Two events in Seattle, February 26-27, Masonry and death conquest

Samuel Brown, BCC perma and author of In Heaven as It Is On Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death, will be in Seattle the weekend of February 26-27, giving two talks.

On Saturday, Sam will speak at Molly Bennion’s home in the 98112 zip code in Seattle at 7pm on February 25. The subject for the evening will be “Investigating Mormon Masonry.” [Read more…]

Announcing a new blogger: Jacob Baker!

BCC is thrilled to announce that Jacob Baker has agreed to join us as a permablogger. Jacob is a doctoral student in Philosophy of Religion and Theology at Claremont Graduate University, and currently teaches philosophy at BYU and Utah Valley University. He thinks quipping is an art, doesn’t tweet, and does not have a favorite food. He wants to be like Steven Peck when he grows up.

In lieu of a hearty welcome, please send flowers to Steve Evans.

Mormon Women Project: Salon 2011 this Weekend

This Saturday, November 5th at 6:00pm, the Mormon Women Project is hosting a fundraiser at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in SLC, with the theme: “Crafting A Deliberate Life: Making Choices That Are Purposeful, Personal and Powerful”.

It promises to be a tremendous evening — here is the schedule and speakers (further info here):

Keynote Address: Emma Lou Thayne, Author and Poet [Read more…]

Friday Awards Show #1

Slim pickings in the nominees, folks. So slim, in fact, that there are no winners. We could only find one nominee for the Best and Worst Comment awards that met all the criteria, so these will roll over to next week!

New Flunking Sainthood Contest

In conjunction with Jana Reiss’ new book, Flunking Sainthood, we’re pleased to offer a new contest: storytelling. We want to hear your stories of when you’ve been honest about who you really are at Church. Says Jana, “I would like our contest to be for people to tell stories of times they allowed themselves to be really vulnerable and candid in a church setting — both positive and negative stories.” [Read more…]

Because, Dear Readers, We Love You

As part of BCC’s ongoing quest for World Domination, we feel the need to recognize a vital part of what makes blogging fun and what makes BCC a great place to hang out: YOU!

If you’re a follower of our Facebook Page or Twitter feed (and if you’re not, then please get with the program!), then you’re already aware of a new feature, which we hope will become a fun and exciting part of the regular programming here at BCC. Starting next week, BCC will be dishing out two awards every other Friday (unless we forget or get burned out or something), one for the Best Comment of the Week and one for the Worst Comment of the Week. Now, before you start penning your acceptance speeches, there are a few guidelines to be aware of. [Read more…]

Come, Follow #ldsconf

It’s that Semi-Annual time of year again, and the rumors of an announcement regarding the 2-hour block have reached a fever-pitch.

It's not like they're mutually exclusive options...

BCC’s coverage of the 181st Semi-Annual General Conference kicked off with President Beck last weekend. This weekend, settle in with a casserole dish of funeral potatoes and a bowl of Jell-O salad while J. Stapley, John C., and Scott B. spoon-feed The Only True and LivingTM conference coverage: Live-blogging, tweeting (#ldsconf), Facebook (guaranteed to all be Top Stories!), and analysis of the proceedings throughout the weekend. As always, free babysitting will be provided, courtesy of Times & Seasons.

What you need to know:

1. Live-blogging, with BCC perma commentary, photos, and open threads for all sessions here at By Common Consent, starting about about 30 minutes before each session.

2. Twitter Updates throughout the weekend at Use the #ldsconf hash tag on Twitter for more (albeit inferior) updates from the Twittersphere.

3. Commentary, quotes, and photos on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” or Subscribe to BCC’s Facebook page in order to access this new area of coverage! [Read more…]

Claremont Call For Papers

From our friends at Claremont, a new call for papers on a highly engaging topic —

Claremont Mormon Studies Student Association
Biennial Student Conference
Call for Papers

Laying Up Treasure: Mormons in the Marketplace

March 30–31, 2012

Claremont Graduate University

[Read more…]

Announcing a new blogger: B Hodges!

We’re really excited that Blair Hodges has agreed to join us as a permablogger here at BCC. The work at both his solo blog, Life on Gold Plates, and at Faith-Promoting Rumor has been tremendous, and we feel lucky to have him aboard. It’s no secret that his book reviews are among the best in the business.

Everyone be sure to wish him a hearty welcome and don’t forget to pass judgment on his sketchy beard!

