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...]

Apologetics: “Don’t we have Anything Else to Talk About?”

 The title for this post comes from the (slightly altered) title of a presentation given at a conference at Yale for Latter-day Saint students (doing work in religion). The presenter, a Yale Div School student, argued for moving beyond apologetics, except in certain circumstances. I would like to further examine the circumstances which make apologetics appropriate. … [Read more...]

Role of the Scholar Pt. 1–A Priority of Questions?

At a recent conference held at Yale for LDS students doing work in Religious Studies, one of the issues that was broached but not really expanded on was the relationship between the Church and the scholar. In the next few posts I would like to unpack the issue a little more.In this post I would like to pose the notion of priority in questions--are some questions inherently better than others? As scholars are we "progressing" in asking the questions we ask? Are we "moving beyond" the old … [Read more...]

When to put a Child up for Adoption

I recently learned that a person I know put her baby up for adoption. As I don't know all the details of this story, I won't go into to specifics; but I am familiar with a couple of other people who, aftering getting pregnant while rather young (usually in their teens) gave up their children at the encouragment of the church.I'm wondering about the reasoning behind this encouragement (both culturally and institutionally).One couple I met, got pregnant while in highschool and gave their baby up … [Read more...]

On my honor I will… shave?

While at BYU I often wondered why "dress and grooming standards" were subsumed under "the honor code". Can someone please explain this to me?Why isn't dress and grooming standards in a category of it's own? I guess the reason I'm bothered by this was because, as circumstances would have it, I occasionally went off to class having forgot to shave, and was warned a few times about violating "the honor code". I couldn't help but feeling that in essence my personal "honor" was being challenged. Was … [Read more...]