Blog Archives

Paging Dan Peterson, Jeff Lindsay, Ben Spackman, . . .

September 28, 2004 | 3 comments

Today’s New York Times has a discussion of two ancient silver scrolls found in Israel in 1979. New analysis confirms that the scrolls date “from the period just before the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.” and contain fragments from the Book of Numbers. Is that a fun data point, or what? Read more »

Contemporaneous Reactions to the First Vision

September 28, 2004 | 12 comments

We’ve all read about the first vision, and the negative reaction that many contemporaries had to Joseph Smith’s account. We read in the prophet’s words: Some few days after I had this vision, I happened to be in company with one of the Methodist preachers, who was very active in the before mentioned religious excitement; and, conversing with him on the subject of religion, I took occasion to give him an account of the vision which I had had. I was greatly surprised at his behavior; he treated my communication not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying it... Read more »

Hitting the nail on the head

September 26, 2004 | 4 comments

Jeff Lindsay has some spot-on commentary at Mormanity: Boy, am I ever grateful that Genesis was NOT part of the Book of Mormon. If Genesis were introduced to the world as restored scripture from the Mormons, the critics would have attacks ten times as powerful as anything they’ve levied against Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon so far. And he doesn’t even mention Tamar . . . Read more »

Perpetual Immigration Fund, Perpetual Education Fund, . . . Perpetual Dating Fund?

September 25, 2004 | 4 comments

The bloggernacle likes to talk about dating. We already know that JL over at Celibate in the City provides the bloggernacle’s version of reality TV, with adventures in dating 24/7. Now, the (sane?) folk over at Let Your Mind Alone are tackling the subject too. Chris Potter wonders about the prevalence of non-committal dating practices and suggests that (gasp!) “Mormon dating practices, on average, aren’t as morally superior to the dating practices of the rest of the world as we would all like to think.” Chris Patton follows up with a comment guaranteed to endear him to Mormon women... Read more »

A good cause

September 25, 2004 | one comment

Everyone’s favorite (or tied-for-favorite) LDS serviceman (formerly) in Iraq, Chief Wiggles, is looking for help save an Iraqi girl who needs lifesaving medical care that she can only receive in the United States. She’s nine months old and not likely to live much longer without surgery, which will almost certainly allow her to live. Chief Wiggles is an LDS serviceman who founded the Operation Give charity (along with some help, including from T & S’s Matt Evans) to provide toys for kids in Iraq. He has details about the girl’s condition here. They’ve located a hospital and surgeon, Dr.... Read more »

Shifting Political Winds

September 24, 2004 | 11 comments
Shifting Political Winds

I know we believe in a God of hurricanes, but this is starting to get ridiculous. (Link via Froomkin). Read more »

Insight on Babies

September 23, 2004 | 38 comments

Yes, that’s T & S blogger Matt Evans in the New York Times (all the news that’s fit to print), talking about his business, Baby Insight. (Alert reader Matt Horlacher was the first to point it out to me). Matt’s business allows customers to take voluntary, often very high-definition ultrasound images of fetuses in the womb, usually at around 30 weeks. The article points out that some medical organizations oppose the taking of voluntary ultrasounds, but Matt counters by noting that there is no evidence of harm caused by these ultrasounds. And I suspect that as a pro-life advocate,... Read more »

Speaking of Mormon Studies . . .

September 22, 2004 | 4 comments

Jason Knapp over at Let Your Mind Alone is looking into the possibility of establishing a student-edited journal of Mormon studies, possibly in conjunction with BYU Studies (he mentions informal discussions with Jack Welch). It all sounds very tentative and gestational at the moment, but it sounds like a potentially interesting development. Students (or others, for that matter) who are interested in Mormon studies may want to check out Jason’s post, where he also gives contact information. Read more »

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

September 21, 2004 | 44 comments

Sometime T & S and BCC commenter Jim Lucas points out this interesting story. Daniel Arkell, an LDS student at Washburn University Law School in Kansas, joined the Christian Legal Society. When the group decided to start a Bible study program, he was one of the volunteers to lead the study. However, the group then decided that he could not lead the Bible study, or become an officer of the group. Arkell filed a discrimination complaint with the university, which then revoked the CLS’s charter. The CLS is now suing the university in federal court. Read more »

JL (of Celibate in the City fame) goes PoMo about bloggernacle dating

September 21, 2004 | 8 comments

Just how PoMo is the celibate one? Here’s a sample from her post on the topic: Because of my internet blogging activities I ‘meet’ other people online. We have no real life interaction, just email and blogging comments. Then, one reader of my blog-about-dates invites me on a real date with one of his real friends. So I go out and meet in real life this stranger that I first met in cyberspace. (My simulacra world has now spilled into my real world). We have a real nice time. Then I go home to blog about the date, so... Read more »

Mormon Creative Outlets

September 15, 2004 | 11 comments

I was just thinking that I keep stumbling across LDS creative outlets, and that it might be useful to put a list of these in one place. Here are a few that I’m aware of; please let me know, by comments, of any others that I’m missing and they’ll be added to the list: The church music contest. The screenwriting and movie making contest at LDS Box. Irreantum contest (possibly not continuing). AML unpublished novel contest. Meridian, I’m told, may accept submissions if you ask nicely and have something to say. Deseret Book for music, novels, etc (though perhaps... Read more »

