01:02:39.13
Geoff Openshaw
I did a public opinion research poll of people there and this was 2006 wake of the first orange revolution and we were gauging like feelings about relationships with Russia with the eu with Nato and quantified all that wrote a great report. Very interesting I enjoyed myself quite a bit and here’s an actual respondent who says we can’t live without Russia. But I hope we don’t have to grow closer to them our visions for the future are different. They don’t respect our rights and laws and never will rush will always have the tendency to be an empire and not just a friendly neighbor and this was in 2006 before much of what has precipitated the current crisis even happened so that just popped up and my today.

01:03:08.90
Devin Thorpe
Um, yeah, it’s it’s tragic I hate that fatalistic tone that that Russia can’t change because I’ve been there. You know what.

01:03:18.43
Geoff Openshaw
Sorry.

01:03:24.40
Geoff Openshaw
Because Rocky Ford taught us that we can change he can change I can change you can change.

01:03:27.90
Devin Thorpe
Yeah I I was there so in 1413 and 14 or 14 and fifteen I went back to back years to speak at conferences. So you know this was during the crimea time and it was interesting. The people I talked to were embarrassed and sad about. What happened in crimea they didn’t support it I was there and ah there were and all kinds of subtle protests going on all over the place I really believe the people of Russia are extraordinarily good people.

01:03:58.66
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah.

01:04:04.71
Geoff Openshaw
Sure of course. Yeah.

01:04:06.12
Devin Thorpe
And I think that’s why the church is so committed to to Russia. It’s not the you know Putin is a problem and the the government and its legacy is is a mess and has been for what now at least a century plus. But. And the people are good I just want to believe that one day they’ll be governed by good people and they can be our friends in the fullest sense of that word you think about how think about how much things have changed in our relationship with Japan and how quickly they changed after world war ii um.

01:04:30.77
Geoff Openshaw
Yeah, we we.

01:04:40.24
Geoff Openshaw
And a lot of that was because of.

01:04:42.29
Devin Thorpe
You know it’s hard to imagine people that hated each other more than americans and japanese people and we are as close allies today as there are just about.

01:04:50.23
Geoff Openshaw
And likewise with Germany you know I mean the marshall plan had a lot to do with a lot of rebuilding Europe for 1 but we took a point of view of let’s not just vanquish the losers. Let’s try to rebuild in a more positive way. Cold war was is different because there wasn’t like rubble to build out of there was just a fall in Soviet Union I think we kind of.

01:04:55.56
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

01:05:01.89
Devin Thorpe
Yeah.

01:05:09.25
Geoff Openshaw
Dunked on that a little bit in the mid 90 s because it’s like hey like cool the west one like communism fell good for us and we were excited about maybe ah Russia who we could get along with and then ah and Yeltsin was pretty much on board with that. But Yeltsin was also a little bit of a buffoon and then and then and then.

01:05:12.81
Devin Thorpe
App.

01:05:20.96
Devin Thorpe
He was a good you know, kind-hearted buffoon. Ah.

01:05:27.27
Geoff Openshaw
Putin was a different beast who we’ve all underestimated I mean if you there’s this came out from the russian embassy from ah Sergey Lavrov who’s their foreign minister like their secretary of state equivalent and he said this is an actual line. The goal of Russia’s special military operation is to stop any war that could take place on ukrainian territory.

01:05:28.58
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, we did.

01:05:46.40
Geoff Openshaw
Or that could start from there. That’s why they’re doing this so there won’t be a war in Ukraine so that’s fun. Everybody we feel for someone in church actually yesterday and I didn’t know if this was like a slip or not.

01:05:50.60
Devin Thorpe
Um, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

01:06:02.98
Geoff Openshaw
But they said the opening prayer and they prayed for the saints of Russia and at first I was like did they mean to say Ukraine and they just kind of said the wrong thing but maybe they didn’t right and that’s another thing we should be considering too. We care a lot about Ukraine but like have pray for the saints in Russia too and play for the people of Russia and what’s going on there and you know there’s a whole other side of conflict where.

01:06:08.65
Devin Thorpe
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, as.

01:06:20.59
Geoff Openshaw
Government’s doing 1 thing but I’m sure a lot of the people are in as much as they can actually get the information and that Russia hasn’t clamped down too hard are horrified by what they’re seeing as well and to remember that. Okay anyway, well ran over sorry about that folks. So ah, no, no, no hour 2

01:06:24.39
Devin Thorpe
Right. I think I think you’re right am sorry that’s all right? Yeah I think it’s it’s ah it’s appropriate for us. Not to let this. Ah you know we need to talk about these these are important issues and I’m glad you wanted to talk about it.

01:06:40.10
Geoff Openshaw
Of the show. So. Well I think the listeners are thrilled now that covid is subsiding. We have to have something that I can just rail on weekend and week out and apparently apparently it’s manifested itself in terms of world war three so that’s that’s really something special. Let’s hope for good things. We’re a month away from conference.

01:06:51.86
Devin Thorpe
Hey.

01:06:57.24
Devin Thorpe
Yeah, and.

01:07:02.83
Geoff Openshaw
Hopefully I hope we’ll get some good counsel there anyway, thanks everyone for your time this week I hope you have a great week. All things go your way. We are always at your service. Whatever you need contact at this week of http://mormons.com shoot us an email tell us how things are going. We’re happy to hear from you and hope you’ll join us on social media and be part of the conversation as well. Devin. Love seeing you buddy. That’s great.

01:07:21.61
Devin Thorpe
Honor to be here with you. Thank you very much for having me.

01:07:26.58
Geoff Openshaw
It’s nice to have you so until we meet again. Everyone it’s been an episode of this week in mormons I’m Geoff that was Devin and we hope you have a terrific week and we’ll talk to you again next week but-bye thanks

 

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