Blog Archives

The English Nature of the Mormon Constitution

January 24, 2005 | 96 comments
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The Church has a certain amount of constitutional law, by which I mean norms and rules that govern and control its institutional structure. What is the nature of this constitutional law? I would submit that the Church ends up being more English than American. Priesthood quorums illustrate why this is so. Read more »

Against the Teachings of the Prophets

January 11, 2005 | 25 comments
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I strongly, strongly disapprove of the teachings of the prophets and it is all John A. Widstoe’s fault. Now just for the record, I think that John A. Widstoe is a very cool guy. Indeed, when people ask me about my goatee, I always respond that I am simply trying to look like Widstoe. (Which as it happens, is true.) But he really set a bad precedent, in my opinion, for how we present the words of the prophets. Read more »

The Bankruptcy Code on the Nature of Tithing

January 11, 2005 | 47 comments
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The bankruptcy code has some deep things to say about the nature of tithing. In order to understand why, we have to take a little detour through the nature of bankruptcy law and couple of technicalities in the code. Bear with me on this, and I promise that there are some fun questions at the end. Read more »

Dilettantism and Salvation

January 7, 2005 | 27 comments
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When I was in college, I bought into the liberal arts position, hook line and sinker. It has left me tortured by regret. Fortunately, Mormonism alleviates much of my anxiety that my education has basically been a train wreck. Read more »

“Wise Men” and Originalism

January 6, 2005 | 93 comments
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Many a conservative Mormon lawyer that I know is fond of those scriptures in the Doctrine & Covenants the exalt the place of the U.S. Constitution. Let me suggest, however, that this is less important for constitutional law than many of them assume. Read more »

Jesus the Christ and the Question of Methodology

January 6, 2005 | 25 comments
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Jesus the Christ is, in my opinion, a pretty cool book. My question, however, is if it has anything to teach us about biblical scholarship. Read more »

A Lyric on Document Review or Why We Blog

January 3, 2005 | 15 comments
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Why do we blog? What is it that makes us spend so much time informing an innocent unsuspecting public of our views on a myriad of random issues? Read more »

A Mormon Washington Post?

December 30, 2004 | 12 comments
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Among other reasons that I like living in Washington DC is the Washington Post. It is on occasion of course a partisan rag, but, hey, it is my partisan rag. It is certainly much better than the trash that they read in some city farther up the coast. The world might have been different, however, had the Post gone Mormon. Apparently it almost did. Read more »

Why Aren’t There Economists in Mormon Studies?

December 29, 2004 | 22 comments
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The patron saint of the New Mormon History – Leonard Arrington – started his academic life as an economist, but interestingly economists have been on the whole absent from Mormon studies. Given the presence of philosophers, sociologists, and – of course – gobs of historians, the lack of followers of the dismal science is striking. Read more »

How Corporations Saved the United Order (kind of)

December 23, 2004 | 9 comments
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One of the great advantages of blogging is that you can ramble on regardless of whether or not what you are saying is of any interest to anyone else. Hence this post. I feel it is time that we had the discussion that you have all be waiting for: The one on real estate leases, corporate law, and the United Order. Read more »

Called to Criticism

December 22, 2004 | 38 comments
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A couple of weeks ago, the mail man braught me my long awaited copy of the first volume of B.H. Roberts’s Seventies’ Course in Theology. As you can imagine, it has been a heady time around the Oman household. In reading it, I came across what I am sure would be Aaron Brown’s dream calling: Read more »

And You Think The High Priests’ Group Gets Into Arguments…

December 21, 2004 | 8 comments
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Occasionally, the contented boredom of Sunday School classes is broken up by disagreements and strained but mild-mannered arguments over the fate of the sons of perdition, spirit fluid, and the like. It used to get a bit more heated. Read more »

The Thrift Ethic Gone Bad (and a Happy Ending)

December 15, 2004 | 22 comments
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Over at some other blog there is an interesting thread on thrift that got me thinking of my own family’s tortured relationship to the Mormon thrift ethic. Read more »

So What Shape is God’s Social Welfare Function?

December 14, 2004 | 34 comments
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It’s time for the post that I am sure you have all been waiting for on that perrenial hot-button issue of the Mormon intelligensia: the relationship of the Gospel to welfare economics. Read more »

Oh How the Mighty are Fallen! (Sort of)

December 10, 2004 | 36 comments
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I witnessed a very powerful illustration of the vanity of the pride of the world the other day, or at least I witnessed it until I realized that I was probably wrong. Read more »

The Spiritual Benefits of Cluelessness

December 8, 2004 | 51 comments
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So I often hear from my “intellectual” Mormon friends how they feel this crushing weight of isolation and judgemental pressure from their fellow Saints. I don’t really get it. Read more »

My Only Real Regret

December 6, 2004 | 269 comments
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I really only have one real complaint about the Church, and it has to do, of course, with women’s fashion. Read more »

One of the Dumber Theories of Mormon Temple Building (and Silly Mormon Movies)

December 3, 2004 | 17 comments
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The not-surprising Evangelical backlash against Rev. Muow’s we-have-sinned-against-the-Mormons comments in the tabranacle has produced one of the least plausible interpretations of Mormon action that I have read in some time. Read more »

The End of English

December 2, 2004 | 54 comments
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The demographics of Church growth suggest that our days as a lilly-white, Moutain-West denomination are limited, if they are not in fact already finished. Read more »

In Defense of Suing Before the Ungodly

November 30, 2004 | 38 comments
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I recently had dinner with a good friend, who, according to his former doctor, is going to hell. Read more »

Chess, Computers, and Spiritual Knowledge

November 29, 2004 | 28 comments
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As part of my on-going attempt to convince myself that my chess reading is not a complete waste of time (even for my chess-playing ability!), I offer the following thoughts on the important relationship between chess strategy, computers, and spiritual knowledge. Read more »

LDS Perspectives on the Law: Part II

November 24, 2004 | 10 comments
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I think that there are basically three ways in which law and Mormonism can shed light on one another. Read more »

LDS Perspectives on the Law: Part I

November 23, 2004 | 17 comments
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In response to Gordon’s post below, I am going to sketch out some of my thoughts on how one might bring Mormonism and legal thought together. The first step, I think, is to become aware of the attempts that have already been made to do so. Read more »

And You Thought Good Mormons Could be Good Democrats…

November 17, 2004 | 23 comments
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I am all sure that you have been waiting in hideous agonies of suspense about the fate of the “National Day of the Horse” resolution that I refered to yesterday. Read more »