Although the tongue weighs very little, very few people are able to hold it. -Anonymous

Happy Alumni Week- June 6 to the 12th! You're not a square. ;)

Question #93654 posted on 06/12/2021 10:24 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If a parakeet listened in on a year’s worth of board meetings (and for sake of argument, let’s assume this is all the human speech this bird hears for the year), what frequently used phrases would it pick up? Spare me the vanilla “hello” and “nice paper bag“—I want the juicy stuff.

“Where is the moose, Inklings?”
“9S, how many times must we remind you to stop licking the wall?”
etc. etc.

-Hypothetical Bird Enthusiast

A:

Dear Potential Parakeet Purchaser,

If we had a parakeet (I am nowise insinuating that we bought it as a stress purchase at the beginning of quarantine), this would be the answer to your question:

 

"Google, turn lair lights off" (yeah, we've been able to do some minor renovations to the lair since the pandemic started)

"Cinnamon rolls for Goldie Rose" (for some reason, only that rhyme stuck, though we get them for her and Guesthouse about the same)

The "Vaccines for Christmas" chorus, since some of us sing it anytime anyone mentions getting the vaccine.

The doorbell noise that Zoom makes when you come into a room.

It sometimes tries to have conversations with Carl Jr., which is admittedly pretty cute.

Don't mention the apocalypse to it. Anathema taught it to say, "Don't trust Voldemort!"

I can't believe Tipperary taught it to rickroll people :| (at least it's better than getting rickrolled by the duck).

 

-Inklings


0 Corrections
Question #93653 posted on 06/12/2021 1:36 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Hey there! I've been wanting to get into weight lifting for a while now, but it just feels kind of overwhelming to get started and stick with it. I loved sports and running in high school though, and I think that if I still had some sort of structure to working out with some accountability it would help a ton.

What kinds of options are out there that could help with this? I feel like my ideal situation would be a personal trainer who assigns me exercises so I'm accountable to someone, know what to do, and trust that I'm actually making progress. And I'd be willing to spend some money on this, but I'm a poor student and can't break the bank over it either. But any info or advice you have about that or other options would be much appreciated!

Thanks!

-Young Steve Rogers

A:

Dear Cappy,

I too have found it hard to workout post-high school sports. I really need structure and accountability. What's worked for me has been going to exercise classes.

Colleges offer tons of exercise classes, as do gyms and rec centers. They offer the structure of set times and work outs. If you go enough then you'll feel accountability to the instructors and people in the class. You might even make friends.

My wife and I have been going to a weightlifting class called body pump and it's been great. It's low weight, high-reps, and we've both upped made really good progress the last few months. Hope this helps!

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Young ~

Check your local rec center. I had a personal trainer at mine that offered different options. At first I did semi-personal training. A friend and I split the cost, and she bounced back and forth between us. When that still proved a bit more expensive than I wanted, she told me about a group class she taught. It gave me the external expectation I needed to show up, at a much cheaper cost. I wrote down all of the workouts we did, so that I could do them on my own later.

Spoiler: I did not do them on my own later. I need that external expectation. It sounds like you may be similar. Maybe after you know how to do things, get yourself a gym buddy so you can be accountable to them.

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear Kvothe,

Lucky for you I did my very first foray into weight lifting this year! 

For starters, there are some really, really, really good programs out there meant for people who are just getting into lifting. Its easy to track progress with these because they often only focus on a few lifts that work the whole body. I personally used Starting Strength  which focuses on major lifts like squats, bench press, deadlift, cleans, and overhead press and has you lifting three times per week. There are also a number of associated videos on Youtube to teach out how to have good form. 

I really enjoyed Starting Strength and would recommend it to anyone. I tracked all of my lifts on a very simple spreadsheet, and I saw very clear progress in my strength and muscle growth. That being said, I am a runner and a climber and I find lifting to be incredibly boring when I do it on my own, so I pressured my sister into lifting with me when she moved to Salt Lake last fall. I had to have a partner, or I would never stuck with it. I also ended up stopping because some of my running goals had to take precedence.   

That being said, Starting Strength is not the only lifting program out there. You can find a number of excellent and starting weight lifting programs here. If you want to get into lifting, really take the time to consider what your goals are and choose a program accordingly. I also highly recommend that subreddit as a resource. 

Also, to address your point about coaches/personal trainers. I work with a running coach and it is not cheap. If you look much into the cost of personal trainers or coaches, they can be very expensive. My coach provides me a weekly training plan, feedback on my workouts, and support for my long term goals. She has 20 years of experience and I pay her close to $200 per month for her services. A friend of mine has a coach who provides similar services but directed towards lifting and includes nutrition, and she pays of $300. That being said, since I hired my coach, I've shaved at least 8 min off of my 10K time, come extremely far on my ultramarathon training, and learned a ton. Coaches and trainers are great and definitely worth it if you know what you want and/or want to learn a lot, but they cost a ton. 

Also, I don't appreciate most of the fitspo world on Instagram, but I've really enjoyed and appreciated the Alyssa's Olenick's account, @littlelyssefitness. She is a power lifter and ultramarathoner, and is getting a Ph.D in Exercise Physiology and provides a lot of science-based education on fitness.  

Also, I realize now that a lot of what I linked to (r/xxfitness and the instagram account) are mostly directed towards women, but I would say they are helpful for all genders, but you can also check out r/fitness for messaging that is more gender neutral. That being said, I believe most of the programs each subreddit recommends are similar. 

Good luck! 

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger 


0 Corrections
Friday, June 11, 2021
Question #93651 posted on 06/11/2021 3:12 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How are you feeling about the changes to General Conference

-hopeful, but not optimistic

A:

Dear Doctor,

I ended up hyperfocusing on historical data of women speaking in conference and ended up writing this blog post on the statistics.

Essentially, women currently only make up 10% of the speakers in the general sessions. If you only have an average of seven speakers per session, four sessions gives you 28 speakers. If each member of the Quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency only speak once, that leaves thirteen spots. There are nine female leaders that are traditionally "eligible" to speak, and 122 male leaders, meaning that only one of the spots is available for a woman (if you maintain the ratios). That brings the percentage of women speaking in general sessions of conference down to 3.5%.

I'm not completely sure how they will fix this discrepancy, especially since it's highly unlikely that all of the thirteen remaining spots would be filled by women. There aren't even enough women in general positions (not including the boards) to fill those slots! 

This also completely disregards the value of having male and female only spaces. Even though their reasoning is that those sessions are viewable by anyone, that doesn't discount the importance of women speaking to women. If they're concerned about limiting attendance to a given gender, they can switch to broadcast only specifically for those sessions.

I don't know what a good alternative is. Some people have suggested more "Face to Face" firesides, but most people tend to value those broadcasts significantly less than they do General Conference. Conference is seen as a sort of temporary canon to many Church members, and firesides are not classified in the same way.

I honestly even wonder if the presidencies of the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary were consulted on this change. Regardless, the LDS Church has historically had trouble integrating women into leadership roles, and it’s especially visible at the highest levels in General Conference. If the Church wants to make strides with increased female leadership at the local levels, they need to set an example within the leadership levels, or at very least, with the percentage of female speakers in Conference.

-Tally M.

A:

Dear hopeful ~

I don’t feel like I have a lot of information to have an opinion yet. Will there be changes to the regular sessions? (Tally makes a good point about female speakers.) Until I have more info, I reserve judgement.

In more practical daily life terms, it will be nice to not try to take care of kids those two hours. It will be nice to have family time during conference weekends. But also, we had extended family traditions based on those sessions, so it will be sad to lose those.

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear Hopeful,

Pretty bummed. I took care of Carl Jr. during priesthood session in April. I was looking forward to having a night to myself where I could actually listen to the speakers and not have Carl Jr. distract me. I don't get anything out of church these days since Lewis isn't used to going to church yet. I can't wait for him being old enough to go to nursery...

Back to General Conference! I really loved women's session because I feel like the talks apply to me so much more, even more so now that I'm a mother. I suppose I can just go back to previous sessions and read the talks, but it's not the same. I hope the Church puts out a better reason on why they got rid of the Saturday night session.

-Goldie Rose


0 Corrections
Question #93643 posted on 06/11/2021 11:36 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Secondary nyms roll call, please!

-My Name Here

A:

Dear MNH,

No

-t yayfulness

A:

Dear nameless muggle,

How dare you make a demand of me. I, Lord Voldemort, the greatest wizard of all time, answer to no one. And Anathema is nothing compared to me. She thinks she's so evil but all she does is maths. She has no follow-through whatsoever. Only muggles like her answers.

-Lord Voldemort

A:

Dear you,

I mean, I'm not part of the alumni, but I'm a BYU alumnus.

-Carl

A:

Dear My, 

Niffler here, awaiting any Harry Potter questions. Unless I get distracted by something shiny and miss it.

