"It's not spiders I dislike, just people." -Petra
Monday, August 20, 2018
Question #91541 posted on 08/20/2018 7:18 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm currently struggling with my life due to a series of bad decisions I made years ago. Everyday the feeling of loneliness and despair hang over my head and I'm not sure how to get out of it. All my friends are moving on with their lives and I find it hard to make new friends in and outside the church because of my past. I'm afraid they will look down on me. Therapy hasn't been helpful and I just want to have someone to talk to on a regular basis. Do you have any suggestions for my situation?

Thank you!

-Z

A:

Dear Aziraphale,

I wish I had words that would make this situation all right. But all I have are suggestions and thoughts on what has worked for me.

First and foremost, if you really just need someone to talk to, my email (anathema@theboard.byu.edu) is always open. Second, it sounds like vulnerability is a big barrier for you. Sometimes the only way we can get a connection that's worthwhile is by opening ourselves up, and risking being judged and hurt. It would be nice if there was a risk-free way, but that's not always the case.

I've found in my life that the people I've been able to form the deepest bonds with are the people I've opened up to, even when it was scary. But beyond that, there needs to be a certain level of connection that I instinctively feel towards the person; unfortunately, meeting someone where such a connection is present seems to be up to luck.

I'm sorry I can't offer anything more, but know that my best wishes go out to you.

~Anathema


0 Corrections
Posted on 08/20/2018 5:24 p.m. New Correction on: #91575 I remember that the Japanese TAs used to have office hours of sorts that you could ...
Question #91581 posted on 08/20/2018 2:36 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the craziest commercial or advertisement that you've seen recently?

-Insert Clever Name

A:

Dear you,

I saw a truck near campus for a company that makes traditional hand crafted wooden caskets. Some student probably works for the company and had the company car parked outside their apartment, but it still seemed really weird seeing an advertisement for hand crafted caskets in a neighborhood with a median age of like 23 or something.

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear you,

Here's three gems I encountered recently in Gabon and Congo:

Screen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.30.49 AM.png

Apparently a Belgian-Congolese friend of mine used the 'naise when she was little.
And it inspired me to pen the following inspirational poem:

"Me and my friend bought some mayonnaise
It was enough for days
So be amazed"

Oh, never mind. Moving on:

Screen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.31.10 AM.png

Snail slime? SNAIL YEAH!

Our last entrant gets better the longer one gazes upon it with awe. It may even be worthy of the great CATS.

Screen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.31.47 AM.png

Indeed. Yes and hello, product!

Need I say more, Central Africa?

takemymoney.jpg

Spoiler alert: it did.

Suerte,

--Ardilla Feroz


0 Corrections
Question #91279 posted on 08/20/2018 9:30 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Have any of you ever been to the center of Utah?

https://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=3194451

A:

Dear URL,

I have. In fact, I remember when that story first broke. They used to have the whole video on that news site, as well as a map you could download to help you get there. I still have a copy of that map, so here you go:

Center of Utah Map.JPG

I actually quite recommend you visit, if only for one reason: there is now a Pokéstop on the Center of Utah.

-A Writer


0 Corrections
Sunday, August 19, 2018
Question #91540 posted on 08/19/2018 9:06 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

A lot of the miracles in the Old Testament seem rather, odd. Why don't we see more Old Testament miracles in the modern days?

-MNH

A:

Dear you,

I don't know God's reasons for this, but I wouldn't be surprised if one of them was that we just have different needs. For example: you're probably reading this from somewhere in the US in the 21st century. When's the last time you would have been really, miraculously benefited by a stream of water emerging from a rock or a flock of quail landing in your camp? It may be that many of the miracles we receive today are less likely to be clearly "supernatural" and, perhaps, less likely to be properly credited to Heavenly Father.

I also think that there are still inexplicable miracles that happen today. The Old Testament is specifically scriptural, and thus miracles seem pretty common, because it's chronicling the relations of various groups of people with Heavenly Father. If you want to see a similar comparison in modern times, you need to look in similar records - not necessarily just canonized scripture, but documents that focus on prophets and the Gospel and people's religious experiences (so maybe everything from conference talks to people's personal journals and family histories. I think in this case you'd see more stories of modern-day miracles.

