General Doctrine

Questions about Personal Responsibility and the Economic Bailout

September 24, 2008 | 39 comments
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How should we think about personal responsibility in light of the financial bailout currently being debated in Washington, D.C.? Read more »

Unsubstantiated Rumor #2

August 25, 2008 | 41 comments
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Over at MAD-Board, there is rumor about a policy change, to the effect that women may now be sealed to more than one (deceased) husband (just as men may now be sealed to more than one deceased wife). Can anyone confirm or un-confirm this one? Read more »

Salvation or Happiness?

August 21, 2008 | 33 comments
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During the last few years, I’ve noticed that less often is “the plan of salvation” used in General Conference, and more often we hear “the plan of happiness.” Anyone know why? Read more »

What We Didn’t Discuss

August 20, 2008 | 50 comments
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The gospel doctrine lesson on Alma 43-52 proposed four principles of war as waged by the righteous: Read more »

The Reality of Satan

August 19, 2008 | 54 comments
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I heard a story on This American Life a couple of weeks ago that has had me thinking about the reality of Satan and just what that means for us in our lives. Read more »

Global Warming, Redefining Marriage, and Risk Aversion

August 15, 2008 | 47 comments
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I think we can all agree that, from a risk analysis perspective, global warming and gay marriage share a lot of characteristics. Read more »

Revelation 3:14-22

August 14, 2008 | 10 comments
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Previous posts in this series are available here. Read more »

Eve

August 13, 2008 | 71 comments
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(I hope you haven’t discussed this before, at least not in this way.) At the height of national debate over the Equal Rights Amendment, Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained that all LDS women should look to Eve: “Eve, the mother of all living, is truly the perfect pattern for all her daughters. Oh that all women would follow the path laid down by the first woman of all women and do the things that she did that all might be saved!” I have done some preliminary research and realized members of the church interpret the Eve story diversely— Read more »

Socialism and United Order

August 5, 2008 | 21 comments
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I stumbled across a few LDS socialist stories when I was writing my MA thesis. Read more »

Christ’s nativity: a solution

July 27, 2008 | 23 comments
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From Steven Vanden Broecke, The Limits of Influence Read more »

Foundation and Apostasy

July 12, 2008 | 31 comments
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What if the historical evidence for the foundation of the early Christian church is indistinguishable from evidence for its apostasy? What if the early church and its scriptures only arose through processes of decay? Read more »

Resurrection B.C.

July 5, 2008 | 19 comments
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According to an article in the New York Times today, evidence of Jewish belief in a resurrected Messiah decades before Christ’s birth may have been discovered. Read more »

Religious Pragmatism

December 23, 2007 | 6 comments
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Oliver Wendell Holmes famously wrote, “The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.” In various writings, he expanded that claim, contrasting a natural law approach to justifying legal and ethical rules of conduct with his own more modest approach rooted in history and experience and falling under the broad perspective labeled pragmatism. Since religion in general and Mormonism in particular have many rules of conduct for which a variety of justifications grounded in natural law, experience, and history are held out, Holmes’ approach may shed some light on how we do this. Read more »

Summer Seminar update

August 8, 2007 | no comments
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For those interested in the BYU summer seminar, I’ve revised the post, adding the titles of and abstracts for the papers. Read more »

Why a Second Coming?

February 22, 2007 | 25 comments
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It might seem that there are few Hegelians in the world today. Read more »

Perfection

February 3, 2007 | 13 comments
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In Comparative World Religions (REL 151) my freshman year I was taught that the word “Holy” is derived, or related to the word “Whole.” The basic idea being that part of being a perfect Divine being is the state of being complete, whole, or finished. I’ve wondered in the past just what perfect really means for individual people. Especially as it relates to our ideas of resurrection, as outlined in Alma, “The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame.” Reading this account of... Read more »

Who took the LD out of LDS?

June 28, 2006 | 97 comments
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-or- What ever happened to the good ol’ last days? -or- Where have all the millennialists gone? Read more »

History and Scripture

June 24, 2006 | 65 comments
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Read more »

Joseph Smith chopped down the Sacred Grove

June 14, 2006 | 57 comments
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Twelve years ago my family piled in a rented RV and drove cross-country to attend a wedding reception for my older brother and his wife in Minnesota. On the way we stopped at the church history sites in Missouri, including Independence, Liberty Jail, and Far West. Read more »

Structural apostasy

June 12, 2006 | 119 comments
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Off the top of my head, I think that in the Church we generally mean one of three things when we use the word “apostasy”: Read more »

Prophecy vs. History

March 24, 2006 | 32 comments
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Not too long ago, I stumbled across the PBS presentation of Jared Diamond’s book Guns, Germs, and Steel (2d ed. 1999). It reminded me of dealing with the book at college and enjoying the ideas presented and the sweeping take of world history that it offered. But while watching the presentation and contemplating the message of the book itself, I was reminded about how much Diamond’s whole analysis depends solely on inference from extremely scant historical evidence. Read more »

Market Dominant Minorities in the Book of Mormon

March 16, 2006 | 42 comments
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Market Dominant Minorities Read more »

Chance in Creation

February 15, 2006 | 54 comments
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The most recent lesson in the Wilford Woodruff manual contains a quote from a general conference sermon given by Woodruff on April 6, 1872: The Lord never created this world at random; he has never done any of his work at random. The earth was created for certain purposes; and one of these purposes was its final redemption, and the establishment of his government and kingdom upon it in the latter days, to prepare it for the reign of the lord Jesus Christ, whose right it is to reign. That set time has come, that dispensation is before us,... Read more »

On the Brilliance of Hollow Slogans

February 7, 2006 | 33 comments
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Last week, a bizarre demand was thrust on me by a flier advertising a leadership training program: “BECOME YOURSELF!” the photocopied handout vigorously proclaimed. Who, I wondered, does this flier suppose that I am being right now? Obviously not J. Nelson-Seawright; otherwise, there would be no reason to request that I become J. N-S, would there? Perhaps I have, without quite realizing it, been impersonating Woody Allen? Or Gabriel Garcia Marquez? Read more »