Faith as a Relationship

I recently heard somebody refer to faith as a verb. While many verbs are involved in faith, I would say that faith is itself not a verb, but it is a noun.Faith in Jesus Christ is not believing in Christ. Having faith in Christ is having a relationship with Him. A relationship is a noun. What then does this thing involve? That is a more complex issue.What does any relationship require? We could probably come up with a long list, but I will note a few that stand out to me.Trust. We must be … [Read more...]

Turning Wine into Water

In a rather strange opening miracle, the author of the Gospel of John depicts Jesus as working a familiar Dionysian miracle of turning water into wine.  Mormons have undone this entirely, turning wine into water.  The modern sacrament prayers go so far as to change the wording of the revealed prayers, substituting "water" for "wine."  This wasn't always so.In the early days of the Church, LDS followers drank wine from a common cup.  The founding church order given in April 1830, revised in 18 … [Read more...]

Mormons and Wild Geese

The first line of Mary Oliver's poem "Wild Geese" seems as at odds with Mormonism as anything can be. "You do not have to be good," she states.What's that? It sounds an awfully lot like sacrilege. Of course we have to be good. Jesus admonished us to become perfect, and not only do we have the 10 commandments of other Bible-believers, we have a strict health code, a tithing requirement, and obligatory church attendance. A Latter-day Saint's entire identity can be wrapped up in the necessity of … [Read more...]

Capital Punishment and LDS Doctrinal Development

This morning my facebook and twitter feeds were inundated with declarations by my Latter-day Saint friends decrying capital punishment and the execution of Troy Davis last night. "I want to take this opportunity to voice my outright and unequivocal opposition to the death penalty," said one. "A sad day to be a Georgian," lamented another. I wasn't really surprised, but I am fascinated by how the tide of public support of capital punishment has ebbed among Mormons in my own lifetime. … [Read more...]

The Biologist and Her Baptism

The Friday before classes start this semester, my wife Lyndee and I attended a dinner at the college president's house for first year faculty.We always enjoy low-cost dates. That night, as things were widing down, I got up to get a drink and one of the other first year faculty, a biologist named Kelsey, sat next to my wife on the couch and started chatting. I had chatted with Kelsey during our earlier meetings. After all, I am Facebook friends with Steve Peck...I know biology.When I … [Read more...]

Jesus in Hell!

At the end of Good Friday, we'd like to commemorate Christ's descent into hell. Christ's descensus ad inferno has a long history in Christian tradition. In Mormon terms, this is related to Christ's "visit" to Spirit Prison. This tradition, and particularly the Mormon version, have an important theological message about Christ's nature. … [Read more...]

Bloggernaclademia

New category. We're in. You're out. … [Read more...]

The C-F-A and a Non-literal Adam and Eve

This past Sunday I taught my 14 year old SS class about the Atonement from 2 Nephi 2 (we're a week behind). A strange thought occurred to me after class concerning the possible effects of a non-literal or symbolical reading of the Adam and Eve story on the way we (or at least I) understand the Atonement. … [Read more...]


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