Blog Archives

DC Institute Class

August 11, 2014 | one comment
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Thomas B. Griffith (D.C. Circuit Court judge and former BYU General Counsel, Senate Legal Counsel, Bishop and Stake President) is teaching an institute class at the Chevy Chase building this fall on early Church history, with a focus on “Joseph Smith as Everyman.”   The class starts Tuesday, September 2nd at 7pm and will run every Tuesday night throughout the fall. You can register either upon arrival or in advance at the Church’s Institute site (while not currently listed, the class should appear on the site in a week or two).  Please spread the word. Brother Griffith is a fantastic teacher and having a class from him... Read more »

Sounding the Secularist Alarm at BYU

February 17, 2014 | 94 comments
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Ralph Hancock has a provocative article in the March edition of First Things in which he raises concerns about the specialization/secularization he sees occurring at Brigham Young University: “For some decades, BYU had managed a compromise between the academic mainstream and its own aspiration to a distinctive mission.  urged the faculty to resist hyper-specialization, by which we seek merely to ‘imitate others or win their approval,’ and instead to assume the responsibility of ‘those educated and spiritual and wise sort, sift, prioritize, integrate, and give some sense of wholeness… to great eternal truths.’ But the... Read more »

Do exemptions from the ACA’s ‘contraception mandate’ threaten religious liberty?

January 16, 2014 | 47 comments
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In March, the Supreme Court will hear a pair of cases on whether for-profit employers can claim a religious exemption to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employer health plans cover contraceptives without any out-of-pocket expense because the use of contraceptives violates their owners’ religious beliefs. In a Washington Post op ed this week, Fred Gedicks, the Guy Anderson Chair at BYU Law School (and a prior T&S guest blogger), flips the case on its head, claiming that it is actually exemptions from the “contraception mandate” that pose a threat to religious liberty. The op ed briefly summarizes a... Read more »

A Look at the Political Affiliations of Some Prominent Members

January 10, 2014 | 115 comments
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A friend recently drew my attention to a new website that catalogs Utah voter registration data in a searchable format that was purportedly purchased from the Herbert administration. After checking the voter registration data of a few friends and acquaintances, I thought it would be interesting to identify the party registrations of some prominent members of the Church. Any other fun finds to add to the list? First Presidency Thomas S. Monson, registered Republican Henry B. Eyring, registered Republican Dieter F. Uchtdorf, unaffiliated voter Quorum of the Twelve Boyd K. Packer, registered Republican L. Tom Perry, registered Republican Russell M.... Read more »

New Missionary Policy

October 6, 2012 | 53 comments
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“I am pleased to announce that, effective immediately, all worthy and able young men who graduated from high school or its equivalent regardless of where they live will have the opportunity of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18 instead of age 19…. today, I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19 instead of age 21.” ~President Thomas S. Monson, General Conference Morning Session October 6, 2012 Discuss. Read more »

The Waylaying of Brandon Flowers

September 11, 2012 | 80 comments
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Despite being unfairly ambushed on the subject of religion prior to a recent performance on the Norwegian-Swedish television show Skavlan, Brandon Flowers admirably stood up for his faith, shying away from neither the battery of questions on his Mormonism by Norwegian journalist Fredrik Skavlan and others nor the full-on frontal assault on Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and God by surprise guest Richard Dawkins.  While it was clear Flowers would have rather been talking about his music and his band, he nevertheless responded directly to questions about whether he actually believes the origin story of the Mormon faith and proactively cut into a Dawkins’ screed about the... Read more »

Kiewit Power Constructors Co. Gets ‘Jimmered’

January 6, 2012 | 4 comments
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Case Background: Kiewit Power Constructors Co. contested a National Labor Relations Board decision to reinstate two fired electricians for threatening workplace violence.  Kiewit Power had warned the electricians that their breaks were too long, and that they may need to take them in a different location.  The electricians responded by saying things would “get ugly” if they were disciplined and the supervisor “better bring boxing gloves.”  In reinstating the electricians, the NLRB found  the statements “were merely figures of speech made in the course of a protected labor dispute.”   Kiewit appealed the decision and case landed in front of... Read more »

Elder Oaks Testifying Before Congress Today

October 18, 2011 | 77 comments
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For those interested, Elder Dallin H. Oaks is testifying right now before the Senate Finance Committee on tax reform, specifically incentives for charitable giving.  He is testifying at the request of Senator Hatch. Read more »

