An Epitome of Pride: Recipients of Awards and Medals at the College of Art and Design Lahore

After the Colonial period in the subcontinent, two new sovereign states based and divided on the grounds of ideology and two-nation theory, were to find their own path in every meaning of the word. After almost a century-long struggle for freedom, both India and Pakistan earned independence from the British Empire in 1947. However, the Colonial era had acculturated the South Asia in every way, from culture to tradition, from religion to ethics, from cultivation to transportation and from telecommunication to education.

The British rule institutionalized various skills and arts in this part of the world. JJ School of Arts in Bombay (now Mumbai) while Mayo School of Arts and Fine Arts Department of the Punjab University were established in Lahore to promote the enchanting visual culture of the Subcontinent.

The Department of Fine Arts was established under the Umbrella of the University of the Punjab Lahore in 1940 and Anna Molka Ahmed; a young British woman who, after getting married to Sheikh Ahmed had migrated and settled in Punjab, was selected as the first Head of the Department. Two other very talented, learned and capable women were also under consideration for this chair; Mary Roop Krishna and Razzia Serajuddin.

Today the Department of Fine Arts has earned the status of the College of Art and Design and offering different degrees in Painting, Design, Architecture and Art-History. This institution has produced many artists of matchless class and dignified styles whom the government of Pakistan has conferred upon, various awards of high reverence and repute.

Anna Molka Ahmed founded the Fine Arts Department of the University of the Punjab in 1940 and nurtured the first generation of Pakistani artists there. She assimilated western painting techniques, learned during her schooling in London, with indigenous themes and ideas that shaped modern art in Pakistan. Her roles as artist, educator, and administrator remain unparalleled.

She was awarded the Tamgha-i Imtiaz in 1963, the Pride of Performance in 1979, and the Quaid-i Azam Award in 1982.

Khalid Iqbal is the father figure of contemporary landscape painting in Pakistan. With his local palette, and western technique, learned at the Slade School in London, under the scholarship of Sir William Coldstream, he created a modern concept of time by controlling subtle tonalities of diffused light and shade. He is considered as the father of Modern Realism in Pakistan that ultimately shaped the modern school of landscape painting in Pakistan. Khalid’s style and his long years of teaching inspired many students to take up this genre, and to evolve it over the years.

His role in the development of art in Pakistan was marked with a Pride of Performance in 1980.

Colin David was one of the three students in the first class for men at the Department of Fine Arts, University of the Punjab, along with Sufi Waqar and Aslam Minhas. His stint at the Slade School of Art London in 1973, gave a fresh impetus to his work. His compositions of figures, combined with still-life objects in well controlled space, create a Surrealistic ambiance. Colin=s work exhibits the knowledge of human anatomy that introduced Pakistani art to the mystery, flair and balance of figural painting. With his smooth line, he crafted figures in landscapes and interiors. Colin received the Pride of Performance in 1995.

Shaukat Mahmood deals in lines; lines that talk and talk loudly, sarcastically and piercingly. After doing his Masters in Fine Arts from the Fine Arts Department, he went on to take a PhD in Islamic Architecture from Edinburgh University, UK. Currently, he is the Coordinator of the Research Center at the College of Art and Design. When he joined a newspaper as a cartoonist, he came into interaction with renowned poet Munir Niazi, who titled him as Maxim. As Maxim the Cartoonist, he appears daily in a Lahore based newspaper. As a social commentator, he has been commenting on very serious issues with his naughty lines and uproarious characters.

[email protected] received the Pride of Performance in 2001 and Sitara-i Imtiaz in 2010.

A.R. Nagori was often labeled as a colourful painter with dark themes. He was among those who had been inspired by the changing social and political scenario of our country. Nagori opened his eyes in the land of colours and thirst; Rajasthan. His art personified the desert owing to the broad panoramic vision he always had, while his style was as colourful as a rainbow, and as thirsty as the sand. Nagori breathed his last in 2010.

He was awarded the Pride of Performance posthumously in 2011.

Zulqarnain Haider fell in love with landscapes the moment he started to paint. Gradually, his style accepted new challenges of Modern Realism concerning study of light and its effects. His canvases display the true colour and texture of the terrain that he painted time and again. His work mirrors different climatic conditions and the changing seasons. Being a true student, and a follower, of Khalid Iqbal, he continued the legacy of his mentor.

Zulqarnain Haider, a graduate of the Department of Fine Arts of the Punjab University, also studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts Paris, which nurtured his talents and skills.

Zulqarnain Haider was hounoured with the Pride of Performance in 2000.

Ghulam Rasul was obsessed with landscape painting that drove him to examine nature from a different point of view. He earned his MA Painting from the Department of Fine Arts and after doing MA Printmaking from Northern Illinois University, USA in 1973, he developed his own visual vocabulary by painting in flat colours; this technique ultimately resulted in modernizing his canvas by simplifying forms. At a time when perspective depth was in fashion, Ghulam Rasul concentrated on constructing a relationship between composition and the colour palette.

In 1986, Ghulam Rasul received the Pride of Performance.

Zubeda Javed, a former Chairperson of the Department of Fine Arts, is one of the first female painters of Pakistan to adopt semi-abstract and Impressionistic technique in landscape painting. She, with an intuitive colour sense and painterly brush, produced a unique and aesthetically strong display of colours coming out of deep backgrounds. Her painting style, based on imagination rather than on-spot realistic observations, encouraged the modern approach towards colour, composition and light in Pakistani art.

The Tamgha-i Imtiaz was conferred upon her in 2003.

Khalid Mahmood did his MA Fine Arts from the University of the Punjab, Lahore and then MA Art-History from Hawaii University, USA. His research on ‘Sikh murals of the Punjab’ earned him a doctorate from the University of the Punjab. He has served the Department of Fine Arts as Chairman. His interests, today are very much indigenous in terms of subject matter but modern styles of painting especially Impressionism, has always been an inspiration for his technique. His art displays a flowing brush movement and playfulness of colours.

He received the Pride of Performance 2006.

Ajaz Anwar, who holds a PhD in Muslim Architecture from Turkey, has visually documented the culture, the heritage and the festivities of Lahore in watercolour. He, with an intentional effort, tries to record the traditional architecture of the walled-city of Lahore. The sky in his paintings is often dabbled with the fresh shades of variegated kites flying over the architectural labyrinths of the Old City. Ajaz Anwar amalgamated his love for architecture and his passion for painting, in a way, that has become his own signature style.

In 1997, he was awarded the Pride of Performance.

Mian Ijaz ul Hassan is a painter with diverse themes. His interest and knowledge of English literature made him to think and act in accordance with new ideologies of the socio-political scene of Pakistan in the seventies. His figural paintings were rooted in communist and socialist doctrines. However, he not only dug up the fragile soil of his land but also sowed the seed of the yellow Laburnum (Amaltas) tree that blooms in the most unfavorable conditions. His socio-political canvases as well as his foliage paintings exhibit vivid and pure colours.

