Posts Tagged ‘ correlation ’

Mormon.org FAQ: Race Restrictions

September 21, 2010
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We’ve explored some of the answers members have posted on the mormon.org site in the church’s new profiles campaign.  So far, we’ve discussed member answers to questions about polygamy, women& the priesthood, politics, parenting, and prophets.  Today, let’s see what members had to say about priesthood & race restrictions.

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Mormon.org FAQ: Women & Priesthood

August 17, 2010
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Last week we looked at some of the cool profiles on mormon.org that are part of a new effort to make members real and accessible for potential investigators.  And we talked about the difficulties of giving members an open mic on some of the tough questions.  This week let’s look at another tough topic:  Women and the priesthood.

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Mormon.org FAQ: Polygamy

August 10, 2010
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The church has initiated a new online profile campaign on mormon.org in which those interested in the church can “meet” actual members who’ve posted pictures of themselves, personal experiences with the church, and their own answers to a variety of questions about Mormonism.  A few of those questions are on more controversial topics, and it is interesting to read answers that members have posted.

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Official Doctrine vs. Personal Speculation

June 21, 2010
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Mormonism, in its very short history, has a rich tradition of theological speculation.  The foundations of the Church were based on burning desires to know concrete answers about the great mysteries.  The existing answers in the early 19th century felt stale or unsatisfying as the world was changing and new frontiers opened up.  Formerly settled religious questions were thrown back into the ring for debate.  This happened within a frontier tradition attempting to interpret and combine ideas from the newly forming materialistic sciences with the long-established magical world view held in western culture.

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Eternal Progress vs. Eternal Increase: A Poll

June 1, 2010
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Eternal Progress vs. Eternal Increase:  A Poll

One of the distinct LDS doctrines is that of eternal progression:  the idea that we continue to grow and develop as individuals throughout eternity unless through our own choices we stop progressing.  But there are two different interpretations of this doctrine that both seem to be supported by authoritative statements.  Are both interpretations correct?  Or is one correct and the other incorrect?

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The JST of the Bible and Early Christianity

May 26, 2010
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Early Christian Theological Differences I recently read Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman. One of the interesting realities on which Ehrman elaborates is that early Christianity was anything but homogeneous. More specifically, there were many factions, some heterodox, some orthodox, some in the middle. Some of the books of the apocrypha, gnostic texts, and other early Christian writings seemed to support various theological ideas not represented, and in fact, even repressed in what became the canonized New Testament.

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Church History: Principles

May 18, 2010
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Church History:  Principles

There has been a lot of discussion in the b’nacle about what the church can do from a practical standpoint to address the thorny issues in church history.  The current approach has been to: 1) keep the curriculum uplifting and free from controversy, 2) to never speak ill or contradict leaders of the past or present (even if they have been demonstrably wrong), 3) to let FAIR and FARMS apologetics address any tricky issues raised by external critics, and 4) to remind people that ”we simply don’t know” when it comes to conclusions about the trickiest issues.  With the internet and ready access to…

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Putting Things on a Shelf

April 29, 2010
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Putting Things on a Shelf

People like to talk about putting things that bother them about the church on a shelf.  Of course, the problem is that for some, the shelf gets pretty full and comes crashing down like Fibber McGee’s closet.  So what’s on your shelf, and is there a better model for dealing with problematic church doctrines?

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Prophets, Seers and Bureaucrats

March 8, 2010
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I listened recently to a Mormon Expression podcast with John Dehlin, in which he comments upon the difficult position the Church leaders face.  He observes that their are times when they make particular decisions based upon a legalistic-bureaucratic framework that sometimes seem incomprehensible, even unchristian but that these decision are understandable. I would like to ask this question: Is there an alternative?

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Is God Still Progressing? (Poll Included)

February 23, 2010
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Is God Still Progressing? (Poll Included)

Last month, one of the RS/PH lessons was about the nature of God.  Since the lesson was only about a page and a half long, the discussion in RS ended up raising the question whether God is still progressing or whether, being God He has arrived and is no longer progressing.  Read and and share your views.

