Friday, June 21, 2013

What is Modesty?

I'm not going to link to the stories about male BYUx students writing passive aggressive notes to females about how scantily they are dressed even when most of the time they are clearly not(and even if they are, it's none of the guys' business). We've heard the stories, and you can find them easily enough. I will, however, note that I have only heard about those things happening at BYUI and BYUU, not BYUH. Maybe it happens at BYUH, too, but my guess is that being in a warm climate with beaches and swimsuits abounding and many of the students working at the Polynesian Cultural Center (wearing native traditional dress) and/or being from the islands, the over-focus on modesty is less of an issue.

There are many other posts on this topic, but I'll just link to this one so you can get some context on the discussion surrounding modesty. On one side, you have people saying that women should cover up so as to help men have pure thoughts. On the other side, you have women saying they can wear whatever they want and no one should judge them for it. No one seems to be able to agree on what it means for a man to be modest, which multiplies the sexuality and sexism surrounding the term.

When it comes to modesty, I have to quote Inigo Montoya to both sides here.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

From True to the Faith:

Modesty is an attitude of propriety and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior. If we are modest, we do not draw undue attention to ourselves. Instead, we seek to “glorify God in [our] body, and in [our] spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:20; see also 1 Corinthians 6:19).

The section on modesty mentions sexuality but also tattoos, piercings, sloppy dressing, and language. There is so much more to modesty than how much skin someone is showing or the tightness of their clothes. The hyper-focus on women's clothing takes away from the greater message about us all being modest in all that we do and lets men off the hook completely.

Several of the priests in our ward have long hair. One in particular was being presented to the ward awhile ago when he turned 16. He's a high school football player. The Bishop made a joke about him cutting his hair after football season was over and Samson - the obvious connection being that he benefited from the extra strength when playing football. But the clueless look on his face made it obvious he didn't know who Samson was, so from the pulpit in front of everyone the Bishop tasked him with going home and reading the story. I think he was too clueless to even be embarrassed for being called out in front of the ward for not being familiar with one of the most well known bible stories. Returning to the hair - it grabbed attention away from what was happening, a young man advancing in the Aaronic Priesthood, and highlighted his lack of understanding in a somewhat awkward way. Going a level deeper, his casual approach to his appearance mirrored his casual approach to learning the gospel. His immodest hair (not sexual hair, but rather his attention-getting hair) is what made that point possible.

Just as his lack of modesty drew attention to himself in an unflattering way, and bikini-wearing women won't like this, so can women's swimsuit or other apparel choices draw attention to themselves in an unflattering way. Of course, a ridiculously large diamond ring sends a similar message, even though it is in no way sexual in nature. Women claim that they should be able to wear a certain cut of clothing or swimsuit because it's cute, comfortable, or functional, but I can't imagine a bikini being any of those three. A 2 carat diamond is certainly none of the three. A guy's pants precariously hanging off his butt is none of the three.

It is still not about what others think of you, though. Modesty is a reflection of the individual. That is where the point gets lost. We need to stop placing the blame for men's impure thoughts on women. Men will have impure thoughts no matter what women are wearing, and that is their load to carry. Just as the football playing priest's immodest hairstyle gave away his need to read his scriptures and pay better attention in Sunday School, a woman's choice to dress immodestly highlights something amiss in her priorities.

That said, I wrote a post awhile ago about how we should not judge others. If we do, that is our own fault (and a common one at that) that we need to deal with. President Uchtdorf must have read my post, because in the next conference, he gave us this instant classic:

This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

Stop it!

It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children.

He followed that up by quoting a bumper sticker that read, "Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you."

Let us stop telling men they need to shave and cut their hair and pull up their pants. Let us stop telling women to cover up.

Instead, let us all consider our own behaviors and how we choose to present ourselves to others. Think about what message you are sending to others. The point here is that how others receive the message you are sending is not what we're talking about. It is about what message you are sending, regardless of how others interpret that message. Modesty is an attitude. What is your attitude? What is your intention? If you draw attention to yourself or something about you, why are you doing that? Are you glorifying God?

Answer those questions for yourself. Put your own house in order and stop judging others as they work on their own favorite sins.

