Limited Tolerance

Over at T&S a discussion about the legalization of polygamy was closed after some of the participants got too heated. I'm not asking to continue that discussion here, but I do think it raises a central issue--how much diversity can and should the church tolerate?What issues/practices/doctrines can we hold differing "righteous" positions on; and which require complete uniformity? How do describe the interplay between culture and gospel norms? Why does it seem that we are more comfortable wit … [Read more...]

Doctrine as an Expedient Means

I served a mission back when the commitment pattern was king. Prepare--Identify--Invite--Follow Up; those were the rules of the game. If we could get investigators to make and keep commitments, they would feel the spirit and ultimately receive a testimony of the gospel.I'm wondering though, what this tells us about the role of doctrine (loosely defined) in the conversion experience. Does doctrine serve a functional role, where it is a means to an end? Is the value of doctrine, perhaps, more in … [Read more...]

A Return to the Roots

A few Sundays ago the topic of the sacrament meeting talks was the "restoration". It had all the necessary ingredients: restoration versus reformation, authority being lost as the ancient apostles were killed, our church being the "same" as the ancient church, and America as the prepared homeland for the restoration.A brief discussion I had with someone between sacrament and sunday school centered on bringing up the differences rather than similarities bewteen the Latter-day church and the … [Read more...]

Faithful Dissent

While reading through some of the transcripts of the interviews used for PBS' "The Mormons", some of Elder Holland's comments caught my eye. Dave over at DMI also posted about this interview, although he didn't necessarily pursue the issue I would like to raise here. … [Read more...]

The Mormons on PBS an Early Review

I actually do not have much time to put together a thorough review (which the film certainly deserves), but this is probably the only chance that I'll have in the next week or so and it airs on the 30th.The piece I'm discussing here is the first of the two-part series and deals with the history of Mormonism (the second part deals with the contemporary church).The first film is two hours long is divided into 6 "acts": Revelation, The Saints, Persecution, Exodus, Mountain Meadows, and … [Read more...]

God-like Nature: Discovered or Recovered

As Mormons we believe that all human beings have the capability to become like God. Part of this is based in the notion that we are the spirituatl offspring of God (in other words we were "born" and "begotten" in a pre-existence and "reared" accordingly). In this life we are gods in embryo learning what it means to become like him (and her). Indeed this is part (if not all) of our human nature.One of the questions I've been thinking about lately is whether this God-like nature is something … [Read more...]

Of Course Mormonism has Theology

Dave's post over at DMI reminded me of first time I heard that Mormonism didn't have "theology". Back then I thought, "You've got to be kidding me!" As I listened, though, I slowly understood. I also agreed. However, the more I've listened to discussions on the topic, the more I've found the claim problematic.The problem with this, as I see it is (at least) two-fold:First of all, "theology" is removed from it's broader sense of "faith seeking understanding" to a more specialized/technical … [Read more...]

How to Reconcile Difference: In History and More

Earlier comments made by Mogget that the BoM tends to deal with the "other" in terms of conversion, military conquest, or basically "ignoring" them has got me thinking. How do we as a people deal reconcile difference? I'm less inclined to make a textual observation here (as I believe Mogs was doing); and instead am speaking socio-culturally.I think there are a variety of (sometimes competing) alternatives we already employ in dealing with difference (both internal and external differences). In … [Read more...]