October 1, 2015

Religious bilingualism is a critically important skill to navigate in religiously diverse landscapes. For example, it is the practiced ability of a Mormon to speak to a Catholic employing the distinct religious language of Catholicism. A simple illustration might be a general knowledge and understanding of the import of Papal Bulls. Conversely, it is the practiced ability of a Catholic to speak to a Mormon employing the distinct religious language of Mormonism. A simple example might include a general knowledge… Read more

October 1, 2015

Yesterday I posted the release of an updated or revised Race and the Priesthood essay on LDS.org. I am very grateful that the Church is publishing this and other essays. However, I was mistaken in my post. In reality, while some edits were made to the essay, the changes were made approximately one year ago without fanfare. I posted thinking that the changes were new and they weren’t new. This was my mistake. I apologize for any difficulties my error… Read more

October 1, 2015

Concerning Illegal immigration: divine law, natural law, positive law must be considered by Mormons and other religions that hold that helping the poor and displaced peoples is a fundamental tenet of their faith. This is a response to those concerned by the Mormon Church’s recently published statement intended to soften certain positions relative to illegal immigration (see Immigration: Church Issues New Statement http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/immigration-church-issues-new-statement). As you know, divine law is law pronounced by God such as the Ten Commandments for those… Read more

September 30, 2015

Just over 30 years ago I was introduced to Evangelical Christianity while serving in the Missouri Independence Mission. Jackson County may have been near the locale of the Garden of Eden but, at times, the area was anything but paradisiacal for me. My first day in this county so famous for 19th century persecution of Mormons, my companion and I set out to tract. We knocked a few doors and then approached a home where the owner was cutting wood… Read more

September 28, 2015

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” Galatians 5:14-15 Welcome to Civil Nations, a blog that explores religious, cultural, and political intersections within Mormonism and engagement between Mormons and other faith traditions. I teach religion at an LDS institute of religion and philosophy, Mormon studies, and interreligious understanding at a… Read more

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