CFP: Biennial Faith and Knowledge Conference

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA
FEBRUARY 27-28, 2015

The Faith and Knowledge Conference was established in 2006 to bring together LDS graduate students in religious studies and related disciplines in order to explore the interactions between religious faith and scholarship. During the past four conferences, students have shared their experiences in the church and the academy and the new ideas that have emerged as a result. Papers and conversations provided thought-provoking historical, exegetical, and theoretical insights and compelling models of how to reconcile one’s discipleship with scholarly discipline.
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Sunday AM Good-Luck-Matching-Yesterday’s-Sessions Thread

DAY 2, people! Or maybe Day 3? By President Uchtdorf’s reckoning, we’re heading into the fifth session of this General Conference. Happy Sunday morning.

Steve left a comment on WVS’s lovely post a few days ago that rang true: “I wonder if Conference hasn’t lost some of its power because of the ease for watching.”

With that in mind, if you’re sitting on a comfy sectional, or reclined in an easy chair, or propped up with pillows behind you and waffles in front of you, join us in making this session a “lean-forward” one. Take some notes. Share your thoughts out loud with those around you. Tweet. Leave comments here (though take note: we’re modding with a heavy hand this weekend, as you might have noticed yesterday. More on that here.)

If you’re just tuning in, yesterday’s session notes are here, here and PH session is here. There were some remarkable talks—Holland, Oaks, Esplin, Uchtdorf, Wong, Packer, Cook, Eyring, and Monson seemed to be especially impactful on our readers and #ldsconf tweeters. Here’s hoping that spirit continues today.

On with the live coverage!

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Saturday Priesthood Pray for Broken Football Players Thread

It’s going to take a heckuva Priesthood session to top the sessions earlier today, folks. Get ready to be translated.

President Henry B Eyring conducting, music from the MTC Choir all the way up from beautiful Provo, Utah!

Opening Hymn: Rise Up, Oh Men of God

Opening Prayer, called the 4th Session of General Conference! (hooah!)

Oh goody! The men are going to sing a medley of children’s songs, too! [Read more...]

Saturday PM Football Schmootball Conference Thread

Choir is from Grantsville, Stansbury Park, and Tooele–Holly Bevin, conducting, Linda Margetts at the organ. President Uchtdorf conducting (the meeting, not the choir, I presume).

Opening Hymn: Arise, O God and Shine (props for not breathing between “streams” and “of.” And the descant on the last verse sounded great.) [Read more...]

Olav’s Way Liveblog

Global-bilder-Gora-Sommar-stolavsleden_stolpe_Leif_Arne_HolmeWithin days of finishing the Camino de Santiago, or perhaps while we were still on the way, we plotted our next pilgrimage (for those wanting to join the Mormon Society of St. James’s pilgrimage next year, it is already decided: Canterbury).

St. Olav’s Way in Norway is the obvious second pilgrimage in Europe, not necessarily because of Olav’s importance (at least outside of Scandinavia), but because of the popularity of the path and the way it is organised: like the Camino, Olav’s Way is signposted and has pilgrims’ lodgings along the path. (Not to the extent of the Camino, mind you, which is in a league of its own in this regard.)

Walking for 100km over five days towards a pilgrimage spot will need no justification to those who understand the joy inherent in such things. In that sense, walking again was a given. We have an added poignancy this year in that our friend and Camino brother Jordan Fowles is no longer with us. We will think of him all the way.

Olav Haraldsson was the first king to Christianise Norway and was martyred at the battle of Stiklestad in 1030 for his troubles. The church raised near to his burial became Nidaros cathedral in Trondheim, and it is to there where we set our feet.

We are: Ronan (England), Peter and Beate (Austria), John C, Tana, and Gabe (Germany), Martha (USA), and John F. (USA). We are believers and non-believers. We are Christians, Mormons, Mormon-Christians, Anglo-Mormons, and “other”. We are pilgrims.

UPDATE: Day Five: Sundet Gård to Nidaros (Trondheim)

Olav

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Faith and Knowledge Conference: CFP

The 2015 Faith and Knowledge Conference will be held at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, February 27-28, 2015. [Read more...]

Jordan Fowles, 1975-2014

Jordan

 

Today we mourn the devastating and sudden loss of Jordan Fowles, brother of our own John and old friend of the Bloggernacle. We send our love and fellowship to his family at this time and pray most fervently for Andrea and for his children.

