Author: Jonathan Green

The King and Us

Today my wife visited a ward conference in Grafenwöhr, representing the stake YW presidency. As of today, Grafenwöhr is a US servicemen’s ward; until now it’s been a branch. For a meetinghouse, the ward rents a local hall. Before it…

Orthoglossy

The people of Zion were of one heart and one mind and dwelt in righteousness. Our goal is to be like them. Are we? It’s hard to be sure, since we can’t easily know what’s in another person’s heart.

Never look at the trombones

I largely agree with Kaimi’s thoughts on how the Church is usually content to let teachings and statements of earlier authorities fade into obsolescence through silence, rather than through any kind of formal pronouncement. But I think that the opposite,…

Bill Shrives

For forty years, Bill Shrives was a train signal supervisor for Southern Pacific Railroad. Every day, the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people depended on his doing his job conscientiously and correctly. As with nearly everyone who plays an…

Relic area

Once when I was a missionary district leader, one call to my zone leader went particularly badly. I was trying to get permission for my district to take a hike in the woods, essentially. (The difference between a hike in…

Religion class

I registered my two oldest children for school on Friday. The principal needed to know which church they belonged to so that he could assign them to the proper religion class. For a first and third grader attending public school…

Language and Belief

Linguistics, the study of language’s inner workings, is a source for concepts and technical vocabulary that are also useful for thinking about religion, because language and religion are both, among other things, mental constructs for making sense of the world…

I was a Benson Scholar

Towards the end of my time at BYU, a friend mentioned to me that he knew some Benson scholars (today we would say Hinckley scholars, or more generically, presidential scholars), and that they were all stuck up and full of…

The Adjunct Life

Two years ago, I came within twenty-four hours of abandoning my academic career before it started. None of the applications I had sent out had gone anywhere, I had completed my degree, and my department had no money to keep…

Taking Aim at Mormon Folklore

There has been some recent discussion of faith-promoting stories and other Mormon folklore, including its complex relationship to factual history, the difficulty of finding an original source, and the tension that skepticism can incite. My question is: if you can…