In 1992, his contribution in the field of art was acknowledged with the Pride of Performance.

Hasan Shahnawaz Zaidi is an artist, a poet, a singer and above all, a mentor who served the College of Art and Design as its principal. Commissioned portraits of national heroes have been his forte as a painter. He comments on socio-historical themes that are present in his poetry as well. Zaidi’s love for poetry and music has led him to a rhythmic quality of line and to the warmth in his palette.

The Government of Pakistan honoured him with the Tamgha-i Imtiaz in 1998. He received Pride of Performance in 2013.

Rahat Navee Masud, uses the female figure, as a vehicle, to express the ‘human condition’, seeking truth and spirituality in it. She is one of the chief exponents of the pastel medium in Pakistan having developed a unique style of working with pastels and gold leaf, mainly on hand made paper. After obtaining a Masters degree from the Fine Arts Department of the Punjab University Lahore, she went on to do her MA in Art and Design in 1995 and practice-led PhD in Fine Arts in 2010 from Kingston University London. She also served the College of Art and Design as its principal from 2009 to 2013.

Why Are Cole Haan Shoes So Great?

Cole Haan shoes is America’s bread and butter; most American’s aren’t aware of this. The company was founded in 1928, Chicago, Illinois. What originally started off as a men’s footwear label turned into something much more lucrative. As of now, Cole Haan shoes offers men’s and women’s footwear along with accessories and outerwear. But what makes Cole Haan shoes so great? We’re glad you asked.

From an aesthetic stand point, the silhouette of a shoe is what makes it most appealing to the eye. If you’re unfamiliar with the term silhouette when referring to footwear – it simply means the shape of the shoe. If a shoe looks awful, it doesn’t matter how comfortable it is; chances are you won’t want to wear it.

The great thing about CH is that it finds a balance between a ‘great looking shoe’ and ‘outstanding comfort’. On February 25th, 2008, the company announced it would no longer use real animal fur in its products for business and sustainability reasons. We are constantly moving to a greener world and what better way to support the cause than to preserve our furry little creatures.

No Fur = You Save Money

The use of synthetic furs isn’t only great for the wildlife but it’s also great for your pocket. Have you ever heard of the quote, “When it comes to style it’s all about the fit.”? It’s true, you don’t need the most exclusive and expensive materials to look good, you just need something that will accentuate the natural curves of your body; Cole Haan shoes accentuate the natural curves of your feet. It is for this reason that they wear nicer than most other brands.

Cole Haan Quality & Style

Most, if not all, Cole Haan shoes are fully leather lined; the interior of the shoe is made of full leather. The benefits of having a fully leather lined shoe is that it will last longer, it will prevent your foot from smelling bad while being more comfortable and breathable. Cole Haan shoes are made with dual stitching; this adds durability while adding a certain level of elegance.

When we talk about style, CH is always up to date with the latest trends. They always release shoes in several colorways, so you can match your wardrobe accordingly, while keeping up with current trends. Trends such as, contrasting soles, unique perforations on the toecap and uppers, fashion forward spins on heels and pumps.

Price Range

Most Cole Haan shoes fit into the $150 – $300 price range. Although this seems like a lot of money, you have to consider the following: you are buying a shoe of high quality, a shoe that will most likely last you several years. Most satisfied customers claim their CH’s were kept for 3 – 5 years. If you break down the prices you’re basically paying $45 – $75 a year; for a shoe that you will wear almost every single day. If that’s not a bang for your buck, I don’t know what is.

Who Is Responsible For More Narcotic Overdoses – Your Doctor Or The Neighborhood Drug Dealer?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), poor prescribing habits by physicians are to blame for most of the misuse and/or abuse of prescription narcotic pain killers (otherwise known as “opioid prescription pain relievers”) in the United States today. Reportedly, this has been a disturbing and growing trend over the past several years. Over 500,000 E. R. visits to U.S. hospitals in 2010 were due to misuse or abuse of prescription opiate pain medications. The admissions rate to U.S. hospitals for patients experiencing prescription pain pill overdoses has increased by nearly 300%! Many analysts have concluded that contrary to conventional opinion, “irresponsible doctors” and prescription medications containing opioids may be responsible for a greater number of overdoses and deaths than those linked to “drug dealers” and illegal drugs! Recent statistics have revealed that over 70% of drug overdose deaths within the past five years have been secondary to prescription pain blocker abuse. And while the overall death rate linked to heroin overdoses has gone down, the death rate for overdoses related to medically prescribed pain-killer drug overdoses has actually gone up! Statistics have also revealed that the sharpest increases in prescription opiate medication abuse over the past several years have been seen among whites (over 400% increase) and in women age 40 – 60 (over 400% increase).

The CDC’s data suggests that over 12 million Americans (about 1 in 20) are taking opiate-based pain pills in an ill-advised and potentially risky fashion as a result of inappropriate prescribing by their physicians. A major consistent problem – prescriptions written (and then often re-written) by physicians which ultimately provide for a duration of narcotic therapy which is outside of that deemed medically necessary/recommended to treat an acute pain situation. Another problem – the so-called “pill mills” where unethical physicians are essentially providing narcotic medications by “prescription for a price”, skirting the law by hiding under a very thin cloak of “providing medical care”.

Narcotic seeking patients also know that they can “doctor shop” and pick up multiple prescriptions for similar opiate type prescriptions simply by going from one doctor to another and different pharmacies, over and over. Florida is the state with the dubious distinction of being #1 in prescription narcotic use; Illinois wins the “best practices” award for being the lowest.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) monitors the sales of these narcotics by the pharmaceutical manufacturers to pharmacies, hospitals, and other dispensing facilities. The DEA reports that there has been a 300% increase in the sales of such narcotic products to these facilities over the past 10 years! That reflects a similar mirrored increase in the “legal” use of prescription pain medications by the consumer – the patients – for that same time period! This amounts to nothing more than “legally sanctioned” drug abuse. It seems quite clear that we really need to reel this all in…and fast. According to the DEA, in 2010 there were enough narcotics prescribed to medicate every adult American 24/7 for 30 solid days! Several new federal measures have been recently instituted and more have been called for in Washington. Improving the monitoring and accountability for the prescribing of opioids, narcotics, and similar pain relieving drugs is felt to be crucial to the solving (or at least the slowing down) of this concerning and pervasive problem.

Customer Loyalty Programs

Everyone uses a loyalty program. You choose a certain credit card so that you can rack up airline miles. You pull out a plastic card for the cashier to swipe at the grocery store that gives you access to certain discounts. I carry a plastic tag on my key ring for Starbucks that gives me a free drink on my birthday and free soy milk in my drinks. There are plastic cards for the loyalty programs at office supply stores, pet stores and so many more.

