Archives for October 2010

Balancing tradition with faith and scholarship: a Mormon application of Peter Enns

In my own struggles to balance faith and tradition with scholarship, I find it useful to see how others have done so, particularly when I see close structural parallels between the two traditions. Peter Enns speaks from a Protestant perspective but Protestants aren't the sole source of useful insight. I've enjoyed Jewish perspectives more, explored in fictional narratives like The Chosen and The Promise. The tensions between traditional views and scholarship  that Enns highlights among … [Read more...]

Here’s A Secret: Nobody’s Normal

An interesting thing has happened since I launched the Mormon Women Project at the beginning of 2010: Molly Mormon has disappeared. Completely vanished. At least I can’t find her anymore. … [Read more...]

Faith and Knowledge Conference(s): Call for Papers and Past Experiences

Several years ago, a conference was organized by Richard Bushman, Terryl Givens, and several LDS graduate students. Concerned by perceptions of a general abandoning of faith among LDS grad students in religion-related fields, the conference's  focus was encapsulated in its title, Faith and Knowledge. … [Read more...]

Family traditions

General Conference has come and gone, and the holidays are fast approaching, reminding me of family traditions. Our traditions are pretty low key. We go to church together. The night before General Conference, the boys sleep in a tent in our living room, making sure that the door of the tent is facing the nearest temple. We have Family Home Evening on Mondays. We eat blue pancakes for breakfast on BYU's opening game day for football.  We read Luke 2 on Christmas Eve. And every summer, my husband … [Read more...]

The Purpose of Pain

I gave birth to a beautiful 7 lb girl two weeks ago. I wanted a natural delivery, and my midwife suggested the “hypnobirthing” method of dealing with pain. The method is all about breathing. One is supposed to be able to put oneself into a state of deep relaxation though breathing exercises. My hypnobirthing book said that, with practice, many hypnobirthing mothers can put themselves quickly into such a state of relaxation that contractions feel like nothing more than “tightening” and that th … [Read more...]

Thoughts on wrestling with lesson prep, the manual, and teaching the teachers.

Over at FaithPromotingRumor, TT analyzes a collection of statements from various manuals about using "outside" materials in  preparing lessons.That's something I've wanted to do for a while, because I've  suspected that Church materials  are not entirely consistent with their directives about this. At one extreme is the unsigned Church News article (the authority of which can be debated), which more or less states that you can't even use uncorrelated materials to prepare a lesson and that "E … [Read more...]

Review: Reid L. Neilson, “Early Mormon Missionary Activities in Japan, 1901-1924”

Title: Early Mormon Missionary Activities in Japan, 1901-1924 Author: Reid L. Neilson Publisher: University of Utah Press Genre: Mormon Studies Year: 2010 Pages: 214 ISBN13: 9780874809893 Binding: PaperbackHeber J. Grant, Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had disappointing news to share at the Church’s October 1903 General Conference. “I know that the Latter-day Saints have been greatly interested in the mission I was called to preside over, and I regret I am n … [Read more...]

Remembering Catherine

There was a recent bout of stomach flu at my house. In a period of 4 hours, my three children vomited 11 times. I was grateful to be living in a house with a washer and dryer, since we moved fairly recently out of an apartment with only public, coin-operated laundry facilities. I considered what it might have been like living in an earlier time and trying to cope with such an illness: chopping wood to make a fire to boil water to do laundry or perhaps going down to the rocks by the river to … [Read more...]

Review: Terry Eagleton’s “Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate”

Title: Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate Author: Terry Eagleton Publisher: Yale University Press Genre: Religion Year: 2009 Pages: 185 ISBN13: 9780300164534 Binding: Soft cover (2010) Price: 16.00 “Religion has wrought untold misery in human affairs. For the most part, it has been a squalid tale of bigotry, superstition, wishful thinking, and oppressive ideology. I therefore have a good deal of sympathy with its rationalist and humanist critics” (xi). So Terry Eagleton … [Read more...]

Liveblogging Priesthood Session

Patheos will liveblog Priesthood Session on Saturday night. (Coverage of the apparently mandatory pre-session ice-cream/testosterone gathering  will not be provided.) As for previous conferences, short bios and near-instant identification of quoted scriptures will be embedded into the liveblogging.Check it out here. … [Read more...]