I largely agree with Kaimi’s thoughts on how the Church is usually content to let teachings and statements of earlier authorities fade into obsolescence through silence, rather than through any kind of formal pronouncement. But I think that the opposite, that the silent treatment is intended as an informal repudiation, might not be true in all cases. I don’t think that any general authority will provide a clear answer on nineteenth-century polygamy any time soon, but I don’t think their silence will provide any guidance, either.
Family trees are familiar and similarly dissatisfying models in historical linguistics and in the history of religion.
For forty years, Bill Shrives was a train signal supervisor for Southern Pacific Railroad. Every day, the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people depended on his doing his job conscientiously and correctly. As with nearly everyone who plays an important part in keeping the economy humming, it is safe to say that nearly no one thought about Bill Shrives when their train sailed safely past the signals he inspected.
One night last March, I went to bed feeling fine but woke up four hours later with abdominal pain that wouldn’t go away. I finished the ensuing day in the hospital recovering from an appendectomy, for which I am very grateful.
The government of Slovakia granted the Church official recognition on October 18.
Or, Notes from a modern theocracy Continuing the periodic series on Holiday Envy, November 11 is St. Martin’s Day.
For many years, northern Bavaria had a duplicate Church geography, with a stake for American servicemen sharing the boundaries of a German district.
Once when I was a missionary district leader, one call to my zone leader went particularly badly. I was trying to get permission for my district to take a hike in the woods, essentially. (The difference between a hike in the woods, and essentially a hike in the woods, was the sticking point
How do you transplant an American institution to Europe and make it work?
One way to think about religious difference is with isoglosses.
Most German classes taught by most German professors have little to do with the professor’s academic specialty and a lot to do with teaching college students to speak and write better German.
This post is not two months early. It’s two weeks late. Around here, Christmas cookies and candy and multiple varieties of Stollen have been available in grocery stores since the last week of September, and the local hypermarket has a whole aisle devoted to Christmas decorations.
Contact between religions is a lot like contact between languages. One way for two language communities to interact is through invasion.
I’ve enrolled my two oldest children in a German elementary school. They have until Christmas to learn German and catch up to the rest of their first- or third-grade classes before the risk of flunking out gets to be too high.
In linguistics, hypercorrection is the kind of mistake you make when you’re trying too hard to speak correctly.
If you want to write the great Mormon novel, or the great Mormon dissertation, don’t play video games.
I registered my two oldest children for school on Friday. The principal needed to know which church they belonged to so that he could assign them to the proper religion class. For a first and third grader attending public school in Bavaria, there is a class for Catholics, a class for Lutherans, or a course on ethics. Actually, we’re Mormons, I said, prepared to explain that I have only one wife and that we do use electricity.
Linguistics, the study of language’s inner workings, is a source for concepts and technical vocabulary that are also useful for thinking about religion, because language and religion are both, among other things, mental constructs for making sense of the world around us. Each provides categories with which to organize the way we think about life: singulars and plurals, nouns and verbs, sinners and the saved.
Since getting married eleven years ago, my wife and I have moved eight times.
Up until about a year ago, if you had asked me why I had studied German, I would have said that I started in the ninth grade and just didn’t know when to stop. At BYU, my major in mechanical engineering lasted about 20 minutes into the first orientation meeting, and I didn’t really know what I wanted to study after that, but I didn’t worry too much about finding another major at the time. I thought I would figure out what I wanted to study on my mission.