I just finished the first volume of a new history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Saints. In many ways it is remarkable.Continue reading “Saints, Vol 1 – A Hidden Message”
To me home teaching has always been a classic example of tension between the ideal and practical. Continue reading “Hi-ho, Home Teaching is Dead”
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”
Yes, I finished another book, Joseph Smith’s First Vision – A Guide to the Historical Accounts By Steven C. Harper.
It is a rather short book that I read in preparation for a Doctrine and Donuts discussion on first vision accounts.
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.
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”
I recently finished reading Banishing the Cross: The Emergence of a Mormon Taboo, written by Michael G. Reed. The book traces the use of the cross as a symbol of Mormon Christian tradition from the time of the founding of the church (1830’s) to the late 20th century. Continue reading “The Mormon Cross”
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 – Advice to Critics and Mormons”
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. Nevertheless, I remember a particular talk by Elder David Bednar that I reflect on frequently.
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”