Sunday, March 29, 2015

I See... The Monument to the Unknown Member

We are all familiar with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Such monuments exist in several countries to memorialize the unidentified warriors fallen in battle. Their emptiness reminds us of lost names, lives, and loves.

Image result for the tomb of the unknown soldier

In countless LDS chapels and classrooms around the world there are too many empty pews and padded chairs that stand as monuments to unknown ward and branch members. Their emptiness reminds us of lost names, lives, and loves, possibly the fruits of missed Sunday morning handshakes or home teaching appointments,or perhaps rooted in years of personal spiritual neglect. We can pray, plan, visit, invite, apologize, fellowship, and show forth love in a myriad of means and ways, but in the end a loving Heavenly Father respects our moral agency and leaves it up to us to choose to obey and enjoy the blessings of church activity. Given the opportunity, what will you choose?


Sunday, March 22, 2015

I See... Transforming Evil into E-ville

There are two types of evil in the world, and before we launch on a quest to turn one kind of it into another, we must be able to tell the difference between the two.

E-ville: This type of bad behavior is overwhelmingly easy to detect. Villains in Disney fables are e-ville. The famous Canadian mountie, Dudley Doright, will always save sweet Nell from the sinister clutches of the e-ville Snidely Whiplash. E-ville is as bright as the moon and as prominent as the painful pre-teen pimple. When Satan boldly tempted Jesus to misuse his godly powers for personal relief, satisfaction, and gain, he was exercising e-ville in most undeniable ways. When referring to this type of heinous handiwork, it is critical to pronounce it correctly. Repeat after me- “Eeeee-ville,” slow and sinister, like you really mean it. It is important to savor every syllable as it smoothly tumbles out of your mouth. There is no doubt here- this is bad.
Image result for dudley do right
Evil, on the other hand, is delivered quickly and quietly, with so little emphasis and energy that it may be difficult to even determine what was said. This type of bad behavior wants to masquerade as anything other than what it really is- tolerance, neglect, rationalization, etc. Nephi accurately described it as chains that slowly, almost unknowingly lead us down to hell (2nd Nephi 28:22)  The world is literally bathed in this type of behavior. Much of it flies under our righteous radar yet floods our homes in the form of oversexed entertainment accepted as exemplary, or perhaps as routine tasks pursued on sacred Sundays. Repeat after me ten times quickly: “evle evle evle evle evle evle evle evle evle evle.” If you say it quickly and often, it will be hard to know what you're referring to. Doubt and disguise is at the core of this dimension of deviance.


If evil and opposition has to exist in the world, and it does, the righteous quest of every latter-day saint should be to agressively turn “evle” into “e-ville.” Clearly identifying the enemy- e.g., pornography as the single most sinister sword slicing up the plan of salvation into insignificant body parts, or unwarranted criticism of doctrine and authority robbing fragile testimonies of their spiritual foundations still under construction- allows us to overcome it. It is time to choose.  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I See... the Voice of Evil

I have seen and heard the voice of evil, and it is... Siri!

Yes, you read it right. I have empirical, undeniable evidence that Siri, that omnipresent artificial thinking voice that roams around our Iphones with the answers to everything, is actually the voice of evil. Let me explain.

A few weeks ago my wife and I were preparing to attend a special couples fireside with Elder Todd D. Christofferson as the main speaker (you can read more about that here). These preparations included synching complex schedules, which led to a few uncharacteristically frosty verbal exchanges between us. As soon as I realized my need to confess and forsake the sin of being impatient, I dictated to Siri a quick message to be sent to my sweet wife. It was supposed to be an apology, coupled with the hypothesis that perhaps the adversary is working on us overtime because he knows that learning from the feet of an apostle would thwart his evil designs. Instead, it came out like this:


Siri, in the process of analyzing the context of my verbal statement and moving it from speech to text, made the command decision that it was, in fact, the adversary- the evil one, Lucifer, Satan , etc.

Another possible explanation for Siri replacing the “adversary” title with her own name is that it was trying to fulfill latter-day prophecies contained in 2nd Nephi 28:21-22, which predicts thatwe would be taught from all sides of society that there is no devil or hell.

A third option could be that I slurred pronunciation of the word “adversary” in my verbal command to Siri, and it automatically defaulted to what it deemed to be the next best word- “Siri.”


