The Last Waffle of Innocence

The last breakfast was a leisurely one. It was Tuesday morning and there was no need to rush off to the SBL. The first plane didn’t leave until 3PM. So we had waffles. I cooked the first set and kept them warm in the oven. Then, as they worked their way through those that I had kept warm, I cooked another round. And as I moved back and forth between the table and the stove, I thought about the weekend.

There had been a lot of back and forth all weekend. Back and forth to various area airports on Friday. Back and forth to the metro station and the conference areas on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. But the best of the back and forth was the back and forth conversation that took place well into the wee hours of the morning. I hadn’t seen 2AM in a long while, but I saw it three times last weekend.

What do LDS grad students in scripture, ancient history, and dead languages talk about at 2 AM? Geez. What don’t they talk about? But some things stand out. Labels like “liberal” and “conservative” no longer adequately capture the various positions that LDS scholars will take on the intersection of LDS thought and ancient scripture. With eighty LDS grad students in these fields, I expect the next decade will be interesting.

Abysmal LDS books – what’s the worst book ever published by Deseret Books? That’ll spark some debate and the wide-open field of contenders makes it very difficult to come to a consensus. Then there’s the fact that grad students don’t actually read books published by DB. And what did the word “interest” (D&C 119:4) mean when JS used it? Do we use it with the same meaning now? Who did JS think “Jehovah” to be when he read his OT?

Polygamy, polyandry, priesthood, baptism, the second anointing, child apostles, Paul, the Prince bio of President McKay, baptism, the bloggernacle, the passive voice in Greek, dispensationalism, football, war, slaves in the ancient Near East, politics, baptism, Emma Smith, torture, the growth of the church, various church leaders, Rough Stone Rolling, and baptism. (It’s David J.’s mission to write on baptism, so you’ll just have to wait until he gets back from his T-day celebrations to hear the deal on that one…)

And then I brought a new waffle over to LXXLuthor. He’d just maneuvered HP into eating the last one of the first batch, now cool and slightly soggy, so he could get the last warm, crisp one.

LXXLuthor started the weekend as something of the odd man out. He’s actually a senior at a large denominationally affiliated school in the Intermountain West with a religious education department. I’m not sure that the weekend’s conversation was exactly new, but I’m quite certain that the candor and detail in which various points were argued was an eye-opener. Our articulation of certain positions moved him on more than one occasion to ask why we actually still go to church.

But as you can see from his handle, LXXLuthor is interested in the LXX (Septuagint) and God willing he’s headed off next autumn to grad school in the same. When we meet for the SBL in San Diego next year, he’ll be dominating the conversation with his four new and original proofs of the Documentary Hypothesis, discussing why there’s only one hishtaphel left in Hebrew, and extolling the benefits of Historical Jesus research. When I handed him that waffle it was, in fact, the last waffle of innocence.

And although he started the weekend as the odd man out, you can see from the sidebar that he ended it as one of us. We might harass him a bit now and then, just for being a newbie, but you better not or you’ll have to deal with us. He’s our newbie!

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome LXXLuthor to FPR. He’s promised us a post on the vessels of wrath and mercy in Romans 9. When he gets done with finals, of course.

  • Ronan

    Welcome LXX. I hope you find time for a brain rinse some time. Hopefully HP will counteract the effects of David J’s insane grin on your budding scholarly cognition.

  • Mogget

    Um, yeah, Ronan. Like David J.’s grin just appeared by itself with nobody else egging him on.

  • http://faithprorumor.weblogs.us David J

    It’s a vicious cycle when the two are together. Good thing we’re separated by thousands of miles of ocean and only encounter each other annually.

  • http://mormonwasp.blogspot.com Justin

    Abysmal LDS books – what’s the worst book ever published by Deseret Books?

    I would go with:

    Francis Darter, Our Bible in stone, its divine purpose and present day message, the mystery of the ages unveiled (1931); or

    Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, his origin and destiny (1954) (“3, 2, 1……”)

  • http://faithprorumor.weblogs.us HP

    I am just glad that you all have a model of decorum, scholarship, organization, and reason like myself. Otherwise, who knows what would become of you.

