Posts Tagged ‘ LDS ’

Mormons in the Military

April 11, 2008 | 42 comments
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About 15 years ago I wrote a short piece for a Sunstone Symposium panel on the topic of Mormons in the Military. It was focused on my personal experiences as a Latter-day Saint dealing with the armed forces rules on religion and the chaplains specifically. A number of things have developed since then, so it seems worthwhile to revisit the topic and elicit readers’ own experiences. Read more »

Sorting out the virtuous and praiseworthy: Incorporating the gospel-compatible elements of an existing culture

April 10, 2008 | 11 comments
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As the Church’s membership has become predominantly non-American and non-English speaking, the question of how to construct a Mormon ethnic identity within the wide variety of existing cultures worldwide has become a present concern for millions of Latter-day Saints. Read more »

“Well Known Facts”

April 10, 2008 | 69 comments
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This week while we’re hearing lurid tales from Tom Green County, Texas, it is worthwhile to remember exactly how ugly were the lies once printed about our own people, some of them told unashamedly by federal appointees and officers of the 19th century court. Read more »

Why it’s unchristian to call Mormons “not Christian”

April 10, 2008 | 60 comments
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In his new book, Claiming Christ, Professor Robert Millet, in dialogue with Evangelical scholar Gerald McDermott about the commonalities and differences of Mormonism and the varieties of Evangelical Christianity, makes the observation that the notion of labeling Latter-day Saints as “not Christian” is a fashion that became widespread only about twenty years ago. Read more »

Integrating Elites into the Church

April 9, 2008 | 91 comments
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While watching last weekend’s General Conference, with the sustaining of President Monson and the calling of new people into Church leadership, one of the things I felt is how fortunate the Church is to have as its leaders men and women who have achieved significantly in many walks of life. This is in contrast to most other denominations, where people with these skills would be excluded from formal church leadership. For example, what other church has attorneys in its most senior leadership? Read more »

What’s Wrong with Ancient Research in Mormon Studies

April 9, 2008 | 57 comments
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Mormon Studies has become a relic area for outdated ideas about texts and their transmission. That becomes clear in reading a number of contributions to Early Christians in Disarray: Contemporary LDS Perspectives on the Christian Apostasy (FARMS, 2005) Read more »

Graven Images: The hunger for an authentic image of Joseph

April 8, 2008 | 14 comments
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Ardis Parshall has presented in previous postings “The CSI Effect and Mormon History”, 3/20/2008, and “And Yet Another Joseph Smith Photograph”, 4/1/2008, arresting images that have, at first glance, an arguable relationship to our known historical depictions of the Prophet Joseph Smith, but turn out, on further research, to have no chance of being what we wish they were. In commenting on Ardis’ second post (#14, #48), I pointed out the reasons why there are likely to be a great many old images that resemble our mental image of the Prophet, and why it would be extremely difficult to... Read more »

An Ethics of Teaching

April 3, 2008 | 26 comments
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I’m reading a short book that reviews what one might call the virtues of teaching: learning, authority, ethics, order, imagination, compassion, patience, character, and pleasure. Each virtue (which might be though of as an aspect of the character of an ideal teacher) is reviewed in its own chapter. The ethics chapter suggested an interesting question to me: Is there an LDS ethics of teaching that differs in any particulars from a Christian or secular ethics of teaching? Read more »

And Yet Another Joseph Smith Photograph

April 1, 2008 | 62 comments
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And Yet Another Joseph Smith Photograph

The April 1st posting of this article may tempt you to think this is an April Fool’s prank. I wish it were. It is not. Read more »

Mormon Studies This Week

March 25, 2008 | 7 comments
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This is a big week for Mormon Studies on the Wasatch Front, with events at the University of Utah, Utah Valley State College, Westminster College, and BYU. Read more »

