Year: 2009

Who Should Have Been Mormon of the Year, 1990-2007

This final of three posts, covers Times and Seasons reader Last Lemming’s suggestions for Mormon of the Year for the years 1990 through 2007. We already posted on Monday his picks for 1950 through 1969 and on Wednesday 1970 through 1989. I suspect as these posts get into more familiar and more recent territory, more of you will have comments and suggestions about who Last Lemming suggested and who should have been suggested instead.

Key to the Science of Unity

Our ward has been exploring the idea of Unity in our sacrament meeting talks this month, and I’ve heard the same attribution to Elder Dallin H. Oaks several times. It apparently comes from a “News of the Church” article in June 2007 which discusses the growing diversity in the Church. According to the article, Elder Oaks “said that the growing diversity among the members is simply a condition, not a Church goal. The real goal is unity, not diversity.” Perhaps’ I’m not listening closely enough, but the  discussions of this idea seem to have missed the balance of what was attributed to him in the article, in which Elder Oaks says, “We preach unity among the community of Saints and tolerance toward the personal differences that are inevitable in the beliefs and conduct of a diverse population.” In my view this is actually the key to unity (be it science or art). The key to unity is, in fact, the tolerance of diversity.

Regarding Carol Lynn Pearson

Over the holidays I discovered the poetry of Carol Lynn Pearson, which I have been enjoying. At times she spills over into the trite or saccharine, but on the whole I like it. There is nothing agonistic about it, which is the reason that Terryl Givens doesn’t much care for it. I think that he’s right, however, that by taking Emily Dickinson (another poetess I’ve recently started reading) as her model, the conciseness of her style frequently rescues her from smugness. At its best, there is an engaging naivete in her verse, a kind of simple purity that skates at the edge of being simplistic but manages not to be. At times there are even surprises. Consider this: ANOTHER BIRTH I did not bring The anticipation Of birth — Of forging my spirit With flesh. As the moment Neared, I think I held my breath (If spirits breathe) And made a Reverent plunge Into embodiment, Mortality. Yes — Even unremembering I know the Wonderment, The awe. For I stand staring At another birth That swells my heart With the hugeness Of beginnings. In a moment I am born as wife — Given another body And another life. As I began…

Sunday School Lesson Links

Owing to the fact that I am a moron, Jim F.’s excellent Doctrine and Covenants Sunday School lessons are inordinately hard to retrieve. Here are links to a few of them, and we’ll have the rest of them easy to get to by next week. Doctrine and Covenants Lesson 2 Doctrine and Covenants Lesson 3 Doctrine and Covenants Lesson 4 Doctrine and Covenants Lesson 5 Jim no longer posts at T&S, but he still reads here on occasion, so if you have nice things to say or helpful comments about any of these lessons, please feel free to post them below.

First Mormon Studies Fellowships Announced

Mormon Studies took another step forward this week with the announcement of two doctoral fellowships in Mormon Studies. Courtesy of the George S. and Delores Doré Eccles Foundation, the two fellowships will be awarded one a year this year and next. With any luck, the fellowships will be repeated in future years, assuming that they successfully lead to dissertations.

Commentary on 1 Nephi 17, pt. 1

This is the first of a series of posts in which I will be offering some commentary on 1 Nephi 17. Why that particular chapter you ask? The answer is that I believe that chapter 17 is setting forth a method of scriptural interpretation that proved to be very important both for the Book of Mormon and for Mormonism generally. Furthermore, what I find fascinating about the story is that ultimately it is about the legal interpretation of scripture.

“Twenty-Mark Note” Experiences

There is a certain category of life-experiences that I refer to as “Twenty-Mark Note” stories. The name for these experiences comes from a talk by the same name, given by President Packer at BYU-Idaho in 2002 (excerpted below).  I suspect that once you read President Packer’s remarks, you’ll immediately recall your own Twenty-Mark experiences:

The Road to the Temple

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 NPR recently did a story about a group of reporters’ visit to the newly constructed Draper Temple. The Draper Temple, by all appearances, is characteristically beautiful. I am as intrigued by the process of building a new temple, as I am by the end product itself. Some of the most marvelous stories from church history involve sacrifices that the Saints – ancient and modern – have made in order to build a House consecrated to the Lord. Unfortunately, the sacrifices and challenges that go into constructing a temple are often not immediately apparent, particularly to those of us living in North America. Looking at the process from the outside, temple construction is a very clean process – one which very few of us have any direct involvement with. Most of us only participate in temple construction through tithes and offerings. The physical experience of building a temple is missing, for most of us. That’s why I find the following photos chronicling some of the construction of the Aba Nigeria temple so inspiring. They remind me that temples are of such importance that we are willing to go to great lengths to ensure that members have access to them. A colleague at Church headquarters shared these pictures with…

