"When you get a little older, you'll see how easy it is to become lured by the female of the species." - 1960's Batman TV show
Question #67292 posted on 04/19/2012 4:14 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My friend is often tired and said they have been like this their whole life. Their theory is that they have low blood pressure. Is that theory true and, if so, can you raise your blood pressure? If it is not true, what makes someone easily tired?

- friend

A:

Dear friend,

When I was much younger I actually had a weird low blood pressure type issue for several months at one point, and it left me tired all the time. It's not really clear why I had it, and after getting a priesthood blessing I recovered. The main thing I was told to do to raise my blood pressure was to make sure I had plenty of salt and electrolytes. My mom made sure to buy and have around salt and vinegar potato chips, pretzels, Gatorade, etc. There was a time when I was even taking supplemental salt pills. I was literally on a high-sodium diet. (Think how liberating that is. And now my blood pressure is normal but still on the low end of the range, so I can still eat all the salt I want.)

Your friend should probably see a doctor to get some real medical evaluation of her idea. It's not hard to test her blood pressure to find out if it really is low in general. If her blood pressure is generally normal but tends to drop when friend stands up (which can be tested with a tilt-table test), friend could have an autonomic nervous system issue (this was my diagnosis), although this doesn't fit very well with the idea of her having had it her whole life. Anemia, thyroid issues, and a few other things that could be discovered by basic blood tests can cause long-term fatigue. Perhaps friend has sleep apnea (this and a few other ideas came from here). There are also a few syndromes that describe people with otherwise unexplained fatigue, notably chronic fatigue syndrome, but these are mostly just labels; they don't represent well-understood conditions and there aren't definitive treatment methods for them. 

As I dealt with a problem like this, my tremendously supportive parents were the main influence that did help; they demonstrated a lot of faith and helped me to keep my chin up and keep doing what I could. I think solutions to this type of problem should be sought on all levels (you can't neglect what medicine can do for you), but in my personal opinion getting your problems spiritually and emotionally figured out actually helps you medically as well and tends to be the most important thing for your quality of life. You can't get hung up on the medical aspect at the expense of everything else.  

Reiterating, if this is really a problem, a doctor should be consulted. Let us all remember that I am an engineer, not a doctor, so you shouldn't take my statements about health issues any more seriously than you'd take your doctor's thoughts on finite element analysis.

~Professor Kirke

Question #67253 posted on 04/19/2012 3:32 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I was poking around in the archives and came across Board Question #54609, which correctly* predicted in 2009 that Mitt Romney would be the Republican presidential nominee. That got me wondering--what other things has the Board correctly predicted? Bonus points for being surprisingly accurate, making predictions well in advance, or predicting something really unlikely.

-yayfulness

(*I'm acting under the assumption that we are not going to see a horrific implosion of Romney's campaign before the convention, or that Newt Gingrich somehow proves that there's a reason for him not to drop out, or that Ron Paul does something epic.)

A:

Dear Yay,

In this question from 2007, Just Another Cassio correctly predicted that "The Segway will remain the modern-day equivalent to the propeller beanie."

Now that's what I call a good prediction.

–Concealocanth

A:

Dear yayfulness,

Here are a few questions you might find fun: General predictions for 2004; everyone being right about the 2004 presidential election; everyone being wrong about the 2008 presidential election; some of the writers (wrongly) predict their own retirements (and others rose from the dead for a period, metaphorically speaking); I don't know anything about LOST but maybe one of these writers was right; and, awesomely, Niffler predicts something about the Harry Potter series (spoilers!! (though, seriously, if you don't know this already then you're oblivious))

And here is one we should all bookmark and look at a few years from now: music predictions.

-Mico

Question #67287 posted on 04/19/2012 2:56 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My husband complains that I make the same things for dinner too much (which I dont know what he expects). How can I switch up my cooking to suffice him yet still make easy quick things after a long day of classes and work?

-nom nom nom

A:

Dear nom,

If he wants the right to complain, tell him to cook every once in a while.

--Pilgrim

A:

Dear Nutmeg,

I agree with Pilgrim. You can also, in his portion, slowly add more and more cayenne pepper. That will make his meal more exciting in any case.

Also, if you're willing to change your entire menu based on complaints, your future kids are so going to walk all over you.

-Marguerite St. Just

A:

Dear nommy nom,

If he expects you to make exciting new meals all the time, then you should expect him to get a super high-paying job that allows you to sit at home all day thinking up exciting new meals or that allows you to eat out every night. Just saying.

-Mico

P.S. Okay, to be helpful, I've linked to my favorite chili recipe here. It is easy and delicious!

A:

Dear nommy,

I agree with everything the others have said. If you're in school and working, he should be sharing equally with the duties of the house. If you already are sharing equally, maybe you could trade a couple meals for some of his chores?

Assuming that you still want to find quick and easy recipes, this website is a good resource. You could even have your husband pick out the recipes and write down ingredient lists for whichever of you does the grocery shopping. 

-Hamilton

A:

Dear Nom, 

I think you might be interested in buying one of the frajillions of 30/15/20 minute meals cookbooks out there. Or you might be interested in the cheaper method of googling fast recipes. Here's a cool 15 minute dinner builder based on ingredients you have!

