Data, Doctrines, & Doubts: Improving Gospel Instruction

September 2, 2015 | 24 comments
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Data, Doctrines, & Doubts: Improving Gospel Instruction

I’m grateful for the invitation and excited to participate here at Times & Seasons. The following is a talk I gave in our recent Stake General Priesthood meeting as the newly called Stake Sunday School President. While many of the ideas below were conceived independently, I was heavily influenced by some of Ben Spackman’s writings (especially the quotes) when it came to their final form. Big thanks to him. I’ve been asked to speak tonight on improving gospel instruction in the home and at church. So much time could be dedicated to analyzing the best teaching methods and the how-to of engaging gospel lessons.... Read more »

Introducing Walker Wright

September 2, 2015 | 2 comments
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Introducing Walker Wright

After citing him on multiple occasions here at Times and Seasons (for example here and here), I’m very pleased to announce that Walker Wright will be joining us for a guest blogging stint. Walker is an MBA student at the University of North Texas, and his primary interests are... Read more »

Covenant and Speech

August 31, 2015 | 58 comments
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Membership in the Church is a covenant relationship. We repeat this to ourselves a great deal but generally aren’t clear exactly what we mean by it. Often, we imagine a covenant as a contract, a set of reciprocal promises. Given what the scriptures say about covenants, this isn’t a... Read more »

Reminder: SMPT deadline Tuesday Sept. 1

August 31, 2015 | no comments
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Paper proposals for the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology’s 2015 Annual Meeting are due soon—Tuesday, September 1. There have been a number of strong submissions already, and we... Read more »

Church Sticks with Boys

August 27, 2015 | 33 comments
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Church Sticks with Boys

As Dave Banack wrote yesterday, in spite of some public huffing and puffing, the church has decided to continue the relationship with the Boy Scouts of America. They have also decided... Read more »

Church Sticks With BSA

August 26, 2015 | 25 comments
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Church Sticks With BSA

At least for the moment, as announced in this statement posted at the Mormon Newsroom: “Church to Go Forward with Scouting Program.” So despite the sharply worded LDS statement... Read more »

The Most Important Question about the Future of Mormonism

August 24, 2015 | 48 comments
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A couple of weeks ago, Patheos had a fun series of blog posts on the future of the Mormonism. (I’m too lazy to provide a link; Google it.) Most... Read more »

“Another Important Step Forward in the Restoration of the Gospel”

August 19, 2015 | 49 comments
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“Another Important Step Forward in the Restoration of the Gospel”

Yesterday, President Oscarson announced on her Facebook page that she was now assigned to be a member of the Missionary Executive Council. President Burton is now a member of... Read more »

Explain Maine

August 18, 2015 | 32 comments
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Explain Maine

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Planting the Seed: Theological Works by LDS Women

August 16, 2015 | 23 comments
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Planting the Seed: Theological Works by LDS Women

So a friend of mine is going to shepherd a much-needed project: an index of theological, exegetical, historical, and doctrinal writings by LDS women. Read more »

Teaching Old Testament for Seminary

August 13, 2015 | 24 comments
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Teaching Old Testament for Seminary

You recently got called as a Early Morning Seminary teacher, and feel surprisingly sanguine about it. Then you found out that you’re starting with Old Testament this September, and all... Read more »

Seer Stones and the New Narrative

August 10, 2015 | 55 comments
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Seer Stones and the New Narrative

A week ago, the Church released a suddenly iconic photograph of Joseph Smith’s favorite seer stone, and also posted at LDS.org an article by three LDS historians, “Joseph the... Read more »

Review: Fresh Courage Take, or What It’s Like to Be a Mormon Woman

August 7, 2015 | 14 comments
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Review: Fresh Courage Take, or What It’s Like to Be a Mormon Woman

I recently read the new book Fresh Courage Take: New Directions by Mormon Women (Signature Books, 2015; publisher’s page), edited by Jamie Zvirdin with a foreward by Joanna Brooks.... Read more »

YW Lesson: How Do I Prepare Now to Become a Righteous Wife and Mother?

