Posts Tagged ‘ Mormon ’

The Myth of Evolution and the Myth of the Fall

April 24, 2008 | 47 comments

Noah Millman concedes that the science of evolution is not incompatible with the truth of Christianity. But, he argues, the myth of evolution is incompatible with the myth of Christianity. I think science does have implications for the persuasiveness of specific religious doctrines, simply as a psychological matter. And I think evolution through natural selection is extremely uncongenial to the central Christian story about the nature of sin and evil in the world. Why? Because the Christian story has the entry of strife into the world come about as the result of human sin, whereas the core idea behind... Read more »

Changing Mormon Musical Aesthetics?

April 22, 2008 | 117 comments

I didn’t blog about it at the time, although I thought about it. But now it’s up on You Tube, so here goes. Read more »

The Two Problems with Mormon Finitist Theodicies

April 21, 2008 | 74 comments

I have been listening to the papers that were presented at the recent conference of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology. At the conference there was a presentation on that perennial favorite, finisitist Mormon theodicies, in this case a nicely nuanced comparison of Mormon thinking with the process theology of David Griffin. I was disappointed, however, that the authors didn’t more squarely face the two strongest objections to Mormon finitist theodicies. Indeed, I have yet to see what I think of as adequate responses to either of these issues. Read more »

Taking the Lord’s title in vain

April 19, 2008 | 32 comments

The Third Commandment tells us not to take the Lord’s name in vain. And for some reason, this practice has become strongly ingrained in Mormon social norms — I can easily name a dozen Mormons who cuss like sailors and drop “F-bombs” regularly, but who would never dream of injecting a “God” or “Lord” into the sentence. But are we really getting it right? Is “God” really the Lord’s name, or is it just a title? And what exactly does the third commandment proscribe? Read more »

BYU Studies Chronology of Joseph Smith’s life

April 18, 2008 | 25 comments

If you’re not a subscriber to BYU Studies (why not?), make haste to the bookstore and pick up a copy of the latest edition. It’s a nearly 200-page chronology of Joseph Smith’s life (transcribing the chronology available online at ). In the print version, events are color-coded by category as well as being listed by date. To call this compilation “extremely useful” would be a vast understatement. Simply put, this is a tool that every member should have access to. The information has been available for some time online (in a relatively little known spot), but putting in... Read more »

The Case of the Missing Pioneer

April 16, 2008 | 30 comments
The Case of the Missing Pioneer

Most people with even a general sense of the Mormon pioneers are familiar with their “roadometer,” a set of cog wheels fastened to a wagon wheel, which measured and recorded distance traveled without the need for a human observer to count the revolutions of the wheel. Read more »

Pagan Christianity: A failure of nerve

April 14, 2008 | 24 comments

A new book written by two Evangelical Christians supports many of the views of Latter-day Saints about the apostacy from First Century Christianity. Frank Viola and George Barna have collaborated on an updated and expanded version of one of Viola’s earlier books, and titled it Pagan Christianity. Read more »

To see ourselves as others see us

April 13, 2008 | 29 comments

A sister in Relief Society told us this morning of having toured Salt Lake’s then-newly renovated Cathedral of the Madeleine Read more »

Noah’s flood in light of the Restored Gospel

April 12, 2008 | 71 comments

There was an interesting post in September 2007 about a Dialogue article discussing the usual interpretation of the flood of Noah as being scientifically implausible. A couple of comments touched upon, but did not fully explicate, the way that the scriptures of the Restored Gospel and other insights from Joseph Smith can suggest a more scientifically feasible interpretation of Noah’s flood. Read more »

Mormons in the Military

April 11, 2008 | 42 comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 »

The Hallmark of Monson’s Presidency?

April 7, 2008 | 65 comments

“Change for the better can come to all. Over the years we have issued appeals to the less active, the offended, the critic, the transgressor — to come back. ‘Come back and feast at the table of the Lord and taste again the sweet and satisfying fruits of fellowship with the Saints.’ In the private sanctuary of one’s own conscience lies that spirit, that determination to cast off the old person and to measure up to the stature of true potential. In this spirit, we again issue that heartfelt invitation. Come back, we reach out to you in the... Read more »

Thoughts on Hinckley and Monson

April 5, 2008 | 31 comments

Since Kaimi was kind enough to link to it, I thought I’d elaborate a bit on some comments of mine which Peggy Fletcher Stack used in her excellent article summarizing the accomplishments of President Hinckley, and the opportunities and challenges facing President Monson. It would be interesting to hear more from some of the other sources she made use of in putting her piece together (Melissa Proctor, Ronan Head, etc.), but for now, here is at least a little bit the context of my remarks. Read more »

History, apostasy, and faith-promoting rumors

March 30, 2008 | 29 comments

Mormon belief in an early Christian apostasy suggests a couple of historiographic projects that are, I think, doomed to failure, but there might be an alternative Read more »

Mormon Studies This Week

March 25, 2008 | 7 comments

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 »

Mormon identity and culture

March 25, 2008 | 68 comments

The following is part of a larger study on the concept of “gospel culture”, which I have been working on. In a previous post I presented the question “How American is the Church?”, which yielded very interesting comments. For the present post I excerpted some further parts on culture and Mormon identity, with various questions to the reader. Read more »

BYU: The Crimson or the Crimson Tide of the West?

March 24, 2008 | 55 comments

Actually, it’s more like the Intermountain Cornhuskers, or the Mormon Maccabees Read more »

The Gospel of Kristine

March 22, 2008 | 9 comments

As we’re all told in Sunday School, “Gospel” means “good news.” And it’s certainly good news that T&S emeritus (and current BCC) blogger Kristine Haglund is going to be taking over as editor of Dialogue. Read more »

Easter Weekend, by Eugene England

March 22, 2008 | 4 comments

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