About This Blog
A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!

About Me
Columbus, OH
Political Score:
Temp @ JPMorgan Chase
Ohio State University
Political Science, International Studies
High School: Home Educated
Reading, standing in line for things, writing, research

About My Family
My mom is a
lawyer in Pickerington; my stepdad and dad are computer guys, and my stepmom (who works with my dad) is an engineer. My sisters are, in order of age, a photographer, an artist, and a person too young to have her own website. My brothers are, in order of age, living up north, and again, a person too young to have a website. At some point soon I'll be collecting links for my aunts, uncle, and cousins. ^_^

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Star Wars: Episode 3 Line (Hollywood)
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NaNoWriMo 2007:
My Novel: Cipere Lumen

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2006:
My Novel: The Manatee Conspiracy

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2005:
My Novel: Beyond the Cliffs of Kefira

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Participant

NaNoWriMo 2004:
My Novel: sul Okyar tir taTz'ileea

National Novel Writing Month

Sunday, April 23, 2006
Belay my last...  
I knew there was something odd about the Old Testament not having any instances in the top 25 -- now I know why. For some reason, the top 4 Old Testament scriptures didn't get their citations included in my Excel spreadsheet (I think it was a copy & paste error -- I've fixed it now.) Moreover, I realized that I gave the Articles of Faith short shrift; the reason the Scripture Mastery scriptures are given a boost is because Latter-day Saints are expected to memorize them; accordingly, I now give the Articles of Faith the same bonus that they would have had if they were on a single Scripture Mastery list. And, oddly, one entry (D&C 13:1) was given a lot more points than it should have (it went down to 49th, with 166 points, when I copy & pasted the new scoring formula; since I pasted over the old formula, I don't know what was wrong with it.) So, the correct Top 25 (plus the extras, from the original list, that were moved out of the Top 25) are:

Scripture -- Volume -- Score/Rank
Moses 1:39 -- Pearl of Great Price -- 1350/1
2 Nephi 2:25 -- Book of Mormon -- 505/2
Romans 1:16 -- New Testament -- 460/3
D&C 14:7 -- Doctrine & Covenants -- 435/4
John 17:3 -- New Testament -- 424/5
Mosiah 3:19 -- Book of Mormon -- 415/6
1 Nephi 3:7 -- Book of Mormon -- 405/7
Amos 3:7 -- Old Testament -- 390/8
Moroni 10:4-5 -- Book of Mormon -- 380/9
Joshua 24:15 -- Old Testament -- 350/10
John 14:15 -- New Testament -- 345/11
A of F 1:13 -- Pearl of Great Price -- 340/12
Matthew 5:16 -- New Testament -- 335/13
Alma 41:10 -- Book of Mormon -- 325/14
D&C 82:10 -- Doctrine & Covenants -- 320/15
D&C 130:20-21 -- Doctrine & Covenants -- 305/16
John 7:17 -- New Testament -- 295/17
2 Nephi 31:20 -- Book of Mormon -- 285/18
Moroni 10:4 -- Book of Mormon -- 280/19
1 Corinthians 15:22 -- New Testament -- 280/19
D&C 1:38 -- Doctrine & Covenants -- 275/21
Revelation 14:6 -- New Testament -- 275/21
2 Nephi 2:27 -- Book of Mormon -- 260/23
D&C 59:9 -- Doctrine & Covenants -- 260/23
D&C 84:38 -- Doctrine & Covenants -- 240/25
Matthew 25:40 -- New Testament -- 253/26
James 1:5 -- New Testament -- 244/27
D&C 13:1 -- D&C 13:1 -- 166/49

(the scores are slightly higher now, as I changed the formula slightly, to give all the Scripture Mastery scriptures which didn't appear in the Top 100 citations lists a score; this also affected some of the rankings, but all of the original Top 25 are up there.)

I included the volume information for any non-members who might be stopping by. The correct numbers for the volumes (for the Top 25 only) are:

Book of Mormon -- 8
New Testament -- 7
Doctrine & Covenants -- 6
Old Testament -- 2
Pearl of Great Price -- 2 (incl. Article of Faith)

We're still not big on the Old Testament, clearly. And if you don't count the Articles of Faith or Joseph Smith History, just Moses 1:39 and Abraham 3:22-23 have scores higher than the mean.

Speaking of which, I have a total of 620 scripture references (obviously, there are some duplicates: Moroni 10:4 and Moroni 10:4-5 each independently rank in the Top 20,) and the mean score is 50.7 -- there are 137 references that have scores of 51+. I'm thinking seriously of adding the hymnal references in -- though I think I'll make two separate scores and ranks if I add the hymnal, because only about half of my current Top 25 are officially referenced by any hymn at all (I should point out that each hymn only has 2 scripture references; that plus the similarity in wording/content between various specific scriptures probably accounts for a lot of the scriptures that seem to have been overlooked.)

Incidentally, we had our Stake Conference today. The highest-ranked scripture that was specifically cited by any speaker was Moroni 10:4-5. Perhaps not surprisingly, it was cited by our visiting General Authority. Interestingly, he's only spoken at General Conference four times, and didn't cite Moroni 10:4-5 any of those times; I looked at the list of scriptures he's cited in his General Conference addresses, and he doesn't seem to go for the really popular scriptures much; he's cited 27 scriptures, but only 7 of them have scores on my sheet (remember, there are lot of scriptures with multiple citations that aren't on my ranking,) and only 2 of his cited scriptures have scores above the mean on my list: Mosiah 3:19 (ranked 6th) was cited in 2001, and Moses 1:39 was cited in 1994. He's only cited one scripture twice: Moses 1:10 (1989 and 2001;) -- that's ranked 438th on my list, with 12 citations. The other speakers at General Conference who've cited it more than once were Harold B. Lee (4 times,) and Neal A. Maxwell (2 times.)