I guess both sides have something to learn.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Virtual MTC

I've been wondering with the huge influx of missionaries, plus the recent discussion of expansion at the Provo MTC and the closing of the high school in Mexico to convert to an MTC there, and the inevitable eventual decline in number of missionaries after a couple years when the older missionaries are through the system, what the future is for the MTC. How do you build an infrastructure than can expand quickly as well as contract as needed? The total number will be greater than it has been traditionally, but there will be a small dip in two years, no matter how you do the math.

I think you could do some of the MTC virtually, with software to teach some of the language starting immediately when the call arrives, and having those who are waiting to go, go on splits with the local missionaries. Maybe the full-time mission call would include a short-term call as a stake or ward missionary.

Depending on the length of time between receiving the call and leaving, there could be a lot of time to learn the language fairly well. There's Rosetta Stone and Mango Languages and likely other language learning software that could be licensed for cheap. Given the large cost of infrastructure at the physical MTCs, if you traded that away, it would cover much of the cost of developing a new software product focused on church terminology. The church has a lot of technology and expertise in distance learning and training that could be leveraged here. Some of the practice in a new language could be facilitated directly through the technology itself, and then video conferencing could allow for remote instructors and fellow students to practice certain aspects of the language as needed.

Mission prep classes could (and do) teach most of the teaching methods that are learned in the MTC. I had a mission prep class during Sunday School my senior year in high school, and I took a mission prep class in Institute my freshman year at college. There was also a temple prep class fit somewhere in there as well. Maybe the senior year Seminary is focused on missionary work and temple preparation. It's convenient now, how you have four years of high school and four major topics to rotate through - Book of Mormon, Old Testament, New Testament, and Doctrine & Covenants. You'd have to combine two of those somehow. Maybe D&C could be refocused on mission and temple prep. I don't think it would be too much of a stretch, given how much of the D&C is relevant to missionaries. The other three could be rotated through a three year cycle and D&C/mission/temple prep would be done every year for the seniors. Some aspects currently covered in the D&C could be moved in to the Book of Mormon year as needed. It's a logistics issue more than anything. The most problematic aspect would be dealing with early morning seminary and the smaller class sizes that exist when you get further away from Utah, but it's not insurmountable. Are we hastening the work or are we hastening the work?

I could see a three to five month period at home preparing after the call, in addition to all the preparation going on in the previous year before papers are submitted, and then as soon as the visa is available, you're in your new country. For those who don't need to learn a language and/or are going to their own country, you get the same mission prep classes and splits with the missionaries, and go on the predetermined date.

The benefit I see to the MTC is the 100% focus all the time on missionary work. Life doesn't get in the way. It's intense and compressed. There is an opportunity to find those who needed to repent of something before heading out to the actual mission field. But with more involved bishops and stake presidents, as well as getting the missionaries out before they have a chance to visit the land of Siron in college, in addition to the increased focus during the senior year of high school to prepare, I think the same preparation could be accomplished. It would just be spread out in bits and pieces over a year period rather than compressed into getting it all at once in a 3-8 week period.

A full-time mission is intense on a daily basis but also requires long-term focus. The MTC gives them a chance to live the gospel 100% during a few weeks in the MTC, which gives that day to day view of what the mission is like. But it doesn't do anything to prepare them to sustain their focus on something for a year or two. Focusing on mission preparation at a moderate level but for a full year or more beforehand will give them that long-term vision for their missions. Ideally they make changes and mature before leaving on their mission because of that sustained focus.

Perhaps there is still a quick MTC experience, much shorter than they have now. Perhaps there is no MTC. Maybe it's just for those who didn't graduate from seminary (all the more incentive to go to seminary). Maybe it's just a quick check on progress with the language. I just can't think of anything they could learn better in the MTC than they will learn with their trainer after actually hitting the mission field or beforehand from their families, teachers, local missionaries, and priesthood leaders. There are no more discussions to memorize. Is there something the MTC does that can't be replicated elsewhere?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Only stick with something if you like it

There's an interesting post over on Segullah about piano lessons and whether or not to allow your kids to quit taking them.

I play the piano, although not much more than hymns. I was ward organist for a couple years, mostly because no one else could play, not because I was that great. (I used the bass coupler rather than playing with the pedals, although I did take an organ class to try to learn to play with my feet.) I think it's a life skill to play the piano. You tune other instruments to the piano. You accompany people singing and other instruments with the piano. You learn the notes, many styles of music, and possibly more than that - a little bit of discipline.

