Posts Tagged ‘ worship ’

239–243: Jesus Christ within Mormonism

July 16, 2014
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239–243: Jesus Christ within Mormonism

We Latter-day Saints “talk of Christ . . . rejoice in Christ . . . preach of Christ . . . prophesy of Christ . . . and write of Christ, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26). But have we always been consistent in our understanding of Christ? What are the evolutions in thought about Christ that we have undergone in the nearly two centuries since the church’s founding? How did earlier Latter-day Saints understand certain terms in ways that are different from today’s views? We…

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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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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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When the Fourth of July Falls on the Sabbath

July 4, 2010
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When the Fourth of July Falls on the Sabbath

Yesterday’s activities began with a Pancake Breakfast over at the Church, followed by a softball game.  We loaded up several of the kids from the Ward, my children’s friends, and hauled them all to the beach in both of our vans.  Arriving home at 5:00, we joined some neighbors for a potluck and barbecue.  There were even some small fireworks lit out in the field behind our house.  I enjoyed the day very much.  It was a lot like what we’ve done on the Fourth of July in years past — but this was on the third.  As I read…

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Song Practice: Not Music to Our Ears

July 3, 2010
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Song Practice:  Not Music to Our Ears

“We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all Song Practice Ladies, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.”—Fabricated Quote from Joseph Smith circa 1842.  Today’s guest post is by Matt Workman.

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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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The God of the OT vs. the Golden Calf

April 8, 2010
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The God of the OT vs. the Golden Calf

OT SS Lesson #14 Sometimes I have a hard time with the Jehovah of the Old Testament. I’m not always sure how much of the anger, retribution, and striking people dead for their sins came from Him, or from the interpretation of His will by the designated prophet.

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If Easter Be Not True

April 4, 2010
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If Easter Be Not True

I’ve learned a few things from teaching swimming lessons to tiny children for over 30 years. One of the most obvious is that some kids have a screeching fear of being put on their back.  No matter how much you try to reassure them, they don’t trust the water (or their teacher, or even their mom!) to hold them up.  You can demonstrate, you can show them other kids who can do it, you can bribe, coerce, cajole.  But it takes a while for these skeptical ones to learn to relax, lay their head back, get their ears wet, and…

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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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Putting an Edge on Abraham

February 24, 2010
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Putting an Edge on Abraham

OT SS Lesson #9 This story is so very, very familiar to us that I think it’s important to look at it with a fresh perspective.  So in this post I am including some pieces from media and the arts that force us to think about Genesis 22.  I promise you in advance that some of these might be disturbing to you.  Probably you will disagree with the portrayal of Abraham’s sacrifice in at least one, if not all, of these pieces.  I hope you will share your reactions in the comments.

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The Sacred Made Real: Mormonism, Iconography and the Passion of Christ

February 9, 2010
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The Sacred Made Real: Mormonism, Iconography and the Passion of Christ

A few weeks ago I attended an exhibition entitled ‘The Sacred made Real’ at the National Gallery in London. The collection was focussed on Spanish hyper-realism (painting and sculpture) between 1600-1700. Some of the more famous artists included in this collection were: Velazquez, Zurburan and de Mena. The intent of these artists was to provide life-like depictions of the suffering of Christ in order to invoke feelings of sympathy and awe in the observers. These artists wanted to create a form of spiritual devotion through the simulated presence of the Passion. I was surprised at my own response.

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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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Obedience or Natural Law?

January 18, 2010
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There is an interesting character on Youtube who calls herself “The Non-Muslim Hijabi”. She wears a head scarf even though she’s not Muslim.  I felt a kinship with her, since I’m a Non-Mormon Word of Wisdom follower, and generally live all the other commandments.  (The lifestyle teachings, not the ordinances.) In one of her videos, the Non-Muslim Hijabi said something like, ‘Don’t just do something because the Koran says so. Find out the reasons for yourself and do it because you feel the benefits.’  One Muslim woman responded, ‘What is wrong with doing it only to show your obedience to…

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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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Really Elder McConkie? You think Education is Worship!

December 8, 2009
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From an outsiders perspective, Mormon worship services may be perceived as lacking actual worship.  We spend two and a half  of our three hours in classes or listening to sermons.  We have (maybe) half an hour of singing (most of it – in my ward at least – resembles a death march) and ordinances.  Even our public prayers center around the teacher and the student receiving the Spirit.  Where is our Worship?  In a BYU devotional entitled ‘Lord, Increase our Faith’ Bruce R. McConkie taught that he believed that the highest form of worship is when someone spoke by the spirit…

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Anish Kapoor on Spirituality

November 30, 2009
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Anish Kapoor on Spirituality

On the BBC, there is a great series of Art documentaries entitled ‘Imagine’.  Alan Yentob, a Television Executive, presents them and in the most recent, as of 18th Nov 2009, Yentob interviews and discusses the work of Anish Kapoor.  People will recognise his sculptures without necessarily remembering his name, perhaps the height of fame for an artist.  Having recently finished reading Givens’ ‘A People of Paradox’ I have been considering the relationship between Art and Spirituality and during this documentary Kapoor made some interesting comments which resonated with me.

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10 LDS Things I’m Thankful for

November 25, 2009
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10 LDS Things I’m Thankful for

Thanksgiving is, IMO, the perfect holiday:  good food, a day off work, and no presents to worry about.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to post 10 Things I’m Thankful for about the church and ask that each of you share what you are thankful for.

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De-centralising the Spirit: Between Charisma and Bureaucracy

October 26, 2009
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In a lecture entitled ‘A Historian’s Perspective on Joseph Smith’, Richard Bushman shows an interesting trend in religious cultures that surrounded Joseph Smith.  This trend centers around the tension between the Charismatic gifts and the Bureaucracy which contain them.  I had an experience six months ago that made me realise that there is, in my view, a centralised view of the Spirit in the LDS Church that may restrict the spirituality of our local meetings.

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