Blog Archives

A Reinterpretation of Faith-Promoting History

April 5, 2006 | 64 comments
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Mormons have an ingrained habit of interpreting their history in the rosiest of all possible terms, even when — as a historical matter — a less rosy interpretation makes more sense. Read more »

S.P.Q.M.

April 4, 2006 | 11 comments
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In the past, I have suggested that the Mormon constitution is English, but of late I have wondered whether it might be Roman. Read more »

A Proconsular Apostle in Chile

April 3, 2006 | 44 comments
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Peggy Fletcher Stack’s recent Salt Lake Tribune article on the Church in Chile is definitely worth a read. Read more »

A Preacher of Righteousness

March 29, 2006 | 21 comments
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A Preacher of Righteousness

Elijah Abel is one of the more important figures in the history of Mormonism. Read more »

From the Archives: The Real Issue

March 28, 2006 | 148 comments
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In light of the recent publicity surrouding the Buckley Jeppson case, I thought that some readers might be interested in this post from a couple of years ago. It goes, I think, to the question of the significance of the Canadian-sanctioned marriage of Jeppson and his partner. I am not offering this post as a theological gotcha to homosexual-rights activists. I am well-aware of the pain and difficulty caused by the current stance of the Church toward homosexuality. I would like to see a better resolution than the one that we currently have. However, it seems to me that... Read more »

Mormonism as a Strand of Western Thought

March 27, 2006 | 15 comments
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When we are not in our “Mormons are not weird”-PR mode, Read more »

Mormon History and the Problem of Mermaids

March 21, 2006 | 47 comments
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Mermaids illustrate the problems faced by non-Mormon readers of Mormon histories Read more »

Two Cheers for the Manuals!

March 16, 2006 | 98 comments
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I have a confession. I am an Elders’ Quorum instructor and I like the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church manuals. Really. Read more »

Ama-ar-gi and Mormonism

March 14, 2006 | 25 comments
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“Ama-ar-gi,” a Sumerian word, has the distinction of being the oldest written instance of the concept of freedom or liberty, appearing on a clay tablet from about 2300 B.C. The word itself has something to say about the vexed question of the relationship between Mormonism and liberty or freedom. Read more »

Eddie Murphy on Richard Bushman

March 10, 2006 | 70 comments
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There is a classic Saturday Night Live skit (from back when it was funny) that perfectly captures one of my nagging anxieties about being Mormon. Read more »

George Q. Cannon’s Equal Rights Amendment

March 9, 2006 | 6 comments
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I have been doing a bit of research on the drafting of the Utah State Constitution, reading the proceedings of the constitutional convention held in 1894. The delegates seem to have spent most of their time discussing furniture, stationary, and who got to be appointed official stenographer for the convention. Every so often, however, they would pause to actually consider possible constitutional issues. Read more »

From the Archives: What is the Purpose of the BYU Dress and Grooming Code?

March 8, 2006 | 91 comments
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BYU is often ridiculed for its dress and grooming code. The basic argument is that it is silly. Read more »

“But that’s just socially constructed…”

March 7, 2006 | 37 comments
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One of the fun things about education is that you get all sorts of fun new toys, ideas that magically seem to cut through all sorts of Gordian knots and whose mere invocation has occult intellectual powers that liberate one from previous difficulties. Read more »

A Modest Bit of Navel Gazing…

March 6, 2006 | 23 comments
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I try (or at least I think that I try) to avoid posting on the bloggernacle as bloggernancle. Read more »

Polygamy and Bastardy

March 3, 2006 | 16 comments
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Polygamy created a bastardy problem for nineteenth-century Mormons. Read more »

Utah(ish) Non-Mormons

March 1, 2006 | 57 comments
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Non-Utah Mormons like to complain about the supposed failing of Utah Mormons. Forgotten in this inevitable and highly stylized discussion, however, are the odd tics of Utah non-Mormons. I recently had a deja vu experience that reminded me of this strange breed. Read more »

Enlisting the Snarky Amongst Us

January 13, 2006 | 10 comments
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Several years ago I ran a marathon. As anyone who has run a marathon can tell you, training for it is a lot of work. I tend to be a pretty undisciplined person, so when I started training for the marathon, I decided that I needed some sort of commitment device to keep me on schedule. My solution was to tell all of my friends and family that I was training for a marathon, indeed that I would be running a marathon in the fall. That way I got my sense of shame to discipline me. If I slacked... Read more »

A Modest Grand Narrative About the History of Hometeaching

January 10, 2006 | 20 comments
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I think that it is fairly well established that Mormonism has deep roots in the religious history of Puritan New England. Of course, how one parses out the relationship between Mormonism and Puritanism is complicated, but I don’t think that there is much argument as to the fact of a relationship. Read more »

On the Uses of the Doctrine of Apostasy

January 6, 2006 | 59 comments
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The doctrine of apostasy has come on hard times. Read more »

On being a bookkeeper in Zion

December 29, 2005 | 57 comments
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As a young missionary, the Lord saw fit to inflict on me one the greatest trials that can afflict a Latter-day Saint: He forced me to become educated about Church financial controls and auditing procedures. Read more »

Why Jesus Will Not Save You: A Short Spiritual Autobiography

December 20, 2005 | 68 comments
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When I look at my life and pick out its most significant spiritual events, one that stands out is a night when, unbidden and unexpected, God told me that he was angry because I was reading the New Testament. Read more »

Ritual is the Last Thing to Go

December 13, 2005 | 52 comments
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Christmastime is upon us, and before too long hoards of folks who darken a church door only once or twice a year will be flooding into the churches. I have to say I can hardly blame them. Read more »

From the Archives: An Open Letter to the Dialogue Board

December 12, 2005 | one comment
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The most recent issue of Dialogue reprinted a post from this blog — “An Open Letter to the Dialogue Board” — noting that the online discussion created by the post generated more than 130 comments. I hope that the mention in Dialogue created some interest in the Bloggernacle among its readers. I am also flagging the original thread once again for those Dialogue readers who might be interested in reading or continuing the discussion. Welcome to the Bloggernacle! (more…) Read more »

RSR: What Hath Bushman Wrought?

December 7, 2005 | 37 comments
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Richard Bushman has written a fabulous book, and in so doing he tells us a great deal about the limits and possibilities of Mormon studies. Read more »