Blog Archives

Hau’oli la Hanau, Nate.

April 15, 2005 | 23 comments

My esteemed co-blogger Nate often says that he considers me “older and wiser.” For the next few months, however, that description will only be half-right. That’s because today is Nate’s birthday!! (And so for a few months, we’ll be the same age). Congratulations on the big 3-0, Nate. Hau’oli la hanau. You can now officially cast your ostraka. I hope you’ll be able to escape Sidley enough to spend a bit of time with Heather and Jacob. (And if not, hey — we can always argue about chiasm some more, right? What could be more fun than that? Perhaps... Read more »

Placement of Christ’s name in prayer

April 14, 2005 | 14 comments

On another thread, commenter Benyamin Abrams asks: Most prayers are addressed to Heavenly Father and closed in the name of Jesus Christ. The Sacrament prayer has both the opening and closing in the opening. I asked some members of my Ward if there were any other prayers with the same format. It’s an interesting question. After all, the phrase “in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen” is practically synonymous with LDS prayer. But does the name of Christ really have to come at the end of the prayer, rather than (for example) at the beginning? Read more »

Bloggernacking and Man-dates

April 13, 2005 | 34 comments

There’s been quite a bit of buzz in the blogosphere at large about Jennifer 8. Lee’s New York Times piece on “man-dates.” Lee suggests that it is socially perilous for two heterosexual men to meet for dinner, without sports, business, or a bar to defuse the date-like-ness of the meeting. I don’t know how valid Lee’s thesis is in the broader spectrum (and there is some doubt being expressed on other blogs). But even if Lee is right, I think that the phenomenon may be one to which bloggernackers are immune. Or at least, to which I’m immune. Read more »

Further musings of a chiasm doubter, or, “Doubting chiasm, musing further”

April 12, 2005 | 171 comments

We’ve all heard of chiasm, that Hebrew literary device of repeating elements in reverse order. Since 1969, when Jack Welch first suggested that the Book of Mormon contained chiasm, some Mormon apologists have argued that the presence of chiasm in the Book of Mormon is evidence of its ancient origins. Numerous chiasm articles have appeared in popular LDS magazines as well as under the imprint of FARMS, among others. Meanwhile, opponents have said, more or less, “you’re nuts.” I’m a skeptic. I’ve always thought that the alleged chiastic patterns were simply too susceptible to cherry-picking. Today, I stumbled across... Read more »

Half a million bloggernackers can’t be wrong

April 8, 2005 | 6 comments

Well, they can, perhaps, but we’d like to think that they aren’t. Lost in the technical issues last week was the fact that we registered our half-millionth visitor. I’m still often amazed at how much we’ve grown since we first started, in November 2003, with just four bloggers and a handful of readers. Not only has this site grown, but the rest of the bloggernacle has grown around us as well. It’s been a fun journey. And it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without you, our readers and commenters. So thanks for reading. Thanks for your comments. And... Read more »


April 8, 2005 | 12 comments

We’re told that we need to have a testimony of the gospel. And we’re told that we can’t rely on anyone else’e testimony — we must develop our own witness of the truth. It’s a formulation which is surprisingly consistent with the legal guidelines on testimony that one gives in a court case. Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 802 is clear: “Hearsay is not admissible.” . Read more »

Time for a Link War

April 6, 2005 | 43 comments

In a blog comment at BCC, Ronan points out a disturbing fact. A google search for “Mormon Temple” is likely to be one of the first things a curious non-member does; but when you google the term Mormon Temple, the first site that comes up on the list is an ex-Mormon site. In fact, the first four sites listed on the front page are ex-Mormon sites. Of the 10 sites on the front page, five are ex-Mormon, two are links to, one is apologetic and two are neutral. So the first page for Mormon Temple is 5-to-2 anti.... Read more »

Happy Birthday to Us, and to Jesus.

