Is Mormonism optimistic?

I’ve been having a problem with optimism lately. My last two blog posts were basically just exercises in much needed mental cleansing. I feel alone at church and all my friends are leaving, etc. You know, young person stuff, I guess.But I’ve been fighting harder lately. Getting in the ring to punch out pessimism. ‘I believe this stuff” I keep reminding myself, “so I gotta figure out how to make this work and make it work well.”A big part of my efforts toward optimism is a sort of reconver … [Read more...]

The Problem with “Conscience”

The last time a state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) made news, I argued that the law’s critics were letting the word “discrimination” distract them from the real issues at stake. Everything I said then bears repeating: not all discrimination is wrong, not all wrongful discrimination should be illegal, and sometimes religious freedom really does give people the right to discriminate.But it’s only fair to acknowledge now, with another RFRA controversy lining outrage-mongers’ pocket … [Read more...]

Review: Going Clear


David Cross once joked that Mormonism was the Scientology of its day. Like a lot of David Cross jokes, the punchline was nothing more than a widely dismissive statement that attempted to brush the two vastly different religions with one general stroke of snarky skepticism. When I heard it, laughing along at the jabs at Scientology, I squirmed awkwardly at the mention of Mormonism.Not my Mormonism, I thought. My spiritual experiences were hardly insubstantive, and couldn’t be reduced so c … [Read more...]

Application Deadline Extended for Wheatley Seminar

Advanced undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply to participate in a three week seminar from June 22-July 10 in Provo, Utah, surveying early Christian thought, Mormon theological foundations, contemporary social issues-- and how we might find connections among all three. A rare opportunity to integrate the sometimes esoteric realms of Mormon theology with the practical, lived reality of our political engagement in the real world. Generous stipend for those selected.Click … [Read more...]

Adventures in Approaching Zion

I ended my last article with the idea that not knowing how to move towards Zion as an LDS community is not frustrating, but rather exciting. We need to blend the enthusiasm and fresh ideas from a rising generation about what Zion means and how to get there, with the voices of those who have lived a committed life of working towards that lofty goal. This article will present one idea about approaching Zion. It is the story of how one guy and his son flipped their vacation completely on its h … [Read more...]

“The Prophecy of This Book”

Believers in the Book of Mormon are inevitably acquainted with Revelation 22:18-19:For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.For as long as … [Read more...]


Please excuse the strained metaphor.Every now and again I have the chance to head into town. By town I mean Salt Lake City. Home of a basketball team that people sometimes care about, the biggest salt water lake in our hemisphere, and some pretty nasty inversion in the winter time.Inversion is a silly little phenomenon. It’s what happens every year in the Salt Lake Valley, when cold wind passes over the Wasatch Mountains and traps pollution that has an easier time escaping in warmer m … [Read more...]

Can Discipline Remain Local in a Global Church?

Leading up to Kate Kelly's disciplinary hearing in 2014, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published a statement that emphasized the role of local leaders: "Disciplinary councils may be held by local leaders when members preach doctrines contrary to teachings of the Church and refuse to be counseled... Council proceedings are considered private matters between a member and his or her local Church leader." The statement implies that Church leadership agrees with Kelly's local leade … [Read more...]