Blog Archives

3:10 to Salt Lake City

June 26, 2008 | 23 comments
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They still make Westerns because the harsh, unforgiving West of the 19th century was a land of stark moral choices. 3:10 to Yuma is just the latest example. Read more »

Posts You Might Have Missed 2

June 21, 2008 | 12 comments
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From the hundreds of posts that flow through the Bloggernacle each week, here are a couple of recent gems you ought to read. Read more »

Mississippi Rising

June 19, 2008 | 4 comments
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CNN reported yesterday that 83 out of 99 counties in Iowa have been declared disaster areas — the scale of the flooding is tough to grasp. Those flood waters are now spilling into the Mississippi and moving south. Another service opportunity for the MIY (missionaries in yellow), who are out filling sandbags in Quincy, Illinois. Our sympathy and support to all of those struggling against the waters. Read more »

Posts You Might Have Missed

June 8, 2008 | 9 comments
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If you have been too busy with real life to do more than your required online reading here at T&S, here are a few posts you might have missed. Read more »

Growing Up in Utah

June 7, 2008 | 6 comments
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I didn’t. But if you read “The Skeleton in Grandpa’s Barn” and Other Stories of Growing Up in Utah (Signature, 2008) you’ll get an informative glimpse of what it was like. Read more »

A Bastion of Mormonism

May 25, 2008 | 20 comments
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Being mildly depressed about blogging at the moment, I decided to go trolling for a “good news” story to post. Here it is, a story about SVU from the SL Trib: “A bastion of Mormonism in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.” Read more »

You Should Write More Letters

May 18, 2008 | 8 comments
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You never know what they’ll be worth someday: “Einstein Letter on God Sells for $404,000.” Read more »

Faith and Fame

May 16, 2008 | 29 comments
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Faith and fame aren’t always an easy mix, but Mormons who hit the big time seem to be able to hold it together most of the time. At least that’s the thrust of “How Mormons Deal With Fame” at the LDS Newsroom, discussing, among other names we all recognize, the 17-year-old phenom David Archuleta. Read more »

Love Thy Neighbor … or Not

May 14, 2008 | 3 comments
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I don’t read to the end of many online essays anymore — either most writing is dull and pointless or I have developed blog-induced attention deficit disorder, you decide which. But I read “Love Thy Neighbor: The religion beat in an age of intolerance” at the Columbia Journalism Review start to finish (hat tip: Get Religion). Read more »

Apostasy and the Dark Ages

May 12, 2008 | 69 comments
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Do these concepts have anything to do with each other? Apparently some Mormons think they do, hence Davis Bitton’s corrective essay “How Dark Were the Dark Ages?” (conveniently reposted at Meridian Magazine). Read more »

Mother’s Day is Looming

May 10, 2008 | 18 comments
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And for thousands of Latter-day Saints who will be delivering a Mother’s Day talk tomorrow, it is looming large. Expectations are high and scriptural sources are limited. Read more »

An Ethics of Teaching

April 3, 2008 | 26 comments
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I’m reading a short book that reviews what one might call the virtues of teaching: learning, authority, ethics, order, imagination, compassion, patience, character, and pleasure. Each virtue (which might be though of as an aspect of the character of an ideal teacher) is reviewed in its own chapter. The ethics chapter suggested an interesting question to me: Is there an LDS ethics of teaching that differs in any particulars from a Christian or secular ethics of teaching? Read more »

Apostasy is Back on the Bookshelf

March 4, 2008 | 68 comments
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Once upon a time, The Great Apostasy by Elder James E. Talmage was on every Mormon’s reading list. But somehow that topic went out of fashion for a couple of decades — no LDS books treated the subject and it received considerably less attention in General Conference talks. Suddenly, the Great Apostasy seems to be back. Read more »

Bloggernacle in the News

February 25, 2008 | 14 comments
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In the online Deseret News: “Today in the Bloggernacle,” with links to posts at BCC, Nine Moons, and Millennial Star. I’ve seen similar posts in recent weeks (such as here and here) under different titles but with the same format, so this appears to be a new regular feature. Just one more reason to check spelling and grammar before you hit the “post” button. Read more »

Love on Campus

February 15, 2008 | 23 comments
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It’s just not what it used to be, even at the BYU, as shown in a day-before-Valentine’s-Day BYU NewsNet article, “The Evolution of Human Love.” Read more »

President Hinckley and Mormon Memory

February 1, 2008 | 21 comments
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In Religious Literacy, Stephen Prothero considers the decline of religious knowledge in America, much of which relates to the failure of institutions (family, school, church, university) to maintain a “chain of memory” that transmits religious knowledge from one generation to the next. President Hinckley helped Mormonism avoid this failure. Mormon memory is alive and well. Read more »

Essential Differences

January 5, 2008 | 80 comments
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I recently read The Essential Difference: The Truth About the Male and Female Brain (Basic Books, 2003) by Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of psychiatry at Cambridge University. Anyone interested in the source and nature of gender differences (i.e., everyone) will find this an interesting book, and people with an interest in understanding autism are particularly encouraged to find a copy and read it. Read more »

A Pleasant Surprise

January 2, 2008 | 13 comments
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It seems 2008 has delivered its first miracle — the new Joseph Smith manual. Who would have thought that a correlated manual could actually be interesting? That’s doubly rewarding as the new Joseph Smith manual will be with us for two years. A short write-up with several striking illustrations is posted online at the Church News. I’ll add a few things I noted while browsing through the manual on Sunday afternoon. Read more »

Religious Pragmatism

December 23, 2007 | 6 comments
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Oliver Wendell Holmes famously wrote, “The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.” In various writings, he expanded that claim, contrasting a natural law approach to justifying legal and ethical rules of conduct with his own more modest approach rooted in history and experience and falling under the broad perspective labeled pragmatism. Since religion in general and Mormonism in particular have many rules of conduct for which a variety of justifications grounded in natural law, experience, and history are held out, Holmes’ approach may shed some light on how we do this. Read more »

The Monolithic Myth

December 7, 2007 | 62 comments
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Much of the commentary and criticism swirling around Mitt Romney and the religion issue seems to take as its starting point the assumption that there is a single Mormon view on any particular issue, decided by LDS leaders and accepted by the LDS membership. Too bad there isn’t a Mormon view on particular issues. That kind of kills the theory. Read more »

Mormon Studies Moves Up a Notch

October 30, 2007 | 60 comments
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Today’s LA Times has a longish article on the recent official announcement of Richard Bushman as the Howard W. Hunter Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies, in the School of Religion at the Claremont Graduate University in Southern California. The appointment as a visiting professor is an interim post until the endowed chair is fully funded. The article makes some interesting comments. Read more »

Teaching the Net Generation

October 20, 2007 | 79 comments
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It’s easy to forget how much time LDS teenagers spend in LDS classrooms, roughly seven hours per week. Are they learning anything? That’s a fair question, as the “classroom model” that governs teaching hasn’t changed much over the years, but students have. Read more »

On the Road for On the Road

October 14, 2007 | 15 comments
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I recently brought to a successful conclusion a one-month, eight-hundred-mile odyssey that had a simple and straightforward object: to purchase a copy of Richard L. Bushman’s On the Road with Joseph Smith: An Author’s Diary at Deseret Book. I didn’t think it would be such a challenge. Read more »

Barbarians at the Gates

September 21, 2007 | 86 comments
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And who might they be, these cultural barbarians? You and me, according to the author of The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture (Doubleday, 2007). Will it kill the Church too? Read more »