Ahmed Mohamed, and The Need For A New Narrative

Photo courtesy of Anil Dash

  Ahmed Mohamed, a high school student in Irving, Texas, had a rude awakening this past week when he brought a homemade clock to school. Much has already been written about Ahmed’s experience, as he appeared on Good Morning America, had a shout out from Mark Zuckerberg, and President Obama himself.One of his teachers thought the clock looked like a bomb, and alerted authorities. Ahmed was escorted out of class, handcuffed, and interrogated. He was not even allowed to call his p … [Read more...]

“The Family” Won’t Save Us

Wikimedia Commons

[Preliminary note: This is the second of two posts (read the other here) offering reflections on Mormon ideas about salvation and family in light of Sam Brown’s study of early Mormonism, In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death.]“Families are impractical!” This was the start of one of the more memorable conversations of my time as a missionary in India. The man who ardently asserted the claim was a father, and he appeared to take good care of his wife a … [Read more...]

The Utah Soda Wars Are Here, So Let’s Hurry Up With The Apocalypse

Photo credit: Mike Mozart, via Flickr. Adjustments by Cody Ray Shafer.

In the 1980s, America was subjected to a bizarre race to the bottom between competing soft drink marketing campaigns from Coca-Cola and Pepsi. In 2015, it there is a whole new war brewing over fizzy beverages, and it’s taking place between two Utah-based drive-thru soda fountain companies, St. George based Swig and Provo’s Sodalicious. It’s like the American Civil War if the Civil War was fought not over the nation’s soul but which side wanted the greater responsibility in cases of diabetes … [Read more...]

American Gas: Reflections on Home After a Year Abroad

Jnn13/Wikimedia Commons; Gage Skidmore/Flickr Commons; Naotake Murayama/ Wikimedia Commons. Alterations by JJ Feinauer

I’ll ask the reader to forgive my following foray into a personal travel log, but I suspect there’s some lesson to learn, or at least some idea buried deep down, somewhere, that makes this somehow worth the effort.The truth is, I’m still exhausted, jet lagged, and suffering something of a culture shock. Only, if there was a word for culture shock infused with stingy nostalgia, that word would color my experiences over the last week. I don’t think such a word exists, so instead I'll indulge in … [Read more...]

Marco’s Mormon Moment


The big news right now for everyone with a "Mormon" Google alert is that Sen. Marco Rubio has made it very clear the "Mormon vote" is important to him, especially in Nevada.As Politico reports, Rubio might be able to turn his brief stint as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into "his early-state ace in the hole." Mormons in Nevada, Politico's Elena Schneider points out, are an important voting bloc. Many of the elected officials there, past and present, are members o … [Read more...]

The Book of Mormon: What it is and What it is Not


Recently, I have begun to read The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ from the beginning again. As always, I continue to be impressed with the work, as well as continuing to gain new insights into the work itself. One thing is for sure: Joseph Smith, Jr. could not have produced such a work. It is my testimony that this book is a book preserved by God himself for our day.However, in this post I do not want to give my testimony as much as I want to point out two logical … [Read more...]

If Mormon Women are Too Busy to be Leaders, We Have a Problem


The recent news that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will officially include women on some of the Church's top governing councils is just one more snippet in a long conversation about ways women can and should do more in the Church. From Ordain Women's ongoing efforts to petition for ordination, to moderate feminist's pleas for women already in positions of authority to be heard (such as Neylan McBaine's book, Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women's Local Impact), this interest in … [Read more...]

LDS Church frankly tackles addiction and recovery

Andrea Zanchi via Getty Images

In the late Apostle Boyd K. Packer’s 1975 book “Teach Ye Diligently” he encouraged the Church’s teachers to “treat with care” the sensitivity of subjects “pertaining to sex and the dangerous world of [drugs] and pornography.” He asked for teachers to “protect first the innocence” of the members of the church before speaking frankly.Times have changed. Now, 40 years later, Elder David A. Bednar’s counsel to the South Salt Lake Area stakes in August 2012 that, “what was once sufficient” to prot … [Read more...]