Blog Archives

Notes on the Saturday Afternoon Session

October 2, 2010 | 4 comments
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Notes and reactions to the Saturday Afternoon Session of Conference: Elder Hales: Spoke of sending LDS materials to an old friend and getting a letter back from the friend complaining of terms that he didn’t understand, such as “agency.” Elder Hales said he confirmed that our definition wasn’t in the online dictionary he consulted. He then gave a long description of our beliefs about agency, including the plan of salvation. Told story of being told to varnish a floor and literally “painting himself into a corner.” I’m fascinated by the way that we, Mormons, use terms differently from others.... Read more »

Notes on the Saturday Morning Session

October 2, 2010 | 12 comments
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The following is my own summary and reactions to the Saturday Morning Session of General Conference. President Monson: Spoke rather briefly. He welcomed everyone to conference and mentioned that 4 Temples were dedicated since the last conference. He then announced plans to construct 5 additional Temples. He also urged members to serve missions, saying that it is an obligation and duty for young men, welcome from young women, and needed from senior couples. Read more »

Who Else is Passionate for Moderation?

September 29, 2010 | 102 comments
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Who Else is Passionate for Moderation?

Last General Conference Elder Quentin L. Cook suggested that we need to improve the quality of discourse in our country, following the Church’s own statement of almost a year ago. And the suggestion may have drawn some action, since in July the Church-owned Bonneville Media’s radio stations started letting the most egregious of its talk show hosts go, including Sean Hannity. More recently, the Deseret News stopped allowing comments on news story pages and KSL dropped comments altogether on its website, all because of the lack of civil discourse. The overall message seems clear: “Take it down a notch.” Read more »

Give us this day our Daily, One-of-a-Kind, World-Famous, Awesome Magic Brand Bread

September 27, 2010 | 26 comments
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Give us this day our Daily, One-of-a-Kind, World-Famous, Awesome Magic Brand Bread

By Adrienne Cardon I was just a Beehive when those rosy, soft around the edges Homefront commercials rolled out on late-night television. These iconic spots featured families in motion, well-coifed moms and busy pops who metamorphosed from 90’s corporate dads to storyteller/ballplayer dads in 30 seconds. Family, isn’t it about time? asked the ads. They were a bit schmaltzy, they were a bit dewy, they were a bit, well backlit. But here’s much forgotten takeaway – they were effective. This little tagline, this bookend to each commercial was extremely successful. Little by little,... Read more »

An Apostle on Muslims

September 21, 2010 | 46 comments
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An Apostle on Muslims

Yesterday, I read the following comments on Muslims by an LDS Apostle: I am aware it is not without a great deal of prejudice that we as Europeans, and Americans, and Christians in religion and in our education, so called, have looked down upon the history of Muhammad, or even the name; and even now we may think that Islam, compared with Christianity as it exists in the world, is a kind of heathenism, or something dreadful… Read more »

Stop Forwarding Lies and Hate!

September 2, 2010 | 108 comments
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It happened again. Another batch of forwarded emails from my family, filled with misinformation, outright lies and sometimes even hate. Once again I went through them message by message, looking them up on snopes, responding to point out the misleading parts, the lies, and the hate. What should I do? Read more »

Temples & Mosques & Zoning

August 18, 2010 | 203 comments
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Temples & Mosques & Zoning

Although I grew up in the Washington D.C. suburbs when the Temple was being built, I don’t remember the controversy and protests to its construction, since I was just a deacon when it was dedicated. I’ve been told that there were objections from the neighbors — one of the early examples of what has become a very normal part of constructing a Temple both in and outside of the U.S. Read more »

Redefining Morality in the Public Sphere

July 29, 2010 | 20 comments
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Redefining Morality in the Public Sphere

This past week more than 10,000 scientists launched the Vienna Declaration, a call for a major change in handling drug crimes and treatment. Noting that the global war on drugs has failed, the group wants governments to use scientific methods to determine policy instead of, as one health professional puts it, “a moralistic approach.” Read more »

Please, Please, Sing Out!

July 21, 2010 | 61 comments
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Please, Please, Sing Out!

I’m currently visiting my in-laws for a few weeks. I attended their ward on Sunday and once again was shocked at the difference in the singing there compared to my home ward. Why don’t members sing the hymns in Sacrament Meeting here? Read more »

Saying RINO, DINO, MINO is KINO!

May 17, 2010 | 21 comments
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Saying RINO, DINO, MINO is KINO!

