Police Beat Roundtable XXVI

To protect or whatever

The 26th 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, here, here and here.

This installment: Karen is hopped up on goofballs, and we are visited by the lamest of the Three Nephites.

Steve: GST, apparently Karen is drunk on cold medicine. And she’s not even sick!
GST: I like how she parties
Karen: Hi Greg. I’m Karen and I take cold medicine.
GST: Yeeesss [Read more…]

Hope, a transformative power

I gave this talk last week.  Sorry you couldn’t be there?  Guess what!  I’m gonna post up the whole thing for you to read.  Enjoy.  It was a short talk.

Today we’re going to talk to you about hope. I’m excited to talk about hope, because that means obviously I get to talk a lot about President Barack Obama, who is a very popular figure and an obvious inspiration to us. I’m just kidding folks, relax. [1]

No, specifically I want to talk about how we can gain hope in our lives, how do we get hope. But I also want to talk about how hope impacts our view of the world, how our perception of life changes when we are hopeful. [Read more…]

Farther along than the church

Farther ahead than I am, at any rate.

Clayton Christensen is cited in a recent article, and his thoughts (as always) are interesting and provocative. First, though, it is important to note that he has publicly clarified the purported citation in the piece, as found on his Facebook wall and elsewhere: [Read more…]

What to expect when you’re expecting (to be excommunicated)

Judgment Day

This is another one of those posts where you come up with the title before you actually have anything to say. But here’s a few random thoughts. [Read more…]

A Bishop’s Response

Our friend, who tweets at @judge_in_israel, has written a response to Kristine A’s post. Below is his response.

Dear Kristine A.,

I’m not your Bishop, but I thought I would draft a quick response to your notes, perhaps as a dry run for a conversation I might have with someone in my ward who shares your concerns. Although these issues haven’t yet been raised with me personally in my role as a Bishop, I know that many individuals in our ward – including me – have many of the same concerns you do. As your own Bishop indicated, many of the topics you raise are simply outside the Bishop’s control, but since you’ve been instructed to raise these matters with your local leader, let me attempt to give some responses. [Read more…]

The Proper Domain of Revelation

Masters of their domain

Masters of their domain

One of the challenges of scripture [1] is dealing with things that are empirically incorrect.  For example, how does the reader of scripture address the six-day creation?  What of Methuselah and the other early patriarchs living 900+ years?  What of the sun revolving around the earth?  The reader’s reaction to such things speaks volumes about the reader’s religion, social demographics and education [2].  By this point, it is generally recognized that Mormons are not literalists when it comes to scripture – or rather, we are literalists when it suits us.  Six days become six “creative periods”;  Joseph Smith and other early Church leaders spoke specifically to the age of the patriarchs; the JST speaks to the rotation of the earth around the sun.  More importantly, Joseph Smith introduces the concept of prophets speaking as prophets, which introduces a new tool to readers of scripture: prophets speaking when they thought the mic was off [3].

So I’d like to bat a topic around: what is the proper domain of revelation?  That is, what is the proper range of subject matter on which prophets can speak with divine authority?  Are there subjects where prophets are on more shaky ground to invoke divine inspiration?  How are we to tell?

[Read more…]

April Fools

This April Fool’s Day, I bring you a gift: a collection of a few of the more memorable comments some of our favorite trolls have left over the years. I swear I am not making these up. How many of these names do you remember? [Read more…]

Of Cowardice

It’s not really as nice as it looks.

Corbeil-Essonnes is a suburb to the southeast of Paris. Like many Parisian suburbs, it has a broad mix of cultures and incomes, from those who live in private mansions to those who are crammed into immense low-income housing projects. And, like many Parisian suburbs, it has Mormon missionaries running around in it, trying to spread the word. In 1992 I was one of those missionaries. [Read more…]

Have Mercy on us Whiners

I don’t wanna wait for Church to be over; I want to whine right now on BCC.

Periodically (i.e. with frequency) I’ll read some comment about how BCC is full of complainers, about how we’re missing the point of the Gospel and heck I’m done with this site, I gave it a shot but you guys are just such whiners and complainers, it’s like Laman and Lemuel!