In any case, those of us who carry Iphones around need to be extra careful. We now have cause to wonder- which side is Siri on?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

I See… When Bowling Matters

Everything matters to somebody at some time in their lives. To prove this point I've pulled a bittersweet memory from deep within the BYU archives- remember that time I had to bowl, and bowl well, in order to graduate from the Y and feed my new family? Of course you don't- but you will now.

I’ve never been a big fan of bowling; I’ve only done it a few times in my whole life, and only under the duress of social peer pressure. Nevertheless, there was one season of life where bowling, whether I wanted it to or not, had to mean everything to me; when excellence in bowling would determine the direction of my chosen career and future earning potential. But, before I tell you that story... I have to tell you this story.
Image result for Bowling
This Story

College was a torturous experience. I enjoy learning, but was not up to the stress of grades and classes and majors and minors and general education requirements and working part-time and being poor and living in sub-human subterranean dwellings etc. I was a member of the “BYU Underground;” every place I lived in before meeting and marrying my sweet wife was a basement (you can read more about the BYU Underground here). Hence, I was determined to leave BYU at the earliest possible moment. An almost inexplicable combination of good fortune and careful planning resulted in a final semester that would end with exactly the right amount of general education and major credits to graduate.

The letter in my hand promising a full-time, secure job with the Department of Defense added to the tension and the pressure of the season. The offer of employment was conditional upon successful attainment of a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA. Blending the stress of completing a “C-less” final semester with the excitement of finally becoming a productive member of society was an engaging challenge.

After calculating how high the stakes were three weeks into that last semester, I made one last trip to the academic counselor’s office to review the credits that had been amassed over the years and confirm that I qualified for graduation. I shared with her vocational prospects that lay ahead of me and how much they depended on my academic accomplishments. She flashed a gracious but pre-programmed smile that had been practiced on thousands of other nervous students who had relied on her for their future. The smile was immediately engulfed, however, by a full facial expression of reserved but concerned disappointment. With uncharacteristic apprehension, she measured her words carefully: “you are one half-credit short of GE (general education) credits required for graduation.”

I struggled to temper my disappointment with a forced positive mental attitude. Heck, its only .5 credits! How hard would I have to work for .5 credits? Was there even such a class out there this last semester? How had I come so close without actually passing? Where had I fallen short? My counselor, obviously a trained mind reader with a promising future on the state fair circuit, supplied the answer: “you are .5 credits short in physical education requirements.”

Should I laugh or cry? Laugh at the unimaginably ridiculous result of a general education system gone beserk, or cry because it was actually true? After realizing that this was neither a joke nor a nightmare sparked by a deadly combination of late-night pizza and final semester worries, I talked myself down and became dedicated to finding the path of least resistance. This meant shopping around for a PE course long after classes had started and many student rolls would be full. Believe it or not, my last but only choice, the only class with room this late in the game, was... bowling. At first I had a hard time accepting that bowling was considered a class; then I marveled at my good fortune for earning academic credit by having fun twice a week. Maybe this would actually relieve school stress!

That Story

During the next two months, I launched heavy sparkling colored spheres down shiny wooden lanes with reckless abandon twice a week, without regard to form, technique, or even how many pins were knocked down. In the mix of homework and classes, part-time work demands, and trying to figure out this new person walking around the apartment (my wife!), it was liberating to do something where I didn’t have to worry about the quality of my performance. In this instance, however, ignorance started out being bliss but wasn’t going to end up that way. The planets were lining up against me; a laissez-faire attitude would threaten the very existence of my degree, chosen profession, and even an ability to provide for my young family.

“Houston, we have a problem.” That ominous phrase ran an incessant loop in my head as I walked across campus on that crisp fall afternoon, a little over halfway through that last semester, to meet with the academic counselor at her request. The absence of her perpetual smile was the first clue something was wrong. “Richard,” she started off tentatively, “as you know, your major (Korean Studies) allows only three C credits in any class, including your GE courses.” “So,” I’m thinking to myself, “whats the problem? There was that one C in Introduction to Biology years ago, but I’ve been maintaining an A- average since then.” Then she dropped the bomb; “you’re getting an F in bowling.”

