DNA and the Concept of Kinship in the Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon claims to be a record of some of the ancestors of current Indigenous Americans (American Indians, Native Americans). This aspect of the book was especially important to early Mormons. What is the relationship between the Lamanites of the Book of Mormon and Indigenous Americans? How does modern DNA science help answer the question? Different Latter-day Saints (and critics) have answered these questions in radically different ways. Some argue DNA studies support the claims of … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Podcast, Lessons 16-17

(If you're coming from LDS.org or the RSS feed, please click here for the proper post. Edit: I see that breaks the Podcast plugin. Stay here, then.)[audio:http://media.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/Media/MormonPodcast3.mp3]Handy dandy player! Just click play! To download the mp3, right-click here and choose "save link as"I'm still working on issues of settings and audio quality, as well as production times. The next podcast will cover Ruth (Lesson 20), and is already written and being … [Read more...]

Gratitude and pain

A few weeks ago, I got sick. It came on steadily throughout the day. I felt tired and miserable. My body ached. When DH got home, he sent me to bed. As I laid there, I started identifying where I felt pain. My waist hurt. My toes hurt. My belly button hurt. My elbows hurt. My knees and wrists hurt. All the places in between hurt. As I was lying there feeling sorry for myself, my thoughts broadened. Some people are in constant pain because of illness or disease. I felt both grateful and ashamed - … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Podcast- Lesson 15

(If you're coming from ldsblogs.org or the RSS feed, click here to see this page in its normal environment.)Yes, I KNOW you're all doing Malachi this week... I'm stubbornly posting my podcast on Lesson 15 anyway, because some people might still want to listen to it and I spent too much time re-recording after a system crash and data loss to just let it go. Next time, I'm combining several lessons and perhaps skipping one in order to get ahead. Right-click to download, or left-click to listen … [Read more...]

Secrets of the Mormon Vault Exposed!

In spite of being under 70 and not doing any genealogy family history herself, my wife has been condemned called in two different Stakes to run the Family History Center. This calling, believe it or not, has a bit of a steep learning curve, and potentially requires a lot of time. Since FHC workers interact a lot with non-LDS in a semi-official LDS role, as well as dealing with orders and money, customer service skills are a necessity, which is why you don't want Joe Schmoe Antisocial Wacko in … [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...]

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...]

GD Lesson 13: Bondage, Passover, and Exodus

(This is actually by David Bokovoy, whose recalcitrant account won't let him access the blog.)With lesson 13, Sunday school students in LDS Gospel Doctrine classes move beyond the inspiring book of Genesis and begin exploration of Exodus, the second book in the Bible. … [Read more...]

A Small Fly in the Ointment

Many members of the three Religions of the Book use the Bible as a source of guidance for matters of character formation and decision-making.   Employment of biblical passages for ethical purposes is not without its complications, however.  One such complication occurs in Genesis 38, in the story of Judah's seduction by his daughter-in-law, Tamar.Judah's misconduct is part of a larger picture of good and bad behavior in Jacob's family.  Reuben's dalliance with his father's concubine res … [Read more...]

Hello? Is this thing on? One two, one two…

Now witness the power of this fully armed and operational blog!Seriously, we've got some good people lined up for this thing, and the programmers just threw the final switch on a Friday night, and went home. I'm sure we have some bugs to iron out. … [Read more...]