Posts Tagged ‘ faith ’

199: Untangling Faith, Belief, and the Expectation to “Know”

October 21, 2013
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199: Untangling Faith, Belief, and the Expectation to “Know”

We think we know what it means to “believe” or to “have faith.” But do we? Has the current ways we use these terms remained stable throughout history? No, says Frances Lee Menlove in an important essay in her new book, The Challenge of Honesty: Essays for Latter-day Saints. She argues further that these changes have had a large negative impact for many Christians and Mormons today, but she hopes that through better understanding of these shifts and opening ourselves to the terms original meanings we might begin to undo some of the damage that has been done—damages done by…

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Matters of the Heart 3: A New Story for Mormon Women

October 8, 2012
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Matters of the Heart 3: A New Story for Mormon Women

A NEW STORY FOR MORMON WOMEN  By Joanna Brooks In this episode of Matters of the Heart, Joanna Brooks reads an excerpted version of her Ask Mormon Girl blog essay about the October 2012 announcement that the LDS Church has lowered the age at which women can serve missions. As Joanna shares her joy over this announcement, it’s clear that this marks more than just a change in age limits: Mormon girls will now live in an entirely new narrative. Imagine possibilities with her!

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104: Growing Up Mormon—and Fearless

June 13, 2012
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104: Growing Up Mormon—and Fearless

The three guests in this Mormon Matters episode grew up in faithful, committed Mormon homes. In important ways, however, these panelists’ homes were different than what many listeners of the Open Stories family of podcasts experienced growing up in the way that these homes welcomed any and all questions about the faith and encouraged reading and exploration and working through difficult issues. Each home was highly orthoprax—there was no question of commitment to LDS standards, attending church, accepting and serving faithfully in callings—but what a family member had to believe was wide open. For them, Mormonism featured a wide array…

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96–97: Mormonism and Its History—Past, Present, and Future

May 10, 2012
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96–97: Mormonism and Its History—Past, Present, and Future

Every religion has many dilemmas when it comes to its history. How does a group incorporate the idea of a God or Universal force or will that acts in the development of that group and/or the unfolding of world events when such things are not acceptable claims in academic disciplines? How does a tradition balance the doing of history for the purposes of community and faith building through the creation and maintenance of a shared story with other ideals, such as telling the truth about missteps and all the humanness and frailties that are also present in each event? Should…

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Matters of the Heart 2: On “Masturbatory Rage”: A Theatrical Call to Repentance

March 23, 2012
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Matters of the Heart 2: On “Masturbatory Rage”: A Theatrical Call to Repentance

ON “MASTURBATORY RAGE”: A THEATRICAL CALL TO REPENTANCE  By Allan Davis In this episode of Matters of the Heart, Allan Davis shares a short meditation about a call to repentance related to his transitioning relationship to Mormonism that he received last fall while attending the theatrical performance of a play called Church. A great listen for all who are undergoing the process of re-evaluating their own religious identity and stance related to their childhood faith and religious community. And everyone must, of course, listen to find out what the author means by “masturbatory rage”!

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45: The Mormon Practice of Bearing Testimony

August 2, 2011
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Testimony image

In this episode, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and panelists Brent Beal, Brian Johnston, and Jana Riess explore various aspects of one of Mormonism’s most regular (and sometimes it seems regulated) rituals: the monthly opportunity for church members to bear testimony. The discussion ranges from the nature of the expectation that those bearing testimony, including children, will focus on particular truth claims, to the peculiar way Mormonism encourages members to extrapolate from experiences of feeling “the spirit” within a gospel context to conclude that all other LDS claims are therefore true (and even that this is the “one and only”…

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39: Intellectuals and the Mormon Tradition

June 28, 2011
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39: Intellectuals and the Mormon Tradition

In early June, the Deseret News published a list compiled by Leonard J. Arrington in 1969 of the “most eminent intellectuals in Mormon history.” As you can imagine, the feature generated a lot of discussion both on the newspaper’s website, as well as in many corners of the Mormon bloggernacle. Who among those listed still belong in the Top Ten? Who should be on there now? Why aren’t any women listed, and which women should have made that list then or if a new list were compiled today? <br /> In this Mormon Matters episode, host Dan Wotherspoon and panelists…

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Sorrowing for Korihor

September 12, 2010
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Mormon Heretic’s post on forgiveness from a few weeks ago touched me deeply, but I needed time to get my thoughts together about it before I could respond. I once had the neighbor from hell. I use the expression with theological intent. Smart and relentlessly treacherous, he was somewhere on the spectrum from malignant narcissist to full-fledged sociopath, and I had no desire to observe closely enough to find out where. I do not know what horror had befallen him — if anything more significant than a stray cosmic ray hitting the genome at the wrong time — but he…

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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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Why Do People Struggle? (With Poll!)