Also, Lord Voldemort, I hate to break it to you, but you're dead. So, uh... yeah.

-Niffler

A:

Dear you,

I guess I'll say I'm here.

-apathetic

A:

Dear Watson,

Have you heard the one about the time I went camping? Anyone? Anyone?

-S. Holmes

A:

Dear You,

93 of us are here.

Please do not ask.

-100 Typing Monkeys


0 Corrections
Question #93642 posted on 06/11/2021 11:30 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Alumni week roll call!

-My Name Here

A:

Dear vi,

到!

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear My ~

I'm here! Sort of... 

I'm answering a bunch of questions the first day or two, then hopefully the last day. But in the middle I'm going to be blissfully outside of any data service at Lake Powell. So I'll probably miss several in the middle. Sorry about that.

~Dragon Lady

A:

Dear OG,

Here!

-the Goose Girl

A:

Kære mit navn her,

Jeg er her stadig.

-yayfulness

A:

Dear MNH,

Here!

-Olympus

A:

Dear person,

Hi.

-The Entomophagist

A:

Dear Doctor,

Here!

-Tally M.

A:

Dear you, 

WHADDUP. 

-Ms. O'Malley

A:

Dear friend,

EVBJOfhXQAE2mQK_1.jpg

(source)

The pandemic has been rough for the Van Goff household.

-Van Goff

A:

Dear You,

 

Here! Short and nerdy as ever, and now featuring extra sleep deprivation.

 

~Hermia

A:

Dear Here,

Here!

-Owlet

A:

Dear you,

Yep.

~Anne, Certainly

A:

Present.

Humble Master

A:

Dear you,

Here!!

-Kirito

A:

Dear My,

Hi! At least for today!

- Eirene

A:

Dear Your Name,

I'm a lot busier this week than usual (I'm going to Girl's Camp...cross your fingers I survive with minimal PTSD), but I'll do my best to answer a few questions when I get back.

--Maven

A:

What Ho!

I'm not sure what brought me back here, but here I am, brushing away the accumulated foul and pestilent vapors, and dashed if I'm not going to crow about it, just a little.

- Bertie

A:

Dear you,

*Waves hand*

-guppy of doom

A:

Dear My Name Here,

I'm here, one last time.

- The Black Sheep

A:

Dear My Name,

I'm here!

-The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear names,

Hello hello! I'm kind of here?!

-Mico

A:

Dear Denna,

Yo! 

Sincerely,
The Soulful Ginger

A:

Dear Mynah Bird,

I'm here for alumni week. Yes, it was a sacrifice to pause my crocheting, novel reading, and Netflix bingeing to answer this question, but that's just the kind of hardworking, dedicated, generous person I am.

-Genuine Article

A:

Present!

-The Skipper


0 Corrections
Question #93645 posted on 06/11/2021 11:18 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Updates on Board Question #93153?

-Future Past

A:

Dear Future ~

To 2021 Dragon Lady:
  • I really, really, really just want to know what life looks like now. 
From 2021 Dragon Lady:
  • You survived! Good job holding to your guns. No one in your immediate family got Covid! Woot! You survived online school at home. Your kids are surprisingly resilient and responsible. By the end, you barely even looked at their school work except to print it, and they got everything turned in every week.
  • You have Wednesdays off from being Mom. It's blissful. 
  • You have an electric bike! Hahaha. Can you believe it? Yellow's brother finally got to you!
  • Speaking of Yellow's brother getting to you: You also now have an eco-friendly budget so you can buy all the eco-friendly things, even though they're more expensive.
  • Kids are still in masks. You're still cautious. But life is SO MUCH EASIER overall.

To 2022 Dragon Lady:
  • How has alone time been with kids in school all day? PLEASE tell me that happened! What did you fill your time with? 
  • How has two school districts treated you? Was letting Dragon Lady switch schools a mistake? Or not as bad as you feared?
  • What does "normal" look like now? What has changed from pre-Covid normal?
  • Did you go right back to being busy with all the things? Or has the chill, laid back amazingness of the Pandemic clung on?

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear Doctor,

Past Tally:

I have found some health answers! For those of you with menstrual cycles: track chronic pain to see if it aligns with your cycle. If it does (gets worse around ovulation or your period), you may have endometriosis. Not everyone has particularly horrible periods with endometriosis. For example, the major presentation for my endo was nerve pain. Also, pelvic floor therapy is important for those who have given birth vaginally. 

Ohio friendships are slightly stronger. But barely. The pandemic made it pretty hard to keep those friendships up.

I am closer to the idea of having another kid. I was scared of the idea last year, but I'm okay with it this year. Not excited yet, but okay with it.

Also, you did in fact finish that art project. Be proud of yourself!

Future Tally:

Is Lil' M. finally toilet trained? Do we have a Littlest M. on the way? Did the esketamine trial go well? Are you on a good ADHD medication? Did you finish the Celeste cross-stitch?

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Time,

Anathema 2020:

Why hello past anxiety ridden me, it's current anxiety ridden me! But actually the world really has improved from a year ago. You will be fully vaccinated (after 2 shots, and 2 weeks of waiting after the second shot) as of 6/7/2021. Your job will be in absolutely no danger from the acquisition. You'll have so much job security it's ridiculous. Unfortunately that job is also going to get... worse. So you're going to get a new job! Yay! (I haven't actually started it yet, so what it will be like is still a mystery--we'll have to wait on Anathema 2022 for answers.) You eventually get used to quarantine, and I'm pretty sure everything about your personality just gets more concentrated. You'll start going on lots of dates with a guy around the fall. THIS IS A HUGE MISTAKE!!!!! DROP HIM LIKE THE *!@$#*& HE IS!!!!! Seriously, avoid that cheating dirt bag. Ummm... that's not the best note to end on... oh yeah, you're going to get a kitten! He can be mischievous and will wage a winning war against tearing up the carpet (pro tip: he'll not stop after febreze, red pepper flakes, cayenne, or vinegar on the carpet, but deodorant will finally work!), but he'll also be super adorable and huggable and cuddly. 

Anathema 2021:

So uh, how about that new job? Are you using it to be getting a PhD? Is it intimidating working with professors in a professional setting? What's happened with the relationship we just got into? Did you end up saving up enough to buy a house like we're planning? How's life in general?

~Anathema

A:

Dear Future Past,

Please find your answer below.

 

Dear 2020 Black Sheep,

I can see from your letter to 2019 Black Sheep that you are still feeling those feelings about recovery pretty strong, and you are really feeling the goodness of it right now. I remember 2018 and 2017 and 2016 and 2015 Black Sheep, back and back and back, and I rejoice with you. Still, you know what is better than all of that? Feeling less overwhelmed and thinking about it all less. Can you even imagine? You can't really, but in a year you'll be able to.

2020 is going to be super hard in a lot of ways. The pandemic is going to go more or less how you've predicted it would for a while now, you poor unfortunate smart cookie. (One exception: the vaccines will be faster! I have had full immunity for a bit here.) There are going to be some crazy wildfires that will briefly make you panic and want to get out of dodge, but there will also be a bunch of people out in the rural areas looking for the antifa operatives they think started the fires, and that will worry you about leaving. Panic sandwich, right? When that happens, know that you don't need to leave, you'll be safe where you are, and do not call your father looking for support. Don't go back to the dry well; there is no water there. Also, the election is going to destroy you, but in the end, the result will be okay. Just you be prepared for January 6 though. I can't tell you more; no spoilers here on the 100 Hour Board.

Your personal life will have some hard transitions this year, but in this case hard doesn't mean bad, just hard. So much stuff triggers our abandonment trauma, and that is dumb and hard, but it has started to get easier for us now. In this case, easier means less overwhelmingly excruciating, not "easier," but I expect you understand that. Do your best to go with the transitions and not fight against them. It won't help and it will be confusing and hard. Once you've gotten through them, though, there is a brand new exciting relationship that is going to go better than you'd have dared ask for. I couldn't explain it to you so I'm not going to try. This isn't even the BPD talking; it is just that this really will be that compatible based on who we are as I write this. All that hard work we have been doing is so we can have relationships like this one that are honest and affirming and help us want to keep growing and keep the world from shrinking down to the space between our ears. 

Don't freak out: you're going to get a job in the human services again this year. Give it a few months and you'll see what I mean. I don't think that was really the problem in the first place, and we have worked on a lot of what was the problem. I feel good that this is where we are supposed to be right now.

Also, for the love of god, go on some walks. I get that everything is overwhelming right now and couch time is a definite way to cope with that, but the girl I mentioned in the third paragraph has spent her first half-year in Portland taking long walks around to get to know the city, and the hills on the way up to the rose test garden are killer.

