Author: Chad Nielsen

Chad’s three great intellectual passions in life are science, history/religious studies, and music. He has pursued a career in biotechnology, but maintains an active interest in both of his other passions on the side. Chad is a four-time winning contestant in the Arrington Writing Award competition held at Utah State University for his essays on Mormon history and has presented at the Logan Institute of Religion scholar’s forum and the annual meeting of the Society of Mormon Philosophy and Theology. He is a faithful Latter-day Saint who has served in a variety of music, teaching, and clerical callings at his church as well as in the music ministry of a Presbyterian church. Currently he is serving as a music missionary as a member of the Bells on Temple Square.

All Are Alike Unto God

I’ve been thinking about the issue of race in the Church (and the history of the temple and priesthood ban in particular) a lot lately.  As part of that thinking, I am working on a series of posts wrestling with…

Statues in the Balance

One of my favorite episodes of the science fiction TV series Firefly is the “Jaynestown” episode.  In it, a self-serving mercenary of questionable moral character ends up visiting a planet he has been to before.  In the past, he’d attempted…

Hasten to Prepare

At the “Be One” celebration in 2018, President Dallin H. Oaks discussed the frustration he experienced as a member of the Church before the ban on individuals of black African descent holding the priesthood or receiving saving temple ordinances was…

A Prophet for President

Imagine that when you check the news tomorrow morning you see that Russell M. Nelson has announced that he is running for the office of the President of the United States.  Now imagine that later the same day, you receive…

Saving Alvin

How we approach the scriptures affects what we see in them. In other words, our assumptions, our traditions, our cultural baggage that we carry with us as we enter the world of scriptural texts are lenses that give meaning and…

When You Believe: An EP Review

Last Friday, the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square released a new extended play record (EP), “When You Believe: A Night at the Movies.”  I bought and downloaded the music this weekend and I have listened to it several times since…

Art and Christ in Church Buildings

Yesterday, the Church released new guidelines about the appearance church meetinghouse.  The latest in the series of Christocentric reforms during President Nelson’s tenure, the intent of the guidelines is to help “create a feeling of reverence and dignity” in the…

Monotheism and Mormonism

One of the most central and difficult issues of Christian theology is how to fit together a commitment to monotheism with a belief that Jesus is a divine being.  While we, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of…

Seer Stones and Grammar

Book of Mormon translation is one of those interesting subjects that is central to the ongoing Book of Mormon wars.  As well, to me, one interesting aspect about the Book of Mormon is how self-aware of its own creation it…

Seek After These Things

There is a part of me that is deeply drawn to the Christian religions that have existed for hundreds or thousands of years.  Perhaps that comes from my fascination with history (particularly the Byzantine Empire), perhaps from beautiful experiences with…

Revisiting Sherem

Many of my choices in books this year have been influenced by a decision to try and catch up on literature about the Book of Mormon.  I feel a bit overwhelmed, to be honest, since there’s a lot out there…

A Tale of Two Statues

There are several statues that exist at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, but two stand out as the most well-known and prominent.  The first is the Angel Moroni, standing at the highest spire of the Salt Lake Temple.  Created…