Author: Nate Oman

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah (autobiographical blogging here), and attended Brigham Young University from 1993 to 1999. Between 1994 and 1996, I served in the Korea Pusan Mission. While at BYU, I mainly studied political science and philosophy. (I was lucky enough to take several classes from T&S's Jim Faulconer.) I also took just enough economics to get myself in trouble. After graduation, I married the fabulous and incredible Heather Bennett (now Oman) and worked on Capitol Hill for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) while Heather finished graduate school at George Washington University. Beginning in 2000, I attended Harvard Law School, escaping with my JD in June, 2003. After practicing law for awhile, I became a law professor at William & Mary Law School. Somewhere along the line, Heather and I managed to have a son and a daughter.

The English Nature of the Mormon Constitution

The Church has a certain amount of constitutional law, by which I mean norms and rules that govern and control its institutional structure. What is the nature of this constitutional law? I would submit that the Church ends up being more English than American. Priesthood quorums illustrate why this is so.

Against the Teachings of the Prophets

I strongly, strongly disapprove of the teachings of the prophets and it is all John A. Widstoe’s fault. Now just for the record, I think that John A. Widstoe is a very cool guy. Indeed, when people ask me about my goatee, I always respond that I am simply trying to look like Widstoe. (Which as it happens, is true.) But he really set a bad precedent, in my opinion, for how we present the words of the prophets.

The Bankruptcy Code on the Nature of Tithing

The bankruptcy code has some deep things to say about the nature of tithing. In order to understand why, we have to take a little detour through the nature of bankruptcy law and couple of technicalities in the code. Bear with me on this, and I promise that there are some fun questions at the end.

Dilettantism and Salvation

[WARNING: This post contains self-indulgent navel gazing. Read at your own risk.] When I was in college, I bought into the liberal arts position, hook line and sinker. It has left me tortured by regret. Fortunately, Mormonism alleviates much of my anxiety that my education has basically been a train wreck.

“Wise Men” and Originalism

Many a conservative Mormon lawyer that I know is fond of those scriptures in the Doctrine & Covenants the exalt the place of the U.S. Constitution. Let me suggest, however, that this is less important for constitutional law than many of them assume.

A Mormon Washington Post?

Among other reasons that I like living in Washington DC is the Washington Post. It is on occasion of course a partisan rag, but, hey, it is my partisan rag. It is certainly much better than the trash that they read in some city farther up the coast. The world might have been different, however, had the Post gone Mormon. Apparently it almost did.

Why Aren’t There Economists in Mormon Studies?

The patron saint of the New Mormon History – Leonard Arrington – started his academic life as an economist, but interestingly economists have been on the whole absent from Mormon studies. Given the presence of philosophers, sociologists, and – of course – gobs of historians, the lack of followers of the dismal science is striking.

How Corporations Saved the United Order (kind of)

One of the great advantages of blogging is that you can ramble on regardless of whether or not what you are saying is of any interest to anyone else. Hence this post. I feel it is time that we had the discussion that you have all be waiting for: The one on real estate leases, corporate law, and the United Order.

Called to Criticism

A couple of weeks ago, the mail man braught me my long awaited copy of the first volume of B.H. Roberts’s Seventies’ Course in Theology. As you can imagine, it has been a heady time around the Oman household. In reading it, I came across what I am sure would be Aaron Brown’s dream calling:

Chess, Computers, and Spiritual Knowledge

As part of my on-going attempt to convince myself that my chess reading is not a complete waste of time (even for my chess-playing ability!), I offer the following thoughts on the important relationship between chess strategy, computers, and spiritual knowledge.

LDS Perspectives on the Law: Part I

In response to Gordon’s post below, I am going to sketch out some of my thoughts on how one might bring Mormonism and legal thought together. The first step, I think, is to become aware of the attempts that have already been made to do so.

Morphy, Steinitz & Mormonism

Paul Morphy was a New Orleans born chess genius who wowed the world (or at least that small and geeky portion of it that cares about chess) with his aggressive and imaginative play in the decade before the Civil War.