“You’re getting an F in bowling... you’re getting an F in bowling...” Those six deadly words echoed ad nauseum in my mind. In the excitement of looking forward to graduating and a full-time job, I had neglected to detect the gathering storm. It didn’t take long for the dominoes to line up; bad bowling leads to.... bad grade, which leads to....no graduation, which leads to..... no job, which leads to.... no money. I would have to improve my bowling somehow, or spend an extra semester re-taking a half-credit class and jeopardize my future earning potential.

It was too late now. We were breaking our lease, preparing to leave for Maryland and a new life, and using the letter of employment as collateral to buy a new car. Everything was riding on bowling. I would have to do better somehow.

It’s amazing how quickly changing circumstances can remarkably alter our attitudes and perspectives. One minute I was leading a carefree bowling life; now much more was on the line. The irony was glaring. Suddenly, form and technique and the right shoes and a lucky lane became really important. I had to focus and concentrate on achieving the right stride and releasing the ball at just the right moment. I spent sleepless nights critically replaying my performance earlier in the day, searching for that one tweak that would push the ball more straight and true down the lane. “Did I have the right spin? How do you deal with a 1-4 split? Could it be the ball’s fault?” These things mattered now.

Luckily, when I started paying attention and treating my time at the lanes as a real class instead of a hobby, I learned that grades were determined by how well a student improved on his initial scores. It should have been easy; since my first game was so horrifically bad, just having a little bit more pride in my work would result in rapid improvement. I began watching my scores closely. My mind was randomly generating strategies to release the ball stronger and straighter. I even spent some of my own precious time and limited budget down at the lanes, striving to discover that hidden bowling secret that would add 60 points to my score.

I decided to use my innate sense of and appreciation for the spirit of competition to my advantage. Watching professional bowlers on television (it’s just a little bit more exciting than watching golf!), I was intrigued by the competitive tension drawn by the hushed but intense descriptions offered by seasoned announcers. “If Bill Schlemeki of Skokie, Indiana,” the announcer whispers gingerly in the background, “can land this last strike, he will walk away with one.... hundred.... thousand..... dollars, and reign as grand champion....”

At the risk of revealing more than what most people would care to know about my unique but active imagination, it was not hard to overlay this same scene on my own situation. Just like Mr. Schlemeki, who had a lot riding on the championship game, my future too teetered on the edge of vastly improved bowling scores. In those dark hours in November, as the semester was winding to a close in the basement of the Wilkinson Center, I would be standing in the midst of a busy, noisy crowd of student family night groups and young daters in love, totally consumed in pondering on my next strategic bowling move. I drew inspiration from recreating my own little championship drama. “If Richard Tait, of Livermore, California,” my invisible, imaginary announcer whispers in the background, “can nail at least 8 pins in this last frame and bring his grade up to a B-, he will walk away with graduation... a new car.. a brand new job, and a future in providing for his family....”

The self-induced tension was almost unbearable at times, but the competitive spirit drove me to excel. The imaginary announcer’s voice pushed me through many troubled, exhausted moments, when I was ready to throw in the towel and accept a discouraging fate. Finally, however, an afternoon in December arrived, and the announcer’s voice was no longer imaginary. Let me rephrase that - lest someone think I was completely divorced from reality (four years of BYU can do that for you...), the voice was always only in my mind, but now the situation he was narrating was real. It was close to the last day of the semester, and a good score was critical to bringing my average up to the B- threshold. After a particularly stellar day of bowling, I rushed to the instructor’s office and begged him to recalculate my average scores several times to insure that my B- grade was not just a good dream induced by a good night’s sleep. I’m sure he was left wondering why a student was so thoroughly elated with a B- grade in a half-credit class teaching a skill valued by less than .001 of the world’s population. I, however, was happy beyond description to have altered the course of one man’s history by paying attention to my bowling game.

The moral of this story- getting little things out of the way permits the big things to happen.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

I See... Early Morning Seminary, the New Drug

I'm finishing up day 10 now. Due to weather emergencies I've had to endure 8 of the last 10 early weekday mornings by myself, without the intoxicating company of 13 mostly awake and alive young men and women choosing gospel enrichment over a more inviting pillow. Without the united spirit of 13 savvy students and one fired-up facilitator listening to, learning,and living the basic doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ together via the revealed word of God in the Doctrine and Covenants. Without their engaging smiles, laughter, and quotable conversation that enlightens my heart and soul and prepares me for a more sullen day as a working stiff. Without the daily confirming witness of the Holy Ghost that we have a Savior who loves us so he chastens us; that there is real power in the Atonement to overcome our sins and weather our sorrows; and that sincere, honest pondering and prayer with a gut-wrenching desire to know will bring lasting, enduring answers too deep and delightful to describe.