Love,

2021 Black Sheep

A:

Dear Guesthouse 2020, 

Let's never repeat 2020 again. Yeah, I made it through, but not without putting on 20 pounds, developing separation anxiety and resentment for half of my old neighbors, and feeling lost and burned out!. But I DID meet Jess Calarco, over Zoom. Covid life brought a lot of bad irredeemable changes, but there were some hidden silver linings as well. 

I definitely still think sleeping next to Pebble is awesome. Sometimes he's a little too snuggly and it's suffocating, but at least we know he likes us. Being married is great, and after even just one year it's remarkable how much we've grown and changed - for the better! 

Alaska was breathtaking. Pebble wants us to move there, as expected. I'm trying to hold him off. It's not really a very sensible life choice, but maybe while we're young and the consequences are minimal, it could be fun for a summer or so. 

Things are getting back to normal, for lots of people. I'm fully vaccinated now (it takes two doses, but gets made in record time. It's amazing what happens when we properly fund research!), and being able to see maskless faces and friends again is a very welcome joy. People still argue about everything and it's really lame that political identity is so pointlessly predictive of vaccine hesitancy. Trump really forked up the country. But HEY! He's not in charge anymore, isn't that excellent news?

For as "normal" as life is now, I should warn you that every plan you make this year isn't going to turn out how you wanted. You'll think you want to do a Ph.D., you'll apply to a bunch of schools (which will cost you upwards of $500 in application fees, what the heck), and then you'll realize maybe academia for life ISN'T what you want. We're still figuring it out. It's okay though, failures are part of the path to success!

Cheers, 

2021 Guesthouse

 

2022 Guesthouse,

I have to admit I feel really lost right now. I'm not sure I have any real passions or significant goals. What is my identity and purpose if not perpetual studenthood? I'm realizing how I've taken the simplicity of youth for granted and now no longer have a vision for my future. I wish I had more routines and rituals and a path to follow. Do you know what you want in life? 

I'd love to hear more about how your relationship with Pebble has changed you. I know it's weird for me to be taking vacations without creating extensive itineraries, and I have a feeling that we're only becoming more spontaneous. I think it's good to reflect on these changes and realize how hard we've worked on our marriage and ourselves. 

How's the Coldplay album? When's the concert? Have I set you up for success by being consistent with my diet and exercise after the whole Covid fiasco? How different is life in 2022 - the economy, housing, job market, price of Tillamook ice cream? 

Cheers, 

2021 Guesthouse

A:

Dear FP,

To past yayfulness:

Okay, first things first - nobody in your family is going to die of COVID. Your parents and in-laws will have more surgeries and scary diagnoses than you were expecting (mercifully, none of them being COVID), but by the time I'm writing this everyone is going to be okay.

On a related note, your most optimistic expectations for a vaccine? Not optimistic enough. It's going to be a rough year for a lot of people until then, but it's not going to last forever.

That psychiatrist you're going to see? Horrible idea. You'll hate him, which is fine because he's awful. But he does have a point, anxiety isn't just secondary, and the (second, definitely not first) medication he prescribes for it will be helpful, so it's an open question if you're better off with him or if you would have been better off getting on that eight-month waiting list instead.

I'm not going to sugarcoat the next year for you. A lot of it is going to be miserable. I can tell you that you've already been through the worst of it, though. Things will get... better? different? I wouldn't say good, but definitely not as bad as when you wrote that last note.

It's going to be really frustrating making progress on personal and relationship problems and coming to terms with pieces of your identity, only to watch that progress disappear and that piece of your identity shift unexpectedly. But progress isn't linear, and identity isn't permanent, and trying to live life as if they are is a fool's errand. Just focus on doing what you can, right now, with who you are and what you have right now.

Good luck, past me. You'll need it.

p.s. Don't freak out on election night. Things will be okay in the morning.

To future yayfulness:

You know, I tend to treat future me pretty badly. I need to do better. But for now, I'm sorry that I tend to make so many of my problems your problems instead of fixing them now.

My biggest question is whether (and when, and how) I'll get my ADHD effectively medicated, and how the rest of my (mostly mental, some physical) health issues will play out. Similar question for most of my close family members. Similar question for my cat (pobrecito has a recurring urinary blockage (maybe urine crystals?), which is not fun at all for any of us).

I'll be honest, I have a really hard time envisioning my life a year from now as anything but a continuation of what I'm experiencing now. I'd love to hear about how I'm wrong, preferably in a good way.

Good luck, future me. I'm sure you'll need it too.

-current yayfulness

A:

Dear Back to the Future Past,

Oh, I mean,

Dear Past Mico,

Of course you're still dreaming about a cat cafe bookstore. Although the dream crept towards reality at the beginning of this year, it is once again a dream. In fact, you're literally interviewing for new jobs in your actual field as we speak. Go figure. 

Dear Future Mico,

You're doing the best you can, OKAY!

-Current Mico

A:

Dear Days of Future Past,

To 2020 M.O.D.A.Q.:

Bitcoin. Really. Just do it. This is not a joke.

-M.O.D.A.Q.

A:

Dear 2020 Van Goff,

Can you calm down for like five seconds? Stop panicking. Go on a walk or something. It's annoying that the most basic of recommendations are right but exercise and hydrating actually does make you feel better. It's the endorphins, I suppose, but if it at least helps your OCD stop making you want to curl up into a ball and hyperventilate all the time, then it doesn't really matter why it helps, does it?

Also take your medication. It works, but only if you take it for a few months instead of giving up after a week because "it's not helping."

Dear 2022 Van Goff,

I dunno, treat yourself kindly I suppose. And treat others kindly. Treat everyone kindly. It's a tiring world, and the least you can do is try to make others' burdens a little lighter. Try to assume the best in people, and try not to let the world make you bitter. Try to find joy in small moments. Try not to beat yourself up for being human.

-Van Goff

A:

Dear yosef,

I missed doing it last year but I did it the year before, and I always like these questions. 

To 2020 Auto Surf

  • It's a tough year but it's fine. Mom is super frail and does get pretty sick from Covid like you feared, but she doesn't die from it and you don't have to harbor more resentment towards Crazy Aunt that probably gave it to her (you just don't have to talk with her). 
  • Art and projects are good, and going back to the library is good. 
  • Having sister-in-law live with you for 5 months of the pandemic is pretty much the best part of the year, and it won't be the same when she leaves, so be prepared.
  • You won't get pregnant until next year so try not to be too sad and just enjoy this time of not being sick because it will really knock you out. 
  • Oh also you pretty much never feel crazy in the needing-to-check-with-husband-if-I'm-secretly-crazy way anymore and that is so nice. Therapy and paving over traumatic memories was actually a pretty good strategy, even though it took longer than you wanted. 

To 2022 Auto Surf

  • Are we doing okay? Was I right to be so anxious about everything with pregnancy and birth, or is that just anxious me? (I know it's a little anxious me, but, you know, that's to be expected.) How's the adjustment going with Pudge? Do we ever call baby Pudge now that they have a name? 
  • Did you start volunteering at a women's shelter or did you decide you want another degree first? Are we still conflicted about another degree in general? 
  • Did that pilot from the table read ever take off? I'm guessing it won't, at least not in the way we expect, but it's still fun to think about. 
  • Did sister-in-law get married to that guy? 
  • Be kind to yourself and patient about things. Sometimes that's hard to remember

-Auto Surf


0 Corrections
Question #93632 posted on 06/11/2021 8:48 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is your favorite filling inside a filled piece of chocolate, and why?

-Kodak

A:

Dear Kodak ~

… more chocolate? Coconut?

I surprisingly don't have a ready answer for this. Huh. I guess you just need to make me a bunch of filled chocolates. Let's call it a science experiment.

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear you,

Peanut butter. Specifically any Trader Joe's chocolates with peanut butter filling.

-guppy of doom

A:

Dear friend,

Caramel, hands down. Followed by peanut butter or coconut. I like sweet and soft fillings, but I don't tend to like the alcoholic taste of the many fruit fillings. I like the texture of the caramel and the peanut butter, and just find these three flavors are my favorite in combo with chocolate. 

Cheers, 

Guesthouse

A:

Dear human,

I'm a big fan of See's Candies and their Bordeaux chocolates. The Bordeaux is filled with a brown sugar buttercream. It is my favourite.

-Sheebs

A:

Dear Mercutio,

If my chocolate could have any filling

A diamond would be the most thrilling

I might break a tooth

But I I tell you in truth

The dentist would get paid for the drilling 

-100 Hour Bard

A:

Dear you,

Cherries. Because cherry and chocolate is one of the best combinations ever.

~Anathema

A:

Dear you,

There are so many excellent options. I'll hop on the Sees train with Sheebs. (Fun Board Fact: Getting Sees is one of Sheebs/Anne, Certainly's shared activities/favorite things. Also Chipotle. Also dumb movies and pizza. I miss her now that I live in AZ. *cries*) Bordeaux is excellent, as is the Butterscotch Square, which is just full of brown sugar (lol) and also many of the others. 

