Blog Archives

Macrocosm and Microcosm

March 24, 2005 | 44 comments

Every so often, I have one of those horrifying little experiences that leads me to question my firmly held belief that most of Freud’s thought is utter nonsense. Read more »

“Sir, I have come to ask for your daughter’s hand. Nice pajamas.”

March 24, 2005 | 55 comments

Julie’s post on courting brings up an interesting question that I have, thankfully, only struggled with once: Should you ask a father’s “permission” prior to proposing marriage to his daughter? Read more »

Of Fathers, Compost, and the Resurrection

March 23, 2005 | 32 comments

Thanks to a pile of rotting garbage, I was truly happy and contented for the first time in quite a while this weekend. Read more »

What Does God Smell Like?

March 15, 2005 | 41 comments

I like smells. I sniff my wife when she is not looking. (It really annoys her.) I came home from work late tonight and went in to look at my sleeping son. I bent down and kissed his brow and drank in the wonderful smell of a clean and sleeping little boy. For me smell is the most powerful trigger of memory. In short, I think that our noses are under appreciated organs and that smell is a big deal. So what does God smell like? Read more »

A Very Cool New Blog

March 15, 2005 | 125 comments

Those wacky Mormons at Harvard Law School (and some that used to be) have started a new blog Harv. L. Saints (for those who missed the geeky law joke in the title, Harv. L. Rev. is the traditional abbreviation of the Harvard Law Review, the greatest law journal of all time, since followed by many knock-offs). The introductory posts include an attack on big firm practice by a defensive Mormon liberal (HLS abounds with defensive Mormon liberals. It is one of the things that I miss. They are so dang cute!) and an analysis of Intellectual Irreverence. Read more »

A Legal Primer on Same Sex Marriage

March 14, 2005 | 28 comments

As Kaimi has already pointed out, today the San Francisco County Superior Court declared that Proposition 22, which defines marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman, unconstitutional under the California Constitution. My point in this post is not to open up a debate about same sex marriage, but rather to explain the legal issues in this — and other state cases — so that non-lawyers can understand what is going on in these opinions. Read more »

A Letter to a Righteous Gentile

March 10, 2005 | 29 comments

The following is the (modified) text of a letter that I recently sent to a friend. I have no intention of revealing who he or she is or of posting his or her reply, but in the letter I ask some questions that might be of interest to the readers of this blog. I am certainly interested in your reactions. Read more »

Mormon Doctrine and the Path of the Law

March 8, 2005 | 209 comments

Margaret Toscano’s recent remarks at UVSC have garnered a few bloggernacle links and generated an interesting discussion at DMI. I missed her remarks, but I did read her paper from a couple of issues ago in Sunstone, and was invited to respond to it here in a long ago comment. My response — not surprisingly — is disciplinary snobbery. I think that Toscano should go to law school. Read more »

A Powerful New Blog

March 7, 2005 | one comment

She-who-must-be-obeyed (and some co-conspirators) have started a new blog ( entitled The Mormon Mommy Wars. Here is the mission statement, from She-who-must-be-obeyed: Read more »

The Church Has Already Written a Modern English Version of the Book of Mormon

March 7, 2005 | 50 comments

The first installment of Phillip Barlow’s excellent 12 Questions raises the interesting question of whether the Church will ever produce a modern language edition of the Book of Mormon in English. The answer is that it already has. Read more »

Mormons and the Law, an Email

March 4, 2005 | 21 comments

Yesterday, my father, who is a currator at the Church Museum in Salt Lake City, asked me to respond to an email that he had recieved from a young man that he had met through his work who was investigating the Church. The young man had heard his LDS girl friend declare that Mormons believe that one should always obey the law, but the young man had heard something about Mormon resistence to polygamy in the 19th century and thought that Mormons had taught that Mormon law always trumped Gentile law. What follows is the email that I wrote... Read more »