There will be time later to write Jordan the eulogy he deserves. In the meantime, the following from Goethe seems appropriate, especially as it was one of his favourites:

Über allen Gipfeln
Ist Ruh,
In allen Wipfeln
Spürest du
Kaum einen Hauch;
Die Vögelein schweigen in Walde.
Warte nur, balde
Ruhest du auch.

Over all the hilltops
is calm.
In all the treetops
you feel
hardly a breath of air.
The little birds fall silent in the woods.
Just wait… soon
you’ll also be at rest.

Please share your memories of Jordan in the comments below.

scallop-shell-symbol

Excommunicated

. . . our determination is that you be excommunicated for conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church.

To the Church and to Ordain Women

By Mathew and Ronan, BCC Bloggers

The Problem

As is now well known, the leader of the Ordain Women movement, Kate Kelly, has been called before a disciplinary council. There has been much speculation about what role the church’s senior leadership played in the decision to convene the council. The church’s newsroom has issued an official statement that says in part that “[d]ecisions are made by local leaders and not directed or coordinated by Church headquarters.”  While it may be entirely proper to leave the  final “decisions” to those church leaders who know her best, we feel that church headquarters can still play a positive mediating role in a case that already has and will continue to have church-wide ramifications. [Read more...]

Otterson Letter: A Response from Two BCC Bloggers

By RJH and Angela C

Does the letter address Mormon feminists’ concerns?
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An open letter from Otterson: Context missing from discussion about women

The following is an open letter from Michael Otterson, Managing Director of Public Affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A PDF of the letter is available here.

Context missing from discussion about women

Comments on various blogs over recent months about what Church leaders should or should not think and do about women’s roles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prompt me to provide some context from an insider perspective that may be helpful.

Recently a woman posted this comment on a blog: [Read more...]

Lovely & Praiseworthy: Because of Him

This week, in honor of Easter and the resurrected Savior, the Church is launching new devotional media dedicated to focusing on Christ in our lives, and reminding us what we are truly celebrating at this and ever Easter.

The first site, “Because of Him” launches a brand new inspirational short reminding us of the grace and unlimited potential found through Christ. It’s a new format— current, relevant and contemporary. The Church is trying something new here, and it’s beautiful, quite moving and worth your time. This video will likely be shared through social media by members and non-members alike, with it’s focus deeply meaningful for all Christians.

Along with the video, which you are welcome to share, there is missionary information on Easter and on the ministry of Jesus.

The second campaign is “Starting Today” which challenges Christians of all denominations to dedicate themselves to making small, immediate changes in their lives to reflect their love of God and of the Savior.

Starting Today also is encouraging people of faith to use the hashtag #StartingToday to create and share memes and pinterest-style testimonies on social media. It’s Christ-focused and reminds us that through small and simple things, great things can come to pass. Really, we can all make small changes to bring us closer to God.

 

 

 

The “Mormon Olympian” Sunday afternoon session

Welcome BCC fans to the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference.

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The “imminent apocalypse” Sunday Morning session

Welcome to the Sunday morning session of General Conference. Lets take some notes! 

In the meantime, check out some photos (bottom right) from the sessions yesterday or watch ‘Music and the Spoken Word’.

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The “don’t write Apostles” Saturday afternoon session

Welcome back fellow watchers. Time to get supernal.

President Eyring conducting. Is the opposite of conducting a meeting, insulating a meeting?
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The “Temple in Kirtland” Saturday morning session

BCC welcomes you to the annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

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Announcement: LDS Friends & Foes Rendezvous

This coming weekend is General Conference. You probably already know about that. But did you also know that there is also a bloggernacle-oriented get together, put together by long-time BCC BFF, J. Max Wilson? That’s right–it’s the first ever “LDS Friends & Foes Rendezvous,” which is intended to be a “recurring event hosted semiannually around LDS General Conference weekend in April and October.”
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Alan Goff on Alan Goff; Also, Alan Goff on Joseph Spencer on the Book of Mormon

BYU Studies Quarterly 52/4 2013

Alan Goff: Likening in the Book of Mormon: A Look at Joseph M. Spencer’s An Other Testament: On Typology

BCC: Tell us about yourself, Alan. [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 28: O God, Where Art Thou? [Guest: James Holt]

James is a member of the Church in the UK, he is Senior Lecturer in Religious Education at the University of Chester, holds a PhD in Mormon Theology from the University of Liverpool and, most importantly, is married to Ruth with four gorgeous children. His book, Towards a Latter-day Saint Theology of Religions is to be published by Greg Kofford books later this year.

