Blog Archives

Where the Mormons Are

November 6, 2004 | 33 comments
By
Where the Mormons Are

This map, from the New Historical Atlas of Religion in America, shows the largest religious denomination in each US county. This does not mean that the majority of the county belongs to the denomination, only that no other denomination is larger. My guess is that Hancock County, Illinois (Nauvoo) will be the first purple county east of the Rockies. Maybe it already is (I don’t know the age of this map). What are the other contenders out east? Which will be the first purple county in California? . Read more »

The Immorality of Voting One’s “Self-Interest”

October 29, 2004 | 79 comments
By

Last night on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer there was a segment with Tom Frank, the author of What’s the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America. Frank argues that conservatives have successfully used cultural issues to con the lower and middle classes into voting against what Frank believes to be their “economic self-interest.” It’s probably the leading explanation for the migration of the middle class away from the Democratic party. A smart Democratic friend of mine from church recently used it while lamenting Mormons’ support for Republicans. The NewsHour invited conservative David Frum, one of... Read more »

A Delicate Subject

October 28, 2004 | 92 comments
By

I will handle this topic as gently as I can. In this post I wonder whether Mormons who choose to leave the church are disproportionately likely to lean left politically. As most of you know, I’m a political conservative, so I’m afraid this topic will make some readers defensive. That is not my intention. It would be easier to treat this subject delicately were someone else — someone who’s left of center — to raise it. (Only Nixon could go to China; only Bill Cosby could chastise black parents.) Anyway, let me emphatically say from the outset that I... Read more »

FMA Fails to Win 2/3 Vote in House

September 30, 2004 | 29 comments
By

The House of Representatives today voted on a Federal Marriage Amendment. A large majority of representatives voted in favor of the amendment, but it did not receive the 2/3 majority necessary to amend the Constitution. In a textbook example of media bias, the AP story on the vote begins, “The House emphatically rejected a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.” Later they note that the vote was 227-186, but they never point out that the vote was 227 in favor, and 186 against. Only someone determined to obscure the truth could say a measure that gets 22% more votes for... Read more »

Experience of a Young LDS Doctor

September 30, 2004 | 20 comments
By

Andrew Florence, a friend of mine doing an ER residency, emailed a journal entry to some of his friends. He has given me permission to post it here: This morning I cried for the second time during residency. Neither time has been in the ER. Read more »

In Opposition to “So-Called Freedoms”

September 15, 2004 | 141 comments
By

President Hinckley writes this month’s First Presidency Message, In Opposition to Evil. After lamenting society’s “inordinate emphasis on sex and violence,” he writes: The whole dismal picture indicates a weakening rot seeping into the very fiber of society. Legal restraints against deviant moral behavior are eroding under legislative enactments and court opinions. This is done in the name of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of choice in so-called personal matters. But the bitter fruit of these so-called freedoms has been enslavement to debauching habits and behavior that leads only to destruction. A prophet, speaking long ago,... Read more »

Teaching Gay & Lesbian Sex to 8th Graders

September 14, 2004 | 75 comments
By

Just a few months ago, defenders of traditional marriage predicted that should government recognize gay marriages, public schools would soon give equal treatment to homosexuality in sex education classes. We were right quicker than I expected. In Massachusetts, a committee is already preparing a ‘gay-friendly’ curriculum for kindergartners and up, a school district is helping elementary teachers overcome their reluctance to use particular words in the classroom, and an 8th grade sex education teacher shows her students how to have gay and lesbian sex by drawing pictures of various sex positions, then asking the class questions such as “Can... Read more »

Geosense.net

September 11, 2004 | 14 comments
By

I just discovered a most productive way to waste time. Read more »

Davis Bitton: “I Don’t Have a Testimony of the History of the Church”

August 25, 2004 | 18 comments
By

Davis Bitton, one of the Mormon church’s most prominent historians, has written an essay with the provocative title, “I Don’t Have a Testimony of the History of the Church.” First delivered at the 2004 FAIR Conference, his purpose is to distinguish the gospel, of which he has a testimony, from church history, of which he does not. Meridian Magazine has published the essay here. I don’t find his reasoning persuasive. Read more »

Cave used by John the Baptist?

August 16, 2004 | 2 comments
By

Archeologists have excavated a cave some believe was used as a baptistry by John the Baptist. AP story is here. Read more »

12 Answers! for Ken Jennings, part two

August 16, 2004 | 18 comments
By
12 Answers! for Ken Jennings, part two

Here’s the second half of our 12 Questions with Ken Jennings. (Click here for part one.) We thank Ken for participating in our 12 Questions feature, especially for his smart (but delicate) responses to the obnoxious, smart-aleck questions that seem to come with the territory. . Read more »

12 Answers! for Ken Jennings, part one

August 13, 2004 | 21 comments
By
12 Answers! for Ken Jennings, part one

We are pleased to present Jeopardy! champion and Times & Seasons reader Ken Jenning’s responses to 12 Questions posed by the bloggernacle. The first six are posted below; we’ll post the final six on Monday. . . Read more »

HBO drama about Utah Polygamist Family

August 4, 2004 | 20 comments
By

HBO has ordered 10 episodes of a serial drama series, produced by Tom Hanks, about a polygamist family in Utah. The story is here. Thanks to Renee for the tip. Read more »

