General Doctrine

The Totality of Mortality

January 8, 2009 | 60 comments

When I picked up my manual to prepare to teach Gospel Doctrine this Sunday, I figured it would be a lesson about the spirit of Elijah (second week = section 2 = turning hearts, etc). I was surprised and delighted to find that Lesson 2 is instead about the atonement, highlighting powerhouse passages in Doctrine & Covenants sections 19, 76, 88, and 93. While reading the material I was reminded of a favorite quote from Chieko Okazaki on the topic and had a hankering to share it. Read more »

Call for Papers: SMPT at Claremont, 2009

January 7, 2009 | 3 comments

The Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology’s 2009 conference will be held at Claremont Graduate University, May 21-23, in cooperation with the Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies and the Claremont Mormon Studies Student Association. Read more »

A Christmas Story

December 24, 2008 | 13 comments

If a story about football brought tears to my eyes, you know it’s gotta be good. Read more »

The Slaughter of the Innocents

December 22, 2008 | 26 comments

After the wise men came, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. Read more »

Should My Prayers Be Whinier?

December 21, 2008 | 11 comments

The psalms are prayers. And some of them are real doozies. Read more »

Hugs and Kisses

December 15, 2008 | 5 comments

It’s holiday season, which means more friends and family and greetings, in person or otherwise, than usual. Add to that a few weddings receptions and you can get downright sore from all the hugging and hand-wrenching. Not to mention confused by the vast array of possibilities for saying hello or goodbye or Merry Christmas or Happy New Year to someone. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned anthropologist dizzy. Read more »

Millennial Vegetarianism

November 24, 2008 | 32 comments

Enjoy that Thanksgiving turkey . . . while you can. You may be a vegetarian during the millennium. Read more »

The Gospel and Immigration

November 17, 2008 | 108 comments
The Gospel and Immigration

A High Priest I know is in crisis. He is an immigrant who, like many other Church members, came to the US without a visa, according to what I understand of the situation. After arriving here he joined the Church, and eventually fell in love and married a U.S. Citizen, a wonderful, faithful Church member. This situation would normally put him on track for a green card and U.S. citizenship. But this brother is facing deportation, and his ward and stake are praying for a miracle that will keep him here in the United States. Read more »

Confirm or Deny?

October 20, 2008 | 57 comments

The following is making the email rounds with lightning speed. It claims to be talk given recently by President Packer. Can anyone confirm or deny? Read more »

Compassion and Creativity

October 2, 2008 | 15 comments

Most everyone I’ve talked to loved President Uchtdorf’s talk at the General Relief Society Broadcast. But I have a question (and yes, men, this is for you, too—since I assume that as a son of God, you also get joy in following the Father’s example of creation and compassion): Read more »

Questions about Personal Responsibility and the Economic Bailout

September 24, 2008 | 39 comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previous posts in this series are available here. Read more »


August 13, 2008 | 71 comments

(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

I stumbled across a few LDS socialist stories when I was writing my MA thesis. Read more »

Why Bread and Water in the Sacrament?

July 31, 2008 | 23 comments

Why does “communion sweet” in the sacrament require both bread and water?** Read more »

Christ’s nativity: a solution

July 27, 2008 | 23 comments

From Steven Vanden Broecke, The Limits of Influence Read more »

Foundation and Apostasy

July 12, 2008 | 31 comments

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

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

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 »