27 January 2009

LDS CHQ at the COB: A sampling of Church Acronyms

This is a little off topic for this blog, but working at the Church has opened my eyes to a whole new world of acronyms, almost unfathomable in scope, that even people who have worked here since Brigham Young's time joke about. If you don’t already know, you will soon see that the Church LOVES acronyms…

ACC – Area Controls Committee
ASH – Assembly Hall
AUD – Auditing Department
AVD – Audiovisual Department
BCM – Beehive Clothing
BCS – Bishops Central Storehouse
BFS – Budget and Financial Services Department
BHB – Beehive House
BIC –Born in the Covenant
BLCC – Boundary and Leadership Change Committee
BSH – Bishops Storehouse
BYC – Bishopric Youth Committee
BYP – Brigham Young Park
BYU – Brigham Young University
BYUH – BYU Hawaii
BYUI – BYU Idaho
BYUSC – BYU Salt Lake Center
BYX – BYU Continuing Education
CAB – Church Administration Building
CAC – Church Audiovisual Committee
CAD – Church Auditing Department
CCA – Conference Center Auditorium
CCB – Conference Center Building
CCC – Church Computer Center
CCN – Church Communications Network
CCS – Conference Center Studio
CCT – Conference Center Theater
CES – Church Educational System
CHL – Church History Library
CHQ – Church Headquarters
COB – Church Office Building
CODT – Council on the Disposition of the Tithes
COP – Corporation of the President
COR – Correlation Department
CPB – Corporation of the Presiding Bishop
CSD – Church Security Department
CTR – Choose the Right
CUR – Curriculum Department
CWS – Welfare Square Cannery
D&C – Doctrine and Covenants
DCB – Distribution Center Building
DFCU – Deseret First Credit Union
DGS – Deseret Grain Storage
DI – Deseret Industries
DNB – Deseret News Building
DTA – Director of Temporal Affairs
EFY – Especially for Youth
EGT – Eagle Gate Tower
EQP – Elders Quorum President
FCH – Family and Church History Department
FHC – Family History Center
FHD – Family History Department
FHE – Family Home Evening
FHL – Family History Library
FMAT – Facilities Management Automated Tools
FRD – Finance and Records Department
GAO – General Authority Offices
GMF – General Missionary Fund
GMRV - Granite Mountain Records Vault
GSD – Global Service Desk
GWC – General Welfare Committee
HCB – Humanitarian Center Building
HPGL – High Priests Group Leader
HRC – Human Resource Committee
HTSC – Hotel Temple Square Corporation
IGI – International Genealogical Index
IPD – Investment Properties Department
JSMB – Joseph Smith Memorial Building
LDS – Latter Day Saints
LBSBC – LDS Business College
LDSP – LDS Philanthropies
LDSFS – LDS Family Services
LDSHC – LDS Humanitarian Center
LHB – Lion House Building
MCH – Museum of Church History and Art
MCHX – Museum Annex
MD – Missionary Department
MEC – Missionary Executive Council
MIA – Mutual Improvement Association
MO – Mission Office
MPS – Motion Picture Studio
MTC – Mormon Tabernacle Choir
MTC – Missionary Training Center
NCP – New Church Plaza
NOB – North Office Building
NVC – Visitors Center North
OFP – Office of the First Presidency
OGC – Office of General Counsel Department
OPB – Office of the Presiding Bishopric
OPR – Office of the President
OTS – Orchestra at Temple Square
PAC – Public Affairs Committee
PAD – Public Affairs Department
PAF – Personal Ancestral File
PBO – Presiding Bishopric Office
PEC – Priesthood Executive Council
PFAC – Physical Facilities Advisory Committee
PEF – Perpetual Education Fund
PFD – Physical Facilities Department
PLA – Priesthood Line of Authority
PPI – Personal Priesthood Interview
PRF – Pedigree Resource File
PST – Priesthood Department
QSV – Quorum of the Seventy
QTW – Quorum of the Twelve
RID – Research Information Division
RM – Return Missionary
RSB – Relief Society Building
SHP – Social Hall Plaza
SLC – Salt Lake City
SLT – Salt Lake Temple
SOTW – Savior of the World
SVC – Visitors Center South
TAB – Tabernacle
TCB – Triad Center Building
TCH – Tabernacle Choir Department
TDEC – Temple Department Executive Committee
TFHEC – Temple and Family History Executive Council
TFSC – Temple Facilities and Sites Committee
TPL – Temple Department
TRL – Translation Department
TSC – Temple Sites Committee
TSP – Temple Special Projects
TSQ – Temple Square
TVC – Temple View Center
WEL – Welfare Services Department
WFC – Welfare Finance Committee
WSQ – Welfare Square
YCM – Youth Committee Meeting
YMMA – Young Men Mutual Association
YWMA – Young Women Mutual Association
ZSC – Zion’s Security Corporation

Are there any others you can think of…?

