Reflecting "our aspirations as a just and caring society" (The Church on Immigration)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint has release the following statement:As a worldwide church dealing with many complex issues across the globe, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints promotes broad, foundational principles that have worldwide application. The Church regards the declaration of the Utah Compact as a responsible approach to the urgent challenge of immigration reform. It is consistent with important principles for which we stand:* We follow Jesus Christ by … [Read more...]

Research and Responsibility

Recent discussions about the influence a vague entity called "Correlation" has on various Bloggernaclers got me thinking about the problem of responsibility in research. I admit I'm personally less likely to blog about certain sensitive LDS issues. For example, there are elements of temple ritual I feel comfortable writing about and other elements I don't. I personally don't feel like my reticence is due to being trapped in the Panopticon. I admit I'm less likely to be flippant or brash about … [Read more...]

"Levels of Understanding" in Isaiah(?)

Thank you for the invitation to participate here at FPR.My post comes out of the intersection created by my ongoing academic training and attending Gospel Doctrine class on a somewhat regular basis. (The fact that I recently spent a year teaching a Stake Institute class on Isaiah also influenced my thoughts in this post.) … [Read more...]

Patrick Henry and Right-Wing (Anti-) Constitutionalism

The Patrick Henry Caucus is the pro-state’s right group within the Utah State Legislature. This is the right-wing of a very right-wing legislative body. They are in many ways the voice of the tea party movement and the 9/12 groups.The choice of Patrick Henry as their symbol is an appropriate one. Henry is most famous for his “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech. While this speech is a rousing oration, it points in many ways to who Henry is. He is not the great revolutionary, but America’s … [Read more...]

Church Stance on Birth Control, Public and “Private”

Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrators (DMBA), the Church's insurance company, does not cover prescriptive contraception, for any reason that relates to ("voluntary") contraception. That is, any Church employee or covered spouse (including BYU employees) that wants contraception requiring a prescription must pay for it entirely out of pocket. The only exceptions for this relate to the physical (not mental) health of the woman: endometriosis, ovarian cysts, etc. Postpartum depression is not a … [Read more...]

Desire

Michel Foucault traces the West's shift in concern from sexual acts to sexual desires to second-century Greek thought, a shift which was fully embraced and completed by Christianity, in his series, The History of Sexuality.  This transition to concern for desires, the interrogation of desires, the confession of desires, and the hermeneutics of desire inform the modern conceptualization of the self, specifically the idea that our desires, when they are properly known to us through the act of … [Read more...]

Mormon Halacha and Common Law

In kosher law, wine is only kosher when it has been produced and handled by Jews. In this way this kosher law is distinctive from the LDS "Word of Wisdom" in that it is not about the substance of the drink, but how it is handled. There is one exception to this rule, however. If the wine produced by Gentiles is boiled, it becomes kosher. On its face, there is no logical principle why boiling the wine would render it ritually clean, but that is not the point. Rather, the point is that the law is … [Read more...]

From Missionaries to Salesmen

While trying to put together some posts, a colleague sent me an interesting article in The New York Times about Mormon young men selling for Pinnacle Security. Having lived and worked quite a bit in Mormon college towns, I have mixed feelings about these operations. Here in Rexburg, Idaho, recruitment offices for security and pest control sales companies are in prominent places throughout the town. One of my neighbors has done quite well selling for such companies. However, Brigham Young … [Read more...]


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