Someone recently commented to me that the Mormon version of God hates gay people. A couple of years ago, that comment would have bothered me a lot. (It should go without saying that God loves every one of his gay children, but I’ll say it anyway.) Now, though, it is not just a disturbing comment, but a truly hurtful one. I cringed reflexively when I heard it. It is hurtful to think that people believe that I—or collectively “we” as a religion—believe God to be like that. He is not.
While Mormon doctrine remains unchanged (and I can’t imagine it ever changing) with regard to sexual conduct, many LDS people have made the journey from rejecting gay people to accepting and embracing them. Too many have yet to make that journey. I would like to share with you here the story of one man’s jouney, he being a bishop in our stake. I highly commend to you this blog post. It is on Ben Schilaty’s blog site and is titled, “‘The Eyes of My Understanding Were Opened’: A Bishop’s Journey.”
If I were a commission-based salesman, I’d probably starve to death. Not much of a pitchman. I’m also not much of a techie. I still don’t really get Facebook and using a Mac kind of blows my mind.
However, this week I discovered something I am so excited about I just have to share it with someone. No one better to share it than my loyal blog readers! Hopefully I’m not the last of you to have discovered this.
Duolingo is super cool–and, I think/hope–highly effective. Duolingo is an app for your phone or tablet (or can also be accessed through a full-size PC/Mac at duolingo.com) which helps you learn a foreign language. It is fun and super easy to use, is completely unintimidating, and allows you to move entirely at your own pace. It includes little features to motivate you and it is also designed to help you continue maintaining the things you’ve learned while you work on more advanced subjects.
I was introduced to it by Mike Madsen who says the Church is encouraging missionaries to begin using it before they enter the MTC and begin tackling a new language. It seems perfect to me for that. It’s also great for catching up on old language skills (I have a lot of work to do on my German!) or going after that language you wish you had but never very seriously took the time to study (in my case, Español).
Anyway, according to the information on the duo lingo.com website, they already have about 3 bazillion users, so perhaps I really am the last one to discover it. But if you know someone with a foreign-language mission call or you just want to learn (or re-learn) a second language, I recommend it!
Here is a fun article from a thoughtful and respected intellectual. Thought you might like it.
(It explains in part why I always wear a BYU t-shirt when at Disneyland. :-)
(And if you don’t know who Arthur Brooks is…)
An interesting take on Mormonism in the form of a book report (of a book written by a non-Mormon).