not so sure about the manliness of tatoos - maybe one of the other guys can address that

Jed

My name is Jed “Manfriend” Brinton, and this is Larry the Cable Guy, here to help me introduce … The Hammer Stage! **

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, an entire week in which we, the men of the Apron Stage, take the … stage, for lack of a better word, to do what men do best – kill time until the women come back.  Hopefully we won’t break anything. (we’re pretty sure the banner up top will look good as new after a little duct tape)

To kick things off, I will address the important topic of manliness.

What is manliness?  Some of you (including some of the men) aren’t sure.  Fortunately, you are reading this post, so you get to hear the answer from at least one man.***

Manliness is effort.  It involves doing things, particularly hard things.  Men open doors, pay on dates, and do the dishes.  They set goals and they achieve them.  Speaking to men, Thomas S. Monson said “It is not enough to want to make the effort and to say we’ll make the effort. We must actually make the effort. It’s in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals. If we constantly put our goals off, we will never see them fulfilled. Someone put it this way: Live only for tomorrow, and you will have a lot of empty yesterdays today.”****  For example, I recently finished two looming assignments that I had procrastinated for months (or maybe years – let’s be honest).  Tackling those assignments (and my perennial procrastination) made me a little more manly.

Manliness is action.  As a freshman in college, my nickname was “Action” (instead of “Manfriend” – I hadn’t met Sarah yet) – you can probably guess why.*****  In certain situations, taking action can be tough: getting a girl’s phone number, asking a girl out, planning a date, dropping a girl off at her door, taking out the garbage, etc. (for more examples, see Rudyard Kipling’s “If“) Interesting that most of those involved girls.  Turns out that manliness has a lot to do with attitude towards/treatment of women.  Men do what needs to be done, even if they feel fear or uncertainty.  In fact, the religious principle of faith is related to manliness, in that faith is a principle of action (for more on this subject, see Lectures on Faith – a good read).

Manliness is learned by example.  Hopefully you can learn from spending time with men first hand, but the internet has some good examples just in case.  Or there are plenty of examples in books, especially historical books (for some reason manliness was more abundant back in the day).

I’ve been reading a biography of Theodore Roosevelt recently – now there was a man.  Despite being a skinny, asthmatic child, TR tenaciously trained himself in sports and outdoor activities.  He took up boxing, eventually placing second in the Harvard boxing championship his senior year, and continued to box through his time as Governor of New York and President of the United States.  I haven’t reached the parts about his experience in the Spanish-American war, but this post (on this excellent blog) details some of the lessons he learned from that experience.

Christ was the archetypal man.  He did what needed to be done, every time.  He put others first.  He understood his duty and overcame fear and loneliness and temptation and pain to accomplish it.  After he had been flogged and crowned with thorns, Pilate presented him to the people saying “Behold, the man!

For example, Christ’s treatment of women was exemplary.  Later in the same chapter, while on the cross, Christ looked down and saw his mother standing among the disciples.  In his time of extreme trial, he took a moment to entrust his mother to the care of the apostle John before he finished his mortal ministry.  As I write this on Mothers Day, I hope I can follow his perfect example of love and respect for my own mother.

Christ learned manliness from the perfect example of his Father, the Man of Holiness.  Christ referred to himself as the Son of Man, in reference to his Father’s title.  Any manliness that I possess I have learned from my relationship with my own father, and from my (still-developing) relationship with my Heavenly Father.

So, whatever it is that you are facing, the thing you procrastinate or avoid or fear most, cowboy up, git’r done, and be a man.

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*”The phrase “git-r-done” or “get ‘er done” (or “git er done“) is a southern United States colloquialism meaning to finish an action, to get the job done. It is also used in the Canadian province of Newfoundland.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Git-R-Done
**Tim from Tool Time was a close second, but then the catch phrase would have been “It’s Hammer Time!”  Problematic.
*** “Why is it so hard to be a man? Am I a man? Yes, technically, yes.” (around the 3:50 mark – but the rest of the video is quality, too)
**** another reason I love President Monson – he’s a fellow Broadway lover (another sign of manliness – being willing to admit that you love musicals)
***** or, if you can’t figure it out, I’ll tell you – it was because they let me pick.  My buddy Brian picked “Danger” (actually Danger was his middle name), and our friend Lindsay picked “Mad Dog.”  We were freshmen.

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