Blog Archives

The End of English

December 2, 2004 | 54 comments

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

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

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

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

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

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 »

Some Prophets Seem to be More Equal than Others

November 17, 2004 | 49 comments

We believe in prophets and have them in great abundance, but do we take all of them equally seriously? Read more »

The Senate Sits in Solemn Session and Considers the Questions Facing the Nation

November 16, 2004 | 17 comments

This afternoon, one of my secret contacts on Capitol Hill (secret because he likes his current job and doesn’t want to lose it and return to K street) sent me the following message. I think it speaks for itself: Read more »

On Our Ambiguous Origins

November 15, 2004 | 220 comments

One of the more interesting aspects of Mormon theology is the basic ambiguity that it sets up about our ultimate origins. Read more »

Mormonism and the Commercial Virtues

November 11, 2004 | 16 comments

I have to admit that I have a soft spot for what I think of as the virtues of commercialism. Read more »

Where are the Mormon Pre-Schools?

November 9, 2004 | 24 comments

Although he goes to nursery in the Wakefield Ward each Sunday, my son attends pre-school twice a week at the Braddock Baptist Church in Annandale, Virginia. Read more »

Morphy, Steinitz & Mormonism

November 5, 2004 | 30 comments

Paul Morphy was a New Orleans born chess genius who wowed the world (or at least that small and geeky portion of it that cares about chess) with his aggressive and imaginative play in the decade before the Civil War. Read more »

Chess Anyone?

November 4, 2004 | 19 comments

Times and Seasons is my main way of wasting time these days, but I do have other vices, one of them being chess. Read more »

Michael Moore and the Gadianton Robbers

November 3, 2004 | 78 comments

George W. Bush, in my mind, is very much like Bill Clinton. Both men seem to have the ability to make otherwise sane people on the other side of the political fence become nutcases. Read more »

Sin and Ethics

November 2, 2004 | 24 comments

One of the points of contention between believers and skeptics has to do with the question of morality. Roughly speaking, the exchange goes something like this: Believer: God is the source of morality. Without a belief in God one cannot have a belief in morality. Therefore skeptics are immoral. QED. Skeptic: Nonsense! There are lots of skeptics who behave in thoroughly ethical ways. Furthermore, they mold their behavior to conform with particular ethical standards, even though those standards lack any particular theological foundation. One can clearly be a skeptic and be a moral person. Framed in these terms (and... Read more »

Thoughts From A Professional Sabbath Breaker

October 31, 2004 | 45 comments

Thanks to the macinations of the plaintiff’s attorneys, I am spending most of my sabbath today ensconsed in my office with the Bankruptcy Code. For better or for worse, I have a job where Sundays at work are hardly unexpected and although I do my best to avoid them, it isn’t really possible to work at a K Street law firm and completely miss out on this particular fringe benefit. What is the precise scope of my sabbath violations and do I have any defenses? Read more »

On Mormon Complacency

October 26, 2004 | 132 comments

As readers of this blog already know, I have a tendency to whine a great deal about the quality Mormon discussions. I have even been accused of being boring on the subject, which is no doubt a fair enough criticism. Read more »

Please Let it Be Over

October 26, 2004 | 18 comments

I was surfing around some of my favorite blogs for something to post about, and there were a couple of interesting posts, none of which I am going to link to. Rather, I am going to muse for a few minutes about the pernicious effect of democracy on blogging. Read more »

Joseph and Sartre on Hell

October 19, 2004 | 29 comments

Sartre once remarked that “hell is other people.â€? The remark, I think, is revealing. In a sense the brand of existentialism pushed by Sartre represents the apotheosis of individualism. In the end, he offers nothing beyond the authenticity of personal choice, which becomes the ultimate source of meaning and value. His view of hell suggest that within this vision of heroic intellectual and moral self-sufficiency lies a rather nasty strand of misanthropy and solipsism. Joseph Smith’s vision of hell, I think, is equally revealing. Read more »

Galen, Holmes & Hot Drinks

October 18, 2004 | 29 comments

One of the odder bits of Mormon interpretation is the strange life of “hot drinks.â€? These are the actual beverages forbidden by the Word of Wisdom. As we all know they have come to mean coffee and tea with hot chocolate and Diet Coke forming border cases for some, and no one really objecting to herb tea or hot cider. What is going on here? Read more »

On Becoming Jim Faulconer (Sort of)

October 13, 2004 | 13 comments

Our lesson in elders’ quorum last Sunday was on the importance of scripture study. I shared a story that I frequently share when called upon to say something about studying the scriptures. As I was retelling it this Sunday, however, I had an epiphany: I was being a Jim Faulconer poseur. Read more »


October 12, 2004 | 17 comments

One of my more prized possessions is a small chunk of limestone. It is about 8 inches long, roughly the size of two fists. Its value lies in the fact that is is a piece of one of the shattered sunstones of the original Nauvoo temple. Read more »

A Book I Would Like to See

October 8, 2004 | 6 comments

With luck we should soon be hearing from Professor Royal Skousen, who is the mastermind of the critical text of the Book of Mormon. There is another critical text edition that I would like to see: A critical text of the Doctrine and Covenants. Read more »


October 5, 2004 | 113 comments

Further proof that some at BYU need serious help in figuring out what is offensive and what isn’t. Read more »