Posts Tagged ‘ LDS ’

Why Did God Give Contradictory Commandments?

February 20, 2008 | 22 comments

The temple treats the Garden story as a universal story. Whatever the reason for that, you can make a good case that in some sense each of us has been in the Garden and fallen. In fact, as we’ve discussed here before, making the Garden story a universal story can make sense of the contradictory commandments God gave Adam and Eve. Read more »

Interpretation: Latter-day Saint Perspectives

February 19, 2008 | 2 comments

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Little Zions

February 18, 2008 | 75 comments

Today was our stake conference, and we had a visiting general authority: Elder Terrence C. Smith, one of the North American Area Seventies. His talk was one of the finest, most doctrinally insightful sermons I’ve ever heard at a stake conference. But what really caught me came in the first minute of his talk. He’s Canadian, specifically an Albertan, and he mentioned being from a little town “that’s probably 90% LDS.” That’s interesting, I thought. Read more »

Love on Campus

February 15, 2008 | 23 comments

It’s just not what it used to be, even at the BYU, as shown in a day-before-Valentine’s-Day BYU NewsNet article, “The Evolution of Human Love.” Read more »

Did revelation cease?

February 14, 2008 | 35 comments

It seems to me that Mormon discourse has two mutually contradictory ways of talking about revelation during the Middle Ages, and that neither view takes much notice of actual medieval views on the matter. Read more »

Bruce Young on Christians, Romney, and Voting

February 12, 2008 | 22 comments

A pro-Huckabee blog recently(ish) set out the (now somewhat dated) argument that (non-Mormon) Christians have a Biblical duty not to vote for Mitt Romney. In response, Bruce (husband of blog-butterfly Margaret) Young wrote a short rebuttal piece. (He’s also a BYU professor of some renown.) I thought the discussion might be of interest (to the T&S community), and so with the permission of Bruce and Margaret Young (have you asked her about her movie lately?), I’m posting it here. My response (to Pastor Haisty’s argument that, according to John the apostle, Christians should not wish someone who believes in... Read more »

A Poem and a Sermon

February 9, 2008 | 6 comments

First, the poem: Read more »

Mothers Who Know: Homes and Temples

February 4, 2008 | 87 comments

In her General Conference address last Fall, President Beck said, “Growth happens best in a “house of order,” and women should pattern their homes after the Lord’s house (see D&C 109).” Read more »

President Hinckley and Mormon Memory

February 1, 2008 | 21 comments

In Religious Literacy, Stephen Prothero considers the decline of religious knowledge in America, much of which relates to the failure of institutions (family, school, church, university) to maintain a “chain of memory” that transmits religious knowledge from one generation to the next. President Hinckley helped Mormonism avoid this failure. Mormon memory is alive and well. Read more »

Under-Appreciated Hymns

February 1, 2008 | 117 comments

When in the sultry glebe I faint, or on the thirsty mountain pant, To fertile vales and dewy meads, my weary, wandring steps he leads. Where peaceful rivers, soft and slow, amid the cooling verdant landscape flow. Read more »

Mormonism’s Poisoned Theodicy

January 30, 2008 | 125 comments

Consider two theological claims. First, a severely mentally retarded child has her retardation because in the premortal world she was an exceptionally valiant spirit and her current disability means that all that was necessary was for her to receive a body and then go straight on to eternal exaltation, worlds without number. Second, in this life blacks were denied the priesthood prior to 1978 because they were not valiant in the premortal conflict with Satan. Read more »

From the Archives: Is it okay to be a pro-choice Mormon?

January 22, 2008 | 122 comments

Are church members required to be pro-life? (That is, opposed to legal availability of abortion). Or may they be pro-choice — (in favor of allowing abortion under the law)? Read more »

A humane approach to immigration

January 19, 2008 | 116 comments

One thing that church leaders said in their recent meetings with state lawmakers: Let’s take a humane approach to immigration. The Deseret News reports that: Read more »

Resolution No. 2

January 19, 2008 | 21 comments

The Primary “Hello” song: Read more »

Utah Historical Quarterly: Utah War Issue

January 10, 2008 | 23 comments

“One hundred and fifty years ago a federal army of nearly two thousand soldiers under the command of Col. Albert Sidney Johnston huddled in their makeshift quarters at Camp Scott near the ruins of Fort Bridger in southwestern Wyoming to wait out the bitter winter and prepare to march into the Salt Lake Valley later in the spring of 1858.” Read more »

The Silent Core of Mormonism

January 10, 2008 | 94 comments

Mormon theology and practice centers ultimately on the temple, and yet the temple is a subject on which Mormons are especially secretive and reticent. Therein lies one of the central ironies and challenges facing any Mormon trying to really explain how Mormonism works to an outsider. Read more »

What is it about Mormons? Maybe history can teach us.

January 8, 2008 | 18 comments

I first ran across Noah Feldman’s writing last year when I read his personal essay “Orthodox Paradox” in the New York Times Magazine. Read more »

“This Thing Was Not Done in a Corner”

January 8, 2008 | 28 comments

I was delighted when Noah Feldman accepted my invitation to give the keynote address at Princeton’s Mormonism and American Politics conference because I knew he’d offer a thoughtful and sophisticated outsider’s perspective on these issues. His latest NYT piece, a polished and updated version of his conference remarks, is even more that that, however. In challenging what Feldman calls the “soft bigotry” against Mormonism, still surprisingly so widespread, while at the same time effectively raising legitimate issues for Latter-day Saints to wrestle with themselves, Feldman’s piece does what few other articles on Mormonism have been able to do and... Read more »

The best article on Mormonism and politics that I’ve read all year

January 8, 2008 | 172 comments

That’s faint enough praise for January 8th — but Noah Feldman’s recent New York Times article is strong enough that it would be a contender for that title, even in December. I already described the piece as “remarkable” in my sidebar link. I was surprised, though, to note the negative reaction the article has garnered in some Mormon circles. Read more »

Essential Differences

January 5, 2008 | 80 comments

I recently read The Essential Difference: The Truth About the Male and Female Brain (Basic Books, 2003) by Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of psychiatry at Cambridge University. Anyone interested in the source and nature of gender differences (i.e., everyone) will find this an interesting book, and people with an interest in understanding autism are particularly encouraged to find a copy and read it. Read more »

A Pleasant Surprise

January 2, 2008 | 13 comments

It seems 2008 has delivered its first miracle — the new Joseph Smith manual. Who would have thought that a correlated manual could actually be interesting? That’s doubly rewarding as the new Joseph Smith manual will be with us for two years. A short write-up with several striking illustrations is posted online at the Church News. I’ll add a few things I noted while browsing through the manual on Sunday afternoon. Read more »

José Smith

December 27, 2007 | 55 comments

The Spanish-language scriptures use the name José Smith. This raises interesting questions: Which names do we choose to translate and which do we choose not to translate, and why? Read more »

Seeing Him

December 24, 2007 | 6 comments

Because Adam asked, here’s my Santa Claus/Meaning-of-Christmas manifesto, originally written on my own blog three years ago. A brief update: our oldest daughter, mentioned below in this post, is now eleven, and while she is a joyful and spirited participant in the Christmas season, particularly for the sake of her three younger sisters, she isn’t herself much of believer any longer, and all my philosophical/theological reflections mostly flat with her. But that doesn’t worry me. Give her time; she’ll come around. I probably thought pretty much the same at her age, but as the wise man once said, I’m... 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 »