Terryl Givens on What It Means to Sustain

February 3, 2016 | 31 comments
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Below is a letter Terryl Givens recently wrote on what it means to sustain Church leadership. It is an outgrowth of an actual correspondence between Brother Givens and a friend, and is posted with Givens’ permission. The friend holds strong feelings about recent changes made to the Church Handbook of Instruction and had asked Givens how someone could sustain a leadership that he or she believed had acted in error or unrighteously. Dear , I am glad you followed through with your question. . It is... Read more »

Two Kinds of Mormons

February 2, 2016 | 43 comments
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Or maybe two kinds of Mormonism. Go read Boyd Peterson’s recent essay “Eugene England and the Future of Mormonism” and decide whether you are an England Mormon or a McConkie Mormon. Or whether you prefer England Mormonism or McConkie Mormonism. Or whether, if you were moving into a new... Read more »

The Provenance of Mormon Baptism

February 1, 2016 | 16 comments
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The Provenance of Mormon Baptism

This is the second in a series of guest posts by Gerald Smith covering the release of his book Schooling the Prophet, How the Book of Mormon Influenced Joseph Smith and the Early Restoration. Read the first one here. Fifteen years ago a professor friend of mine at Boston... Read more »

Ticket-less? Provo City Center Temple

January 25, 2016 | 3 comments
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Ticket-less? Provo City Center Temple

Not one of those several hundred thousand people who snapped up tickets to the Provo City Center Temple Open House in the first 24 hours? There is still a... Read more »

International? Peripheries? Global? In search of a name

January 23, 2016 | 31 comments
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International? Peripheries? Global? In search of a name

What is an adequate label for the areas outside of the so-called “Church’s center”? If it pertains to non-US countries, “international” is commonly used, but semantically it is flawed... Read more »

Knitting Lessons

January 20, 2016 | 11 comments
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Knitting Lessons

I’m proud to post a talk delivered by my mother, Christie Frandsen, on January 16, 2016, at the Affirmation conference in southern California. Christie is a longtime seminary and institute... Read more »

Policy, Doctrine, and Revelation

January 18, 2016 | 78 comments
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Policy, Doctrine, and Revelation

These three concepts exist, for most Mormons, in a tangled web. This has become especially evident in recent months as members have reacted to the Church’s new policies regarding... Read more »

The Provenance of Mormonism

January 15, 2016 | 19 comments
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The Provenance of Mormonism

Thank you Nathaniel for your introduction, and thank you to Times & Seasons for the opportunity to share my thoughts and observations with you. A curious paradox of modern... Read more »

Introducing Gerald Smith

January 15, 2016 | 3 comments
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Schooling the Prophet

I’m pleased to introduce Dr. Gerald Smith for a round of guest posts here at Times & Seasons. He will be sharing a series of posts about his new... Read more »

Policy or Revelation?

January 14, 2016 | 85 comments
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Facebook is ablaze with dismay over statements made by Elder Russell M. Nelson in Sunday night’s Worldwide Devotional, titled “Becoming True Millennials.” Initially, when the details of the new... Read more »

Reading Nephi – 11:13-18

January 8, 2016 | 16 comments
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Reading Nephi – 11:13-18

As commanded, Nephi looks, and what does he see? Interesting that the first thing he sees is cities, including Jerusalem and then Nazareth. What are the other cities? Why... Read more »

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Mormons and Modernism

January 7, 2016 | 2 comments
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Mormons and Modernism: Modernism, Secularism — and the Mormon Response? Thinkers as diverse as Charles Taylor, Marcel Gauchet, John Milbank, Mark Lilla, and Louis Dupré have written about the origins of... Read more »

Reading Nephi – 11:8-12

January 6, 2016 | 23 comments
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Reading Nephi – 11:8-12

The first conspicuous element here is the replacement of Lehi’s test or opening—all that time walking in darkness—with Nephi’s being questioned by the angel. Nephi does not walk in... Read more »

The Expanse: Mormons in Space

January 4, 2016 | 16 comments
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The Expanse Mormon Poster - Detail

The Expanse is an acclaimed novel series by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck writing under the pen-name James S. A. Corey. The first novel, Leviathan Wakes, was released in 2011... Read more »