Sam Brunson Joins Times & Seasons

August 13, 2011 | 6 comments
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Times & Seasons is happy to announce that Sam Brunson has agreed to join our happy blogging family as a permanent contributor. For those unfamiliar with Sam, the introductory post on him can be found here and his posts to-date are available here. Read more »

Times & Seasons Welcomes Sam Brunson

July 6, 2011 | 4 comments
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Times & Seasons is excited to introduce Sam Brunson as our latest guest blogger.  Sam grew up in the suburbs of San Diego and served a Brazilian mission what seems like a millennium ago.  He went to BYU as an undergrad and found that a freshman saxophone performance major made his eventual English major look like a practical choice.   After toying with teaching critical theory or becoming an author, he did what all good English majors do and chose law school.  At Columbia, he met his wife, got a degree, and got a job as a tax associate... Read more »

Times & Seasons Welcomes Brad Strum

June 17, 2011 | 8 comments
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Times & Seasons is excited to introduce Brad Strum as a guest blogger.  Brad lives and works in the DC area as an economist, where he has been since earning a Ph.D. in economics at Princeton University.  Before grad school, he served in the Russia, Rostov-na-Donu mission and attended Brigham Young University, earning undergraduate degrees in economics and mathematics.   Going back even further, Brad grew up in a military family, living in a number of places around the U.S.   When he isn’t working, Brad enjoys many activities, including tennis, biking, dancing, reading, discussion groups, and spending time with family... Read more »

Notable Race-Related Changes to Footnotes and Chapter Headings in the Standard Works

February 2, 2011 | 145 comments
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Marvin Perkins is a Latter-day Saint music producer who is currently the Public Affairs Co-chair for the Genesis Group and who has worked to nurture understanding between African Americans and Latter-day Saints and attack misconceptions (see our 12 Questions series with Brother Perkins from 2009).  This morning, Brother Perkins circulated the following email to his “Blacks in the Scriptures” listserve (which is re-posted here with his permission): ______________________________ Friends, Many of you have recognized the new LDS.org website.  Some of you have recognized that with the new site also came changes to chapter headings and footnotes in the scriptures. ... Read more »

Unique Outreach by the Rochester Stake

June 25, 2010 | 40 comments
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This week, the Rochester Stake in New York is sponsoring a special performance of Carol Lynn Pearson’s Facing East, to be followed by a fireside featuring a discussion led by the Rochester Stake President. Notably, the performance is being directed by Jerry Argetsinger, who was the long-time director of the Hill Cumorah Pageant throughout the 90s, and costume design is being handled by Gail Argetsinger, a Tony award-winning costume designer who designed and supervised the construction of thousands of pageant costumes during the 90s. For those unfamiliar with Facing East, it is the story of a Mormon couple who... Read more »

An Unexpected Gift

June 17, 2010 | 10 comments
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An Unexpected Gift

At 3:28 this morning we welcomed a new son into the world. As one would expect, congratulations and well-wishes have come flooding in from friends and family all day. And for all of these we have been moved and grateful. First thing this morning, however, we received a congratulatory gift we hadn’t anticipated. Women housed in the Alexandria Detention Center had sent us a hand-crocheted blanket, cap and set of booties. (In Packer yellow-and-green for my Cheese-head wife no less). Both modern and ancient scripture admonish us to serve the “least” of those among us, noting that doing so... Read more »

Carlos Boozer on Utah

June 3, 2010 | 20 comments
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As one who has turned into something of  Boozer-apologist this past year in the face of attacks on him by some disgruntled Jazz fans, I was buoyed to see an account of a recent Boozer interview yesterday in the Deseret News. When the Miami-area sports station host interviewing Boozer called Utah  “gorgeous” but “a horrible place to live, horrible,” Boozer said: “Nah, it’s not that bad. You know, I’m raising my kids out there. It’s pretty nice.  We have a good time out there with our basketball team, successful of course. That’s the frontcourt of it, the most important... Read more »

Times & Seasons Welcomes Ralph Hancock

June 2, 2010 | 7 comments
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While Rana Lehr-Lehnardt’s guest run continues, Times & Seasons is happy to introduce our next guest blogger, Ralph Hancock. Ralph is a long-time professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University. He is the author of Calvin and the Foundations of Modern Politics, as well as of numerous edited volumes, articles and chapters.  His forthcoming book, The Responsibility of Reason (Rowman & Littlefield),  addresses the meaning and limits of reason through a triangulation involving de Tocqueville, Heidegger and Strauss.   Ralph has also translated three books (including one with his son Nathaniel) and numerous chapters and articles from French, and has... Read more »