–Concealocanth

Question #67286 posted on 04/19/2012 2:50 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is your favorite fast easy meal to make?

-nom nom nom

A:

Dear Duchess,

Chicken Squares (there are gazillions of variations on this name; this is the one I grew up calling it)! Sooo easy (also, I tend to cook based off of what looks good, not accurate amounts).

  • 1 canister Pillsbury croissant rolls, separated and unrolled on a greased cookie sheet
  • 1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 small package cream cheese
  • a pinch of salt, pepper, and chicken bullion 
  • 2 Tbs milk
  • 4-ish Tbs butter (softened)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine chicken, cream cheese, salt, pepper, bullion, milk, and butter. Spoon mixture into the center of each croissant roll dough. Fold up the corners of the dough to make little packages. Cook until golden brown (10-15 minutes, I think). Eat. 

-Azriel

A:

Dear nom,

This question prompted a disturbing epiphany: I'm not sure I really make meals. If cold cereal counts, that is my answer.

If I don't get married to someone who cooks, I might not even live long enough to become a menace to society...

~Professor Kirke

A:

Dear nom et al.,

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

-Art Vandelay

A:

Dear Basil,

I find my mom's Sloppy Joes fast and easy to make, but maybe you have different standards than I do.

2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
½ can tomato soup
½ cup catsup
2 heaping tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. chili powder
1½ - 2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. salt
1½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1½ tsp. yellow mustard
16 hamburger buns

Add onions to ground beef and brown until thoroughly cooked. In medium bowl mix remaining ingredients. Add to beef and mix well. Simmer for 30 minutes.

To be fair, I've never been good at following recipes. I sort of take measurements as suggestions and instead go by the spirit when it comes to amounts.

-Marguerite St. Just

Question #67285 posted on 04/19/2012 2:50 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

One of my most favorite fast and easy meals is this boxed dinner . It is so delicious and easy, yet I can't seem to buy it anymore at my grocery store.

Can you find me a recipe to make it from scratch?

-nom nom nom

A:

Dear Magrit Garlic,

I've never in my life eaten this dish, much less from the box. However, there are loads of "copycat" recipes across the internet, so you might start with one of those. 

-Azriel

Question #67281 posted on 04/19/2012 2:50 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

You see a cute girl on campus. How do you approach her? (Please, guys, let the girls answer this one. Unless you are really, really good at it.)

-My Name Here

A:

Dear Our Song,

Usually it's best to approach on foot, though in certain, very rare cases, rolling up on a Segway, crawling, or waltzing towards her may also be acceptable.

–Concealocanth

A:

Dear My Name Here,

So you think the Board is full of girls who pick up other girls?

-glib

A:

Dear nameless,

You can find some of my techniques here.

-Hamilton

A:

Dear Polly Perks,

Usually I just keep walking, until I hit my reflection in the mirror or the window. That's always a little painful, not to mention embarrassing.

-Azriel

A:

Dear Paprika,

I've never gone amiss approaching with, "Hey, that's a super cute shirt/skirt/necklace!" and then I keep walking because mission accomplished and everyone's day is better.

-Marguerite St. Just

A:

Dear Name,

From the front is usually safest. I'm not a fan of sneak attacks, though in certain cases, provided that this cute girl is already a friend of yours and not likely to collapse, awkward koala greetings are acceptable. 

-The Entropy Ninja, whose roommate was affectionately dubbed a "four-koala tree" after one eventful evening

Question #67279 posted on 04/19/2012 2:50 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm not much of a cook, but I do enjoy experimenting with food. I also run my refrigerator like an inventory, and now that I'm getting ready to move out for the summer, I'd like to get that inventory as close to zero as possible to avoid waste. So, here's my question: Given the following available items, what interesting dishes could you create? (Sandwiches are off limits, since I basically live off of them already. Also, I realize this probably won't get posted until I'm already about to move out, but I'm still curious about what your ideas are.)

-Two loaves of bread
-A container and a half of yogurt
-Cereal
-Instant oatmeal
-Two green bell peppers
-1/4 red bell pepper
-1/2 onion
-Several clementines
-One banana
-One full jar of peanut butter
-Half a container of honey
-Half a container of jelly
-A bag of sugar
-Vegetable oil
-Spaghetti sauce
-Pasta
-Three roma tomatoes
-Lunch meat
-A dozen eggs
-Two grapefruits
-About a pound of ground beef
-One can of Chunky soup
-A large block of cheddar cheese
-A small square of mozzarella cheese
-A bag of ancient candy

These are your available resources. I'll give you leeway to buy one additional ingredient, if you can get it within walking distance of campus or you think I can borrow it from my roommates. The most creative dish wins!

-yayfulness

A:

Dear yayfulness,

I think you may find this recipe-finder useful. You tell it what ingredients you want to use, and it give you recipes with those ingredients. For example, if I put in ground beef, cheddar cheese, and bell peppers, I get this recipe for southwestern burgers. 

- ER

A:

Dear Yay,

I think you could use the yogurt, honey, grapefruit, bananas, and clementines to make a smoothie. I'd use the peanut butter, bread, and jelly to make a creative, avant-garde dish I like to call "pb & j." You could use the lunch meat, tomatoes, and cheese to make sandwiches too. I'd use all the eggs for cheese and onion omelettes. I suggest also the daring move of combining the spaghetti sauce with the spaghetti, and possibly also the ground beef and onion to make spaghetti. Alternatively to all this, you could tear the bread into tiny pieces and bake it until it becomes hard breadcrumbs. Then, combined with the vegetable oil, you could bread and fry every other ingredient you have. Breaded and fried Lucky Charms! If that doesn't sound like a delicious, healthy meal, I'm not sure what does.

