Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness

May 21, 2008
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A guest post by our friend Ray I view the purpose of this life as becoming like Jesus was in His mortal life – and the purpose of the next life as becoming like Christ is now in His post-mortal life. For me, everything else (specific doctrine, intellectual understanding, nuanced discussions of exegesis, whatever) is secondary to that.

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People Who Helped Me Stay Mormon Part II: Roger Keller

May 21, 2008
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People Who Helped Me Stay Mormon Part II: Roger Keller

There are BYU professors, and there are BYU professors. Brother Keller is in a class by himself. His life story alone fascinates me. Converted to the church as a young adult,

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Is there always a Trigger before Revelation? – James Leverich

May 20, 2008
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Is there always a Trigger before Revelation? – James Leverich

I’ve always felt in my own life there needs to be a need before I get divine help or inspiration. For example if I’m having problems with patience with my children or wife at home, I pray that I will have more patience and try to get more understanding for my lack of patience. Patience is the need or trigger.

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Evidences and Reconciliations 5/19/08

May 19, 2008
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I intend this to be the first entry in a regular series, something you can look forward to on a Monday afternoon. Like all series, we can shift the air time around if necessary, like if I’m competing with American Idol or something. Here’s the idea: I post two contradictory passages from scripture or statements by authoritative LDS folks (that’s the evidences part) and you suggest how they can be harmonized, or were never in conflict in the first place, etc. (that’s the reconciliations part). The title is taken from John A. Widtsoe’s regular column in the Improvement Era where,…

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“Knowing” & Other Leaps of Faith

May 19, 2008
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I’ve been thinking lately that perhaps the greatest difference between Mormons along all points of the spectrum is not the degree of faith they have in God, or Joseph Smith, or the Church, or its leaders, but rather, is in the degree of faith they have in themselves.

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The Book of Mormon: For Our Day

May 18, 2008
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Ezra Taft Benson taught that “the Book of Mormon … was written for our day. The Nephites never had the book; neither did the Lamanites of ancient times. It was meant for us. … Each of the major writers of the Book of Mormon testified that he wrote for future generations. … If they saw our day and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon? We should constantly ask ourselves, ‘Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his…

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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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Offenders for a Word, Part 2 – Do Mormons Worship Jesus?

May 17, 2008
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In my last post I wrote about how we are all forced to take a thought and translate it into words and that this is a sloppy and imperfect process. To make matters worse, the person that has to take those words and decode them back into a thought will fail to do so correctly in many cases because they’ll get stuck on the words used, either because they don’t realize words have many meanings or because they have incentive to misunderstand. In this post, I want to apply what we’ve discussed to a real life situation: Bruce R. McConkie’s…

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What Would Jesus Buy – Come Confess Your Shopping Sins!

May 16, 2008
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Mickey Mouse is the Anti-Christ!!! NOW….hold up your credit card to the screen

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New Same-Sex Marriage Ruling; Same Old Polygamy Stereotypes

May 16, 2008
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New Same-Sex Marriage Ruling; Same Old Polygamy Stereotypes

Unless your last name is Van Winkle, you likely already know that, yesterday afternoon, the California Supreme Court concluded that the state’s law prohibiting same-sex marriage (SSM, for short) is unconstitutional. Put more simply, in 30 days, SSM will be a reality in California. For those of us here on the Left Coast, things are about to get very interesting. Within hours of the ruling, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, without a hint of irony, told a gathering of reporters: “I plan to marry as many people as I can.” Like many others, I’m still working my way through the…

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A Child’s Prayer: Are we doing enough?

May 15, 2008
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  Are we satisfied just paying tithing and fast offerings?

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People Who Helped Me Stay Mormon Part I: Jeff Burton

May 15, 2008
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People Who Helped Me Stay Mormon Part I: Jeff Burton

Before John Dehlin, there was Jeff Burton.

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An Hour of Peace and Rest

May 14, 2008
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I usually enjoy going to church. I look forward to it, despite talks that are occasionally less-than-dazzling, overly-perfumed women in the pew in front of me, and the family in the third row that refuses to take their baby out, even when she screams during the sacrament. There’s one pet peeve, though, that irritates me every week. Drives me crazy. Every week without fail. The noise level in the chapel before the meeting starts. Sometimes I feel more like I’m at a football game than at church.

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R-LOVE-ution

May 14, 2008
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R-LOVE-ution

PRESS PLAY AND THEN READ. Creating Zion requires 2 things: 1) A Vision of what it is like 2) Faith we can achieve it.

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Give Said the Little Revenue Stream

May 13, 2008
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Give Said the Little Revenue Stream

Do Mormons do less charitable giving due to the commitment of paying tithing? Three months of the year, you can rest assured there will be garage sales popping up like mushrooms all over Utah. Why do Mormons enjoy selling their own castoffs and searching for “bargains” among other castoffs rather than donating these items to charity?

