Blog Archives

Nurturing Humor

May 25, 2008
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Currently there are four active humor blogs in the Bloggernacle. The Snark! Latte Day Saints Trash Calls The 9th Ward Amazingly, all of them delete material that someone considers personally offensive if you just politely contact them. I try to regularly read them, and used to comment. Since all entities or groups will draw satire or humor, we can either nurture what we like or reinforce what we don’t by the way we react. Like many things, our choice is not in whether or not humor (like adversity) will exist, merely what shape it will take. Do some good in…

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Shadows and Spirituality

May 22, 2008
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It seems, sometimes, that the lessons I learned on my mission are the ones I see again and again. One of the things I learned was the difference between spirituality, religiosity and emotionalism.

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Dealing with feelings of betrayal — when your spouse apostatizes

May 17, 2008
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I end up talking with people on this theme several times a year. There are people who feel terribly betrayed. Especially when a spouse leaves the gospel. Apostatizes.

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Affliction (final post in the series)

May 11, 2008
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The last part of the picture that frames affliction ties into the purpose of life.  The only true affliction would be something that denied us access to life’s purpose, which is for us to gain bodies that can be resurrected. We would be truly afflicted if after birth we were denied death.  Nothing else really gets in our way. Now is there more to life?

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Believing Christ

May 9, 2008
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Christ said: Ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.” D&C 64:9 (cf Matthew 6:15; 18:35; et al). Do you have enough faith to believe Christ? If you do, then what did he mean?

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an ad litem’s request

April 20, 2008
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The ad litem sends thanks for the input.

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Life and Affliction (part two with another to come)

April 5, 2008
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An older friend of mine remarked that time seems to fly by now. She quipped that it felt like she was changing the sheets every morning. As you close on eight years old, a month is about the same part of your life that a year is in your nineties. At her age, changing the sheets once a week really has become subjectively changing them every morning in the time frame of when she was younger. That comment made me think about the way time would dilate for me if I was a couple thousand years old. Or how it…

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Deconstruction and the Book of Mormon Part 3

March 15, 2008
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Orson Scott Card has written some on King Mosiah, but I’ve got another point. He flees the land of their first inheritance. He arrives in the midst of a people who have fought many wars. Next thing you know, and the narrative doesn’t mention it at all, a Nephite faction leaves to go back, because they think they are strong enough to retake their homeland. That they come to grief surprises no one, but what should take your attention is that they think they can do it at all. Think: Mosiah, Benjamin, Mosiah, three kings, in parallel, somewhat, to the…

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Trials

March 9, 2008
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Every so often I meet someone who has chipped a nail and then concludes as a result that there is no God or that God is not good. While there are variations on the theme, the bottom line is that the person has noticed adversity and decided that there is a level of adversity that is “too much” and from which they conclude that faith is vain.

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Scouting is a What?

March 5, 2008
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By the 1980s the Church had clear and convincing statistical evidence that Scouting had no net positive effect on the long term success of LDS youth (using gospel markers such as temple marriage and missions) or on their activity rates. Several efforts were made to look for replacements. More than twenty years later, the last “counseling” session between a member of the Seventy and local leadership in Oregon finished with one of the brothers asking for the Church to just scrap the Scouts and to use the Young Women’s program until further notice. You might ask, what has happened and…

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Why we need more apostates

February 27, 2008
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Explosive Church growth has had a real impact on one of the core experiences many LDS had growing up — knowing apostates.  The lack of them hampers us and in many ways we need more apostates. After all, it used to be that everyone, while growing up, would know at least one ex-apostate, someone who had left the Church and returned. Sure, the bloggernacle has some (e.g. Bookslinger), but someone on-line is a poor substitute for having someone in your ward or stake that you get to know and interact with.  So we have a need for more apostates.

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A style of our own

February 25, 2008
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Whenever I heard about a “style of our own” I thought back to Moroni’s robe and David O McKay’s vision of the City of God.  When I mentioned that I got accused of just wanting clothing that let me see into the bosoms of others, and a friend quipped up that he was interested in a dress code that banned underwear. But seriously, why aren’t we dressed like the angels, why don’t we encourage men to go unshaven, to reject “the great unisex conspiracy” that C. S. Lewis said came of the devil and resulted in the apostasy of shaving?…

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A guide to edifying Others

February 23, 2008
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It is easy to realize that you are right and everyone else is wrong.  A number of people have asked just what they should do about that once they realize the gross errors the rest of the world has fallen into and the way the world is sinning against them.  The following is a guide.

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Deconstructing the Book of Mormon, Part Two

February 17, 2008
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Deuteronomy 15:12-15 “in the seventh year, you shall let him go free from you …” or 16-18 “be your servant forever”

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God is a What?!

February 14, 2008
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So many people think they know exactly who and what God is. Most of what they base their certainty on is a combination of logic and a small collection of sources. Very little of what I see is based on interviews with either God or a wide cross section of those who have had recent contact with God. I’ve already written about what metaphor fits the Church, now I’m going to write about God.

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The Church is a “what”?

February 4, 2008
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I’ve a friend who is a linguist who often addresses things by asking people to find metaphors for them. It is interesting to ask people just what the Church is, not descriptively, but metaphorically. Something that is extremely accurate, I’ve found, is to compare the Church to a flotilla of barges, being sailed to a destination. Slow, dependent on the wind, dealing with tides and currents, with turbulence issues around the edges.

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Deconstructing the Book of Mormon, Introduction

February 1, 2008
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While in law school I had the chance to talk with Jack Welch about the kingmen in the Book of Mormon. From that discussion in 1980, I started to apply the tools of deconstruction to the text of the Book of Mormon. There is an amazing amount of perspective that can be found by taking the Book of Mormon as what it claims to be and then looking into the text to see what the text says for itself.

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Joseph Smith, On His Own Terms

January 29, 2008
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In studying Joseph Smith in the 1970s I was struck by how often Joseph Smith would remind the brethren that they did not know as much as they thought they did. He was also clear that he was much more human than they thought and that he did not know as much as he hoped to know or thought he did. He was sharply aware that his knowledge was limited by his language, his experience and his context and that what he could teach and communicate was further limited by the language, experience and contest of his listeners. He also…

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Polygamy, what it really implies (Part Two)

January 23, 2008
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Leaving aside the implications of polygamy as to the lessened value of males to society and to families, the other question that arises is just what is polygamy? While some are bothered by the fact that Joseph Smith engaged in polygamy, others are perturbed by the fact that he had so few children by anyone other than his first wife. As the recent DNA studies reflect, he and Emma buried more children than the other women had with Joseph between them.

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As Christ Noted

January 17, 2008
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The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. I thought I’d also note that the same is true of the Church. The Church was made for man, not man for the Church. The purpose of the Church is to support us in seeking God. I guess it is easy for people to forget that, but in approaching the Church it is important to realize that it is only a support structure, a tool, designed to help us become Saints. I’ll do my second half on polygamy next week, but in the context of a number of posts,…

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