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

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 up the church’s ‘home and family’ programs in regimental fashion. I had watched his zealotry unfold with suspicion but held my misgivings until this particular evening…. 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; years of feeling as though my head would explode every time I went to sacrament meeting or Sunday School. I’d had years of sorting and sifting… 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  to itself as the greatest nation on Earth ever since I can remember. America is like a big flickering TV screen that draws the rest of the… 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 the reliability of our church leaders regardless of the efficacy of their counsel. ‘They could be wrong’, he would argue’,  but we will be blessed in following them regardless.’   I love my Stake… 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 obligated to ‘pursue a distinctive way of life, common to all members of the church.’  That culture, according to Elder Dallin Oaks, comes from: the plan of salvation, the… 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 the past and future of Mormonism for Maori.  It was a terrific event, one that I was pleased to be associated with.  I discovered recently that the Public Relations write up about this… 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 Mormon has been repeatedly sidetracked by public expression and action against the homosexual community from the highest leaders of my faith. Mormonism has opposed homosexuality as an existential threat, reinforcing homosexuality’s… 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, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God” (Articles of Faith).   We also… Read more

On Spiritual Defiance

As it happens my blog is surveilled by people who have bigger jobs in the church than me. I’ve always known this  but I’ve never addressed those who by virtue of their church calling or their day jobs find that one of their duties is to protect the church by monitoring  the defiant, the noisy, and the critical.   So, where I usually direct my comments to those in the wavering faith trenches, today I’m talking to the guard house in… Read more

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