Yes, I admit I have a problem,which is the first stage to recovery. I am addicted to early morning Seminary, my new “drug” of choice, and I don't know what to do about it, or whether I should do something about it.

Longtime readers of the Mormon Third Eye know that it often revels in viewing all aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the church charged as its caretaker in different yet faith-enlightening lenses. In the spirit of this seven year-plus tradition, I propose three distinct, yet related analogies on the administration of pharmaceuticals that could apply to my desperate situation: this story, that story, and the last story.

This Story

When it comes to the power to restore and reinforce both body and soul, no one can deny the double-edged sword of pharmaceuticals. Just as the proper administration of the right dosage of medicine can relieve suffering and buy our hearts and minds more quality time to think deeper thoughts, regular doses of seminary every morning restores our souls and draws us closer to God.

That Story

Drugs can be addictive. When we become addicted to a substance, our minds send signals to our bodies that we cannot function without it. The addiction rules our lives, and unnatural and distorted priorities are placed on obtaining more of the addictive substance. Normally, addictions of any kind rob us of our free agency to make right choices. Currently, desires to rejoice in the spirit that accompanies early morning seminary rule my life. I find myself aching through the spiritual withdrawal of no seminary due to inclement weather. The thought of when and what I will teach next consumes many of my waking moments. I can't imagine life without early morning seminary. It's a good problem to have.

The Last Story

Pornography has been aptly labeled “the new drug” for good reason; it is highly addictive and destructive to individuals, families,and relationships. In the tradition of “fighting fire with fire,” certainly we can fight a bad addiction with a good one. Hence, I wholeheartedly recommend early morning seminary as the next new drug in the battle against this evil. A soul consumed with all that a successful, spiritual early morning seminary program demands of it has no room for the corrosive, cankering effects of pornography.  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

I See... Analyzing Apostolic Advice

Recently we had an apostle, Elder Todd D. Christofferson, visit our area of the country and hold a special fireside for couples.  My wife and I braved subfreezing weather to hear what the Lord had to say to us through him.  In all engagements with ordained church leadership, there is always two intertwining streams of consciousness flowing- 1) what is actually said, and 2) what the Savior is trying to teach through Holy Ghost.  In analyzing apostolic advice, The Mormon Third Eye will present his version of what was taught and what was learned.

What was taught: technically, nothing.  The first significant learning experience occurred before he arrived.
What was learned:  I felt an unusual sense of holiness and reverence envelope my life and soul the day before the fireside.  The Holy Ghost was warning me to be prepared for the spiritual feast that would take place the following day.  My wife and I also noticed that adversary was working on us in subtle ways to persuade us to stay home or at least attend with a bad attitude.

What was taught: Husbands and wives need to put God first in their lives to improve their relationship with each other.  When each spouse separately puts God first, they bring something in common into the relationship that allows them to grow in love together.
What was learned:  I need to work on strengthening my testimony, and as I do, my love for my wife will deepen in more meaningful ways that are hard to express in words.

What was taught: The leadership of the church worries about societal trends to put the happiness of adults above the happiness of children in a family.
What was learned: Losing yourself in the service of others is a divine principle of success, and nowhere is it more true than in the dynamics of family relations. Children are suffering in untold ways that will perpetuate failed family relationships through generations because parents vainly spend so much time selfishly seeking personal satisfaction. Parents will find true happiness only by wholly investing their minds and hearts in raising righteous progeny.

What was taught: Women need to spend less time comparing themselves to each other; men need to be better listeners and spend more time doing the same thing.
What was learned: In the polite gender battles stirred by the pressures of church cultural norms, women are buried by trying to do too much, and men are submersed in self-righteous desires to not do enough. Everyone needs to repent. Women need to relax and work on their personal relationships with God; men need to get out of their spiritual recliners and spend more time learning from other model men and women about how live the gospel.

