Analogizing the Atonement

April 22, 2004 | 51 comments
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I can’t compete with polyamory and uncontrollable sexual impulses! But perhaps I can use our fabulous LDS guilt system to cause you to read and comment on a post about the Atonement. Read more »

Thank you!

April 22, 2004 | 2 comments
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Yesterday — exactly five months after the counter started — we received our 50,000th visit. I guess we must be doing something right, because folks keep on coming back. We’re getting between 800 and 900 visits per day. I want to say thank you, to all of our readers. Reader participation has made this site what it is today. Oh, many or all of us — Nate, Gordon, Matt, and certainly myself — are quite capable of chatting on for hours, with or without an audience. But this blog has become more than Kaimi or Nate chatting on about... Read more »

Another new blog of interest

April 22, 2004 | no comments
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Eat, drink and fling.

April 22, 2004 | 15 comments
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Some of the plausible and specifically Christian arguments for socially sanctioned gay unions–I think Kaimi’s advanced it on this board–is that an irreducible core of the homosexually inclined simply do not have the choice to be chaste. Under the circumstances, the argument goes, perhaps its best that society encourage them to refrain from the sin of promiscuity even if they can’t be discouraged from the sin of homosex-uality. Now Gordon has found a variant of the same argument: society should accept and discipline promiscuity into ‘polyamory,’ because some people simply do not have the choice to be faithful. I’m... Read more »

Polyamory

April 22, 2004 | 10 comments
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As is often the case, Matt Evans was way ahead of the curve when he discussed polyamory back in January with the post, “The Conservative Case for Group and Sibling Marriage.” But here is a new angle (at least to me): some Unitarians are now actively promoting polyamory. The money quotation: It’s the new polygamy, and according to the Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness, their relationships are at least as ethical as other marriages — gay or straight. At least as ethical? The implication, of course, is that they may be even more ethical. How so? Consider this from... Read more »

The Bloggernacle – It’s Official

April 21, 2004 | 27 comments
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David Winer, whose full-time job as a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School is to track the blogging phenomenom, and is therefore as authoritative as anyone on blogosphere nomenclature, has referred to the LDS corner of the blogosphere as “the Bloggernacle.” Times & Seasons delivers! Our own Kaimi Wenger raised the issue, Grasshopper coined the moniker 26 minutes later, and the rest is one month of history. Read more »

Quick Newdow Note

April 21, 2004 | no comments
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Belated notice

April 21, 2004 | 11 comments
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I just noticed the recent debate raging (again) in the blogosphere about baptism for the dead. Not that there are a lot of new ideas on the topic, but it’s somewhat interesting to see the same ideas get kicked around again. (See here and here; see also Adam’s recent post on the same subject here). And, while I was noticing this little debate, I also noticed that one of the members of Begging to Differ is a self-identified Mormon (who also, I should note, has stated that he does not intend to blog much about religion). Read more »

All Night Long

April 21, 2004 | 12 comments
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Two nights ago, I stayed up all night finishing a draft of my paper for a conference this Friday. At 2 a.m., one of my eight-year-old twins emerged from his bedroom and was wondering whether he could have breakfast. I sent him to bed, but he was back an hour later. Of course, I was in no mood to debate, and I sent him to bed again. The next morning, my wife reminded me that he had been sick and had not eaten well for a couple of days prior. Arrrgghh!! Guilt … welcome to my life as a... Read more »

A New Blog

April 21, 2004 | 7 comments
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I just came across a new site, The BYU Law Blog by a recent graduate from J. Reuben Clark Law School. The site is worth checking for the picture of conference protesters surrounded by counter-protesters. My favorite is the guy holding the sign reading “There is no Dana, only Zuul!” Ghostbusters, of course, is one of the great neo-liberal movies of all time! Entrepreneurs save the world, which is nearly destroyed by an officious and ignorant EPA regulator. Classic! Read more »

Create your own quasi-Canon!

April 20, 2004 | 10 comments
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Not that we don’t already. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (grins inoffensively). I’ve just been flipping through BYU magazine. It announces that you can now order customized books and DVD’s of BYU speeches. Just select your preferred speeches, and voila! Here’s the site. A belated hat tip to doctrinal.net, who’s already posted on downloading the speeches as mp3′s. Note: I am not criticizing customized books of speeches. I actually like the idea. Read more »

Ronald Reagan’s Unappreciated Gift to Mormon History

April 20, 2004 | 8 comments
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Love him or hate him, Ronald Reagan has given a great boon to Mormon historians, one which they have yet to really appreciate. I am talking, of course, about the legions of conservative judges that Reagan appointed to the federal bench. Read more »

Infantilizing Our New Converts

April 20, 2004 | 25 comments
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Several weeks ago a friend bore his testimony, and I was amazed at his warmth and power. He spoke precisely in the manner which Richard Bushman has suggested, relating in simple terms how the Gospel has affected his life. I've been this man's friend since he came into the Church. I taught him in gospel essentials, and I watched him as he went to the temple. But it wasn't until this testimony that I saw him as an equal. Read more »

LDS Hermeneutics

April 20, 2004 | 28 comments
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My least favorite thing about graduate studies in biblical studies was coming to the realization that there was a multisyllabic, Latin- or Greek- derived word for everything, and that precious few of these words would be found in a standard dictionary. Elder Dallin H. Oaks had an experience with this: Read more »

Quick bloggernacking

April 20, 2004 | 2 comments
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I haven’t a lot of time today, and the bloggernacle keeps getting bigger (and harder to keep track of). Here are a few things I’ve noticed over the past few days: Jordan Fowles’ interesting discussion of the topic “Is God a Retributionist or a Utilitarian?” (spoken like a true law student); DP’s comments on why church members should turn off the TV this week; Discussion of garments for sale, by Kim Siever and DP; The Baron of Deseret comments about how we should view polygamy today; he also discusses recent LDS-mainstream movies; Sunstone editor and BCC contributor John Hatch... Read more »

Another new face

April 20, 2004 | 5 comments
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We’ve been happy to have Karen Hall as a guest for two weeks. Her posts have been thought-provoking and interesting. We’re also happy to announce a new guest blogger, who will also be here for two weeks. He’s someone who may be familiar to readers who frequent the bloggernacle. He is the inimitable Steve Evans. Steve was a law school classmate of mine. He is a proud resident of Babylon — err, Manhattan — and a “big law firm” attorney as well. In addition, he is the driving force behind By Common Consent, a liberal LDS group blog. And,... Read more »

Why Didn’t God Answer My Prayer?

