Posts Tagged ‘ mormon ’

Mormon Vegetarianism

April 11, 2010
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Mormon Vegetarianism

Brett Wilcox lives in Sitka, Alaska, with his wife and their four children.  As a Licensed Professional Counselor, Brett works with Alaskan adolescents in an experiential based wilderness program. Brett suffers from the delusion that his forthcoming fantasy novel will propel him into fame, fortune, movie deals, and the White House. Contact Brett at: brett@vpp.com or befriend him on Facebook. The edited essay below can be viewed as it was originally published at vegsource.com. Sacrament meeting is definitely NOT the best place to come out of the closet. But by the time I made the announcement, I no longer had…

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Joseph and Muhammad

April 7, 2010
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Joseph and Muhammad

I have been fascinated by other religions! The cultures, customs, and beliefs vary wildly from religion to religion, and yet, so many have common threads, stories, and ideals. I recently read a biography of Muhammad “Muhammad, A Prophet For Our Time” by Karen Armstrong. It was a fascinating read and I learned a great deal about this ancient prophet. I must admit that most of my thoughts while reading the book revolved around the parallels to Joseph Smith and the early saints. Frankly, I find the similarities startling in one sense, and yet unsurprising in another. On the one hand,…

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Temple Recommend Assumptions

April 5, 2010
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Temple Recommend Assumptions

Maybe it was an upcoming family wedding.  Or maybe it came out some other way.  Have you ever been in a situation when you became aware that someone who had been endowed no longer had a Temple Recommend?

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What I Learned in Nursery

March 22, 2010
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What I Learned in Nursery

Many of us have been told that no matter what the calling you have, you will learn from it and grow.  I imagine that’s probably true of just about anything that you do.  So, what have you learned from the various callings you’ve held?

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The Relational Definition of Sin

March 17, 2010
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The Relational Definition of Sin

One of my favorite experiences at the BYU Studies Symposium was listening to a set of two talks on the subject of sin.  That might not usually be such a fascinating topic!  But these had a twist which captured my interest — sin and its effect upon human relationships.

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Bombshell at the BYU Studies Symposium

March 13, 2010
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Bombshell at the BYU Studies Symposium

A small crowd at the BYU Studies Symposium yesterday was on hand to receive Richard Holzapfel’s self-proclaimed Mormon history “bombshell.”  He presented the morning plenary session on Wilford Woodruff’s 1897 recorded testimony, the first sound recording made of an LDS General Authority.  The audience was treated to hearing parts of this recording, which is also available at the BYU Studies website.

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Book of Mormon for Modern Minds?

March 11, 2010
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Book of Mormon for Modern Minds?

Fascinating article from the New York Times about a new version of the Torah being released by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States.  Apparently, this Torah openly acknowledges the historical and archeological issues with the text — openly questioning things like whether or not Abraham (the founder of Judaism?) even existed. Given the fact that questions about Book of Mormon archeology and historicity will likely never cease — can you ever see a Book of Mormon, or even an LDS version of the Bible being released like this?  Even…

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You’re the Bishop #5 (Poll)

March 9, 2010
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You’re the Bishop #5 (Poll)

Bishop Bill again, folks.  Now for one that has nothing to do with the ward.

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You’re the Bishop #4 (Poll)

March 2, 2010
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You’re the Bishop #4 (Poll)

OK, Bishop Bill here again with a really difficult situation.

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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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Self-Esteem and Sexuality: Another approach to Chastity

February 22, 2010
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I want to take a lead from Hawgrrrl, who recently posted on the value of Sex Education in trying to reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancies and instil values of chastity in young people, but approach it from a different avenue.  I recently attended a seminar which presented results from an investigation into the relationship between self-esteem and sexual activity for people in their teens.  Her results showed that having high self-esteem (perhaps to the point of being arrogant) actually serves a protective function against having sexual activity.  Simply stated: having high self-esteem means that you are more likely to have sex later in…

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You’re the Bishop: Poll #3

February 18, 2010
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You’re the Bishop:  Poll #3

Bishop Bill back with more.  We’ve had fictionalized situations in the last two installments with a YW and a YM.  Now, let’s have a situation with an adult.

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You’re the Bishop: Poll #2

February 4, 2010
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You’re the Bishop:  Poll #2

Bishop Bill back with your next installment of “You’re the Bishop.”  Just to be clear, the examples I am using have been changed enough that not even my wife or former counselors in the bishopric would recognize who I am talking about.

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Abstainers vs. Indulgers

February 2, 2010
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Abstainers vs. Indulgers

Mormons dig abstinence.  Like many other highly committed Christians, we abstain from premarital sex.  But, that’s not all; we also abstain from tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, profanity, R-rated movies, dating before age 16, fooling around prior to marriage, and shopping on Sundays.  And some even like to add more abstinence on top of that!  I had one college roommate who was determined to share her first ever kiss across the altar with her husband.

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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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“They Don’t Really Belong” – The Story of Doubting Jews Caught In Between Worlds.

January 24, 2010
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“They Don’t Really Belong” – The Story of Doubting Jews Caught In Between Worlds.

I recently came across this story on the BBC Website and felt that I had to return to Mormon Matters to write a few comments about it. High Cost of Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism Over the years I have noticed many similarities between Mormons and other religions, but I never thought I would see a similarity in this context with Judaism. This article addresses some of the main issues that people at Mormon Matters find challenging. Perhaps we, as doubting Mormons are not as alone as we feel. 28 year old, Chani Ovadya, is interviewed about her experience. She does not…

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Mormon Stories # 112 & 113: Joanna Brooks Parts 1 and 2

January 22, 2010
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Mormon Stories # 112 & 113: Joanna Brooks Parts 1 and 2

I recorded my first Mormon Stories podcast in some time w/ professor, author and mother Joanna Brooks, and thought it might be nice to discuss these episodes here on Mormon Matters. For some background, Joanna was a very important figure in the uber-controversial BYU Academic Freedom days of 1990-1993…and is now a writer on Mormon topics for Religion Dispatches (along w/ being the Dept. Chair of English at SDSU).  She was also recently featured on RadioWest to discuss the phenomenon of Glenn Beck.  As you may remember from her post earlier this week, Joanna has recently started an advice-column blog entitled “AskMormonGirl.com“, and cross-blogs…

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You’re the Bishop: Scenario #1

January 21, 2010
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You’re the Bishop:  Scenario #1

Welcome to “You’re the Bishop,” a new installment at Mormon Matters.  My name is Bishop Bill.  Once every few weeks I’ll post a situation that I had while I was bishop, and let you decide how to handle it.  Everybody gets to play, even the ladies out there.  After a week, I’ll add a comment with what I did in the situation, and how it turned out.  Let’s play!

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Dysfunctional Families or Church?

January 19, 2010
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Dysfunctional Families or Church?

Exit stories are the tales told when someone leaves the church.  The internet is full of these stories, and in many, there is drama in the family as a result of the person’s decision to leave.  Often the person attributes at least some of that family drama to the church itself as an organization.  Yet, it is also true that there have been people who have left the church without family drama or disagreeable behaviors.  So, is the church environment complicit in fostering “bad” behaviors or is it the families themselves who are prone to these behaviors?  Or both?

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Mormon Matters on Kindle

January 13, 2010
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Mormon Matters on Kindle

Just last week, Mormon Matters content became available to Kindle owners.  The only other b’naclers on Kindle are our buddies at By Common Consent.  So, here’s why you should get a Kindle and subscribe to MM!

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