April 6, 2005 | 30 comments

The church is 175 years old. (The technical term is “terquasquicentennial,” in case you were wondering). And we also believe that Jesus was born on April 6th. (Don’t we?) (And is that a Julian April 6th? A Gregorian? An April 6th in some cosmic, platonic form? I’m not really sure.) Happy birthday to all. Read more »

Blogospheric discussion of conservatives in academia: Krugman, Kerr, Kleiman

April 5, 2005 | 13 comments

An interesting discussion has been taking place in the blogosphere. It begins with recent studies showing that very few academics are conservative or Republican. (The ratio is about 15 to 1). Paul Krugman’s op-ed in today’s New York Times suggests a few reasons for this imbalance, among them the influence of anti-evolution politics and the idea that “today’s Republican Party – increasingly dominated by people who believe truth should be determined by revelation, not research – doesn’t respect science, or scholarship in general.” It is not surprising that Krugman’s op-ed has not been received with unanimous approval. Read more »

Is Mormon Feminism a Zero-Sum Game?

March 31, 2005 | 51 comments

A sometimes charged little threadjack discussion has been going on in Julie’s latest book review, over a statement by Adam. Adam’s initial statement was “In my experience, the more sympathy and prominence paid to feminists, the more excluded people like my wife feel.” Adam’s reasoning is, I think, a good example of a broader phenomenon which I think deserves closer scrutiny, and which I will (with Julie’s permission) focus on in this thread. That is the argument that any movement towards feminism in the church necessarily demeans or diminishes Mormon women who do not consider themselves feminists. If this... Read more »

Page Six Jesus

March 30, 2005 | 19 comments

As I was reading the paper yesterday on the train to work, I happened across a short article discussing the use of religious images in today’s popular fashion culture. The article discussed shirts and sweaters from top fashion houses that are now bearing images of Jesus or scriptural verses, and it mentioned that celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Paris Hilton have recently been seen wearing clothing with religious messages. The text was accompanied by a large photo spread, showing celebrities including Kutcher wearing clothes with religious messages (his shirt read “Jesus is my homeboy”). Apparently, Jesus is becoming a... Read more »

Poached like an Egg

March 28, 2005 | 54 comments

Over at Millenial Star, Davis Bell has posted a few thoughts on the phenomenon of blog poaching. This follows up on the protests that some blogs receive at regular intervals about blog poaching. Davis’s post may be kind of weak itself, but he does point to the interesting, broader issue. What is blog poaching, exactly? And assuming that it can be defined, why is it an issue? That is, why do some readers object to following up on a post on Blog A, with a post on Blog B? Read more »

On the Burden of Dealing with Polygamous Founders

March 28, 2005 | 69 comments

It is tough to deal with being a member of a church which had polygamous founders. It’s not easy to look back through your religious history to the key figures, some of the ones on which the entire system rests, and note their ugly warts. Why did they choose to take more than one wife? Why did they even embrace polyandry, the taking of other men’s wives? Were these men sex addicts, deviants, or worse? How can a modern member deal with such a blatantly misogynistic practice? Not to mention the lying about wives. Is there any place in... Read more »

The Silver Ring

March 24, 2005 | 14 comments

This Easter, I have a story to tell, a story about the Atonement. I’m blessed in that I don’t have to look far for models of the Atonement, because a story from my own childhood suffices. It’s a story of a young father, a curious child, and a burning piece of metal. It’s a story about quick choices and searing pain. It’s a story about my father. Read more »

In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love blogs

March 23, 2005 | one comment

“For I dipt into the ‘nacle, far as human eye could see . . .” New additions to the bloggernacle are practically a daily occurrence now. Let me point out a few that have caught my eye recently: Read more »

