Posts Tagged ‘ theology ’

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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105–106: Mormon “Doctrine” and Other Fuzzy Things

June 20, 2012
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105–106: Mormon “Doctrine” and Other Fuzzy Things

Are there statements about God, humans, the universe, and any other thing that a Latter-day Saint “must” believe to be considered a “Mormon”? And, if so, how literally does one have to take these so-called “doctrines”? Are they close-to-perfect encapsulations of eternal truths that are consistently taught in scripture and that have hardly changed or evolved throughout time, with modern LDS pronouncements simply further clarifications? Or are doctrines far “fuzzier,” more fluid statements suggesting where Mormons are encouraged to focus now but always with the anticipation that, as the Ninth Article of Faith states, there are “many great and important…

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92–93: Can Mormon Theology Affirm Homosexual Relationships Now and in the Eternities?

April 26, 2012
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92–93: Can Mormon Theology Affirm Homosexual Relationships Now and in the Eternities?

Like many other religious traditions today, Mormonism is wrestling with questions raised by homosexuality. And while both LDS rhetoric and many members’ affirmation of homosexuals as beloved children of God to embrace as fellow citizens in the household of faith are moving forward in many ways, these developments have been fed primarily by the inroads being made through political and pastoral discourse. Very little attention has yet been paid to theological questions raised by these relationships. Can Mormon theology accommodate homosexual relationships into its larger views of the cosmos, God, and divine sociality? In a groundbreaking article in the Winter…

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42: Pros and Cons of Keeping Mormonism “Weird”

July 13, 2011
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42: Pros and Cons of Keeping Mormonism “Weird”

Recent decades have seen a decrease in emphases of and public and internal discussions of many of Mormonism’s most distinctive doctrines and practices–especially some that are often thought of as “weird.” Has this trend of downplaying Mormon differences from mainline Christian views, as well as many of Mormonism’s interesting and unique blend of views about human progression, the nature of God and humans, God’s power and goals for the world, the idea of a Heavenly Mother, and so forth, been a net positive or negative for the tradition? Clearly Mormonism is more publicly accepted today (with obvious exceptions), but would…

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37: Why Are Mormons Seen as “Dangerous” by Some Evangelical Christians?

June 14, 2011
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37: Why Are Mormons Seen as “Dangerous” by Some Evangelical Christians?

A recent article at the Patheos website by evangelical Christian writer and publisher Warren Cole Smith made a big splash both on that website and in Mormon circles because of Smith’s argument that a Mitt Romney presidency would be “dangerous” for many souls who could lose their salvation if they were led astray by Mormonism’s false teachings about God and Christ. Smith hangs his case for a president’s religious beliefs being a strong enough influence for something like this to happen on several claims that many, including other evangelicals writing at Patheos, find dubious. Yet, according to Smith (and the…

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32: Heavenly Mother in Today’s Mormonism

May 17, 2011
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32: Heavenly Mother in Today’s Mormonism

The most recent issue of BYU Studies features the article, “ ‘A Mother There’: A Survey of Historical Teachings about Mother in Heaven,” co-written by David L. Paulsen and Martin Pulido. (Here is a link to the article and also a blog post on it by Joanna Brooks.) The article presents an overview of research that attempted to find every printed or recorded mention of Mother in Heaven or Heavenly Parents by LDS leaders. It is a great piece of scholarship and much needed. In this podcast discussion, host Dan Wotherspoon and panelists Martin Pulido (article co-author), Tresa Edmunds, and…

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29: David Brooks, The Book of Mormon Musical, and Rigorous Religion

April 27, 2011
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29: David Brooks, The Book of Mormon Musical, and Rigorous Religion

New York Times columnist David Brooks very much enjoyed the Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon,” but, as he articulates in his 21 April 2011 column “Creed or Chaos,” he believes the play’s authors end up celebrating a “vague, uplifting, nondoctrinal” type of religion that can’t last and doesn’t motivate people to perform “heroic acts of service,” such as serving missions to third-world nations. As a result, he uses the musical as a springboard for celebrating the virtues of thriving religions, which he says have “communal theologies, doctrines and codes of conduct rooted in claims of absolute truth.” In this…

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27: Mormons and Their Leaders

April 12, 2011
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27: Mormons and Their Leaders

This episode, which was recorded a couple of days after the close of the April 2011 General Conference, explores the interplay between Latter-day Saints and those who are called to lead them as prophets, seers, and revelators. Why do some church members want to elevate leaders’ words delivered at conference almost to the level of scripture? Why is there so much adoration of leaders even as they regularly acknowledge their own humanity and fallibility, and even speak of the adulation they receive as one of their biggest challenges? To whom do church leaders aim their words, and why? How much…

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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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The Blog that Ate Religion

September 18, 2010
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“The Blob” was one of those horror movies from the 1950′s that I, as a young boy, found right on the boundary of “too scary to watch”. The blob that consumed everything you saw as safe was scary, to be sure, but at least, at the end, a young Steve McQueen could save the day.  (The scariest movie, because of its utter hopelessness, was “On the Beach”.) And so the “blob has come down to us as something that is scary only to the very young. A younger Christianity once found science very scary — although history shows the conflict…

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Mormon.org FAQ: Homosexuality

September 14, 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, priesthood, politics, parenting, and prophets.  Today, let’s see what members had to say about the church’s stance on homosexuality.  Heaven help us!

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Mormon.org FAQ: Prophets

September 7, 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, priesthood, politics, and parenting.  Today, let’s see what members had to say about prophets.

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Duality and Divinity

September 3, 2010
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In both theology and religion, there is a concept called “dualism”, which — to avoid confusion later — I’ll note now has nothing much to do with “duality” as understood within modern physics.  The former concept involves the notion that there are two aspects of reality which may either be diametrically opposed, mutually inconsistent, balanced or unbalanced, or even complementary — but always conceptually separable such that they refer to two different things. Good or evil.  Material or immaterial.  Mind or matter.  Spiritual or physical. Even male or female. As this article from the Jewish Virtual Library describes, many of…

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Mormon.org FAQ: Role of Husbands & Wives

August 31, 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, and politics.  Today, let’s see what members had to say about gender roles.

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Adversity: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

August 19, 2010
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Adversity: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

OT SS Lesson #32 After the Satan figure is given permission to afflict Job as a test of his faithfulness, three of Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, come to visit him, sitting with him in silence for seven days. On the seventh day, Job speaks, beginning a conversation in which each of the four men shares thoughts on Job’s afflictions and adversity in general in profound poetic statements.  This is a lengthy dialogue between characters who alter their moods, question their motives, change their minds, and undercut each other with sarcasm and innuendo. Although Job comes closest to doing…

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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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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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Resolving the Conflict between the TBM and the ExMo

August 12, 2010
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Today’s guest post comes from Ulysseus, a frequent commenter at Mormon Matters and elsewhere in the b’nacle.  His website can be found here. To take a line from Shakespeare — a pox upon both your houses. The Ex-Mos and TBMs continue to argue past each other and never the twain shall meet. While the thought of a kind, loving heavenly being comforts and then closes the ears of the believer, the list of inconsistencies, logical disconnects and “anti-Mormon” cliches assuages and then closes the ears of the non-believer.

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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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