Just get rid of the bell peppers. Those are no good as an ingredient, due to their highly displeasing taste. Actually, one enterprising student figured out that for some reason they're a fun object to place underneath the seats of the Benson lecture halls. I have no idea how or why it came to be, but once my friend handed me a bell pepper he'd found under his seat mid-lecture, and after the initial whispered "Where did you get this?" conversation, I had to try really, really hard not to laugh. It was just so random. Use your bell peppers, and all other nasty-tasting "foodstuffs" to promote the whimsical absurdity of everyday life.

–Concealocanth

A:

Dear Yayfullness,

It looks like you have the ingredients to make meatloaf (turns out that if you have ground beef, eggs, oats/bread and any other ingredient, you have ingredients to make meatloaf. My mom used to put jelly, applesauce, any and all condiments, salad dressing, leftover casserole, etc., etc. into her delicious, delicious meatloaf). You'll use the following in my recipe:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 green bell peppers and 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 onion
  • 5-6 slices of bread (you can substitute for 1/2 cup of oats if you prefer)
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • a small square of mozzarella cheese
  • a half block of cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil (if you have plain yogurt, you can use 1/4-1/2 cup of yogurt instead)
  • salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste (garlic powder would be great)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Chop onions, bell peppers, and 1 tomato. Shred all of your cheese. Cube your bread. 
3.  In a large bowl, mix together your beef, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, half of your cheese and all of your spices. Mix in bread,  oil, and one egg. Add a second egg if the mixture isn't very moist. 
4. In a separate bowl, mash 2 tomatoes. If you can mooch off a neighbor, add 2 Tbsp. of vinegar. Mix in sugar and honey. 
5. Press the meat mixture into a 9X13 inch pan. Leave a half inch on the sides so that fat can accumulate there. Spread your tomato-and-sugar mixture on top of your loaf. Sprinkle the rest of your cheese on top of that.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 90-120 minutes.  You'll know it's done when it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Alternatively, you can cut into it to make sure that it is no longer pink.

The rest of your ingredients look pretty self-explanatory. Eat your cereal with milk. Eat your bread with peanut butter and jelly (I know you forbade them, but they're classic!). Bite straight into your remaining cheese and enjoy the guilty pleasure (or eat it with lunch meat and bread, whatever). Bon appetit!

The author of one of my favorite food blogs wanted to chip in as well. Here are her ideas (she has a few ingredients that you will need to borrow/steal/purchase):

  • 4 omelettes using eggs, 1 bell pepper, onion, cheese and lunchmeat
  • This broiled grapefruit recipe using your grapefruit and yogurt (borrow brown sugar and cinnamon)
  • Make these meatballs with your ground beef (with some adaptation). Use your pasta and sauce. (bread for breadcrumbs)
  • Make these sandwiches. Buy some basil.
  • Make these cookies. Borrow stuff.
--Pilgrim
Question #67096 posted on 04/19/2012 2:44 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My buddy just got sent home halfway through boot camp because of medical issues related to his mission. He honorably served two years in South America. I was really excited for him to join the military. He's not entirely certain what he wants to do (and doesn't have the grades for college), so I figured the military would help him out. Now he's being sent home. I'm kind of finding myself upset at God. My friend picked up his illness while being a great missionary. Then he was going to get his life figured out but got kicked down again. I feel like God should be looking out for him. So my question is how do I not blame God when bad things happen to people that are seeking to do His will and making choices that they believe He has directed them to make?

-Perturbed Provobian

A:

Dear Perturbed,

You simply need to stop seeing it as a bad thing. For all you know, your buddy's medical issues could be a wonderful blessing. I know that sounds odd, but sometimes physical restrictions can force people to make changes in their lives that they would never have considered otherwise. When I look at the path my life has taken, the people I've met, the things I've accomplished, I marvel at all the tiny factors that have influenced those outcomes. I sometimes try to piece it all together, wondering if things would have gone a different way if this or that had happened, but it's all one big butterfly effect. 

You think God should have been looking out for your friend. Who's to say he's not? I once had to stop working at a job I loved because of my health. My body simply broke down, and it was beyond frustrating to no longer be able to do things that once came easily to me. Am I glad that I have health problems? Not exactly, but it forced me to develop new skills, which is ultimately a good thing. You're mad at God because life is full of twists and turns? That's just a fact of life. God points us in worthwhile directions, knowing it won't directly lead us to our end destination, but that the experience will be for our good. There are a million reasons why your friend wasn't meant to have a career in the military, you just don't know them yet.

-Genuine Article

A:

Dear Perturbed Provobian,

In addition to Genuine Article's remarks and in the same vein, you might want to read about Hugh B. Brown's experience, referenced by Elder Christofferson in the April 2011 General Conference. He had everything going for him in the military, was unjustly denied a promotion, and ended up being better off because of it. (An older article offers some added perspective.) It's hard to see the long term as we live in the short term, but God often has long-term purposes we don't fully understand.