175th Anniversary of the Book of Mormon

July 23, 2004 | 2 comments
By

March 26, 2005, will mark the 175th Anniversary of the printing of the Book of Mormon. Our ward is using this event as a catalyst to challenge every member of our ward to read the Book of Mormon. Reading just one chapter per day, the entire Book of Mormon will be finished by its 175th anniversary if one begins reading by next Saturday, July 31. Our sacrament meeting topic for August 8 will be the Book of Mormon, and we will stress the importance of the Book of Mormon and its blessings. To keep the program at the forefront,... Read more »

12 Questions Answers! for Ken Jennings

July 20, 2004 | 28 comments
By
12 Questions Answers! for Ken Jennings

King of Double Jeopardy, media sensation and newly minted millionaire Ken Jennings has graciously agreed to participate in our 12 Questions interview feature. However, because Ken is averse to answering questions, we will accomodate his request that we supply nothing but answers and leave the questions to him. ; ) Feel free to ask Ken questions, oops, I mean provide answers, in the comments. If for some reason you want to keep your answer secret, you can email it to Matt (matt @ times and seasons). The T&S staff will select 12 answers from the submissions and will post... Read more »

Church Supports Amending Constitution to Preserve Marriage

July 7, 2004 | 134 comments
By

From the church’s website: The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement today. This is a statement of principle in anticipation of the expected debate over same-gender marriage. It is not an endorsement of any specific amendment. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints favors a constitutional amendment preserving marriage as the lawful union of a man and a woman.” Read more »

100,000 visitors to Times & Seasons

June 29, 2004 | 22 comments
By

Times & Seasons will today welcome its 100,000th visitor. Since we started our web counter shortly after we opened last November, we’ve grown from 8 daily visits to 900. To mark the 100,000 visitor milestone, I spent some time trying to figure out how much writing has been produced in our seven month stint. Read more »

Reconciling the Iraq War and Christianity

June 26, 2004 | 145 comments
By

Critics of the Iraq War are quick to argue that because Saddam hadn’t killed Americans and didn’t pose an immediate threat to Americans, the war wasn’t justified. I don’t know of anyone — Howard Dean, Al Gore, Michael Moore — who believes America would have been wrong to overthrow the Baathists had the Iraqi state gassed thousands of American women and children, thrown scores of Americans into plastic shredders, tortured American children in front of their parents, and tyrannically oppressed millions of Americans living in Iraq. In other words, the critics think the Iraq War is immoral because Saddam’s... Read more »

Facial Hair

June 22, 2004 | 27 comments
By

Dan Burke speculated, tongue in cheek, on the purpose of the church’s policies against facial hair stemming from a desire to protect members against archetypal authority figures, but the most likely reason for the policy is fashion cycles: the church’s historical acceptance of facial hair perfectly tracks the American fashion trend. Read more »

Benevolent Theodicy: the Logical Necessity of Eternal Progression

June 14, 2004 | 15 comments
By

Few Mormon doctrines cause traditional Christians more consternation than the belief in mankind’s potential to become like God. This is of course the reason the authors of the most famous anti-Mormon work chose for their title The God Makers. But hacks who deliberately produce fraudulent anti-Mormon screeds aren’t the only ones to be offended by our unique doctrine. Without exception, every thoughtful Christian with whom I’ve discussed the issue similarly believes our doctrine to be blasphemous (though they are circumspect in telling me so). But the Benevolent Theodicy, as I have called it, shows that they are wrong. Read more »

Why Won’t They Call it ‘Partial-Birth Abortion’?

June 8, 2004 | 39 comments
By

Though the act of aborting a partially-born baby is logically called ‘partial-birth abortion,’ the media refuse to use the term when describing the act. Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby explains why. Yes, he thinks the fact that 97% of editors and journalists at major newsrooms identify themselves as being pro-choice is a factor. Jacoby doesn’t address this point, but most press reports of the clash over abortion refer to one side as “abortion rights” activists or groups, and to the other as “opposed to abortion rights” or “anti-abortion.” Because the media has decided to avoid the terms ‘pro-choice’ and... Read more »

The Bloggernacle – It’s Official

April 21, 2004 | 27 comments
By

David Winer, whose full-time job as a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School is to track the blogging phenomenom, and is therefore as authoritative as anyone on blogosphere nomenclature, has referred to the LDS corner of the blogosphere as “the Bloggernacle.” Times & Seasons delivers! Our own Kaimi Wenger raised the issue, Grasshopper coined the moniker 26 minutes later, and the rest is one month of history. Read more »

The Passion at week seven

April 14, 2004 | 24 comments
By

The Passion of the Christ was released seven weeks ago today. In that time it has become: # 8 highest grossing movie of all time # 1 highest grossing February release of all time # 1 highest grossing non-English movie of all time # 1 highest grossing February weekend # 1 highest grossing R-rated movie of all time # 2 highest grossing 7th weekend By next week it will have overtaken Jurassic Park for the seventh spot on the all-time list. Read more »

100 Celebrities Can’t Be Wrong

April 14, 2004 | 4 comments
By

Apparently the huge DC rally for abortion isn’t materializing as planned. The major pro-abortion and feminist groups, plus the ACLU, have been preparing a huge demonstration in Washington to protest the Bush administration’s policies protecting fetal life. I signed up on their mailing list early on and have received impassioned letters pleading for money. One letter said they were organizing the largest march on Washington — ever. Apparently they thought the original title, “March for Choice,” wasn’t getting the emotional response they sought, so it’s now called the “March for Women’s Lives.” (No, not the lives of the 1800... Read more »