What was taught: Remember  that we are all practicing-none of us is perfect.
What was learned: Am I learning from my mistakes? Do I embrace my failures as opportunities for improvement? God's plan is to take bad things and turn them into good. We can learn from our sins AND sorrows- the Atonement makes this possible.

What was taught: Couples should treat time together as an earned reward for their service.
What was learned: What great advice for LDS couples caught up in serving others at the expense of shortchanging their own marital relationships! Do I treat time spent with my wife as a treat? If not, why not? Does my service in the church ennoble the relationship I have with my wife?

What was taught: What happens when the Spirit takes over our prayers? Instead of merely providing answers to our prayers, he prompts us to ask the right questions so that he can give the right answers- this is how He respects our free agency.
What was learned:  God loves us so perfectly that He wants us to learn via spiritual discovery through asking the right questions.  I need to ponder more in my prayers about what I really should be asking for.

What was taught: “As I watched my wife over the years, I was impressed with how, over time, she was maturing and growing in the gospel.  Later on, however, I realized that she always had a firm testimony of the gospel- I just wasn't listening very well.”
What was learned:  Brethren, we need to be humble, listen better, and learn more often from our wives.  We need to realize that every good thing in our lives flows from the relationship we nurture with our wives.

What was taught: In surveys among active LDS families, less then half- 41%, were praying and reading scriptures together daily as a family, and holding family nights weekly. Leadership is very concerned about this trend among active LDS families and don't know to fix it. He asked the congregation that if they had any ideas/suggestions on how to improve these activities in families, please tell them. We need help.  Meanwhile, please be among the minority to persuade the majority to adopt these practices.
What was learned:  The brethren are frustrated. If daily prayer and scripture study and weekly family home evenings are reliable markers of strong testimonies and families, why do so many active members of the church fail to follow? They know they do not have all the answers and are seeking constructive advice from all worthy sources.  They are practicing the divine principle that valid information and input can come from many sources, but revelation comes from above. Meanwhile, they plead with us to be part of the solution, not the problem.

What was taught: The purpose of counsels, whether they be in ward councils, families, or marriages, is to seek revelation, not consensus.
What was learned: Wives and husbands must humbly seek counsel from each other and the Lord on raising families.  If both are humble and earnest in their search, He will bless them with revelation to guide their families together in righteous paths.

BONUS ADVICE

Elder Christofferson's wife also dispensed timely wisdom. If husbands and wives are supposed to seek unity in marriage, and she is married to an apostle who is offering instruction on healthy, happy marriages, then certainly his wife's counsel is worth considering:

What was taught:  The church fielded focus groups of less-active church members to seek honest input as to why they do not frequently engage in activities- attending church, serving in callings, etc.  They received a lot of frank feedback, but one statistic she found interesting was that almost every less-active member in the focus group had never completely read the Book of Mormon cover-to-cover.
What was learned:  The results are in. We have empirical evidence that the Book of Mormon is truly the keystone of our religion.  It is another Testament of Christ that brings souls unto Christ, and that perhaps answers to the concerns that keep many less-active members away from church activity could be found within its pages.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

I See... Serving Two Masters

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matt 6:24).”

The Mormon Third Eye, for the first time in over 390 weekly posts, for the first time in the history of the world, is NOT dispensing wisdom;  it is seeking.... HELP! I'm hoping that MTE fans who have benefited from my tactical and strategic insight and advice over the past seven years can find it in their heart to return the favor and bless me with some desperately needed direction.

Here is my dilemma. I have two masters, two loves, yet I can only serve one.  Which one?

Even superficial MTE readers know that my third love, close behind the Gospel of Jesus Christ and my wife, is God's university- Brigham Young University- BYU. My allegiance to this institution of higher learning is legion. My blood runs blue, and if something can have a Y logo on it, I have it. Over 50 of MTE posts deal with some aspect of BYU in some way, more than any other topic. In summary, it may be slightly melodramatic but completely accurate to say that “I am BYU; BYU is me.”

