Reflections on Being a Dangerous Mormon

Worried about the possibility of a Romney presidency, evangelical writer Warren Smith recently labeled Mormonism “a false and dangerous religion.” He is worried, among other things, that Mormons do not affirm the Trinity as described in the Nicene Creed. I can’t help but wonder how many past presidents would have been disqualified on this ground. Deists such as Thomas Jefferson flatly and openly rejected the Creed, and I would bet that many subsequent presidents knew little of the Creed, let alon … [Read more...]

Polygamy and the Shaping of Mormon Identity

I am currently reading “A Mormon Mother: The autobiography of Annie Clark Tanner." My dissertation advisor had told me the story of Tanner’s experience with polygamy was “heartbreaking”, and indeed several moments in the text have invoked my sympathy for this remarkable woman. However, Tanner manages to convey her ordeals without indulging in self pity, and her memories never devolve into bitterness and resentment, even though such feelings would have been justified. Perhaps herein lies the power … [Read more...]

High Standards, Mercy, and Forgiveness

…a short sermon for SundayThough I live at the northern tip of the Jell-O belt, I follow the news throughout Utah and Idaho. I have noticed that whenever there is some sort of community scandal, high profile crime, or mid-profile crime (okay, anything involving middle class Mormons) there is a tendency on comment boards to want to “throw the book” at the perpetrator. Maximum sentence! Throw away the key! Make an example! Crucify them! Even the innocuous story of David Archuleta choosing not to … [Read more...]

Against Doomsday

Enough about Christmas, let’s talk about death and destruction. Excited? Well, it seems a lot of people are. I know folks who just can’t pass up an opportunity to point out that we are in the last days—the great end of times. Usually the reference comes up in relation to some grave concern expressed about the fate of our country—a nation in the hands of the conspiratorial communists currently in the White House plotting the destruction of everything our Found Fathers held so dear. Yes, the Consti … [Read more...]

The Magic of Christmas and the Enchanted Mormon Worldview

I appreciate Chris for inviting me here, or doing his reactivation work. I have been a less active member of the bloggernacle for a couple years, after an initially enthusiastic start. I also appreciate the Thoreau reference, now if only I could grow one of those cool chin beards.Anyway, I thought I'd start off with something light and festive.I have noticed a direct correlation between the strength of my testimony and how much I feel that nebulous thing called “the Christmas Spirit.” There w … [Read more...]