On Maintaining Integrity in Difficult Circumstances

Over the pope as the expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority there still stands one’s own conscience, which must be obeyed before all else; if necessary even against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. This emphasis on the individual, whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, as one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even of the official Church, also establishes a principle in opposition to increasing t … [Read more...]

Review of Brant A. Gardner, Traditions of the Fathers: The Book of Mormon as History

 I finally found time over the holidays to read Brant Gardner’s Traditions of the Fathers: The Book of Mormon as History, which he describes as an attempt to read the BoM “in history and as history” (p. 52). Publicized as the state of the art in BoM apologetics, I was curious to see what Gardner had to say about BoM historicity. As a part-time student of the historicity debates myself, I have written a number of articles here at FPR that explore the narrative as a 19th century product of … [Read more...]

Congrats Stephen Smoot

We here at FPR have learned that Mr. Stephen Smoot has been accepted into the MA program at Trinity Western in Biblical Studies. This is a significant first step for Stephen and we are very pleased to offer both our congratulations regarding his acceptance and our best wishes for his future. He has chosen a tough and complicated path but we are confident that he will also find it to be as rewarding as have we.I might also add, personally, that there still seems to be a bit of confusion … [Read more...]

Authority is Our Sacred Cow, and It Must be Domesticated

I believe that there are members of our faith that would engage in acts of terrorism if asked by the leaders of our Church. For instance, in a discussion about two years ago on M*, one of the perma-bloggers said the following with regard to Abraham attempting to sacrifice Isaac: “Smallaxe, with the testimony I have of the living prophets, if President Monson were to call upon me to sacrifice one of my children, I would do so.”If someone is willing to sacrifice his own child at the request of … [Read more...]

To the General Presidents of the Women’s Auxiliaries

Dear Sisters,As a Relief Society president in a small unit outside of Utah I have watched with interest the roll-out of the Church’s policy on gay marriage, cohabitation, and the children of gay parents who live or have lived in stable relationships. I would like to ask one question and make one request. My question is this:Were the three of you consulted about these policies? … [Read more...]

Tips on Being an Independent Scholar: Cheryl L. Bruno

1)Tell us about your background, education, and career goals when you were just starting out? Did they change over time? I graduated from a small liberal arts college with a B.S. in Physical Recreation and Recreation, while working as a swim coach. Upon graduation, I served an LDS mission. When I returned, I enrolled in a Master’s program at BYU in Educational Psychology. I married a few months after beginning the program, and in less than a year delivered the first of my eight children. I was h … [Read more...]

Tips on Being an Independent Scholar: Ardis Parshall

1) Tell us about your background, education, and career goals when you were just starting out? Did they change over time?I don’t have any formal education or training for what I do, which is Mormon history. No one knows better than I do what a handicap that is, or how much I regret my lack of opportunity, but being self-taught is not anything to be ashamed of, either. I have a knack for history, for analysis of documents and evaluation of historical claims, and for ferreting out where people … [Read more...]

Tips on Being an Independent Scholar: Blake Ostler

1) Tell us about your background, education, and career goals when you were just starting out? Did they change over time?I grew up in Sandy, Utah at a time when it was growing from around 8,000 to 75,000 residents over 10 years. I am the second of 6 children. My parents were both pioneer descendants -- 75% Swedish and 25% English. My mother was active in the LDS Church and for many years my father was somewhat active. I have told the story of my questions at age 14 and how they led me to … [Read more...]


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