~Anne, Certainly


0 Corrections
Question #91533 posted on 08/19/2018 8:43 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm a freshman who doesn't have a car and won't be getting one anytime soon. I don't need a car (I live and work on-campus), but I definitely want one to be able to do fun off-campus stuff. (Most of my attempts to get rides somewhere have been unsuccessful.) Would a bike help me with my problem? Basically, is anything fun within biking distance of campus? Or would it be more hassle than it's worth? Any suggestions?

-Walking a Lot

A:

Dear keep the chickens in check, 

I view Board Question #83688, or "Vienna's Extensive List of Ways to Make Your Life Fun While You Live in Provo," as the premiere list of interesting, engaging and ofttimes esoteric activities to be found in and around Provo. You'll note a good number of the activities aren't within easy walking or biking distance... but many, many of them are. 

If you're in the market for an inexpensive bicycle, I'd recommend stopping by Provo's Bicycle Collective, a nonprofit that aims to "promote cycling as an effective and sustainable form of transportation, recreation, and as a cornerstone of a cleaner, healthier, and safer society. The Collective provides refurbished bicycles and educational programs to the community, focusing on children and lower income households." They can teach you how to repair your own bike and have tools available for you to use to keep things up and running. They would be an excellent resource to ask about bike-able things in the area, though between a bicycle, your free UTA pass, Frontrunner, TRAX, and the new, free UVX rapid-transit bus system in Utah Valley you should be able to reach most anywhere in Utah, Salt Lake, or Ogden valleys with relative ease.

Of course, if I am being honest, I got a bike from the Collective six months ago and while the bike hasn't had any issues, I apparently have an issue with wanting to move. It is possible the bicycle has not made such a difference in my explorations of my Utah environment. If you are lazy, maybe getting a bike won't help you either, and then you'll have a bike to feed and take care of and put through bicycle school and the bike could starve and die, the bike police could find you, charge you for bike neglect, imprison you in a work camp on the west side of Utah Lake where you'd work the rest of your freshman days herding bees, or whatever it is the kids at the work prison are doing these days. Where would we be then? Well, you'd be a bee herder, imprisoned, and I'd be at home, remorselessly eating honey by the ladleful from a soup tureen.

Let us consider instead, then, some good ways to get out and about into le Utah without a car, specifically, far, outdoors and difficult places. 

BYU Outdoor Adventure Club: Probably the main club I wish I'd spent more time with at BYU, this group is an amazing way to, well, do outdoor adventures. Backpacking, climbing, canyoneering... you have good opportunities to try these things, with the benefit of being able to catch a ride with someone who already has a car. They meet in the Wilk on Tuesday evenings (check the map at the entrance of the Wilk Tuesday evenings for its time and location).

The BYU Outdoor Adventure Club Facebook page started out as exactly what it sounds like, but has grown to also become one of the top resources for Utah Valley's outdoor adventurers to meet up and plan any number of cool outdoor things. At the time I wrote this question, there have been opportunities to zipline, rock climb, backpack and raft in the last month.

Adventures with Will began with a member of the Outdoor Adventure Club, and now aims to "introduce people to our wonderful outdoor world. Helping them create lifelong adventures with friends and the sports we introduce them to." Like the BYUOAC Facebook page, there's a number of people seeking fellow adventurers, and perhaps a greater number of planned excursions by the group itself.

Timpanogos Grotto is a local caving group interested in exploring Utah's underground spaces safely and respectfully. For years I thought becoming involved with a grotto was virtually impossible, but after going caving with them twice this year I've actually found them to be remarkably warm, friendly and welcoming. I'll be going underground again soon. Interested in caving? Say hello.

BONUS ROUND: Not satisfied? BYU's Two magazine has hundreds of dating (aka activity) ideas, many of which are bicycling-distance from BYU. I've linked three of their previous issues for you to peruse at your leisure.

