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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Risky Opinion?

May I be honest?

Osama Bin Laden's death is no occasion for celebration.

Should we feel a sense of accomplishment? Maybe. Consolation? Perhaps. Certainly, not celebration. I admit his death does wash over me a sense of relief. But does it inspire me to hoot and holler and rejoice in his execution?

Bin Laden orchestrated terrible crimes and directed blood-thirsty groups. He demonstrated no remorse and confessed his endless devotion to the annihilation of nations. But once upon a time, before entering this temporal state, the man was our brother. We loved him and wished well for him as he did for us. Somewhere between his mortal birth and death, he became powerful, wicked, and lost. Still, he is our brother and one of our Heavenly Father's sons.

 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God
Doctrine &Covenants 18:10 

I am not naive to think that all Bin Laden needed was a good missionary discussion and a hug. He had long ago been converted and promoted to preach death and fear. Regardless, the God I worship does not rejoice in the killing of his children, no matter how wicked. My God is saddened for souls that end their temporal state without repentance or correction of their actions.

In Genesis of the Old Testament, God was saddened by the wickedness running rampant on the earth. With floods, He washed over the planet, saving only a few. Nowhere is there record of God pumping his fist in the air and yelling "huzzah!" In contrast, he presented a token in the sky and made a covenant to never ever take that extreme measure again to remove the wicked. (Genesis 9: 8-17) Promising to abstain from planet-wide floods does not sound like the result of a joyous tactic but rather something God would rather not ever inflict again.

When impressed by the Holy Spirit to kill the wicked Laban in order to obtain the holy records, the prophet Nephi in the Book of Mormon hesitated. He did not have the heart of a murderer and "shrunk and would that I might not slay him." The Spirit spoke to him a few more times reassuring him "the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief" (1 Nephi 4) before Nephi followed through. Knowing how much he wanted to avoid killing another human being, it is unlikely that he later celebrated the death of Laban.

Osama Bin Laden is dead. Do I feel relief?  Yes. But I cannot rejoice in his demise just as I would not rejoice in the demise of a wicked brother or uncle. I do not dare exhibit the same jubilation terrorists exhibit when death claims one on our team. Otherwise, how could we tell who is on which team when we're not wearing jerseys?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

How to Close a Blog

With the growth of my online professional presence, I am contemplating closing this blog as I'd like to keep some things off the radar from clients and associates. But I'm not sure of the best way to go about closing shop.

So far, the least painful option is to gradually remove the more intimate blog posts individually and leave up the blog posts that people read most. (I have to say that I'm surprised at some of the blog posts consistently rated as "most popular" based on blog stats. The fluffy Jason Mraz post? Really??) But I feel a sense of sadness about removing anything. Do I just need to rip off the Band-aid® by shutting down the whole thing and let myself mourn?

I started this blog to write for myself, and later, to share stories with neighbors. I am not wholly sure what this blog is now (another reason I have not been posting any of my many, many drafts), but it holds a lot of history for me. Or should I leave it open and just change the direction/purpose of my writing?

I'm not really interested in the "private blog" thing. Do you have any other ideas? Instead of making a rash decision (as is my usual M.O.), I'd like to consider all angles. Share your ideas with me!