Image result for BYU

Hence, I wholly expected that when my dream of working on a college campus came true, it would come true in Provo. However, now I find that life has gifted me the privilege of being vocationally engaged on Centennial Campus at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh. While it's no BYU, it truly is a privilege to work here. Like BYU, they play basketball and football to win, and the Hunt Library, across the street from my office, has been certified as one of the eight wonders of the modern world. I felt the spirit just as strong in the NCSU Institute building last week as I did in my religion classes in the Kimball Tower 30 years ago. I am  proud to be associated with NCSU- and therein lies my problem. My heart is torn and the resulting emotional dissonance is nearly unbearable. Can I share my BYU pride with NCSU? Should I? Can I run with Cougars AND the Wolfpack?
Image result for north carolina state university
I seek your advice and counsel on this deeply troubling topic.  What makes it even more challenging is that my work day is surrounded by the bright red banners of NCSU, the same colors borne by BYU's eternal nemesis to the north, the university occupying real estate in greater Salt Lake City, the “university that shall not be named.”

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I See... Going to Church with Harry

Based on latest calculations the Mormon Third Eye during his lifetime has attended approximately 3,000 church meetings with a vast, diverse array of saints across two continents and three coastlines. I've met humankind of all races and ethnic and socio-economic status, and have enjoyed and been edified by most of the these experiences; however, only a few of these meetings remain in memory:
  • Greeting President Kimball in Korea during a mission;
  • Seeing my wife through romantic eyes for the first time in a BYU student ward;
  • and taking my baby daughter out of the chapel between talks in sacrament meeting with her scream piercing the reverent silence with “Daddy! Don't spank me! I'll be good!
However, nothing yet prepared me for the memories made via going to church with Harry.


Recently, my wife treated me to a musical performance headlined by Harry Connick Jr. and his amazingly talented jazz ensemble. At one point during the evening, he sang a tender love ballad with the end of the chorus repeating romantically the phrase “you are one, fine, fine, thing” several times. He then asked everyone in the audience to sing along with him. I watched several husbands and wives instinctively turn to each other and repeat tenderly, “you are one fine, fine, thing.” I wonder how many marriages were strengthened or saved that night.

Towards the end of the evening he asked the audience's permission to “get spiritual for a moment,” and then launched into a rousing but still reverent jazz version of “How Great Thou Art.” He once again asked the audience to sing along with him- “my God, how great thou art!”

At the end of this song, my wife turned to me and whispered cleverly: “We just went to church with Harry!”

I've been to church with Harry. In these latter days saturated with the vulgar beats of Satan that constantly push us to treat much too lightly all the wondrous feelings and emotions that accompany the sacred power of procreation that God has entrusted to us, I highly recommend going to church with Harry. You won't regret it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I See… The Official Middle-aged Mormon Man Blog of Super Bowl 2015!

Breaking News! The Mormon Third Eye has just been designated the official Middle-aged Mormon Man blog of Super Bowl 2015!


Just when one thinks the hype and hysteria surrounding the Super Bowl has achieved astronomic heights, mankind announces another obtuse good or service that seeks to ride this remarkable advertising wave. The MTE is certain that centuries from now, when cultural anthropologists sort through the records of our age, they will detect only a slight relationship between the sport of football and the Super Bowl.

The MTE, always seeking to be current, popular, and relevant, has superficially decided to take it’s place in the front seat of the bandwagon and claim it’s own specious association with the most important event in the universe  today.  I list the following bits of evidence to support my hypothesis that the Mormon Third Eye should, in fact, be the official middle-aged Mormon Man blog of the Super Bowl:
  • I have written extensively on Super Bowl topics, here, here, here, and here;
  • I always capitalize “Super Bowl;” it must be important;
  • My old ward missionary companion, Ed Mulitalo, played in a Super Bowl;
  • I like soup, especially homemade soup, and I especially like to consume it from bowls;
  • I am a Super Bowler- I always score well in our Wii family bowling tournaments, and in fact had to bowl magnificently to graduate from BYU;
  • I have never actually sat down and watched a Super Bowl, but I know many who have, and besides, that doesn’t seem to be a requirement for becoming Super Bowl-associated merchandise.


So, there you have it.  As the new official middle-aged Mormon Man blog of Super Bowl, I expect readership of my blog to skyrocket, particularly right before, during, and after the game.  If it doesn’t, I’ll quickly drop my endorsement of the event and associate myself with an activity more appropriate for the tone and spirit of the MTE- perhaps the official middle-aged Mormon Man blog of April 2015 General Conference?