Church Stance on Birth Control, Public and “Private”

Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrators (DMBA), the Church's insurance company, does not cover prescriptive contraception, for any reason that relates to ("voluntary") contraception. That is, any Church employee or covered spouse (including BYU employees) that wants contraception requiring a prescription must pay for it entirely out of pocket. The only exceptions for this relate to the physical (not mental) health of the woman: endometriosis, ovarian cysts, etc. Postpartum depression is not a … [Read more...]

Who sold Joseph?

A friend suggested that when confronting the problems of the Pentateuchal narrative, it's best to begin with an innocuous passage--that is, one that has low theological stakes. Part of the problem with the average person's acceptance of the theory is that usually one starts with creation, or flood, or even, as I did earlier, covenant in Exod 34. So let's take one such case, one that is both theologically bland and relatively straightforward in terms of narrative. At the end of Genesis 37, Joseph … [Read more...]

Process-ease and other Linguistic Pet Peeves

I'm not a prescriptivist when it comes to language. That is, when a foreign-speaking missionary comes home from a mission correcting everyone's grammar, people are correct (imo) to be turned off by it (this usually assumes, as prescriptivists have throughout time, that English should work like Latin, Greek, or some other language). This "correct" English itself would have been considered a bastardization not too terribly long ago. Split infinitives don't bother me (though I try to really not use … [Read more...]

Provo-based Media and the Priesthood Ban

SCANDAL! Read on for details...Given the many posts in the 'nacle devoted to Sunday's 30-year anniversary of the priesthood ban, I was surprised at the lack of attention given the anniversary in the Provo-based Daily Herald. Saturday, June 7th's paper had a small (one-column) below-the-fold article noting the anniversary, while just under the Daily Herald's logo at the top of the paper was a giant headline announcing the "Life and Style" section's full-page article on Mack Wilberg's taking the … [Read more...]

Introducing Secco

We'd like to welcome our newest guest blogger! Secco enjoys European breads, pastries, and all things chocolate (which fits in well over here). Secco is, as you may have already seen from the regular comments, full of interesting takes on scripture and Mormonism, and we look forward to the discussion that will no doubt be generated by this blogger's presence. Welcome! … [Read more...]

What you have to explain without the Documentary Hypothesis

Last year I tried to give sure-fire evidence from a single chapter in Exodus supporting the claim that the first 5 books of the Hebrew Bible were arranged from multiple sources. One negative response to my three-part post came from Julie M. Smith over at Times and Seasons.* She said, essentially, that if this was the extent of the evidence for the Documentary Hypothesis, she’d lost her faith in what she’d been taught during her Master’s Degree in New Testament studies. In the discussion of her po … [Read more...]

Elder Holland’s Subversive Message?

At the risk of stirring controversy against my absolute favorite Apostle, I want to ask a few questions stemming from his engaging discussion of Scripture and modern prophecy and his dialogue with biblical studies.Elder Holland's talk in General Conference was part II of his discourse on Mormonism's place with respect to "Christianity". He begins by giving justifications for an open canon, namely, why the various statements about not adding to or taking away from a given book (Revelation) … [Read more...]

Salt Lake City

In a nod to our friends at A Motley Vision, and in advance of this weekend's Conference, I offer the following, as is, with no commentary, except to say it's often refreshing to see the familiar through strange eyes. Salt Lake CityPompous Mormon symmetry. Everywhere marble: flawless, funereal (the Capitol, the organ in the Visitor Centre). Yet a Los-Angelic modernity, too -- all the requisite gadgetry for a minimalist, extraterrestrial comfort. The Christ-topped dome (all the Christs here are … [Read more...]