Blog Archives

Introducing Glen Henshaw

December 6, 2004 | 4 comments

For the next two weeks, Times and Seasons will be delighted to play host to the rigorous questions and thoughtful musings of one Carl Glen Henshaw, an old friend and a bona fide science geek. Read more »

Belated (But Earnest) Thanks to Clark

November 30, 2004 | 9 comments

The Thanksgiving holiday distracted us from thanking Clark Goble for his guest-blogging stint. It was a honor to have Clark join us at the same time we celebrated our first anniversary; his blog, Mormon Metaphysics, has long been and remains one of the very finest in the whole Bloggernacle, and the man himself is one of our all-time comments champs. While with us, Clark shared that blogging talent by way of inquiring about the political lessons of Mormon history, the relationship between science and Mormonism, the importance of Thanksgiving, and much more, including a rant about dating in Provo.... Read more »

Thanks a Lot

November 24, 2004 | 2 comments

Last year, at this time, I shared my favorite Thanksgiving hymn. This time around, let’s go with a much humbler song, but one no less appropriate to the day: Read more »

Something’s Coming…

November 12, 2004 | 24 comments

In one week, on November 19th, Times and Seasons will turn one year old. As part of our anniversary celebration…expect something big. Something huge! Something MASSIVE!! Well, big, anyway. Stay tuned. Read more »

That’s Not the International Cinema that I Remember

November 11, 2004 | 116 comments

There are a lot of interesting things I ought to take the time to blog about, but instead I’d just like to ask our BYU audience a quick question: what’s the story behind this? What kind of changes have there been in the International Cinema program? Read more »

Will the Church Need Me / Will the Heathen Heed Me / When I’m Sixty-Four?

October 18, 2004 | 20 comments

Ok, so it doesn’t work as well as the Lennon/McCartney original. Still. Consider this a more or less open thread on the topic of serving “senior missions” (has the church settled on a specific nomenclature yet?). Some months ago, after listening to a talk at a stake conference, or perhaps a general conference address, it suddenly hit me: by the time I am retirement age (sometime in the 2030s), serving a mission with one’s spouse as a senior couple will be nearly as expected, and perhaps even nearly as common, as is it for young men to serve missions... Read more »

Jacques Derrida, Dead at 74

October 10, 2004 | 36 comments

Derrida’s passing is probably of interest to almost no one here, and the number of people who will be able to come up with a connection between Derrida and Mormonism is no doubt even fewer. (That is, I think there’s only one: Jim.) Still, though Derrida was ultimately not that important to me either philosophically or spiritually, and though I was never a scholar–or much of fan–of his work, Derrida nonetheless intersected with my life and thinking in an important way. Further thoughts from me here; perhaps, if we are fortunate, Jim will share some Derrida-inspired theological reflections on... Read more »

Mission Reunions

October 1, 2004 | 12 comments

It’s General Conference time, which means it’s also the time for mission reunions in Utah. There’s no rule which says you can’t have a reunion at some other time or some other place, of course, but this seems to be the custom which has evolved. More power to it, I say. That is, in principle. In practice, I’ve attended exactly one reunion of my mission–Korea Seoul West–in my life. I stayed for about 15 minutes, then left. I’ve never had any desire to participate in one since. Read more »

Sexual Healing

September 28, 2004 | 35 comments

What is it? Well, it’s: A) a wonderful, groovy (and, well, yes, “dirty,” but in a good way, if you know what I mean) soul tune by the late, great R&B and pop artist, Marvin Gaye; B) an essential gospel principle. Read more »

Rosh Hashanah

September 16, 2004 | 23 comments

Over at my own blog, I’ve posted some (as is my wont, lengthy) reflections on the importance of celebrating holidays, even those that aren’t, strictly speaking, one’s own. The occasion, of course, is that today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. (Actually it began last night at sundown, but the formal holiday is today.) As I’ve mentioned a few times before here at Times and Seasons, I’m a fan of holidays–I think their religious, historical, communal and moral importance to one’s personal and family life can only with difficulty be overstated. And that goes especially for religious holidays... Read more »

Back to Primary

September 7, 2004 | 33 comments

When we moved to Jonesboro, I found myself called into the elder’s quorum presidency, which is the first time I’ve ever served in any kind of executive capacity in the church. (Being a district leader in the mission doesn’t count.) I served with two elder’s quorum presidents, and found myself seeing church service, and the economics and politics of running a ward, from what was for me an entirely new and somewhat fascinating angle. But all experiences must come to an end, and when our elder’s quorum president was called into the just-reconstituted bishopric, I was released. After floating... Read more »

Swifter, Higher, Stronger

August 30, 2004 | 14 comments

The 2004 Olympics have come to an end. Melissa and I are not complete Olympic junkies, but we watched and followed closely numerous athletic events, as we do every four years. I’m not much of a sports fan, last competed in an athletic contest when I was in junior high (cross-country: I was pretty good at running away from people), and know very little about most of the events we watch. But the intensity and quality of these men and women, and of what they can make their bodies do, is often compelling. It’s captivating to watch Australian Ian... Read more »

Baptism and the Unworthy Vessel

August 29, 2004 | 3 comments

Last Sunday, I confirmed our oldest daughter, Megan Elaine Fox, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her baptism, performed by me, had taken place the day before. It went pretty smoothly, aside from the fact that I forgot to bring my white clothes to the church, and had to rush home and back again at the last minute, desperately afraid that the car (whose gas gauge light was flashing “low fuel” the whole time) was going to stall at some intersection, and I would end up running a couple of miles, white pant legs... Read more »

