The costs of keeping your opinion to yourself

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One again I was taken to task in a letter to the Editor, in response to last week’s column. There I responded to questions and concerns others have posed regarding policies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints barring children living with parents in same-sex “marriages”.

I expected to ruffle a few feathers for defending a policy that initially caught me off guard, but which seems sound and wise in context. Initially I thought I would respond to Mr. ...

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A journey along the healing road

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“Well, what seems to have happened during this longish interval of time and distance is that I’ve reached one of those stages along the ‘Grieving Road’. There is a pretty well-defined series of ‘phases’ you go through (I used to know all this stuff in detail from reading all them Grief Books over in London, but I’ve wisely let most of that stuff flow out of my head), with various stages through dominant Shock, Disbelief, Denial, Anger; and that Finally ...

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The problems—and benefits—of social science research

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I hate it when I get it wrong. I hate it even worse when I get caught getting it wrong. Of course I have enough experience in both areas that it should be old hat, but I still have to address it.

Of all the columns I’ve written for the Standard Journal the one that gleaned the most personal responses in the community was “The problems of having a hot wife”. We’ll see if readers are anywhere near as passionate on ...

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Life in a world of super-normal stimulation

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Nikolaas “Niko” Tinbergen captured the world’s attention when he managed to monopolize the attention of male butterflies with his cardboard female that looked much sexier than the real deal.

Niko Tinbergen was a Dutch ornithologist and biologist interested in explaining animal instincts, and what the factors that influenced these automatic behaviors. One such experiment consisted of painting oversized cardboard butterflies with exaggerated colors that mocked the natural tones of the female.

When placed in an area with a lot of males and ...

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The problem of institutionalizing generosity

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Seventeen months in the nation of Denmark made me an odd kind of conservative.

A good friend, Bryce Johnston, is fond of saying, “I served a girl’s mission.” (We’ll see if he ever reads these columns.) He refers to the fact that, for just a few years in the early and mid-eighties, LDS men served missions for 18 months just as do women missionaries. Of course I extended to a very manly nineteen months, the first two of which were spent ...

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Discerning darkness, and coming to the light

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Last week I commended the book, “The Road Less Travelled” by Dr. M. Scott Peck. The book is a very positive view of live and of love, and encourages the reader to stretch and to grow. This week I review another of his books, “People of the Lie”.

“This is a dangerous book.” He begins. And it is.

It is a dangerous book because it attempts to take a direct look at the problem of human evil and to make sense out ...

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Life is difficult; being miserable may be optional.

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“Life is difficult.

“This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

So begins M. Scott Peck in his book, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual ...

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You might be depressed about being depressed

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Oxford professor Mark Williams notes that many adults suffering from serious depression are essentially discouraged and hopeless about feeling discouraged and hopeless. In other words, they are depressed about being depressed.

All, or nearly all, or us experiences low moods. These can be associated with experiencing disappointments, frustrations, changes in relationships, etc. These low moods needn’t be permanent, nor interfere with quality of life. Most of us simply notice the emotion and then go about our business, and the feeling changes ...

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Hobbies: More Than a Distraction

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I am a rock star.

Well, I do sometimes dream of impressing people by playing beautiful or exciting music. My instrument of choice in these brief flights from reality is the guitar. Most often it is a Gibson Les Paul—you know, the preferred instrument of rock stars for over 50 years.

I own a few different instruments, both electric and acoustic. What I lack is the skill to create anything worth listening to.

I know, I know…it takes an awful lot of practice ...

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Yeah, Chris. You are the Mann!

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Sunday evening my wife called my attention to the lead article in Saturday’s Standard Journal. She pointed out that Chris Mann was the only member of the city council to oppose the recent proposal that Rexburg loosen liquor laws. “Props” to Mann for taking a stand that helps Rexburg to uphold its “American Family Community” values.

This column is not about politics, but is devoted to matters of family and mental health. Alcohol consumption is directly related to both.

While Ruth and ...

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