Today’s guest post is from Reuben Collins who also blogs at Single Speed.
Today’s guest post is from Reuben Collins who also blogs at Single Speed.
There are many within Mormonism who struggle daily with their faith. They have been exposed to historical information they were not aware of, they were torn in political battle, they dislike the culture, or in some other way awoke to a “reality” they had not known before. It can be a lonely place in a tight knit community with such strong beliefs. And when a person is in that frame of mind, it often feels like the solution is to crawl in a hole and disappear. To further throw salt in the wound, the church doesn’t have any sort of…
Mormons love to use the word “know.” We say we know God lives. We say we know that Jesus is the Christ. We say we know that families can be together forever. Some say that they know the church is true or that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet (the middle initial makes him truer somehow). People say they “know” a lot of things. What does “know” mean in Mormonism? Has it been overused to the point that its meaning has changed or that is has become meaningless?
The 1960s was a time of turmoil in the United States. This turmoil extended to American college campuses. It focused on the Free Speech Movement and civil rights in the south, and gradually extended to the U.S. involvement in the war in Southeast Asia. Some American colleges remained unmolested by the times. One was Brigham Young University. This would not last. In the late 1960s, BYU became the focus of protests at its athletic competitions, over the LDS Church policy of barring blacks from the priesthood.
The NT doesn’t give much insight into Jesus’ life between age 12 and 30. Did he encounter Buddhism and seek personal enlightenment? Or are these ideas just inherently the best ones humanity will continue to stumble upon in our spiritual lives?
As church members, we have been cautioned about the internet: ease of access to porn, its mind-numbing addictive qualities, the lack of high quality content, the need to monitor teen and child internet usage. We have also been told to participate in online forums so that we can represent our own beliefs, and the internet has been likened favorably to a modern-day equivalent of a printing press. So, when does internet use become internet addiction?
One of the most controversial aspects of Joseph Smith’s early life—and one not especially well known among most Mormons—is his adventures as a treasure-seeker. His father was likely a treasure-seeker before the family moved to New York from Vermont, where divining rods were the common medium in the search. Sometime in the early 1820s, Joseph was introduced to seer-stones, a common scrying device in western New York. Joseph quickly developed a reputation as a talented seer, and was known to peer into his stone to direct fellow treasure-seekers in their hunts. When Joseph was gaining notoriety as the Book of…
The First Vision is often viewed as a literal visit from two Heavenly beings during Joseph Smith’s waking hours. Yet, he consistently refers to it as a vision. Often, visions in scripture are vivid dreams with meaning that is applied to the larger organization rather than just the individual. What if the First Vision is more like a dream, a foray into the subconscious mind of Joseph Smith?
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.
Several years ago I heard former Secretary of Defense William Cohen lament the sad state of affairs in American politics where, as he put it, “the Democrat and Republican parties seem to have stopped being loving critics of one another. Instead, we seem only to find uncritical lovers of their own party, and unloving critics of the opposing party.” I’m sure many of us sometimes wonder whether we are witnessing a similar polarizing trend in online discussions about the Church, and possibly even see ourselves as being part of the problem but are unsure of what to do about it.
In Maine, Judge Clapp was not pleased. The sarcastic comment he made at an October 6, 1998 custody hearing would get him in trouble. He would ultimately face accusations that he harbored anti-Mormon animus. Well which church? There seems to be a lock on the Mormon Church in this case … which we all know has a lock on family values in the entire world.
Thomas Vaughn Barlow really does not like the IRS. On June 8, 2007, he sent it a letter, which stated: This means that if you do not answer me lawfully and take my money or property or in any way continue to harass me or fail to assure me of my being secure in my persons, houses, papers and effects, that I’m justified in acts of war to balance your terrorism. Do you get it? I will kill any of your agents I can find. I will blow up your buildings. This is war. Barlow is a Mormon. Well, sort…
The phrase, “moderation in all things” is a euphemism usually (but not exclusively) associated (by Mormons at least)with the Word of Wisdom. It usually means that we should not go too far, one way or the other, in abstaining to the point of becoming an ascetic or in indulging to the point of becoming an addict. Of course, that leaves lots of room for interpretation and individual opinion, as well as plenty of opportunity for members to judge one another uncharitably.
The chagrin would be immediate from reading these words in a law book: For five years, in defendant’s capacity as a schoolteacher, neighbor, and secretary to the Bishop of the Mormon Church, defendant molested numerous boys in Santa Clara County. As charged in this case, he touched the private parts of four boys who knew him variously as a family friend from church, a teacher in kindergarten and grades two and three, and a home-school religion teacher. So starts People v. Harward . It’s no joke. This language, taken from a real court case, likely sent shivers down the spines…
As I am hardly the model of mental health myself, I am generally loathe to describe others as crazy. However, one cannot read all of the American court opinions involving the Mormon Church – as I have been doing over the last year or so – without being struck by how many of them involve individuals who seem a little off. Judging just by the four corners of the written opinions, either these people have problems, or they are getting advice from some very bad lawyers. It raises the question that might be difficult for some Mormons to face: does…
In an earlier mormonmatters post (here), I examined the rise of Mormons as criminal defendants in court opinions. Not surprisingly, most LDS criminals do not give up their religious affiliation once they go behind the wall. Instead, they find themselves with plenty of time on their hands. They often use that time to act as their own lawyers. What are the deprivations over which Mormon prisoners have gone to court? How do they compare with other similar American religions?
This is the next installment in my series about what gives Mormonism staying power and makes it an effective religion at winning and retaining adherents.
Religious discrimination in the workplace is barred in the United States. It has been that way since the 1960s. This prohibition is across the board, and applies whether the employer is a public or private entity. If you discriminate against your employees on the basis of religion, you could easily end up as a defendant in federal court, sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Many states have anti-discrimination laws as well. Of course, we know about the persecution of Mormons in the 19th Century and the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the 1930s and ’40s. We also…
Does the church discourage birth control? Are couples encouraged to breed as quickly and frequently as nature allows? Take this poll to share your feelings on the subject.