Author: Nathaniel Givens

On Not Understanding the Atonement

There are some pretty major aspects of our Latter-day Saint faith–and of Christianity in general–that I don’t really understand. Specifically: the necessity and efficacy of the Atonement. Repentance and forgiveness make sense to me. The Atonement is a mystery, and…

Disputations in Zion

A couple of weeks ago, we reached the end of 3 Nephi 26 in our family scripture reading. It’s the culmination of Jesus Christ’s ministry to the New World and the founding of Zion. I’ve always been fascinated by Zion,…

Stick With It

A couple of years ago I started a group project called the General Conference Odyssey. Along with some friends, I’m reading every General Conference that’s easily accessible on LDS.org (that means we’re starting with October 1971) and writing up my…

Reasons for Following Imperfect Prophets

Last week, the Church released an official statement from President Nelson regarding the Church’s name and an accompanying update to the style guide. The Bloggernacle was unimpressed.[ref]I’m going to use “Bloggernacle” to refer to the overall Mormon social media community…

Wars and Rumors of Wars

There’s something memorable about the phrase, “wars and rumors of wars.” It certainly occurs in the scriptures often enough. Two prominent examples are in Nephi’s vision of the future of his people (and his brothers’) on the American continents (1…

Co-opting Secular Religion

It has often been noted that, in the United States, politics is our national religion. This is something my co-blogger Walker Wright covered at Difficult Run back in 2013, citing Eran Shalev: Through pseudo-biblicism the Bible became a living text,…

Zion as Superorganism

Earlier this month, I visited Utah to give back-to-back presentations at conferences by Mormon Scholars in the Humanities and the Mormon Transhumanist Association. Today, I’m going to recap my presentation from the MTA conference, “Zion as Superorganism.” In subsequent blog posts, I’ll…

Policy, Doctrine, and Revelation

These three concepts exist, for most Mormons, in a tangled web. This has become especially evident in recent months as members have reacted to the Church’s new policies regarding same-sex married couples and their children that were announced in November.…