Saturday, March 28, 2009


Recently I watched part of what looks like a day long event on Religion at Harvard University. The link is here ( I, of course, watched the part where the Mormon was interviewed. First I will say that she did a good job of defending her faith. I appreciate greatly those who are willing to sit in front of teachers, leaders, peers, and critics and take any verbal abuse on religion or any other subject. The interview was pretty well conducted and gave most participants a fair share of time. The Mormon did seem to get a little bit more time, the Mormons are very difficult to understand. Which leads my to my very strong opinion.
The moderator at one point mentions that she had been reading "anti-mormon" literature. Now, I should verify this fact, but I assume she is an administrator of some kind from Harvard University. That's right. One of the top schools, in my opinion, in the entire world! How does the top school in the world get their information on the Mormons? They read the "anti-mormon" literature! Again, I did not watch all of the other religions' commentary, so maybe that is how they get all of their information is through "anti-buddhist" literature and "anti-catholic" literature etc. However, I find this a common theme throughout the world. When you want to find out about something, you go find a good book written by the founder. Unless you want to find out about the Mormons. Then, you pick up a book written by a hot-headed, unfaithful, antagonist, apostate! Well, I would like to share with you what the anti-mormons will not share. Buckle-up because this is worse than any anti-mormon will ever give you.
I would like to share the most crazy, outlandish, ridiculous thing, that the mormons believe. They believe that a 14-year-old boy, was so confused about religion that he decided to take a passage of scripture from the Bible to heart. (Read James 1:5) He went into a grove, (that is woodsy area) behind his home, and actually prayed out loud. This was the first time that he had done this. Now, listen to what happened, Joseph Smith, a boy of 14 years old, claims that he then saw God! GOD! Not a salamander, not a shadow, not some figure in his toast or cereal. He claims to have seen God! Then just to make this story even more unbelievable he says that God the Father was with his Son, Jesus Christ! And, why not take this one step further? He said that he actually talked with God the Father and Jesus Christ!
Now, after saying that you have talked with God, what else is there? Really, you tell me one other belief that the Mormons have that even come close to a belief like this one.
Before you start reading even more anti-mormon literature to find out if this really happened, let me give you the source, that's right, you can click on this link and you can find out for yourself that Joseph Smith actually claims to have seen God! Mormons don't deny this.
What is more than this story? I, Kevin Pyles, believe this story to be true. That's right, I believe with all my heart, soul, and daily activities, that this story is true. Joseph Smith actually saw God, the Father and Jesus Christ. How do I know that an awesome story such as this one is true? A story that puts many fairy-tales to sleep? I know because I have prayed to the same God to know if he really did come down and visit a boy of 14. I have felt a calm and a peace that assures me that this story truly did occur. I was not there on that special occasion when a boy was able to converse with diety in person. I was also not a part of World War II or the Great Depression. But there are witnesses who were there and tell us about these historical events. I have not been to the moon. But there are some who have. They give us witnesses of what they have seen. There are some who don't believe these wars have happened, or that a visit to the moon is a conspiracy. However, just as these events have occured, so too, Joseph Smith saw God the Father, and Jesus Christ.
After this fact, arguing over Polygamy, the Book of Mormon, blacks and the Priesthood etc. are all trivial. Joseph Smith was called to be a Prophet. A spokesman for God. He was called to tell us what God had been silent on for over 1500 years. The heavens have been opened again. We are all privy to this special unveiling. It is up to us to take advantage of it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Good from the BCS

Last night Florida beat Oklahoma in the BCS National Championship Game. What does this mean? It means that Florida has been crowned the BCS National Champions. I have struggled greatly with the idea that a 13-1 team can be crowned the National Champions when there is another team that is 13-0. How does a team with 1 loss get the “National Title” when there is a team that is “perfect”?
For this article I will not go into the details of why I believe Utah should be ranked #1 in the Nation. (BTW before you go ballistic and quit reading I said “ranked #1” I did not say they should be the best team in the nation!) In fact, I am going to spend a couple of minutes and tell you why I believe the BCS is a great system.
I have struggled with this system for a while, and to make my point, I must describe a little of the BCS system and how it works.
1. There are pre-season rankings. This is where some guys get together and decide on who is going to be the best this year and where we should start each team in the rankings.
2. Starting on about week 6 the actual BCS Standings are released based on the first 6 weeks of action.
3. The rankings are based on a computer determination of strength of schedule (which is based on these pre-season rankings), voting by coaches and the press and of course some emphasis is given to actually winning or losing games.
4. The BCS holds the keys to a few of the biggest bowl games of the year: The Rose, Orange, Fiesta, Sugar and of course the BCS National Championship Game.
5. Only BCS conferences should play in the BCS Bowls, however, they have allowed a couple of clauses in case a lawsuit were to come up which allow a “non-BCS” conference team to play in a BCS Bowl. The BCS has allowed Utah, Boise St. and Hawaii to play in BCS bowl games. This clause for some reason also allows Notre Dame to play in a bowl game provided they have a winning season and one of the bowls would like Notre Dame to play instead of someone else. (Fortunately Notre Dame has played so horribly over the past couple of years this has not affected the “non-BCS” conference teams as much or this might have been a bigger issue.)
6. The two teams that play for the BCS National Championship are the schools that are ranked #1 and #2 in the BCS Standings after all regular season and conference championships have been played.
7. The winner of the BCS National Championship is crowned the BCS National Champion. Period.

It is hard to speak of the BCS without giving some of my criticism in there. But, I would now like to go on to a little essay of why I believe the BCS is such a great system for college athletes.
I have watched WAY too much college football this year. I have spent every Saturday during the entire College Football season watching just about every game I could watch. I have watched on Thursday nights and Friday nights as well if there was a game that I could get my hands on. I have watched many #1 teams bite the dust and many schools that should have been #1, get shafted and only prove the BCS right the next week when they lost. I have also watched quite a few bowl games. Trust me, I should have spent more time with my family and friends or maybe even at work, than I have watching college football. And so, I, along with millions of other college football fans have spent countless hours analyzing the BCS and determining which system would be better than the current system we have.
Here is what I have decided…College football is only a side note to the real reason kids are in school. These college athletes should first and foremost be acquiring a college education. And although I have wasted way too much time, energy, my voice, and analytical thinking to college football, these kids are not professional athletes and should be hitting the books more than they hit an opposing team. Therefore the BCS is the best system that could be in place because the BCS will teach our college athletes more about life than any other system we could put in place. Here is what our athletes should be learning from the BCS:

Life is not fair.
No matter how hard you work, others will think someone else is working harder.
No matter how many times you prove you are better than someone else, there will be a vote, and you will lose.
Computer programmers run the world.
Everyone around you will support you, but “they” whoever “they” are will tell you that you just aren’t good enough.
There are no absolutes.
You will be told that it isn’t about money. But it is.
He who owns the field, chooses who plays on it.