Looking on a woman to lust

July 9, 2004 | 32 comments
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I ought to avoid making a mountain out of a molehill and derailing the current discussion (though one more argument about same-sex marriage is the last thing I’m interested in, so I don’t really mind if it gets derailed). Nevertheless, I think I should explain some of the cryptic remarks I made about lust more fully. Besides, I’m an academic. What else could I do but make mountains out of molehills. Read more »

Still More “Around the Blogs”

July 8, 2004 | 39 comments
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Jeff Lindsay is up to it again, explaining about the use of occult symbols (or are they? cue scary music) in LDS temples. (Next up: Do church members really sacrifice goats inside the temple? Or is that only done in stake centers?). Mormon Wasp has some interesting history about church statements on government regulation of marriage. There are more statements than you thought, and they make fun reading. Finally, the unsinkable Aaron Brown has a new post up at BCC. The title: “More MTC Antics.” Need I say more? Read more »

The Nature of Satan, as Explained by a Seven Year Old

July 7, 2004 | 11 comments
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Seven-year-old: Satan doesn’t have a body. Me: That’s right. 7-YO: So he’s a Spirit. Me: Yes. 7-YO (getting more excited): That’s kind of like a ghost. Me: Yep. 7-YO (who has been playing a lot of pac-man lately) (very excited): So if you eat a power pill, then Satan turns blue, and then you can EAT HIM! Me: (trying very hard not to laugh) Umm, not quite . . . Read more »

Ethical Incoherence and Abortion III

July 7, 2004 | 18 comments
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Great posts (and thanks to Brayden for a genuine LOL comment). Some responses. 1. Danithew is right that 90 days/$5,000 does not begin to approximate the costs of adultery. . . Read more »

The Meaning of the Mormon Republican Majority – Final

July 7, 2004 | 19 comments
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This thread is about played out, but a couple of final comments. 1. Clinton was one of the most gifted politicians of our time, and moved the national Democratic Party towards the center–think intervention in Bosnia & Kosovo, welfare reform, NAFTA & free trade–where it needs to be if it is to escape longterm structural minority status. Had Gore been able to run on Clinton’s record, Election 2000 would have been no contest . . . Read more »

Church Supports Amending Constitution to Preserve Marriage

July 7, 2004 | 134 comments
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From the church’s website: The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement today. This is a statement of principle in anticipation of the expected debate over same-gender marriage. It is not an endorsement of any specific amendment. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints favors a constitutional amendment preserving marriage as the lawful union of a man and a woman.” Read more »

Around the Blogs, July 7

July 7, 2004 | 7 comments
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I’ve noticed a few items recently: The Baron has a series of posts explaining why you don’t really have to burn all of your Metallica CD’s (or tapes, as the case may be) to prove that you’re a good Mormon. Can Mormons really listen to (gasp!) “heavy metal”? Read the Baron’s post on “Evil Music” to decide. Also, Jeff Lindsay is on a roll. First, he notes a recent announcement by that well-known group, Saints Alive Total Anticult Network about a surprising (?) new cult. Then, he delves into a subject near to my own heart — the threat... Read more »

Catholic Thought

July 6, 2004 | 19 comments
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As Latter-day Saints, we often see the world in the terms given to us by Protestants. That isn’t surprising because they are those with whom we’ve had the most interaction as well as those from among whom most of us have been converted. I’m a prime example; before I joined the Church I thought about studying to become a Protestant minister. But the Protestant view of the world isn’t the only one and it isn’t necessarily the best. We often adopt that understanding of the Reformation without reflection, not only because Protestantism is, for us, a major intellectual inheritance,... Read more »

Ethical Incoherence and Abortion II

July 6, 2004 | 32 comments
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Hmm. The direction the responses took to my two points about ethical consistency and abortion remind of my (still unfinished) deck project, which started off simple enough, but soon spun out of control. Read more »

Sunday School Lesson 26

July 5, 2004 | 6 comments
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Lesson 26: Alma 23-29 Those who may not have a printed lesson manual can find it here. At the heart of this material we have the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, converts of the sons of Mosiah. That story has a great deal to teach us today, but it may not be what we expect, whether we read it as a story of pacifism or as something else. Read more »

