What’ve we Learned?

Whichever way one is voting, I think that we can all be thankful together that this election is about to be over.  Polls suggest that, by however thin a margin, in another week Mitt Romney will need to begin considering whether he intends to go for the full William Jennings Bryan.  Another interim period will begin in which we may ask what effect the election had for Mormonism, before we start asking, again, what effect the next one might have.  I think that this election’s effects mean that the … [Read more...]

Sharing a Name

A family member of mine shared this photo on Facebook a few days ago. This came as a shock, as I have known this person for most of my life and have never once heard her say anything even remotely religious – she has never used any religious language at all in my presence, not even the commonplaces of funerals or the casual apocalypticism of contemporary politics. Doesn’t attend church, doesn't have anything in her home to suggest that she harbors any opinion of Jesus at all, actually, one way or … [Read more...]

Transparent Things

When we concentrate on a material object, whatever its situation, the very act of attention may lead to our involuntary sinking into the history of that object. Novices must learn to skim over matter if they want matter to stay at the exact level of the moment. Transparent things, through which the past shines!Vladimir Nabokov, Transparent ThingsLast Saturday, my wife and my mom and I visited the Kirtland temple, the site of many of Mormonism’s formative events.  Among many other things, … [Read more...]

Other People’s Dead

The most recent controversy over Mormonism’s practice of posthumous baptism reached its peak in February when it came out that Eli Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate, had ended up on a to-be-baptized list.  Wiesel called on Mitt Romney to condemn the practice of proxy baptisms for Jews, particularly Holocaust victims, echoing complaints made by Jewish leaders in the early nineties.  The Church has apologized profusely and maintains that they have made every effort to keep Holocaust vic … [Read more...]