The definition of a loyalty program is to provide discounts, prizes, or other incentives to encourage continued patronage of a business, according to Wikipedia. Generally, loyalty programs are considered less expensive to maintain than allowing customer defection or “churn.”

Jarrett Paschel, Ph.D. is the vice president of strategy and innovation for research consultancy The Hartman Group and he wrote about the results of research done on retail loyalty programs. “We’ve been listening to frustrated consumers complain about retail loyalty programs for years, so we were not surprised that our recent research confirmed this position. Looking at the chart we find that 74 percent of consumers somewhat or strongly agree that ‘retailers need new and better ways of rewarding loyal customers’.”

We love loyal customers. It is in rewarding those customers that we have the opportunity to turn them into raving fans. We must not lose that opportunity.

Loyalty programs are a “selfless acknowledgment of your store’s appreciation for your customer’s continued patronage and support with a gift or service of substantive or meaningful value,” says Paschel. That chosen gift should not have any strings attached to it – otherwise it isn’t freely given. It also should be able to be used immediately – which differentiates it from a bounce back coupon. (A bounce back coupon is a coupon given to a customer offering a discount on a purchase to be made within certain future time constraints.)

Our goal is to reward our customers for making the right decision and choosing to shop with us. Look at your own behavior. Are you motivated simply by discounts, miles or points? No. Those don’t necessarily cause you to change your behavior and drive out of your way to go to a store.

Loyalty is inspired by making an important difference in your customer’s life. It will necessarily include a shock, surprise and awe component.

It isn’t hard. You only need to know one thing. What matters to your best customers? Go to your computer and pull up the list of your customers sorted by sales volume. Look at them. Picture them. What is important to them? What type of lifestyle do they lead? What do they buy from you? Start a list.

Force yourself to write down at least 25 entries. You will see commonalities. What could you gift them with that would make a meaningful impact?

For a toy store, it could be sending a great age appropriate gift to the customer’s child on their birthday. The difference that makes is that you are recognizing the importance of their kids in their life – and you know that they will be shocked. For any store, it could be tracking their purchases and giving them a percentage of that total back as a discount off of future purchase. The shock, surprise and awe component of that can be that YOU keep track of it for them. My client, My Favorite Toy Store in Illinois, does that and actually sends their customers a look-a-like check in the amount of their discount. Their customers love that – and them!

Don’t think it has to only be about giving inventory away. Never underestimate the value of specialized knowledge to someone who is pressed for time. For a women’s fashion store, it could be a special report about the next season’s must-haves – in all areas of fashion not just the ones that you sell. The report could include the latest trends in home accessories, colors and so on. If fashion and design is important to your best customers, then use your resources to pull together that information for them. They will be in awe of the fact that you are genuinely passing on knowledge that they care about – not just about items you have in your store.

Think outside of the box about delivering the loyalty gift. In a wine store, the owner could put together a report about a new vineyard or area of the world that is producing wine. Then she could record the report and make a podcast or send the customer a link to a mp3 recording. Think about what knowledge you have that you could share with your customer and how to share it.

I posted tips from this article on Facebook and immediately got this response from Jane in California. “If I’m having the service shopping experience – that’s focused on ME, (her emphasis) I don’t even ask the price. And nothing in the big-box free-for-all is worth it. The merchandise is cheap in every sense and the experience is brutal.”

“..Focused on ME..” That is the secret. Your loyalty program must be selflessly focused on your best customers. That is what will shock, surprise and awe them. No one does that.

And you will find that your customers are begging to award you their loyalty because it saves them time. They know where to go to get their need fulfilled – to your store. They don’t want to expend effort and have to make choices about where to go. They already know, like and trust you. They want to shop with you. If you reward them by making a difference and providing shock and awe, they will reward you with their continued loyalty and business.

Winning the Plus Size Style War

Catherine’s offers plus size clothing at moderate prices in various U.S. retail locations and from its online and print catalog. Its styles focus on classic lines for both casual and career clothing needs of plus size women. Catherines Stores Corporation owns in excess of 400 stores in the United States in all but 6 of the contiguous states. Not only does the Catherine’s line of plus size clothing provide fashionable items in sizes 16 to 24, but it also offers petite lengths as well in sizes up to 26.

Catherine’s clothing for women struggling with obesity began in Memphis Tennessee in 1960. This single store was owned by Catherine Weaver, who struggled with obesity herself. As her concept showed a profit she opened numerous stores throughout the Southeastern part of the United States. Investors purchased Catherine’s shortly afterwards, calling the retail locations Stout Shoppes. Catherine’s Inc. debuted at the same time.

By 1980 this plus size clothing manufacturer had a grand opening for its 100th store. In 1991 the firm went public as Catherines Stores Corporation. In 2000 Catherines became part of Charming Shoppes Inc.

Catherines Stores Corporation is a plus size clothing company that takes pride in saying it is for women and managed by women. It is noted for its superb customer service and its comfy retail environment.

Just this June the first Catherine’s outlet store for plus size clothing opened in the Franklin Mills outlet center in Philadelphia. One week later three additional Catherine’s stores premiered. They are located in Colorado Mills Mall in Lakewood Colorado; The Shops at Las Americas in San Ysidro California and Gurnee Mills outlet mall in Gurnee Mills Illinois.

Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayers?

“Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?” How often have we asked that question? “Almost too many to count,” we reprimand ourselves. We look for reasons why we aren’t heard by God.

Do I pray hard enough?

Do I ask for too much?

Do I ask for too little?

Am I just being ignored?

Do I need to be more specific?

Maybe God has more important things to do than answer my prayers. After all, He has a great universe to manage.

Am I not worthy to be answered? Perhaps God is paying attention to someone else either on this planet or elsewhere.

Am I just praying for the wrong things? Maybe, perish the thought, God does not exist at all. He might be merely a figment of my childhood imagination like the tooth fairy.

The problem is not with God. Maybe the problem is within my self. If I look at myself honestly, I might see both the problem and the solution.

First, I know how to pray. I was taught by my parents. As a child they showed me the way to pray, the times to pray, the words to say, the proper postures to assume, and the correct frame of mind to enter. I said my prayers when I arose in the morning, before and after meals, at different times of the day as prescribed by my religious teachings, and when I went to sleep. I observed the Sabbath, the important holy days, and even important national holidays. I prayed for myself, my family, my friends, my government officials, men and women in uniform, my religious leaders, and even my enemies. Yes, I was taught to pray very well. I know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. So I have no problem there.

