O Youth of the Noble Birthrate

The Brethren are concerned with the rates at which LDS couples are having babies. Most recently, Elder Dallin Oaks declared:

Because of what we understand about the potentially eternal role of the family, we grieve at the sharply declining numbers of births and marriages in many Western countries whose historic cultures are Christian and Jewish… In the midst of these concerning trends, we are also conscious that God’s plan is for all of His children and that God loves all of His children, everywhere.

So what, then, can we do as individuals and as a community to increase the numbers of births and marriages among us?
[Read more…]

Families: Ordained of God

Merry Christmas from Brad Kramer

Just a quick post to wish everyone a very happy Christmas. Whether you’re in Utah or in the mission field, thanks for reading BCC and being part of the crowd. Many of you will spend this holiday with your families: others will not. Still others will wish they weren’t with their families. [Read more…]

Are we not all beggars? No, not really.

Once in a while I hear someone complaining that we don’t refer to the scriptures enough around here, so here goes:

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

It takes real gall to disagree with King Benjamin. Here goes.

[Read more…]

Think fast!

Can’t tell if this is fast sunday or open mic day

I’ve got four kids, and two of them will get baptized in 2014. [1] I’m wondering at what point it would be appropriate to teach them about fasting and to introduce them to the practice. Starving your kids? Where do I sign up!! [Read more…]

In honor of Alice Munro

One of my favorite authors and a Canadian institution.

“Boys And Girls”
    My father was a fox farmer. That is, he raised silver foxes, in pens; and in the fall and early winter, when their fur was prime, he killed them and skinned them and sold their pelts to the Hudson’s Bay Company or the Montreal Fur Traders. These companies supplied us with heroic calendars to hang, one on each side of the kitchen door. Against a background of cold blue sky and black pine forests and treacherous northern rivers, plumed adventures planted the flags of England and or of France; magnificent savages bent their backs to the portage.

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This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

Dear Elder Oaks,

I wanted to write you to thank you for the spirit of earnestness and sincerity you bring to your apostolic calling. I had the privilege of sitting in the Conference Center on October 6 when you gave your address, “No Other Gods“. I want you to know that I sustain you as an Apostle and a special witness of Jesus Christ, and that I have tremendous respect for that calling and what it entails. I know that you respect the seriousness and weight of your calling as well, and that this seriousness must be on your mind continually. I would like to share with you some thoughts that came to my mind as I listened to your address, in the hopes that perhaps the Spirit will help me better understand and accept your words; I find that sometimes the Spirit comes to me as I write out my thoughts, and while I don’t know if this note will ever come to your attention I know that by writing it I may come closer to a real understanding. [Read more…]

The “Zero Population is the Answer” Sunday PM Session

It’s warmed up nicely outside. Thousands of people meander the grounds and around Temple Square. Hymns are humming everywhere. It’s beautiful. [Read more…]

The “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Pentecost” Sunday AM Session



Welcome, everyone! The Conference Center is filling up and we’re ready and raring to go. [Read more…]

The “Now You Have a Friend in the Revelation Business” Saturday Morning Session

Watch this space for live coverage throughout Conference. It’s the March Madness of Mormonism!

Welcome one and all, male and female, to Saturday AM Session.

Welcome one and all, male and female, to the Saturday AM Session.

But be good!

But be good!

President Monson: Welcome. 15 Million members! 58,500 to 80,333 missionaries in one year! Listen to Conference. Thanks for money and support of missionaries. Keep it up.

On deck: Elder Hales, Elder Soares, Sister Stephens, Elder Dube, Elder Bednar, President Uchtdorf
[Read more…]

183rd Semiannual General Conference Portal


This page is a portal to all content at BCC related to the 183rd Semiannual General Conference, held October 5-6, 2013. [Read more…]

Why Should I Watch General Conference (or #ldsconf)?

Elder Cookie Monster will next address us.

