wahlee: (Temple)
This idea has been percolating in my brain for several weeks now, and a recent experience has determined me to do it. You see, lately I've noticed that there's been a lot of focus on my religion. You all know I'm a Mormon, and if you didn't-- well, you do now. But I'm not sure if many of you know exactly what that means. Maybe you'll be familiar with the term, but all you can call up in association is young men with name tags knocking on your door. Or polygamy. Or the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Or maybe Mitt Romney.

Some of the focus is genuine curiosity. Some of it is malicious attacks. Some is just plain ignorance. Some of you may have questions you'd like to ask about what exactly I believe, but haven't known how to approach the subject. I've been relatively reticent on my LJ about my religion, after all-- partially because I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable or like I'm shoving my religion down your throat, and partially because my religion is so deeply personal to me, I have a hard time being casual about it. Well, I'm going to break my usual silence, and declare today

Ask A Mormon Day!

Seriously. Have a question about Mormon Doctrine? Go for it! Want to know about Mormon history? Ask away! Interested in the Church's programs and practices? Have at it!

If I don't know the answer, I'll find it. But I've made it a point to be familiar with both the doctrine and history of my church, and I feel pretty confident that I'll be able to answer your questions truthfully.

Please do note, however, that if the discussion turns nasty, I reserve the right to discontinue it. What I'm looking for is a respectful dialogue, not a forum for attack.

So. Anyone have a question?
wahlee: (Temple)
This idea has been percolating in my brain for several weeks now, and a recent experience has determined me to do it. You see, lately I've noticed that there's been a lot of focus on my religion. You all know I'm a Mormon, and if you didn't-- well, you do now. But I'm not sure if many of you know exactly what that means. Maybe you'll be familiar with the term, but all you can call up in association is young men with name tags knocking on your door. Or polygamy. Or the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Or maybe Mitt Romney.

Some of the focus is genuine curiosity. Some of it is malicious attacks. Some is just plain ignorance. Some of you may have questions you'd like to ask about what exactly I believe, but haven't known how to approach the subject. I've been relatively reticent on my LJ about my religion, after all-- partially because I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable or like I'm shoving my religion down your throat, and partially because my religion is so deeply personal to me, I have a hard time being casual about it. Well, I'm going to break my usual silence, and declare today

Ask A Mormon Day!

Seriously. Have a question about Mormon Doctrine? Go for it! Want to know about Mormon history? Ask away! Interested in the Church's programs and practices? Have at it!

If I don't know the answer, I'll find it. But I've made it a point to be familiar with both the doctrine and history of my church, and I feel pretty confident that I'll be able to answer your questions truthfully.

Please do note, however, that if the discussion turns nasty, I reserve the right to discontinue it. What I'm looking for is a respectful dialogue, not a forum for attack.

So. Anyone have a question?
wahlee: (King)
Or, you know, anyone familiar with Catholic doctrine and dogma.

As you may or may not know, my thesis topic is J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It posits that one of the ways in which the novel is "fundamentally Catholic" is in the way Tolkien depicts the relationship between master and servant. I argue (well, I will) that the various master/servant relationships illustrate the many ways in which men interact with God, and sometimes also how God's servants interact with each other.

Now, no one has written on this topic before-- at least, not that I've been able to find. This in not necessarily a bad thing, as it makes it easier to write the two chapters in which I analyze the books themselves. I'm basically going to be doing a close reading. But it does make it harder for me to base my arguments in context. And I desperately want to make sure I'm understanding where Tolkien would have been coming from with this.

My second chapter, then, explores the precedent that Tolkien might be playing with. I'm looking at the historical feudal relationship (as it was understood at the time; newer research has changed our understanding, apparently), and the way that such relationships were depicted in the literature Tolkien loved and was familiar with, like Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and other medieval literature. And then I want to look at the religious precedent.

The problem is, my knowledge of Catholic doctrine and dogma on this subject is practically nonexistent, and I'm unsure how to research it. I know, though, that there are quite a few Catholics on my flist, and so I'm asking for your help.

What English translation of the Bible do Catholics usually read? Has it changed since the early 20th century? I know Tolkien knew Latin and could therefore rely on the Vulgate (which is the official Latin Bible, right?) but I can't read Latin, and therefore need to rely on an English translation. But the only one I've ever used is the King James Version, which I know Catholics decidedly don't use.

