Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Utah & the Wall Street Journal

So, what is it with the WSJ and Utah? Last week, they ran a story on bankruptcy with their signature bio focusing on Utahns. This week, they’ve chosen another Utahn to discuss individuals who want to buy health insurance and aren’t covered by their employers. The story starts:

“John Craig, a 46-year-old software consultant in Orem, Utah, plays racquetball twice a week, doesn’t smoke or drink and isn’t overweight. But when he tried to get an individual health-insurance policy three years ago, he was rejected.”

Apparently, because he takes anti-depression medication and had allergy problems (which ceased after he stopped eating wheat!), insurance companies won’t touch him. Maybe it is just because he seems to have near perfect health, i.e. no drinking or smoking. However, it seems clear the man is Mormon, right?

Friday, May 27, 2005

New home, New child(ren), New lawsuit???

I'm proud to announce that Evelin and I will be welcoming our first Child into the family in December 05/January 06. We just found out and are rather excited. While we would like twins, we will be happy with whatever the Lord blesses us with; boy, girl or multiples thereof. Happily, we found out before we move this weekend into our new home; so Evelin will not be doing any heavy lifting or painting. Thanks to various Bloggernacle posts, I've learned that the first few months of a pregnancy can can be crucial and we don't want her taking any risks.

This has raised up alot of questions in my mind; including some of the following:

1. Has the Spirit of our child(ren) already entered into their new mortal home? LDS teachings do not speak to this issue. While I know that our child(ren) were previously living with our Heavenly Parents...when is their "departure" date from that heavenly home? Was it at conception? Implantation? Birth?

Because I reject the last, I choose to believe in the first. Any other possibilities just don't make any sense to me. However, if I truly believe that our child(ren) are already alive, as a loving and responsible (mortal) father, I wonder what steps I could/should take in order to secure their rights. I am encouraged by laws which allow for the prosecution of individuals who attack pregnant women and harm the expecting mother and/or their babies in the womb. I wonder how I could help encourage this trend; or create another.

Specifically, I haven't done the legal search to find out if this has already been done, but it seems to me that my child(ren) should already be eligible to receive a social security number. I'm also similarly sure that the government would refuse such a request. Given that possibility, I am contemplating filing a lawsuit for declaratory relief. Anyone else out there consider this or have any advice (legal or otherwise)?

Funerals: A Celebration & Spiritual Reunion

Why am I talking about Funerals today? Because for reasons I'll post later, I'm newly aware of the entire life cycle and have been thinking of my deceased grandmother of late. Also, because I saw an article about the upcoming funeral/celebration of Hunter S. Thompson. Warning: this thread is _not_ to the place to discuss suicide; and anysuch comments will be deleted. While I'm not sure about the more flamboyant details of Thompson's proposed "funeral," nor do I encourage cremation (which many view as desecration of the mortal, bodily, temple), Thompson's widow, Anita Thompson, said "the event will be a celebration."

Her use of the term "celebration" really struck a chord in me. For those that are humble enough to set aside their own sadness and personal loss of assocation, there is much to be celebrated when one of Heavenly Father's children returns to him.

Funerals should be a celebration; yet historically, they tend to be rather sad, morose affairs will folks clad in black. The only net benefit usually is that it becomes an impromptu family reunion. Now, I'm not saying that death doesn't bring sadness to the deceased's family, or that they won't miss the deceased. However, I am saying that there is great cause for celebration when someone returns to their heavenly home.

Why?

1. Only our physical bodies are mortal; the Spirit is immortal.
2. Before we came to this earth and a mortal existence, we lived with our Heavenly Parents as their spirit children in our previously heavenly home.
3. When the Spirit leaves the body, it returns to its Heavenly Parents from which it originally left.

So, rather than feeling saddened by the loss that we personally feel at the, temporary, loss of a loved one; why not celebrate:

1. The deceased's reunion with our Heavenly Parents?
2. The deceased's reunion with their loved ones who died before them?

