Blog Archives

Saturday Morning Session

April 4, 2009 | 12 comments
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Since we’re not doing open threads during the sessions of conference, we’re trying to start comment threads at the end of the session, so that once you have heard and thought a little about the entire session and the individual talks. So take your notes during the sessions, and let us know after the session is over. Here’s a few thoughts on Saturday Morning’s session of conference. I’d welcome your thoughts also. Read more »

Whence Our Open Conference Thread?

April 4, 2009 | 13 comments
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Times and Seasons has historically hosted an open thread for comments on each session of conference as that session was being broadcast. We’re trying something new this year. I’m posting this as a bit of notice to our readers, and in an unofficial attempt to explain. Read more »

Information for the Next Six Months

April 3, 2009 | 19 comments
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The first weekend of April is a time when we look for information, for an understanding of the changes that have happened in the last six months and how that will help us prepare for the next six months. This is because the first weekend of April begins the baseball season. Read more »

When is Sin Tax a Sin?

April 2, 2009 | 70 comments
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The new tobacco tax in the United States took effect yesterday, which tripled the amount of tax collected on each pack of cigarrettes, and probably raising the cost of a pack to as much as $9. The tax is the single largest increase in tobacco taxes in history. For an LDS audience, this probably seems all fine and good. You aren’t likely to complain about a sin tax if you aren’t committing that sin. And, to be honest, its hard to imagine a sin tax that LDS Church members would be particularly vulnerable to (perhaps ice cream?) But even... Read more »

The “anti-Mormon” label

March 17, 2009 | 42 comments
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Some years ago I had the idea that Mormonism needs an “anti-defamation league”–a group that reviews news coverage and other public actions and publicly condemns those actions that clearly defame Mormons and Mormonism. But I’ve since decided that this is probably not a very workable idea. Read more »

Garment Rights?

March 5, 2009 | 125 comments
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Do we have a right to wear garments? If we do, how far does that right go? What , kind of right is it? Is it a human right? Or a legal one that might disappear and reappear as we pass national boundaries? Read more »

Who Should Have Been Mormon of the Year, 1990-2007

January 20, 2009 | 27 comments
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Who Should Have Been Mormon of the Year, 1990-2007

This final of three posts, covers Times and Seasons reader Last Lemming’s suggestions for Mormon of the Year for the years 1990 through 2007. We already posted on Monday his picks for 1950 through 1969 and on Wednesday 1970 through 1989. I suspect as these posts get into more familiar and more recent territory, more of you will have comments and suggestions about who Last Lemming suggested and who should have been suggested instead. Read more »

Key to the Science of Unity

January 19, 2009 | 9 comments
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Our ward has been exploring the idea of Unity in our sacrament meeting talks this month, and I’ve heard the same attribution to Elder Dallin H. Oaks several times. It apparently comes from a “News of the Church” article in June 2007 which discusses the growing diversity in the Church. According to the article, Elder Oaks “said that the growing diversity among the members is simply a condition, not a Church goal. The real goal is unity, not diversity.” Perhaps’ I’m not listening closely enough, but the  discussions of this idea seem to have missed the balance of what... Read more »

First Mormon Studies Fellowships Announced

January 15, 2009 | one comment
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Mormon Studies took another step forward this week with the announcement of two doctoral fellowships in Mormon Studies. Courtesy of the George S. and Delores Doré Eccles Foundation, the two fellowships will be awarded one a year this year and next. With any luck, the fellowships will be repeated in future years, assuming that they successfully lead to dissertations. Read more »

Last “Who Should Be Mormon of the Year” segment postponed

January 15, 2009 | 3 comments
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At Last Lemming’s request, I have postponed the last of the three “Who Should Be Mormon of the Year” segments until Tuesday morning. That segment covers 1990 to 2007. Last Lemming will be out-of-town during the weekend, and wants to be sure he is available to comment and react to others’ comments on the post. Read more »

Who Should Have Been Mormon of the Year, 1970-1989

January 14, 2009 | 26 comments
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Who Should Have Been Mormon of the Year, 1970-1989

This second of three posts, covers Times and Seasons reader Last Lemming’s suggestions for Mormon of the Year for the years 1970 through 1989. We already posted on Monday his picks for 1950 through 1969 and on Friday morning we will list his picks for 1990 through 2007. I suspect as these posts get into more familiar and more recent territory, more of you will have comments and suggestions about who Last Lemming suggested and who should have been suggested instead. Read more »

Who Should Have Been Mormon of the Year, 1950-1969

January 12, 2009 | 45 comments
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Who Should Have Been Mormon of the Year, 1950-1969

I received an unexpected and fun email message after we began selecting the 2008 Mormon of the Year from Times and Seasons reader Last Lemming, who had made his own selections for Mormon of the Year for each year since 1950! In this first of three posts, we will include his suggestions for the years 1950 through 1969. We will follow on Wednesday morning with his picks for 1970 through 1989 and on Friday morning for 1990 through 2007. I suspect as these posts get into more familiar and more recent territory, more of you will have comments and... Read more »

Times and Seasons 2008 Mormon of the Year: Mitt Romney

January 7, 2009 | 62 comments
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Times and Seasons 2008 Mormon of the Year: Mitt Romney

