Posts Tagged ‘ God ’

182–183: Is Mormonism’s God Worthy of Worship?

August 17, 2013
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182–183: Is Mormonism’s God Worthy of Worship?

Mormonism has a distinctive view of God that differs quite a bit from that of traditional theism. And though we as Latter-day Saints recognize and most often celebrate the differences, in our Sunday and typical discourse about God and God’s power and influence, we very often sound as if there is little distinctiveness. One way into a discussion of things like this is through the term “worship.” The Bible and LDS scriptures all speak of “worshiping” God, yet the term has pretty distinct meanings in wider theism that perhaps don’t match up with the kinds of attitudes toward God that…

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157–158: C.S. Lewis and Mormonism

March 4, 2013
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157–158: C.S. Lewis and Mormonism

C.S. Lewis is a towering twentieth-century figure, known especially as an author of fiction and meditations on Christianity and the work of God in human lives. His own life journey—he was born and raised within a Christian home and was a highly imaginative child who loved literature and mythology but later rejected both Christianity and theism only to, in his twenties and thirties, begin to feel “stalked” by Spirit and eventually convert back to a belief in God and, later, Christianity—makes him especially compelling for those with intellectual proclivities. How could this towering intellect begin to believe again? What is…

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139: A Beautiful Vision of Mormonism

November 14, 2012
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139: A Beautiful Vision of Mormonism

This episode was planned to be an exploration of the joys and perils of being a public face of Mormonism, especially as a woman, and in particular as women who write and speak about Mormon theology. What it ended up being is a rich, wise, affectionate, celebratory, pragmatic exploration of LDS theology, community life, and connections with ideas and people that truly are among the lovely and of good report in wider religious discourse. Using the jumping off point of Fiona and Terryl Givens’ new book, The God Who Weeps: How Mormons Make Sense of Life, Fiona Givens, Joanna Brooks,…

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89–90: Latter-day Saint “Mid-Singles” Experience

April 10, 2012
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89–90: Latter-day Saint “Mid-Singles” Experience

The LDS Church recently restructured its “singles” wards, effectively shutting them off to unmarried people who are 31 years old or above. In many ways, this move formalized even more than previously the “limbo” of sorts that unmarried but still quite young Mormons find themselves in with relation to their church. Do they best fit or will they be most edified in “family” wards or huge “mid-singles” wards that weekly draw as large a crowd as a typical stake conference? Are they to be seen and celebrated as the highly accomplished, dynamic, active creators of meaningful lives that most of…

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64: Mormons and Prayer

December 13, 2011
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64: Mormons and Prayer

Mormons pray . . . a lot!  Latter-day Saints are encouraged to have daily (twice or more) personal prayer, family prayer including children (in addition to parents praying together), prayers before meals, prayers for safety, and even other injunctions to “pray without ceasing.” Mormon meetings and classes all open and close with prayer, and Mormons offer scripted prayers when blessing the emblems of the sacrament, when baptizing, and performing certain temple ordinances, and they offer blessings and other types of prayers in language that isn’t scripted but that must include certain elements. LDS rhetoric also often prescribes certain language forms…

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58: Obedience and Agency

November 1, 2011
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58: Obedience and Agency

Mormonism teaches the importance of being obedient to God and God’s will while at the same time emphasizing the bedrock fact of our individual agency. The gospel ideal is that we fully and knowingly submit our will to that of God, and in this way be obedient while still acting entirely out of our own agency. Of course, life is much messier than this, and the ideal hides from us a bit. How can we truly know God’s will and when we’re hearing God’s voice and not our own? Because of difficulties like this, one of the most common ways…

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Sophia of the Proverbs and the Feminine Divine

August 14, 2010
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Sophia of the Proverbs and the Feminine Divine

OT SS Lesson #31 Feminist readers of the scriptures are well aware of the passages in Proverbs 8 which personify Wisdom (GK Sophia, HEB Hokhmah). These passages affirm that Sophia was there when God made the earth and acted as a partner with God in the creation. This idea fits in well with my conceptualization of the male/female duality of the Divine. The passages can be interpreted as instructions to the earnest seeker to discover and follow the promptings of a Heavenly Mother:

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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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Absolute Truth, Inclusivism, Lumen Gentium, and Emeth

June 7, 2010
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Guest post by Thomas In C.S. Lewis’ final Narnia book The Last Battle, there is a powerful scene of an encounter between the Christ-symbolizing lion Aslan and Emeth, a noble-minded worshipper of the false Calormene demon-god Tash: “[The Lion] touched my forehead…and said, Son, thou art welcome.  But I said, Alas Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash.  He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.  Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and…

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Does God Squash ETs: How Human is Human?