Who Should Have Been Mormon of the Year, 1970-1989

This second of three posts, covers Times and Seasons reader Last Lemming’s suggestions for Mormon of the Year for the years 1970 through 1989. We already posted on Monday his picks for 1950 through 1969 and on Friday morning we will list his picks for 1990 through 2007. I suspect as these posts get into more familiar and more recent territory, more of you will have comments and suggestions about who Last Lemming suggested and who should have been suggested instead.

Welcome to Guest Blogger Sheldon G.

We’re due for an infusion of new blood here at T&S, so we’ve decided to roll out the red carpet for one Sheldon G. Sheldon got his undergraduate degree from the U of U, where he majored in history, wrote his senior thesis on the reactions of LDS women to the Correlation-related changes to the Relief Society, and took advantage of every possible opportunity to taunt and belittle BYU fans. Upon graduating, Sheldon attended law school at The George Washington University Law School, where he chaired the 2008 Religious Freedom Moot Court competition. After graduating in May 2008, Sheldon took a job with a major D.C. trade association. He now intends to accrue even more student debt by pursuing a Ph.D in Religious Studies, with a focus on the role of religion in the public square. More importantly, however, Sheldon and the woman who so admirably puts up with him are also expecting their second child this summer.

Who Should Have Been Mormon of the Year, 1950-1969

I received an unexpected and fun email message after we began selecting the 2008 Mormon of the Year from Times and Seasons reader Last Lemming, who had made his own selections for Mormon of the Year for each year since 1950! In this first of three posts, we will include his suggestions for the years 1950 through 1969. We will follow on Wednesday morning with his picks for 1970 through 1989 and on Friday morning for 1990 through 2007. I suspect as these posts get into more familiar and more recent territory, more of you will have comments and suggestions about who Last Lemming suggested and who should have been suggested instead.

The Totality of Mortality

When I picked up my manual to prepare to teach Gospel Doctrine this Sunday, I figured it would be a lesson about the spirit of Elijah (second week = section 2 = turning hearts, etc). I was surprised and delighted to find that Lesson 2 is instead about the atonement, highlighting powerhouse passages in Doctrine & Covenants sections 19, 76, 88, and 93. While reading the material I was reminded of a favorite quote from Chieko Okazaki on the topic and had a hankering to share it.

Times and Seasons 2008 Mormon of the Year: Mitt Romney

Image via Wikipedia After careful consideration, the staff of Times and Seasons has selected Mitt Romney as Mormon of the Year, our annual designation of the Mormon who had the greatest impact or influence on Mormons and Mormonism in 2008. During 2008 Romney concluded the most credible presidential campaign of any Mormon to date and dominated the U.S. national news early in the year like no single Mormon has in recent memory. He garnered a great deal of both praise and criticism, gaining him significant endorsements as well as important detractors. Remarkably, his supporters included many Evangelical Christians, which helped break down the unfortunate views of some Evangelicals toward Mormons. Also on the international scene, numerous press articles mentioned Romney’s membership in the Mormon Church, thus contributing to the image of the Church abroad. Romney was not merely a very visible Mormon, however; his Mormonism was a major influence on the course of his campaign, in both positive and negative ways. Many called for Romney to distance himself from his religion, as JFK had done many years earlier. Instead, Romney responded by articulating the values he shares with many other Americans, which his faith supports, and by articulating the importance…

Semiautomatic Madness

“Gun sales in the waning months of 2008 saw a dramatic spike in Utah, a trend gunowners say is propelled by the election of Barack Obama and a faltering economy . . . At Kearns’ Impact Guns, assault weapons, such as AR-15s and AK-47s are out-of-stock after a post-election rush.” Will someone please explain to me why any civilian would want or need an AK-47?

Vote for Mormon of the Year

This post opens the voting for Mormon of the Year. Votes will be taken until midnight Eastern Time on Monday, January 5th, at which time the voting will close. The voting mechanism will attempt to restrict votes to one per person. THE WINNER OF THE ONLINE VOTE IS NOT NECESSARILY THE MORMON OF THE YEAR!!!