Image via Wikipedia After careful consideration, the staff of Times and Seasons has selected Mitt Romney as Mormon of the Year, our annual designation of the Mormon who had the greatest impact or influence on Mormons and Mormonism in 2008. During 2008 Romney concluded the most credible presidential campaign of any Mormon to date and dominated the U.S. national news early in the year like no single Mormon has in recent memory. He garnered a great deal of both praise and criticism, gaining him significant endorsements as well as important detractors. Remarkably, his supporters included many Evangelical Christians, which... Read more »

Vote for Mormon of the Year

January 1, 2009 | 183 comments
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This post opens the voting for Mormon of the Year. Votes will be taken until midnight Eastern Time on Monday, January 5th, at which time the voting will close. The voting mechanism will attempt to restrict votes to one per person. THE WINNER OF THE ONLINE VOTE IS NOT NECESSARILY THE MORMON OF THE YEAR!!! Read more »

Reviewing News about Mormonism for the Year

December 29, 2008 | 14 comments
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Reviewing News about Mormonism for the Year

OK, now that we’re looking at the Mormon of the Year, I’d also like to look at what the big news stories were for the year. In a lot of ways its been a very busy news year, with, by my count, three big stories dominating: Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy The confusion of the LDS Church with the FLDS Church in the news The Mormon role in the successful effort to pass Proposition 8. But there were also smaller, important stories that happened during the year, especially if you include in News about Mormonism news about people who are... Read more »

Who Should Be Mormon of the Year?

December 27, 2008 | 201 comments
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Who Should Be Mormon of the Year?

Its that time of year. The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is traditionally the media’s time for reflection on the past year — the time when we see story after story on the best or most important stories of the year, or the most important person of the year (as Time magazine just named — no surprise there). I enjoy these looks at the past year, and given how much LDS Church members don’t usually know much about news that involves the Church, it seems to me these lists might be quite useful. So let me pose... Read more »

Of Courses

December 11, 2008 | 47 comments
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Of Courses

I recieved one of those continuing education catalogs in the mail today (from Lehman College, not BYU), and glancing through it, I began to wonder why the courses are all very basic. The courses are all introductory, and seem to be for those looking to start a career in relatively low-skill professions. I suppose there is good reason for this–colleges offer courses that people want to take. But with the rise of the Internet and “distance learning” shouldn’t  the reverse be happening also? Shouldn’t these tools result in a lot of small, narrowly-focused courses, more academic in nature? Perhaps... Read more »

Each in his Own Language

November 25, 2008 | 64 comments
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Each in his Own Language

BYU’s Religious Studies Center recently announced that it had begun publishing books in Spanish, Portuguese, and German, an encouraging development, given how little is being produced outside of English. In his blog post about the news, Richard Neitzel Holzapfel writes: Today, it is estimated that there are nearly 7,000 spoken languages in the world, of which some 2,600 have a writing system. He goes on to say: Equally impressive is the effort to provide translations of the Book of Mormon to the world. Today, the complete Book of Mormon has been translated into seventy-nine languages, and selections are available... Read more »

The Gospel and Immigration

November 17, 2008 | 108 comments
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The Gospel and Immigration

A High Priest I know is in crisis. He is an immigrant who, like many other Church members, came to the US without a visa, according to what I understand of the situation. After arriving here he joined the Church, and eventually fell in love and married a U.S. Citizen, a wonderful, faithful Church member. This situation would normally put him on track for a green card and U.S. citizenship. But this brother is facing deportation, and his ward and stake are praying for a miracle that will keep him here in the United States. Read more »

Pardon our appearance…

November 15, 2008 | 14 comments
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We’ve just completed upgrading the software that runs Times and Seasons. The upgrade requires us to also update the files that control how the site looks. It may take a while for us to get Times and Seasons to the way we want it to look, so please be patient. Read more »

What Should Mormons Do?

November 12, 2008 | 44 comments
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The Associated Press reported yesterday that Mormon employees at the University of Phoenix benefited from discrimination based on religion, according to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The University settled the suit, paying $1.9 million to 52 employees (an average of more than $36,000 each!) and agreeing to a “zero-tolerance” policy to religious discrimination, but did not admit wrongdoing. What’s up with that? Read more »

What of the Mormons (in Congress)?

November 5, 2008 | 34 comments
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The results are in, and the Mormon officials in congress is facing some changes as a result. From what I can tell, the new congress will include either 5 or 6 Mormons in the Senate and 9 in the House of Representatives. Read more »

A Marvelous Work and a Cacophony

October 31, 2008 | 6 comments
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Last week’s sacrament meeting was unique. While on the surface it was just the annual Primary Sacrament Meeting program, the room was packed and the overflow took up most of the cultural hall. But the best part was the congregational hymns, a joyful cacophany that mangled the hymns, making them hard to understand, but communicating clearly the spirit. Read more »

Mormon Halloween: Its Origin and Destiny

October 27, 2008 | 52 comments
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I’m not sure whether or not Halloween is actually “Mormon” to any significant degree. Mormons generally participate in the holiday here in the U.S., of course. And we even have a few requirements of the holiday in a Church setting — for example, we don’t allow masks at Church-sponsored Halloween events. But I don’t think that these facts quite give us a Mormon Halloween. Perhaps what we need is a good, Mormon-specific monster! Read more »