Renewed Call for Photo Submissions

May 27, 2010 | no comments
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Since instituting the “A Mormon Image” series last fall, our submissions have slowed from a glut to a trickle.  As a result, we thought we would issue a new call for photographs to be considered for inclusion in the series. The instructions for submissions can be found here and the images we have featured since kicking off the series can be viewed here. Read more »

Times & Seasons Welcomes Rana Lehr-Lehnardt

May 23, 2010 | 14 comments
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Times & Seasons is happy to introduce our newest guest blogger, Rana Lehr-Lehnardt. Rana is a mother of three who just finished up her first semester teaching at the University of Missouri at Kansas City Law School. After spending several years in the D. C. area, Rana and her family are adjusting to life in Liberty, Missouri where her husband, Mark, has established a corporate and international trade practice. Before finding her way to the University of Missouri, Rana attended law school at BYU, clerked on the Tenth Circuit for Judge Terrence O’Brien, earned an L.L.M. from Columbia Law... Read more »

Requesting Priesthood Lines of Authority

April 30, 2010 | 19 comments
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Requesting Priesthood Lines of Authority

In the course of an interesting email exchange today, I learned that a good friend and I had had similar experiences in trying to track down our priesthood lines of authority. After being ordained Elders, we both asked our fathers if they had copies of their lines of authority, both said they thought they did somewhere, but both ultimately could never come up with them. My friend then approached his uncle, figuring that he might have the same line as my friend’s father, but without success. Fast forward ten years. His uncle randomly found his line of authority and... Read more »

This Mormon Life

April 24, 2010 | 17 comments
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This Mormon Life

Several weeks ago the NPR program This American Life aired a stunning segment on Gordon Gee, the Latter-day Saint President of Ohio State University, and his daughter Rebecca. The segment revolved around a series of letters Gordon’s late wife Elizabeth wrote to their daughter as she was dying of cancer.  Rebecca was 16 at the time of her mother’s death, and the letters were to be given to her each year on her birthday for thirteen years. Rebecca, however, gradually drifted from the Church, while the letters from her devout mother focused heavily on the deep yearnings she had... Read more »

Claremont Conference: What Is Mormon Studies?

April 7, 2010 | no comments
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Claremont Conference: What Is Mormon Studies?

The Claremont Mormon Studies Student Association is holding its Spring 2010 Conference on April 23 and 24 on the theme What Is Mormon Studies? Transdisciplinary Inquiries into an Emerging Field. The Conference line-up is as follows: Keynote Address Jan Shipps – Indiana University-Purdue University Critical Approaches to Mormon Studies Loyd Ericson – “Where is the Mormon in Mormon Studies?  Subject, Method, Object” Cheryl L. Bruno – “Mormon History from the Kitchen Window: White is the Field in Essentialist Feminism” Blair Van Dyke – “How Wide the Divide? The Absence of Conversation between Mormon Studies and Mormon Mainstream” Christopher C.... Read more »

Do daughters make you more conservative?

April 5, 2010 | 20 comments
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Do daughters make you more conservative?

Tyler Cowan revisits the topic in a post today (HT: Sheldon). I vaguely remember someone in the bloggernacle posting on this in years passed, but my cursory search didn’t turn up much. So, as I’m curious what others make of the research, I thought I’d throw it out to the wolves again. Cowan quotes a new article that states in relevant part: Washington (2008) finds that, controlling for total number of children, each additional daughter makes a member of Congress more likely to vote liberally and attributes this finding to socialization. However, daughters’ influence could manifest differently for elite... Read more »

General Conference for Kids

April 1, 2010 | one comment
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General Conference for Kids

Our very own Kylie Turley has had her hands full of late, but wanted us to post a link to these fantastic General Conference activities for the kiddos.  Enjoy. Read more »

Remembering Stewart Udall

March 22, 2010 | 19 comments
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Remembering Stewart Udall

Stewart Udall, U.S. Secretary of the Interior under Kennedy and Johnson and a prominent member of a prolific Mormon political dynasty, passed away Saturday morning at his home in Sante Fe, New Mexico, according to a statement from his son, Senator Tom Udall. Known affectionately as “Stew,” he was ninety years old and the last surviving member of Kennedy’s original cabinet. While he did not remain an active Latter-day Saint in his later life, he nevertheless kept close ties with the Church and continued to self-identify as a Mormon, claiming that he was “Mormon born and bred, and it’s inside... Read more »