Paul and Authority

Jana Reiss had up an interesting post last week where she suggested Mormons don’t know what to do with Paul as an apostle. In particular she claimed, “it’s discomfiting to realize that Paul’s apostleship was entirely of the self-proclaimed, charismatic…

Nephi’s Apocalypse

One of the most interesting, most popular, yet also quite controversial elements in the Book of Mormon is Lehi’s and Nephi’s vision. Some readers might agree with the interesting part but be surprised by the controversial part. This is after…

Handcarts and History

In many ways, handcarts have come to symbolize the Mormon pioneer experience. There are a few reasons for this. With the tragic experiences of the Willie and Martin handcart companies of 1856, the handcart companies are among the easiest group…

Mormon Life on the Moon

I’m old enough to remember the moon landing, 50 years ago today. And I’m old enough to admit that I thought humanity would be much farther along in exploring our nearest neighbor than we are. But I’m encouraged by recent…

The Neglected Louie B. Felt

RoseAnn Benson’s book Alexander Campbell and Joseph Smith: 19th-Century Restorationists compares the two best known and successful figures in the broad restorationist movement of the 19th century. While those familiar with Latter-day Saint history know the relationship between the two…

Your apocalyptic hymnbook

Hymns are useful evidence of religious practice. Hymns are a basic element of personal devotion, but at the same time the compilation of the hymnbook is carefully monitored by church leaders and the performance of hymns is modeled during the…

If this goes on—

If we wanted to hazard a guess at what the upcoming years and decades hold in store for the church in the United States, the decisive factors will likely be to what extent the country as a whole becomes more…

Some Abortion Thoughts

Abortion has been in the news of late. Given the polarized times we live in, particularly those of us in the United States, it’s perhaps unsurprising that states are pushing extreme bills. New York’s passed a very liberal law at…

God and Being

One of the big differences between our faith and traditional Christianity is over the question of Being. Being is one of those weird terms that confuses people studying philosophy. The idea is that “to be” whether within our conscious perception…

On the Honor Code

Let me state my priors on the honor code. I think it’s an important set of rules that really sets BYU apart from most other top universities. Yet simultaneously I worry the honor code office has been poorly run for…

Easter

I’m not big on religious holidays. I know some look at all the holy days of Catholicism or similar faiths with envy. I don’t. I’m definitely a minimalist when it comes to religious days. Yet since the first day I…