Year: 2005

Why do I believe? And what do I believe?

I’ve had some discussions with a few good friends recently about testimony and belief. As a result, tonight I felt the need to set down, for my own good (and perhaps others’) my own testimony. My testimony ebbs and flows, and I suppose that at present, it’s a bit unorthodox. But I don’t know that there’s any one right way to believe.

The Fellowship of the Plates

I grew up without a clear visual picture of Book of Mormon battles. The stories did not analogize well to the little television that I watched. Arnold Friberg’s illustrations lent my only visual reference points; imagination provided the rest. My children, however, will almost certainly perceive large portions of the Book of Mormon — particularly the battle stories — through the cinematic lens of Peter Jackson.

An Unnatural Birth Advocate

There are plenty of natural birth advocates out there–I know because I keep having to plaster a vapid smile on my face when they spout half-truths and didactical opinions at social gatherings. I’ve yet to meet an avowed unnatural birth advocate, so I’ve decided to take up that mantle for myself. So, if you are pregnant, or might be some day, here are some thoughts on why you might not want to have a natural childbirth.

From the Archives: An Open Letter to the Dialogue Board

The most recent issue of Dialogue reprinted a post from this blog — “An Open Letter to the Dialogue Board” — noting that the online discussion created by the post generated more than 130 comments. I hope that the mention in Dialogue created some interest in the Bloggernacle among its readers. I am also flagging the original thread once again for those Dialogue readers who might be interested in reading or continuing the discussion. Welcome to the Bloggernacle! (more…)

A Day Without Sin

Several months ago, while I was still practicing law, I had an interesting conversation with a friend at my (now former) law firm: Would it be possible to go a day without sin? We quickly concluded that it would be quite difficult; there was (and is) an awful lot of sin in our daily routines.

Faith without baptism

Blogger John Redelfs continues his unique brand of gospel interpretation, arguing in a recent blog post that people not baptized as LDS church members do not have faith in Christ. That idea seems wrong for many reasons.

RSR: Walter van Beek on Joseph Smith

[This review has been provided by special arrangement to Times and Seasons by Walter E. A. van Beek, an anthropologist and scholar of religion and culture at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.] O Lord; thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed; I am in derison daily, everyone mocketh me. Jeremiah 20:7.

RSR reviews collected

With four excellent reviews here on T&S, as well as other discussions around the bloggernacle, you may think you’re covered as far as initial responses to Rough Stone Rolling.

Rough Stone Rolls Into Times and Seasons

Since its release, Richard Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling has been the subject of conference sessions, media reports, bloggernacle essays and academic conversations far and wide. Seeking to engage Bushman in a sustained and interactive conversation about this compelling new biography of Joseph Smith, we are pleased to announce a symposium running this week at Times and Seasons. Watch for a new review of the book to appear every day with a response from Bushman to follow. To introduce the symposium and provide a contrast to the coming reviews we thought it might be of interest to offer a window into what sorts of questions Rough Stone Rolling is raising for some non-LDS scholars. Last month at the annual meetings of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, one session was entirely devoted to responding to Bushman’s book. Here is the gist of what these scholars had to say.

The Greatest Virtue on Earth

Last general conference, our prophet spoke the following sentence: ” I think X may be the greatest virtue on earth, and certainly the most needed.” What is X? Perhaps you remember it from the talk. If not, and if you wish to humor me for a minute with some participatory blogging, then try this for an exercise: Think over the sentence for a minute, and write down your three or four best possible answers for X. Think you’ve got it? Click through for further discussion.

St. Nicholas’ Day

When I was growing up, we always celebrated St. Nicholas’ Day (December 6th). As I child, it was all about my glee in getting my stocking filled weeks before my friends would get any holiday loot. But as a parent, I’ve found this to be a wonderful holiday to celebrate–one that provides a counterpoint to the Christmas hoopla.

Conversion, Culture, and Buying Members

The mufti here in Bishkek spoke at a conference on religious tolerance a few days ago. He has recently returned from a trip to the United States and said that if Muslims want Islam to be more respected in America, Muslim countries need to allow religious freedom in their own countries.

Progress Report

So we’re supposed to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year. That’s not so hard. In fact, I read the first chapter today. One down, eight to go. Now what’s so difficult about that?