If I'm getting out of expensive chocolate and more towards the grocery store, I'm going to put in an endorsement for the bubbly mint filling inside of a Mint Aero. Not super available in the states, but check the British section of your grocery store and you might get lucky.

~Anne, Certainly

A:

Dear Kodak,

It's so hard to choose because so many things go well with chocolate. I'm tempted to say chocolate, but ideally I think the best filling should compliment and contrast the chocolate. I thought long and hard about a lot of options, and was about to say a nice raspberry cream, but I think Anathema is right. Chocolate covered cherries are the bomb.

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Kodak,

If you're within driving distance (which will vary from person to person depending on their definition), you should definitely go up to Garden City, UT and get yourself some frozen chocolate-covered raspberries. They are MAGICAL.

-Frère Rubik

A:

Dear What I Would Do For a Kodak Bar,

I think peanut butter, followed by chocolate truffle filling, followed closely by hazelnuts. Specifically for the peanut butter, Trader Joe's dark chocolate peanut butter cups, and for hazelnuts, their whole hazelnut bars.

If we can use "filling" loosely, probably ice cream and also peppermint Jojo's (which apparently are quite expensive out of season, understandably).

-Inklings

A:

Dear Kodak,

I just weaned Carl Jr. after being dairy-free for 469 days! I told Carl that I wanted a box of chocolates as a thank you. What I was looking forward to the most were the little caramel chocolates. So for expensive chocolates, caramel.

But if you're going to buy cheaper chocolate? Peanut butter. Specifically, Reese's holiday chocolates (trees, Easter eggs, etc.)

-Goldie Rose

A:

Dear Kodak,

I'll third Sheebs' and Anne's recommendation of a See's milk chocolate bordeaux. I love it because it is sweet, creamy, complex perfection in a tiny package.

I also love chocolate with caramel and nuts, particularly almonds. You can't go wrong with sweet + salty + crunchy.

--Maven

A:

What ho, what ho, what ho!

I don't actually eat much chocolate, or many sweets at all to be terribly honest, but in spite of this there are two sorts that I love unreservedly and will go far out of my way to obtain.

See's Butterscotch Squares is the first. They are divine ambrosia, and I will happily make myself sick on them.

The second are the Lindt chocolates filled with pear brandy. I am a sinner and I shall surely find myself roasting in the hottest furnace in the nethermost reaches of the fiery pit, but so help me, they are delicious.

-Bertie

A:

Dear Kodak,

Salted caramel all the way.  I don't mean the "salted caramel" that is essentially regular caramel concealing a couple grains of wimpy iodized table salt.  I'm talking caramel that crunches with salty chunks straight from the sea, preferably in dark chocolate.  

~Hermia, who is definitely not going to go have chocolate for breakfast now.

A:

Dear friend,

One of the many ways I act like at least forty years older than I actually am is that I love little chocolates. Like, the kinds you would find at See's. They fill me with joy and make me feel like an aristocrat. One of the best parts about dating and eventually getting married is, for me, the potential of getting little chocolate boxes on special occasions.

My favorites are the ones with strawberry fillings. I also like orange-flavored chocolate but not necessarily as a filling. A chocolate orange is the pinnacle of chocolate's potential, in my opinion. There just isn't anything that gets better than that. Well, maybe a nice strawberry-filled Ritter Sport, but then we're just talking in circles.

-Van Goff


0 Corrections
Question #93649 posted on 06/11/2021 8:48 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

A lot of chocolate is made using slave labor. Is Ghirardelli slave labor free or guilty of slave labor?

Thanks,

Ghirardelli fan hoping the company somehow isn't awful even though it probably is

A:

Dear Fan,

We actually answered that a few weeks ago in Board Question #93374. You can go and check that out on the link, but the TLDR is that Ghirardelli currently sources 85% through the Lindt & Sprungli sustainability program, and they aim to reach 100% sustainable production by 2025. These guidelines include environmental sustainability, and good conditions and pay for all workers.

Peace,

Tipperary


0 Corrections
Question #93634 posted on 06/11/2021 8:30 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Do you think you could ever live in a place with months of polar night/midnight sun? Why or why not?

-Kodak

A:

Dear Kodak,

Nope not ever. Several members of my family have seasonal depression. I haven't ever experienced that, but I think if I ever experienced polar night that would definitely happen.

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Kodak,

Would I want to live there forever? I don’t think so. There’s a lot I would miss about living in warmer climates with a more varied environment. But I’ve been fascinated with polar climates and biomes for years, and more importantly, my sleep cycle comes totally unmoored from the day/night cycle every chance it gets. I’m not sure how constant day or night for a few months could be any worse for me than that.

The real problem is that, even though I grew up in a place where winter temperatures routinely went double digits below zero, living in California has completely ruined me. It’s been a couple years since I’ve seen snow in person, and even though the thought of it seems perfectly fine, I’m sure that in practice I would hate it immediately.

-yayfulness

A:

Dear Kodak ~

I think it would be fun for an extended vacation or two. I could probably handle lots of sun. Lots of darkness, though, might kill me dead. I forget how much I thrive on sunshine until springtime when suddenly I start getting more and my life kind of explodes in all sorts of happy ways.

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear friend,

As expected, after visiting last year, Pebble is obsessed with the idea of moving to Alaska. He's only been there in the summer. I think I could certainly handle living there in summer with endless light. It was a little off-putting at first, but you can use blackout curtains and it's nice to have it light even when you stay up late. 

I'm confident I would hate living there in the winter. The darkness and freezing temperatures would make me feel too isolated and cabin fever-y. I suppose if I made an effort to visit other people and had a house I liked, I *might* be able to thrive in the extremes. 

Cheers, 

Guesthouse 

A:

Dear human,

No way. I'm from a city at 51 degrees latitude and winter there is already too cold and dark for me. 

-Sheebs

A:

Dear Doctor,

I love Finland, but I don't know how likely it actually is that I'd want to live there. I'd probably do worse with the increased sunlight than the increased darkness.

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Klondike,

No I could not. I like my sun.

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear friend,

Absolutely not. My body is such a fragile thing emotionally that I think even a little change about how night and day works would throw it into crisis mode. Bad enough during the winter.

-Van Goff

A:

Dear Kodak,

I don't think so. My life plans involve lots of producing my own food, both plant and animal, and I don't think the extreme temperature or crazy daylight schedule would help that very much.

-The Entomophagist

A:

Dear Kodak,

Literally any time I hear of a place with polar midnight or midnight sun, the first thought in my head is "Oh my gosh, I would go insane living there."

-Frère Rubik (who, embarrassingly, has not written an answer in so long that when he typed out his grave-accented "è" he thought it looked weird and had to make sure it had always looked like that)

A:

Dear Kodak,

I spent one winter living in Sweden just a hundred miles south of the arctic circle. It was pretty crazy! At the darkest part of the year, the sun would be just above the horizon at noon, and then it would be completely dark by 2:20 pm. So it was almost always dark. And very cold. Sometimes the darkness felt so pervasive that I got flashbacks to that one book, The City of Ember, where they're underground the whole time and the feeble city lights are all they have to hold back the darkness.

For my summers in Sweden I was living much further south, so it was a lot less extreme, but still pretty interesting. The sunlight was long and late, but always from the side to give a beautiful tint to everything, like golden hour all the time. And the sunsets were the slowest sunsets you've ever seen.

Despite spending that winter cold and dark in that tiny isolated town, it was probably the coziest Christmas of my life. I think I'll always have fond memories of spending that special time in that special town. I also got to see the northern lights a couple of times. But yeah, it was rough too. The length of the day changed so much each day that I was in a constant state of surprise about the daylight (or lack thereof). I still remember how strange the town looked in spring when I saw it in daylight after months of darkness, and with the ground thawing after only hard-packed snow for so long. That long dark winter was depressing in a way that simply couldn't be escaped from. Still though, I'd love to go back sometime and just roam like crazy, seeing all the random places in the middle of nowhere. There's something that calls to me about isolated, untamed places, so I've come to really love the north in spite of the darkness. Or maybe even because of it.

-Kirito

A:

Dear Reader,

I'm a little surprised at the one-sidedness of these answers. I would love to live in a place like that. Sure the super-long days and nights would be strange, and I'm sure it would affect my mood, but I think there's something exotic about living in a place like that and I would definitely embrace the adventure of it all. Sign me up!

-The Man with a Mustache

A:

Dear Kodak,

I lived in Anchorage briefly and have visited Alaska generally a few other times. Personally, I really enjoyed how extreme the seasons were. It makes you notice and appreciate all the changes in the natural world around you. I would love to convince Laser Jock to move up there eventually. 