Second, prayer, like any form of communication depends upon two individuals: the communicator and the communicant, that is, the speaker and the receiver. Yes, I know how to speak. But have I learned how to receive? Have I learned how to listen? Now that I think about it, I’ve learned how to say all of the right words. I memorized all my prayers. I know all about the proper way to pray. But no one ever taught me the art of listening. Like many of us, I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of living, planning my tasks for the rest of the day or for the week, or critiquing my past performances. I am so busy, that I seldom relax. I marvel at people who take time in the day to meditate. I say to myself that I do not have time for that. I have too many demands on my time and energy. I honestly don’t know whether my prayers are being answered or if I am being ignored. I don’t even have the time to find out. Help! I am overwhelmed. How do I make some time in my schedule to try to listen?

Praying and dieting are very similar. (We all know we should and we all know it is good for us). Many books have been written on each subject. We have read many of them. We know what foods we should eat. We know about proper nutrition. Still we frequent fast food restaurants (Love those french fries). The same applies to prayer. Most of us have been taught how to pray. But most of this training in prayer does not include the lessons in listening.

We address the Deity by name. He knows our name and we have learned His. We speak His name in the many languages of our diverse cultures. We call Him, God, Allah, Adonai, Brahmin, or Her, Goddess. For the purposes of this book, we will utilize the traditional masculine English title, God. As the reader, please substitute your preferred name: ____________

Many of us feel comfortable conversing with God. Why shouldn’t we? We believe we have a personal relationship with God. Some of us, however, have a difficult time talking with God or with other people. We are the quiet ones. Once there was a five year old boy whose mother and father thought he was mute, because he had not uttered a word since birth. One night, while eating at the dinner table, he exclaimed, “These potatoes are cold!” His parents looked astonished. “Johnny, you can talk,” they said in amazement. “Why haven’t you ever said anything before?” Johnny shrugged his shoulders replying, “I never had anything to say.” Like Johnny, we might have nothing to say, or at least we think we don’t have anything to say.

Sometimes we want to pray but we are tongue-tied. We might not always know the correct words to say or might be intimidated by speaking directly to God. In the Catholic Church, the devotion to the Virgin Mary evolved because people, especially women, did not feel worthy to talk to God or Jesus Christ directly. The priest talked to God the Father and to Jesus Christ for us in the Mass. For many lay Catholics the thought of speaking directly to God, Himself, was intimidating. It was akin to a peasant addressing the king or a private in the army interrupting a general. Many Catholics, especially women, felt that the only way to get the ear of Jesus Christ was if they spoke to His mother, Mary. She would intercede to her Son on their behalf. It worked at the marriage feast at Cana, where Mary told Jesus that the wedding couple ran out of wine, a real no-no. He performed the miracle of transforming the water into wine.

Once there was a newly ordained priest who was asked to officiate at the wedding of his sister. Before the ceremony, he felt somewhat nervous. But he performed the ceremony, said the Mass, and gave an eloquent sermon; all splendidly done. After the Mass was finished, he felt pretty proud of himself about the job he had done. He would relax at the reception. At the reception different guests complemented him on the ceremony and his sermon. The maid of honor, his sister-in-law, came up to him with some telegrams in her hands and asked him to read them aloud to the guests. One happened to be from a prominent public official. Feeling satisfied about the complements he was receiving about the ceremony, he declined her request saying that it was the best man’s job to read telegrams. Feeling smug he continued to enjoy the party. A few minutes later his sister and sister-in-law approached him with the same telegrams. Once again, he argued with them, pleading his case that his responsibility was finished and the best man should read the telegrams. Still smiling to himself about his apparent victory he had with the women folk, he looked up from his table and saw his sister-in-law striding up the aisle hand in hand with his sister and his mother. Needless to say, he read the telegrams.

One aspect of prayer, however, continues to befuddle us, whether we are comfortable or uncomfortable praying. We pray, but often are not sure whether our prayers are answered or even heard. We get no perceived feedback or response. We feel frustrated, because we have the sensation that we are talking to the walls. We wonder whether God really does pay attention. Does He care? Are we just giving lip service? Does God, in fact, answer our prayers?

We have doubts and reservations about our prayers being heard for very good reasons. We learned to recite our formal prayers correctly. We then learned to speak to God as we would to any person, using our own language and not relying on specific formulae. But we missed one important aspect of communication: feedback. No one taught us how to listen. We fashioned ourselves into a Tower of Babel of prayers: praising, petitioning, thanking, and atoning. Talk! Talk! Talk! We developed into a cacophony of chatterers. Now we need to learn the complementary element of praying: effective listening. In this book you will be given the principles of listening, not only to God, but also to ourselves, to nature, and to each other.

Listening does not mean that I respond only to someone yelling into my ear. Most of the time listening involves recognizing subtle nuances: something I might be surprised to see, or feel, or hear. Expect the unexpected. Heighten being aware of your environment and surroundings.

God is speaking to each one of you at this very moment. He is saying to you, “Now is time to learn the art of sacred listening.” At this precise second He is complementing you, “You are smart.” “You are beautiful.” “You are My favorite son/daughter.” Yes, He is speaking to each one of you through these very pages. Are you skeptical? Right now He is looking into your heart, your brain, your very being and is whispering your name, that special unique name that He has for you. Deep in your self you recognize that special name and want to respond, “Yes, help me.”

This book will set you on the path to learn how to listen to God. You might not find all of the answers to every one of your questions here, because God speaks to you uniquely in various ways and styles, and through different media. He converses with you through your physical and spiritual selves. He speaks through His magnificent creation, sometimes so beautiful, serene, and majestic; yet other times terrifying, dangerous, and overwhelming. He speaks to you through other people too, using His angels to protect, comfort, console, and challenge you. He speaks to you through the most unlikely of people: a child, a homeless person, or a friend in emotional need. He speaks to you individually in His own specific way. Remember that special name God has for you and you for Him. Only you can fathom the messages, which God is sending to you. No book can reach into your heart and touch your special relationship. This book, however, can point out to you guideposts and signs, so you can be aware of God’s ineffable presence in your life. But only you can interpret how they apply to you.

In the following pages we will examine both aspects of prayer: speaking and listening. Because so much literature is available about the speaking aspect of prayer, we will only cover its basics. Many prayer books and books dealing with prayer are available in bookstores and other locations.

Prayerful listening, however, deserves to be examined in depth. Learn the skills necessary to listen to yourselves, to creation, to each other, and to God. Learn to ascertain the obstacles, that prohibit you from effective listening. Think of ways to avoid them. Acquiring these techniques and becoming proficient in overcoming these obstacles will enable you to use them as jumping off points to increase your awareness of God speaking to you. By keeping your ears and hearts open to the Creator’s word, you will come to realize that your prayers are always answered.

