Conference Quotes and Consequences

Two quick experiences related to General Conference this weekend:

This from my sister Missy:

We were all watching together when they released Elder Marlin K. Jensen as the Church Historian. One of my kids (was it Savannah?) said something like, “Maybe Uncle Rob will be the new historian.” Someone else piped in with, “Yeah, Uncle Rob should be the next one!” The others agreed. I think they may have even been a little disappointed when they didn’t announce your name.

Funny stuff. I’m quite confident I wasn’t even on The Brethren’s radar considering…

  1. I’m not a 70,
  2. I’m not a historian
  3. I’m not on facebook and therefore…
  4. I’m not facebook friends with President Monson
  5. I haven’t taken a history class since high school
  6. I’m still menacing up the Provo society

Need I go on? Yeah, not happening. Still, it was good for a laugh.

Aside from me not being called as Church Historian, the other big announcement was the lowering of missionary ages. This was an exciting declaration and it is one that is surely to have loads of consequences, including…

  1. An immediate surge in missionaries as all of the sudden a year’s worth of men and two years worth of women are eligible to serve. I have some theories on why we need this surge, but I’m not sure they’re appropriate to share in this setting (despite the fact I only have two-remaining blog followers…)
  2. Even after the surge, more missionaries in general will serve. For the men, this will be because fewer will make themselves ineligible in the year between high school and their anticipated departure. For women, more will have the opportunity and choose to serve prior to marriage.
  3. Marriage rates will go up and marriage ages will go down as a combined result of more missionaries marrying people they served with and men and women—think highschool sweethearts—being able to overlap their service, thus preventing the girl from Dear-Johning her Elder as she gets married to someone else. I can’t think of many ways to get your gal to lock her heart than to send her into the nunnery that is female missionary service.

A fourth consequence I experienced when I went to the temple on Tuesday (the first full day the temple was open following Conference). As luck would have it, I needed to do some baptisms for some family names so I headed down to the baptistery. Holy cow. I’ve never seen it so packed. We’re talking standing-room-only packed. There were loads of youth there, many of whom were seeking confirmation as to whether they should plan on leaving earlier on their mission or start considering a mission. Pretty cool to see how one inspired decision can have a trickle-down effect on other aspects of the work. As the Lord has said, “Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.” It’s an exciting time to be a member of the Church, to witness, and even participate in that hastening.



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Learning in the Land of Lincoln


I just returned from the prairie state, where I spent a week with my sister’s family. It was a good trip, with a few surprises here and there. I think the biggest shocker to me was how educational the trip ended up being. Here’s a small sampling of all I learned:

  • Soren (8) has an electronics sixth sense. Like a moth attracted to light, he is drawn to anything electronic and can sense whenever anybody in the house is playing an iPad/iPod/computer game. Suddenly, out of nowhere, he’ll appear to peek over their shoulder as they play.
  • Apparently I have a new name now. Sadie (6) decided she’d call me Robby Lobby Ling Long. You can’t make this stuff up.
  • Guys aren’t allowed to have One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful be their favorite song (according to Savannah (14))
  • It is possible—and apparently a grievous infraction—for one to laugh too long (also, according to Savannah)
  • It is in one’s best interest to stay on the good side of Sterling (10). In addition to becoming a world renowned violinist and composer, he informed us he is also going to take over the world someday.
  • Savannah inadvertently coined the word “stragedy” when trying to say “strategy”. We decided this describes her strategy skills well—they’re tragic.
  • Speaking of strategy games, I discovered the secret to defeating Sam (16) and Spencer (12) in a game of Risk: keep them fighting amongst themselves. They were all too willing to oblige considering they are brothers and a tad-bit competitive with each other. Works. Every. Time.
  • If Sam and Spencer ever find out about my strategy they might just feed me to their ample collection of carnivorous plants…
  • Sadie informed me that the reason she has a long tongue is so that she could get all of the ice cream out of the bottom of her ice cream cone. If that’s not solid evidence of evolution, I don’t know what is.
  • Fireflies are pretty cool. I wonder if I’d have more success in my courting if I had a lightbulb on my behind.
  • Savannah gets (even more) loopy after 9PM.
  • Standing behind Sadie while she is throwing a frisbee golf disc is no guarantee that one won’t end up taking a disc to the tenders. Good thing I wasn’t planning on having children anytime soon…

Thanks for the fun trip, Stowells! Until next time. Robby Lobby Ling Long signing out.




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Last Man Standing

My little brother got married a few weeks ago. Following the ceremony, his new bride did the honors of adding a vinyl version of herself to the back of my parents’ van. I think the message of that vinyl decal is clear: Families are Forever—as long as you have one, unlike the poor sap standing all by himself clear out in left field.

To be clear, I’m not sharing this out of any form of self-pity. I know my day will come. More than anything, it makes me laugh. I mean, just look at it: could vinyl Rob possibly be standing any further away from everyone else? Simply hilarious. Maybe I should get a cat.