I do wish I was better at music theory and being able to do things like play jazz or make up songs on the fly or transpose music into another key on the fly. But I'm okay with being able to play most of the hymns and learning a song if I need to. I actually only took lessons for maybe 3 years. I don't remember wanting to quit or asking to quit or how lessons ended. It might have been a financial deal, as we didn't have a lot of money. I'll have to ask my parents. I just didn't take lessons anymore but kept up on my own. The first Sunday I turned 12, I was playing piano in priesthood meeting. Preparing a hymn and prelude for priesthood meeting was something that drove me to practice, because I needed to be able to play. I wasn't just practicing some scale for a piano teacher.

My wife quit when she was young and wishes she could play better. A lot of people feel that same way. I know a lot of people quit and don't feel bad. A lot of people don't quit and do feel bad, because they hate music and their parents for it. Everyone is different.

That said, I wonder about the culture that seems to be growing across the country, within and without the church to just embrace who you are and not try to push yourself to be something you're not. I get it, that we need to love ourselves, although not in a prideful way, and love others and accept them for who they are. That is great. But you can love and accept that you're not musical and still learn to play the piano. Whatever happened to seeking earnestly the best gifts? In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul lists a ton of gifts and points out that not everyone has same gifts, but then finishes up by recommending that we develop the gifts we don't have.

I don't pretend that piano is the be-all and end-all and that everyone really has to play, as my favorite line from Mulan goes, "Well, we can't all be acupuncturists." But back to the culture thing, the comments in the blog post I linked above are as telling as the post itself. One comment in particular says:

Why on earth would you force your children to do anything like that (music lessons, sports, whatever) if they don’t want to do it? Have them try different things and only stick with something if they like it. And you’re wrting about piano lessons as if every child takes piano lessons. That’s a rather odd thing to think.

No, not everyone takes piano lessons. All the more reason to be the person who does. Seek the best gifts. Be the one who steps up where others have been afraid to. On my mission, in one area I was teaching our branch president how to play the piano. My parents bought a little learning how to play kit the church had in the distribution center and sent it to me, including a simplified hymnbook, and I left it with him when I left the area. He played one verse, one hand of a very simple hymn in sacrament meeting and completely slaughtered it, but he was learning. I could have played most hymns much better, but I would be gone in a few months, and who knew if the next elders who came would be able to play.

The more disturbing part, however, is the first thought. Only do something if you like it. What if you don't like reading scriptures? Just stop reading them, I guess. What if you don't like cooking? Hope you marry someone who cooks well or get a good enough job you can afford to eat out all the time, I guess. What if you have a stubborn child who doesn't like doing anything you ask of them? Just stop asking them to do things, I guess.

As much as I disliked the old lesson manuals and rarely taught from them, one thing has stuck with me from one of the lessons. I'd have to search to find which manual and lesson it was, but the idea was that young children may not be experienced enough to be able to understand spiritual promptings. (Sometimes they're more in tune than we are, but that's a different discussion.) But as parents and leaders of youth, our job is to help guide and direct those in our care in the same way the Spirit should be guiding and directing us. That way the youth learn to seek and find answers and follow the guidance they are given from someone they trust, eventually being able to transition away from listening to us and towards listening to the Spirit.

Maybe it's the piano or maybe it's something else. Teach them to sacrifice and do things for others. Teach them to serve. Teach them a foreign language. Teach them to cook and clean up after themselves. Teach them to garden. Teach them to push themselves. Keep in mind, however, that your example is as important as what you're telling them. You practice the piano yourself, whether or not you already know how to play. I have a personal policy to not ask someone to do something that I'm not willing to do myself. Let them see that you're doing hard things, too, so they don't think we're just trying to live out our broken dreams through them or that we're being lazy and making them change a diaper just because we don't want to.

If we don't try to push them to do something that would be good for them, what they'll learn is that they don't have to stick with anything they don't like because that's just how they are. When the Spirit prompts them to do something they don't want to do, they will have learned from us to ignore that prompting, as it will eventually go away like our promptings did. That’s a rather odd thing to teach.

