Archives for August 2010

Some Pagan Thoughts on Mormonism

As I run the Mormon Portal, Star Foster runs the Pagan Portal here at Patheos. Yes, we have a Pagan Portal, as well as Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Evangelical, etc. (Go to the main page and click on Religion Portals to explore a bit.) She's been putting up thoughts about whichever religious tradition is the weekly focus of our Future of Religion series. She recently posted 13 Things I Like about Mormons. While some of her examples (such as polygamy) might make us say "well, … [Read more...]

The Girl With Her Fingers In Her Ears

I have a confession: the music in the waiting chapel of the Salt Lake Temple drives me nuts. There I am, sitting reverently in my white dress, waiting for the session to start, and instead of a quiet atmosphere in which to ponder the reasons I came to the temple that day or even say a silent prayer, I am subjected to the kind of piped-in electric organ music that one might expect to hear in a funeral parlor.As I sit there, trying to meditate but distracted by the wrong notes in the familiar … [Read more...]

Adam-ondi-Ahman in Africa

For $100, you can learn your ancestors' migratory history on the earth.  National Geographic's Genographic Project is seeking to learn more about human migration by analyzing the DNA of people around the world, including National Geographic readers who are interested in submitting their own cheek swab and in return getting a map of either their patrilineal or matrilineal migration pattern out of Africa.The idea that all humans derive from a group of people in Africa who began their diaspora … [Read more...]

Announcement #1- Dialogue, FAIR, Sunstone, etc.

Patheos has informal partnerships with several of the established brands in Mormonism as well as the Church itself. (Mayhap you noticed two of our guest writers from SLC last week?)  As such, we're beginning a new long-term series. Each week we'll feature a select article from one of these partners for publication and discussion on the Mormonism Portal. These articles will appear in the "rotator" at the top of the portal page, and open with an editorial summary, personal meaning, or particularly … [Read more...]

Changing Racial Perceptions of the Japanese: LDS Rhetoric between 1901-1930 (Part II)

This is continued from my post on changing racial perceptions of the Chinese in LDS rhetoric at the turn of the 20th century.  Both sections here are adapted from research I conducted as a fellow during the Joseph Smith Seminar in 2007.In 1890 there were only four documented “persons of Japanese ancestry” in the entire territory of Utah.[1] Contrasted with the Chinese, Utahns had no contact whatsoever with a significant Japanese population. Subsequently, the Japanese were easily romanticized, e … [Read more...]

Book Review- “Heaven: A History”

It's not clear to me whether John Lennon realized he was proposing his own sort of Heaven when he wrote the classic ballad "Imagine," but that's what he was doing. He invites us to "imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try" and describes a world of peace and love, a sort of heaven on earth. The longing for peace in a heavenly place has led poets and prophets throughout the centuries to write, paint, sing and talk about Heaven. Professors of religious studies Colleen McDannell (University … [Read more...]

Changing Racial Perceptions of the Chinese: LDS Rhetoric between 1880-1901

Browsing through library databases and catalogues today, it is difficult to find even a handful of hits on Mormonism and Asian race. Even Armand Mauss’ recent sweeping study, All Abraham’s Children, notably omits any specific inquiry on the subject, though he meticulously dissects an LDS understanding of Blacks, Native Americans, and Jews.[1] Yes, some inferences may be made by delving into historical studies on missionary work in the Far East, but a comprehensive look into what it meant to be As … [Read more...]

Brigham Young, Studying Evil, and Living in a Bubble

It's been five years since I posted this, and it came up in a Church discussion the other day, so it's time for a repeat.I enjoy Orson Scott Card’s books. My in-laws feel that he portrays evil too much in them. OSC has his own defenses of this (cf. A Storyteller in Zion), but I thought of it when I came across these comments by Brigham Young. Shall I sit down and read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Covenants all the time?” says one. Yes, if you please, and when you have done, … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine podcast lessons 29-30(u)

It's been busy around here, putting together the Future of Mormonism series. Other things too. But we're back, trying to make up lost time. Here's the podcast on lessons 29-30, which cover Elisha and then Hezekiah and Josiah. [audio:] TranscriptDownload link for MP3 (right-click and "save as" Notes: … [Read more...]

Using Logos as a Mormon- What to Buy

I know there are some other LDS Logos users, and perhaps others who are interested but wondering about the whys and whats.Edit: Logos4 for Mac will officially leave beta in October. Logos is having a giveaway to publicize it.Why use an electronic library?Carry around 200,000 or 200,000,000 pages of text in your iPhone or laptop or cramped Brooklyn apartment. Search them. All of them. In less than .25 seconds. For any reference to Amos 3:7, or Abraham, or anything else you can dream … [Read more...]