Bonsai

Bonsai tree

In one of the most profound scenes in The Karate Kid—a movie that fortunately has had no sequels or modern remakes, la la la la I can’t hear you—Daniel LaRusso comes upon Mr. Miyagi pruning his bonsai trees.

!!!?

As I’ve been re-reading talks from the latest general conference, something keeps standing out to me: the exclamation points. General authorities these days don’t shout when they give their talks. Had I been transcribing these talks when I listened to…

Gospel Haiku

A few years ago, a Texas lawyer named Keith Jaasma gained some notoriety for his poetry. Mr. Jaasma would take U.S. Supreme Court opinions and boil them down to haiku compositions that summed up the gist of the holding. For…

Stick With It

A couple of years ago I started a group project called the General Conference Odyssey. Along with some friends, I’m reading every General Conference that’s easily accessible on LDS.org (that means we’re starting with October 1971) and writing up my…

Mormon Retention and the Internet

A common belief, especially by critics, is that Mormon retention has fallen primarily due to the rise of the internet. The argument goes that with the internet becoming ubiquitous that people encounter troubling historical facts. Those facts then undermine their…

The Last 4,000 Years

The last 4,000 years of religious history, up to and resulting in us, can be described as a series of questions and answers, with each new question arising out of the previous answer over generations or centuries as the full…

What’s in a Name?

Like many others I found it hard to avoid the humor in the Church’s statement downplaying the use of LDS and Mormon. This isn’t the first time the Church has tried to get people to stop using such terms. Pres.…