Time Is On Our Side

August 13, 2004 | 4 comments

I’ve posted a version of this over at my new blog; I thought it might be appropriate here too. Enjoy. Melissa and I have been married for eleven years today. We were married on a Friday the 13th, back in 1993, in the Salt Lake City Temple, on a beautiful (though windy) day at the height of the summer marriage season. There were, during that whole day, there in the busiest temple in the whole church, exactly four weddings. Come 2:30pm, we had the place completely to ourselves. Never doubt that nervous Mormon brides and grooms aren’t every bit... Read more »

The Mormon Take-over of Nauvoo is Proceeding According to Plan

July 30, 2004 | 29 comments

Honestly, I don’t have anything to say about this article, except that 1) it’s a nice little bit of slice-of-life reporting, 2) doesn’t get anything egregiously wrong so far as I can tell (which is always a relief), and 3) isn’t telling us anything that couldn’t have been predicted the moment the Nauvoo temple was announced. What I want to know is: why is the Mormon take-over of Kirtland going so sluggishly by comparison? We should be running that place by now. But no, we haven’t even bought the original temple back yet! Don’t tell me that the native... Read more »

When I’m a Mission President…

July 13, 2004 | 52 comments

…pigs will fly. But until then, I can imagine. The article which Kaimi referred us to in the previous post has sparked a very nice, rambling discussion about church growth rates in Latin America and elsewhere. More importantly, it has reminded of the excellent, wide-ranging work of Dave Stewart, a church member who has spent over a decade gathering and synthesizing information on how our mission program actually works (or doesn’t), and compares the rather undeveloped state of “Mormon missiology” to that of other congregations, who have thought long and hard about what constitutes real growth, what makes for... Read more »

A Modest Terminological Proposal

June 24, 2004 | 33 comments

Or maybe not so modest. You all decide. Here it is: can we T&Sers, and perhaps in time the bloggernacle community in general, come to an agreement, if only for purposes of discussion, on what is and is not meant by “liberal” and “conservative” in Mormon contexts? Because it seems that everytime these labels arise, confusion abounds. Read more »

More on Elder Packer and Beards

June 23, 2004 | 58 comments

The thread following Dan’s post on the church’s apparent (and inconsistent) “tonsorial jihad” has come to focus on the matter of “unwritten policies” and the existence of an “oral law”–something Jim doubts that any culture can exist without. I agree with him–there is and must be a place for mores, for unwritten guides to belief and behavior, in any healthy society. But it’s worth thinking a little more deeply about what this dynamic should and shouldn’t involve, in the church and elsewhere. Read more »

Apologies from Damon

June 14, 2004 | 4 comments

Unfortunately, Damon Linker won’t be able to complete the second week of his two week guest-blogging stint with T&S; some unexpected work and personal responsibilities have overwhelmed him for the moment, and he doesn’t think he’ll have the time or energy to contribute as he would like, much less be able to do justice to the many excellent comments which his last post elicited. Some of those comments were rather severe, as he knew they would be–you can’t be a non-Mormon professor at BYU and not know that saying Mormons aren’t Christians will strike a huge nerve–but that didn’t... Read more »

As Expected…

June 14, 2004 | 49 comments

…the Supreme Court has taken a pass, reversed the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision, and dismissed Michael Newdow’s suit against the Pledge of Allegiance on the technical grounds that he is not his daughter’s custodian, and therefore he has no standing to bring a complaint on her behalf. The case was 8-0 in favor of dismissal (Scalia had recused himself). Full story here. I suppose watching the Supreme Court actually try to ban the words “under God” from the Pledge would have been entertaining, as would have been an attempt on their part to constitutionally affirm this particular bit of... Read more »

Sex and Kids: A Practical Question

June 8, 2004 | 19 comments

Last night, Melissa and I watched the new version of Peter Pan. We wanted to see if it was appropriate viewing for the family; though a marvelous film, we decided it wasn’t. This version very clearly turns the tale into a coming-of-age/growing-up/sexual-awakening story, and while we both thought it was told with terrific humor, great sensitivity and tact, and wonderful visuals, we agreed that it was probably too much for our oldest–Megan, who will be 8 in August. Maybe when she’s 10 or so. Anyway, in coming to this conclusion, we found ourselves wondering about how, and when, we... Read more »

Times & Seasons Welcomes…A Gentile*

June 7, 2004 | 4 comments

In our continuing effort to bring something new to the Bloggernacle, Times & Seasons is delighted to welcome on board our latest guestblogger–Damon Linker, current editor of First Things magazine, one of the premier religious journals of opinion and commentary in the United States. Damon is probably the most intelligent outside observer of Mormonism I have ever had the pleasure to know. He studied and received a Ph.D. in political philosophy at Michigan State University**, after which he taught for two years at Brigham Young University, where he did such a smashing job that at least a few of... Read more »

A Horror, Ended

June 3, 2004 | 16 comments

For many years, a story haunted me. It was a story told in graphic detail to a bunch of priests and teachers, one of whom was me, by a doctor in our stake; a story about a baby boy who lost his penis during a botched circumcision, and who was then surgically altered to become female by his ignorant parents and by malicious doctors in order to cover up the “mistake.” The larger point of the story, of course, was to impress upon us the level of wickedness and sexual disregard in the world today by way of an... Read more »

My Gifts (Whitsunday Reflections)

June 1, 2004 | 16 comments

This past weekend wasn’t just Memorial Day; according to the traditional liturgical calendar, it also included Whitsunday, a celebration of the Day of Pentecost and the spiritual gifts bestowed upon the early disciples on that day. Acts 2:2-4: “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And there were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit... Read more »