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Love Hurts

So Maggie and I had a fight. I’m not sure if she was feeling neglected seeing as I hadn’t spent any quality time with her since last Friday, or unappreciated due to the fact I haven’t really spent much money on her as of late. Maybe she was still fuming the fact I (momentarily) oogled Ryan’s new squeeze. Whatever the reason, she threw me to the ground and left me to nurse my wounds. Indeed, as they say, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

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Deep Thoughts

So I know I’ve been AWOL for the last several months, but that doesn’t mean I’m not here or that I’ve stopped contemplating the mysteries of the universe. Here are some of the latest questions I’ve been mulling over:

  • Is my New Year’s resolution to not buy any sweets all year the stupidest one I’ve ever come up with? (I totally failed to take into consideration all the Cadbury Mini Eggs I’d be missing come Easter-time)
  • Why do I own so much love-lost and breakup music?
  • Is there anything scarier than the prospect of Newt Gingrich with his finger poised over the nuke button?
  • I need to marry a masseuse. (How does one meet a masseuse?)
  • What should I do with my tax return?
  • Why is it that your head is so much clearer, life so much better, (yet your tush so much sorer) when you’re out riding your bike?
  • I need to marry a cyclist. (How does one meet a cyclist?)
  • It is written that man shall not live by bread alone, but what if that glutinous diet included enough different varieties to get you some other essential vitamins and minerals? (banana bread, corn bread, zucchini bread,  potato bread, pumpernickel, Costco poppyseed muffins, etc.)
  • Is my cologne of choice, “Eternity for Men” really intended for men who are destined to eternally be alone? And if so, is that more of a causal relationship? Does the stuff just smell really bad or something?
  • How old does one have to be before they sign up for one of those online dating sites?
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Why you have to be so needy?

A friend of mine asked me today whether I thought men needed women or women needed men more. Here’s what I came up with:

Reasons Why Women Need Men

1. To get them places on time

2. To give them compliments about their appearance

3. Security

4. To fix things

5. Because someone has to hold their purse while they are trying on clothes at the mall

6. To have someone who will listen

7. Because they secretly enjoy our talent for making farting noises with our armpits

8. To open doors

9. Because jewelry is EXPENSIVE

10. To kill bugs


Reasons Why Men Need Women

1. To remember and plan things

2. Because “chips” is not a meal

3. Back scratchings

4. Because “war” and “Nascar” are things that happen when women aren’t around and there is already too much of both in the world as it is.

5. They smell nice

6. You think those guys who ride the 3600-kilometer long Tour de France are going to do so if there aren’t any podium babes at the finish?

7. To keep the Prophet off our backs

8. Without them there would be no incentive to trim unsightly nose and ear hair.

9. Because we are unable to see wrinkles in our clothes

10. Sex


Conclusion: It’s close, but providing the Earth isn’t overtaken by a plague of giant bugs anytime soon, I think men need women more than women need men.



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Makeout Point with Maggie

View from the top of "Makeout Point", er, Squaw Peak

Took my girl Maggie up to Squaw Peak last night. Talk about a workout…

Speaking of Maggie, I have to say, I think my relationship with her has been my longest to date. I’m not sure what to attribute that too… maybe all of the quality time we spend together. Or the fact that she is the only girl I’m okay wearing spandex for.

I know I’ve been AWOL for awhile. More updates to come… after le tour, most likely.


Disclaimer: If any of you read this and thought I was, very ungentlemanly, kissing-and-telling, you missed the boat. Hint: click the “Maggie” link…

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Manliness 30% Off

I grew up in a household where coupons were king. My mom is a coupon mastermind and would spend what seemed like hours going through the ads and filing away all the best deals in her coupon tote. With seven kids, I’m sure this was a necessity to make ends meet. It did come at a cost though. Shopping became an expedition. As we’d walk through the aisles of the grocery store she’d stop every few feet as she’d see something on the shelf and dig in her tote to find a coupon she could use. In reality these shopping trips likely lasted no more than an hour, but for a kid with no attention span it seemed like an eternity. Fortunately, thanks to my incredible persuasive powers I was usually able to convince my mom to get me a few hot dogs or an ice cream cone to keep me occupied, at least until around aisle 3.

As I now do my own shopping and have come to accept the fact I’m a rather frugal-minded individual, I have considered on a number of occasions whether I, like my mother, should be using coupons as I do my grocery shopping. Time and again, though, I have come to the same question: is it considered unmanly to use coupons? Sure, my mom can get away with it, but what about me, an aspiring man whose list of manly accomplishments extends to winning nastiest stache 2009? I’ve got enough liabilities as it is (14-year-old girl tastes in music, anyone?), and don’t know that I want to add another to the list. I can just imagine the conversations:

Girl A: “Hey, why’d you and Rob break up?”

Miss 2011 (or 2012, etc). “Oh, things were going great… until I discovered he uses coupons.”

Girl A: *Gasp*

As this blog enjoys such an admirable following of faithful and trustworthy readers, I pose this question to you:

[poll id=”0002″]

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