Author: Gordon Smith

Gordon blogged at Times and Seasons between 2003 and 2007. Further biographical information can be found here.

Welcome New Guest Blogger, Jed W.

I am very pleased to introduce our newest guest blogger, Jed W. Besides being the Scoutmaster in my ward, Jed is a third-year doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin, where he is studying the history of education on his…

Simple Things

Over the past few days, I have been engaged in some much-needed family immersion. Among other things, I rediscovered the joys of eating jello pudding with children, playing an impromptu “turkey bowl” football game (with players ranging in age from…

Sinning Alone

At a recent conference, I was klatsching with law professors, mostly from my school, when a young law professor in the group related how she was being pursued by another conference attendee. “I always attract married men,” she lamented. “Of…

The Election and SSM

I have generally avoided posting on same-sex marriage, and I am not attempting to initiate another debate on the merits. But I believe that one of the huge stories of the presidential election will be the importance of this issue.…

Mormon Senator Harry Reid

One of the so-far-untold stories of the election is that Mormon Senator Harry Reid will almost certainly assume leadership of the Democratic Party in the United States Senate. Senator Tom Daschle appears to be going down in South Dakota, thus…

Reverence

We had an excellent discussion of reverence in our combined Priesthood-Relief Society meeting yesterday. At the end of the meeting, I made a comment which provoked mixed reactions after the meeting, and now I am wondering about that comment.

Teen Apathy

Now that I no longer teach Seminary, one of my biggest challenges is getting my daughter to Seminary on time. She has a driver’s license and would be happy to go on her own, but we can’t spare the car.…

Prayer Rolls

Did you know that you can add a name to the Salt Lake Temple prayer roll by calling an 800 number? Our priesthood instructor mentioned this today, and it started me thinking again about the nature of prayer. And I…

Political Discourse

During this election season in the U.S., I have been troubled repeatedly by the tone of political discourse among my friends, in my community, on the internet, and in the mainstream media. I have been astonished by the extent to…

Sweet Boldness

The first part of this post is taken from a comment that I posted just after Elder Maxwell’s death. The story that follows those thoughts is new. During my mission, while serving in the office, I found notes of a…

Withdrawal of the Spirit

Here is a very simple question on which I have no priors: is there a difference between withdrawing from the Spirit and having the Spirit withdrawn? On the former, see Mosiah 2:36. On the latter, see Helaman 13:8. I can…

Confronting Religious Bigotry

This evening I was having dinner with a well-known professor of sociology from Stanford. Near the end of the dinner, he was discussing genetic research in Utah. He said the only problem is that the research is entirely focused on…

Jewish Standard Time?

I was running late for a meeting today when I encountered a staff member at the law school. When I explained quickly that I was 10 minutes late, she commented, “No problem. Jewish Standard Time.” Well, I thought it was…

So, what did you do today?

This is a 911 call in which one of my former colleagues at Lewis & Clark, Jack Bogdanski, is receiving instructions for assisting his wife in the delivery of their baby. This is absolutely incredible, and I dare you to…

A Matter of Taste

I just received an announcement for a talk next week in our business school. The title is “Practicing Polygamy with Good Taste: The Evolution of Inter-organizational Collaboration in the Life Sciences.” The paper on which the talk is based has…

Fairies & Ectoplasm

Over the past few weeks, I have been listening to a biography of Houdini as I drive to and from work. Among the many things that I have learned is that Houdini was acquainted with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator…

Racist by Association

More than once in my career, I have been told by colleagues that they had me wrong. They had assumed, because of my religion, that I had unkind feelings toward racial minorities. After observing me in various settings, however, they…

Countering Pornography

My impression is that pornography is a widespread problem among members of the Church. While women sometimes fall prey to its enticements, the overwhelming majority of pornography consumers are men. The perils of pornography are of particular concern for those…

Hobbies

Last week I had an interesting conversation with a young father in my ward about hobbies. He was lamenting the fact that he has none. He used to have hobbies, but the press of family, work, and Church has squeezed…

Are you embarrassed?

Many of you have heard about the latest sex scandal associated with BYU’s football program. For those who haven’t, four members of the football team are being investigated in connection with the following events: The 17 year old told detectives…

Temptation

In the thread on suicide below, several comments have raised this idea from 1 Cor. 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be…

Suicide

Not long ago, I sat in an emergency room with a friend who had been musing about suicide. My experiences with such matters are limited, but I wasn’t taking any chances. This man had lost his job and was being…

Dead Man Walking

Sister Helen Prejean, a Catholic nun, published Dead Man Walking in 1993. I am just finishing the book, which reinforces my long-held disdain for the death penalty. I have not seen the movie, but the book is a powerful accounting…