Beyond that, I'm trying to find anywhere in Catholic thought that might describe the relationship between God and Man using the master/servant metaphor. Does the Catholic church have an official catechism? And again, is it the same as it was in Tolkien's day? What about early church fathers, or official edicts, or some such thing? If Tolkien were a Mormon, I'd know exactly where to go to find such things, but since he was a Catholic, I'm stumped. I really don't even know where to start.

And I'm sure I just showed my complete and utter ignorance concerning Catholicism. I knew I should have taken that Comparative Religion class as an undergrad. . .
wahlee: (King)
Or, you know, anyone familiar with Catholic doctrine and dogma.

As you may or may not know, my thesis topic is J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It posits that one of the ways in which the novel is "fundamentally Catholic" is in the way Tolkien depicts the relationship between master and servant. I argue (well, I will) that the various master/servant relationships illustrate the many ways in which men interact with God, and sometimes also how God's servants interact with each other.

Now, no one has written on this topic before-- at least, not that I've been able to find. This in not necessarily a bad thing, as it makes it easier to write the two chapters in which I analyze the books themselves. I'm basically going to be doing a close reading. But it does make it harder for me to base my arguments in context. And I desperately want to make sure I'm understanding where Tolkien would have been coming from with this.

My second chapter, then, explores the precedent that Tolkien might be playing with. I'm looking at the historical feudal relationship (as it was understood at the time; newer research has changed our understanding, apparently), and the way that such relationships were depicted in the literature Tolkien loved and was familiar with, like Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and other medieval literature. And then I want to look at the religious precedent.

The problem is, my knowledge of Catholic doctrine and dogma on this subject is practically nonexistent, and I'm unsure how to research it. I know, though, that there are quite a few Catholics on my flist, and so I'm asking for your help.

What English translation of the Bible do Catholics usually read? Has it changed since the early 20th century? I know Tolkien knew Latin and could therefore rely on the Vulgate (which is the official Latin Bible, right?) but I can't read Latin, and therefore need to rely on an English translation. But the only one I've ever used is the King James Version, which I know Catholics decidedly don't use.

Beyond that, I'm trying to find anywhere in Catholic thought that might describe the relationship between God and Man using the master/servant metaphor. Does the Catholic church have an official catechism? And again, is it the same as it was in Tolkien's day? What about early church fathers, or official edicts, or some such thing? If Tolkien were a Mormon, I'd know exactly where to go to find such things, but since he was a Catholic, I'm stumped. I really don't even know where to start.

And I'm sure I just showed my complete and utter ignorance concerning Catholicism. I knew I should have taken that Comparative Religion class as an undergrad. . .
wahlee: (Anne Shirley)
Okay. Let's see. I think I'm going to break this down into categories for ease of organization and such.

1) School: Pretty much the same. What with starting a new job and still being quite exhausted, not much progress has been made on the thesis. But things are looking up for this week. I'm determined not to let myself get stressed out about it again, as it will simply exacerbate the problem.

2) Job: Loving it. Everyone is really friendly and they think I'm great (I'm in a fair way to getting a big head with all the praise I get). The phones are anywhere from steady to nonexistent, but never off-the-hook. During the time between phone calls I'm free to do whatever I like. They have little projects for me every now and then (they're already quite enamoured of my editing skills), but if there's nothing that needs to be done, I can read, play solitaire, surf the web, whatever. So yeah, good job for me. :) I'll admit that it was tough getting up in time to be there at 8 every morning, but that's the beauty of this switching-off deal-- I only have to do that for a week. I am trying to be up *by* 8 on my afternoon-weeks, though.

3) Family: We're doing well. My niece and nephew are about the most adorable things ever. We're trying to nail down dates for a family vacation (including both married couples and my Grandma By) to upstate New York at the end of April/first of May. I'm way excited.

4) Friends: Good. :) [livejournal.com profile] susy_gwen has invited me to join her and a couple other friends for a trip to Laguna Beach over Easter, which I'm very excited about. In the meantime, I hang out with her once a week at Institute. The trip to California will include a day at Disneyland, so I'll get to see [livejournal.com profile] cuteculturechic while I'm down there as well. :)

5) Fandom: Still working at Scribbulus, and am very excited that HarryPotterSeven.com is up and running. :) I'm the one in charge of making the .pdf version, and I'm trying to work on that a little every day-- so hopefully it won't be too long until you can download all of our brilliance as an e-book. I'm also doing a bit more at SQ (which I basically ignored for several months). I guess the excitement of a new book is bringing me back to my roots. :) I'm, unfortunately, a few days behind on the [livejournal.com profile] canon_orx reading, but I hope to catch up soon. (As an aside for my Austen-loving friends: the more I hear about the upcoming Becoming Jane movie, the more I want an undead monkey around to shoot. Grrr.)

