Me and The Book of Mormon: It’s Complicated

My mother insisted I read The Book of Mormon before my baptism.  It was a slow grind, but every morning I would jump into bed with her and snuggle up against her soft, warm body,  and we’d make our way through eight verses at a time until it was done.  Thinking about it now still [Read More…]

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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 [Read More…]

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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 [Read More…]

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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 [Read More…]

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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:    “Reactivation has always been an important [Read More…]

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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 unhealthy ways in which Mormon [Read More…]

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

The Book of Mormon is full of war. However, how this is interpreted by many American Mormons is quite different from the way it is interpreted by many Kiwi Mormons. [Read more…]

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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; years [Read More…]

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‘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 obligated to ‘pursue a [Read More…]

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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 the past and future of Mormonism for Maori. [Read More…]

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