What to do with BYU Religion

On analogy with a recent post by Clark Goble on M*, and in the spirit of Sweeps, I want to bring up an honest question, without being sarcastic, demeaning, or combative:What is the purpose of Religious Education at BYU? I realize that they define it on their home page, but I specifically want to take a more functional look. Does having a faculty concerned with "preserving the doctrine" fill a role fundamentally different from that of the LDS Institutes? If so, what is that role? If not, why is … [Read more...]

The Waters of Judah

Last evening HP called my attention to a recent post on M*. I think I’d like to add a little to the business of er...bloodlines and OT exegesis.So let’s do a little textual criticism. Here’s the text of Is 48:1: … [Read more...]

BYU’s Dept. of Religious “Education”

I'm sure many of us have realized that BYU's Religion Department uses the title "Religious Education" rather than "Religious Studies". BYU-Hawaii even refers to their religion department as "The Department of Religious Education".There seems to be a distinction that Church schools are trying to make by differentiating themselves as religious "educators" rather than religious "studiers". The home page of BYU's religious department states that their mission is "to build the Kingdom of God by … [Read more...]

Alternative Lifestyles

One of the constraining aspects of Mormonism is that it seems to shut down alternative modes of living life. By "alternative lifestyles" I don't mean to refer to experimental sexual/social relationships like hippie compounds or anything. Rather, I am interested in the way that a true Mormon cannot choose to live a nomadic or solitary life. We must exist within communities. But our communities are not just any kind of community, they are local communities.The reason that I have been thinking … [Read more...]

Pious Pumpkins

This time of year always gets me thinking about how I can express what I feel about the gospel on a pumpkin. I mean, what better way to show your testimony that through the medium of a pumpkin? I can't think of any. The pumpkin is a symbol of Christ because it grows from a tiny seed. Fortunately, someone else shares my desire to make a Christ pumpkin, and even a Gordon B. Hinkley pumpkin. Thank goodness! … [Read more...]

Comments Contest! Real Prizes!!

Dear Readers,We have been having a good number of visitors to our site since our humble beginnings. We are grateful that people have continued to come and hopefully enjoy our musings. However, our comment/vistor ratio seems rather small. Our view is that we haven't yet had the critical mass of comments to really get the conversation going, even though we have plenty of people visiting! So we have devised a solution: a contest. From now until Nov 12, we will be keeping track of the most and … [Read more...]

On Being Disturbed

The Gospel of Thomas preserves a version of Jesus's familiar saying about searching and finding, but with a twist: "Jesus said, 'Let one who seeks not stop seeking until one finds. When one finds, one will be disturbed. When one is disturbed, one will marvel, and will reign over all." (Logion 3). The emphasis here is that the divine mysteries, the secrets of the Kingdom, are unexpected, troubling, even disturbing. As Latter-day Saints, is the divine fundamentally disturbing?The injunction to … [Read more...]

“The Fingers of One Hand”

Recenly, I read a comment that the realm of "Outer Darkness" does not really qualify as "Hell" because there will be "so few" who inherit it, probably about 6 or 7 people in total. Not only does this border on unitarian universalism, but we would be making a mistake, I believe, in completely dismissing the word "Hell" from our vocabulary as a substitute for "Outer Darkness." The word "Hell" comes in handy when teaching discussions as a missionary and in discussing soteriology with non-Mormons. … [Read more...]


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