6) Church: I was unexpectedly called into the Bishop's office last week, and I got a new calling. I'm no longer teaching the adult Sunday School class-- instead I'm a Ward Missionary (which mainly involves working with those within your ward boundaries that are members but not currently attending). I've never done anything like it before, so I'm a bit nervous, but also excited. I'm going to miss teaching, though. While I was in the interview, my Bishop (who is a close family friend-- the guy who made my Ravenclaw cake at [livejournal.com profile] wahleecon, actually), decided I needed a priesthood blessing (which, for the unfamilar, is where a man holding the priesthood lays their hands on your head and tells you what God needs you to hear-- comfort, healing, and advice), and made me sit right down and have one. It was one of the more amazing blessings I've ever had. There was comfort, yes, but there was more advice. He basically told me I need to change nearly everything about my life (pray and read my scriptures more consistently, go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, eat healthier, exercise, and many more things), and that if I did these things, God would bless me in ways I'd never thought possible--including being able to write my thesis. So, I'm trying. It's slow going, changing your life, but I know it will be worth it. This week I worked on the prayer and scripture study, and also the adjusting of sleeping patterns. Next week I'm adding in exercise. I've already been eating better (because of Weight Watchers--I've lost nearly 15 pounds so far, yay!), but I'm trying to do better at eating natural foods instead of processed stuff. So, yes. I'm on my way to a new me.

7) Hobbies: I've bought a fabulous new book called Victorian Lace Today, and I want to knit pretty much every single project in it. I'm starting easy, though (the very first project in the book, to help me learn how to follow a chart and such), and hope to be able to make one of the shawls as a wedding present for [livejournal.com profile] susy_gwen. I even bought some 100% silk yarn from India off eBay the other day, and I can't wait until it arrives. :) I'm working on a very simple practice shawl for my sister right now, then I'll make a more complicated one for myself, and then do Jen's. I finally went to a new yarn store I heard about back around Thanksgiving (I've avoided it until now, because I didn't have any money and knew I'd be entirely too tempted if I even set foot in it) and-- I'm pretty much in love. For your basic Cascade or Plymouth or Lamb's Pride stuff, it's not a great store, but if you want anything exotic, three wishes Fiber Arts is the store for you. They've got Noro from Japan and Bamboo Silk and gorgeous 100% merino superwash wool, and-- even more cool-- roving to spin your own yarn. They teach classes in not just knitting and crocheting, but also weaving, spinning, dyeing, and tatting. It makes me want to be independently wealthy. I've never seen so many yarns I want to buy.

I think that pretty much covers it. :P I'm going to try to update once a week, now, so you'll hear from me soon. Great big hugs to everyone on my flist who needs them-- and thanks for your love and concern. :) It's helped a lot.
wahlee: (Anne Shirley)
Okay. Let's see. I think I'm going to break this down into categories for ease of organization and such.

1) School: Pretty much the same. What with starting a new job and still being quite exhausted, not much progress has been made on the thesis. But things are looking up for this week. I'm determined not to let myself get stressed out about it again, as it will simply exacerbate the problem.

2) Job: Loving it. Everyone is really friendly and they think I'm great (I'm in a fair way to getting a big head with all the praise I get). The phones are anywhere from steady to nonexistent, but never off-the-hook. During the time between phone calls I'm free to do whatever I like. They have little projects for me every now and then (they're already quite enamoured of my editing skills), but if there's nothing that needs to be done, I can read, play solitaire, surf the web, whatever. So yeah, good job for me. :) I'll admit that it was tough getting up in time to be there at 8 every morning, but that's the beauty of this switching-off deal-- I only have to do that for a week. I am trying to be up *by* 8 on my afternoon-weeks, though.

3) Family: We're doing well. My niece and nephew are about the most adorable things ever. We're trying to nail down dates for a family vacation (including both married couples and my Grandma By) to upstate New York at the end of April/first of May. I'm way excited.

