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…]

Flunking Sainthood — Winners!

About a month ago, we announced a little contest around Jana Reiss’ excellent book, Flunking Sainthood. We’re pleased to announce the winners:

#1: MaryBeth Harper
#2: Brittany Aurelia Morin-Mezzadri
#3: LessonNumberOne

All of the entries were interesting and enlightening — thanks for participating! Winners, please contact Jana Reiss via Facebook to coordinate receiving your copy of Flunking Sainthood.

Survey: bloggernacle impact

From Patrick Mason: At the January 2012 meeting of the American Society for Church History, I’ll be on a panel called “Teaching Mormonism in a Digital Age.” In my comments I’ll be considering the impact of the “bloggernacle” on Mormon studies, specifically in regard to the current generation of graduate students. I have designed the following questionnaire to get a better handle on why people read Mormon blogs and what they get out of them. The questionnaire is for any graduate student, full or part time, LDS or non-LDS, in any academic field. The informed consent form on the first page will explain more, or you can contact me at patrick.mason@cgu.edu with any questions. Thanks for participating.

Link to survey

The Gold Plates as Cultural Artifact

The Neal A Maxwell Institute has announced its forthcoming Summer Seminar. As ever the topic is provocative and inspiring. Details below:

The Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Culture

Brigham Young University
June 18 – July 27, 2012

[Read more…]

Daring to Stand: President Monson’s Priesthood Address

President Monson’s address during this October’s Priesthood session at first seems somewhat unremarkable in theme: he bemoans the lack of moral compasses found in folks today, and calls on members of the Priesthood to stand up and be counted as Mormons and to adhere to the laws of God. This is a familiar theme for President Monson, who is a missionary through and through. The talk raises a few questions and takes a novel approach in describing what it means to stand as a Mormon. This post is a brief walking tour of President Monson’s address, going through the themes and issues of his remarks in order. The audio of the talk is available here. [Read more…]

Lines, divisions, and inactivity

I was recently quoted in a Trib article by Peggy Fletcher Stack, a journalist I truly admire. The article is well worth your valuable time, as it explores some interesting issues of who is truly “Mormon”. I thought it might be worth posting the full text of my email to Peggy, which includes the questions I was asked. Each one of the questions is worthy of long discussion, and my replies are nothing fancy, but it’s good conversation fodder for a Friday before Conference. [Read more…]

The Fall

“What I want to do, I can’t do. I do what I hate.”

I recently relocated to the bucolic midwestern countryside.  Now autumn, and red-and-gold leaves, and harvests, and frost, are descending on us now faster than I expected.  Fall is my favorite time of year, because it is so gorgeous but also so brief; it really is a last gasp of concentrated beauty before the end.  I crunch through the leaves and I find myself reminded everywhere of the passing nature of beauty — and, internally, of the fall of man.  What causes our souls to seek separation from God, to grow along paths of development then suddenly depart away from them?  What causes us to fall from grace, again and again? What is wrong with us? [Read more…]

How to torpedo yourself at Church

I love the notion of “social capital” at Church — building up a reputation as someone trustworthy, reliable, the sort of “good neighbor” reputation that then permits you to act as you please [1]. People with large amounts of social capital in their wards can say controversial things or act crazily (blue shirts! Pantsuits!) without fear of being marginalized. Attempt those tasks without a good buildup of social capital, and heaven help you. Once people know that you’re fundamentally a good person and worth of trust, you can get away with all sorts of antics [2].

