Archives for April 2010

First Gospel Doctrine podcast! Lesson 14- Exodus 15-20, 32-34

This is the first of our weekly podcast series, which will get prettier blog treatments in the future. For now, you just have to right-click and "save as" on this link to download the mp3 (7Mb). Or just click, and it'll open and stream in a new window. … [Read more...]

A problem with the LDS solution to the Problem of Evil?

There are a few problems with the Mormon solution to the problem of evil. I'm not saying I disbelieve possible LDS solutions, but only to say they don't come without downsides, however slight. First I'll describe the problem of evil (over-simplistically) then I'll address a problem with the LDS response. … [Read more...]

Why Utah Isn’t Deseret—or Pop History, Ahoy!

Mormonism is built on claims of historical events which make claims on us. A real resurrection of Jesus Christ, a real encounter between Joseph Smith, God the Father, and that same Jesus, a God who participates in real history. One result is that history has been the focus of many Mormons and students of Mormonism. History is a crucial part of Mormon identity; the shared narrative situates each person into God's grand "plan of salvation." Mormons are usually more sensitive to the ways the Mormon … [Read more...]

Searching For Decent Films (Part 2): Using The Rating System Appropriately

(Continuing from Part 1)The movie rating system gets a lot of criticism – most of it deserved.  However, it also gets prematurely dismissed as unhelpful and irrelevant.It’s not irrelevant.  A movie’s rating – even if it is just a highly subjective label from a panel of people you’ve never met – still presents information about that movie.There is a big difference between a PG movie and a NC-17 movie, for example, even when the boundaries of each individual rating may be a little vague.  Bor … [Read more...]

Lesson 14: “Ye Shall Be A Peculiar Treasure Unto Me”

Food serves as one of the most profound symbols throughout the standard works. Without food, both human beings and animals cannot survive.  Life upon this planet literally depends upon an ability to consume physical nourishment.  Hence, providing food for an individual (or even an animal) demonstrates that the giver holds the life of the recipient to be of considerable value.Important episodes appear throughout the Old Testament, which demonstrate God’s love for his children by means of food.  … [Read more...]

PH/RS Lesson 6: The Fall

I was asked to substitute teach for Priesthood recently. I feel that the boundaries and goals of Priesthood/Relief Society/Gospel Doctrine, which I don’t teach very often, are narrower than those of Institute, which I’ve taught for a long time.  As with all Church lessons, it is light-exegesis-pressed-into-inspirational-service. Preparation was different and more difficult than usual, but here’s how it went. I began by handing everyone slips with these two quotes, which we read."We set up assum … [Read more...]

Liveblogging General Conference

As with last conference, we'll be liveblogging General Conference including the Priesthood Session. CoverItLive works nicely, with live   updating, pictures, polls, and other things. Scripture passages also get recognized and cited quickly, thanks to Bibleworks which, due its robust importing abilities includes LDS scriptures.Since liveblogging essentially means taking really thorough notes, I end up paying much closer attention to Conference than I used to.Tune in Saturday starting at 10am C … [Read more...]

A God of Miracles

A few years ago, it was not uncommon for me to feel beaten down. As the mother of two preschool boys, it seemed like the dishes and the laundry were never done, and the house was always messy. My husband was in grad school and was also serving as the bishop.  I was lonely, I was tired, and I was grouchy. I worried that my bad temper would have lasting negative effects on my family. … [Read more...]