Author: Rory Swensen

Rory grew up in a small town in Utah east of Salt Lake City. He has been a lifelong member of the church and served a foreign-speaking mission to Georgia (the state, not the country), so he is fluent in both American English and Southern Drawl. He’s served in various callings, but his activity levels seem to fluctuate throughout the year with a surprisingly direct correlation to football season. He earns a living in the technology sector, but his interests range from history to philosophy to science – an eclectic mix that enables him to be wrong most of the time, but wrong with style. He and his wife Krista, both impenitent Parrotheads, have four children.

Credible Criticism

This weekend the interweb exploded with a post at Mormon Matters entitled Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8. In the ensuing discussion there, and in numerous discussions on Facebook, a debate erupted over whether the headline and the conclusions…

Writings in the Stone

Some years ago I sat in a Gospel Doctrine class taught by a physician. I mention his profession because I think it matters, as he took the opportunity to deviate from the lesson and condemn in the strongest terms the…

Our New Look

So, Times and Seasons is sporting a new look. But rest assured, while the packaging has changed we are not tinkering with the secret formula that creates the sweet, slightly acidic, but oh-so-refreshing content inside. This new design is – …

Charter for Compassion

In February, 2008, noted religious author Karen Armstrong was awarded the TED Prize, and her wish for the world was to gather a council of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and other spiritual leaders to draw up a “Charter for Compassion.”

The Road

The persistence of love between a father and a son. Our most cherished relationships, our strongest commitments, laid bare in a book and a movie.

My Teen Swears in the Name of Art

They immersed themselves in the characters and, by so doing, opened the door to deeply significant conversations between the cast, their parents, and the community. Artistic explorations have the power to touch us deeply, in ways that detached discussion about concepts cannot.

Spiritual Pickpockets

Does God want you to be rich? Certainly! If you believe Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, preaching their form of Prosperity Theology. They are the focus of an August 15 article at the New York Times. (H/T BCC)

8 Seconds

I entered a rodeo once (and if you know me, you know how absurd that is). I rode a bull in the very arena that we watched the bull riders this weekend. It was my only rodeo, and I dominated that bull for the full 8 seconds.

Brotherhood. Friendship.

Key to this is our ability to strip ourselves of pretense; to lay bare our faults, our doubts, and our struggles. It is a refreshing – and frightening – experience to be completely candid, to trust the others within the group to listen and respect our experiences, even as they candidly respond and criticize. It can be brutal at times, but behind that brutality is always a sense of love and friendship.

Musings on Drifting Faith

The question becomes not if our policies and teachings will adapt, but rather how. And further, what statements are we making today – strident and bombastic – for which we will be judged tomorrow? Statements and positions that our future generations will be pressed to reconcile, to explain, or to disavow?

Speaking of Faith

Religion can be divisive. We read of historical confrontations and we witness the divisiveness in the world around us – between major world religions and among the sectarian branches they foster. But while religion and faith claims can be divisive,…

The Ninety-Nine and the One

It isn’t easy to be inconvenienced, especially when we are asked to tolerate the views or the actions of the other, and love them too! It would be easier to ignore them, cast them out, keep things easy and pure. But that isn’t the plan.