4) Friends: Good. :) [livejournal.com profile] susy_gwen has invited me to join her and a couple other friends for a trip to Laguna Beach over Easter, which I'm very excited about. In the meantime, I hang out with her once a week at Institute. The trip to California will include a day at Disneyland, so I'll get to see [livejournal.com profile] cuteculturechic while I'm down there as well. :)

5) Fandom: Still working at Scribbulus, and am very excited that HarryPotterSeven.com is up and running. :) I'm the one in charge of making the .pdf version, and I'm trying to work on that a little every day-- so hopefully it won't be too long until you can download all of our brilliance as an e-book. I'm also doing a bit more at SQ (which I basically ignored for several months). I guess the excitement of a new book is bringing me back to my roots. :) I'm, unfortunately, a few days behind on the [livejournal.com profile] canon_orx reading, but I hope to catch up soon. (As an aside for my Austen-loving friends: the more I hear about the upcoming Becoming Jane movie, the more I want an undead monkey around to shoot. Grrr.)

6) Church: I was unexpectedly called into the Bishop's office last week, and I got a new calling. I'm no longer teaching the adult Sunday School class-- instead I'm a Ward Missionary (which mainly involves working with those within your ward boundaries that are members but not currently attending). I've never done anything like it before, so I'm a bit nervous, but also excited. I'm going to miss teaching, though. While I was in the interview, my Bishop (who is a close family friend-- the guy who made my Ravenclaw cake at [livejournal.com profile] wahleecon, actually), decided I needed a priesthood blessing (which, for the unfamilar, is where a man holding the priesthood lays their hands on your head and tells you what God needs you to hear-- comfort, healing, and advice), and made me sit right down and have one. It was one of the more amazing blessings I've ever had. There was comfort, yes, but there was more advice. He basically told me I need to change nearly everything about my life (pray and read my scriptures more consistently, go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, eat healthier, exercise, and many more things), and that if I did these things, God would bless me in ways I'd never thought possible--including being able to write my thesis. So, I'm trying. It's slow going, changing your life, but I know it will be worth it. This week I worked on the prayer and scripture study, and also the adjusting of sleeping patterns. Next week I'm adding in exercise. I've already been eating better (because of Weight Watchers--I've lost nearly 15 pounds so far, yay!), but I'm trying to do better at eating natural foods instead of processed stuff. So, yes. I'm on my way to a new me.

7) Hobbies: I've bought a fabulous new book called Victorian Lace Today, and I want to knit pretty much every single project in it. I'm starting easy, though (the very first project in the book, to help me learn how to follow a chart and such), and hope to be able to make one of the shawls as a wedding present for [livejournal.com profile] susy_gwen. I even bought some 100% silk yarn from India off eBay the other day, and I can't wait until it arrives. :) I'm working on a very simple practice shawl for my sister right now, then I'll make a more complicated one for myself, and then do Jen's. I finally went to a new yarn store I heard about back around Thanksgiving (I've avoided it until now, because I didn't have any money and knew I'd be entirely too tempted if I even set foot in it) and-- I'm pretty much in love. For your basic Cascade or Plymouth or Lamb's Pride stuff, it's not a great store, but if you want anything exotic, three wishes Fiber Arts is the store for you. They've got Noro from Japan and Bamboo Silk and gorgeous 100% merino superwash wool, and-- even more cool-- roving to spin your own yarn. They teach classes in not just knitting and crocheting, but also weaving, spinning, dyeing, and tatting. It makes me want to be independently wealthy. I've never seen so many yarns I want to buy.

I think that pretty much covers it. :P I'm going to try to update once a week, now, so you'll hear from me soon. Great big hugs to everyone on my flist who needs them-- and thanks for your love and concern. :) It's helped a lot.
wahlee: (Anne Shirley)
Okay. Let's see. I think I'm going to break this down into categories for ease of organization and such.

1) School: Pretty much the same. What with starting a new job and still being quite exhausted, not much progress has been made on the thesis. But things are looking up for this week. I'm determined not to let myself get stressed out about it again, as it will simply exacerbate the problem.

