Glenn Beck, the soapbox orator of cable television, has done more, save Sheri Dew only, for the greatness of Mormon literature, than any other person that ever lived.
Each anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is a bit embarrassing for me.
If we accept, at least for the moment, that 1 Nephi has a textual history, that it drew on older sources or underwent expansion at various times, then we might wonder what could be considered the oldest layer of the text
My basic problem with Blake Ostler’s expansion theory is that it approaches via intellectual history what is at heart a problem in textual history
In How to Kill a Dragon, the Indo-Europeanist Calvert Watkins defines formulas as “set phrases which are the vehicles of themes.”
If you’re interested in an oral-formulaic theory of Mormon prayer, or if you want to observe a formula in its natural habitat, a good place to start would be Sunday dinner
A brotherly reader writes: I recently had a chance to watch the new French film Banlieue 13: Ultimatum, which as far as these things go is a pretty good action flick
If you want to find a unique Mormon tradition of verbal art, you should listen to Mormons pray
With Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker, we have another Mormon writer of speculative fiction with something to say about marriage. Warbreaker manages to capture some ironies that won’t be lost on readers who have noted the discrepancy between the ideal of eternal marriage, and the reality of the dating scene at BYU.
From the air, the German neighborhood where we lived until last year seems decidedly un-American
One of the things people find odd about Mormons is our claim to be led by a prophet.
The Mormon Church does not want even its own members to know how to pronounce Shimnilom
The Book of Mormon is a reliquary in prose. In some extensive sections and at some critical moments, what drives the narrative is the question: how did a set of golden plates, a steel sword, a ball of curious workmanship, a breastplate, and two translucent stones end up inside a stone box buried in a hill in the state of New York? For a religion that attaches little to no significance to relics, it’s striking that large sections of our distinctive book of scripture are concerned with the provenance—the origin and the later cultural significance—of a particular set of holy artifacts.
What will it be like for a marriage to continue past death into the eternities? What does it mean to have a perfected body, or to love an eternal being? Stephenie Meyer has an answer. Breaking Dawn, the last novel in her Twilight series, presents a sustained and vividly imagined view of one of the core elements of Mormon personal salvation. [This post is going to discuss all the details of Breaking Dawn, including how it ends, so please stop reading now if you don’t want to know.]
One of the subterranean threads running throughout the Book of Mormon is the mystery of whose bones are heaped upon the land northward.
On the issues I care about (and therefore not including the topic addressed from various perspectives so eloquently by my esteemed colleagues), I prefer the positions of the Democratic Party platform and candidate. I directly benefited from Barack Obamaâ€™s work as a state senator while I lived in Illinois, he seems to know what heâ€™s talking about on important issues, and it looks like he ran a pretty competent campaign. For my taste, McCain and Palin didnâ€™t offer much more than the politics of fear and resentment, and they seemed more likely to stay trapped in the conflicts of the twentieth century than their opponents. I know itâ€™s fashionable to affect hand-wringing uncertainty about choosing between two candidates, but I cast my vote for Obama with unmitigated enthusiasm. Who did you vote for?
Most online discussions of gay marriage are not worth the effort, because no actual discussion takes place
Iâ€™m very happy to see this yearâ€™s Nobel Prize in economics going to Paul Krugman, whose columns in the New York Times helped me see the importance of the discipline of economics as nothing else ever had. I think Mormon scholarship could use more scholars like Paul Krugman (quite apart from the Nobel and the weekly NYT column)
Every medium has an inherent vice. While any form of media can be misused, there is a flaw lurking in the fundamental nature of each medium. Television exaggerates fear, as it transmits the worst events or most scandalous entertainment from the outside world into our homes. Movies indulge our self-deluding fantasies of escape or celebrity. Radio encourages the presumption, in the secrecy of our private chambers, that we sing and dance every bit as good as Milli Vanilli. The inherent vice of the Internet is shame
One unique aspect of the missionary experience, quite distinct from life before and after, is the feeling that someone is always watching you. Itâ€™s probably the one aspect of my mission that I could have done without, although I wouldnâ€™t say that it was entirely unproductive.
From Steven Vanden Broecke, The Limits of Influence
What if the historical evidence for the foundation of the early Christian church is indistinguishable from evidence for its apostasy? What if the early church and its scriptures only arose through processes of decay?
According to an article in the New York Times today, evidence of Jewish belief in a resurrected Messiah decades before Christâ€™s birth may have been discovered.
The temple plays a role in the social life of European Mormons that is significantly different in a couple of ways from the usual American experience.
Unless Iâ€™m carrying boxes, Iâ€™m probably not actually helping anybody.
Comments are now open Is a Mormon universalism possible? Or in other words, is it possible for Mormons to envision their faith as one of many efficacious paths to God? I have my doubts, but maybe there is an argument to be made
At the end of my junior year of high school, I caught a glimpse of my graduating student body president one last time
There are advantages to attending a ward too small for fixed wooden benches in the chapel
From the international annals of overachieving singing and dancing Mormons The Mormon moment for the Eurovision Song Contest came in 1984