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Speaking Silence

The Mormon Law of Consecration

Zion may always be in transition and always under revision. Perhaps that is what it means to be human beings always in need of continuing revelation.


Being Taught after the Manner of the Jews: A Personal Journey

Here are five key lessons I learned from Torah study on how to read the Book of Mormon.

Benjamin the Scribe

How I Taught Lesson 12

Last Saturday night, I was asked to pinch hit for Gospel Doctrine. Since my posts here aren’t written as lesson plans, what and how I teach often differ significantly from what I write. Our lesson ended with some text criticism, close reading, and critical thinking about tradition, and by the end of the lesson, I had a [Read More...]

When Gods Were Men

Come You Masters of War: Joshua Madson Lecture

This Tuesday night (March 31st), author of the forthcoming book Buried Words: Recovering the Non-Violent Message of the Book of Mormon, Joshua Madson, will present a guest lecture in my “Book of Mormon as Literature” course. The topic will be “Violence and War in the Text.” Joshua will share a narrative approach to the Book [Read More...]

The Soul and the City

Progressive Moral Madness

Here’s my latest little ditty for the Deseret News.  To get from Kant to grade-school relativism all in 750 is a bit hasty, I know, but the connection is there all the same. And this may help to answer a common objection I hear to my critiques of progressivism and/or relativism: Of course our liberals [Read More...]

Peculiar People

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 [Read More...]


What the Heck is a Platypus?

In the mid-eighteenth century, Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish naturalist, figured out what mammals are: hairy, warm-blooded, live-born, mammary-feeders (hence, the term mammals).  At this point, Europeans breathed a collective sigh of relief that they could be certain to know a mammal when they saw one. Linnaeus’s taxonomy was the perfect Enlightenment project.  Having pulled down [Read More...]


Monogamous Mormon Threatened for Rejection of Polygamy

On the 2nd February  Kirk van Allen wrote a critique of Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants.  In his analysis he concluded that as far as he could see polygamy was morally wrong.  For this assertion he recently reported that he has been asked by his church leaders to revise the blog removing all suggestion that [Read More...]

Faith-Promoting Rumor

A Recent “Anti-Mormon” Essay: Trying to Understand Gee’s Response, Part I

The most recent volume of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies (JBMS) includes a number of scholarly essays by researchers who are either established in the field of Mormon Studies or are promising to play a big role in this next generation of Mormon scholarship. Every essay has its own new offering to add [Read More...]

The Welcome Table

Invisible Women and The Winter’s Tale

The best role for a female Shakespearean actor is Hermione in The Winter’s Tale.  Hermione, though absent for much of the play, dominates it with her nobility and grace.  Unlike Rosalind or Portia or others of Shakespeare’s strong women, Hermione never puts on a man’s clothes to show her power.  She is already empowered.  She [Read More...]

Mormon Therapist

The Effects of Excommunication on All of Us: Healing Perspectives

This week the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has once again been in the news in regards to the excommunication of one of our own: this time it’s John Dehlin of Mormon Stories – only months after the excommunication of Kate Kelly of Ordain Women.  There have been lesser, yet still painful ramifications (losing callings, not being able [Read More...]