Review: Going Clear

scientology

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...]

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...]

Inversion

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...]

Resolutions and Desires

I’m terrible at New Year’s resolutions. I’ve read all read the strategies for proper goal-setting—manageable, concrete tasks, tell a buddy, be accountable, etc., etc. But a missing ingredient I think I’m just beginning to understand is the significance of desire (and not just the cliché “you have to want it for yourself” kind of advice).I think many failed resolutions result not simply from insufficient willpower or poor strategizing, but from not being honest with myself about what the resol … [Read more...]

Joseph Smith Papers: Documents Volume 3

A couple of weeks ago, I participated---by Skype---in the launch event for the newest Documents volume of the celebrated Joseph Smith Papers Project. I assume the project needs no introduction at this point, having already published more than a half-dozen volumes. The installment I'll review here is already the third published volume in the Documents series (though note that seven or more volumes are projected in this series!). I'll just say a bit about this volume, and perhaps about the … [Read more...]

I Even Remain Alone?: Reflections on Eve Tushnet’s “Gay and Catholic”

About two years ago Ralph Hancock, a BYU professor of political philosophy, met with the Claremont Mormon Studies Student Association. As I reflected on the ensuing conversation, which had quickly veered into the troubled waters of Mormonism and same-sex marriage, I formulated two questions which I feel would have turned the discussion down less well-trodden—and hence potentially more productive—paths.First, I would have asked Hancock, “As non-heterosexuality poses existential questions categ … [Read more...]

Consecrating the widow’s mite

GCtalks

The Filipino widow’s miteThe widow’s mite is a poignant story, but one in which we might be missing the point Jesus meant to convey. What if instead of admiring the woman’s sacrifice, he was instead lamenting that her condition was countenanced by the people all around her, particularly those with substantial means? What if he was criticizing both that the rich garnered public approbation for their generous donations made out of their surplus, and that the woman, after consecrating her all, … [Read more...]


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