Capital Punishment and LDS Doctrinal Development

This morning my facebook and twitter feeds were inundated with declarations by my Latter-day Saint friends decrying capital punishment and the execution of Troy Davis last night. "I want to take this opportunity to voice my outright and unequivocal opposition to the death penalty," said one. "A sad day to be a Georgian," lamented another. I wasn't really surprised, but I am fascinated by how the tide of public support of capital punishment has ebbed among Mormons in my own lifetime. … [Read more...]

Dallin H. Oaks and Subtext

Have you ever listened to an entire talk on a subject wherein the subject was determinedly left unmentioned? I heard such a talk last Sunday night: Dallin H. Oaks' CES devotional broadcast to single adults. The talk was titled "Truth and Tolerance," but another, more intrepid Apostle might have named the same talk, "A Defense of the LDS Position on Gay Marriage."While never mentioning same-sex attraction, Elder Oaks gave several references that made it clear to the discerning listener what he … [Read more...]

Mormon Women’s Texts and the New RS History, “Daughters in My Kingdom”

The much-heralded Relief Society history Daughters in my Kingdom commissioned by General President Julie B. Beck is now available online and will soon be distributed to Relief Society sisters all over the world. My preliminary reading of the book got me thinking about religious texts for Mormon women: what they are, their effectiveness and usefulness to LDS females, and how this latest work compares with what has gone before. I'd like this to be an interactive post, as commenters may be able to r … [Read more...]

Speculation Upon The Kody Brown Polygamy Case

Taken from remarks made by a panel at the 2011 Sunstone Symposium. Participants were Kaimi Wenger, asst. professor at Thomas Jefferson Law School; Ben Winslow, multi-media journalist for Fox 13 News; DeWayne Hafen, practicing polygamist from Baja California; Cheryl Bruno, permablogger at FPR. Also remarks made at a meeting of the Apostolic United Brethren in Rocky Ridge, Utah, 8/7/11.It doesn’t take a law degree to understand the ins and outs of the Kody Brown Polygamy case currently being f … [Read more...]

Should Mormons in the “Diaspora” Celebrate Pioneer Day?

It has only been in recent years that I have slowly become aware that not every convert to the Church shares my deep identification with the Mormon pioneers. I have loved the epic story of the trek to the Salt Lake Valley. I appreciate its archetypal connotations. My heart thrills with the stories of the pioneer heroes and heroines, and I consider each of their stories part of my legacy as a Mormon, though my LDS heritage begins with myself.In the last few years there has been some grumbling … [Read more...]

License to Sin

Lately whenever I've visited out in SLC I've had a meetup with my evangelical Christian buddy, Aaron -- the one who is known for standing out on Temple Square with a sign on Thursday evenings. Every time I return from an evening of bandying scripture about, I am prone to much reflection on the nature of salvation. And because I'm more disposed to connection than disassociation, I like to ponder the points of contact between traditional Christianity and modern Mormonism.The fathers of the early … [Read more...]

Do Mormons Need a “Nostra Aetate” of Their Own?

In 1965 the Second Vatican Council produced a declaration on the relation of the Catholic church with non-Christian religions. In this document, "Nostra Aetate" (In Our Age), the Catholic Church revolutionized its relations with Jews by saying Christ's death could not be attributed to Jews as a whole at the time or today.A forthcoming book by Pope Benedict XVI supports and furthers this doctrine. In the second volume of “Jesus of Nazareth”, which will be released by Ignatius Press on March 10, … [Read more...]

Spiritual Gifts: The Cessationist Controversy from an LDS Perspective

Debate over spiritual gifts is about as old as the first New Testament passage describing them. Paul's discourse and description of the gifts in 1 Corinthians is a response to the first-century Church's turmoil over the nature and practice of these gifts.The Montanist heresy is evidence of continued confusion in the second and third century.  From references found in Eusebius and others we learn that one of the greatest arguments between Montanists and the Church in Asia Minor was whether or … [Read more...]


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