Also, sometimes we're spiritually guided to do something that ultimately does not serve the purpose we expected, as happened so famously with Zion's Camp. I've seen this in my own life. It's helpful to reserve judgment on such things until we've had time to develop perspective on them.

~Professor Kirke

A:

Dear Rosemary,

As I was thinking about and writing your answer, I listened to General Conference and some of those talks (especially President Eyring's Saturday morning talk) seem to answer your question perfectly. However, since I've already put enough effort into my answer that deleting it makes me sad, you can either read his talk, read my answer, do both or read neither. Your choice!

I'm hoping the "friend" is actually you because otherwise the "how do I not blame God" when it's your friend's thing is weird. And none of your business. Because God's plan for your friend doesn't have to be your plan. Do you get mad at God when your friends don't get into the university of their choosing or aren't accepted for a job they want or even if their sports team loses at an event? I would imagine not.

Now if the "friend" is actually you, or even if the friend isn't you right now, I can guarantee you're going to face some major disappointments in life; it just happens. I think it's okay to tell God how angry and disappointed you are by the situation. He gets it. He knows you're hurting and can handle hearing you say it. Sometimes life really, really sucks and it's okay to acknowledge that.

On my mission my companion made me play a game called "It Actually Works Out Better." When something went wrong, she'd say, "It actually works out better because..." and make me finish telling her why it worked out better. Admittedly it was a mission, so the most disappointing things were missed appointments or getting lost in unfamiliar towns, but the habit stuck and now I automatically try to see how things are actually working out better. For things as big as an unexpected career falling through it might not be as easy. As Zora Neale Hurston said, "There are years that ask questions and years that answer." Some trials take time and perspective to see how they actually worked out better.

For FHE the other week, my roommates and I read Elder Holland's "Lessons from Liberty Jail" which is very applicable for your friend. In this talk he compares Liberty Jail, an undeniably difficult and unpleasant experience for the men who were there, to a temple in that it's where Joseph Smith and those with him grew and received inspiration and knowledge. Elder Holland also teaches us:

Furthermore, we note that not only has the Savior suffered, in His case entirely innocently, but so have most of the prophets and other great men and women recorded in the scriptures. Name an Old Testament or Book of Mormon prophet, name a New Testament Apostle, name virtually any of the leaders in any dispensation, including our own, and you name someone who has had trouble.

My point? If you are having a bad day, you’ve got a lot of company—very, very good company. The best company that has ever lived.

As Elder Holland points out, your friend isn't the only person seeking to do God's will who has suffered or experienced disappointments. That doesn’t mean it isn't difficult, but it's not a sign that God hates you or a reason to hate God.

I love this statement by Larry Crab: "The battle is not to improve our circumstances, to supply us with money, to protect us from suffering, to keep us safe from pain and struggle, or to quickly fix whatever problems develop in our bodies. We are encouraged to pray for all these things, but we must always finish our prayer with that wonderful caveat that in our immaturity we find so annoying: if it be Thy will."

It's not wrong or bad to try to get inspiration and follow it, but you must be ready to accept that it may not be what God has in store for your life. In fact, the times we grow the most are when things don't go the way we'd planned.

The talk "Decisions For Which I've Been Grateful" by Elder Clayton Christensen may possibly be my favorite talk of all time. In it, Elder Christensen talks about how he gained his testimony by committing to read the Book of Mormon every night from 11 o'clock to 12 o'clock in order to know if it was true. He then talks about gaining his testimony, but my favorite part of the talk is this part where he says:

I love to return to Oxford. Most of the people there are either students or they’re tourists who have come to look at a beautiful university. But I love to return there because it’s a sacred place, and I can look at the windows of that room where I lived, and I think that that’s the place that I learned that Jesus is the Christ, that he is my living Redeemer, and that Joseph Smith was the prophet of the restoration for the true church. I just wanted to tell this to you because some of you probably came here to Rexburg already having learned for yourself that this is God’s church. But for those of you that may still be living on the testimony of others, I invite you to set aside an hour every day and find out for yourself if this is true, because it will change your heart as it has changed mine. And someday you’ll be able to come back here to Rexburg, and whereas other people are here for many different reasons, you’ll be able to go to the place where you lived at the time that God revealed this to you, and point at it to your children and your spouse, and say “That’s a sacred place because that’s where I learned that Jesus is the Christ.”

This is my favorite part because I know what he means. I expected to get married and never, ever, ever in a million years wanted to go on a mission. Instead, I realized I needed to go on a mission though it wasn't what I thought I'd wanted and certainly not what I'd planned. I know the exact location (the flat I was in for the first nine months of my mission) where I also gained my testimony, and I gained it not in spite of it being hard and stressful, but because of it.

I love the beautiful poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox entitled “Gethsemane.” The last stanza, particularly, expresses a thought you might find helpful:

All those who journey, soon or late,
Must pass within the garden’s gate;
Must kneel alone in darkness there,
And battle with some fierce despair.
God pity those who cannot say,
“Not mine but thine,” who only pray,
“Let this cup pass,” and cannot see
The purpose in Gethsemane.