The Problems of the Great Apostasy

March 2, 2005 | 57 comments

One the bed-rock doctrines of Mormonism (to the extent that we have any bed-rock doctrines) is that the church set up by Christ fell away from the true gospel, lost its priesthood authority, and slipped into apostasy. It seems to me that we have two fundamental problems with the doctrine of the Great Apostasy. Read more »

More Nibley Memorials: Online Articles

February 28, 2005 | 3 comments

As a Nibley memorial, BYU Studies has created a page with links to free down loads of Nibley’s BYU Studies articles. Sunstone has a similar page set up. Also, BYU has set up a kind of electronic guestbook for Nibley. They are inviting people to send in their messages of appreciation to My understanding is that the messages sent to this address will be compiled and sent to the family.* Read more »

From the Archives: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Elder McConkie

February 25, 2005 | no comments

I don’t think that I am alone among Mormons in having had very strong reactions to Elder Bruce R. McConkie. My sense is that his theological influence is on the wane, although I understand he continues to be very popular amongst some CES types. A while back, I blogged on my own process of making peace with Elder McConkie. (continue to original post…) Read more »

Simony and Kidneys

February 23, 2005 | 74 comments

I think that people ought to be able to sell their kidneys. Especially poor people. Read more »

In Memory of the Metaphysical Elders

February 22, 2005 | 29 comments

Lost in all of the buzz about the Bloggernacle Awards (I was tempted to make a big acceptance speech until I realized that I got only 21 of the votes cast for the category I won, meaning that the vast majority of the voting public was against me) was an interesting set of comments asking about which blog could claim the honor of first Mormon blog. Read more »

A Snap Shot in Numbers

February 21, 2005 | 31 comments

OK. I know that this will mark me as a total geek, but I recently came across a copy of Census of 1850, which is the first census with information on Utah. The numbers provide a fun snap shot of the Mormon commonwealth three years after its founding. Read more »

12 Questions with Senator Robert F. Bennett

February 20, 2005 | 25 comments

Our next installment of the 12 Questions series will be with Robert F. Bennett, the junior Senator from Utah. Senator Bennett, a Republican, was elected to the Senate in 1992. As Assitant Majority Whip, he is a member of the Republican leadership. Prior to his election, he was a business man, PR executive, lobbyist, and Congressional staffer. His own father, Wallace F. Bennett, served as Senator from Utah in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. He served his mission in Scotland, is a former bishop, and currently attends the Arlington Ward of the McLean, Virginia Stake. Senator Bennett has agreed... Read more »

LDS Law Students’ Conference: Updated Schedule

February 16, 2005 | 7 comments

For those interested, here is the final schedule for the LDS Law Students’ Conference Read more »

Contention and Argument

February 16, 2005 | 51 comments

The Book of Mormon has a number of not so complimentary things to say about contention. Generally speaking, I have heard this interpreted as an admonition to be nice and change the subject if anything controversial comes up. My problem with this, of course, is that I am not especially nice, and I like controversy. Read more »

The Evening When Mormons Could Once More Become Americans

February 15, 2005 | 29 comments

I have been reading Kathleen Flake’s excellent book on the Reed Smoot hearings, and it has me thinking Smootish thoughts. Read more »

LDS Law Students’ Conference This Week in NYC

February 14, 2005 | 24 comments

For those in the New York City area this weekend, you have a chance to come and heckle Kaimi and I in person. Read more »

Superheros and the Sacrament

February 13, 2005 | 48 comments

This evening, my wife (aka She Who Must Be Obeyed) and I were having an interesting discussion about the topic of her forthcoming Relief Society lesson. I thought that I would improve the average quality of the posts here by passing on her thoughts and questions. She writes: Read more »

Toward a Theology of Supermarkets

February 13, 2005 | 24 comments

If you are looking for a morally, philosophically, and theologically fascinating place, I can think of few locations in contemporary life that can compare to the supermarket. Read more »