However, much of the building of social capital has to do with initial positioning in the ward. As a new arrival, the heat is on — you’d better not make any false steps in building your reputation, or you’ll never gain the respect and admiration of your elder’s quorum. Let’s consider a few common pitfalls. [Read more…]

Praise to the Man

167 years ago today, Joseph Smith, Jr. was gunned down at Carthage Jail. For some, today is a day to mark the anniversary of Joseph’s death with writings and ponderings on the meaning of his life and teachings. Doubtless your Facebook walls are filled with historical anecdotes, pithy quotes or iffy youtube videos. I would think that the current popularity of The Book of Mormon musical is contributing in some small measure to amplified output by members via various social networks. I’ve been giving some thought to the reaction of the Saints in Nauvoo to the death of the Prophet, as well as subsequent declarations and reactions to his death, as well as thinking about what our religion teaches us with respect to such events. [Read more…]

O that I were an angel!




I was thinking today about Alma’s little wish:

O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
Alma 29:1

We all know that Alma self-smacked himself down soon after writing this, but let’s say, for argument’s sake, that he (or, you) got this wish. Then what? [Read more…]

Your Friday Firestorm #58

And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.

JST: Matthew, verse 27.


Police Beat Roundtable XXIII

Butterfly in the sky, I can fly twice as high... AND KILL YOU

Readin' Rambo

The 23rd 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, and here.

This week: GST, Steve, Matt and Ken are joined by our friend, mentor and guide, Karen Hall.

GST: Who is this Karen Hall?

Ken: I lived in Karen Hall freshman year. [Read more…]

Your Friday Firestorm #57

And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

(Luke 16:9)


Your Friday Firestorm #56

And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.

(2 Samuel 6:6-7)


Musicals and the Church’s Work in Africa

I find it interesting that the new Broadway show THE BOOK OF MORMON throws a freshfaced missionary into Uganda, where the setting is supposed to show the ludicrousness of mormon faith and idealism when confronted with the hellish realities of man’s cruelties to man.

The reality is that Mormons are already in Uganda, and we’re doing just fine, thanks. [Read more…]

Your Friday Firestorm #55

“The handbook is doctrinal”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Worldwide Leadership Training, Feb. 12, 2011.


Your Friday Firestorm #54

And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.

(D&C 82:7)


Your Friday Firestorm #53

“The family will be presided over by the father, the priesthood bearer…And he will tie generations together as we go forward. . . . Can you think of a more glorious opportunity than being led by your own father in the eternities to come, and having the opportunity as a father in leading your children as they go forward?” [Read more…]

FYI, re: Marriott

For those of you applauding Marriott’s decision to stop offering pornographic movies as part of the entertainment offerings in hotel rooms, a quick note. I hate to burst your bubble, but this wasn’t any sort of moral victory at play. People don’t pay for porn anymore, they get it for free over the internet. So Marriott stopped paying its entertainment provider a premium rate under its contract for porn. It was a sensible business decision. If people (lonely businessmen) still paid for porn, Marriott would still offer it. Again, apologies for this dose of reality. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog. Below is a humorous picture to lighten your day. [Read more…]

What think ye of Christ?

I’m impressed by the “Jesus is _____” campaign. It’s catchy, it has viral appeal, and what’s more it arrives at the desired result — driving a large discussion about Christ — without imposing a predetermined path to discussion or a forced conclusion. It’s sponsored by some large Protestant churches (the largest being here in Seattle), but despite the relatively narrow view of Christ offered by the sponsored religions the campaign invites large and open discussion and debate about who Jesus is and what he means to us. As the site explains, “So maybe the reality of who Jesus is remains too big for the blank.” [Read more…]

The Roast Beast

We all know that after the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day, he was the one who carved the roast beast. What’s the roast beast of choice on Christmas Day?


Q: How do you get to the Celestial Kingdom?

A: Praxis, praxis, praxis. [Read more…]

Terryl Givens Fireside

Courtney Jane Kendrick is hosting a fireside this Saturday evening at her home with Prof. Terryl Givens following the presentations at the Mormon Media Symposium. A good time is guaranteed for all. The fireside will be at 7 p.m. at 1170 Birch Lane in Provo. Email cjanemail@gmail.com with questions — should be pretty fantastic for all you Apollo-Burger-eatin’-Y-Mountain-climbin’ guys.


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