A Really Rapid Race Through Repentance

This is a sacrament meeting talk I recently gave. My favorite English dork wants to read it and I want to oblige. So FWIW...For my part in today’s discussion of repentance, I want to present what the NT contributes to the topic. I shall begin with a sample of repentance as taught by John the Baptist and then Jesus, letting Luke stand in for his fellow Synoptic evangelists. If time permits, I will continue with some of the contributions of Johannine and Pauline communities, the two great t … [Read more...]

Can Mormons see Grey? Dealing with Difference Part II

Roughly speaking we can talk of two different ways of conceptualizing a world imbued with morality—as black-and-white or as shades of grey. In regards to our religion, I see faithful members of the Church in both camps. Those that see in black-and-white, view the Spirit as a power that is either present, or is not. Any given thing is either of God or of the devil. A church is either the church of the Lamb or the church of the devil (1Ne. 14:10). Those that see in grey emphasize parts of the g … [Read more...]

Sex, Reproductive Technology, and Mormon Doctrine

This is not a post about whether birth control should be permitted, or about stem-cell research, test-tube babies or even about the ethics of in-vitro fertilization. Rather, this post is about what these technologies do to and for Mormon doctrines about sex and reproduction.One of the results of modern reproductive technology is to completely separate sex and reproduction. They are no longer necessarily related. This must leave an impact on the way that we theologize about both. Sex without … [Read more...]

Mandatory Repentence Periods?

It appears that a new instruction manual to bishops requires certain "waiting periods" for prospective missionaries who commit certain sins, which are specifically enumerated. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?The only reason that I can think that it is a good thing is that it standardizes the waiting period. This way, bishop A who is more strict than bishop B is required to follow the same guidelines.However, this very process of standardization also strikes me as creating a whole new set … [Read more...]

New Blog Team Member: diahman

We've just added the newest member to team Urban Mormonism. Diahman is an anonymous bloggernacle veteran and an amazing conversation partner. I look forward to working more closely with this amazing contributor! … [Read more...]

Dealing with Difference: A Taxonomy

How do we as Latter-day Saints reconcile differences? At this point I would like to keep the definition of “differences” purposefully broad. It could refer to opposing opinions of faithful members within the church, historical and scriptural discrepancies, inter-faith relations (hostile or non-hostile), or a host of other scenarios where we are faced with the challenge of dealing intellectually, socially, or culturally with something that stretches our current system of beliefs. In short this is … [Read more...]

Jesus in History

The "Quest for the Historical Jesus" has emerged in various stages. With the emergence of critical historical tools in the Enlightenment, it wasn't long before these were turned to the sacred history of the Bible. Very briefly, the First Quest argued about what kind of a figure Jesus was, culminating with Albert Schweitzer's convincing argument that Jesus was an apocalyptic teacher who preached the end of the world and the end of the present order. Not long after this, Bultmann argued that in … [Read more...]

A Crisis in the Church

No, this post is not about low baptism numbers, low retention numbers, or low commandment observance. Rather, I see a major crisis of a different kind, a crisis of rhetoric. Once upon a time, Mormons used to preach. The talks that were delivered had content and spunk. Sadly, I don't think that I have been alive to ever have seen this past tradition, but it is long dead. Now, talks consist mostly of quotes from general authroities and banal observations about whatever the topic happens to … [Read more...]


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