The Book of Mormon on Eve

I'm pretty sure my understanding of the Fall is woefully incomplete. I've been still trying to square statements that pop up with frequency in the Bloggernacle and even in General Conference talks that say things like, "Mormons believe that Eve was courageous and wise" in her decision to partake of the forbidden fruit, when the scriptural texts suggest we don't believe that. I thought it might be useful to explore just what the Book of Mormon says about Eve and the Fall.I learned a few … [Read more...]

Deliberate textual ambiguities?

Substantial effort is expended to harmonize conflicting texts, such as the Harmony of the Gospels in our Bible Dictionary, Creation account harmonizations, investigations of whether Matthew or Luke got the ordering of the temptations "correct," and so on. But what if the writers of scripture deliberately put in ambiguities? We have some evidence for this; Joseph Smith, in his revisions, seems to have left differing versions (e.g., Luke 3 versus Isaiah 40, creation accounts in Moses versus … [Read more...]

AAUP 10 years later

This bounced into my in-box this morning... -------------The emails we have sent out to faculty across the country to date have all dealt with current issues in the academy. It has always been our intention, however, to provide occasional lessons about AAUP history, especially when the past is still with us.This year is the tenth anniversary of one of the AAUP's more remarkable cases--the 1998 censure of Brigham Young University. The full report is on our Web site. Let me give you a few hi … [Read more...]

Suppressed texts that bounce back

What is it about suppressing an idea that seems to draw attention to it? I'm not sure, but when a text goes from being suppressed to being championed, it perhaps suggests that the ideas it contains are all the more important.Two cases in point: … [Read more...]

Anxiety and the Fall

Some years back for a course I was taking in psychiatry we were assigned to regularly visit a local mental hospital. The first and second floors were "day programs" and the third floor was the locked unit, for those not safe enough to be let out. I will never forget the intensity of the cigarette smoke: I've since learned that many schizophrenics self-medicate with nicotine. Also unforgettable was the look in the eyes of the many people wandering the bare rooms of the third floor. But for this … [Read more...]

Eve Deceived

There has been a fair amount of discussion on the question of whether Eve was deceived or not, as Paul says in 1 Tim 2:14. Books have been written, vociferous posts have gone back and forth, and apostles have been quoted. I've heard well-meaning Mormons dismiss the 1 Tim 2:14 verse as the only verse that supported the idea that Eve was misled, suggesting that in this case Paul was mistaken. Instead, the perspective is put forward that we should interpret Eve's actions as courageous and done with … [Read more...]

Uzzah Killed For Blind Obedience

Let me start out by saying I’m a big, big fan of obedience. And I also see many instances where the scriptures teach we should not criticize our leaders. I’ve got no problem with that – IMHO our leaders deserve all the support we can give them. However, I think that we have been badly misinterpreting a story that is commonly used to support these concepts. The traditional Mormon interpretation of the story of Uzzah and the ark in 2 Samuel 6 and 1 Chr 13 is familiar to most of us: Uzzah reaches ou … [Read more...]