Author: Clark Goble

The False Dichotomies of Membership

One thing I’ve noticed a lot is people creating simple divisions of people within the church. I’m sure you’ve heard many of them. Liahona Members vs. Iron Rod Members. Chapel Mormons vs. Internet Mormons. Intellectuals vs. Fundamentalists. I’m sure there’s…

Easter Traditions

Back home Easter was nearly as big a holiday as Christmas. I was quite shocked when first moving to Utah to attend BYU at just how marginalized Easter was here. Part of that I figured was due to it typically…

Shape of Agency Part 2

In my last post I went through the foundational metaphor for agency in the scriptures. I argued it was a space that was cleared or opened so that people could be free. I want to continue this investigation a little…

The Shape of Agency Part 1

Agency is one of the most fundamental concepts in LDS thought. Often people confuse agency and free will. They are not necessarily the same thing. I’m going to avoid all those sorts of nuanced discussions here. What is interesting to…

Can Mercy Rob Justice?

We’re all familiar with Alma 42 and the notion that mercy can’t rob justice. I was reading this today at church and was struck by a context that often doesn’t get mentioned. In the ancient world relationships often determined actions.…

Deutero-Isaiah in the Book of Mormon

Several parts of the Book of Mormon are highly influenced by the text of deutero-Isaiah. The traditional problem here is that deutero-Isaiah (chapters 40-55) are usually considered to be written fairly late – usually dated to during the exile in…

Benedict Option

Rod Dreher at The American Conservative in response to significant losses on cultural issues in the US suggested that social conservatives should adopt what he calls the Benedict Option. More or less it means those who cease trying to make…

Promoting vs. Honoring

If I might be allowed an overly broad generalization, it often seems like political action is locked between two main views. In the past I’ve often called it the Kantian versus the Utilitarian.[1] That’s not entirely fair. Perhaps a better…

On Punching Nazis

One of the big debates over the weekend surprisingly was whether it’s ethical to punch Nazis. I know people already have an endless supply of thought pieces on the topic. So I’ll be brief. The issue isn’t whether it’s justifiable…

Scientists and Religious Belief

Exactly how religious are scientists? The typical assumption is that they aren’t terribly religious at all. Further I think most people assume this is a relatively recent change – say around the time of the second world war. It’s always…

Aaronic Priesthood and Apostasy

The common way the apostasy is understood is in terms of the loss of priesthood authority. Priesthood seems the key thing that needed to be restored by Joseph Smith. Much of our conception of restoration is tied to rites and…

The Roots of the Current Election

I’ll admit I didn’t expect Trump to win. As a conservative I thought my worst case scenario was Clinton winning but Trump keeping it extremely close and outperforming Romney. That would allow Trump to stop the GOP from reforming back…

Jack Chick has Passed Away

I don’t know if it is still a thing with Evangelicals, but back when I was on my mission there were Jack Chick comic books everywhere. While Chick didn’t limit himself to virulent anti-Mormonism it’s those tracts that still bring…

No Big 12 for BYU

I know BYU football isn’t the normal talk here. I think it’s relevant to the broader LDS community this year if only due to how it’s perceived around the country. While as I write this the Big 12 hasn’t formally…

SMPT Notes: Joseph Lowell

Joseph Lowell was a philosopher I wasn’t familiar with at all. He was speaking on creation, artisanship and creation ex nihilo. However the fundamental topic he was after was aesthetics. I didn’t take as many notes first because I’ll fully…

SMPT Notes: Brown

For the first concurrent session I attended Sam Brown’s. While he’s not as well known as David Paulson he has written numerous extremely well received papers and books. I honestly can’t fathom how he has the time to do all…

SMPT Notes: Paulson & Boyd

I wasn’t able to attend Ben’s session this evening and it’s looking like I won’t be able to go like I’d hoped tomorrow. Still I really enjoyed the sessions I went to. To give a bit of a taste (and…