The art of listening is, perhaps, the most difficult activity we human beings do. Many of us spend most of our time, when conversing, wanting to express our personal viewpoints, rather than concentrating on what the other person is saying to us at the present moment. Our minds race ahead like a chess player, mentally planning four moves ahead of the present move by an opponent.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our emotions we stop hearing. Recently I was in a place of business waiting to speak to the proprietor regarding a project in which we were involved. A lady was talking with her about tracing down some jewelry which had been sent out for repair. The conversation then evolved into a problem her friend was having with the police. The lady was close to tears and was emotionally distraught. After a half hour of her repeating the exasperating story, the proprietor constantly said that her friend needed a lawyer. The lady did not hear a word the shopkeeper had said. Watching this exchange reminded me of a person who prays so fervently and incessantly that he/she becomes totally unaware of any possible response. More often than not we totally misunderstand or become deaf to the dialogue we are attempting to achieve with others.

I know many successful people. I have observed one quality they possess in common is the ability to focus and listen to the message of others. When they converse with someone, that person feels flattered by the undivided attention accorded them by these charismatic leaders. They address them by them name. They look at them in the eyes, not over their shoulder or at their bosom.

My wife and I were in Washington, D.C., attending the Thursday morning breakfast meeting the senators from the State of Illinois hold with their constituents. During the question/answer session I asked a question and introduced ourselves as geriatric gypsies. During the photo shoot after the breakfast, Senator Dick Durbin chuckled when we approached for the picture and said that he enjoyed our title. That he remembered, or even cared to comment about it, made me feel friendlier toward him than before. Here was a man who listened.

Because our human nature causes our minds to wander during conversations, the other person regards us as not caring or even uninterested. Recall how we feel when we want to express our ideas and no one will listen to us. We feel upset, rejected, angry, even dishonored. Others feel the same way too. Paying attention to another’s opinion makes that person feel worthwhile. We in turn look sympathetic and valuable in their eyes.

There are skills, which can enhance your ability to listen. By practicing the exercises in this book you will improve your ability to listen to yourselves, to other people, and to the Creator in your daily activities. Learning these techniques takes time and practice. Once learned, however, prayerful listening becomes second nature and pervades all areas of your lives.

Thank you for reading this chapter. If you wish to purchase a CD of the book please click below. The first time you read the book, completely go through it. Then return to the exercises and practice them until you are comfortable.

Lady Skaters Get Violent – Roller Derby

With jammers, blockers and pivots, it sounds more like American Football than roller skating; but the sport of Roller Derby is fast growing in popularity all over the world. Although played by some males, the sport is dominated by females, and the culture that surrounds it goes further than just the Derby, but encompasses fashion, friendship and showmanship (or should that be show-womanship?) as much as the competition itself.

Like other more alternative sports such as skateboarding, Roller Derby comes with a whole image, and is as much about show as it is skill. Players dress in fishnet stockings, pop socks, hot pants and a helmet, and team-player nicknames such as ‘Metal Momma’, ‘Cherry Bomber’ and ‘Sister Sledgehammer’ are a must.

The sport has been described as the perfect combination of femininity and violence, and the fact that Roller Derby is dominated by feisty females has made it a magnet for many male fans. Like female mud wrestling, there is a certain attraction of watching the girls get rough with each other, and players have described themselves as being “tough and skull cracking, but sexy at the same time”.

The term ‘Roller Derby’ can been traced back to as far as 1922, when it was used by a local paper to describe an event held in an old warehouse behind a hotel in Chicago, that hosted the first known flat track multi-day roller skating races. However, this event was very different to what is called Roller Derby today and bears few similarities other than the name.

The sport has also been praised for helping women to become more confident, and increase their self esteem by getting them involved in a powerful, all girl environment. The Roller Derby scene is also closely linked with the music scene, with bands often performing before and after the action, and Derby Girls are known for enjoying a good party after the game. Part of its popularity has been attributed to its nostalgic appeal for women in their late 20s and 30s who can still remember roller-skating discos of the past. Others are the type of girls who were never interested in volleyball or cheerleading, but are attracted by the skater-punk persona of a Roller Girl.

Though born in Chicago, Roller Derby has since spread it wings far and wide, with leagues popping up all over the world, in Japan, Australia and the UK; there are even rumours circulating of a new Roller Derby movie starting Drew Barrymore in the making, proving that its popularity is more than a passing fad.

Making the Release

So, you and your business have a great product, event or “rags-to-riches” story that you’re dying to spread the word about–because you just know that once people hear the news, they’re goin to want to know more about what you have to offer. You can already hear the “cha-ching!” sound as new customers beat a path to your door. The question is…how are you going to get the word out?

The answer…a great press release.

A press release is a great way to gain free publicity (and who doesn’t want that?) for your business & services. How you write one can make all the difference between getting media coverage for your business–and your crumpled-up press release covering the bottom of an editor’s trash can. So, here are some tips on how you can hopefully achieve the former.

Use the proper setup…

Most press releases are between 200-500 words, and no more than a page long–since most editors and reporters are pressed for time to the 9th degree. Print your release on company letterhead or use your company’s logo, and right underneath in the page’s upper right-hand margin, put the words “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” in all caps (or “FOR RELEASE ON…” if you want the media to hold off on releasing your information until a certain date.) On the right-hand side, list your company’s contact info (name, phone number, email/website/mailing address, etc.). Add your headline underneath, then begin the body of your release with a dateline (for example, “CHICAGO, Illinois–March 2, 2004”). After the end of your press release, type either “-30-” or “###” to indicate the story’s end.

Grab ’em quick & fast…

Media people barely have time to breathe–so whatever you send them has to grab their attention as quickly as possible. Start off with a catchy, one-line headline that makes them want to read more. For example, “Five Ways to Live Rent Free” is much more interesting and less wordy than “Local Real Estate Agent Offers Tips to First-Time Homebuyers on How To Increase Equity in Upcoming Seminar.” Follow your to-the-point, lively headline with a brief, clear first paragraph and about five to seven bulleted main points.

“So, what’s in it for me?”

This is the question going through an editor’s mind as she reads your release–the media is all about dispensing news that’s of the utmost interest to the public. The more your press release fits within that category, the better. Does it offer a fascinating story, fabulous event or dynamic interview? The aim is to let producers and journalists know that if they run an article or segment on your business, their audience is in for a real treat, as it would contain information that’s important & interesting to them.

Be a trend keeper-upper…

Another way to pique the interest of your media contacts is to tie your press release’s news in with a current trend or hot topic. For example, your announcement of the new online classes you’re teaching can piggyback on the growing popularity of adult continuing education (both on- and off-line). If you’re a handbag designer whose claim to fame is making good-quality, attractive accessories at affordable prices, your release can mention how fashion-conscious women are demanding a balance between style and budget.

Tap into human interest…

Is there something in your press release that speaks to an emotionally popular issue? If so, make that a selling point. For example, a client of mine followed her passion/dream when she left her teaching job to open a tutoring center for middle- and high-school students. For her press release, I suggested playing up the “pursuing what you really love” aspect–and pointed out that the teaching thing didn’t hurt, either–as being “for the kids” wins extra points in the human interest area!