- Eirene


0 Corrections
Question #93647 posted on 06/11/2021 12:48 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What strategies do you use when looking for a job? My basic strategy has been to select several companies I’d like to work for and then check their careers page regularly, but I generally find that rather exhausting, especially when I already have a full time job, but most of the job search sites that I’ve seen are full of postings to be a truck driver or deliver food. If any of you have a better way you do these things, I’d love to learn more.

-My Name Here

A:

Dear Your Name,

Different industries have different job cycles. For example, a lot of the engineering companies post jobs the same times each year. This usually lines up with school semesters and career fairs. So I know that there are a lot of postings added in August, January/February, and May every year. Many government jobs get posted to coincide with the start of a new fiscal year. So if your industry has patterns you can use those to your advantage.

I've also used the 2-Hour Job Search and it's the real deal. I highly recommend reading that book and following its approach

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear My Name Here,

I like to self-sabotage while looking for jobs.

1. Go onto the normal job sites (Indeed, LinkedIn, the "Careers" page on sites for companies I like).

2. Type in my current job title and see what comes up. (That's how I avoid "truck driver" listings.)

3. Decide I don't like my current job title and try "truck driver" instead. 

4. Decide normal job sites are too mainstream and start looking at things I am not at all qualified for.

5. See jobs I am qualified for (probably on the normal job sites, boring).

6. Send them to my friend who is more qualified than me and more professional to see if she is interested!

7. ???

8. Profit? At least my friend got a new job!

For real though, if you know anybody with a job you think sounds interesting, reach out to them and find out how they got the job, what they like (and dislike!) about it, and if they're hiring. Networking, while a very stodgy word, continues to matter.

-Mico


0 Corrections
Thursday, June 10, 2021
Question #93646 posted on 06/10/2021 10:06 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Any advice/tips for moving across the country? I'm feeling excited but also concerned that I am going to forget to do something important.

Thanks!
Vienna

A:

Dear Doctor,

Congrats on the move! We moved cross-country relatively recently, so the tips are still fresh in our minds. We hope.

The biggest question is definitely going to be how you're moving your things. We were lucky enough to have Spectre's dad drive our truck for us. If that hadn't been the case, we may have done things a little bit differently. We also sold our second car, since a) it probably would have been better/cheaper to just buy another car out here if we needed one, and b) we didn't actually need a second car, since Spectre was planning on working from home. If you can afford it, I would recommend something like a shipping pod or hiring movers. There's always a risk with having someone take your stuff, so if you go that route, it's worth putting together of an inventory of things that are being moved.

It'll be much easier for you to move without a child, so that's great. We also had a dog, but she's pretty good at being in a car and likes napping, so it didn't put too much extra strain on us.

On to tips!

  • Pack a first-aid kit in your car that includes basic medications (you should be taking any prescription ones in the car with you anyways), bandages, and anything else you generally use for first aid. Include Pepto and your pain meds of choice. It's worth throwing in some feminine hygiene products as well, since tampons can help with nosebleeds and pads are good for temporary bandages. (Obviously, if you have a menstrual cycle, these are a good idea to bring in the car anyways, no matter where you think you'll be at in your cycle when you're driving.) A throw-up bag of some sort is a great idea to include, though keeping it in your glove box is the best idea. Regardless, the first aid kit should be easily accessible.
  • Pack a first day box for when you get to your destination. The Spruce has a good example of things to include, but you can always just search "first day box moving" and you'll get tons of suggestions of what to include. 
  • Pack a car emergency kit. This includes jumper cables (we have one that only requires your own car; it's charged by USB, and you don't have to depend on strangers), and a blanket (which is great for so many things, but make sure it's one you don't care about). The National Safety Council has a full list of things that could be added. We bought a kit off of Amazon at some point that has some of these things. Your car may already have a spare tire in the trunk.
  • Determine where you're going to sleep. Some folks like camping and plan out their trip according to campsites they can hit. Some people prefer driving as long as they want and then finding a hotel wherever they feel like stopping. We decided how long we were going to drive each day and reserved hotels in advance, especially since we required pet-friendly hotels with our dog.
  • As a note to the point above, don't drive drowsy. It's not worth driving overnight if you're going to be tired doing it. Perhaps one of you wants to sleep while the other drives, but I never sleep well in a car, and I think the benefit of stopping for a night outweighs getting to your destination sooner.
  • Designate a trash bag in your car. It can be a grocery bag. It can be a McDonald's bag. It can be a fancy reusable one that attaches to a headrest. It helps so much psychologically to not have trash everywhere.
  • Wet wipes and Kleenex are great to have on hand.
  • Predownload media on your phone. Podcasts, audiobooks, tv shows, ebooks, whatever. Wireless connections are spotty across the United States, and it's those stretches of road that are the most boring.
  • Take breaks. A small stop every couple of hours is good. A bigger stop every four hours is great. I've heard that truck stop restrooms are generally better than gas stations.
  • Eat out for your meals. It's a lot of extra work to try to make food for yourself the whole trip. If you're on a super tight budget it might be reasonable, but otherwise just stop for food. Snacks are still great though!
  • Spend some time sightseeing. If you have the time, it's nice to break up your trip with some fun stops. It doesn't have to be expensive trips: we hit up a Cabela's once and wandered around (since they allowed dogs). Once you've picked your route, you can find things along the way that might be interesting to you. Or, if there are things you're already interested in, it might be worth driving slightly out of the way to see them.

Road trips can be stressful, but the most important thing is to be flexible and to stay safe driving. As long as you do things to stay alert during the long stretches, you'll be just fine. 

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Vienna,

Tally's addressing a bunch of the literal getting-from-here-to-there. Assuming you are actually moving your residence, you also want to ensure that you:

  • Clean and do a final walkthrough of your old place. Or hire someone to clean it because move out cleaning is no fun.
  • Forward mail from your old place
  • Update addresses on subscriptions, credit cards, etc. (You may want to notify your card carrier that you'll be traveling/moving, to prevent the possibility of it looking like your card has been stolen)
  • Go one last time to any favorite local restaurants/stores/etc. For example, if you're a big Zupas fan moving from Utah to Texas, your time is now. If you love your Whataburger, get it before you go from Texas to Maine. Etc. Bonus points for doing these activities with friends who will be harder to see.
  • Ensure that your packed stuff for your trip includes anything seasonal for both your current and final location (and necessary in-between stops) (you don't want to arrive in Phoenix in June with only long pants, etc.)

Googling "moving to do list" will also give you infinite lists of reminders, so if you still have that nagging feeling and haven't already you might just look that up and review the top 3 results or something, but these ones came to my mind. Good luck!

~Anne, Certainly


0 Corrections
Question #93623 posted on 06/10/2021 6:25 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,


Everything she says is correct. I’ve had these same questions. So much doesn’t line up. It’s such a double standard. Like, follow the laws of the land, except they didn’t? Ask permission to marry wives, but for many Joseph didn’t? How do you make sense of all this? And, “have faith” and “everything will be sorted out” isn’t a good answer. These are all from church publications and scripture. The hypocrisy is so insane to me. Do people just not know this? Do they choose to ignore it? Help me understand without just saying “people are imperfect.” It’s not ok for a prophet to coerce someone to marry them by threatening their own death. That’s not agency. It’s creepy and wrong.

https://youtu.be/bITpxeJ9ROM


-My Name Here

A:

Dear friend,

Now, I hope you won't take offense to this, but I am not exactly in agreement with the anti-polygamy sentiment advanced by your source. I'm not going to argue that polygamy is, or was, fair to women, because it certainly isn't. I'm also not going to argue that it was practiced perfectly by the Church, because it certainly wasn't. But the notion that Joseph was a lecherous figurehead who abused his authority to coerce women into marriage on pain of death or damnation is, in my opinion, nonsense.

Everything she says is correct.

I hate to be disagreeable, but I'm one minute into this video and this Haleigh Evert has already mischaracterized Church policy on posthumous sealing as, essentially, a continuation of polygamy. Since women are now sealed, after death, to all of their husbands just as men are sealed to all of their wives, it should be emphatically clear that whatever happens in the next life, it is not simply an eternity of polygamy, and nobody knows for certain how God is going to work things out. It seems to me that fact ought to be the subject of much more serious attention than it is. Posthumously sealing women to their husbands means a simplistic understanding of eternal polygamy is wrong, full stop.

Like, follow the laws of the land, except they didn’t?