Confessions of a News Junkie

March 24, 2008 | 24 comments
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Sunday morning. Clicked off This Week with George Stephanopoulos just a couple of minutes after clicking it on. Feeling especially weary of the twenty-four hour news cycle for some reason today… the relentless intensity, the insatiable talking-heads, and a seemingly never-ending electoral season. Read more »

Easter Weekend, by Eugene England

March 22, 2008 | 4 comments
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Rumor-Mongering: Joseph Smith Daguerreotype

March 17, 2008 | 110 comments
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The Church History Library/Archives staff have been hit with a wave of telephone calls today from Church members looking for confirmation of the latest rumor to hit the LDS fan rumor mill. Read more »

Literacy, Literalism, and the Isaiah Chapters of the Book of Mormon

March 11, 2008 | 19 comments
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One of the distinctive features of the Book of Mormon is its pervasive anxiety about literacy Read more »

Discovering Nuance

March 10, 2008 | 165 comments
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A few recent comments over at BCC have elaborated on a theme that one hears from time to time on the internet: “I didn’t get the whole scoop on LDS history while I was in Primary.” Read more »

Mormons and Evolution

March 10, 2008 | 55 comments
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Elder Packer’s article in this month’s Ensign closes with some thoughts on Evolution that have the potential to stir up a debate on the issue within the Church after several relatively quiet years. Read more »

More Mormon Urban Legends?

March 9, 2008 | 32 comments
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How about the one about the frog in boiling water? Read more »

The Quote that Wouldn’t Die

March 9, 2008 | 74 comments
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Remember that one about youth being generals in the war in heaven? Read more »

Joy and Anguish

March 7, 2008 | 20 comments
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Should a psychologically healthy person be happy, cheerful, carefree? If you are not cheerful is there something wrong with you? Let’s see what Mormon scripture has to say. Read more »

More depressing news

March 7, 2008 | 117 comments
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Today’s news carries a deja vu article: Surveys show high rates of depression in Utah, and some psychiatrists wonder if Mormon culture is part of the cause. (The story runs under a pretty direct illustration that shows an apparently depressed woman and a photo of the temple in the background.) Read more »

Theology and the Public Square in Utah

March 5, 2008 | 35 comments
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The Salt Lake Tribune recently ran a column written by Grant Palmer arguing that Christian salvation turns not on the performance of ordinances but rather on an ethical life. Theologically speaking, the article (as Dave has pointed out nicely) is a pretty pedestrian, anti-sacramental, and essentially Protestant reading of the New Testament. The really interesting question raised by the article is not its theology, but rather what it is doing on the editorial page of an mainstream, secular newspaper. I think that we can safely dismiss the notion that the column was published because the Trib has taken it... Read more »

A Sample Of Mormon Donors

March 4, 2008 | 39 comments
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Mormons contributed to Mitt Romney’s campaign over the past year and half in some pretty eye-popping numbers (see, e.g., here and here). As such, I decided to comb through the campaign finance contribution records to see who exactly some prominent Mormons were donating to this past election cycle. Read more »

Apostasy is Back on the Bookshelf

March 4, 2008 | 68 comments
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Once upon a time, The Great Apostasy by Elder James E. Talmage was on every Mormon’s reading list. But somehow that topic went out of fashion for a couple of decades — no LDS books treated the subject and it received considerably less attention in General Conference talks. Suddenly, the Great Apostasy seems to be back. Read more »

The Church Historian’s Press and the Argument in Favor of Mordred

February 25, 2008 | 21 comments
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The Church issued a press release today annoucing the creation of a “Church Historian’s Press” to handle the publication of the Joseph Smith Papers. (The press release also mentioned “works related to the church’s history and growth.”) I am not quite sure what the rationale for this is. Previous volume of the papers were published by Deseret Book, which did a nice enough job, although of late the physical publication standards at Deseret Book have been falling. Perhaps the new imprint is to insure library quality production values. Maybe it just reduces administrative hassle to have the production done... Read more »