Humanitarian Missions

Is There Better Missionary Service?

A week ago our family watched a movie called “The Letters.” It is a fascinating story of the work and life of Mother Teresa. It describes the challenges she faced in her desire to serve the poorest of the poor while simultaneously struggling with a personal spiritual insensitivity. Continue reading “Humanitarian Missions”

A St. John’s Christmas

Wow, in looking over my last posts, it looks like I am jumping ship on Mormonism and joining the Catholic church. That is not the case, but why spoil a good pattern.

Christmas (non-)Traditions

The Mormon church is very efficient. Most new congregational buildings are uniform and optimized. Leadership practices are codified in handbooks. And, worship services are plain and simple. Continue reading “A St. John’s Christmas”

Mining Doctrine – Adivce to Critics and Mormons

To the Critic

One fallacy common to those studying Mormonism (including Mormons themselves) is that of quote mining; digging around through publications and writings of leaders and pulling out some obscure phrase and calling it “doctrine.” Continue reading “Mining Doctrine – Adivce to Critics and Mormons”

The Holy Ghost – Gift or Got

October 2010, LDS General Conference, Sunday afternoon session.

I’m usually sound asleep by this session of conference. There is nothing else in the world that puts me to sleep like General Conference—weekly sacrament meeting would too if it weren’t for all of the crying kids and uncomfortable pews. Nevertheless, I remember a particular talk by Elder David Bednar that I reflect on frequently.

His sermon was entitled Receive the Holy Ghost. Continue reading “The Holy Ghost – Gift or Got”

Grace, The Strawman, and Checklist Salvation

Mormon’s are easy targets. The materials at which stones can be thrown is rich and varied, but often over-used; the same subjects come up repeatedly.

The clothing of one familiar strawman argument is that Mormon’s are trying to earn their way into heaven; we don’t accept the grace of Christ. Continue reading “Grace, The Strawman, and Checklist Salvation”