 Suerte,

--Ardilla Feroz, from Cairo, Egypt

A:

Dear walker,

I just want to remind you that UTA IS FREE TO BYU STUDENTS THIS COMING FALL!!! In case you can't tell, I'm MAJORLY excited for this! I too do not own a car, and this change means that we can travel down to Salt Lake City whenever we want for free! So be sure to factor that into your decision of getting a bike.

-guppy of doom

A:

Dear Walking,

Center Street has a lot of fun activities, and it's within biking distance of campus! To entice you, here's a cool list of fun things on Center Street: lots of restaurants, Bruges Waffles and Fries (basically another restaurant, but definitely worth mentioning on its own), the Provo City Center Temple, the soap factory, a Virtual Reality studio, sometimes rooftop concerts, and various comedy clubs. It's a happening place.

-Alta


0 Corrections
Question #91549 posted on 08/19/2018 8:35 p.m.
Q:

Dear theologians of the 100 Hour Board,

I saw this theory floated recently on a forum I frequent, and it was one that had occurred to me previously. I'm wondering if any of you have an opinion on it.

Is it possible that, just like the men of the Church hold a power that comes from their Father in Heaven, the women of the Church are meant to have a power that comes from their Mother in Heaven? That there's a priestesshood order that hasn't been restored yet because we as a people aren't prepared to receive it? That there's a lot more to learn about our Mother in Heaven, and that when more about her nature is revealed, it will come with a more plentiful and meaningful understanding of women's role in the Church?

If such a possibility resonates with you, do you want to speculate on what such a priestesshood might look like, and what it might be intended to do? Obviously with the disclaimer that mere speculation does not equal doctrine and that you're not presuming to prescribe how God ought to run his church.

-tired of feeling inferior to men

A:

Dear same,

While I'm a huge supporter of men and women being more equal, that theory rather rubs me the wrong way. I guess that's because it really sounds like the "Two Trees" theory, which I loathe with every fiber of my being, because it just provides a justification for the patriarchy and doesn't allow for any change. 

Let me explain.

This theory was made by Valerie Hudson. Usually I adore Hudson - she's written some amazing things, including Sex and World Peace which is the most fantastic book EVER and everyone should read it. Basically Hudson writes that women need to have equal power as men and be on the same governing boards and governments as men because otherwise most of the problems in the world won't be solved. But then she goes and writes "The Two Trees" where she argues that everything is fine the way it is, and women shouldn't be arguing for a place at the table or for more representation in the Church. And this talk is all mental gymnastics on why women shouldn't be equally represented in the Lord's kingdom, though in other works she argues it's crucial women are represented in the governments across the world.

[Quick note: while basically all of this is drawn from the talk given at Fair Mormon which I linked to above, some of it comes from when she spoke at one of my classes. Furthermore, I'm not arguing for women to get the priesthood in this answer, I just agree with Sunday Night Banter's response below that we need to look for ways to give women a more equal role. Hudson is arguing for the status quo and effectively shutting down any woman or man who speaks up and says, "But wait, things aren't equal and should change."]

At first glance, the theory sounds pretty good. Just as there's two trees in the Garden of Eden, heaven and earth are seen as those two trees. Eve chose to partake of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, thereby bringing life into the world. (Note: Eve partaking of the fruit was GOOD. I completely agree with Hudson here. Read her talk, read this, or ask me a question about it.) Hence, women's role in this life is as mothers. Not only do women bring life into the world, they also teach their children or others good from bad. Adam's tree, then, is the tree of life. Just as Eve brings life from heaven to earth, Adam uses his priesthood to bring life from earth to heaven. Both have their own ordinances: men have baptisms, the gift of the Holy Ghost, sealings, etc. Women have pregnancy and lactation (breastfeeding). While Eve may have been called to hearken unto Adam, "Adam hearkened first to Eve" by partaking of the fruit when she gave it to him. Men follow their mothers, get married, and "covenant to be the equal partner of your sweetheart." And we've misunderstood Genesis 3:16, because "'rule over' uses the Hebrew bet, which means ruling with, not ruling over." And here is the part that your question reminded me of: "Priesthood is a man’s apprenticeship to become a heavenly father, and I believe that women have their own apprenticeship to become like their heavenly mother."

