Water, Blood & Oil

BOAP.org Beta is “live”

Posted in Uncategorized by Tod Robbins on September 7, 2010

I finally got around to setting up my web-space: http://www.todrobbins.com

This allowed me to upload my work with Bill Smith of BOAP.org. As I have posted on previously, I am revamping the look and usability of the BOAP.org site. Specifically, I have been working on the Presidents of the Church section. Currently, only Brigham Young, John Taylor and Gordon B. Hinckley have loadable content. Below are some screenshots of the site to perhaps entice you, and of course a link to the “beta”. Feel free to comment about all the things you like and loathe. Cheers.

BOAP.org Beta “Presidents of the Church”


Concerning “We Can Live With God Again”

Posted in Uncategorized by Tod Robbins on September 1, 2010

I was browsing the new.lds.org this morning and came upon this paragraph in the “We Can Live With God Again” section of the site:

It’s comforting to know that God has a plan for us. He created our spirits before we were born and they’ll continue into eternity.

It brought me back to recent discussions on By Common Consent and elsewhere that the progression of pre-earth life is one of continual debate. Here, on the official Church website (albeit a “beta”), the doctrine or belief being proffered is that God the Father “created our spirits” somehow. Strange that Joseph Smith once said that if we have a beginning we will certainly have an end, and that God never had the power to create the spirits of humankind. Of course, this concept of viviparous spirit birth (a Brigham Young favorite) with its adjacent tripartite existentialism (thanks? be to B.H. Roberts) continues to kick around, and apparently is accepted enough by Church correlation to appear on the official site.

What are your thoughts on the subject?


Posted in Uncategorized by Tod Robbins on July 29, 2010

Once I lay my troubles aside
in Adam-ondi-Ahman,
I’ll count my friends, all around me,
new bodies at the coming
of Christ from heaven
and light from within.
Once I lay my sins behind
and bow before the peace of the dove,
I’ll count my children
by the crowns on their heads
and alight my hands on air.
I’ll lay my weary side
upon the fields of Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Salt Lake 5th Ward Chapel

Posted in Uncategorized by Tod Robbins on July 8, 2010

Salt Lake 5th Ward Chapel [Photo by Jonathan Kland]

A new post on the Salt Lake Architecture blog is a wonderful building and community history of the Salt Lake 5th Ward Chapel, with a diverse history of use. Architect-Blogger Jonathan Kland has really outdone himself and provided a very useful local history for researchers interested in Salt Lake City history, the LDS Church, or architectural versatility in communities. Enjoy the read, it’s well worth the time.

The Granite Stake Tabernacle

Posted in Uncategorized by Tod Robbins on July 3, 2010

Why do I love building histories so much? I may never know. Good work Madam Mormon Times.

Joseph Smith: On WhatDoYouSuggest.net

Posted in Uncategorized by Tod Robbins on March 4, 2010

A new site that visually graphs the popularity and banality of humanity via Google’s search engine is WhatDoYouSuggest.net. I did a few searches for fun and here are the word suggestions after typing the name “Joseph Smith”. “Joseph Smith false” made the top 10; I suppose that’s an assumption of most people.

Posted in Uncategorized by Tod Robbins on March 4, 2010

The new beta FamilySearch is up and oh my!

I am very thrilled about the Church’s advancements in the digital age and the beta FamilySearch is no exception to that rule. I especially like the delineation between “Historical Records” and “Trees”. Check it out and provide feedback for the developers.

A Poem from Volume 57 of the Millennial Star

Posted in Uncategorized by Tod Robbins on February 19, 2010

Anyone else confused by the line “Bless our race from pole to pole”? Is the author referring to humanity in general or something else?

Joseph Smith and the Devil Have a Beer With Mammy Brewster

Posted in Uncategorized by Tod Robbins on February 14, 2010

A clever dialogue written by Apostle Parley P. Pratt and published January 1, 1844, in the New York Herald was A Dialogue between Joseph Smith and the Devil. One of the most interesting among many many subjects in this fictitious encounter is the following:

[29] Devil: Well, Mr. Smith, we have talked a long while, and are agreed at last–you are a noble and generous fellow, and would not bring a railing accusation against even a poor old Devil, nor cheat him one cent. Come, it is a warm day, and I feel as though it is my treat. Let us go down to Mammy Brewer’s cellar and take something to drink.

[30] Smith: Agreed, Mr. Devil, you appear very generous now. (They enter the cellar together)

[31] Devil: Good morning, Mrs. Brewer, I make you acquainted with my good friend, Mr. Smith, the prophet.

[32] Landlady: Why Mr. Devil, is that you? Sit down, you’re tired; but you don’t say that this is Mr. Smith, your mortal enemy? I am quite surprised; what will you have, gentlemen, for if you can drink together, I think all the world ought to be friends.

[33] Devil: As we are both temperance men and ministers, I think perhaps a glass of spruce beer apiece will be alright; what say you Mr. Smith?

[34] Smith: As you please your majesty. (They take the beer)

[35] Devil: (Holding up glass) Come, Mr. Smith, your good health. I propose we offer a toast.

[36] Smith: Well proceed.

[37] Devil: Here’s to my good friend, Joe Smith, may all sorts of ill-luck befall him, and may he never be suffered to enter my kingdom, either in time or eternity, for he would almost make me forget that I am a devil, and make a gentleman of me, while he gently overthrows my government at the same time that he wins my friendship.

[38] Smith: Here to his Satanic Majesty; may he be driven from the earth and be forced to put to sea in a stone canoe with an iron paddle, and may the canoe sink, and a shark swallow the canoe and its royal freight and an alligator swallow the shark and may the alligator be bound in the northwest corner of hell, the door be locked, key lost, and a blind man hunting for it.

The entire text can be found at BYU’s Mormon Literature Database here.

William sweet and holy

Posted in Uncategorized by Tod Robbins on February 8, 2010

A poem for my grandfather who recently passed away due to a severe stroke:


Mighty, great, and noble

William sweet and holy

laid his head so fully

in the arms of Anna’s rest.

Suckled, sighed, then opened

he received the love of parents humbly

who spoke his name like angels roaming

ever seeking the face of God.

Now he sleeps in death’s embrace

until the Son’s rising from east and west

when Wasatch gleaming,

Madison streaming,

and Provo seething with light

enter the kingdom of heaven.