People have lots of different ways of thinking about General Conference. For some, it’s the chance to expand their scriptural canon. For others, it’s an excellent vacation opportunity (generally, any Church meeting ending in ‘onference’ could serve that purpose). But I think I’m coming around, after decades, of enjoying the General Conference experience. I plan on listening to at least some of it. I’d like to suggest some of the low-hanging reasons why people might tune in (or turn out) to General Conference, and give some thoughts as to where I think the smart money lies in terms of maximizing the bang for your tithing buck. After all, you don’t want to watch every session like a sucker when you could just watch the ones where the good stuff happens, right? [Read more…]


Your awful Uncle Melvin has left you a sizeable cash inheritance, with an unusual proviso: you must take all of the money and invest it in a national chain restaurant, and you and your family must eat at that chain restaurant three meals a day. You get to keep all profits. What restaurant do you pick? [Read more…]

Context Matters: D&C 89

Floor looks pretty clean to me.

If you’re teaching the Word of Wisdom, here’s something to blow your audience away: CONTEXT. The folks at the Church History Library have released today a new item in their ‘Revelations in Context’ series, this one being an engrossing look at the tobacco spittle on the floor of the Whitney store. It also includes a look at the American health reform movement of the time, without being sucked into the easy comparisons to contemporary health schemes or the modern approach to body issues. Definitely worth your time, even if most BCC readers (let’s face it) are rebels for whom the divine counsel of the Word of Wisdom is a road marker long passed on the highway to Hell.



As our long-time readers already know, your feedback is important to us! Thanks to those who provide helpful tips in their comments or in emails on how we can improve BCC. One reader provided some extended feedback in an email, which I’d like to share. [Read more…]

183rd Annual General Conference Portal


This page is a portal to all content at BCC related to the 183rd Annual General Conference, held April 6-7, 2013. [Read more…]

Here’s how it’s going to go down this weekend: #ldsconf

3449480876_79f7ba29deSo you say you want to watch General Conference? So do we. Here’s the deal for BCC’s coverage, and all the information you need to know. [Read more…]

New Permablogger: Morgan Davis

More great news. Morgan Davis* (who has been our guest here on many occasions) has joined BCC as a permanent fixture. Morgan is a thoughtful blogger and all around great guy, and we’re immensely proud that he has agreed to be part of our merry band. Everyone, please welcome Morgan!

*Picture may not be representative of actual Morgan Davis.

Lululemons of our own!

The mark of the (flexible) beast!

I have followed with keen detached interest the sad sad story of Lululemon And The Great See-Through Yoga Pants. [Read more…]

New Permablogger: Angela!

Different Angela.

Different Angela.

Gang, this is BIG NEWS. Angela C. (aka Hawkgrrrl) has joined up with us to be a permanent addition to our merry band of misfits. We’re excited she’s aboard and finally we can all start blogging in earnest.

Welcome, Angela!

Toeing the Line

It is a matter of undisputed fact that breaking a toe is the most painful thing a mortal can experience in this life. [1] [Read more…]

To all the stupid people

Elder Marlin Jensen will be released as Church Historian in an upcoming General Conference. The timing of his release has nothing to do with comments Elder Jensen made recently (cited acontextually here, among other places). To suggest otherwise is to perpetuate a false and damaging gossip.

Mormons covenant not to speak ill of the Lord’s anointed, but apparently this does not prevent us from gossiping about them if the agenda suits us. It makes me sad when this happens, whether it’s about Elder Jensen, Pres. Packer or any of the brethren. So, to all the stupid people: shut your stupid faces.

Q&A With Samuel Brown

Sam is a BCC permablogger and author of In Heaven As It Is On Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death, a book that is by all reports excellent. He agreed to answer a few questions about the book, his writing and everything else.

1. How does your work as a physician affect your writing of history?

Intimately. [Read more…]

Speak Up For Your Internet

Do you like BCC? Do you like the sidebar, the news we bring you, our book reviews and our discussion of what’s happening in Mormonism? The U.S. Senate, in dizzying heights of internet ignorance, is in the process of considering legislation that very well could shutter our sidebar and censor our speech, closing the Bloggernacle. The legislation is called the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), and could have severe legal consequences for us if we linked to a site anywhere online that had any possible links to copyright infringement.