April 20, 2004 | 20 comments
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It’s not a new question; indeed, it’s one of the oldest questions. And I have no fresh insight to bring to it either; it is a deep, profound, and serious matter of faith and theology, whereas my thinking at the moment is self-centered, mean, even a little angry. Still, tonight it’s my question nonetheless. Read more »

Testifying

April 19, 2004 | 19 comments
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The question is how do we testify. I have come to feel that our formulaic “I know …”does not serve as well as we would hope. In a discussion, it stops the conversation. We are announcing that our belief is highly personal and therefore not subject to examination. The listener is likely to feel okay, you have your belief; I hope you enjoy it. He or she may even feel we protest too much. No one ever says “I know this table exists.” The opening “I know” may function like the word “undoubtedly;” it conveys the opposite of what... Read more »

Reproductive Ethics

April 18, 2004 | 57 comments
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As a result of the ‘saved in childbearing’ discussion, my husband and I came up with two interesting ethical questions: Read more »

Sacred Space

April 18, 2004 | 6 comments
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Nate Oman suggested I tell you a little about the Sacred Space conference we are planning with the Columbia Religion Department and the Auburn Theological Seminary to help note the dedication of the Manhattan New York Temple. It originated last spring when I asked Robert Millet, Richard L. Evans Professor of Religious Understanding at BYU if he would be interested. The Evans chair has money for sponsoring just such enterprises. He thought it worthwhile and so I talked to the chair of the Columbia Religion Department. They are wary about denominational programs but after making various pleas and taking... Read more »

Quick Note on the Blogroll

April 18, 2004 | 4 comments
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We’re trying out Bloglines, which has some advantages over our old blgoroll program, Blogrolling. For example, it allows us to categorize blogs. Also, it allows us to read posts in one place (aggregation). It has a few differences, however. The main difference is that it requires an RSS feed. Non-RSS blogs are, for the moment, clumped together in a group at the end of the blogroll. In addition, I should note that (1) The determinations of category were made on the fly by Kaimi, and should not be viewed as etched in stone. If you think that your blog... Read more »

The Case Against (Temporal) Perfection

April 17, 2004 | 18 comments
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In this month’s Atlantic magazine, Michael J. Sandel makes the case against perfection. Last month we had a vigorous discussion about “Enhancing Nature,” which focused on the use of medical technology (or herbal remedies) to enhance physical appearance. Sandel talks about similar issues (muscle enhancement, memory enhancement, growth-hormone treatment, and reproductive technologies that enable parents to choose the sex and some genetic traits of their children), but focuses on gene therapy. Interestingly, he connects these debates to the topic of human agency. Read more »

A Simple Rule for Church Music

April 17, 2004 | 14 comments
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Here is a rule I think we can all agree on: No song shall be performed during a Stake meeting to promote temple attendance if said song has been used as the background music to a makeout scene in a nationally released movie. Read more »

Sunday School Lesson 16

April 16, 2004 | no comments
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Conference talks online

April 16, 2004 | no comments
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A Mormon Image: The Vault

April 16, 2004 | 7 comments
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A Mormon Image: The Vault

The Granite Mountain Vault lies hidden away on the north face of Little Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake City. Built by the Church in the early 1960s, the Vault lies under 700 feet of stone, and was meant to withstand a nuclear blast. Contrary to the ramblings of your crazy uncle, it safeguards mainly genealogical microfilm. There is an manmade lake inside that keeps humidity at the optimal level. Alas, it is no longer open for public tours. Read more »

Sunday School Lesson 15

April 15, 2004 | 3 comments
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I apologize that I’m posting these materials so late. One problem is that it is the end of the semester, but the real problem is that I started making notes as I read and ended up with seven pages of questions. That seemed like a few too many to be useful, so I’ve been editing. I hope they are not too late to be useful. Read more »

Belief and Practice

April 15, 2004 | 40 comments
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I said, “I don’t think that belief is central to LDS religion: it is important only as part of the practice of religion, not in itself,” and Susan asked, “Are you saying that LDS religion helps you to practice religion better and live better than you would otherwise?” Good question. Read more »

Mormons Leading the Way to a “New Dark Age”?

April 15, 2004 | 118 comments
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Darren Roulstone was kind enough to pass along a pointer to an article in the most recent issue of Fortune, which lies unread on my nightstand. The article — entitled “Which Nations Will Go Forth and Multiply?” — is adapted from Phillip Longman’s book The Empty Cradle. The main thrust of the article is that declining fertility rates bring lots of benefits, along with some risks for the future. Longman describes the worst-case scenario as follows: Even more sobering are the implications for modern civilization’s values. As urbanization and globalization continue to create a human environment in which children... Read more »

More Prooftexts

April 15, 2004 | 89 comments
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I was inspired by Kristine’s post to think about prooftexts. My nomination is 2 Timothy 3:16: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: Read more »

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