There is an actual acronym finder on the Church Intranet, from which I found some of these. Believe me when I say there are MANY, MANY more. Others I added from my experience in the Church. And others are listed here. Some of the unusual or funny ones listed on the Church Intranet include:

CIA – Central Intelligence Agency (with an actual link to the CIA)
DMZ – Demilitarized Zone (with a link to Wikipedia)
DOT – Department of Transportation (with a link to UDOT)
ISA – International Society of Arboriculture (a worldwide professional organization dedicated to fostering a greater appreciation for trees)
LOL – laughing out loud
BTW – by the way
CD – compact disc
TLA – three letter acronym

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22 January 2009

The Modern Traditional Draper Temple

I braved the unhealthy polluted Utah air this evening to visit the Draper Temple as part of the public open house. It was very well organized and not too crowded, which was enjoyable. The Temple is quite small in its footprint - very compact, but grand in its height, which seems especially appropriate nestled against the backdrop of mountains. These vertical and narrow proportions, a nice modern touch, were reflected in all the exterior massing and even in the Celestial room of the temple. This verticality was especially well represented in the windows and doors, giving us a strong and clear statement of the overall design with crisp rectangular shapes repeated at various scales.

Unfortunately this beautiful statement was in no way reflected in the other interior detailing and ornamentation of the temple. The coffered ceilings, gold leafing, rounding chandeliers, trim moulding pieces and decorative paneling all felt forced, as though from an entirely different building than that of the strong exterior massing, vertical proportionality, and window/door treatment previously described. In other words, based on the exterior, I would have expected a completely different interior, in both the shaping of space with ceilings and stairs down to the smallest details.

This unusual mixing of modern and traditional elements throughout the building left me in a limbo of sorts. The Draper temple says to me that it remains fully entrenched in tradition and the past, outwardly wants to be accepted and current, but is unsure of how these two can or should blend together. Clearly the past is important to us, and always will be, but at the same time we feel the need to move on as a people into the future of a new world. We have a foot in the past and a foot in the future, and both are pulling in opposite directions. So how does tradition co-exist with progress and change? The answer to this question based on the Draper temple could be summed up as 'awkwardly' or 'in a forced manner', which ends up being a reflection of our culture and the message we are sharing with the world.

Interestingly enough, after the tour, I was directed to the adjacent cultural hall where refreshments and formal presentations were set up. All the exhibits around the room were designed in a traditional manner with various shades of warm browns and crown mouldings except for the first, which utilized task lighting, glass panels, sleek metal frames, and a cool bright blue color palette. It was one of the most modern exhibits I have seen in an LDS church building, and like the temple just toured, stood out as inappropriately as the ornamentation did in an otherwise modern temple.

Successfully answering the question of how tradition should co-exist with modernity - in built form - can and will give us greater clarity into who we are as a people, where we are heading in the future, and I believe will ultimately lead people closer to our Creator.

Draper Utah Temple, Window by Altus Photo Design
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21 January 2009

Pharos - the future of Material Selection

The Pharos Project acts as a 'nutrition label' for building materials. The mission of the Pharos Project is to establish an evaluation tool used by green building professionals and consumers to weigh product choices based on a uniform rating scale that is balanced in three key areas: Health and pollution, Environment and resources, Social and community. The goal is to harness the power of consumer choice to generate a materials economy that is open, fair, efficient, renewable, non-toxic, and self-reporting.

This type of unbiased knowledge-based assistance in building material selection will help designers and consumers make wise and informed choices. Finally we can easily and graphically look at the life-cycle effects of each product under consideration. Now we can know who the outreaching arm of our products is touching, from material extraction all the way to material disposal. Accountability such as this will help encourage companies to work towards a healthy balance in both environmental and social issues. In turn, this will create product transparency and help hold manufacturers responsible for their actions.

Health + Pollution
-IAQ and User Exposure
-High Hazard Toxics
-Global Warming
-Air Quality
-Water Quality

Environment + Resources
-Renewable Energy
-Embodied Water
-Solid Waste
-Renewable Materials Use
-Embodied Energy

Social + Community
-Occupational Health & Safety
-Consumer Health & Safety
-Fairness & Equity
-Community Relations
-Corporate Leadership

Graphic explanation:
1. The name Pharos has been given to the project for symbolic reasons. Pharos was a technological wonder of its age, the ingenuity of its lens construction inspiring contemporaries with the distance of its signal. Similarly, our Pharos will signal our ideals while providing reliable navigational aids even now while society remains lost at sea on materials policy.
2. The Lens will contain all impact-related information on the product related to the manufacturing or upstream phases of the products lifecycle.
3. The Sliding Bars will cover upstream or usage-phase information related to energy and water use, and allows people to gauge the relative performance of the product compared to others in its class.
4. Products Identifiers will identify the company's name and the specific product or model that is being rated.
5. Signal Issues section will cover a range of topics that are currently hot buttons and important features found in products today.
6. Made In section will state where the product was made, starting with the primary location (city and country) and all secondary (country only).
7. Contains section that lists all ingredients found in the product to be organized by component and in descending quantities.

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America & the Environment

Wow. I just finished watching the Inauguration on my DVR. Regardless of political persuasion, America's environmental future looks promising.

"Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age...and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet."

"For everywhere we look, there is work to be done...We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together...We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do."

"And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it."

(From Obama Inauguration Speech)
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