Top Ten Gospel Mysteries Solved via Time Travel

(As determined by the BCC permas)

  1. Who changed the first baby’s first diaper–Adam or Eve?
  2. What did Jesus write in the sand that one time?
  3. Did McClellen steal the blankets?
  4. Crickets and Seagulls….fact or fiction?
  5. Was Eliza pushed, or did she jump?
  6. Was Balaam’s ass really the talkinest darn thing you ever saw?
  7. Um, dinosaurs?
  8. Is NDBF Gary’s name correct?
  9. How bald was Elisha, exactly?
  10. Robot crow?

[Read more…]

Sunday Afternoon General Conference: Like Satellite Stake Conference, but More General

Welcome back to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 181th Annual General Conference, live from Meridian, Idaho! Don’t forget to check out our minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter in addition to coverage on the blog. We also encourage you to (if you’re not already doing so) watch Conference live, streaming from


BHodges here. Welcome to the final session of conference. As is customary I’ll be adding some comments in the main body of the post during each talk. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning General Conference: One Session To Rule Them All

Welcome back to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 181th Annual General Conference, live from Panguitch, Utah! Don’t forget to check out our minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter in addition to coverage on the blog. We also encourage you to (if you’re not already doing so) watch Conference live, streaming from


The first waffles are about to hit the iron, so let’s get this party started…

Good Morning! Sunday morning session currently being kicked off with Music and the Spoken Word, the 4255th performance of the 82-year-old broadcast. During this morning’s performance, Lloyd Newell’s comments included an excerpt from Harvard professor Clayton Christiansen’s talk to a graduating business school class, How Will You Measure Your Life? [Read more…]

BCC Papers 6/2, Weeks, The Last Days of Joseph Smith

Full paper here.

Zebulun Q. Weeks, The Last Days of Joseph and Hyrum Smith: A Chronology (Introduction)

But heroic like demi-gods they firmly trod the road to death and glory

-Dan Jones [Read more…]

The Revolution Will Be Tweeted

Melissa De Leon Mason is a BCC blogger emerita and a scholar of political science and international studies. We’ve missed her fondly while she was living in Egypt. Now she kindly shares with us her view on the currently turmoil in that country.

It was a familiar sight to me. Dozens of men standing silently in a straight line, then bending to their knees, rising again, kneeling, their foreheads touching the ground. I had witnessed it a hundred times before in Cairo. Patrons in the markets, shopkeepers outside their storefronts, security guards and bawaabs behind their huts, all stopping whatever they happened to be doing when the muezzin began the call from the local minaret and performing the salaat, the ritual Islamic prayer. Watching it on Al-Jazeera English earlier today, it almost looked normal. But the kneeling men were not only facing Mecca, they were also facing crowds of uniformed riot police who watched as the men rose at the end of their prayers. And then with loud cracks, chaos one again erupted as tear gas canisters were fired into the crowd. [Read more…]

Idaho Mormons: Handgun Justification Edition

A BCC reader writes:

“A friend up in Idaho can get a handgun IF he is able to find a quote from a modern day prophet/leader that grants/encourages/blesses such an act (in order to appease his wife). Can the bloggernacle find such a quote?”

Go forth, bloggernaclers! Let us work to arm this faithful brother! [Read more…]

Silver Award for Mormon Women’s History

The Mormon History Association (MHA) is pleased to announce a new award for 2011. The Silver Award for Mormon Women’s History will be awarded for an outstanding article published in 2010 on the history of Mormon women in the 19th and 20th centuries. This award includes a prize of $350. All submissions must be sent electronically (as either a Word or PDF document) to subcommittee chair Sheree Bench at Submissions should include a cover sheet detailing the author’s name, contact information, affiliation, etc. Submissions must be received by February 15, 2011, to be considered. Awards will be presented at the MHA annual meeting in St. George, Utah, in May 2011. The Silver Award is sponsored by the Mormon Women’s History Initiative Team (MWHIT) and funded by the Silver Foundation. Third party submissions are welcome.

BCC’s Thanksgiving Day Mega-Post

By Common Consent wishes a Happy Thanksgiving to all of those who share and participate in this wonderful community. In celebration of a holiday characterized by a table overflowing with countless delicious and diverse culinary creations, we offer you a selection of Thanksgiving-themed contributions from our authors. Whether you crave cranberries or haiku, music or football, there is something here for everyone. Enjoy!

From Steve Evans

Thanks to all of our readers and friends. You are the reason we maintain this site. We don’t always show it, but we love our BCC community. I’m profoundly grateful for all of you. Yes, even Aaron.

