When to Disobey

November 24, 2014 | 61 comments
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2014-11-24 Naughty Dog

I’ve been having some interesting conversations about the high cost of membership in the Church. We believe, in general, that the cost of being a Mormon is high and that this is a good thing. Sacrifice leads to faith. We pour a lot of time and a lot of energy into the Church, and this helps us value our membership more than if the Church asked less of us. But it can be taken to extremes. There are reasons to say “no” to something our leaders ask of us, and foremost among those is the sake of our families.... Read more »

Short Musings on the Wu-Tang Clan, Ezekiel, and Church Curriculum

November 23, 2014 | 6 comments
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Short Musings on the Wu-Tang Clan, Ezekiel, and Church Curriculum

Yesterday at a restaurant with my parents, I heard a nice bluesy instrumental over the audio system. I’m a blues fan, and liked it so much I flagged down the waitress to ask what it was. She went to check, and reported to our mutual surprise, that that particular song... Read more »

Announcing the BYU & Maxwell Institute 2015 Summer Seminar

November 20, 2014 | no comments
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Maxwell Institute Logo

In the summer of 2015, the Neal A Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University, with support from the Mormon Scholars Foundation, will sponsor a summer seminar for graduate students, CES educators,  and other qualified individuals, on “ORGANIZING THE KINGDOM: PRIESTHOOD, CHURCH GOVERNMENT, AND THE FORMS OF LDS WORSHIP.” The... Read more »

“A New Affirmation on Marriage”: A sneer at the Mormon Church?

November 20, 2014 | 70 comments
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“A New Affirmation on Marriage”:  A sneer at the Mormon Church?

Intended or unintended, the document “A New Affirmation on Marriage” of the interreligious conference at the Vatican can be read as a sneer at the Mormon Church (or as... Read more »

My morning with McBaine and Wiman

November 20, 2014 | 3 comments
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As happens every now and then, I had a furious, fortuitous conjoining that so filled the boughs with fruit that they now creak and threaten to break. And language—especially... Read more »

The Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon, Take Five

November 19, 2014 | 3 comments
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And now we hear from Joe Spencer: Read more »

The Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon, Take Four

November 19, 2014 | 15 comments
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Today’s entry was written by Grant Hardy: Read more »

Two Thoughts on President Eyring’s Talk at the Vatican Colloquium

November 18, 2014 | 16 comments
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Two Thoughts on President Eyring’s Talk at the Vatican Colloquium

You can read the transcript here; two quick thoughts: Read more »

Family Home Evening: Repentance

November 18, 2014 | 5 comments
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Family Home Evening: Repentance

I think I’ve kvetched before about how hard it is to plan meaningful FHEs with older kids.  Read more »

The Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon, Take Three

November 18, 2014 | 3 comments
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This entry is a bit different because it is a sample assignment for one day, not a complete syllabus. Read more »

The Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon, Take Two

November 17, 2014 | 10 comments
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Our next entry comes from Matt W. (see the first post and explanation here). Read more »

Learning to Yell

November 16, 2014 | 8 comments
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Learning to Yell

You probably think the title is a joke or some nice irony or a typo. It is not. It is not even a feminist manifesto about reclaiming my “voice.”... Read more »

The Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon, Take One

November 13, 2014 | 20 comments
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One big change resulting from the new CES and BYU Religious Ed curriculum will be that, instead of two classes on the Book of Mormon, now only one will be... Read more »

Mormons and Politics

November 12, 2014 | 2 comments
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Readers may be interested in a recent episode of the “Research on Religion Podcast,” featuring Quin Monson (BYU) and Dave Campbell (Notre Dame) discussing their new book Seeking the... Read more »

Reading and Writing (Genesis): Books, books, and more books

November 12, 2014 | 14 comments
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I have a few things in my way before being able to work full-time on Genesis 1- a recalcitrant article draft, some travel, volunteer work, etc. In the meantime,... Read more »

Doux Commerce in the City of God

November 10, 2014 | 6 comments
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I just put up an essay at the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) that readers of this blog might find interesting. It’s a response to some of Hugh Nibley’s... Read more »

I Need My Kids

November 10, 2014 | 31 comments
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Nicholas Cage and Holly Hunter in "Raising Arizona".

Last month, my friend Betsy VanDenBerghe wrote a piece for Real Clear Religion inspired alternately by Pope Francis and the Coen brothers’ 1987 comedy Raising Arizona about Why Children... Read more »

2015 Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology

November 6, 2014 | 4 comments
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2015 Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology

The Second Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology “Christ and Antichrist: Reading Jacob 7” Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York June 8—June 20, 2015 Read more »

Historians Saying Interesting Things … About Mormonism

November 6, 2014 | 5 comments
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Between the new polygamy essays at LDS.org and the new religion curriculum at the BYUs, there has been a lot to argue about this week. Let’s try something a... Read more »

Q&A with Myself

November 4, 2014 | 42 comments
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Q. Are you an apologist or neo-apologist? A. No, I’m just a philosopher. Others have said I’m an apologist, but I’ve never been interested in apologetics. Mormonism can stand... Read more »

Your New and Improved BYU Religion Core

November 3, 2014 | 39 comments
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After several days of rampant speculation and gnashing of teeth (here, here, here, and here) the new BYU religion core has been officially announced at LDS.org. Read more »

A Crazy Wild Reformation Day

October 31, 2014 | 24 comments
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A Crazy Wild Reformation Day

For some reason, kids in my neighborhood don’t celebrate Halloween: they do Reformation Day instead. Right around 5, the little tikes start pounding on doors, dressed as characters of... Read more »

The Next Generation’s Faith Crisis

October 31, 2014 | 95 comments
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The Next Generation’s Faith Crisis

Let me share a friend’s story; it won’t be new to you. He was raised in the church, did all the things, went on a mission, blah blah blah,... Read more »

Mormon Weakness

October 30, 2014 | 20 comments
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My position is a weak one. But the question is: why? Read more »

Constructive Thoughts on the Curriculum Shift

October 29, 2014 | 15 comments
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As I’ve stopped hyperventilating over the leak of this forthcoming change, I’ve had some thoughts. I have a general rule when I’m in Gospel Doctrine that I try not to... Read more »

Letter to a CES Student

October 28, 2014 | 99 comments
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It’s important to keep our tough questions about Mormonism in perspective. And, especially, we need to keep the genuinely urgent questions front and center. The big problems are straightforward.... Read more »

New BYU Religious Ed and CES Curriculum

October 27, 2014 | 83 comments
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According to this letter posted on William Hamblin’s blog, big changes are afoot.   Read more »

Alma and Apocalypse

October 27, 2014 | 9 comments
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Alma and Apocalypse

In Understanding the Book of Mormon, Grant Hardy argues that an important part of the Book of Mormon’s meaning emerges from how it alludes to, comments on, or patterns... Read more »

New Polygamy Essays

October 22, 2014 | 125 comments
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Read them here, here, and here. I’ll leave the squabbling over whether they fairly represented the historical situation to those who get paid the big bucks to consider those questions and... Read more »

Mormonism Isn’t About Mormonism

October 22, 2014 | 6 comments
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It’s a mistake to think that Mormonism is about Mormonism. Read more »