I'm definitely researching the next General Authority I see speaking, ahead of time. It's like Conference Bingo, only more nerdy!

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Friday, April 21, 2006
A Unified Theory of LDS Scripture Ranking  
[edit: see the next post up; I've had to correct the rankings somewhat -- the Old Testament benefits, while poor Doctrine & Covenants 13:1 is demoted substantially]

I ran across, finally, the list of the original 160 Scripture Mastery scriptures (they reduced it to 100 before I even joined the Church) and thought, hey, why not incorporate this into my list of important LDS scriptures?

These are the 25 most important scriptures, in order, taking into account whether or not they were on the old list, whether or not they are on the current list, their ranking on the BYU index of conference citations, and whether or not I'd run into more than one citation of them as "really important missionary scriptures." That last is totally random, but I wanted some kind of folklorey component, and that was the easiest one to find. I added together the yes/no questions (old, new, recommended), multiplied them by the total number of citations in General Conference, and then added the total number of citations in General Conference (the formula is: "((2*C2*J2)+J2)"), then sorted them with the highest scores on top.

Moses 1:39 -- 1330 -- 1
2 Nephi 2:25 -- 485 -- 2
Romans 1:16 -- 440 -- 3
D&C 14:7 -- 415 -- 4
John 17:3 -- 414 -- 5
Mosiah 3:19 -- 395 -- 6
1 Nephi 3:7 -- 385 -- 7
Moroni 10:4-5 -- 350 -- 8
John 14:15 -- 325 -- 9
Matthew 5:16 -- 315 -- 10
Alma 41:10 -- 305 -- 11
D&C 82:10 -- 300 -- 12
D&C 130:20-21 -- 285 -- 13
John 7:17 -- 275 -- 14
2 Nephi 31:20 -- 265 -- 15
D&C 13:1 -- 260 -- 16
Moroni 10:4 -- 260 -- 16
1 Corinthians 15:22 -- 260 -- 18
Revelation 14:6 -- 255 -- 19
D&C 1:38 -- 255 -- 19
Matthew 25:40 -- 243 -- 21
2 Nephi 2:27 -- 240 -- 22
D&C 59:9 -- 240 -- 22
James 1:5 -- 234 -- 24
D&C 84:38 -- 220 -- 25

(the list gets less useful the further down you go, because the citation index is biased in favor of shorter books -- the top 100 Pearl of Great Price citations gets you down to just five citations each, whereas the top 100 Old Testament citations only goes down to 8 citations, and the heavily cited Book of Mormon only to 12.)

As you can see, the one thing that keeps recurring is that Moses 1:39 is a LOT more important than any other scripture out there. Which makes me once again say that the March Madness showdown (which I can't even find anymore, but rest assured, " For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" did NOT win -- I don't think it was even running!) was totally off-kilter and wrong.

Interestingly, these are the scores for the different books (across all my rankings):

Old Testament: 3211 (0)
Pearl of Great Price: 3285 (1)
Book of Mormon: 6145 (8)
Doctrine & Covenants: 6295 (7)
New Testament: 7653 (9)

I'm surprised by that. The numbers in parentheses are the instances of each in the Top 25 -- that surprises me rather less. I knew that a lot of our really basic doctrines are expressed mainly in the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenenants, and New Testament. I just hadn't realized how much we rely on them (verses the Pearl of Great Price and particularly the Old Testament) on even the smaller or more unusual stuff. The top Old Testament scripture is, ironically, #26 on my main ranking -- Isaiah 29:14, with a score of 210. LDS readers shouldn't be surprised that Malachi 4:5-6 is right behind it, at #29, with a score of 195.

In case you're curious as to how the Scripture Mastery and recommendation bonuses impacted the rankings, the top 25 in my version are 1st, 6th, 8th, 11th, 3rd, 15th, 18th, 54th, 23rd, 24th, 28th, 29th, 35th, 36th, 41st, 46th, 46th, 46th, 50th, 50th, 13th, 63rd, 63rd, 17th, and 78th in pure citation order, respectively -- there are a LOT of ties, since that ranking is just based on how many times they've been cited; my rankings have a lot fewer ties, thank goodness. The reason that, say, Daniel 2:44 (#1 in Old Testament citations, 46th in overall citations) ranks lower than the Isaiah and Malachi scriptures is because it's only on the current Scripture Mastery list -- the Isaiah and Malachi scriptures are on both.

In case it's not obvious, I'll point out now that this system is not very sensitive to changes over time -- I gave the most weight to the continually popular (as evidenced by the citation index, from 1942 to the present) and that which both the CES of 1986 and the CES of today, and in a very few cases, returned missionaries of today, thought most helpful. I thought about giving a bonus to, say, everything that President Hinckley has cited personally, but decided against it.

I may or may not add in the hymnal and children's songbook references. It'd be a lot of data entry, so I'm already biased against it, and I'm not sure how much overlap there would be with the other two lists (the biggest victims in my scheme are the Scripture Mastery scriptures that aren't on the Top 100 of any of the five citation indices -- they all have scores of 0.) It'd be a fun experiment, anyway. I have a strong suspicion that the overall winner, Moses 1:39, can't be unseated under any responsible method of calculation.

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Because only so many people can be eleventh in line.