Blog Archives

A New Guest Blogger

December 2, 2003 | 14 comments
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We have a new guest blogger: Jim Faulconer! Jim is a professor of philosophy at BYU. You can get a sense of some of his interests from this recent article by him in the Journal of Philosophy and Scripture. Russell ought to appreciate the presence of another non-lawyer on the blog, although we seem to be skewing toward philosophers, who I think of as kind of wanna-be lawyers… Read more »

The Problem with Wasatch Front Mormons

December 1, 2003 | 24 comments
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Bear with me. This post is not about what you think it is about. My beef is not with Republican Mormons, social Mormons, Utah Mormons, Jello salad, or any of the other sins that Wasatch Front Mormonism is generally accused of. Rather, I am interested in power. Read more »

A Mormon Studies Family

December 1, 2003 | 59 comments
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Both of my parents (now divorced) have been deeply involved in Mormon studies for my entire life. Thus, I grew up in a Mormon studies family. My father is a senior curator at the Museum of Church History and Art and was hired by the Church Historical Department a few months before I was born. My mother was one of the early editors of Sunstone Magazine and worked as an editor and then board member of Signature Books while I was growing up. The result is that I think of most of the big names in Mormon studies –... Read more »

An Image for Kaimi

November 30, 2003 | 5 comments
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An Image for Kaimi

Here is what I have always thought was the best visual depication of Kaimi’s theory of Book of Mormon geography. The painting is by the wonderful Minerva Teichert. Read more »

Mormon Images

November 30, 2003 | 3 comments
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There is a strange schizophrenia about popular images of Mormons. On one hand, we get stereotyped as shinny, well-scrubbed, conservative, paragons of middle American virtues circa 1955. On the other hand, we get stereotyped as dangerous, homicidal, polygamist fanatics. As Gordon points out in his post the latter stereotype popped up recently in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, but that is hardly the only place one sees it. Remember that the religious bomber in the movie Contact was from Prowan, Utah. At the same time, Mormons pop up in Tom Clancy novels as shining examples of American decency. As... Read more »

Reading the Book of Mormon

November 25, 2003 | no comments
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Mormons and the Bible

November 25, 2003 | no comments
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A Mormon Image: Our Army

November 25, 2003 | one comment
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A Mormon Image: Our Army

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Utah, Mormons and Bankruptcy

November 25, 2003 | 5 comments
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Utah has the dubious honor of leading the nation in personal bankruptcy rates. According to the Salt Lake Tribune 1 in 37 households in Utah is insolvent. I suspect that this high level of bankruptcy filings may be what has been behind some recent words on debt in general conference. In 1998, President Hinckley counseled: I urge you, brethren, to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves... Read more »

Intro Pages

November 25, 2003 | no comments
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Noel Reynolds, Natural Law, and the Personalized Good

November 25, 2003 | 3 comments
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One of my favorite former professors, Noel Reynolds, dropped by and left some very interesting comments on natural law. He begins by faulting the Thomistic natural law tradition for beginning its analysis with Aristotelianism rather than the scriptures, noting that in the scriptures it is either God’s command or our covenant with him that provides moral direction, not nature. Noel goes on to ask: And yet, the plan of salvation does presume the necessity of some disposition within us to seek after good or evil. And our salvation depends on the choice we will make. Or is that already... Read more »

Mormonism and Natural Law

November 24, 2003 | no comments
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Utah 3-BYU 0

November 24, 2003 | no comments
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Prohibition is Dead and the Mormons Killed It!

November 24, 2003 | no comments
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Race, History, and Teaching in the Church

November 23, 2003 | 2 comments
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I had an experience today related to Kaimi’s discussion of race and hymns. I am the new Elders’ Quorum Instructor in our ward, which like Kaimi’s includes a substantial number of recent, African-American converts. I was teaching from the first chapter of the John Taylor manual, and during my preparation, I decided to pull the full text of the sermons that are quoted in that chapter. It turns out the bulk of the chapter is taken from a really wonderful sermon given by John Taylor in 1860. One of my pet peeves is the way in which we tend... Read more »

Against Mardell

November 22, 2003 | no comments
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More FARMS Stuff Up

November 22, 2003 | no comments
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Pratt is Back!

November 22, 2003 | one comment
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We’re Disturbing

November 21, 2003 | no comments
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Suing the Church

November 20, 2003 | no comments
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Gossipping and Tithing

November 20, 2003 | one comment
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ANGELS (AND MORMONS) IN AMERICA

November 20, 2003 | 2 comments
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Andrew Sullivan has a take down here of recent crooning at the New York Times about HBOs forthcoming production of Tony Kurshner’s Angels in America. Angles is a play that chronicles the AIDS epedemic in the 1980s, and won a Pulitzer Prize in the 1990s. What is interesting to me is that the play has a Mormon character (to be played on HBO by Patrick Wilson) — a closet homosexual — who in one scene appears on stage in a homosexual encounter wearing temple garments. Kurchner clearly doesn’t really know anything about Mormons or at least about temple garments.... Read more »

Sacred and Profane

November 20, 2003 | one comment
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In the spirit of getting some content on this site, I offer the following from the archives of A Good Oman: A thought on First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake v. Salt Lake City Corporation, 308 F.3d 1114 (2002), the Salt Lake City Main Street case: In his wonderful book The Sacred and the Profane, Eliade discusses the idea of sacred space. According to Eliade one of the things that religion does is orient the believer in the cosmos. It does this by interrupting the normal flow of space with sacred places — shrines, temples, etc. — that mark... Read more »

A GOOD JOKE ALREADY TAKEN

November 20, 2003 | no comments
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