There’s something to that, I admit. Look at the last 10 days of posts here: Firestorm on modesty, leaving the Ensign behind, how to revamp Church magazines, the Church as corporation, missionary policies re: opposite sex, wearing pants and then Mark’s post contrasting dinners. If the occasional complaint is steadying the ark then BCC must be like a full suspension system like none other.

I’d like to offer up a little explanation of what’s going on here. If you’re predisposed to dislike this site then I suppose these will make little difference. [Read more…]

Your Friday Firestorm, #59

Men and women can look sharp and be fashionable, yet they can also be modest. Women particularly can dress modestly and in the process contribute to their own self­ respect and to the moral purity of men. In the end, most women get the type of man they dress for.

-Elder Tad Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy, “The Lord’s Standard of Morality,” March 2014 Ensign, p. 45-49.

Discuss. [Read more…]

Gatekeepers and Keymasters

This is the 2nd part of a discussion regarding confession in the Church. Part I can be found here.

Prepare for the coming of BYU! All the prisoners will be released!

Put yourself in the shoes of a Church administrator that wants to hire some folks. You want to make sure that the people you hire are good Church people, that they won’t bring embarrassment upon the Church. You also don’t want to have to waste time interviewing people with these intrusive sorts of questions all the time. Why not use the shortcut of the temple recommend?

[Read more…]

Confession: Good for the Soul, Bad For Just About Everything Else

OBLIGATORY PREFACE: These are just some idle reflections on possible structural weaknesses in our current system of administration and on ways we can improve. This post is not meant to reflect on any particular person, living or dead, myself included. Except Bosworth. Part I of II.

Suppose you are a Bishop. A man (let’s say he’s an Elder) comes to see you and confesses to you that lately he has had a problem with watching pornography. What tools, then, are at your disposal?
[Read more…]

Sheila Taylor talk on Mormonism and Theology @ Berkeley

On Sunday, January 26 at 7 PM at the Berkeley Institute, theologian Sheila Taylor will be giving a presentation on “The Role of Theology in Mormonism.”  [Read more…]

Emails From My Daughter

It’s only a matter of time

A few months ago, we got new phones. We configured the old phones to be wifi-only and let our kids use them to play games, watch movies, etc. as a treat. For my eldest daughter, the primary purpose of the phone is email. Though she is only seven years old, the autocomplete features help her compose emails with relative ease. She loves to get email from her grandparents and her parents, and has taken to carrying the phone around with her in a little purse so that she can check her email on the go. [Read more…]

Call For Stories

Neylan McBaine is the founder of the Mormon Women Project (www.mormonwomen.com), a non-profit creating a continuously expanding digital library of interviews with LDS women from around the world. She blogs at neylanmcbaine.com.

Although it’s been almost a year and a half since I spoke at the FairMormon conference and introduced the term “cooperative ministry” in the context of gender relations in LDS church governance, I still receive emails from readers citing how the talk affected them. [Read more…]

Police Beat Roundtable XXV

To protect or whatever

The 25th 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, here and here.

This week: GST and Steve discover the dark side of Ken Jennings.

GST: aw yeah.
Steve: oh hey guys, how’s things?
Ken: this takes me back.
Steve: all right, let’s kick it old-skool.

A report of vandalism at the Howard S. McDonald Building was recorded at 6 a.m. June 30. Graffiti had been written on the wall of a bathroom stall with a permanent marker. No mention of the nature of the graffiti was given.
[Read more…]

The Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Culture

Announcing the next Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Culture, conducted by Richard and Claudia Bushman:

The History of the Mormon Family

Brigham Young University
June 15 – July 26, 2014

In the summer of 2014, the Neal A Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University, with support from the Mormon Scholars Foundation and the Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley Institution, will sponsor a summer seminar for graduate students and junior faculty on “The History of the Mormon Family.” The seminar will be held on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, from June 15 to July 26. Admitted participants will receive a stipend of $3000 with an accommodations subsidy if needed. The seminar continues the series of seminars on Mormon culture begun in the summer of 1997. In 2014, the seminar will be conducted by Richard and Claudia Bushman. [Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.


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