One comment I saw recently, after Senator Bob Bennett lost the Republican nomination to retain his seat, approved the move by the Utah Republican Party, saying that Bennett is a RINO. Read more »

Four Dead in Ohio

May 4, 2010 | 35 comments
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Four Dead in Ohio

What if you knew her and  / Found her dead on the ground?  / How can you run when you know? Today is the 40th anniversary of the Kent State Massacre. Have we learned what we should have from the tragedy? Read more »

Mormon History, Brazilian Perspective — A Call for Papers

April 12, 2010 | no comments
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The Brazilian Association for Mormon Studies has issued a call for papers for its 2011 conference, with the theme “Mormon History from a Brazilian Perspective.” Read more »

Mormons to Watch for the Next Six Months

April 7, 2010 | 44 comments
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Mormons to Watch for the Next Six Months

Last year I looked at the information that many Mormons want to know each April, the understanding we want of the changes that have happened in the last six months and what that will mean for the next six months. Its time to do it again. Read more »

Higher Education and Mormon Culture

February 16, 2010 | 54 comments
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Higher Education and Mormon Culture

While discussing the development of Mormon culture at the recent Brazilian Mormon Studies Conference in São Paulo, Brazil, one friend told me that Mormon culture would really develop when there was an LDS University for members in Brazil to attend. Read more »

Feeding the Missionaries—in the Internet age

February 3, 2010 | 60 comments
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As life-long LDS Church members, my wife and I know the drill—how to feed the missionaries. Then, with our son serving an LDS mission, we got an email that changed everything. Read more »

Times and Seasons 2009 Mormon of the Year: Harry Reid

January 11, 2010 | 130 comments
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Times and Seasons 2009 Mormon of the Year: Harry Reid

Times and Seasons has selected Harry Reid as Mormon of the Year for 2009. During 2009, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was the most visible and influential Mormon politician in the world, shepherding Democratic legislative proposals through the U.S. Senate after the party’s victories in the 2008 elections, including a landmark health care bill that represents one of the more controversial pieces of legislation to pass through the Senate in recent memory. Reid’s off-the-cuff style has also led occasionally to unscripted remarks that have attracted a lot of attention. While Reid’s faith is not always discussed as much as... Read more »

Vote for Mormon of the Year

January 1, 2010 | 131 comments
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This post opens the voting for Mormon of the Year. Votes will be taken until midnight Eastern Time on Thursday, January 7th, at which time the voting will close. The voting mechanism will attempt to restrict votes to one per person. The order of the choices is set at random, and is different each time the form is presented. THE WINNER OF THE ONLINE VOTE IS NOT NECESSARILY THE MORMON OF THE YEAR!!! Read more »

Nominate the 2009 Mormon of the Year

December 26, 2009 | 119 comments
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Its that time of year again. The media are already reviewing the important news stories of the year, Time has selected its Person of the Year; so we should get busy selecting the Mormon of the Year. For those who don’t remember, last year at this time T&S selected Mitt Romney as the Mormon of the Year for 2008. I think the ground rules are basically the same as last year (suggestions about changes to the rules are welcome – I’ve tried here to clarify some assumptions we made in the rules last year): Nominees must be Mormon somehow —... Read more »

Are the Books Available?

October 13, 2009 | 17 comments
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Are the Books Available?

It is a bit of a coincidence that, as I prepared my regular list of the books and other media mentioned in General Conference, one of the LDS discussion forums in Brazil I follow was lamenting the decision to discontinue selling classic LDS works in Portuguese, like Talmage’s The Articles of Faith and LeGrand Richard’s A Marvelous Work and a Wonder. Read more »

Peace Prize Shock

October 9, 2009 | 102 comments
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Peace Prize Shock

At first I thought it might be a joke of some kind. I waited for a “just kidding” qualification from the radio news announcer. Then the news item finished. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Barack Obama. Read more »

A Call for Mormon Studies Papers — for Brazil

October 2, 2009 | 10 comments
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A Call for Mormon Studies Papers — for Brazil

After a bit of work and discussion, a small group I’m working with has issued a call for papers for what may be the first academic conference on Mormonism not held principally in English. The conference will be held in São Paulo, Brazil this coming January. Read more »

Some Notes on the New Spanish LDS Bible

September 18, 2009 | 24 comments
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My copy of the new LDS edition of the Bible in Spanish arrived yesterday, one of the 750,000 copies printed recently (according to a contact I have in the Church department that prints these materials). So I thought I would pass on my impressions. Read more »

Overdoing Church?

September 10, 2009 | 45 comments
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Many years ago, a friend told me in jest, when I wondered about missing Church on Sunday, “There are only 48 lessons in the Priesthood manual. Attending anything more than that is brown-nosing.” Read more »

When Should We Fear Discourse?

September 8, 2009 | 55 comments
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In Nephi Anderson’s short story, “On the Border-land of Light,” his protagonist meets a woman who knows little of Mormons: “Have you never been down in the lower valley?” he asked. “No, never. You see we were afraid of the Mormons at first,… Read more »

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