6 Minutes 44 Seconds

May 26, 2008
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This could be the most meaningful six minutes and 44 seconds that you spend today.

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Evidences and Reconciliations 5/26/08

May 26, 2008
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And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. Exodus 33:11 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4: 12 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the…

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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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Mormon Christians

May 25, 2008
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A guest post by our friend Dan Does the label “Mormon” truly explain who we are? Does it truly embody everything that we believe in? I propose that we consider a re-labelling of the brand “Mormon” to more accurately describe who we are.

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all we can do

May 25, 2008
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“We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” Many of us seem to break  out into hives when this scripture is mentioned. A while back I read a comment about this scripture (by a member of the church) that suggested the “after all we can do” should be left  off the next time someone uses it in a talk. What does “all we can do” mean, and why does it bother us?

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The Church and US – Guest Blog by Michael Albert from Znet

May 23, 2008
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The Church and US – Guest Blog by Michael Albert from Znet

I was recently in Europe, partly for a vacation and partly for a series of talks in Austria. During the trip I had the pleasure of touring a major church and hearing the guide answer questions. Someone asked, why did people of the distant past support the church so stupendously, with so much of their time, nearly all their income beyond subsistence, and, really, their every life product? The guide answered, I think brilliantly. She said, you have to try to imagine being back there yourself. There was no sewage, no electricity, no color, no music, no entertainment, not even…

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Breaking News: Texas State Court Says Children Improperly Seized

May 22, 2008
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John Nilsson just mentioned this in his post, but I wanted to start a separate thread for this news. Also, John Dehlin suggested to our panel that it would be a good idea to try to keep up with current events. So first of all, let me say that I don’t have a very strong opinion about this case and don’t claim to understand it. As I explained to the guy I car pool with, I suspect the FLDS is breaking laws but I also suspect that there is little chance of a fair trial for the FLDS, so we may never know…

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MormonNews: The End Of Temple Work As We Know It?

May 22, 2008
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According to the Utah Catholic bishop, John Wester, the Vatican has issued a directive to not release parish records to LDS researchers (who then use them to perform vicarious ordinances. As I understand it, these records have been a major source of names for LDS temple work. What impact will this decision have on LDS temple work? Slow it down? Eventually force temple patrons to bring their own names every time they go to the temple (like was standard practice a century ago)? Jewish groups acting on behalf of Holocaust victims were the first group to stir controversy about this,…

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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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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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