The Nature of Prayer

July 5, 2004 | 13 comments
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Yesterday, in our discussion of Alma 14, our Gospel Doctrine teacher read an oft-quote passage from Spencer W. Kimball, which prompted some thoughts about the nature of prayer. Read more »

Book of Mormon FHE: Lesson Four

July 4, 2004 | 4 comments
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BMS: The Brass Plates MBM: Nephi’s Faith (Actual thing that happened during this lesson: Me: “So why did they need to get the brass plates?” Nathan, two years old: “Because they didn’t have anything to eat dinner off of!”) Read more »

Welcome to SLTrib Readers

July 4, 2004 | 21 comments
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Hello, readers of the Salt Lake Tribune. You’re probably here because of Peggy Fletcher Stack’s recent story. Dan Burk’s original post is more than a week old, so it’s in our archives rather than the main page. CLICK HERE to go to that post. Feel free to look around, to read over other posts, and to make comments about the posts. Please bear in mind that the blog’s Comment Policies prohibit comments that personally attack or insult other commenters. Welcome, and we hope you enjoy the blog! Read more »

Ethical Incoherence and Abortion

July 4, 2004 | 20 comments
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You’ve all apparently already had a long conversation on this site on abortion and the ethics (or lack thereof) of a Mormon pro-choice position, so let me just make two brief points with respect to those who brought the issue into their responses to my Mormon Republican Majority post. First, consider the sin of adultery. . . . Read more »

The Meaning of the Mormon Republican Majority II

July 4, 2004 | 11 comments
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Well, it’s not often I get called a sneak and sophist at the same time. :) But I have a thick skin. As to trying to sneak something by anyone–as if that would actually be possible with this group!–I meant only to suggest that one possibility for the almost uniform dislike of President Clinton by Mormon Republicans might be that Mormons consider marital fidelity an indispensable quality of their public servants, because of the Church’s teachings. . . . Read more »

Oman as Evidence of the Book of Mormon

July 2, 2004 | 2 comments
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No, not Nate Oman or David Oman McKay. I’m talking about the country of Oman — in fact, the entire Arabian peninsula. Jeff Lindsay explains over at Mormanity: Some of these photos help demonstrate the plausibility of the place Bountiful in First Nephi, said to be due east of Nahom/Nehhem, which puts Bountiful on Oman. Remember, it’s a place the anti-Mormons have said simply couldn’t be there. (They also denied the possibility of the River Laman in the Valley of Lemuel, and now we’ve got photos of an entirely plausible candidate for that, thanks to the Nephi Project.) Does... Read more »

Around the Blogs

July 2, 2004 | 6 comments
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(Note to Kaimi–I hope I am allowed to do this without starting a turf war.) Read more »

The Meaning of the Mormon Republican Majority?

July 2, 2004 | 13 comments
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Some years ago, a friend of mine working in Pres. Clinton’s White House counsel’s office asked me why Utah in particular and Mormons generally gave Clinton no credit for his efforts to protect religious free exercise. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act languished under Bush 41, but was one of Clinton’s highest priorities, as was its narrow successor, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. It was also the Clinton DOE and DOL that adopted guidelines attempting to preserve a zone of individualized religious expression by teachers in public schools and by employees generally. Bush 43 has pushed initiatives... Read more »

Spirituality & Fundamenatlism II

July 2, 2004 | 4 comments
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Hi, sorry to have dropped out for a few days (what do you call a guest blogger who doesn’t blog?). A friend from the philosophy department has been helping me (actually, I’ve been helping him) work on a home construction project that is taking longer than expected (proving, I suppose, that between the two of them, law and philosophy can confuse pretty much anything). I enjoyed the comments. Some thematic responses. Read more »

Individual responsibility?

July 2, 2004 | 12 comments
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Frank McIntyre says “I am only responsible for that part of me that is eternally me.” Adam Greenwood agrees and wonders how to makes sense of that claim in light of the teaching that God oversees everything and brings about his purposes. Kristine Haglund implicitly assumes, I think, that despair, acedia, etc. are really individual psychological disorders because, like Frank and Adam, she assumes that individuals are the basic units, the units at which responsibility occurs. Of course that assumption is the norm. But why should we believe it is true? Read more »

Belated Good-Bye

July 2, 2004 | 4 comments
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I missed it at the time, but last month Rhee Ho Nam died. The name probably means very little to most of you, but Brother Rhee was one of the noble and great ones. A very early convert to the Church in Korea, he served as the first Korean stake president, and at one time was the president of the mission where I served: Korea Pusan. When I was a missionary, you would still lots of Rhee Ho Nam stories from members in Pusan. After I returned from my mission and re-enrolled in BYU, Brother Rhee taught one of... Read more »

The Republicans are Coming! The Republicans are Coming!