That sounds really nice, doesn't it? But some cracks appear when you start to look closer.

First off, the main point of this theory is to say priesthood = motherhood. There are so many problems with this. Not all righteous women can be mothers, but all righteous men can be priesthood holders. Women must be married and be fertile to have children. Men do not have to be married and do not have to be fertile to hold the priesthood. Motherhood = biological and priesthood = worthiness. Hudson tries to avoid this by (at least in my class) pointing out that women also teach right from wrong, and "think of those poor orphans in Russia who had such struggles because they did not have a mother to teach them." What is she saying about single fathers? Can men not teach children right from wrong? Is a child raised by a single father as good as an orphan?

It's clear that women have no power over their tree without a man, but men have control over their tree without a woman. 

Let's skip "Adam hearkened first to Eve" (we'll get back to that shortly) and get to men following women when they're children. So it's okay and justified for women to obey and hearken unto men because men followed their mothers when they were children? Would you be comfortable agreeing that all cultures and countries hearken unto and respect women because all children hearken unto their mothers? In addition, where do men "covenant to be the equal partner of your sweetheart"? There is no place in the Church that men covenant to that. (And Mormon married couples, remember what you agreed to.) The Family Proclamation blessedly says it, but also says men are to preside. If they are presiding over their wife, then they're not truly equal partners. I don't care what Genesis word is actually used, because the (mis)understanding we all have of it is engrained in our scriptures, our doctrine, our culture, and our temples. Christ told men to pluck out their eyes if they were tempted by a woman or what she was wearing, but we know from the multiple questions we've received lately that our culture does not care about that.

"Women have their own apprenticeship to become like their heavenly mother"? So I'm going to be unknown to most of my children? They're going to be told not to talk to me? They're never going to discuss me, or think about me, or wonder where I am or if I care about them? I'm not going to be able to talk to them? We paint our heaven in the similitude of what we see on earth, so is it any surprise that we see no woman in it, or if we do, that we refuse to talk to her or let others talk about her? 

This is why I loathe this theory. Because it provides justification for the patriarchy. It tells men and women to be content with what we have now. It tells men and women to not worry about, to accept, the underrepresentation of women in Church leadership and heaven. It tells women to be content with her lot, ignoring that there is so much that is wrong that we need to talk about before we can change anything.

I don't want my Heavenly Mother's priestesshood because I don't know anything about her. All I've been told so far is that she gives birth. Her divine power is motherhood. Which is great, except when you realize the equivalent of motherhood is not the priesthood. The equivalent of motherhood is fatherhood. 

Before I wrap up, I promised I'd address "Adam hearkened first to Eve." Hudson later expounded on this: "We know that for the endowment, for those of use en route to the Second Tree, the daughters of God hearken to the sons of God in their apprenticeship to Heavenly Father. I think it’s quite possible that en route to the First Tree there was also a covenanting, where the sons of God covenanted to hearken to the daughters of God in their apprenticeship to Heavenly Mother, and that Adam’s partaking of the fruit from the hand of his wife, Eve, was his fulfillment of that covenant." En route. En route. Hudson is saying that it's okay women covenant to obey men in this life because men covenanted to obey women in the preexistence. She is literally making up doctrine to justify women serving men.

This is what happens. Because there's no way to justify this. You have to literally make up doctrine in order to feel okay with women's position in the Church.

Sorry, that was probably quite a bit more than you were expecting. Basically (tl;dr) no, because the majority of Mormons view Heavenly Mother as a sacred baby-making machine, and giving birth is her priestesshood, and I don't (and I'm sure Heavenly Mother as well doesn't) want to be defined and limited by only that.

-guppy of doom

A:

Dear you,

You asked for my opinion, so here it is. I don't think speculating about doctrine (especially when there is no mention at all of what you are speculating about) is beneficial. Is it beneficial to look for ways in the LDS Church to give women a more equal role? Abso-freaking-lutely. But speculating about something to make the unequal seem equal doesn't quite feel right.

I'm trusting that God knows how to lead his Church and that hopefully, one day, women and men will both feel equal (not the same) in the Church.

