The “Vote of Thanks”

I've been a Mormon all my life. Sadly, I mostly tune out during sacrament meeting, and I usually bring something to read because 99.9% of the time, I come away from sacrament meeting feeling less in tune with God than before. With a good book in hand, I can have some face time in the ward but simultaneously worship God my own way (currently reading Grant Palmer's Insider's View of Mormon Origins - IT'S EXTRAORDINARY!). Last week, I heard something I've heard all my life, and like a good … [Read more...]

Herod’s Tomb Discovered

While everybody has been discussing the PBS film on Mormons, a recent archaeological discovery in Israel might be of some interest: Herod's tomb has been found. Unfortunately, no body was found, but the excavators at the site are quite sure that the tomb does indeed belong to Herod.Herod is that bad guy in Matthew that you've all read about - the infanticidal maniac who "pharoah-ed up" and thought he could rid the Jewish faith of its Davidic Messiah (a threat to his seat within the Empire) by … [Read more...]

Mormon Support for War Waning

I always figured that the last sign of the apocalypse would be that the Boston Red Sox would win the World Series. And then they did. Then I shifted to the White Sox, and they did too. Then I tried to imagine something that would prolong the apocalypse (in my mind, anyway) until far, far beyond my own lifetime: Mormons giving up on all things conservative.Well, the majority of Mormons may not be heaving out conservatism entirely (one can only dream in my case...), but they are beginning to not … [Read more...]

The Intellectually Ousted

I have been thinking a lot lately about ex-Mos. In so doing, I imagine what their excommunications are like, or what their mindset was like when they petitioned to have their 'records removed.' I even know some ex-Mos; some who have taken the long way back into membership, others who have left the church, and others who have left the church but cannot leave it alone (There was a great post at BCC over this, but I can't find the link). Instead of concentrating on the ex-Mo himself, I have been … [Read more...]

The TK Smoothie Rule

In light of Ronan's helpful rules on cultish behavior and public orthodoxy, my brother and I have developed yet another rule by which to measure our collective worth; especially in light of our place among the religions of the world. Introducing The TK Smoothie Rule.You're probably thinking, "David J, WTF is a TK Smoothie?!" Let me give you some background: I believe it was Joseph Fielding Smith who, in his typical cavalier doctrinal musings, indicated that the heirs of the telestial kingdom … [Read more...]

Silent Night w/ Walter Cronkite

My daily reading for all things Libertarian comes from LRC. I noticed today an interesting post referencing the Mo-Tab and a new CD/DVD collection based on the oft-quoted story of soldiers in WWII from opposing sides coming together to celebrate Christmas. (Could someone take the time to verify the historicity of this story? If it's coming from the church, you can't blame me for being a little bit skeptical...).I haven't heard it yet, but mine is on the way. … [Read more...]

On the “Baptismal” Covenant

We frequently hear of our "baptismal covenants" in church and conference. I cannot quite pinpoint the exact spot in space-time, but I can say that a few years ago I began to view the "baptismal" covenant with suspicion. Why? It seemed that a lot of people were discussing the baptismal covenant, but I could not recall for myself what exactly that covenant entailed. With all the other covenants of the gospel, most of them housed in the temple, I could easily recall their stipulations, scope, … [Read more...]

“The Fingers of One Hand”

Recenly, I read a comment that the realm of "Outer Darkness" does not really qualify as "Hell" because there will be "so few" who inherit it, probably about 6 or 7 people in total. Not only does this border on unitarian universalism, but we would be making a mistake, I believe, in completely dismissing the word "Hell" from our vocabulary as a substitute for "Outer Darkness." The word "Hell" comes in handy when teaching discussions as a missionary and in discussing soteriology with non-Mormons. … [Read more...]