February 15, 2019

Those who’ve read my about page, or have been reading this blog for long, know that because of my positive experiences with the Church of Jesus Christ, my first response when people try to criticize the Church is to rush to its defense. This is what happened last week when a few stray bloggers tried to twist devastating news about a sexual assault coming to light into a church conspiracy cover-up. And while I stand by what I wrote, I… Read more

February 8, 2019

The Supreme Court weighed in on a recent religious of freedom matter that received little national attention. But the results should be a concern for religious freedom advocates. Alabama had scheduled the execution of Domineque Ray. The state often allows the presence of Christian ministers. Ray requested a Muslim imam but was denied. In a surprise 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled against Domineque Ray and concluded that the execution could move forward without an imam present. Because of the nature of… Read more

February 6, 2019

Perhaps you’ve heard this week that a former Church employee confessed to molesting a boy twenty-six years ago. You very well might have heard wrong. Outlets, like Patheos’ own “Friendly Atheist,” are omitting key facts from the story to try and create a sex abuse scandal where none exists. In fact, the story helps illustrate why the “sex abuse scandal” that anti-Mormons like the Truth & Transparency foundation keep expecting to find doesn’t exist. But let’s start with what this… Read more

January 28, 2019

I expect you are as leary about starting the 2020 presidential campaign as I am. The first votes won’t be cast for 371 days and the last for 645. I promise to avoid being overtly political in the (very long) meantime. That said, the ability to live our faith freely is a major topic here, and politics does affect that. In fact, one unexpected candidate is already making religious freedom one of the major themes of her campaign. Democrat U.S. Rep… Read more

January 17, 2019

This past weekend a document formatted to appear like The Family: A Proclamation to the World was distributed in chapels of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in and around Herriman, Utah. The document is titled “Male and Female” and claims that the Church’s teachings on gender equality are incorrect. It addresses recent changes that make temple language more egalitarian and appears to largely be a response to that. It has clearly been formatted in such a way to evoke… Read more

January 16, 2019

This week I was contacted by a reporter from the Daily Beast. She was interested in our efforts to change the name of an account posing as President Russell M. Nelson. When the article was published, however, it painted a picture very different than what had occurred. The article reads as though it is about a man trying to “process the trauma” of his time in the Church, and the bullies trying to stop him. The truth, of course, is… Read more

January 10, 2019

Which of these is the actual Twitter page for the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? This:   Or this: I hope most of my readers are good enough internet sleuths to be able to tell that the second is the real one. It has considerably more followers. Its Twitter handle (the @ name) is authentic. And it includes the blue check mark of a “verified” account. But in an everyday conversation, without seeing the entire… Read more

January 7, 2019

“Oakland Temple” by Nila Jane Autry What is Everyone Going On About? There is a good chance that if you are a Latter-day Saint or frequent conversations about the faith you have heard something about changes that have recently occurred in the temple. Starting January 1, 2019, social media posts have suggested that the temple experience is now different. The next day, the First Presidency released a statement on temples. While they didn’t confirm any changes, it did say “Over these… Read more

January 2, 2019

In October 2010, Elder David Bednar delivered a General Conference talk titled “And Nothing Shall Offend Them.” This talk has been especially long-lasting. And it has firmly placed “Choose to be offended” into the Latter-day Saint lexicon. He said, “To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.” What has happened recently is that this language has been misappropriated and decontextualized by those who oppose efforts by Latter-day Saints to ask… Read more

December 24, 2018

Living in Texas but writing about the Church of Jesus Christ, I have the benefit of approaching the major Utah newspapers with some detachment. I don’t have to follow them for my local political news or have neighbors looking at what’s been dropped at the end of my driveway. But I have often found myself defending the Salt Lake Tribune. As the local newspaper, it covers The Church of Jesus Christ in critical ways more often than any other media… Read more

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