While I was saddened when my grandmother passed away (almost 2 years ago today), I was cheered to know that she was now with her parents, with whom she was very close, and hadn't seen in so many years. While I was very close with my grandmother, I don't think that my, temporary, sorrow, would even come close to dampening the great joy that my grandmother must have felt to be with her mortal parents again. I was also recently cheered by my mother telling me that my grandmother's temple work was done for her. While I do not know if she will accept the vicarious ordinances or not (she was very devoutly Catholic, and while she read the Book of Mormon at my request, and liked it, she never brought herself to pray and ask God directly about its truth), I can at least hope and rest easy knowing that she was reunited with both her Heavenly, and mortal, Parents.

I love you Grandma. While I'm not eager to join you just quite yet, I know that I will see you again.

http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2005-05-27-Depp-to-help-honor-Thompson_x.htm

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Conflicting Church Missions?

Ok, this is more about my inability to plan more in advance than the Ward Calendar than anything else. However, the quasi-purpose is thus: What to do when Church Missions get out of bounds [apologies to the B-52s]?

Today, me and my wife are moving. Our ward has known about the move for several weeks. However, the Ward Temple trip has been on the calendar for...oh, say 6 months. Consequently...we are getting Zero, zilch, i.e. no help moving.

Just goes to show you that church service is not a quid pro quo; if it was, I'd have lots of help because I've been a regular when it comes to helping others move in/out of the ward over the last year. Oh well, I'm sure that vicarious ordinance work is more important than serving your fellow (living) Saints; esp. when one of them is pregnant and can't help out with the moving.

End rant.

Monday, May 09, 2005

I bought a home through Blogger. Did you?

When Blogger talks, I listen. At least when it involved a tip from my sister in OK that her visiting teacher's friends were graduating from Temple Dental School, moving to OK, and needed to sell their home. Interesting enough, they decided to market their home via Blogger.

So, without further ado...I give you, the new Stamps Family Residence. At least, as of 23 May 2005.

http://upperdarbyhouse.blogspot.com/

Translating Talent into Talents

How do you Translate Talent into Talents?

Have you ever had the hankering to start your own business, take up a musical instrument, or invent something? Anecdotal evidence suggests that the high bankruptcy rate in Utah may be attributed to a high percentage of families that try to start a business and fail. Demographic & Doctrinal evidence suggests that a higher percentage of Utah families than normal might try this route because they want to provide a two-income equivalent earning potential without requiring the Mother to work outside of the home.

So, what is the hang up? My MBA acquaintances alternate between preaching the need for a business plan to uttering "location, location, location." Personally, my experience says that it has alot more to do with up front investing capital. I can think of at least three different businesses that I'd like to start up. However, as an attorney, I have a good revenue stream that I am very hesitant to endanger or become distracted from.

So...what say ye? Tips anyone? How does one translate 'talent' into 'talents'?

Sunday School & Liquidity

Sunday School this last week was interesting. We talked about debt. It was a ward conference & they assigned a member of the Stake Presidency to talk about debt, i.e. getting out of it. Thankfully, he didn't feel obliged to throw in the quasi-tired J. Reuben Clark quote about debt never sleeping & being a crushing burden. However, he did suggest the following:

"If you have to choose between paying down your consumer debt or building up a liquid savings account...

Pay down your consumer debt."

This put to rest a fairly long-running Stamps family discussion. For those of you that haven't met us; imagine an Ettin with a pretty female face & a very Polish/Jewish/Joseph Smith nosed male face. The female head of the family said we needed to open an Orange ING savings account & earn 3% interest. The male head of the family said we needed to pay off credit card debt, thereby "saving" more money in decreased interest payments than could be achieved by the 3% offered by ING.

Result? We are now happily paying off consumer debt. Perhaps more interesting, Round II was also solved before it really began. The obnoxious male wanted to take out a big auto loan to buy a 2006 Hybrid Toyota Highlander...to match the family's cute black 2004 Toyota Prius. The savy female said she could wait to have a "baby mobile." So, while we will continue to pollute at a slightly higher rate for another year or so...at least it will keep our financial environment greener.

Cheerio...

"What is a Values Pundit?"

Today, Steve Evans asked a very interesting question:

"What is a Values Pundit?" (misspelling ignored)

Answer: A blog, otherwise known as a blawg. Currently one without much content, because I've discovered that it is incredibly hard to come up with good, original content. Why? Because either I'll have a good quasi-original idea, but no time to do anything with it or good ideas only seem to come to light & life in the fire of conversation/controversy with others; esp. if there name is Steve Evans.