Target (and I don’t mean the store)…

If you want your press release to hit home, you’ve got to aim well. That means sending it out to a very targeted list of contacts. If you’re a business coach with a release about your new seminar series, the health and beauty editor at the Huntsville Gazette is probably not only going to pass on it–he or she will probably be annoyed that you didn’t research your contact list first. So, you get the picture–health related events go to health editors & reporters, business releases go to the business desk, and so on. Sometimes, you can be a little creative in your distribution, however–as your release might fit into several different areas. If you’re a female business owner, there may be something of interest in your release to a newspaper’s “women’s” section, as well (i.e. a growing business trend among female entrepreneurs.) Study the publication and make sure you direct your release to the right person, re-working your headline & first paragraph for the individual, if needed–and limit your release to one contact per publication.

Be a distribution machine…

Now that you have your press release written, it’s time to get it out there. There are many different options available, depending on your time and budget. Distribution services can send your release to up to 10,000 media contacts at a time (you can also specify particular markets that you want to reach). Fee based services include Business Wire, Major News Wire and I Media Fax, and the usual cost ranges from $150 to a few hundred dollars. However, if you have a little more time and a little less money, you can distribute your press release yourself. There are places on the Internet where you can post your press release for free, such as PRWeb.com, 24-7PressRelease.com, Free-Press-Release.com, PRLeap.com, and PR.com. You can also do a Google search on “free press release distribution” (to find additional sites like the ones just mentioned), research newspapers, magazines and TV/radio shows that you’d like to distribute to, visit their web sites and find the appropriate contact person (you’ll usually find a staff list in the publication’s “About Us” section). These days, email is an increasingly popular contact method among members of the media.

Once you find your contact’s email address, send your release in the body of the email, prefaced by a quick introduction and query (no more than a few lines long). Avoid attachments when possible–because of virus scares, journalists aren’t likely to open them if they’re from an unfamiliar source.

The big follow-up…

So, you’ve sent out your release…now what? It is okay to follow up with a phone call to an editor to see whether he or she received your release or has any questions about it. However…don’t push it! A sure-fire turnoff for editors is when they get multiple phone calls pressuring them to commit to a story or badgering questions on when a story is going to run. “Short ‘n polite” is the best way to go–“I just wanted to see if you had any questions” and “thank you very much” will suffice.

Make regular, well-written press releases a part of your marketing campaign, and you’re sure to get people talking about & paying attention to your business. Good luck!

Belated Response of an Ex-Mormon Elder to an LDS Internet Essay, “Translation of the Book of Mormon

After thirty active years that I wrongly spent as an elder, mainly a missionary, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also called the Mormon Church and the LDS Church, from 1970 until 2000, my contempt for Mormonism has only grown with inexorable lividity after reading the Mormon Church’s official apologetic essay entitled “Book of Mormon Translation,” which was published on the church’s website in 2014. You see, the true unvarnished history of the Mormon Church, and about Joseph Smith, the church’s originator and founder, is so filled with lies and apologetic inaccuracies that Latter-day Saints in foreign countries have discovered, to their chagrin, that language barriers and intentionally designed attempts by the Salt Lake City Brethren to keep true Mormon history and doctrine away from the eyes of Europeans and Scandinavians, during much of the 20th Century, have resulted in shocking eye-opening realizations by these deceived Mormons through the advent of the Internet. Nowhere has this been more shockingly true than in the quaint nation of Sweden, where, in 2010, a great many Swedish Mormons began indignantly proclaiming, in one collective accusing voice, to the Salt Lake City LDS Brethren, that the Mormon history and doctrine they were taught about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the other canonized Mormon scriptures, were a pack of lies. Perhaps, in the beginning of their stark realization, the Swedes were much more patient than they currently are, and didn’t accuse the Mormon hierarchy of out-right fraud and duplicity; but asked, pleadingly, for Salt Lake City to answer their poignant questions clearly and concisely using correct, no sanitized, historical facts, the facts about which the Swedish LDS Church apparently knew very little.

Those Swedish Mormons asked, if not demanded, answers and explanations to fifteen very poignant doctrinal and historical questions, one of which was about the manner in which Joseph Smith allegedly translated the alleged golden plates from which came the alleged, and greatly criticised, ancient Mesoamerican Hebrew record called the Book of Mormon. The Mormon missionaries who were sent to Sweden by Mormon leader Brigham Young, prior to 1876, to recruit Mormon converts took with them the canonized Mormon scriptures, the “Lectures on Faith,” the doctrine of the LDS Church at that time, and the covenants of the Church, which were combined into a single doctrinal volume known as the “Doctrine and Covenants.” At that time in Mormon history, nearly a thousand Mormon men in the Salt Lake Valley, in the Utah Territory, and in the Northwest Territories (now Washington and Oregon) were married to multiple wives under the command of Brigham Young to observe the Mormon doctrine of polygamy. Almost everyone in the United States, who read newspapers prior to 1876, knew that the Mormons were eagerly practicing polygamy in their new Utah home, but very few realized that the Mormon Doctrine and Covenants contained a very false and fraudulent disclaimer about the Mormon belief and practice of polygamy, which they used when the Mormon missionaries lied to the Europeans and Scandinavian peoples, telling them that the Mormon people did not practice polygamy. They would tell them that the rumors, if any, about Latter-day Saints in America practicing polygamy were totally false, and would show them Section 101 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which stated this false and fraudulent proclamation to the world as canonized Mormon doctrine. Consequently, the Swedish, and other overseas peoples, who accepted Mormonism under this delusion, and taught their children and grandchildren to have faith in it, built their lives around this fraudulent Mormon history and its unchristian doctrines. Hans Mattsson (the Swedish Mormon Area General Authority, who had been selected by the Mormon hierarchy in Salt Lake City to be their spokesperson in Sweden) and the indignant Swedes who led the collective effort to get answers for their fifteen (15)poignant questions, had believed the doctrinal and historical representations given by 20th and 21st Century Mormon missionaries as they converted thousands of Swedish men and women to Mormonism. So the enigmatic issue that was before the Swedes in 2010, was, simply, if the 19th and 20th Century Mormon missionaries lied about polygamy, what else did they intentionally misrepresent about the history and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

