Blog Archives

Cookbook Zion

August 21, 2006 | 20 comments
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I gave a talk yesterday; the text is pasted herein. It’s long, but easy reading, I promise. Read more »

Garment (di)Strict

August 9, 2006 | 29 comments
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The current issue of BYU Studies publishes for the first time a very interesting letter from one of the first Hawaiian converts, Jonathan (Ionatana) Napela, to the Prophet Brigham Young. Read more »

Wishing Well, Penny

July 25, 2006 | 39 comments
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A dear friend of mine recently wrote to me, confiding that she’s been coming to the slow and vertiginous realization that she’s never had a strong testimony of the gospel, despite a life of exemplary activity in and service to the Church. With her permission, I’ve shared my response to her letter below. Read more »

Quote—Preside—Unquote

July 13, 2006 | 129 comments
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In the comments to Julie’s dialogue with Randy B. on the meaning of “preside” in Mormon discourse, she issued (and re-issued!) a challenge to any interested reader: find a statement from a 20th-century Church leader showing that our concept of presiding has teeth. Never one to pass up a challenge—particularly one that will allow me to both avoid unpacking my suitcases and escape the frustrations of potty-training my son, at least for a few minutes—I spent some time with my LDS Library 2006 CD-ROM this morning. Read more »

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker

June 25, 2006 | 54 comments
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I’ve brought my children west from the alluvial soil of Missouri to the sandy chapparal of Southern California for a few weeks. The first-order pleasures of being home include conversation in our domestic dialect marked at every intersection by shared memory and emotional habit, and free babysitting. Among the second order pleasures, though, are the stacks of wedding announcements at the counter to be perused at lunch and the piles of old Church News issues beside the recliner. Read more »

And Who Is My Neighbor?

May 24, 2006 | 15 comments
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This morning the five-year-old was first, in the kitchen just before nine. Read more »

Meal Deals

May 7, 2006 | 34 comments
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I’ll admit it: I really am more likely to bring my scriptures to church if I know I’ll get a cookie for it. Read more »

The Vicar’s Garden in the Global South

April 20, 2006 | 30 comments
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This week’s New Yorker features an interesting article by Peter Boyer on the crisis facing the Episcopalian Church in the United States after a New Hampshire diocese elected the openly-gay Gene Robinson as bishop. (This post, by the way, is not principally about gay issues.) Read more »

Mara Gwen

April 3, 2006 | 27 comments
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Mara Gwen

I’m very pleased to present the second Times & Seasons baby of the month, my daughter Mara Gwen. Read more »

Bloomblogging

March 17, 2006 | 32 comments
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Bloomblogging

Mid-march is the season of the burning bush: the crocuses are done, the daffodils are almost on, but for now it’s the forsythia that owns the day. Read more »

Notice: Dr. Richard Bennett on the Missouri Experience and Mormon Militias

February 24, 2006 | 5 comments
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Dr. Richard E. Bennett, Professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University, will be the featured speaker at the Miller-Eccles Study Group tonight, February 24, and tomorrow night, February 25, at two locations in Southern California on the topic of 19th Century American militias and Mormon militias. Read more »

Call and Response

February 16, 2006 | 63 comments
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Last night at 6:30 PM Pacific time, most members of my family dialed in to a conference call to Provo, Utah—to the lobby of Stover Hall on BYU campus, to be specific. My brother Benjamin—seventh child, sixth freshman at BYU, fifth missionary, third son, and a few days shy of nineteen—was about to open his mission call. Read more »

At Sixes and Sevens

February 13, 2006 | 26 comments
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The high point in my Church career so far came at age two, when I stood and recited the first four Articles of Faith from memory in Sacrament Meeting . Alas, early precocity did not usher in mature perspicacity, and I confess that these days, while I can still recite most of the Articles as stand-alones with some accuracy, I’m hard pressed to string them together in any recognizable series. (I can, however, rattle off all the books of the Old Testament in order to the tune of “Praise to the Man,” thanks to the heroic efforts of my... Read more »

A Quick and Easy Way to Tell if Something You’re About to Say is Patronizing

January 31, 2006 | 32 comments
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Notice: Joseph Smith at the Library of Congress

January 11, 2006 | no comments
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Read-gifting

December 27, 2005 | 68 comments
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So which books molted beneath your tree and emerged Christmas morning? Let’s have them all, the good, the bad, the remaindered and the regifted. Read more »

Transfermations

November 4, 2005 | 69 comments
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So my sister Rachel, having graduated the MTC, has just had her first real transfer. Read more »

Kinds and Reasons

November 2, 2005 | 24 comments
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I recently read an article by Robert Winston, a British writer and television presenter, exploring the implications of evolution for religion and asking whether our earliest ancestors gained some competitive advantage from their shared religious feelings. Winston’s stuff was just okay, I thought; it was something else that caught my attention. Read more »

Holy Men and Hucksters

October 21, 2005 | 15 comments
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This post is ostensibly by way of reminding our Southern California readership that it’s not too late to catch the last day of the Claremont Conference on Joseph Smith. It’s also an excuse for me to ruminate on the ever-engaging question of what sixteenth-century blogging might have looked like had they, you know, invented computers and the internet and everything. Here’s a possibility: Read more »

On the Blowing of Noses and the Bearing of Testimonies

October 18, 2005 | 16 comments
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While I was running errands with my children one morning last week, I glanced up at the rearview mirror to see my four-year-old daughter’s finger probing her nostril. I reprimanded her, gently, and asked if she needed a tissue. “No thank you, Mom,” she answered cheerfully, “This kind comes out only by a fingernail, right?” Read more »

Heder-day Night Live

October 9, 2005 | 74 comments
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Last night Jon Heder, star of Napoleon Dynamite, hosted “Saturday Night Live.” I caught a few of the sketches he played in, and one thing was pretty clear: the kid’s no Philip Seymor Hoffman. He’s amiable and sweet-faced, to be sure, but there’s a muddiness to his voice he can’t seem to clear, and his mouth, for all its soft pliability, is suprisingly unagile with dialogue. I haven’t seen his latest effort, a supporting role in the romantic comedy Just Like Heaven, but in my judgment he doesn’t have either the chops or the charisma to make a career... Read more »

Claremont Conference on Joseph Smith

October 4, 2005 | 8 comments
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As part of our occasional series of announcements on important Mormon Studies events, we’re happy to publicize an academic conference entitled “Joseph Smith and the Prophetic Tradition,” sponsored by the School of Religion of the Claremont Graduate University and to be held on its Southern California campus on October 20 and 21. Read more »

Mother Eve Goes to Relief Society

September 7, 2005 | 59 comments
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The August Ensign reprints a talk prepared by Elder Richard G. Scott for an international leadership training session in 2004; entitled “The Doctrinal Foundation of the Auxiliaries,” the piece outlines the functions and footings of the three female-led auxiliaries. Read more »

Dragonfly

September 2, 2005 | 15 comments
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Dragonfly

Early this morning my children clattered out the door to the schoolyard across the street, where they returned to freedom a tiny ground frog they’d captured yesterday. Read more »