May 29, 2010
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Distinctly Mormon doctrines relating the physical appearance of humanity to God’s own “preferred” form grew gradually in early Restoration history rather than springing forth in full. Although there are references in the Book of Mormon to the Brother of Jared seeing the “finger” and then the full vision of Christ (the earliest recorded of Joseph Smith’s prophetic writings), even the earliest published accounts of the First Vision do not feature descriptions of two personages appearing as does the “official” version eventually recorded several years after formation of the church. This doesn’t mean that later descriptions were contradictory to the first…

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Binding the Broken-Hearted

May 23, 2010
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Binding the Broken-Hearted

Nothing is more painful than a broken heart. When this kind of sorrow gets deep into a person’s soul, all troubles are magnified, blessings are unseen, and it seems almost impossible to bear the daily experience of life. Getting out of bed is misery. Living is torment. A broken heart can cause such an intense reaction that many of us feel our lives have been completely stripped of meaning. Jobs, hobbies, and friends no longer hold any joy for us. In fact, some even experience physical pain with a tight chest, nervous stomach, or terrible insomnia. Nobody understands a broken…

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Mormonism and Catholicism: Who Can Mock This Church?

May 4, 2010
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Mormonism and Catholicism:  Who Can Mock This Church?

There was a great article in the New York Times this week:  Who Can Mock This Church?  While it was about Catholicism reeling in the wake of the pedophilia scandal, it raised a few points relevant to critics of any church.

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Joseph Fielding McConkie and the Lens of Literalism

March 30, 2010
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In a recently published book ‘Between the Lines: Unlocking Scripture with Timeless Principles’ (2009), Joseph Fielding McConkie tries to deal with the issue of discerning between what is ‘Literal’ and what is ‘Figurative’ in the scriptures. I think there are large problems in his brief account and I want to try and deal with them here. These problems arise because he (inadvertently?) wants to establish a particular set of orthodox readings for two different groups of readers.

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A Marital Confession

March 16, 2010
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A recent visit at FMH and John Dehlin’s Mormon Stories interview with fmhLisa (Butterworth) has made me realise something about myself that I am not very proud of.  Therefore, in the spirit of a post I wrote for another blog, I want to confess something.  I am sexist.

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Church as a Social Network

March 1, 2010
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Church as a Social Network

There are those among the disaffected who would like to reap the benefits of the church as a community although they may no longer share the belief system that is the foundation of the church.  For some, this works very well; for others, it’s an endless source of frustration.  I recently read a great book called Connected:  The Power of Social Networks that described how social networks work.  As a result, I have drawn up 7 Rules (tips, really) for making church work as a social network.

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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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On Being an Apostle but not in the Quorum

January 11, 2010
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On Being an Apostle but not in the Quorum

‘In 1866, at the age of only twenty-seven, Joseph F. Smith was ordained an Apostle by President Brigham Young, and served briefly as one of his special additional counselors. When a vacancy occurred in the Twelve the following year, Elder Smith was sustained as a member of that quorum’ [1].  The date was Oct 8, 1867.  This means Joseph F. Smith was an Apostle a year before he joined the Quorum of the twelve.  Moreover, BY ordained Joseph F. Smith spontaneously without consultation of all members of the First presidency [2].  Lest we think this is just another aberration of the…

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Richard Dawkins, God and Santa Claus: Belief as a Form of Abuse

January 3, 2010
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Between Christmas and New Year I had the opportunity to meet with some friends and at one point during the evening we began discussing the role of Santa Claus in raising children.  As I was thinking about what was said on the way home I recalled an article I had read in the ‘New Scientist’ which discussed whether teaching children about Santa Claus is a ‘harmless fantasy’ or whether it is a ‘cruel deception’ [1].  This then led me to consider whether believing in God is a similar relationship?

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Gregory House and Emmanuel Levinas: Finding Meaning in Suffering: Part 2

December 21, 2009
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Gregory House and Emmanuel Levinas: Finding Meaning in Suffering: Part 2

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on suffering.  Resulting from a thoughtful critique of that post, by Andrew S, and a recommendation (in the following discussion) to read Emmanuel Levinas’ essay on ‘Useless Suffering’, I have decided to present a re-formulated version of my comments; because my thinking has moved on.  I hope that this is not redundant, it certainly has not been for me.  I actually hope to write a third post based on a more detailed survey of Levinas’ arguments but that will be in the future.

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‘Christmas’ or ‘Winter Festival’: I’m not sure I care!

December 14, 2009
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‘Christmas’ or ‘Winter Festival’: I’m not sure I care!

This must be the the third year that I have heard people bemoan government plans to change the name of Christmas to ‘Winter Festival’ or some such other variant.  A little research shows that this is unfounded, in most cases, and seems linked to a gentleman named Bill O’Reilly, but there has been some rumours bubbling in the UK.  But is this really a big deal?

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