I have a lot of friends and family members who have experienced disappointments when things didn’t go the way they’d hoped or planned. Recently I was talking with a friend about your question. She wanted me to share her story:

My senior year of high school, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had a six-and-a-half hour brain surgery two weeks later. Obviously this trial threw my entire life into a spin. I was in a wheelchair for two months. I had to relearn how to walk and to deal with extreme nausea caused by extreme double vision. I couldn’t see for the entire second semester of my senior year. I didn’t think life could get much worse. Anything I had planned for my life was changed instantly. Everything important to me, especially with regard to school and sports, could no longer be a part of my plans. I too had feelings of “Why is God doing this to me right now?” But looking back on the experience, I realize it was not a trial but a blessing in my life—for many reasons. For one, I really learned what it’s like to have to completely rely on the Lord with full faith and to accept whatever plan He had for me. Secondly, I learned the importance of families and how much they mean to me. Third, I really learned how to be humble and realize it’s okay to ask for help sometimes. Lastly, I ended up completely changing career plans as a result of this surgery, and I am now on a path I couldn’t imagine my life without. So tell your friend to just keep holding out strong, and have faith that God has a better plan for him than he may realize. Advise him to read his patriarchal blessing often if he has one (and if not, tell him to strongly consider getting one), and to remember that God will never give him any trial that he can’t handle—which means God must really think a lot of him if He knows your friend can handle whatever he is going through.

My list, as well as everyone else’s list, could go on and on. I have a former coworker who was disappointed that she didn’t make it into the Tabernacle Choir last fall (she got really close, though). Shortly after that she got a job promotion that took up a lot of her time. It actually worked out better for her because she was able to accept that promotion.

Especially inspiring in my own life is how my mother couldn’t have children, which is what she planned to do with her life, and instead had to wait 16 years to get my sister and me. Sixteen years is a long time to see the reasons for the delay, but she’s probably one of the most amazing and influential women I know.

Sometimes I think about the idea of getting everything I ever wanted or planned for, but then I look back on the things I didn’t get and the things I got instead, and I realize they actually were better for me. Why would I want to limit my blessings with the things I can imagine when God can plan something so much better?

The bottom line is that God is watching out for your friend and for you and for all of us who put our faith and trust in Him. We should not try to second guess Him. He knows the end from the beginning and knows what is best for all of us. I love this quote, which I feel is very pertinent to your question, from Elder Richard G. Scott: “Ask, and ye shall receive” does not assure that you will get what you want. It does guarantee that, if worthy, you will get what you need, as judged by a Father who loves you perfectly, who wants your eternal happiness even more than you do.

-Marguerite St. Just

A:

Dear Perturbed,

I won't to add too much to the already great answers. I just want to mention a personal thought regarding the ever persistent "why do bad things happen to good people?" question. I agree with the examples and talks mentioned above – bad things can often become blessings in disguise. It can force us to learn new things and gain new perspectives, and spiritual, personal growth is a good thing. But I worry sometimes that when bad situations are painted too broadly in this fashion, the “God closes a door but opens a window” style I’ll call it, I wonder if it minimizes 1) our responsibility to others who are suffering (“It’s must be something they need to go through to learn a valuable lesson!”) or 2) our ability to autonomously choose to exercise our agency (“There must be something God wants me to learn from this! So why won’t he tell me what it is?!”).

I really believe that, despite the existence of an all-knowing, all-loving God, who has a perfect plan for all of us, sometimes terrible things just happen for no reason that will ever become apparent. Horrible things just happen to people. To all people: The Book of Mormon talks about women and children being burned alive for believing in Christ (and thousands more were killed later for simply being on the wrong side of a war). The handcart pioneers buried their dead children in frozen prairie land. Shiite women and children on their way to worship are killed by suicide bombers. An honorably discharged veteran’s life falls apart due to incapacitating post-traumatic stress disorder. But here is the thing: none of this, not one aspect of these or the infinite number of examples of human pain and suffering and loss, changes the fact that God loves his children. In my opinion, religion, even true religion, does not have all the answers. But the answers we do have help to put this short, sometimes difficult life, into a better perspective. Trying to remember that bad things happen to all people, regardless of the goodness of their lives, might help you remember that we are all in this together, and more grateful that we know it is not forever.

- Rating Pending (who, in a related topic, believes that the oft-repeated Book of Mormon promise, “If you keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land,” might be a somewhat time- and group- specific promise that is only broadly applicable when considering the spiritual, eternal aspects of the word “prosper”)

Question #67179 posted on 04/19/2012 2:02 p.m.
Q:

yo 100 Hour Board,

How do you guys pray always or always remember Christ? I am good in the morning when I have scripture study. But besides meals I never pray until the end of the day. I know I should and recognize times prayer would have helped me, but at the time I never think to do it. How do you guys do it? I already wear a ctr ring

-Need to be more Christ-centered

A:

Dear Need,

I wouldn't worry about this too much. I think it is important to remember the Lord when you are making moral decisions, but not necessarily in every moment of every day. If you need guidance, ask for it; if not, calm down. I can't quote this, but I do remember hearing Elder Ballard say in the MTC years ago that if we had the Spirit with us all of the time, we would be translated. So don't sweat it if you aren't ready to be translated. 

--Hamilton

A:

Dear me too,

This is definitely something I need to be working on too. Starting the day with scripture study is definitely a good idea, but here are some other thoughts.