August 3, 2010
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Through my time in the church, I’ve known many who have left the church, many others who have seemingly never had an issue, and a vast majority who struggled with one aspect or another yet remained active (or resumed activity after a period of inactivity).  What’s your experience with struggling?

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Spiritual Guidance: A GC Talk Review

July 20, 2010
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Spiritual Guidance:  A GC Talk Review

I wanted to try a new feature – going through some of the previous GC talks to discuss some of the ideas put forth.  I decided to start with E. Scott’s talk from the Oct 2009 GC session:  To Acquire Spiritual Guidance.  This was a talk I enjoyed when it was first given, although the last 3rd got a little repetitious on the whole porn thing (Did you notice that porn has now gone mainstream?  New motto:  Porn, it’s not just for Priesthood session anymore.)

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Understanding the Atonement

July 13, 2010
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Understanding the Atonement

The atonement is to Christianity what enlightenment is to Buddhism:  the foundational concept.  How do you feel about the atonement?  I admit to some mixed feelings on the concept of atonement.

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Faith, Knowledge, Belief, and Stochastic Theory Part 4: Finding Truth – An Optimization Problem

June 30, 2010
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In part two of this series I discussed Bayesian inference. Specifically, I discussed how Bayesian inference provided us with a mechanism for deciding in what we should place our confidence given all the information we possess and will yet obtain. This was all framed in the context of confidence. I’d like to discuss an alternative way of looking at Bayesian inference – namely optimization.

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Wandering Mormons as Nephites

June 27, 2010
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More than two years ago, the Holy Spirit began insisting that I re-read the Book of Mormon. Of course, I didn’t immediately recognize the impulse as anything but a good idea originating within my own intellect. That’s what I do with anything – process it intellectually first. I knew spending more time reading scriptures would be the spiritual equivalent of walking more for my heart, so I put it on my to-do-list. You know all about the to-do-list that never seems to get any shorter because of emergencies and recurring requirements. So, re-reading the Book of Mormon stayed on the…

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Faith, Knowledge, Belief and Stochastic Theory Part 3: Putting It All Together

June 23, 2010
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In part one I introduced the problem I see with our current understanding of faith, introduced some basic statistics, and weakly drew a comparison to faith. In part two I introduced deductive and inductive reasoning, and showed how Bayesian inference leads to good inductive reasoning. I also gave a brief example of how this might work in real life. In this post I would like to put all these concepts together into at least one way of viewing faith, knowledge, and belief. I will do this by examining the plausible reasoning of three individuals: a stereotypical believing Mormon, a Mormon…

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Faith & Doubt

June 19, 2010
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Today’s guest post is by Glenn.  When I was at BYU, I got interested in the study of folklore – the way that traditional culture informs our understanding of the world. I worked in the BYU folklore archives cataloguing missionary stories – encounters with the three nephites, miraculous experiences (some easier to believe than others), initiation stories of greenie missionaries, cautionary tales — just a whole bunch of really interesting stuff. I was hooked.

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Faith, Knowledge, Belief, and Stochastic Theory Part 2: Inductive Reasoning

June 18, 2010
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Faith, Knowledge, Belief, and Stochastic Theory Part 2: Inductive Reasoning

Deductive reasoning is a form of reasoning in which the conclusion can be drawn directly from the premises. The idea is to show that the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises. For example: Bridges built using sound engineering principles are safe. The Bay Bridge was built using sound engineering principles. Therefore, the Bay Bridge was safe (at least when it was built). This form of reasoning is reliable, at least as far as logic goes, producing correct conclusions from the premises.

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Faith, Knowledge, Belief, and Stochastic Theory Part 1

June 9, 2010
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Faith, Knowledge, Belief, and Stochastic Theory Part 1

Faith has always been a perplexing topic for me. The definitions we hear in church, and in the scriptures seem to come up short. Furthermore, faith is almost always accompanied by a discussion of knowledge and belief. But faith is generally what is defined in the scriptures, and we typically just accept the colloquial meanings of knowledge and belief.

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Mixed Belief Marriages

June 8, 2010
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Mixed Belief Marriages

What should a church member do if their spouse is a non-believer?  This is something that many couples encounter, either because one spouse ceases to believe or because one spouse converts and the other does not.  What should the church advise these believing spouses who ask?  What is the “doctrinal” implication in these situations?  Does this put the believing spouse’s salvation at risk as some fear?

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