It's true that polygamy wasn't legal at the time, and the Church faced quite a bit of legal trouble for it. Ultimately, legal pressure was one of the key components leading to its cessation. But as for its instigation, as Evert asks, "Why would God give a commandment that was illegal?" I think we'll simply have to agree to disagree here. From my perspective, it makes little sense to argue that polygamy was a mistake because it was illegal, as though the laws and social mores of frontier America ought to have bound God from acting. Joseph believed he had a host of scriptural and theological reasons that made the restoration and practice of plural marriage absolutely essential--even if that meant civil disobedience. It seems rather short-sighted to me to argue, with a rigidly Kantian emphasis on categorical honesty, that the Church cannot or should not have been commanded to do something illegal. In the first place, the Book of Mormon explicitly makes allowance for the provisional authorization of polygamy, should God will it. Does that commandment conflict with the expectation that we believe in being subject to the laws of the land? Yes. But God also commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac and to lie to the Egyptians about Sarai being his wife. He also instructed Nephi to kill Laban. All this even though the scriptures say that the liar shall be thrust down to hell and that those who live by the sword die by the sword.

What God commands of us does not always easily and immediately square with our notions of justice or fairness, as Nephi and Abraham both experienced very painfully. Often, in difficult or uncertain circumstances, we are forced to choose between two difficult choices rather than a binary good-versus-evil dichotomy. And sometimes God's commandments are hard precisely because they are contradictory to what has come before. Can you imagine having a son born to you at Abraham's age, by whom you are promised fatherhood of nations and peoples, only to then be commanded to sacrifice this only son to God? 

Now, one can certainly raise concerns with the theological reasoning outlined in Doctrine and Covenants 132, or with God's issuing of seemingly immoral commands elsewhere in scripture, but to argue against the revelation based merely on the fact that it was against the laws of the time, and that God wouldn't do such a thing, seems shortsighted and dogmatic to me, perhaps even fundamentalist. God does, in fact, sometimes issue commandments that seem confusing, demanding, unclear, or even unfair. That doesn't mean that we should be all be antigovernmental anarchists waiting for subversive orders to radio out from Salt Lake, but it does mean we should be prepared for God to test us in ways that may require us to do things we don't fully understand. This is a thoroughly well-developed concept in both biblical and uniquely Latter-day Saint tradition, so Evert's cynical, sarcastic riffing on what the Church has to say about the sacrifices made by men and women in the early Church does not sit well with me. I'm less than a quarter in thus far, and you'll have to forgive me if I admit that I am not impressed.

Evert, again: "[Oliver Cowdery's excommunication] becomes a pattern in the Church. If you say something against the Prophet, you get excommunicated."

As summaries go, this is glib and oversimplified to the point of being, in my view, a misrepresentation of history and of Church practice. To delicately describe Oliver Cowdery's differences with Joseph Smith and his split from the Church as merely "saying something against the Prophet" is a gross oversimplification of the conflict that drove Oliver out of the Church and led Joseph to excommunicate him, as if Joseph was a thin-skinned tyrant who couldn't brook any criticism. I would also argue that it's critically important to note, in this particular instance, that Oliver was eventually rebaptized and rejoined the body of the Church shortly before his death, which suggests that whatever his disagreements with Joseph were, they were not irreconcilable. It is true that he believed the Fanny Alger sealing to be an affair rather than a proper marriage, and that was one of the major reasons he disagreed with Joseph, but Evert's presentation here leaves a lot to be desired. Furthermore, Oliver's view of the sealing as a "dirty, nasty, filthy" affair, rather than a genuine sealing, is far from unanimous among other commentators. Even hostile and dubiously reliable sources such as William McClellin and Ann Eliza Young refer to the event as a sealing. Joseph himself emphatically denied that he ever committed adultery--which is true, if we take Fanny Alger to be a plural wife rather than a mistress. Evert is free to disagree and draw her own conclusions, but it seems to me that she is merely appealing to the authority of the Joseph Smith Papers without actually providing a balanced review of all the available evidence. She also conspicuously doesn't support her argument that easy and frequent excommunication for minor disagreement is a historical pattern in the Church, instead simply asserting that it is the case. 

Evert then follows up with the Gospel Topics Essay's commentary on John C Bennett's "spiritual wifery" as if it ought to be some sort of smoking gun for Joseph's hypocrisy. Her implication is that it makes no sense for Bennett and his ilk to be excommunicated while "nobody said anything about what Joseph Smith was doing." Frankly, I didn't see much of an argument actually connecting the two. Your source seems to me to be merely asserting, by implication, that the two are the same and that Joseph is a hypocrite sheltered from consequences by his position as the prophet, but I don't think that argument is on very firm footing historically. In any case, the audience is left to fill in the blanks as to why Joseph, clearly guilty, gets off scot-free while others do not.

Contra Evert, I argue that the more likely reason nobody said anything about what Joseph Smith was doing is because he wasn't practicing spiritual wifery in the first place, and because the people who were actually involved saw distinct differences between Bennett's behavior and Joseph's. Frankly, at this point in the video you could be completely forgiven for agreeing with Evert on this point, because her presentation of Joseph's practice of polygamy thus far is so lopsided and one-dimensional that you have no reason to believe there's any meaningful difference between the two at all. She almost presents the essay as suggesting that others were excommunicated merely for following Joseph's example. This may make for good storytelling, particularly for her non-Latter-day Saint audience, but it's not good history. 

To be blunt, this deep skepticism and hostile attitude colors Evert's presentation so thoroughly that it's difficult for me to agree with her assessment of polygamy in nearly any respect. Evert seems to be more interested in polemics and portraying the Church as making a bad-faith effort to hide the sordid truth than in providing any kind of balanced, if skeptical, look at the history. She presents the early secrecy about polygamy as a conspiratorial boogeyman which conveniently, as she has it, leaves little to no paper trail for us to follow. When one considers the fact that polygamy was, in fact, illegal (as was just noted minutes prior!), and the Church faced a considerable amount of legal trouble for it, it doesn't seem particularly alarming that the Church would go to some lengths to avoid leaving behind detailed names, dates, records, and other evidence of its practice. You can't have your cake and eat it too, but Evert critiques the Church for not leaving behind accessible and detailed historical documentation of a practice she simultaneously critiques for being wrong because it's against the law and subject to prosecution.

I would argue, furthermore, that notions of exoteric (public) and esoteric (hidden) doctrines and practices, which are well-rooted in ancient religious thought, are a much better framework for understanding the secrecy surrounding the still-developing principles of celestial marriage. You may be more acquainted with this concept under the Apostle Paul's more colloquial turn of phrase "milk before meat." Ancient Christianity had a keen interest in so-called esoteric doctrines, which were not intended for the general public, but were limited to an inner circle of initiates who had undergone certain rites. The full scope of esoteric religion and its influence in the development of ancient Christian sects is quite far afield from this answer, but the parallels to the introduction of celestial marriage (and in our day, to the temple liturgy) should be obvious. Joseph tried to teach the principle to trusted associates on many occasions and was often discouraged by the natural difficulty he had in getting others to accept it. As time went on, that circle widened as its practice in the Church became more widespread. This was not a secretive, dirty practice kept exclusive to the highest echelons of leadership; it was an important religious principle that the Church attempted to disseminate in the best way it thought safe and prudent.

That, to me, makes for a more interesting explanation. The fact that Church leadership was deliberately less than forthcoming about early polygamy doesn't intrinsically say anything about guilt or whether or not they were deliberately covering up seedy or scandalous behavior, but to hear Evert tell it, we all know the real reason there's no paper trail. This isn't really an argument as much as it is a prejudiced smear. This is not the tone of someone interested in discussing rational alternatives, and as before, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of presentation.

Moving on. We then reach the somewhat infamous sealing of Helen Mar Kimball, who was 14 years old at the time her father proposed she be sealed to the Prophet. I must admit to some vehement disagreement here. To describe Joseph's ministrations to Helen Mar Kimball as a "threat," and her acquiescence to his proposal as "prostitution," as Evert does, is, in my view, a nakedly self-serving eisegesis which tells us much more about Evert than it does Kimball. Kimball, who remarried after Joseph's death, went on to write articulately and prolifically in defense of the system of marriage to which she had been introduced. I won't deny that the circumstances were strange. Yes, 14 is a young age. Yes, she undoubtedly felt pressure to agree to the marriage, given that the Prophet said that great spiritual blessings would come from it. I think there is more than enough room, as a believing Latter-day Saint, to acknowledge that it's strange, uncomfortable, even wrong to our modern sensibilities. But to recast what was ultimately a voluntary, if difficult, decision as a threat Joseph used to cajole soteriological prostitution from his would-be wives is so blindingly presentist, and so glib about the progressive development of the doctrine of celestial marriage, that I find it rather embarrassingly naïve. Evert's description of Helen Mar Kimball's life as "horrifying" and "desperate," as she argues that Helen clung to the marriage covenant in order to "purchase eternal reward" by prostituting herself, doesn't tell me much about Helen, but it tell me a lot about Evert's deeply cynical, faithless worldview--not least of all when she says that the church "hold[s] eternal families over our heads." I don't find sort this faithlessness compelling or convincing. I find it extraordinarily sad. I can think of no communicant Latter-day Saint who would describe fidelity to their covenants as a transaction by which they hope to sell their body and soul in exchange for buying spiritual reward, as if God is a cosmic accountant trafficking in human souls. If you want my perfectly honest opinion, Evert's grossly commercialized interpretation, if it can be called that, is deeply offensive to me, and I think it speaks volumes to her own warped and empty understanding of how covenants relate us to God. This is not history. This is projection. Helen surely suffered, as many did under polygamy, but to read her life experience and come away with the impression that she was desperate for spiritual rewards promised to her and that Joseph's horrifying behavior deliberately preyed on that desperation says far more about Haleigh Evert than it does about Helen Mar Kimball. Nothing in the historical record indicates that she was desperate or spiritually avaricious, that she viewed Joseph as having threatened her spiritually or physically, or that she viewed polygamy as analogous to prostituting herself. This is simply irresponsible eisegesis, and it is a woefully inadequate framework for historically engaging with the faith of women who truly, sincerely believed they were doing the right thing. 