  1. Pray (in the morning) to remember to pray when you're making decisions or facing choices (during the day).
  2. Think back about the day and how God's hand may have been in your life during it (at the end of the day). You know how if you want revelation, you're supposed to record the promptings you do get? Maybe this is like that; if we try actively to find God in our lives, He will be more present there.
  3. Make specific goals for life. This is something I did one semester (on a weekly basis) for a religion class, and it was really cool. It gave me a specific spiritual thing to be thinking about and recording each day. Maybe this will help keep spiritual things at the forefront of our minds.

I'm guessing that this is a lifelong process, so we'll just have to keep trying! 

~Anne, Certainly

A:

Dear don't we all,

I want to strengthen Anne, Certainly's point about thinking back and being grateful. I write in my journal at least a bit almost every night (yeah, mission habits die hard), and one of my New Year's Resolutions this year was to each day write some way in which God acted in my life and something funny that happened. This has helped me get better at recognizing God's hand in my life in the past, which helps me recognize it in the present as well. 

Also, one general comment on what it means to remember Christ. I think that always remembering Christ is more about who you are, or who you are becoming, than any specific mental action you perform during the day. Do you show through your actions that you're a follower of Christ? Do you live the kind of life that pleases him? Are the prayers you say at meals and on getting up and going to bed sincere? Do you worthily take the sacrament? I think that if you can say yes to the above, you're functionally remembering him. I think he wants that much more than he wants constant, conscious moments of remembrance. (Consider getting distracted at your job to consciously ponder doctrine; you'd probably better fulfill Christ's expectations by giving your employer an honest day's work.) So if you correctly define "remembering Christ" you may be doing better than you'd think. 

~Professor Kirke

Question #67278 posted on 04/19/2012 1:14 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Where did they film 'Mr. Bellpond'? Are Media Arts students allowed to film wherever they want when they have a project (like Mr. Bellpond) or do they have a specific/assigned place to film?

-I hope that's not confusing…

A:

Dear not at all,

The director of Mr. Bellpond, A. Todd Smith, happens to be an acquaintance of mine. I emailed him and he put me in touch with his wife, Amy Leah Nelson Smith, who was the production designer, co-writer, and illustrator for the film. She gave me the skinny on their location scouting process:

The locations for Mr. Bellpond were primarily at a gutted, historic mansion in Ogden, UT and Willard Bay of the Great Salt Lake, with a couple extra locations in Provo. As far as I know, there aren't many restrictions as far as where the TMA Capstones can be filmed, so long as the student crew members can get there without interfering with other schoolwork [for example, missing other classes in order to be on a capstone film set is frowned upon]. Along with that, the budgets don't really allow for extensive travel, which is why many of the films are shot in or around Utah Valley. On top of THAT, the student crews must go location scouting and contact the owners of the properties where they'd like to shoot, places that often require special permissions and fees. So what it comes down to is No, Theater and Media Arts students are not allowed to film wherever they want, but the restrictions are not put on them by the school, but rather, the surrounding real-life circumstances that come part-and-parcel with shooting a film!

Amy even included some production stills for your viewing pleasure. Here's an exterior shot of the mansion in Ogden:

Bellpond 05.jpg

This is what it looked like behind the scenes:

Bellpond 06_650.jpg

Bellpond 03_650.jpg

Bellpond 04.jpg

 And this is their location at Willard Bay:

Bellpond 07.jpg

Isn't it neat that they were able to turn all of that into this?

Aurora_650.pngArmchair_650.pngMorning is Harsh_650.png

I sure do pity everyone stuck over in the accounting program.

-Genuine Article 

Question #67276 posted on 04/19/2012 1:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear Board,

I am a newly admitted student at BYU, and I was just lucky enough to get a perfect on-campus spot. My question is that, after the ending of the fall/winter contract, if I still want to live in that place, do I have any priority as a former resident? I mean, if I would like to sign another contract, then the room won't be posted as "available" online, right?

-Innocent and confused

A:

Dear innocent,

Actually, in spring/summer many of the on-campus housing units are used for EFY or other things, and all the actual students who stay get consolidated into a handful of units. It's fairly likely you won't be able to continue in the same hall, but according to the on-campus housing website current residents do get to register a day earlier for spring term than anyone else.

Based on the same site, it looks like you wouldn't get any priority for fall/winter, but that's just as well. Almost the only non-RAs who stay in on-campus housing after their freshmen year are guys who aren't old enough to leave on missions and creepers who want to hit on freshmen. I do not recommend it for anyone who isn't in one of those categories. 

~Professor Kirke

Question #67275 posted on 04/19/2012 1:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I am planning on taking Chem 105 soon, and am just finishing up Chem 101--unfortunately, my Chem 101 looks like its likely to be deplorable. Hopefully I'll pass.

From your experience, would it be wiser to retake 101 before I move on into 105 or just dive straight into 105's thorny depths? I am planning on talking to a chemistry professor or adviser to make my final decision, but I thought I would ask you for your opinion on the matter.

Thanks.