Minority Report and the Normative Use of Slippery Slope Arguments

September 15, 2004 | 33 comments

Some of my co-bloggers are big fans of the slippery slope. I’m a skeptic. I’m not suggesting that it is not possible to, in a descriptive way, construct some sort of progression between events that makes some sense. (I have separate doubts about descriptive use of slippery-slope arguments, particularly with the problem of cherry-picking). But my biggest concern with slippery slope arguments are when they are employed normatively: “We shouldn’t do X, because that might lead to Y, and then Z.” Or the ever-popular framing: “Wow, so-and-so suggests we do X. What’s next, Y?” And thus are proponents of... Read more »


September 14, 2004 | 6 comments

Examining one subset of the question “Who would Jesus vote for?”, Josiah at Christus Victor notes: Alan Keyes says Jesus wouldn’t vote for Barack Obama. Well of course he wouldn’t. Jesus isn’t even a citizen of Illinois. Read more »

Barley for Mild Drinks?

September 14, 2004 | 32 comments

A follow-up question occurred to be as I was looking over D & C 89:17 for my last post. A phrase jumped out at me, and I think it’s deserving of its own discussion. D & C 89:17 reads: 17 Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain. (emphasis added) Can someone please tell me what these “mild drinks” made from barley are, that... Read more »

Wheat for Man

September 14, 2004 | 14 comments

Okay, we’ve previously touched on a number of Word of Wisdom topics: medicinal marijuana, chicken marsala, meat eating. And we all know about the tobacco and alcohol part. But what on earth are we to think of the strange grains list? In case you had forgotten it, D & C 89:16-17 reads: Read more »

Feminist Mormon Housewives

September 13, 2004 | 8 comments

I just noticed this new LDS blog (“Feminist Mormon Housewives: angry activists with diapers to change“), maintained by two self-described feminist Mormon housewives. The blog has some funny and thoughtful posts, such as: –The Prozac Relief Society: “Is it just me, or does it seem like every LDS stay-at-home mother is on some anti-depresant or another?” (So that’s what they do in homemaking meeting!) -“sweet, innocent, and pure” — should a thirty-year-old mother take that characterization as a compliment? (Representative quote: “Is my purity really the best thing about me? I beg to differ.”). -and a post about being... Read more »

Best Books for New LDS Converts

September 13, 2004 | 17 comments

I live in a relatively mission-field ward, which has a lot of new members. Several months back, one member asked about reading material. I happened to have an extra copy of Truth Restored on the shelf, and it seemed like a good new-convert book, so I gave it to the new member. It was a big hit. Now, in interactions with other new members, I’m thinking I should get them some reading material. But where to start? Read more »

Pop Quiz: What Not to Do

September 12, 2004 | 15 comments

Do you ever wonder exactly how you’re doing, as far as keeping the commandments goes? Well, now’s your chance to find out. Get out the pen and paper, and simply go down the following list of sins (from Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, at 25), checking off each infractions, to find out how you are doing: Read more »

Three Years Ago — One person’s story

September 11, 2004 | 5 comments

The past two years, around this time, I’ve reflected on what happened to me three years ago. I was headed into work for my second day as a law clerk. My route was the A train from 207th to Brooklyn. I was on schedule to be in Brooklyn just before 9. Read more »

Primary Songs: Articles of Faith, Part I

September 10, 2004 | 13 comments

Today we’ll discuss a topic near to my own heart: Primary music. I come to this topic with no particular expertise, other than eight years as a primary and nursery pianist, in four different wards. I do, however, have some strong feelings on the subject. We’ll start with some ground rules. What should a primary song be? How should it sound? Perhaps those with more expertise can correct me (Kris, Jeremy, D.), but I’ve got a few ideas: Read more »

Around the Blogs Flashback: JL’s post on Singles in the Church

September 9, 2004 | 53 comments

I just noticed the new snazzy template over at Celibate in the City. One of the links (new, I think) is to JL’s first post from six months ago. I remember reading it at the time, and laughing at her dating misadventures. This time something else stood out to me — her poignant lament about the plight of single members. Read more »

Seventies and Apologetics

September 8, 2004 | 18 comments

I’m not really an apologist (if you want real apologetics, try Jeff Lindsay or Ben Spackman or Dan Peterson), but I just had a short, humorous, quasi-apologetic thought. I’ve seen a claim that the Book of Mormon can’t be true because it requires too many people. I believe the numbers used are generally those from Mormon 6: And we also beheld the ten thousand of my people who were led by my son Moroni. And behold, the ten thousand of Gidgiddonah had fallen, and he also in the midst. And Lamah had fallen with his ten thousand; and Gilgal... Read more »

Reminiscing about the Arizona Temple Youth Guides, and Mission Thoughts

September 8, 2004 | 8 comments

A few weeks ago, a former church leader e-mailed me. We reminisced a little, it was fun. Then, he sent me the text of a letter I had sent him from the MTC. Talk about a blast from the past. It started me remembering a period of my life, a decade ago, and contemplating how I’ve changed since then. (Warning: Long personal discussion follows — ultimately enlightening, at least for me, but read on at your own risk). While in high school, I participated in a great program at the Arizona Temple Visitors’ Center. It was called the Youth... Read more »

Bloggernacle Notes

September 7, 2004 | 17 comments

We’re trying out a new feature, which (assuming Kaimi doesn’t break it again) could be quite useful: Bloggernacle notes. It’s on the sidebar, right here. The idea is that we’ll drop quick links to other blogs into the Bloggernacle Notes section (since it seems like those posts don’t usually generate much comment anyway) and free up more space for substantive posts. Read more »