Friday, February 10, 2012


I was just thinking back on a recent post about agency, where I called out the fact that someone had placed not attending BYU in a list of other signs of apostasy, such as not going on a mission, not going to the temple, or not attending church. I started wondering if keeping the mission in that list is problematic.

I was reading somewhere just barely and unfortunately forgot where, so I'm negligently plagiarizing here, about issues with boys who don't go on missions. What they were writing specifically about was those for whom the bar has been raised too high and are not allowed to go. The unfortunate side effect for some of these boys is to become estranged from the church, especially when the rules changed, and they saw that they were disqualified from going where others who had done the same things or worse just a few years previously were allowed to go. It's been a few years since those rules changed (at least to my knowledge), so I don't know that the changing standard rears its ugly head as often. Surely there are enough differences among zealous local leaders who may disallow someone that another lay leader might have let through that there are still some discrepancies there. As much as we do standardize, there is plenty left to the whim of poorly trained local leaders, especially those who didn't go to BYU, but even more so those who did go to BYU.

Another group, of course, is those who choose not to go for whatever reason. I was talking with a brother who I home taught in one of my first visits with him. I asked him either where he went on his mission or if he had. He hadn't. The silence was uncomfortable for a second as I wasn't sure how to respond. I really wasn't judging him and still don't. It just took me by surprise, and I wasn't sure what to follow that up with. I still don't know why he didn't go but figure if at some point it is important, I will find out. Maybe he chose not to. Maybe he had a medical issue and wanted to but couldn't. He's a great guy and active member of the church with whom I've had some pretty deep gospel discussions, which is the way I think of him. More than anything, I wonder how it feels for him to have to deal with that question for the rest of his life no matter the reason for not going.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Judge Not

We were out of town visiting extended family for Christmas. We attended sacrament meeting in a ward where we knew a few people from having lived there over a decade ago. As you can guess, there was a mixture of a few people that we knew well, a few people we recognized but couldn't remember their names, some we weren't sure if they remembered us, and then plenty of new people.

While my wife was talking to one couple sitting right inside the chapel door, I was trying to get her to follow and get one of the few remaining soft benches before being relegated to the hard seats in the gym. I was holding the baby so I couldn't take off while she was still talking, since they were talking about the baby. We ended up sitting in the gym.

The part that was strange, however, wasn't the conversation with that couple. It also wasn't that we had to sit on hard chairs. I'm okay with the hard chairs, but it's simply easier to deal with kids in the confined space of a bench than in an open gym.

So where it got weird was the random people sitting next to the couple we were talking to. She's someone who we probably know but were having trouble placing. As we were showing off the baby to the couple we did know, the other lady out of nowhere starts commenting on the outfit the baby was dressed in. She was wearing a little Santa-esque outfit: satin red pants and matching flare waist top with a silver bow in the middle and silver shoes. She had a huge red bow on her head. To be fair, her car seat buckles probably covered up most of the bow on her top, the car seat head support may have partially blocked the huge bow (but no way it could have blocked all of it), she was wearing pants (at church, I know), and she has really short hair. To counter-counter-balance that, however, her carseat cover is very pink. So the lady we don't really remember and aren't talking to says something about "the things we do to our children" and then something about taking a picture of him and showing it to his fiance when he has one.

Of course we ignored and walked away and then stewed about it later. Him? How could she not see the huge bow (it has its own weather system) or the pink carseat cover? How dare she call our baby girl a boy? Even if we did dress our man-child in red satin and silver shoes, what business is it of yours?

Fast forward to after the sacrament. Several times during the talks and musical numbers, a teenage girl sitting in front of us, probably about 14 years old, leaves and comes back about 3 times. But it's not the fact that she can't sit in her seat for an hour that has me wondering; it was the length, or lack thereof, of her skirt. Her parents were turned around and looking at our new little one and commenting on how cute she was when she woke up and I picked her up during the sacrament, so obviously they have some sense of what's cute even if they don't have sense enough to comment on the cuteness until after the sacrament is over (or preferably the entire meeting). It all starts to come together as I begin judging them: talking during the sacrament, the father not wearing a white shirt, kids coming and going freely during the talks and music, daughter wearing inappropriate clothing...