Reading Nephi – 11:1-7

January 4, 2016 | 9 comments
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Reading Nephi – 11:1-7

I’ll confess, I feel a mixture of serious disappointment and jealousy as I’m struck by the utterly exotic nature of this event. Note not only the coming of the... Read more »

Modern Christology

January 3, 2016 | 10 comments
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I recently read Alan Spence’s Christology: A Guide for the Perplexed, a short but very helpful discussion of the topic. I’m going to use it to reflect a bit... Read more »

Reading Nephi – 10:17-22

January 1, 2016 | no comments
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Reading Nephi – 10:17-22

Nephi does it again right at the start of this passage, though this time it’s in reverse: he talks about faith in the Son of God, and then realizing... Read more »

Reading Nephi – 10:11-16

December 30, 2015 | 3 comments
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Reading Nephi – 10:11-16

At the end of this section Nephi notes that there were many other prophecies of Lehi, and many of those prophecies Nephi wrote in his other plates. Here he’s... Read more »

Reading Nephi – 10:1-10

December 28, 2015 | 27 comments
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Reading Nephi – 10:1-10

The first lines go right along with the confusion and different worldview conspicuous in 9. Having just stated the Lord’s intention for Nephi to focus on the spiritual as... Read more »

Guest Post: All Flesh

December 23, 2015 | 115 comments
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Guest Post: All Flesh

John Gustav-Wrathall is the newly-elected president of Affirmation: LGBT Mormons, Families & Friends, an international organization founded in 1977 to support LGBTQ/SSA Mormons and their families, friends and Church leaders.... Read more »

2016 Gospel Doctrine- Recommended Resources on the Book of Mormon (updated)

December 19, 2015 | 40 comments
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2016 Gospel Doctrine- Recommended Resources on the Book of Mormon (updated)

As with the Old and New Testaments, here are my suggestions for this year’s study of the Book of Mormon. (Edit for newcomers: Who am I and why do my suggestions have... Read more »

Reading Nephi – 9

December 16, 2015 | 8 comments
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Reading Nephi – 9

This is an extraordinarily odd chapter—and odd in ways that really do support the either prophet or genius narrative of Joseph Smith. Why, if one were simply trying to... Read more »

What the Smith Boys Said This Year

December 13, 2015 | 14 comments
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Reading Nephi – 8:29-38

December 10, 2015 | one comment
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Reading Nephi – 8:29-38

The folks who make it to the tree via the path-rod fall down. Its exhausting. This seems so significant, and seems to confirm my earlier reading of the path-rod... Read more »

The First Vision of Lienhard Jost

December 9, 2015 | 7 comments
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Just before Christmas in 1522, an illiterate laborer from Strasbourg named Lienhard Jost lay in his bed at night and prayed. He had literally felt the ground shifting under... Read more »

Family and individual: the chicken or the egg?

December 8, 2015 | 42 comments
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Family and individual: the chicken or the egg?

Julie Smith wrote a stimulating post last week, “A Rhetoric of Indirection,” in which she argues that the Church is undergoing a counterproductive cultural shift in homiletic emphasis from... Read more »

Reading Nephi – 8:23-28

December 8, 2015 | 4 comments
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Reading Nephi – 8:23-28

Why didn’t Lehi and his family ever see or need the rod of iron or the path when they journeyed to the tree? And by contrast, why did so... Read more »

In Their Own Language

December 7, 2015 | 28 comments
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753 - Current MI Logo

“For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fullness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language.” D&C... Read more »

Proof-Texting in the December YW Lessons

December 6, 2015 | 42 comments
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Proof-Texting in the December YW Lessons

Ezekiel delivered the longest single prophecy, the longest single allegory, in the Bible in what is now Ezekiel 16. His theme is that Jerusalem has acted like a prostitute.... Read more »

Reading Nephi – 8:13-22

December 6, 2015 | 3 comments
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Reading Nephi – 8:13-22

There are patterns here in the partaking of the fruit: self, then family, then others; self, then the righteous, then the wicked; self, then one’s people, then others. Enos... Read more »