TenSoon

A:

Dear TenSoon,

It depends on your comfort level. 101 teaches you basic concepts that you will use in every single chemistry course for the rest of your career. If you feel that you have a thorough understanding of the material, even if your grades aren't fantastic, you could be just fine going on to 105. Be warned, though; 105 is not easy, and there are plenty of students who breezed through high school chemistry but seriously struggle in 105 and 106. They're classic weeder classes designed to push students, and you will discover (very quickly) whether chemistry is your cup of proverbial tea or not. 

Keep in mind that there may be other factors involved. I find that the professor makes a huge difference in how much you get out of the class, especially in chemistry. Sometimes absolutely brilliant professors struggle bringing concepts and material down to manageable levels for introductory students. A heavy course load can shift a student's emphasis away from a class he or she doesn't enjoy as much. Some people (like me) aren't cut out for chemistry at 8am and the lack of focus makes the class more difficult. That said, I hesitate to recommend either option, since I don't know the details of the situation. What I can recommend is that you take advantage of the resources available to you—professors, advisers, peers, TA's, tutors, etc.—regardless of what you decide to do. There are plenty of students who find themselves in similar situations as well as plenty of people willing to lend a hand or a give a word of advice. 

I hope that you enjoy your future chemistry classes. Not that I'm biased or anything. 

-The Entropy Ninja

A:

Dear TenSoon,

Everything I've heard indicates that 105 is frequently the graveyard of chemistry dreams, even for people who've done really well in intro-level chemistry. My first reaction was that if you're looking at chemistry or a closely related major and 101 was not your thing, you might consider other majors. 

However, this all really depends on why you did poorly in Chem 101. Were you doing your level best and still not understanding the concepts, or did you do poorly because of a lack of effort or responsibility or something?

One of my best friends, a chemistry major, said:

I haven't taken either of these classes, obviously, but I agree that
it depends why they did badly. If 101 was just a very low priority but
they did more or less grasp the concepts, I wouldn't retake it. Really
all that's needed for 105 (as I understand it) is some familiarity
with things like stoichiometry, chemical reactions, etc., which I
assume they could get in chem 101; so if they got that the first time
around, there's no point in taking it again.

(Also, I don't know how applicable this is, but in high school I took
about the equivalent of chem 101 and didn't do so hot, but I did very
well in AP. So I don't know that a bad experience with a first
exposure is grounds for switching majors. Familiarity is very
helpful.)

I don't feel like I have enough information to really make a recommendation, but hopefully the above will help you decide. 

~Professor Kirke

Question #67274 posted on 04/19/2012 1:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How many abandoned bicycles do you think there are on campus?

-Johnny Quest

A:

Dear Johnny Q,

After doing a highly exhaustive, scientific survey, I have discovered that I'm pretty sure there are somewhere between 0 and 5000 abandoned bicycles on campus.

This answer has been brought to you by Science.

–Concealocanth

Question #67252 posted on 04/19/2012 12:38 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What exactly is a neighborhood watch guard? What are their roles and responsibilities? To me it seems weird that Zimmerman was "patrolling" the neighborhood in the first place. I thought the neighborhood watch programs was basically, "anyone call the police if they notice something suspicious." I'm not trying to get into guilty or not guilty, but just trying to understand the neighborhood watch program, and especially the guard. Thanks!

-EoS

A:

Dear Sauron's Eyeball,

A "neighborhood watch" is a group of people in a community who report suspicious activity to the police. At its most benign, they just report things without necessarily going out and looking for it, and at its most serious, people are asked to patrol an area and report suspicious things to the police. Either way, neighborhood watch groups are not supposed to be vigilante groups. If they were, then they would basically be illegal, since vigilantism is not exactly supported in the U.S. This article actually gives a nice overview of what a neighborhood watch group is and is not.

-Mico

Question #67248 posted on 04/19/2012 12:38 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm assuming that at least some people would avoid homosexuality in tv shows and movies if it is presented the way it is in Brokeback Mountain; I have not seen it, but it seems to be more along the lines of promoting it. Do you consider any show to have a gay person in it to be promoting homosexuality? Either way, where would you say to draw the line in watching shows with gay characters? Only where you would draw it with heterosexual characters or sooner? (If anyone has any thoughts related to Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who that would especially be useful).
Thanks,
Razputin's girl

A:

Dear Razputin's Girl,

Okay. I have what some might call a liberal view on these things, but they are all still in line with Church teachings so I'm going to step up on my pedestal for a moment about this. 

Let's start with a question, why is homosexuality considered "bad"? There are two answers to this question. One, because of church doctrines and beliefs, etc, etc., and two because despite a recent social flux in acceptance, it is still widely stereotyped and judged by the population at large. The first reason is an acceptable opinion. It is based on legitimate religious convictions. The second reason is stupid and an inappropriate reason to think that homosexuality is bad.

Now, taking a look at why, from a religious standpoint, homosexuality is not acceptable, we begin to find some interesting stuff. First, homosexuality itself is not a sin. It's okay if you are attracted to the same sex. You're not a bad person, going to Hell, or anything along those lines. The Church draws its line in the sand at homosexual activity. However, is there really a difference between homosexual sexual interactions vs. heterosexual sexual interactions outside the bonds of marriage? No. Both are, by Church standards, exactly the same (i.e. a sin). It is our social stigmas that come into play and make us think that somehow gay/lesbian sex is worse than heterosexual sex. IT'S NOT. Both = breaking the law of chastity.

