Dear God, Please keep America a Foreign Land

The best thing I heard on National Radio this morning was;"This is a wake-up call for the rest of the world. America is foreign. They may talk like us and look like us, but it's foreign."Except if you are New Zealand Mormon where America is present everywhere.  From our services to our dress, to our leadership, to our curriculum, to our religious training, to our books of scripture,  everything about who we are as a religious community screams America, America, America.  But not pro … [Read More...]

Hurray! It may or may not be fine if you are Mormon and Gay!

The re-vamped Mormon and Gay website  went live today. If I had discovered the website as a newbie I might give a wee yip of approval. But I'm not new to the Mormon church's misguided and historically painful past on the matter,  and anyone who has paid attention might be all too aware that the Church has made it NOT OK to be LGBTQ and Mormon -  over and over again.   In a thousand ways, in a thousand talks, in a thousand micro-aggressions,  in millions of conversations across the world the chu … [Read More...]

The Spiritual Dilemma of the LDS Church’s Overblown Wealth

I've tried and tried over the years  to figure out why the LDS church needs so much money.  Estimates are that LDS Inc. owns about USD$375B, debt free.  That makes them a Fortune 5 company.  It feels  sketchy and inexplicably off to me.  I know, I know - I've heard all about the church's rainy day po … [Read More...]

Holding on to those in Faith Crisis: A Sacrament Talk

 Guest Post by Nathan McCluskey.    What follows is an extract from a 15 minute sacrament talk Nathan was asked to give as the Ward Mission Leader on the topic of "Reactivation and Rescuing."   In April 2012  Bishop Richard C. Edgley of the Presiding Bishopric stated that: … [Read More...]

Moral Judgement and the Problem of Protecting the Church’s ‘Good Name’

Sadly, the church is the religious home of  both victims and perpetrators of crimes and abuses.I don’t expect to never see these kinds of abuses in the church.  Mormons are just as prone as anyone else to lapses in self-control and moral reasoning.  But what concerns me most is the sometimes unhe … [Read More...]

Our Divided Community: American Mormonism, New Zealand Mormonism and the Question of War

Guest post by Nathan McCluskey.  This talk was delivered at Sunstone Salt Lake City 2016, Friday 29th July on a panel that included with G.Campbell McNaughton (Scotland), Alison Haldon (England)  and Gina Colvin (New Zealand) who each addressed the question of  American Cultural Imperialism and 'The … [Read More...]

Tyler Glenn and Jeffery Holland: The Power and the Limits of Anger

Shortly after Nathan and I married we were enjoying a family evening for two. He was about 12 years old at the time (#kiddingnotkidding) and had literally just come home from his mission. He’d had a wonderful mission and he was determined to start our marriage on the right Mormon foot by setting set … [Read More...]

How I Failed My Mormon Sabbatical

At the end of last year I tearfully thrust my Temple Recommend into my Bishop’s hands, I stopped wearing temple garments and I gave myself permission to walk away. Like many, I’d had years of feeling like the breath was being sucked out of me as I pulled into the meetinghouse car park; y … [Read More...]

Why this KiwiMormon would Vote for Bernie Sanders if I Could

A couple of weeks ago someone challenged my right to have a say on the American Presidential elections. As far as she was concerned I’m not an American so I don’t get to have an opinion. As a Kiwi – I’m calling that remark out as complete bollocks. The US has been referring … [Read More...]

Reflections on the New Zealand/Australia Special Conference: Finding Mormonism’s Thin Places

 I’ve just been to a special Stake Conference for New Zealand and Australia. It included an opening address from our Stake President and a broadcast from General Authority Speakers. I really liked some of it.  But I struggled somewhat through my Stake President’s address about t … [Read More...]

‘Gospel’ Culture Shock

I grew up in New Zealand hearing a term that was frequently deployed in order to remind us that certain cultural practices don’t comport with one’s membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Gospel Culture has become a ubiquitous term that reminds us non-Americans that we are … [Read More...]

What will it mean to be Maori and Mormon in 2050?

In November 2014 I was privileged  to be asked to be the closing speaker at the inaugural Mormon Studies Symposium hosted by Waikato University.  There we celebrated Selwyn Katene's edited book:  Turning the Hearts of the Children:  Early Maori Leaders in the Mormon Church. and together explored both … [Read More...]

There are No Gays in Heaven?

Guest post by Mike Cammock - a New Zealand  born Vermont marriage transplant.  He is very determined about not entirely losing his New Zealand accent and he regularly loses his two children in the snow.  For the better part of a decade my broader religious experience as a Mo … [Read More...]

God is Silent on Same Sex Marriage – How Opinion Turns into Doctrine

Guest post by Ganesh Cherian of Wellington, New Zealand As Mormons we pride ourselves on being led by a prophet. We believe we are in a privileged position to know the will of God. This is also stated in our scripture: "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, … [Read More...]