Then it hit me. Judge not that ye be not judged. Just as I hadn't liked having a random sister judge what my daughter was wearing, I shouldn't be judging what that family was wearing or what their actions were during the meeting. I can think of all kinds of reasons that someone might wear slightly inappropriate clothing to church or have to get up and go several times during the meeting, and whether or not any of those applied was none of my business.

Of course, then I remembered Joseph Smith's correction. Judge not unrighteously. Maybe it is okay for me to judge; it was a very short skirt after all. But how do you know if you're judging righteously? As luck would have it, Elder Oaks gave a talk on this topic several years ago. He points out that there are two types of judgment: final judgment (which is reserved for God to make) and intermediate judgment (which we are commanded to make according to righteous principles). Of course he then gives us the righteous principles by which we may know if we are righteously judging:
  • Refrain from declaring that a person has been assured of exaltation or from dismissing a person as being irrevocably bound for hellfire, since that is a final judgment.
  • Judgment should be guided by the Spirit of the Lord, not by anger, revenge, jealousy, or self-interest (it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as the daylight is from the dark night...for behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil).
  • Judgment must be within our stewardship.
  • Refrain from judging until we have adequate knowledge of the facts (perhaps thou shalt say: the man has brought upon himself his misery...whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent).
  • Whenever possible we will refrain from judging people and only judge situations.
  • Forgiveness is a companion principle to the commandment that in final judgments we judge not and in intermediate judgments we judge righteously (forgive, and ye shall be forgiven).
  • A final ingredient or principle of a righteous judgment is that it will apply righteous standards (with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again).
The easy part is I'm not the girl's father or YW leader, nor am I the family's Bishop or even home teacher. So, simply put, without going through all the other principles, it's not my stewardship, so it's none of my business.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pie Heaven

Talking with a coworker in the middle of the holiday season, after Thanksgiving but before Christmas, the obvious topic of food came up. We have a saying in our family that "it's all about the food" when we get together. Her family has a similar deal, where they talk about how if there's no food in heaven, they don't want to go.

A favorite Jack Handy quote of mine comes to mind.

When you die, if you get a choice between regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it’s not, mmmmmmm, boy!

Pie Heaven sounds pretty awesome to me, although I did just find out over Thanksgiving that I have an in-law who doesn't like pie. Who knew?

As I was thinking about there being food in heaven, I thought of what we will be doing in heaven. The big goal is to become God, a creator of worlds. The funny picture came to mind of this powerful being sending his children down to build a world for which they had just finished the plans. As soon as everyone is gone, he turns around and makes this huge 5 pound burrito or 30 inch pizza appear. Is that why he creates worlds without number? He keeps sending everybody off to create new worlds so they'll leave him alone long enough that he can gorge himself, yet with a perfect body that doesn't suffer any ill effects.

It sounds pretty ridiculous, because it is. It's great that we can find enjoyment through food, but part of the test of this life is to overcome those physical desires. A perfect godly body wouldn't feel cravings for pies and burritos. Chances are a perfect body would feel better all the time than the short-lived satisfaction you get from eating something sinfully delicious. If you can't get to a point where you're over food, you've probably got bigger problems.

Coming back to our two families' thoughts on food in the first paragraph, they are obviously both a little exaggerated. We know there is much more to life than great food. Just as it's difficult for us to understand life where time does not apply, since that is an artificial constraint placed on us in this world, it's difficult to picture not having to eat.

Unlike other sins, where complete abstinence is the command, you can't just stop eating. It almost makes it more difficult. It's certainly not a sin to eat a piece of pie, but where do you draw the line (or the wide gray swath)?

Tie together our dependence on time and the need to eat, and things get even more difficult. Our busy lives make it harder to plan and prepare good-for-you food, so we eat whatever fast food garbage is available to us.

I don't have any answers here, as I'm caught in the same trap. That said, I am looking forward to going to a heaven where I don't have to eat. Except when I want to.

Friday, October 7, 2011


On the comment board of a story about the freak Warren Jeffs, the discussion was being held about agency. Obviously there is some crazy brainwashing going on in the FLDS compounds. One commenter posited that LDS families are doing the same things to our children. His point was lost, however, when he threw out there that Warren Jeffs himself may not have been equipped well enough to make appropriate decisions given the abusive environment he grew up in. As true as that may be, my understanding is that abusive practice multiplied when he took over leadership.