Now, am I saying that we just allow whatever to happen onscreen willy-nilly? No, not really. What I'm saying is that a guy and a girl having sex onscreen in a rated R movie is NO DIFFERENT than a man and a man or a woman and a woman having sex on screen in a rated R movie. Neither would be acceptable by Church standards, but there are plenty of people I know who won't see Brokeback Mountain because it pertains to homosexuality, but would have no problem watching, say, Love, And Other Drugs. Arguably, the heterosexual content in Brokeback Mountain is far more explicit than the (primarily) implied homosexual encounters in that movie. 

I guess my point is this: Whether you're watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and rooting for Willow and Tara, or whether you're so excited for Chuck and Blair to get together in Gossip Girl is irrelevant. Both couples are having sex outside of marriage. If I watch Gossip Girl am I then promoting that everyone should have sex outside of marriage? Nope. I am also not promoting homosexuality when I watch Buffy. In fact, Willow and Tara are still one of my favorite TV couples of all time. In both cases I am watching a TV show that is meant to entertain. 

Now, I have found my line in the sand -- there are things I will watch and things I won't -- and I'm very content with my decision. Likewise, you should do the same, and figure out exactly where you want that line to be. Just know why you are picking the line you are picking. I feel like I am kind of beating a dead horse, but I will say it just one more time: promoting pre-marital heterosexuality is no different than promoting homosexuality.

-Watts

Question #67051 posted on 04/19/2012 11:56 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I wouldn't say I've become disillusioned with the Church. I just feel like they try to hide some of the things in our past, like some of the things Joseph Smith did, in order to keep a squeaky clean image. At least, that's the way I feel. Now, I have no interest in reading anti-Mormon stuff, as they are no less biased than the church, and I have no interest in losing my testimony of the church either. I would like to know more about the early church though, without just crushing my testimony. So, what avenues do you recommend? How do you feel about the book Rough Stone Rolling? I heard it was good. What about Lucy Mack Smith's book (that apparently Brigham Young tried to get rid of (why??))? Feel free to chime in with your own experiences or thoughts.

Thanks ever so much,
Cleph

A:

Dear Cleph,

I'm not sure I understand who "they" is. I think we're probably guilty of sweeping those things under the rug more than the general leadership of the Church is. I don't think that it's the job of the Church to present in Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society meetings the experiences and doctrines that you're referring to. Many of them are marginal at best (if not poorly documented and "unproven").

That all being said, I think a lot of people sweep things under the rug just because it's a more convenient way to believe. I'm a fan of asking the hard questions, because the quest to find answers to the toughies is what ultimately really helps bolster our testimonies. What we find may not always be what we want to find, but seeking to understand circumstances and characters in order to dig deeper into why things happened never hurt any optimistic seeker.

I haven't personally read Rough Stone Rolling (although I've intended to), but I've read some parts of it and I think it's probably pretty chilly for someone who's just getting into the water. That being said, Richard Bushman is an outstanding author who obviously, in spite of a wealth of knowledge in Church history, has remained a stoic and faithful member of the Church. Keeping that in mind as you read, it might not be a terrible introduction. I always hesitate to recommend FAIR Wiki around here because it swings decidedly pro-Mormon (and some people take issue with the fact that we refer to it with so much regularity), but for someone who hasn't dipped very much and who isn't comfortable turning to the wild, wild internet, it's a safe and generally objective source of good information to wet your whistle.

I kind of got my start learning digging deeper than seminary and church in high school after the Library of Congress had their presentation on Joseph Smith. You can listen to it here or purchase transcripts in a book format (which is what I did). It got me acquainted to some of the biggest names in academia who research Mormonism as a movement, and folks like Jan Shipps (who is not a member of the Church) who presented at the conference have also written good, objective papers on other aspects of the early Church. (I would feel comfortable recommending Jan Shipps to you with that all being said, but she tends to take a broad perspective in her books which might not be exactly what you're looking for.)

I could yammer on this kind of stuff for a while, but I've already pointed you to quite a bit of material. The Library of Congress presentation helped open my eyes to some of the other things that I could learn about and I went in a few different directions from there. You might end up doing the same thing clicking around FAIR Wiki (or reading Rough Stone Rolling, even). I would figure out exactly what you learn about and find sources (and talk to experts at BYU, if you're comfortable) and go from there, rather than try to find some book entitled Apocryphal Stories of the Early Latter-day Saints: Why the Best Cream Was a Big Deal and Whether Eliza May or May Not Have Been Pushed Down the Stairs (which opponents of the Church would probably really like to see published).

Good luck!

--Gimgimno

A:

Dear Cleph,

I have read Rough Stone Rolling, and I'd highly recommend it. I think Joseph Smith would like the book's approach—Bushman isn't afraid to recognize Joseph as flawed and human, but also captures the divine majesty of his prophetic vision and calling in a more comprehensive way than a one-dimensional Church manual could. Just remember that it's a doctrinally mature book for mature people.

My dad, who has read more church history than anyone else I personally know (not many people have read all nine volumes of Wilford Woodruff's diaries), recommends The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-Day Saints by Arrington as a good academic introduction to Church history—it's the kind of book that'd be used in an introduction to Mormon studies class at a normal/non-BYU university. He also recommends Brigham Young: American Moses, which treats...Brigham Young. 

~Professor Kirke