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.

Pushing Toward the Temple

A while back, Dave asked about possible narratives to structure 20th or 21st century Mormons. Another way of thinking about this question is how we bridge between modern experience and our historical narratives. We need not only new stories but…

Homework from Richard Bushman

This summer I had the chance to participate in a workshop at BYU put together by Richard Bushman. Bushman wanted to gather together Mormon academics working outside of Utah to discuss the question of how we explain Mormonism. My own…

A Homosexual Duty to Marry?

I know that this is controversial for some readers, but for purposes of this discussion stipulate that same-sex marriage in wrong. As an institutional shift it will damage the institution of marriage in ways that will harm society in the…

Where do I find “Official” History?

The tension between “official” Mormon history and other sorts of Mormon history is a central narrative for a lot of Mormon intellectual discussion. D. Michael Quinn, for example, who is a fabulously tenacious researcher at times seems to have little…

The Gathering

When Moroni first appeared to Joseph Smith, he quoted a number of scriptures, including Malachi’s prophesy that “And he [ie the Lord] shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of…

The Creation of Mormon Lawyers

Brigham Young and Joseph Smith had some very harsh things to say about lawyers, but from the beginning, Mormon attorneys sought to create an ecclesiastical identity for themselves other than that of lying tricksters bent on stirring up litigation.

The Bushman Moment

Richard Bushman’s recent appearance at a Pew Forum conference on Mormonism and Democratic Politics has got me thinking about the role of scholars of Mormonism in shaping the religious news coverage swirling around Mitt Romney’s candidacy. I decided to do…

It’s a Girl!

Earlier today, Elizabeth Rose Oman was born in Richmond, Virginia. Both Heather and the baby are doing well. Elizabeth is 8 lbs 2 oz and 21 inches long. Labor lasted for 18 hours, and we are very glad that she…

Mormon Courts

For the last six months of so, I have been doing a lot of research on nineteenth-century Mormon courts. Earlier today I presented some of my preliminary research to the law school faculty at William & Mary. For those who…

Tongues in Court

In doing research on 19th century church courts, I recently came across a legal issue that I haven’t seen before: What exactly is the evidentiary value of speaking in tongues?

Javelin Man

I consider my brother-in-law to be a twisted genius (in a good, vaguely Wierd-Al-Yankovich sort of way). I am happy to say that the fruits of his desire to be a rock star, his labors as a scriptorian (his favorite…

A Sermon from My Past

I recently came across a talk delivered in church by a missionary in 1994 who was about to depart for Pusan, Korea via the MTC. It was interesting (and a little mortifying) to read the words of my past self.…