Tag: LDS

Called to leave

My grandmother, mother, and I all served missions, so I was delighted when my firstborn announced her intention to serve, submitted her papers, received her call. Little did I know.

A Thomas Jefferson Education?

UPDATE (8/12/13):  When I wrote this post, I had no idea what was going on “behind the scenes.”  Please be sure to read this–it concerns accusations of fraud against DeMille and his ouster from GWC.   For the uninitiated, Thomas Jefferson Education (hereafter TJE) is a method of homeschooling–a method very popular among Mormons.

A Bastion of Mormonism

Being mildly depressed about blogging at the moment, I decided to go trolling for a “good news” story to post. Here it is, a story about SVU from the SL Trib: “A bastion of Mormonism in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.”

Faith and Fame

Faith and fame aren’t always an easy mix, but Mormons who hit the big time seem to be able to hold it together most of the time. At least that’s the thrust of “How Mormons Deal With Fame” at the LDS Newsroom, discussing, among other names we all recognize, the 17-year-old phenom David Archuleta.

Love Thy Neighbor … or Not

I don’t read to the end of many online essays anymore — either most writing is dull and pointless or I have developed blog-induced attention deficit disorder, you decide which. But I read “Love Thy Neighbor: The religion beat in an age of intolerance” at the Columbia Journalism Review start to finish (hat tip: Get Religion).

Apostasy and the Dark Ages

Do these concepts have anything to do with each other? Apparently some Mormons think they do, hence Davis Bitton’s corrective essay “How Dark Were the Dark Ages?” (conveniently reposted at Meridian Magazine).

From the Archives: My Gifts (Whitsunday Reflections)

Today is Whitsunday on the Christian liturgical calendar, a holiday in honor of the Day of Pentecost. Not quite four years ago, in June of 2005, I wrote something about the gifts demonstrated on that day, and about those–decidedly less spetacular–gifts which I believe I have. I’m somewhat proud of it; I think it is one of the more honest things I’ve ever written about myself. The text is below; you might want to check out the comments on the original post as well.

Heimskringla and historicity

There’s a reasonable chance that all efforts to situate the Book of Mormon over the last 180 years, geographically, culturally, and chronologically, are based on the Nephite version of the Donation of Constantine. But first, let’s talk about Odin.

Some Notes on Religious Freedom from the Former USSR

An old friend of mine (a former bishop, for whatever that’s worth) whom I keep in touch with by e-mail has spent much of the past decade working for the U.S. government in different capacities in Russia and Ukraine. In response to some recent news items regarding limits on visas to the former Soviet Union, I asked him to comment on how the church and the missionary program is fairing there. This is what he has to say. For security reasons, he asked that I post it without his name attached.

Ladies first?

Some bloggernacle women were troubled by the order of the solemn assembly: First, the Priesthood voted (all the way down to the 12-year-olds); they were followed by the women’s organizations. In a comment at FMH, Exponent blog’s Maria notes, “By having women vote after the Aaronic priesthood, it seemed as if the implication was made that those 12 year old boys either preside over or are more important than the women of the RS, including the General RS presidency. Either way, the message is harmful. I worry about the way this could make women and young women in the church feel.” Is it inherently harmful to have women follow men in sustaining the leader?

The Myth of Evolution and the Myth of the Fall

Noah Millman concedes that the science of evolution is not incompatible with the truth of Christianity. But, he argues, the myth of evolution is incompatible with the myth of Christianity. I think science does have implications for the persuasiveness of specific religious doctrines, simply as a psychological matter. And I think evolution through natural selection is extremely uncongenial to the central Christian story about the nature of sin and evil in the world. Why? Because the Christian story has the entry of strife into the world come about as the result of human sin, whereas the core idea behind evolution by natural selection is that our existence – and the consciousness and ability to sin that comes with it – is a product of strife. Put bluntly: natural selection is not the mechanism that the Christian deity would use to create man in His image. Or, if it is, I’d like to see the explanation.

The Case of the Missing Pioneer

Most people with even a general sense of the Mormon pioneers are familiar with their “roadometer,” a set of cog wheels fastened to a wagon wheel, which measured and recorded distance traveled without the need for a human observer to count the revolutions of the wheel.

Love and skepticism

When Christ was sending out his disciples to work as missionaries, he told them “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16) Latter-day Saints need to be wiser when dealing with the wolves among us.

Noah’s flood in light of the Restored Gospel

There was an interesting post in September 2007 about a Dialogue article discussing the usual interpretation of the flood of Noah as being scientifically implausible. A couple of comments touched upon, but did not fully explicate, the way that the scriptures of the Restored Gospel and other insights from Joseph Smith can suggest a more scientifically feasible interpretation of Noah’s flood.

Mormons in the Military

About 15 years ago I wrote a short piece for a Sunstone Symposium panel on the topic of Mormons in the Military. It was focused on my personal experiences as a Latter-day Saint dealing with the armed forces rules on religion and the chaplains specifically. A number of things have developed since then, so it seems worthwhile to revisit the topic and elicit readers’ own experiences.

“Well Known Facts”

This week while we’re hearing lurid tales from Tom Green County, Texas, it is worthwhile to remember exactly how ugly were the lies once printed about our own people, some of them told unashamedly by federal appointees and officers of the 19th century court.