The apologetic essay that the Mormon Church officially published about the alleged translation of the golden plates that Joseph Smith, supposedly, had in his possession from 1827 until 1830 (which he claimed he returned to same angel, Moroni, who showed him where the plates were supposedly buried in upstate New York) does not, in any way, address what the representatives of the Mormon Prophet, Thomas Monson, from Salt Lake City, (Assistant Church Historian Richard Turley, General Authority Erich W. Kopischke, of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and R. Ingar Olsson, a Seventy of the Swedish Area Seventy) told Mattsson and 24 other Swedish Mormons when they met at a Mormon Church building in Stockholm, Sweden on November 28, 2010. In fact, the clerical representatives of the Mormon Church didn’t respond honestly and factually to any of the questions. They let Turley, who was, and is, not a church general authority, respond to the questions. General Authority Marlin Jensen did state, at that time, that, “There’s nothing about Mormonism that bothers me. Are there contradictions, are there inconsistencies, are there paradoxes? Yes.” To this assertion one of the 24 rank-and-file Swedish Mormons there replied, “And you are aware of a lot more things that we might not be aware of yet? But still you stand and you think, ‘I can – I can stand for this?'” Jensen’s response to this was, “Right… So I’m just saying they’re good questions,” and the same Swedish member retorted, “Will you have good answers?” To this question, Jensen replied, “that the answers would have to be spiritually discerned, and each of the people in attendance wouldhave make his, or her, own decision.” Had I been in attendance, I would have asked Jensen if a specific question requiring a specific answer, such as ‘how did you, Jensen, get to the meeting tonight?’ would need to be discerned spiritually. The answer to this historical question would have obviously been no.

Hence, Jensen turned the meeting over to Richard Turley, who they could later claim, as a post-prescribed apologetic caveat, was answering the questions on a scholarly basis, and not on a spiritual or theological basis. The first question, of the fifteen, was the one dealing with the way Joseph Smith translated the golden plates into the Book of Mormon. The only eye-witnesses to Smith’s translation, Emma Smith and David Whitmer, stated in writing that Joseph Smith used the same identical seer stone (an ordinary white stone), which he and his father had frequently used to persuade their neighbors that they could discover buried treasure, through the practicing of folk magic (they never actually found any buried treasure and was sued by one particular neighbor for defrauding him into paying money for such an effort). Emma Smith (Joseph Smith’s wife) and Whitmer were the only two people who stated authoritatively that the “only” method Joseph Smith used in his alleged translation was the “seer stone and a hat.” The seer stone was placed into the hat and, afterward, Smith would put his face into the hat to obtain a translation. These witness statements were presented to Turley, who admitted their historical accuracy and truth. He was then asked why Smith had put his head into “one particular” hat in order to see the seer stone. Turley did not answer authoritatively, but in a way that could have easily generated numerous other questions. He said, “The hat was, apparently, to block light out out so that Joseph… could see what he was doing with the record. Sometimes the light, you know, affects your spirit. We don’t know exactly how it works, but he did say this: ‘in the early days of his translation, he was relying on revelatory tools of some sort or another – Urim and Thummim, seer “stones,” whatever the case may be.”

The foregoing answer, by Turley, to that first poignant question was not given in the same fashion that Emma Smith and David Whitmer had responded to the same question, “How did Joseph Smith translate the golden plates?” Neither Joseph Smith’s wife, Emma, nor David Whitmer, ever mentioned the use, or existence, of something called the “Urim and Thummim”. So, therefore, the pictures that have been used by the Mormon Church’s millions of full-time missionaries, during the late 19th Century, representing Joseph Smith translating the golden plates (showing Smith sitting before a wooden table, before a representation of the golden plates, wearing what the Mormon Church calls the Urim and Thummim and looking at, and touching, the golden plates) accompanied, and still accompany, the explanation by those missionaries that “that was the way Joseph Smith translated the golden plates.” I recall distinctly that Elders Craig Burgess and Barry Erickson, from Utah, said the same things to me in Tyler, Texas, in October of 1970.

I have explicated in other essays how the Mormon Church has managed, over 177 years, to create a tangled maze of intentional historical and doctrinal misrepresentations by endeavoring to obfuscate them with further misleading misrepresentations, hoping that the people reading them will not realize that the Mormons are “lying for the Mormon lord.” Nonetheless, in continuing with the Swedish moment in 2010, the Swedes wanted to know, and asked Turley, why the representations of Smith translating the golden plates had not conformed to correct history, showing Joseph Smith with his head in a hat. And, again, Turley responded with words that were not an answer to the question. He was struggling for something to say when he uttered, in paraphrase, that “old Christian art wrongly depicts people in the Holy Land as dressed in European garb. It is the artist’s choice.” When challenged that his response didn’t provide an answer to the question, Turley replid, “Often the way stories have been told over time don’t conform with history. And so our goal is to try to make them conform more closely.” Had I been there, my frustration, and probable anger, would have been vocally expressed when Turley had refused to answer the question. Had I been there, I would have asked Turley why, if all other official Mormon Church pictures used by local wards and stakes, correctly depict, without exception, the particular buildings, people, and objects from Mormon history, why isn’t the correct way Joseph Smith translated the golden plates depicted correctly in Mormon art, especially if they know that he put his head into a hat to do so? I would have asked him this question, and would have demanded an answer.

The official aforementioned LDS Internet essay, “Book of Mormon Translation,” is a blatant insult to anyone knowing the true history of Mormonism, and is, yet, another abstruce apologetic attempt of the Mormon Church to mollify the frustration and indignation of rank-and-file Mormons, especially those in Sweden, who believe that they were intentionally deceived. An appropriate essay by the Mormon Church could have simply been an apology for the lies and misreprestations produced by the Mormon hierarchy since the church’s inception in 1830, and a statement that Joseph Smith only used a seer stone in a hat to translate the golden plates. Yet, the LDS Church used, in its essay, references from Mormon Church history, claimed to be the genuine original writings of Joseph Smith. As the facts appear, the Mormon Church used 34 footnoted references in its essay, all of which are suspect of specious editing according to the pragmatic apologetic needs of the Mormon Church. As it was documented by D. Michael Quinn, a formerly respected LDS Church historian, in his two authoritative tomes entitled, “The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, 1994, and Extensions of Power, 1997,” that the official history of the Mormon Church was derived from the erratic personal journal of Joseph Smith, from around 1838 until 1844. Furthermore, Quinn clearly shows that these itinerant journal entries were substantially revised under the auspices of Brigham Young, Joseph Smith’s popular successor, in order to conform to the post-1850 doctrines of the Utah Mormon Church, and its sanitized history. These doctored records, which became the five-volume “History of the Church,” were all substantially sanitized to exclude any negative historical references to Joseph Smith, and to conform to the manner in which the Mormon Church was representing the history and doctrine of the Utah Church after the fracturing of the Latter-day Saints into splinter groups, and their ultimate expulsion from Nauvoo, Illinois. Another example of this re-writing of history was the complete revision of the only authoritative biography of Joseph Smith, produced by his mother, Lucy Mack Smith, in 1848. After reading it, Young realized that the biography contradicted numerous assertions made about Joseph Smith by the Utah Church. He, therefore, illegally seized the copyright of the biography and revised it in accordance with then revised history of Mormonism that was to be published to a world ignorant of what had been done. Young had also ordered all copies of the original Joseph Smith biography, possessed by Utah Mormons, to be destroyed, an order which, thankfully, was not fully obeyed. With the copies that have been made of the original biography, comparisons of the revisied version, with the original, establish that many improper changes were made.