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The Sacred Made Real: Mormonism, Iconography and the Passion of Christ

February 9, 2010
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The Sacred Made Real: Mormonism, Iconography and the Passion of Christ

A few weeks ago I attended an exhibition entitled ‘The Sacred made Real’ at the National Gallery in London. The collection was focussed on Spanish hyper-realism (painting and sculpture) between 1600-1700. Some of the more famous artists included in this collection were: Velazquez, Zurburan and de Mena. The intent of these artists was to provide life-like depictions of the suffering of Christ in order to invoke feelings of sympathy and awe in the observers. These artists wanted to create a form of spiritual devotion through the simulated presence of the Passion. I was surprised at my own response.

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Church Growth and the Tendency toward Liberalism

January 31, 2010
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Some time ago, as a guest I wrote a post entitled ‘Academic freedom in the Church‘ which tried to explore some of liberalizing tendencies seen in LDS culture since the September Six, but particularly over the last decade.  Having recently read an excellent (as usual) article by D. Michael Quinn on the development of the ‘Sacral Power Structure‘ of Mormonism, I wanted to re-visit this issue as a result of some of the reasons he gives for the increasing authoritarianism and conservatism in the Church.  Quinn argues that the expansive growth of the Church during the 1950-1970′s led the hierarchy to…

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True or Bizarre: A Poll

January 27, 2010
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True or Bizarre:  A Poll

While there are moral truths that all religions tend to share (don’t kill, don’t steal, be nice to people, etc.), religions also include “bizarre” differentiators to distinguish each religious community (often in food prohibitions, clothing choices, or supernatural beliefs). These “bizarre” elements hedge up the community and create borders between the religious group and those not in the religion.  Without these “fences,” a church would cease to be a community.  But a negative byproduct of these “bizarre” elements is that they are indefensible on grounds of logic or “truth.”  So, what elements of Mormonism are “true” and which ones are merely…

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Follow the [blank]: A Poll

January 12, 2010
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Follow the [blank]:  A Poll

In the church, we learn how to be good followers.  There are many things we are told to follow:  the prophet, good examples, our parents’ instructions, the gospel, the brethren, the Spirit, and the dictates of our own conscience.  We are told, on the one hand, NOT to follow the world or the crowd.  But we are told to surround ourselves with good people and follow their good examples.  So, what do you follow when you sense a conflict between two of these?

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LDS Church News Says: “Use Proper Sources” With Gospel Teaching

January 11, 2010
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(Hat tip to Michael Carpenter) This just in from LDS Church News.  Correlation remains king. “A gospel teacher is not called to choose the subject of the lesson but to teach and discuss what has been specified. Gospel teachers should also be scrupulous to avoid hobby topics, personal speculations, and controversial subjects. The Lord’s revelations and the directions of His servants are clear on this point.” and “The Church — through its inspired correlation program — has given us official sources of information to help us prepare lessons and plan activities. Instead of turning to unofficial books and Web sites,…

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EQ to HPG: Rites of Passage

December 16, 2009
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Whether you are 18 or 88, married, single, widowed, or divorced, with or without kids, and regardless of your socio-economic status, if you are an active LDS woman, you are in Relief Society.  Not so for the men. 

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The Church in 20 Years

December 14, 2009
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The Church in 20 Years

Where do you see the Church in 20 years?  Today’s guest post is by David Heap.

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Have you ever received a Christmas card from the First Presidency?

December 10, 2009
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Have you ever received a Christmas card from the First Presidency?

This year I received a Christmas card from the First Presidency.  I have heard that Church employees get one, but it has not been my experience so far.  Nor did it occur to me that I would get one.  I received it with a DVD for the youth of our ward.  I cannot tell whether it was to accompany the DVD or whether Bishops get Christmas cards every year (this is my first Christmas as a Bishop).  

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De-centralising the Spirit: Between Charisma and Bureaucracy

October 26, 2009
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In a lecture entitled ‘A Historian’s Perspective on Joseph Smith’, Richard Bushman shows an interesting trend in religious cultures that surrounded Joseph Smith.  This trend centers around the tension between the Charismatic gifts and the Bureaucracy which contain them.  I had an experience six months ago that made me realise that there is, in my view, a centralised view of the Spirit in the LDS Church that may restrict the spirituality of our local meetings.

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Saturday Session Thoughts

October 3, 2009
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These are just a few quick observations from today’s sessions, not every talk, though, nor every observation.  I also want to direct attention to the excellent notes by Mme. Curie.

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