Notes, commentary, and questions for LDS Sunday School teachers using the ‘Doctrine & Covenants and Church History’ manual. Feel free to share your thoughts or ideas regarding the lesson in the comments.

This week’s Sunday School lesson provides me with a perfect antidote to some of the discussions that took place last week. Though agreeing with the necessity of chastisement and also the character building nature of trials I was left feeling a little bit empty as I considered the nature of a God whose purpose in our suffering is to teach us a lesson. Two things come to mind in such a discussion. [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 24: “Be Not Deceived, but Continue in Steadfastness” [Guest: fmhLisa]

We are very excited to have as our guest, long-time friend, fmhLisa.

Notes, commentary, and questions for LDS Sunday School teachers using the ‘Doctrine & Covenants and Church History’ manual. Feel free to share your thoughts or ideas regarding the lesson in the comments.

Purpose

To help class members understand how they can avoid deception and apostasy.

As you might guess from the outset with a title like that, this lesson is a challenging one for someone who has been accused of being an apostate more than a few times myself.

The very word Apostasy is a super heavy word in the Mormon world.  As a tight knit community where belonging is vitally important, an apostate is (painfully)  no longer one of us.  And I think it implies something even stronger than that, going along with the idea of deception, I think being an apostate implies that he is not only no longer one of us, but he is actively working toward hurting us. [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Lesson #14: The Law of Consecration

Gina teaches cultural studies, media represetation, and critical pedagogies at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.  She blogs at KiwiMormon and we are pleased to have her as our guest.

Notes, commentary, and questions for LDS Sunday School teachers using the ‘Doctrine & Covenants and Church History’ manual. Feel free to share your thoughts or ideas regarding the lesson in the comments.

Professionally I research, teach, and think a lot about teacher positionality and cultural locatedness. Teachers inevitably bring their whole cultural selves into the profession but are often unaware that they are culturally constituted, socially constructed beings. It’s the most challenging of tasks to have them interrogate their own assumptions, and to see themselves as other than ‘the norm’. I’ve spent some time thinking about this issue in LDS teaching contexts, where, in an increasingly international church, Sunday school teachers from all variety of political persuasions are delivering the LDS curriculum. This becomes reasonably important when we consider a divine political economy such as the Law of Consecration. I would argue that ones culture, whether North American, French, or Samoan, will have a significant influence upon the approach of the teacher as she or he delivers this lesson. [Read more...]

In the Aftermath of the Great BCC/FMH Wars, Times and Seasons Revealed to Be Prussia

Keepapitchinin is Australia.

Mormon Newswire:

In the wake of the Bloggernacle-shaking series of wars between the BCC and FMH Empires last February, it has been revealed that Times and Seasons suffered devastating collateral losses. [Read more...]

Display Announcement: LDS Church History Library, “Treasures of the Archives” (Today Only)

In conjunction with the Church History Conference currently taking place at the LDS Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake (after a successful day of sessions yesterday at BYU), the Church History Library is hosting a today-only display of some of the most exciting documents in Mormon history. All of these documents relate to the Book of Abraham, which is the topic of one of today’s panels, including: [Read more...]

Let Women Pray in General Conference (explained by gifs)

We are pleased to have Casey from ExpertTextperts return with another guest post.

Brad Kramer demanded politely asked that I write a post the Let Women Pray in General Conference campaign…with gifs. With the February 22 deadline for the letter-writing campaign approaching, I have duly complied. The purpose of this is educational: Most regular BCC readers will be familiar with the issues and arguments, but when your non blog reading relatives or ward members bring it up, then direct them here for a concise and hopefully accurate summary!
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The Myth of Self-Reliance

victorian-wheelchairAnnE continues her fabulous guest stint at By Common Consent.