2) Job: Loving it. Everyone is really friendly and they think I'm great (I'm in a fair way to getting a big head with all the praise I get). The phones are anywhere from steady to nonexistent, but never off-the-hook. During the time between phone calls I'm free to do whatever I like. They have little projects for me every now and then (they're already quite enamoured of my editing skills), but if there's nothing that needs to be done, I can read, play solitaire, surf the web, whatever. So yeah, good job for me. :) I'll admit that it was tough getting up in time to be there at 8 every morning, but that's the beauty of this switching-off deal-- I only have to do that for a week. I am trying to be up *by* 8 on my afternoon-weeks, though.

3) Family: We're doing well. My niece and nephew are about the most adorable things ever. We're trying to nail down dates for a family vacation (including both married couples and my Grandma By) to upstate New York at the end of April/first of May. I'm way excited.

4) Friends: Good. :) [livejournal.com profile] susy_gwen has invited me to join her and a couple other friends for a trip to Laguna Beach over Easter, which I'm very excited about. In the meantime, I hang out with her once a week at Institute. The trip to California will include a day at Disneyland, so I'll get to see [livejournal.com profile] cuteculturechic while I'm down there as well. :)

5) Fandom: Still working at Scribbulus, and am very excited that HarryPotterSeven.com is up and running. :) I'm the one in charge of making the .pdf version, and I'm trying to work on that a little every day-- so hopefully it won't be too long until you can download all of our brilliance as an e-book. I'm also doing a bit more at SQ (which I basically ignored for several months). I guess the excitement of a new book is bringing me back to my roots. :) I'm, unfortunately, a few days behind on the [livejournal.com profile] canon_orx reading, but I hope to catch up soon. (As an aside for my Austen-loving friends: the more I hear about the upcoming Becoming Jane movie, the more I want an undead monkey around to shoot. Grrr.)

6) Church: I was unexpectedly called into the Bishop's office last week, and I got a new calling. I'm no longer teaching the adult Sunday School class-- instead I'm a Ward Missionary (which mainly involves working with those within your ward boundaries that are members but not currently attending). I've never done anything like it before, so I'm a bit nervous, but also excited. I'm going to miss teaching, though. While I was in the interview, my Bishop (who is a close family friend-- the guy who made my Ravenclaw cake at [livejournal.com profile] wahleecon, actually), decided I needed a priesthood blessing (which, for the unfamilar, is where a man holding the priesthood lays their hands on your head and tells you what God needs you to hear-- comfort, healing, and advice), and made me sit right down and have one. It was one of the more amazing blessings I've ever had. There was comfort, yes, but there was more advice. He basically told me I need to change nearly everything about my life (pray and read my scriptures more consistently, go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, eat healthier, exercise, and many more things), and that if I did these things, God would bless me in ways I'd never thought possible--including being able to write my thesis. So, I'm trying. It's slow going, changing your life, but I know it will be worth it. This week I worked on the prayer and scripture study, and also the adjusting of sleeping patterns. Next week I'm adding in exercise. I've already been eating better (because of Weight Watchers--I've lost nearly 15 pounds so far, yay!), but I'm trying to do better at eating natural foods instead of processed stuff. So, yes. I'm on my way to a new me.

7) Hobbies: I've bought a fabulous new book called Victorian Lace Today, and I want to knit pretty much every single project in it. I'm starting easy, though (the very first project in the book, to help me learn how to follow a chart and such), and hope to be able to make one of the shawls as a wedding present for [livejournal.com profile] susy_gwen. I even bought some 100% silk yarn from India off eBay the other day, and I can't wait until it arrives. :) I'm working on a very simple practice shawl for my sister right now, then I'll make a more complicated one for myself, and then do Jen's. I finally went to a new yarn store I heard about back around Thanksgiving (I've avoided it until now, because I didn't have any money and knew I'd be entirely too tempted if I even set foot in it) and-- I'm pretty much in love. For your basic Cascade or Plymouth or Lamb's Pride stuff, it's not a great store, but if you want anything exotic, three wishes Fiber Arts is the store for you. They've got Noro from Japan and Bamboo Silk and gorgeous 100% merino superwash wool, and-- even more cool-- roving to spin your own yarn. They teach classes in not just knitting and crocheting, but also weaving, spinning, dyeing, and tatting. It makes me want to be independently wealthy. I've never seen so many yarns I want to buy.

I think that pretty much covers it. :P I'm going to try to update once a week, now, so you'll hear from me soon. Great big hugs to everyone on my flist who needs them-- and thanks for your love and concern. :) It's helped a lot.

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