August 6, 2015 | 21 comments
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YW Lesson: How Do I Prepare Now to Become a Righteous Wife and Mother?

The first line of this lesson reads, “To prepare to be a righteous wife and mother, young women should focus on the Savior and on developing Christlike attributes,” so... Read more »

Seerstones and the Sacred

August 5, 2015 | 63 comments
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Seerstones and the Sacred

I’ll be honest. Seerstones spark a fire in my bones, a connection to an earlier, earthier, more tangible, and sacral-infused Mormonism. And that’s a Mormonism I need in my... Read more »

Another View of the Seer Stone

August 5, 2015 | 21 comments
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Another View of the Seer Stone

Yesterday by invitation, I attended  the first known joint press conference between the LDS Church and its cousin, the Community of Christ (formerly known as the Reorganized Church of... Read more »

Society for Mormon Philosophy & Theology 2015 Call for Papers

July 30, 2015 | no comments
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The Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology will be meeting at Brigham Young University, October 8-10, 2015. This year’s conference theme is “Doers of the Word: Belief and Practice.”... Read more »

My Theory of the Church’s Statement on the Change in BSA Policy

July 29, 2015 | 122 comments
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Yesterday my Facebook feed erupted with posts by LDS friends expressing dismay over the Church’s announcement that it would reconsider its relationship with the BSA in light of the... Read more »

Mormons and Scouting: A Messy Divorce?

July 29, 2015 | 46 comments
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Mormons are talking about Scouting this week as the first significant aftershock of Obergefell v. Hodges rips through the LDS Church. It started with the July 27 announcement by... Read more »

 Small Group Dynamics

July 26, 2015 | 37 comments
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Far and away, when I am in a small group and decisions need to be made, most people would prefer that someone else make them.  There are notable, and... Read more »

A Look at Life on the Trail

July 24, 2015 | one comment
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A Look at Life on the Trail

On a recent corner-to-corner drive across the state of Wyoming, I paralleled the Mormon Trail for about 200 miles: from where the trail intersects I-25 (about 80 miles north... Read more »

2015 Summer Symposium on Mormon Culture, July 23 at BYU

July 21, 2015 | no comments
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Participants in the 2015 Summer Symposium on Mormon Culture will be presenting research papers this Thursday, July 23rd, on the seminar theme, “Organizing the Kingdom: Priesthood, Church Government, and... Read more »

BYU New Testament Commentary Conference

July 20, 2015 | 20 comments
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If you are in Provo on July 31st: Read more »

Selecting New Apostles

July 20, 2015 | 60 comments
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From the Salt Lake Tribune, a variety of reflections on the upcoming selection of two new apostles for the LDS Quorum of the Twelve. Many of those quoted in... Read more »

Another Proclamation?

July 14, 2015 | 69 comments
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For the second week, LDS wards and branches in the USA and Canada were presented with the Letter over the signature of the First Presidency, the Statement over the... Read more »

Some things Jana Riess gets wrong about the Church and religious freedom

July 9, 2015 | 51 comments
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I like and respect Jana Riess a great deal, but she has a blog post up on religious freedom in which she makes a number of mistaken claims that... Read more »

Symposium on Mormon Theology and Social Issues, July 9th at BYU

July 9, 2015 | one comment
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Participants in the Wheatley Seminar on “Mormon Theology and Social Issues” are presenting papers in the Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium at BYU on Thursday, July 9th. See the... Read more »

Revisiting President Packer on “Scientific Neglect” and Meetings

July 3, 2015 | 6 comments
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Revisiting President Packer on “Scientific Neglect” and Meetings

Given that my studies have involved the interpretation of Genesis, science, and evolution, Elder Packer and I have not always seen eye to eye. I remember well on my... Read more »

Winning the peace

July 3, 2015 | 21 comments
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Winning the peace

The supreme court has decided, so now in all of the USA same sex marriages are legal. With this landmark decision the USA has joined the many nations in... Read more »

A Letter From Salt Lake City

July 2, 2015 | 95 comments
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The Mormon Newsroom has posted a letter from the First Presidency to area and local leaders. This is unusual: generally letters from the First Presidency are read to members... Read more »