By Study and also By Faith

The following quote by Orson F. Whitney came up in Sunday School yesterday. "Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning even by study, and also by faith."Why did the Lord so instruct his Prophet? Why did the Prophet so teach his people? It was because God had designed, and his prophet had foreseen, a great and glorious future for that people. Chosen himself in weakness, so far as this world's wisdom was concerned, as a foundation stone of the mighty structure which is … [Read more...]

This is the last time, I promise. Ahem, “We’re gonna rage Mormon-style!”

Woo-hoo! On a lark, I sent in an application to be the new Friday blogger on one of my favorite blogs: Various Stages of Mormondom. And they fell, carefully examined my qualifications and gave me the job. I'm so excited I could spit (this, by the way, is a good thing)!Anyhoo, this probably puts an end to any posts around here on Fridays. Please try to contain your collective sighs of disappointment. I'll put the usual stuff up on other days of the week.For now, I am just excited … [Read more...]

“We’re gonna rage Mormon-style!” or yet another WoW post

Over on my sideblog there is a Rolling Stone article about Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of The Killers, a band whose music I am entirely indifferent to (okay, it's supposed to be about the whole band, but it isn't). The article mentions Flowers' Mormonism quite prominently, with him declaring himself quite devout and mentioning that he is trying to smoke and drink less. Of course it then mentions him rolling a cigarette but holding off to smoke it because he prefers to be drinking while he … [Read more...]

Historical Mormon Smackdown: Kimball vs. Pratt [edited]

Well, it turns out that we think by almost 2:1 proportions that the Proclamation is more influential today. I guess that isn't too shocking. I wonder however what the results would have been if I changed "influential today" to "important". But probably I'll save that for March Mormon Doctrine Madness next year.Anyhoo, on with the show:Which is the more influential early Mormon theological bigwig: Heber C. Kimball or Orson Pratt?Heber C. Kimball: a visionary man, a member of the First … [Read more...]

Do we overcomplicate things?

"One of the surest ways to avoid even getting near false doctrine is to choose to be simple in our teaching."—Elder Henry B. EyringEnsign, May 1999, 74What do you think this means in relation to the activities of the 'nacle? … [Read more...]

There is no other way

If you have a spare half-hour or so, please read the following chapter from the Brothers Karamazov, "Rebellion". Now, I give this reading to my students to prove two points: first, that utilitarianism has some fundamental flaws; and second, that atheists can be good moral thinkers too. (I should hasten to add that Dostoevsky was devoutly, fanatically Orthodox Christian, it is his character here who is an atheist (kinda)).This chapter comprises the most thorough and convincing argument against … [Read more...]

Out of the best books…

Dear reader,I am once again, too lazy/busy to come up with an actual topic for discussion (although I do have a couple that I am pecking at on the keyboard). That said, the discussion from my last post has gotten me thinking about the books that we read in the church.What book have you read that has best helped you to understand the atonement?Here are the ground rules for this discussion:1. The scriptures are disqualified (this isn't because I don't like them (the opposite is quite true) but … [Read more...]

A hierarchy of scripture

As I see it, we have a hierarchy of belief in scripture. In other words, we give more authority to certain types of scripture than to others.Here is how I think we rank it, from most authoritative to least authoritative:1. Statements acknowledged as directly from the Lord made over the pulpit in General Conference by the current President of the Church2. Statements made over the pulpit in General Conference by current members of the First Presidency or the Quorum of the Twelve3. Statements … [Read more...]