What is “grace”, really? We know we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8; 2 Nephi 25:23). Of course, lots of people (including some Mormons) think Mormons don’t believe in salvation by grace.
A few weeks ago I visited a charming Amish and Mennonite “visitor’s center” in a nearby town. I noticed something I think Mormons can learn from.
I am happy to introduce Patrick Mason as our next guest blogger. Patrick just finished his PhD in History at Notre Dame and will be working here this year as a program coordinator in Peace Studies
Are the United States substantially a moral union–a union on moral questions? This question has bearing on what belongs in the Constitution.
Balaam is often mentioned as a fallen prophet, but the main description of him (in Numbers 22-4) doesn’t obviously support this.
The night before he was killed, Jesus ate the passover with his disciples.
The 2006 Annual Meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosopy and Theology will be held March 17-18th at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. The conference program now appears on the web, with further details on the location, parking, etc. The conference is free and open to the public.
A friend of mine was recently pressing me for a clear account of faith. Here is the gist of what I said, and a bit more. Tell me if you think I’m on the right track!
Richard Bushman and Terryl Givens are leading a seminar this summer on “Mormon Thought, 1850 to 1920: Dealing with the Joseph Smith Legacy,” at BYU. Applications are due February 15th
I usually hate libraries (a) because there are too many books.
Dutcher captures the wrenching beauty of the struggle to follow Christ. “States of Grace: God’s Army 2” is really good. Go.
Should up-and-coming Mormon scholars go to work at BYU, if they are interested in doing some of their work in Mormon Studies? I can think of a few young and mobile people a lot of us would like to see teaching there. But there are pros and cons.
Based on our theology, Mormons should lead the world in early childhood education. Why? Here’s one basic line of argument.
Blackberries grow all along the edge of the woods outside the South Bend Stake Center. I am disappointed at how few Mormons seem interested in them. “Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart” (D&C 59:18)
Some Mormons seem to think that Mormons don’t understand grace. This is a grave mistake, even if it is an honest mistake. The Book of Mormon is the best discussion of grace in the Christian world.
Do we humans in part choose what forms of worship God will require of us?
Nephi teaches that many plain and precious truths that were once had among the Jews have not made it into the Bible handed down to us via the Gentiles. We tend to talk as though these are truths revealed by Christ, but not passed on as his church fell into apostasy. But could many of these be truths lost before the time of Christ, or revealed before Christ but lost shortly after he left the Earth?
I visited a Lutheran worship service today, and had one of those odd experiences where what I expect to be familiar is not, and what I don’t expect to be, is.
This week I spent a few days in Nauvoo, the last place the Latter-day Saints tried to build a temple before being forced to leave the United States.
Here are some reflections on the second session, “Joseph Smith and the Recovery of Past Worlds.” (web archives on lds.org) I have tried to give just enough summary to support my reflections on how it went as a dialogue. Main speaker Terryl Givens described Joseph Smith as an explorer and re-discoverer of ancient worlds.
I went to this past weekend’s conference not so much to hear any of the particular talks as to see what sort of exchange they formed. Interreligious dialogue is one of the most difficult things there is, to do well. Here are some notes on the conference as an occasion for such dialogue, and a stepping stone toward better dialogue in the future.
The Library of Congress conference on Joseph Smith deserves more discussion. Here are some key links for your reference.
There has been a very interesting and vigorous discussion on Blake’s thread on “raising the bar” for missionary service. I’d like to pick up a theme from early in that thread that I think needs more attention: what sort of spiritual development should we be hoping missionary service will provoke in the missionary?
Church isn’t boring for me very often lately. It’s not because the speakers and teachers have dramatically improved since a few years ago when I was bored more often. Nor is it because I have suffered brain damage that leaves me very easily amused : ) Partly the kids in my primary class keep me hopping, but partly I’m looking for different things now than I used to look for.
Which should we be more strenuously avoiding, and how? Clark Goble suggests that the Church in “the last decade and a half has focused on building on common ground. But that has also (IMO) had unfortunate doctrinal consequences on the population as well as I believe leading to the decrease in conversions the last 5 – 8 years.”
Yesterday at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, here at Notre Dame, I attended a service of prayer and lamentation called “Tenebrae”, remembering the darkness of the night when Christ suffered in Gethsemane and was arrested, and anticipating his death. It closed with a final candle carried out, leaving us in complete darkness, and the congregation producing a loud noise, like the rolling of the stone to close the grave. Today I had a conversation with some friends, in which we reflected on the meaning of these events, and the difference in the darkness from a Mormon point of view.
Periodically we bloggers ask ourselves exactly how valuable a pursuit blogging is. Blogging is great for lots of reasons, but certainly part of its value is in its contributing to some other activities. For a current example, Rosalynde’s post on conscience played a role in the development of a paper she will be presenting this weekend at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology
John goes out of his way to be sure we notice how various prophecies of Christ were fulfilled. For example, at his crucifixion the soldiers did not break his legs, “that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken” (John 19:36). John does not comment so explicitly on Christ’s description of himself as the good shepherd. Is this because the reference was already plain enough?
Can y’all stomach a mission story right now?
The church seems to have replaced the tribe as God’s pattern for organizing his people–or has it? When God covenanted with Abraham, the covenant was with Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 17:7-8+). This covenant was to be fulfilled in part through Abrahamâ€™s righteous leadership as a father