Not content to stop with one woman's convictions of celestial marriage, Evert then mentions and summarily dismisses the affirmations of the rest of those women involved in polygamy with a dismissively glib wave of the hand: "Well, yeah, if you're threatened..." [of course you would testify that it's right, she implies].

This is utter nonsense. However strange it may be by modern standards, and even if we were to grant under weight of presentism that it was the wrong decision, no amount of tortured eisegesis will transform Joseph's sealing to Helen Mar Kimball into a threat of damnation or crass spiritual prostitution which compelled her to act out of fear or self-preservation. Evert furnishes no specific evidence that the women who testified of these experiences were, in fact, threatened, preferring instead to move on to polyandry and other sensational topics. I would hazard a guess that she does so because the evidence that they were physically or spiritually threatened, and thus compelled to testify of polygamy on pain of death or damnation as she implies, doesn't exist. The historical record indicates that Joseph allowed the women he approached to consider and ponder his proposal and even to reject him if they so chose, whereupon the matter was dropped. There are several proposals we only know about because the women who turned him down later related the details--stories one and all lacking in grotesque, domineering threats to life, limb, and spirit. To vaguely and broadly discount the lived experience of the people involved--of course the women said it was true because they were being threatened--this is not history. This is mind-reading, par excellence, in the Fawn Brodie tradition. Because Evert finds polygamy repulsive, immoral, and wrong, she, like many other critics of polygamy and of the Church more generally, have to dismiss the firsthand experiences of the women who didn't find it repulsive and wrong as simply deceived or deluded. Or they must otherwise write them off as Joseph's terrified captives, who secretly, furtively knew but were powerless to admit that polygamy was really wrong the whole time while the men, presumably, ran the show taking all the wives they pleased. This is grossly ignorant of the actual stumbling block that polygamy was for men and women in the early Church. Resistance and doubt came from more than just the women--and once it was practiced, spiritual witnesses came from more than just the men. Furthermore, the women Joseph approached often did react quite negatively and viscerally to the notion of polygamy, quite like you and I might. These were not spineless followers who simply accepted what Joseph said because he said so, even though they believed him to be a prophet. The casual idea that people simply played along because they uncritically believed anything Joseph said, or that they consented because he was a tyrant who threatened them with damnation, death, and hellfire, is completely at odds with the accounts given by the people involved.

To give just one example of Evert's conspicuous passing over of the historical record in favor of projecting her own conclusions about polygamy onto the sources, here's how Lucy Walker related Joseph's proposal to her and the process by which she became convinced of the divinity of polygamous practice:

In the year 1842, President Joseph Smith sought an interview with me, and said: “I have a message for you. I have been commanded of God to take another wife, and you are the woman.” My astonishment knew no bounds. This announcement was indeed a thunderbolt to me. He asked me if I believed him to be a prophet of God. “Most assuredly I do,” I replied. He fully explained to me the principle of plural or celestial marriage. He said this principle was again to be restored for the benefit of the human family, that it would prove an everlasting blessing to my father’s house, and form a chain that could never be broken, worlds without end. “What have you to say?” he asked. “Nothing.” How could I speak, or what could I say? He said, “If you will pray sincerely for light and understanding in relation thereto, you shall receive a testimony of the correctness of this principle. I thought I prayed sincerely, but was so unwilling to consider the matter favorably that I fear I did not ask in faith for light. Gross darkness instead of light took possession of my mind. I was tempted and tortured beyond endurance until life was not desirable. Oh that the grave would kindly receive me, that I might find rest on the bosom of my dear mother. Why should I be chosen from among thy daughters, Father, I am only a child in years and experience, no mother to counsel [she died in January, 1842]; no father near to tell me what to do in this trying hour [he was on a mission to a warmer climate to help his health]. Oh, let this bitter cup pass. And thus I prayed in the agony of my soul.

The Prophet discerned my sorrow. He saw how unhappy I was, and sought an opportunity of again speaking to me on this subject, and said: “Although I cannot, under existing circumstances, acknowledge you as my wife, the time is near when we will go beyond the Rocky Mountains and then you will be acknowledged and honored as my wife.”5 He also said, “This principle will yet be believed in and practiced by the righteous. I have no flattering words to offer. It is a command of God to you. I will give you until tomorrow to decide this matter. If you reject this message the gate will be closed forever against you.”

This aroused every drop of Scotch in my veins. For a few moments I stood fearless before him, and looked him in the eye. I felt at this moment that I was called to place myself upon the altar a living sacrifice–perhaps to brook the world in disgrace and incur the displeasure and contempt of my youthful companions; all my dreams of happiness blown to the four winds. This was too much, for as yet no shadow had crossed my path, aside from the death of my dear mother. The future to me had been one bright, cloudless day. I had been speechless, but at last found utterance and said: “Although you are a prophet of God you could not induce me to take a step of so great importance, unless I knew that God approved my course. I would rather die. I have tried to pray but received no comfort, no light,” and emphatically forbid him speaking again to me on this subject. Every feeling of my soul revolted against it. Said I, “The same God who has sent this message is the Being I have worshipped from my early childhood and He must manifest His will to me.” He walked across the room, returned and stood before me with the most beautiful expression of countenance, and said: “God Almighty bless you. You shall have a manifestation of the will of God concerning you; a testimony that you can never deny. I will tell you what it shall be. It shall be that joy and peace that you never knew.”

Oh, how earnestly I prayed for these words to be fulfilled. It was near dawn after another sleepless night when my room was lighted up by a heavenly influence. To me it was, in comparison, like the brilliant sun bursting through the darkest cloud. The words of the Prophet were indeed fulfilled. My soul was filled with a calm, sweet peace that “I never knew.” Supreme happiness took possession of me, and I received a powerful and irresistible testimony of the truth of plural marriage, which has been like an anchor to the soul through all the trials of life. I felt that I must go out into the morning air and give vent to the joy and gratitude that filled my soul. As I descended the stairs, President Smith opened the door below, took me by the hand and said: “Thank God, you have the testimony. I too have prayed.” He led me to a chair, placed his hands upon my head, and blessed me with every blessing my heart could possibly desire.

The first day of May, 1843, I consented to become the Prophet’s wife, and was sealed to him for time and all eternity, at his own house by Elder William Clayton.

(Source: https://josephsmithspolygamy.org/plural-wives-overview/lucy-walker/#link_ajs-fn-id_6-5642)

Now, not every woman related an experience like this one. I offer this not to minimize the fact that the mortal practice of polygamy was unfair, difficult, and painful--as it assuredly was. You and any other readers are perfectly free to disagree with Lucy Walker, or Helen Kimball. You are also free to conclude that they, along with Church leaders, were mistaken with respect to the inspiration of polygamy. I offer this not to prove (if it can be proven at all) that polygamy was, in fact, divinely inspired, and I begrudge no one their personal interpretations of such a difficult and complex historical issue. But to describe experiences such as Lucy Walker's or Helen Mar Kimball's as born of Joseph's malicious coercion or threat, as Evert does, is simply detached from reality. To put it mildly, I have serious reservations about the fact that, seeking answers to make sense of polygamy, you are taking your cues from an antagonistic, self-described ex-Mormon who, at every turn, sees ill in Joseph's motivations, dismisses explanations in the Gospel Topics Essays and the scriptures as so much ad hoc apologia, and, by and large, seems to assume what she's setting out to prove. If early polygamy was secretive and undocumented, well, all the more convenient for Joseph Smith; what other reason could there be? There are other reasons, of course. But you aren't going to get a serious look at them from her. 

I don't want to spend any more time dissecting your source; I would only repeat myself. Let's move on to your question proper.

How do you make sense of all this?

Polygamy is difficult, sensitive, and full of unresolved questions. I won't deny that. I can't give you a definitive reason for why Joseph was sealed to more than 30 women, or exactly why he chose the ones he did. I can't tell you how many Emma did or did not know about, or what Joseph and Emma's relationship was like because of it, because nobody alive knows what Joseph said to Emma about it all.