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James Madison on the Inadequateness of Language

May 12, 2008
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I deeply apologize for having three posts nearly in a row, but while doing research for my “Offenders for a Word” series, I came across this incredible quote from the Federalist Papers but couldn’t realistically include it in my posting. So I wanted to post it separately because it’s so good.

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How Progressive Mormons Are Actually Retro Mormons

May 12, 2008
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How Progressive Mormons Are Actually Retro Mormons

In the year 2035, how will Mormon beliefs compare to previous generations? If “progressive” Mormons have their way, Mormon beliefs in 2035 will more closely resemble Mormon beliefs of a century earlier.

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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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Offenders for a Word – Part 1 – Is Jesus God?

May 10, 2008
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I love words – I love to read, write, talk – but I think words leave out almost everything. That [is] frustrat[ing]… feeling that what we can share with other people is so much more limited than what we actually experience… (link)– Jaron Lanier Oh, Lord, deliver us in due time from the little, narrow prison, almost as it were, total darkness of paper, pen, and ink; – and a crooked, broken, scattered and imperfect language. — Joseph Smith (History of the Church 1:299) I’ve thought a lot about the confines of language in the last several years. Having a…

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A Jewish Rabbi Defines Monotheism

May 9, 2008
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Only months into my mission we stopped to meet a man that had grown up Mormon but had left the Church and was now attending a Method Church with his wife and family. He was very interested in his forgotten Mormon heritage and enjoyed having us stop by to talk religion.

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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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How Change will Occur in the Church

May 8, 2008
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This post is not intended to be a historical look at changes that have happened in the church throughout the years, but more of experiential observation. Over the years, change in the Church has been much more top-down driven from the leadership to the members.  But I think, to some extent, it is changing to a more bottom up orientation and I don’t think it is overall positive for the Church.

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Theology Quiz

May 8, 2008
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Here is a fun quiz I’ve seen on other Bloggernacle sites I wanted to try out on my pals at Mormon Matters. It’s fairly quick and tells you by order of significance which theological world-view you share. Here’s my result:

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Through the Ears of a “Gentile”

May 7, 2008
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Through the Ears of a “Gentile”

“I’m so glad I was born in this, the one true church of God.” “Please bless the party leaders tonight [of the Republican Party] that they may be guided to make the right decisions.”

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A Latter-Day Tower of Babel?

May 6, 2008
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Here’s something that gives me pause: people making up creative names or nontraditional spellings of traditional names for their children. This seems to be a growing trend, with a sizable minority of new children being subjected to this, perhaps even a majority in some Utah Mormon suburbs. I know that certain black U.S. cultural groups have long done this, but I don’t know if the newer trend is just a white Utah/Idaho Mormon thing or bigger. For example, here is a list of REAL names my wife and I recently collected from a photo site for new-born Utah babies. As…

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Mormon Miracles: Seeking for a Sign

May 6, 2008
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Mormon Miracles:  Seeking for a Sign

How much does God intervene in our lives?  More than we give credit to Him or less than some would like to believe?  Why do some require evidence of God’s will in even the most mundane aspects of life?  Is this seeking for a sign?

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When Obedience Doesn’t Bring Happiness

May 5, 2008
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When Obedience Doesn’t Bring Happiness

As Mormons, we are constantly taught and reminded that obedience brings happiness. So what are we to conclude when we’re obedient but still aren’t happy?

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The Nature of God and Bible Bashing Sharing

May 3, 2008
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Like many members of the church, I believe that humankind is of the same species as God; that our Heavenly Parents are like us only on a higher level of development. To me, the doctrine is one of the most awe-inspiring and exciting aspects of Mormon theology. I have heard enough slams of Mormon theology on this issue, as well as plenty bashing the idea of the Trinity in Mormon circles. Unfortunately, I have to admit I have scoffed at the doctrine of the Holy Trinity in the past. I was amazed (to say the least) when I first read…

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Why a Testimony of the Gospel is Not Enough

May 2, 2008
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I have been under the impression over the last 26 years in the Church that if one had a pretty strong testimony of the Savior, the truthfulness of the Gospel as restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith and other essential doctrines, that if would be enough for the average member to weather the storms of doubt, social rejection and, their discovery of new information that might come along from time to time.

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The Mormon Urge to Glurge

May 1, 2008
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The Mormon Urge to Glurge

glurge (GLURJ) n. A sentimental or uplifting story, particularly one delivered via e-mail, that uses inaccurate or fabricated facts; a story that is mawkish or maudlin; the genre consisting of such stories. 

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Local Priesthood Keys – Our Religious Lynchpin

May 1, 2008
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From the devout to the skeptic to the disaffected, our experience with the Church is personally contextual. We take issue with belief systems as well as the performance aspect of the religion i.e. do we practice what we preach? Our experiences are most often influenced in the sociological atmosphere of our local church branch. Even Church theology influences us locally if we take general belief cues from our local Priesthood leadership. It dawned on me recently that our own judgments of church efficacy in practice are largely based on our experiences with local leadership.

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