The beginning assertion in the official Mormon Internet essay, “Translation of the Book of Mormon”, that Joseph Smith did not use his own human ability to translate the golden plates into the Book of Mormon, but only the “gift and power of God,” was refuted by the Mormon Church in the mid-20th Century in the 1958 official LDS seminary text, “The Restored Church,” by William E. Berrett (Former Vice-President of Brigham Young University, and commissioned by the LDS Church to write a textbook to be used by the Mormon Church in the early-morning seminaries taught to public school students in the United States, and in other parts of the world; and in the LDS Institutes of Religion). Hundreds-of-thousands of copies of this seminary text were produced between 1958 and 1985 to be disseminated around the United States; and even though the Mormon Church disclaimed the book on its title page, saying that it expressed only the author’s view of history and doctrine, the substance of the book was taught as fact to millions of school-age Mormon children. On page 132 of “The Restored Church,” Berrett stated that “Joseph Smth continued to use his own scholarly abilities in the translation of the “Book of Abraham” and other sacred writings. On page 133, Berrett also stated, to back-up his assertion on the previous page, that, “His (Joseph Smith) most notable achievement was the development of a Grammar for the Egyptian hieroglyphic form of writing. It was the first Egyptian grammar in America.” This bit of cogent history, which was contradicted in 1969 by an official proclamation of the Mormon Church, and again in 1999, and 2010, to state that Joseph Smith did not “translate by his own scholarly ability” the Book of Abraham from the Joseph Smith Papyri, but, instead, received the translation directly from God.”

I dare suppose that the Mormon hierarchy had to come-up with some explanation for the “Egyptian Grammar,” definitely produced by Joseph Smith’s own abilitiy, being a bunch a gobbly-gook, and the Book of Abraham to have had nothing, at all, to do with the Prophet Abraham, as determined by a detailed authoritative translation of the Joseph Smith Papyri fragments by Dr. Klaus Baer, of the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, who, in the late 1960s was recognized as the most eminent Egyptologist on earth. What logically follows is that a presumption may be drawn by the reasonable person that, if Joseph Smith went through a process to translate the Egyptian papyri, from which supposedly came the Book of Abraham, by using a Grammar that he had developed by his on scholarly ability, Smith also went through a scholarly process to translate the golden plates, through which he was, and is, depicted in official Mormon pictures to be actually going through while sitting at a table, before the golden plates, with his Urim and Thummim hanging on his chest. I believe that the Swedes have also seen, and noted, this audaciously heinous contradiction, for there are certainly some Swedish scholars who have the ability to use, and understand, written and spoken English as well as any educated American.

The sum of the whole foregoing issue about the sordid fraudulence of Mormonism is based upon what Hans Mattsson supposedly told John Dehlin, on July 22, 2013, in an interview on one of Dehlin’s podcast series, “Mormon Stories.” The interview was actually recorded live prior to the interview that Mattsson had with the “The New York Times.” In the interview with Dehlin, Mattsson stated that he still believes in God and Jesus while still having numerous questions about Mormonism. As far as the LDS Church being the only the one true church, Mattsson has come to the conclusion that other (Christian) churches, and their leaders, are also inspired by God. Perhaps Hans Mattsson has realized that the sum of life, and the issue of Mormonism, is, as according to the wise King Solomon, which is found in Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14 (KJV): “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” I, therefore, pray and hope that Hans Mattsson will turn from the sordid blasphemy and devilish secrets of Mormonism to the truth of Jesus Christ as contained in the words of the Holy Bible; and that he will lead the other Mormons in Sweden from darkness to the light of Jesus Christ.

The Tribal Tattoo Art

Tribal tattoos are generally influenced by tribal art from native and indigenous tribes. This tattoo art comes from the older tribes such as the Celtics (Ireland, Scotland, & Wales), the Maori Tribe (indigenous people of New Zealand), the North American Tribal, the African Tribal, the Marquesan (Polynesian inhabitants of the Marquises Islands) and the tribes of Borneo.

Celtic Tattoo Art

Celtic tattoo art come from Ireland. Celtic knot tattoos are some of the most popular and most common designs, featuring loops with no end that symbolize a never ending cycle of dying and rebirth. There are also Celtic cross and animal tattoo designs as well

Mori Tribal tattoo Art

The Maori, the aborigines of New Zealand, call their tattoo “Moko” and Mori art is incredible to behold. To the Maori, a person’s Moko designs enhanced their prestige and show transition from one social status to another. At its highest level, Moko designs proclaimed the sacredness of chieftainship.

North American Tribal Art

There are many Indian tribes in North America and many different traditions for tattooing. It was very common for tattoos to denote rank within the tribe. Take the Illinois Indians for example. It was quite common for weapons of war to be tattooed upon the men and it is suggested by some that the women received tattoos of tools used for labor. The tools of war outranked the tools of labor. This was, to the best of my knowledge, their tradition. They seemingly kept their practices to a minimum.

Samoa Tribal tattoo art

The Samoan tattoo was done with a carved boar tusk, sharpened with a piece of coral, attached to a turtle shell, and then affixed to a stick. This tool is used to carve the designs into the flesh by tapping it against the skin and then a mixture of candle nut soot and sugar water is rubbed into the resulting wound.

Marquesan Tribal tattoo art

Sea-faring Polynesians from Samoa colonized the Marquises Islands as early as 300 A.D. They were warring tribes who sometimes cannibalized their enemies. Marquesan art is very uncommon. Most tribal tattoos are done with one specific object and the size variation is minimal. This is not so with the Pacific.

African Tribal tattoo art

Tribes in Africa do not use pigment for tattooing, they cut the skin and either the wound is packed with a substance so that it becomes raised or it is rubbed with ash or sand until the wound rises up, then the scar is the tattoo.

Borneo Tribal tattoo Art

Borneo is the third largest island in the world. The Dayak people reside here for centuries, they believe that spirits are in everything around them. For this reason they believe that by tattooing an object or creature on them they can draw energy from these spirits.

While the tribal tattoo was originally used to identify members of specific tribes, represent battles fought, and to serve as the symbolization of social status, today tribal tattoo art is a popular fashion. a lot of people today choose various designs simply for aesthetic reasons. Some of the most popular designs include dragon, butterfly and suntribal tattoos. This tattoo can be put virtually anywhere on the body, The back and arms are usually the most common areas where people have them applied, but the ankle, calf, and chest are also used.

The Tribal tattoo art expresses personal freedom and uniqueness of the wearer. Tribal art has a simple appeal that reinforces a positive feeling about ourselves and connects us to ancient mystery of the tribal rituals, which faded away with history.