Getting Down to Brass Tacks: Right to Life, State Responsibility, Family Input

March 22, 2005 | 80 comments

Despite John Welch’s admirable asserted desire to keep the Schiavo thread on the topic of “what does LDS theology tell us about end of life care options?,” much of the discussion has predictably become a political slugfest. So be it. However, it hasn’t been, in my mind, a particularly useful political discussion. And a primary reason is because so much of the Schiavo case depends on the particular evidentiary nuances of that case. What did she tell her husband, who is he sleeping with, blah blah blah. Evidentiary questions are boring. So let’s filter them out and see where... Read more »

Book Review: City Saints

March 21, 2005 | 10 comments

The interaction of the LDS church and its members with New York City is a fascinating topic. Someday, that story will doubtless be the focus of one or more great works of Mormon regional history which will have truly broad appeal to members. And those works will in turn acknowledge City Saints: Mormons in the New York Metropolis (edited by Scott Tiffany) as an important step in the examination of church members in New York City. However, City Saints itself, while interesting, informative, and quite readable, suffers from conceptual flaws that undermine its impact and ultimately result in a... Read more »

The bankruptcy bill

March 16, 2005 | 58 comments

You may have read about the new bankruptcy bill which is headed for the House. Major provisions include a required means test designed to certain filers from using Chapter 7, as well as added attorney certifications and disclosures. What should we, as church members, think of this? Read more »

Roundtable discussion at BCC

March 15, 2005 | no comments

Steve Evans has posted a string of e-mails in a fascinating roundtable discussion on that never-dull topic, “Women and the Church.” Discussants include Jim Faulconer, Melissa Proctor, Chris “Grasshopper” Bradford, Lisa (Feminist Mormon Housewives), Kris Wright, Heather Pitts, and Claudia Bushman. Definitely worth reading! Read more »

Why I haven’t replied to your comment

March 14, 2005 | 58 comments

You arrive at Times and Seasons, and you think “I’m home.” You read posts by Russell and Rosalynde and occasionally even Nate, and you agree with them. You feel that this is your community, and that you belong. And then one day you decide to do more than just lurk — you decide to comment. And so you spend a half an hour carefully composing a comment designed to elucidate and amuse. You imagine the smile on Kristine’s face as she catches your allusion to her post from three weeks prior. You ignore the butterflies in your stomach, and... Read more »

The Purpose of Priesthood Lessons

March 13, 2005 | 11 comments

A year ago Julie asked why we doze in Sunday School. Today, one topic that was touched on in priesthood was why we teach priesthood lessons. I’ve been thinking a little about the topic, and I must confess I’m not entirely sure there is a single reason why we have priesthood lessons. Read more »

If you missed the scintillating discussion at the LDS law conference a few weeks back . . .

March 11, 2005 | 6 comments

. . . then you’ll be happy to know that Matt Astle has posted a nice blogged summary of the conference. The summary includes a report about some yahoos on a panel discussing “The Intellectual Connection Between Law and Mormonism.” (Who on Earth would want to talk about that?) And kudos to Matt, HL, Blaine, Jason, , and whoever-the-heck else put together the conference. It was great. (Perhaps because this year it was held at a real law school, unlike in certain years past . . . ;) .) Read more »

Enforcing an Entitlement to Family: Beharry v. Reno

March 9, 2005 | 31 comments

I earlier blogged about the idea of enforcing the Proclamation’s statement that children are entitled to be raised in a two-parent household. That post generated a number of interesting comments. Also in that post, I promised a follow up about some specific ideas for putting the Proclamation’s entitlement into action. I’m sure you’ve all been on the edge of your collective seat, wondering about these specifics. Turn with me, then, back through the pages of history — to 2001, when Kaimi was a mere law clerk. Read more »

Christ as an Apostle

March 7, 2005 | 13 comments

We often hear that the apostle’s calling is to be a special witness of Jesus Christ. A few interesting questions about apostles came up in Priesthood this Sunday. One of them was how we are to reconcile the calling of an apostle, as a special witness of Christ, with the statement in Hebrews 3:1 that Christ himself is an Apostle. Read more »