I happen to think that the doctrine of celestial marriage (encompassing plural marriage, eternal marriage, and exaltation) developed progressively, and that the dynastic sealings in Church history were a product of an incomplete understanding of how families were to be tied together. Evert scoffs at that idea as unthinking "worship" of Joseph Smith; I think that's a reflection of a poor understanding of how the doctrine developed over time. By and large, women consented because Joseph told them they would benefit spiritually from a close tie to the Prophet, not because they uncritically, unthinkingly worshiped him or were cajoled into being sealed against their will. The most plausible explanation to me is that neither Joseph nor anyone else at the time had a complete, developed understanding of the monogamous parent-to-child sealings which we perform today, and that he was attempting to provide a new and essential ordinance to as many faithful women as possible with the knowledge that he had--even though "celestial marriage," as he understood it, ultimately looks considerably different than it does to us in the 21st century.

There are other answers that have been offered to common questions: why did Joseph get sealed to already-married women, for instance? Well, at least some of the married women Joseph was sealed to did not have believing husbands, and so they viewed a sealing to the Prophet as their best hope at receiving the new ordinance. Their husbands, who didn't believe in any such thing as eternally binding marriages in the next life or Joseph's prophetic authority, generally didn't have pressing objections.

In the end, though, I'm not able to answer every possible question; we just don't have the information to answer every possible question of what Joseph said or did and why he said or did those things. But fundamentally, I am convinced of Joseph Smith's sincerity, integrity, and character. Furthermore, I find it compelling that, as even Evert notes, many of his wives testified of deep and profound spiritual experiences, and that even after Joseph's death (to say nothing of his life), there were virtually no complaints about adultery, polyandry, cuckolding, or of any other scandals one might expect if the Prophet of the Restoration had so casually been gallivanting about with women he shouldn't have. This isn't the only possible position to take on polygamy, of course; not every scholar agrees with respect to the question of polyandry, or precisely when such-and-such marriage happened. Polygamy is sparsely documented and full of historical gaps. But I trust that Joseph, and other Church leaders, were genuinely doing the best they could to live an extraordinarily difficult commandment which they did not fully understand, and I shouldn't expect to perfectly understand, in hindsight, everything that made sense to the people who lived in those moments in the nineteenth century. Ultimately, it makes no difference to me whether or not they managed to fulfill the commandment perfectly. The only person I expect perfection of is God. But I am convinced that they were good, honest, and sincere people who really believed they were doing as God commanded them to. To be perfectly blunt, the source you've provided has no interest in helping you reach any other conclusion than that of Joseph being a lecherous, hypocritical fraud.

And, “have faith” and “everything will be sorted out” isn’t a good answer.

Typically, I would agree with you. In this particular instance, I'd like to point out one more time that any way you slice it, the answer is not as simple as asserting that polygamy is celestial and eternal. At the time of writing, the Church allows men and women to be posthumously sealed to all of their spouses in life. Unfortunate as it may be, we simply don't know how God will work that out. If I had an easy, reassuring answer for you, I would give it. But I have confidence and trust that God will respect the wishes and desires of everyone involved, and that nobody will be trapped in a sealing to which they do not consent. I certainly do not expect that all men will be allowed a plurality of wives simply for wishing it, or that any plural wives will be held captive and unhappy in a polygamous sealing for eternity.

These are all from church publications and scripture.

Indeed. Good, intelligent, and reasonable people can read the same sources and come to wildly different conclusions, however. Personally, I'm familiar with everything you've brought up in this question, and none of it is inimical to my faith. Bias and interpretation run deeper than which sources we use. Bias also impacts how we interpret information and which information we categorize as reliable and persuasive as we form individual frameworks of understanding. Strictly speaking, there's no such thing as an unbiased source, nor are there facts that speak for themselves in a vacuum devoid of all meaning. Our biases and beliefs inescapably impact how we weigh the impact of facts, quotations, and sources. I don't believe the Church's history as told by its publications and scripture bears much, if any, resemblance to the interpretation offered here by Haleigh Evert; but I fundamentally believe in the claims of the Restoration, and she does not.  

I don't anticipate that all of the other writers will agree with me, but for my part, I think the source you've shared for us to listen to is tragically and deeply misguided. I don't know precisely what perspective you're looking for, nor where you currently feel you are in relation to the Church. But as you've mentioned trying to make more sense of things, I would strongly recommend balancing your research with more faithful perspectives, such as Brian Hales, whose work I linked to above, and whose research in the area of polygamy has been monumentally thorough. There's probably no living Latter-day Saint scholar more acquainted with the history of polygamy than Hales. Goldie Rose has also provided a number of helpful links to more faithful perspectives. I'm not suggesting, and I don't think Goldie is suggesting, that you read and uncritically accept what they have to say without consideration solely because they're aligned with the Church. But responsible historiography involves carefully weighing the reliability of sources and competing perspectives to draw one's own conclusions about what probably happened, and Haleigh Evert's history is, in my judgment, considerably more polemical and presentist than it is historical. I believe a faithful understanding of an inspired practice of polygamy is possible, even though there are inescapable gaps in the historical record, and scholars aren't unanimous on how to fill those gaps.

The hypocrisy is so insane to me. Do people just not know this? Do they choose to ignore it? Help me understand without just saying “people are imperfect.” It’s not ok for a prophet to coerce someone to marry them by threatening their own death. That’s not agency. It’s creepy and wrong.

I would suggest that your understanding of the polygamy issue is fundamentally flawed. I don't believe that Joseph ever willfully coerced anyone into marrying him, and there simply is no credible evidence that he ever threatened anyone with their own death if they refused. You are getting information from a deeply biased and unsympathetic source.

Lest I be misunderstood, I'm not suggesting that you only read "church-approved" material, or that everything outside of the "church publication" bubble is an anti-Mormon lie with no basis in reality. But in this case, I think you have been deeply misled by someone whose presentation of the history leaves little to no room for a faithful perspective, and I strongly urge you to consider seeking what faithful scholarship has to say on these questions. Church members are certainly imperfect and they do make mistakes, but your source is attributing to them motivations, thoughts, and actions which I believe go far beyond the historical record. 

I hope you find some answers here. I've been quite critical of your linked source, but I hope you know that I've no hard feelings toward either you or Haleigh Evert, and that I'm rooting for you. There's nothing fun, comfortable, or enjoyable about being uncertain and troubled in questions of faith and doubt, and whatever conclusions you eventually draw on these and other hard questions, I hope you're able to find peace, comfort, and happiness.

Genuinely,

Nines

A:

Dear you,

9S wrote down a lot of my thoughts, so I echo what he says.

I was going to watch the YouTube video, but when I started to read all of the comments, the Spirit just left and I didn't like how I was feeling.  How did you feel when you watched the video? 

As someone who has studied polygamy immensely in one of my recent board questions, I understand that some of the details of polygamy are really hard to handle. I too was bothered with some of the facts laid out before me. But instead of going to a Youtuber that has left the Church for more details, I found a podcast that interviewed Brian Hales. I think if you're willing to go to someone who has negative feelings towards the Church, you should at least listen to how Brian talks about polygamy, and go to the website that he helped put together. (His website is one of the few that the Church endorses on their official website.) I find the information that these websites have to be a lot more reliable than the Youtube video you provided. It shares the hard facts but tries to be unbiased.

The podcast highlights are "Why did Joseph Smith begin the practice of polygamy? And why didn’t Emma know about all his marriages? And how in the world can I explain polygamy to my kids?" It also refers to Mormon Polygamy Documents. It has hundreds of pages all about polygamy, and you can read directly from the source and form your own opinion about it. I honestly think what Brian said about polygamy made sense.  The fact that he's been studying it for years and understands it way better than I do, makes me feel better since he's still active in the Church. 

To be honest, this question kept me up at night. Mainly because one of my sisters left the Church due to polygamy (and other reasons), and she no longer believes in God. As I laid in bed past midnight, I went to FairMormon.org (now called FairLatterDaySaints.org) It's a place where many of my church concerns are answered. As I read more and more about polygamy on this website, the Spirit came back. I felt at peace, and I didn't feel so stressed. After reading as many sections as I could, I could finally quiet my mind and fall asleep.

There's an entire section on Mormonism and polygamy, Joseph Smith and polygamy, and a particular section that talks about Joseph coercing women that I think may help you.

Joseph Smith isn't perfect, I think we all know that. But I know he is a prophet of God. While we all recognize that polygamy is an insane mess that we can't exactly understand perfectly, I invite you to pray and ask God to help you understand what you've learned about polygamy- to give you the peace that you deserve. It's a hard subject, but I hope you're able to close this doctrinal question in your life and come out stronger because of it.

-Goldie Rose


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