-Sunday Night Banter


0 Corrections
Question #91566 posted on 08/19/2018 8:25 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I really enjoyed reading the article linked in one of the answers to question 91527. It got me thinking: are there any other articles on sex/sexuality that the board writers would recommend (Obviously, tasteful ones that help educate, which I doubt I even had to mention, but please don't block me editors.)

Thanks,
pizza

A:

Dear pizza,

My old roommate was once studying to be an OBGYN, so I passed the question onto her, and here's what she sent me! 

(Note: these articles are about sex. So if you don't feel comfortable with that, then don't open them.)

What sex ed may not have told you (basically misconceptions about sex) - link

Consent - link, link, link (The last one is the NYT stories, so TRIGGER WARNING.)

Consent video that EVERYONE needs to watch (seriously. Everyone.) - link

Female orgasms (admittedly I wasn't going to link this but then I remembered various (male and female) Church leaders who said "sex is for men and women don't really like sex" and other women who told me they never realized sex was supposed to NOT be painful FOR THEIR FIRST FEW YEARS OF MARRIAGE and I realized we really need to clear up those misconceptions) - link

Also quick note about the above - I have several (Mormon, non-Mormon, married, unmarried) friends who have told me sex was painful for them for the longest time, but they just thought that's the way it should be. From everything my past roommate taught me and all the articles I've read, sex is NOT supposed to be painful. Take it slow. Communicate. Sex is meant to be pleasurable for both people, and if your partner doesn't care about your pleasure then that's a huge red flag.

John Oliver on sex ed (warning for language, but I highly suggest it) - link

Some Mormon takes: link, link, link (the last one is the fantastic BYU devotional about consent)

A webcomic about sex that is surprisingly educational and does a better job teaching sex ed than most schools (warning: it definitely takes a non-Mormon "sleeping around is a-okay!" view, but it does teach about what the clitoris is, why it's important to use protection, asexuality, etc. Though since it is constantly updating I can't guarantee how good it will be in a few weeks): link

Teaching children about sex (I highly suggest watching the full lecture at the end; I went to it and it was fantastic! Basically, talk with your kids openly and unashamedly about sex, focus on the positive, because that leads to children waiting longer until their first sexual experience and being less likely to be talked into having sex prematurely): link

If you have any specific questions, please email me at guppyofdoom@theboard.byu.edu because if I can't find your answer, my roommate definitely can!

-guppy of doom


0 Corrections
Question #91569 posted on 08/19/2018 8:06 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

From what I understand, if someone is free of diseases (including STDS) or infections (including UTIs) then their urine is sterile but their feces is not. If this same person is a woman, is their menstual fluid sterile as well? This is assuming they are actually free of disease and not asymptomatic of course.

Thanks,
Schrodinger's curious cat

A:

Dear Alive/Dead,

"Menstrual fluid" is mostly blood (along with a little bit of cervical mucus, vaginal discharge, and uterine tissue). Sterility in this case is the absence of "bacteria or other living microorganisms," and in a healthy person without any diseases or infections, blood and organ tissue should both be sterile. So in the uterus, yes, the menstrual blood of a healthy person is completely sterile. To leave the body, though, it has to pass through the vagina, which naturally contains some bacteria, and of course once it leaves the body it can pick up bacteria from the outside world, so any menstrual blood you would come in contact with is not sterile. Of course, the menstrual blood of a healthy person would still be much more sterile, comparatively, than the menstrual blood of someone with STD's or infections, but you get the idea.

-Alta


0 Corrections
Question #91575 posted on 08/19/2018 10:42 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I remember that the Japanese TAs used to have office hours of sorts that you could go practice speaking with them. There was an area in the JKB where they has an area set up for them. My question is twofold: do they still do that and can I go to get help from them if I'm a student but not enrolled in a Japanese class?

Thanks

A:

Dear akira,

It doesn't look like any of us knows, though last I checked, they still had that practice area. As for whether you can receive help or not, I imagine you'd just have to go and give it a shot. If a reader knows more about this, feel free to correct me. 

Suerte,

--Ardilla Feroz


1 Correction