Small Group Dynamics

July 26, 2015 | 15 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 loud, exceptions.  Four year olds, for example, very much want to make decisions.  But for most  adults, I’ve found that the majority typically  prefer that someone else ponied up and decided where we go to eat or in what order things will occur.  This is because, one presumes, they are not so concerned about the exact decision making them happy.  They are generally willing to go along with most reasonable things.... 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 of Cheyenne), through Casper (site of the first Mormon ferry), along Wyoming 220 past Independence Rock, Devil’s Gate, and Martin’s... 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 the Forms of LDS Worship.” The symposium will run from 10am to 5pm in Room B094 of the Joseph F.... 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 | 58 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 | 5 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 | 20 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 »

The Perversity of Orthodoxy

July 1, 2015 | 62 comments
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I could have called this post “Same-sex marriage: The Belgian perspective,” but it includes more. “The perversity of orthodoxy” – that’s how one of the members in our Belgian... Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #27

June 30, 2015 | 11 comments
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New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #27

So here’s the plan: each week that the gospels are covered in Sunday School, I will post one question from my book along with a brief discussion of the issues... Read more »

A Nation Divided

June 26, 2015 | 66 comments
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Today our government has taken another step toward moral upheaval, or, if we think more optimistically, toward a crisis that will reshape it and its relationship toward the people... Read more »

C.S. Lewis on Inspired Adaptation and Myth

June 25, 2015 | 12 comments
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C.S. Lewis on Inspired Adaptation and Myth

I wrote recently that there’s no reason why God, who spoke to ancient Israelites “in their weakness, after the manner of their language” could not adapt familiar myths so “that... Read more »

How the New Perspective on Paul Illustrates the Science-Religion Creation Debate

June 24, 2015 | 17 comments
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How the New Perspective on Paul Illustrates the Science-Religion Creation Debate

(As with many of my posts, this is kind of trying things out, thinking them through in public and on the fly. It’s messy, so I welcome thoughts and... Read more »

Pilate and Jesus, a colonial view

June 23, 2015 | 9 comments
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Pilate and Jesus, a colonial view

In studying the last days of Jesus, like in lesson 26 of Gospel Doctrine, we habitually view the complicated chain of events that led to Jesus’ death from the... Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #26

June 23, 2015 | no comments
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New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #26

So here’s the plan: each week that the gospels are covered in Sunday School, I will post one question from my book along with a brief discussion of the issues... Read more »

Review: First Principles and Ordinances

June 20, 2015 | 4 comments
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Review: First Principles and Ordinances

I’m going to say some nice things about Sam Brown’s First Principles and Ordinances: The Fourth Article of Faith in Light of the Temple, published in 2014 by the... Read more »

“Christ & Antichrist” Conference Program, NYC 6/20

June 19, 2015 | one comment
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“Christ & Antichrist” Conference Program, NYC 6/20

“Christ & Antichrist: Reading Jacob 7″ The Second Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology Conference Program   Read more »

Harnessing Fresh RM Enthusiasm to Train Future Leadership

June 17, 2015 | 22 comments
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It’s a truism that lots of people read few books. And certainly as we get married, have jobs, kids, responsibilities, many of us find our leisure time is spent simply... Read more »

2912 Mornings: Reflections on 16 Years of Early Morning Seminary

June 17, 2015 | 17 comments
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2912 Mornings: Reflections on 16 Years of Early Morning Seminary

This morning I am thrilled to share a guest post written by my amazing mother, Christie Frandsen. Christie is a gifted teacher, leader and speaker, and has taught early... Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #25

June 16, 2015 | no comments
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New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #25

So here’s the plan: each week that the gospels are covered in Sunday School, I will post one question from my book along with a brief discussion of the issues... Read more »

On Staying or Straying

June 14, 2015 | 52 comments
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“The prophet will never lead the Church astray.” — Ezra Taft Benson, 1981. Discuss. Read more »

Review: Revelation, Resistance, and Mormon Polygamy

June 10, 2015 | 9 comments
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Merina Smith’s Revelation, Resistance, and Mormon Polygamy: The Introduction and Implementation of the Principle, 1830-1853 (USU Press, 2013) does a very nice job summarizing scholarship on the LDS practice... Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #24

June 9, 2015 | no comments
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New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #24

So here’s the plan: each week that the gospels are covered in Sunday School, I will post one question from my book along with a brief discussion of the issues... Read more »

“Christ & Antichrist,” June 20, New York City

June 4, 2015 | 2 comments
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“Christ & Antichrist,” June 20, New York City

“Christ & Antichrist: Reading Jacob 7″ The Second Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology Conference is free and open to the public Saturday, June 20, 9am-5pm The Refectory Union... Read more »

Inoculation, Apologetics, Intellectuals, and Blogging

June 4, 2015 | 82 comments
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In preparing people to face a skeptical world, we should not confuse inoculation with the administration of poison by degrees. Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #23

June 2, 2015 | one comment
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New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #23

So here’s the plan: each week that the gospels are covered in Sunday School, I will post one question from my book along with a brief discussion of the issues... Read more »

Elder L. Tom Perry, 1922-2015

May 30, 2015 | 13 comments
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Elder L. Tom Perry, 1922-2015

The church announced that Elder Perry died today.  Read more »