[Read more…]

BCC Hive: Infant Salvation

Please help our man in Vienna: [Read more…]

Ye Elders of Israel!

You should all be in the meeting, without your iPhones, but just in case…

Elder Russell M. Nelson: Be Thou an Example of the Believers

[it would be interesting to see how often this scripture gets used in the Priesthood session compared to other times…] [Read more…]

15 Things Heard Behind the Podium During General Conference

Do you ever wonder what the Brethren say to each other up on the stand during General Conference? We do, too. [Read more…]


It’s that semiannual time of year again, folks.

BCC’s coverage of the 180th Seminannual General Conference started last Saturday evening with the Relief Society Broadcast, and will continue throughout the coming weekend and into next week. As is our custom, we will be providing you with the Only True and LivingTM live blogging, Twitter feeds, and analysis of the proceedings throughout the weekend. As always, free babysitting will be provided, courtesy of Times & Seasons.

(As an added bonus, at Kevin Barney’s request, we will also being using talks from the upcoming General Conference in all of our Sunday posts for the next year.) [Read more…]

Welcome mmiles!

After penning five* excellent guest posts (and many years of excellent comments), we are pleased to announce that the ever-impressive mmiles has signed a contract with By Common Consent in her own blood, promising to contribute to BCC until the Constitution no longer hangs by a thread. For more about mmiles, check out her bio page.

All hail Sister Miles, BCC’s newest perma!

*There is some question about the authenticity of one of the posts, as it appears that her husband may have been the actual author. Our investigation is ongoing. [Read more…]

Announcement: 16th Annual Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture

If any of you fans of Mormon Studies happen to be in or around Logan this Thursday, be sure to check out the 16th Annual Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture, held in the Logan Tabernacle. Details below the fold.

[Read more…]

Welcome WVS!

After numerous guest posts, applications were submitted and waivers were filed with the PTB, and we are pleased to announce that W.V. Smith has agreed to contribute to By Common Consent on a regular basis. For more about WVS, check out his bio page.

All hail WVS, BCC’s newest perma! [Read more…]

2011 Neal A. Maxwell Institute Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Culture

The Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Culture


Brigham Young University

July 11 – August 19, 2011

In the summer of 2011, the Neal A Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University will sponsor a summer seminar for graduate students and junior faculty on “The Gold Plates as Cultural Artifact.”  The seminar will be held on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, from July 11 to August 19.  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.

The seminar will be conducted by Richard Bushman, Professor of History Emeritus at Columbia University, and Terryl Givens, Professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond. [Read more…]

Call for Papers and Panels: Mormon Media Studies Symposium

Sponsored by BYU Department of Communications, BYU Broadcasting, and BYU Studies
In Conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of BYU Broadcasting
November 11 & 12, 2010
Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA
“Mormon Media Studies: Across Time, Space, and Disciplines”


The full announcement, with additional information on submission guidelines, deadlines, conference and contact information can be found here.

As this is the first ever interdisciplinary Mormon Media Studies Symposium, the range of topics to be explored in paper and panel sessions is wide. [Read more…]

Welcome to Sunny!

After three superb posts BCC is pleased to announce that Sunny Smart has agreed to contribute to the blog on a regular basis as a perma. We do, however, want to make it very clear that the fact that she refuses to be a Visiting Teacher had absolutely nothing to do with this decision. [Read more…]

A reader’s question

A number of units in my stake are having issues with a mission president who insists that baptism is needful for all. The statement “they are better off baptised than not!” has been heard by my own ears on two occasions by our soon to be departing mission president. Unfortunately, in my opinion, there have been numerous baptisms of people with very little or no understanding of the gospel. I would appreciate any thoughts the commenters have on this matter as it seems to contradict recent addresses by the brethren and the doctrines associated with the “Articles of Faith.”

New Perma!

Following his recent quintet of excellent guest posts, we are pleased to announce that Aaron R. (aka Rico) has agreed to join the Good Ship BCC as our newest permablogger.

Aaron R. brings many benefits to BCC, not the least of which is an end to Ronan’s tyrannical monopoly on sexy British accents in the bloggernacle. Therefore, please join us in welcoming Aaron R., and feel free to offer him the last chocolate in your box!

All Hail Aaron R.! [Read more…]

BCC’s Newest Permablogger

By Common Consent is pleased to announce that after nearly a year of investigation, Matt Page, aka Brother Matsby, has agreed to be baptized and confirmed a member of the BCC permabloggers. [Read more…]