Regardless of whether Jeffs had enough knowledge of the outside world to make his own decisions, the question stands whether our children do.

An interesting reply to the above:

A large percentage of LDS boys don't go on missions. Large percentages don't go to BYU, or get married in the temple, or remain active after age 18. Many choose to leave the church. We don't throw them out of our families for making these choices. We continue to love them, pray for them, and be there for them whether or not we like their choices.

We teach them as well as we can while they are young, but it's their choice and their decision. Most of our kids go to public schools, watch TV, have internet access, etc. They have plenty of opportunities for hearing other viewpoints. Just look at the number of former LDS who comment on these boards!

The point generally speaking is a valid one. We love them and teach them; they make their own decisions. The part I'm a bit concerned about is the first half of the second sentence. What does going to BYU have to do with the rest of that paragraph? No mission? Check. No temple? Check. No church attendance? Check. No go to BYU? Sorry, but that's not the same as forsaking and/or declining to make covenants with the Lord.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Eagles and Driver Licenses

I can't imagine my boys not earning their Eagles or my daughters not earning their Personal Progress. I would like my boys to earn their Duty to God, although I'm not as worried about that.

I don't think it's appropriate to hold something like a child's driver license over earning such an award.

I like the idea of teaching our children correct principles, modeling those principles in our own lives, and then giving them enough rope to either be productive or hang themselves. Not literally. Obviously at some point you step in and take drastic steps to avoid major life changing issues.

Children who are rebellious, lazy, doing poorly in school (I'm thinking really poorly, not just like B average poorly, but to the extent where they are being irresponsible), bad drivers, or otherwise not deserving of a driver license should not receive their driver license. That's probably not the real list but rather one I just made up right now and am not going to think much about. The point is that each child is different, so when it becomes time that it is an issue, you work it out with each child individually.

I can see daughter #2 coming straight out and telling us she doesn't even want to drive even if deep down she is desperate to. If there is something she is worked up about related to some award she doesn't want to be pressured to get, everything else in the entire world, good or bad, can be stacked up on every side, and she will retain her laser focus on not wanting to earn the stupid award. She will even be convinced herself that she doesn't want to drive. Until she wants to, at which point she will forget that she just told us 5 minutes ago that she doesn't care if she can drive.

Daughter #1 will have her Personal Progress earned the first day it is possible to have it whether or not there is any external reward for it.

The kids will be expected to help shuttle their siblings around as part of earning the privilege of driving. My parents didn't make me pay for my portion of the car insurance, but I think it's a good idea for them to understand at a deeper level that the cost of a vehicle is more than just the gas you put into it. Better grades and no tickets means lower insurance costs. You have to find a job and balance your time wisely in order to keep your grades up and earn the money you need and still participate in family and school activities.

I want my children to be responsible. If they are, they will probably earn their oh-so-important awards anyway just because they are responsible. If they are not responsible, not earning their awards may be a sign of that. They may also be very responsible but simply have to make decisions about what is important to them and the Eagle or Personal Progress may not be that. With the kids in my troop, I can tell within a few weeks of working with them whether or not they will get their Eagle. I think I know my kids a lot better than that so there should be no surprise to anyone if they earn it or not.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Women's Suffrage

President Obama's campaign blog posted yesterday about it being 91 years since women were allowed to vote in the country, when Tennessee ratified the 19th amendment.

It's just interesting to note how several states, including highly Mormon Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah gave women the right to vote decades earlier. No need to mention that in your blog, though, since you won't be getting any of those states' electoral votes anyway.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


We had a stake swim party this past week. There were three interesting hair-related thoughts I had, all related to different types of hair.

One was seeing a dude that was just covered in back and chest hair. We're talking a Sasquatch coat here. I've never been so thankful to have so little body hair than when I saw this man at the pool.

Second was a conversation I had with my bishop and several other ward members. I generally shave on Sundays for church and on days I go into the office. This past week I didn't go into the office, so hadn't shaved for close to a week. I didn't think much of it but had a decent beard going, which apparently threw a lot of people off.

Last was my daughter. The sun was going down and those intense, colorful last few rays shone through her red hair and made it glow like the dying embers of a late night campfire. It was truly stunning.