July 2, 2004 | 35 comments
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Karen Hall has thoughts on yesterday’s Washington Post story. In the mean time, readers are advised to hide the women, children, and livestock (not to mention those invaluable ward rosters!), while we all pray for a flock of Republican-eating seagulls to come miraculously to our aid. Read more »

Do we matter at all? Are we stones that leave no ripples?

July 2, 2004 | 17 comments
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We love God because he’s just. We look at children in bad homes and console ourselves with knowing that their day will come. Every blessing God has offered us he’ll offer them and through grace he’ll clear them of whatever would impede their choice. We see the cemeteries full of people the gospel never reached and we’re pleased to think of baptisms for the dead. When we ourselves have sinned in our parenting or our friendship or our calling and it seems very much like we’ve made it harder for our children or our husband or our friend to... Read more »

Hopelessness

July 2, 2004 | 36 comments
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I’ve mentioned before that I’m working on a paper on hope. That was, in fact, the topic of my first post (which I do not know how to find and, so, do not know how to refer you to—but it doesn’t matter). The truth, however, is that next month I’m presenting a paper on the loss of hope. Doing that required that I spend a lot of time thinking and reading about hope, and I’ve been writing about it. Now I’m down to the last one-third of my paper, and I’ve got to stop talking about hope and say... Read more »

No Rest for the Wicked?

July 1, 2004 | 7 comments
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I’ve always thought that one of the more interesting scriptures is the verse in Isaiah that states, Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! After all, the somewhat humorous way to read this is: If you’re going to be an alcoholic, sleep in. Read more »

Who We Are and What We Are Judged For

July 1, 2004 | 18 comments
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In a recent post, there was a bit of a debate about what we are or aren’t allowed to be judged for. For example, suppose I honestly don’t believe the Church to be true. I even pray about it. To what extent can I be punished for my lack of faith? In one sense, this is moot as a judgment tool for us because we never observe others’ sincerity and it is not for us to judge other’s eventual salvation or lack thereof. But we do need to know where we stand, so the the question may be worth... Read more »

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Elder McConkie

June 30, 2004 | 72 comments
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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Elder McConkie

I grew up in a home where I was taught from my earliest childhood to be skeptical of Elder Bruce R. McConkie. I was taught that he was overly dogmatic and that his urge to systemization was inconsistent with the spirit of continuing revelation and the core of the restored gospel. Good honor-thy-father-and-thy-mother-that-thy-days-may-be-long-upon-land child that I was, I imbibed this ethos and by the time I arrived at college I had a deep, anti-McConkie strain. While in the MTC I served with a missionary who was one of Elder McConkie’s grandsons. He (the missionary not the apostle) informed me... Read more »

Thanks, Dan

June 30, 2004 | 4 comments
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On behalf of T&S, I would like to thank Dan Burk for the substantial time that he spent on the site over the past two weeks. As Kingsley noted below, Dan’s posts have consistently generated a lively discussion, in which he was an active participant. I said in my introduction two weeks ago that I always learn something new when I speak with Dan, and nothing in the past two weeks has proved me wrong. Read more »

Happy Trails

June 30, 2004 | 39 comments
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So long folks. While some of the conversation here has been interesting, the inability of at least one of the site’s bloggers to adhere to the standards of civility purportedly required for comments tells me it’s time to spend my time on matters more productive. ‘Bye. Read more »

Good Faith

June 30, 2004 | 27 comments
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The concept of good faith plays an important role in the law of contracts. Courts and commentators have long recognized that (many) contracts are incomplete, that parties cannot build meaningful, long-term relationships without some gaps in the initial framework. Such gaps, when discovered, might seem to allow one party to take advantage of the other. One method of preventing such behavior is the application of the duty to act in good faith. According to Judge Richard Posner, “The office of the doctrine of good faith is to forbid the kinds of opportunistic behavior that a mutually dependent, cooperative relationship... Read more »