Suffice it to say, this would devastate much of the internet. PIPA’s stupid sister, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), is no better. It’s time for you to visit AmericanCensorship.org and contact your Senator, who very probably doesn’t even use email. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has more information on this as well.

You have already probably heard a lot about this issue from Google, Craigslist, Wikipedia and a host of other sites that have gone dark today. We’re keeping our content up out of dedication to you, our community, but this is really important. Please take a minute and speak up today.

Pew Pew

Looking for our discussion of the Pew Forum’s latest survey? It would seem that BCC has inadvertently broken the Temporal Prime Directive. Check back tomorrow morning and all shall be as it was. We apologize for the inconvenience.

The Power of God, from the women’s view

If you saw this video, and only this, what would you say of the role of women in the Church?

[Read more…]

Happy new year, trolls!

Dear Bloggernacle Trolls,

Happy New Year. As this is a Jubilee year [1] I will grant amnesty to each and every person who has previously been banned from BCC. You will be given the chance once more to regale us with your scintillating comments. And I mean once more: if you come out swinging like a troll again, you’ll end up back in the dumpster. Email us at the info/contact address to get out of Spirit Commenting Prison.

P.S. Not you, Mormon Wookiee. Your cross-bloggernacle spam comment spree has made you victim #1 of 2012. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

[1] No idea if this is a Jubilee year or not, I just like the x-men character.

Police Beat Roundtable XXIV

The 24th installation of our ongoing look at that most charming column of the Daily Universe. Previous installments can be read here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

This week: Steve and GST are joined by Ken Jennings and some guy named Mark.

A student reported two five-gallon cans of gasoline stolen on Jan. 9 from the JRCB Law School parking lot. He had put the two full gas cans on top of his car while he attended his church meetings, and he said they were gone when he returned. He said he had the gas cans because he did not want to buy gas on Sunday, and he needed to drive to Kamas, Utah, after church. He had put the cans inside of his car while he drove to his meeting, but put them on top of his car while he was in church because he did not want his car to stink. The fuel and gas cans are totaled at $25.

GST: If it’s all the same to you, I’ll drive that tanker. [Read more…]

Poll: Ghosts of Bloggernacle Past

New perma: Emily Jensen!

Great news, everyone!

We at BCC proudly welcome Emily Jensen — journalist and web author extraordinaire, and all-around great person — as a full-time contributor. This is how EmJen introduces herself:

With a bit of angst (since she loves BCC, but also pretty much loves every other Mormon blog out there) Emily W. Jensen joins BCC (as part of a new position at Dialogue, more info forthcoming). So she freely admits she’ll be serving two masters as she’ll continue wandering the Bloggernacle and beyond looking for incredible posts for the Deseret News while sneaking in through the attic window of By Common Consent to write posts that strike her fancy.

If you met her in person, you’d see that her energy matches her enthusiasm and that her mouth loves to run away with her, with or without her mind. Besides her work at the Deseret News, she loves moderating the Round Table of beautiful and strong Bloggernacle women in discussing important issues surrounding Mormon women. Oh, and did we mention that she also loves mommy-ing her five mostly-delightful children and crowing about the achievements of her hot historian husband?

Most notably for this intro, in her almost 4-year tenure covering the Bloggernacle she hasn’t met any Mormon blogger she hasn’t liked.

In short, we’re stoked. Emily is good people.

Take that, JI.

Believing in Jesus

My very first memory of Christmas has little to do with Christ: it is that of unwrapping a large present, a wind-up robot that walked, shot sparks out its ears and which had a rolling image of a space landscape in its chest. In short, it was an awesome toy. I can remember the living room, the rug, the iron grates over the air vents in the floor, the tree, but no Jesus. [Read more…]


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