I have tried continually to get this people to pursue a course that will make them self-sustaining, taking care of their poor—the lame, the halt and the blind, lifting the ignorant from where they have no opportunity of observing the ways of the world, and of understanding the common knowledge possessed among the children of men, bringing them together from the four quarters of the world, and making of them an intelligent, thrifty and self-sustaining people.” (Brigham Young 6 Apr 1868 JD 12:195)

At the close of overland emigration, Brigham Young reminded the survivors comfortably gathered in the new Tabernacle it was time to graduate from a scrappy interdependence to a covenant community. In self-reliance they had packed individual wagons; in self-preservation companies banded and braced against the journey; the prologue was over. To circumscribe the breadth of a Zion worthy of exaltation, the saintly challenge is what Young called becoming “self-sustaining”, or creating a lasting and corporate abundance in the soul, heart and hand. [Read more...]

Faith and Science: Friends not without Benefits

Lord Kelvin, a long time ago: “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”

Lord Kelvin, 113 years ago: “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”

We’re pleased to present the first in a series of guest posts by Ben F, who is working toward a PhD in condensed matter physics at a fancy school in the northeast. 

Growing up, I took it for granted that faith and science were friends. My parents’ bookshelves were stuffed with an absurd number of works on church history and theology that was matched only by the equally absurd number of volumes on physics, chemistry, biology, and everything in between. I don’t think I ever so much as cracked open one of those books—the Orson Scott Card shelf just seemed so much more interesting to me at the time—but their happy coexistence on those shelves still left a deep impression on me. They were a visual testament that science and religion are close companions, tied together by a common quest for truth and understanding.

Naturally, I thought that was how everyone viewed the issue—until I moved to Provo to attend BYU. Between a discussion in elders quorum about the post-Fall intergalactic migration of the Earth from Kolob to our present solar system and an Old Testament classmate’s vehement insistence that Pangaea existed up until Noah’s flood, I realized that perhaps mine was not the only view people had on science and religion. My first instinct was to burst out laughing whenever I heard something like this, but the part of me trying to be a good person pointed out that everyone comes from a different background and I shouldn’t ridicule people for beliefs that are clearly important to them. But honestly, we Mormons should do much better than that, and here’s why.

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Sam Brown in Dallas/Fort Worth, January 26 -27

Sam Brown will be in the Dallas/Fort Worth area speaking at three events sponsored by Miller Eccles Study Group Texas. On Saturday, January 26, he will be speaking to MESG TX in Arlington and Plano. On Sunday, January 27, he will be speaking at a multi-stake fireside in Arlington. All of the events are open to the public. Those in the North Texas area should mark their calendars and stop by. For full details, check out the MESG TX website.

Whee, the People! A Faith-filled Inauguration

Sunrise behind the capital

Ouch Dark Thirty

AnnE, who worked yesterday as an ASL interpreter for the inauguration, continues her guest stint at BCC.

I arrived at the Inauguration so early yesterday morning, it was pretty much uniforms, audiovisual crew, and of course the snipers.

With fewer than half the 2009 crowds expected and at least fifteen more degrees forecast on the mercury, I was hopeful for a less Armageddon-like experience than four years ago. Indeed there were fewer tree climbers, and the crowds did not scurry across the frozen Reflecting Pool this time as though a Starbucks lay on the opposite bank of the North Platte. There was however a fair amount of fainting, port-a-john scaling, and a two-hour monologue shouted from the perimeter about THE BABIES.

The theme was “Faith,” and the musical performances featured enthusiastic and unapologetic hymns of praise, as well as patriotic standards in which God was central. The choir from Lee University invited our monotheist cousins and folks of other persuasions with aspirations (pun intended) to “join with Abraham’s seed to adore Him.” It was one worshipful program.

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Stapley in the Bay Area, January 26-27, “Women, Ritual, and Authority”

Just a heads up that this weekend J. Stapley will be giving a presentation titled “Women, Ritual, and Authority” at two different Bay Area locations. On Saturday night, he’ll be in Palo Alto, and on Sunday night he’ll be in Oakland. Bay Area folks won’t want to miss this. For details, contact Todd Compton (Palo Alto) or Greg Call (Oakland).

Conference Prayers 2002-2012, a reference

It is come to our attention that some people seem to remember women offering prayers in General Conference. While there is missing data from October 2007 that keeps that door cracked slightly, the overwhelming evidence is that members of the Seventy and Presiding Bishopric have offered all the General Conference prayers for the past ten years and likely beyond. For your reference, here is a listing of nearly all of the invocation/benedictions from the past ten years of General Conference. [Read more...]

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