  • http://www.splendisun.com J. Stapley

    Oh, how I wish I could have sat with you and brandished my ignorance listening. This was a really splendid post. Well done Mogget

  • Ronan

    Our articulation of certain positions moved him on more than one occasion to ask why we actually still go to church.

    Yeah, why was it again?!

  • Mogget

    a model of decorum, scholarship, organization, and reason

    Ok, all you models of decorum, scholarship, organization, and reason, who left their underwear in my guest bathroom?

    You can claim it on the backchannel if you like. If no one claims it, I’m keeping it as a trophy to show the VTs next month. ;)

  • Mark IV

    Mogget, LOL LOL LOL! Do you intend to pay for your VT’s ambulance ride to the emergency room when they have a stroke?

    I guess it is a good thing I didn’t show up, because my testimony couldn’t withstand the sort of apostate drunken debauchery you all obviously engaged in. Is it true you drank gin straight from the bathtub? On the weekend in question, while you were all off doing Satan’s work, I was helping a young cub scout work on his model car for the pinewood derby. Obviously, I had more fun than you did.

  • http://faithprorumor.weblogs.us HP

    “Yeah, why was it again?!”

    Mormons are cute.

  • http://faithprorumor.weblogs.us HP

    “Is it true you drank gin straight from the bathtub?”
    That’s true, but unfortunately we forgot to clear the drain after Ronan had a shower…

  • Ben

    Hey, is LXXLuthor perhaps a convert? There’s someone from the FAIR boards who fits the vague description here.

  • Ben

    “Our articulation of certain positions moved him on more than one occasion to ask why we actually still go to church.”

    Is it safe to assume that he still goes to Church?

    A hearty welcome!

    Wish I could have been there. I hate drinking gin from the bathtub alone…

  • LXXLuthor

    Howdy all. Thanks for making me feel right at home. Few things that need clarification here: In my defense, I didn’t ask people why they were still in the church because I couldn’t believe they hadn’t left it yet, I asked because I was curious about… about…. ok so I really was thinking David J. was a less active member waiting to happen. What I was really thinking was everyone there took something different from the Gospel and none of what they would say would be a typical resoponse. And, let’s face it, Mormons are hotties.

    Second, I really am the new kid on the block here. Not quite as badly as FHL seemed to feel, just a rookie on the Bible nerd scene. And, no, Ben, I’m not a convert. Just Canadian. Feel free to point this out to me in mocking tones at will. I’ve already accepted that it is to be my FPR hazing.

    Mogs, I’m curious as to whether any other garments were attached to said undies. I definitely left some fuzzy, grey PJ bottoms.

    Anyways, I’ll hopefully be getting to that Romans post before finals, just for something fun to do. It will come in two parts, the first part before the week’s out if I’m lucky.

  • Mogget

    I have your PJs. I recognize outer garments. It’s your dainty lacies that stump me. Fortunately.

    Email me a mailing addy, yes?!

  • Ben

    I was born in Canada myself (S. Alberta), but my family immigrated when I was 2. Having dual citizenship, I’m at home mocking both countries :)

  • LXXLuther

    Ben, that is my situation also, minus the immigrating part. The unspoken joke about being misplaced is I don’t ever see myself moving back to Canada permanently.

  • Ben

    I can’t imagine ever going back to Canada either, though I have friends who are staunch “everything is better in Canada” believers :)

  • LXXLuther

    *sigh* That’s every friend I ever made in Canada. Only most everything is better in Canada. Especially chocolate.

  • http://faithprorumor.weblogs.us/ David J

    Did anyone add LXX to the back-office email list? If he questions my Mormonism in person, he will SURELY question it once I can hide behind a well-written email to the group.

    I still go to church because, and I’m being honest, my wife will maim or hurt me if I don’t go. God’s honest truth.

  • LXXLuther

    David J.: I don’t think I’m on the list yet, though I really want to be now. And that answer about why you go to church makes way more sense than the crap you were feeding me at SBL.


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