The Trouble with Manifestos

Or “Manifest Manifestos manifesting meh”

We seem to be in an era of bold conservative statements in the church and its environs. There is the recent manifesto on Radical Orthodoxy, put out by the Givens family and their programming friends. A couple of months ago there was the Utah-based, cowboy-conservative, actually-fascist Ride to Reclaim America manifesto. I’m sure there have been others. Who knew what Marx would reap all these years later?

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7 Days of Gratitude – Friendship

I have always been lucky in friends. I’ve almost never had a friendship go sour through betrayal or abuse. So I’m speaking from a place of privilege. But isn’t it nice to have people around?

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7 Days of Gratitude – Being Alive

Without life, gratitude is meaningless. Nobody polls the dead regarding what they are grateful for.

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7 Days of Gratitude – Songs

I like music, but I love songs. The thing about music is I don’t know enough about it. Unless someone is hitting a lot of out-of-tune notes, I can’t tell the difference between music played well and music played poorly. But songs have lyrics and that means I can participate in them in a way that I can’t with music (short of learning an instrument).

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7 Days of Gratitude – Games

It is hard for me to express how much I enjoy playing games. Hard because I really enjoy it, yes, but also because it means that I have to admit it. Thanks to the Protestant work ethic that dominates our society, the notion of playing a game, at any time, seems the same as being idle, indolent, or wasteful. There is almost always something more meaningful that I could be doing than playing a game, something more exemplary of Christian duty. And yet, I play games.

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7 Days of Gratitude – The Earth

I’m extremely lucky in where I live. It is my second time here and it continues to take my breath away when I walk out the door. It is hard to imagine sometimes that this is on Earth, and not from some fantastic tale (fun fact: The author of the Never-Ending Story is from this town). I’m also lucky that this isn’t the only place I’ve been where I’ve been amazed by its beauty.

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7 days of Gratitude: Day 1 – Family

Hello good people of the bloggernacle. I just got done watching President Nelson’s video on the “healing power of gratitude” and, what the heck, I’m going to take up his challenge. If you want to join me, name something that you are grateful for in the comments below. It can be anything, seriously.

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A Quick Note

This is for all of you out there who feel forced to choose between a racist god and a racist prophet in order to explain the priesthood ban. Even if God was a racist god (which he isn’t), the prophet being racist would still be racist. Doing the will of a racist doesn’t absolve you of responsibility for what you do. So, you’re actually just deciding if you think God is racist. He isn’t. There you go.

Because this is a thing now apparently…

There is a person trolling away on the internet, attempting to make the case that being racist and being LGBTQ are morally equivalent. They are not. If this question doesn’t interest you, good, but you probably won’t enjoy the rest of this blog post.
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Kind to be Cruel?

I’ve heard the following quite a bit lately: “If you really cared about LGBT people, then you’d spend your time encouraging them to repent of their sins; otherwise you are condemning them.” The corollary to this notion is that true Christian love for your fellow man can only really be expressed by constantly reminding them of their sinful nature. It’s an interesting notion, but only if one is ignorant of Job. [Read more…]

Monday Morning Theological Poll: Celestial Conveyance Edition

In theory, if we could do interstellar travel, could we hie to Kolob?


Justify your answer below.

Monday Morning Theological Poll: Latter Labor Day Edition

Theologically speaking, what approach should Latter-day Saints take to unions?


Justify your answer below, you pinko!

Monday Morning Theological Poll: Planetary Paragon Edition

Note: This week’s poll comes to you by way of suggestion from another BCC perma (her name rhymes with Schmarylon).
What is the status of salvation for God’s worlds without number?


Justify your answers below. And, if you like, offer suggestions for future polls. Maybe I’ll like it or something.

Monday Morning Theological Poll: Sinful Stratification Edition

Which of these sins is closest to being the sin next to the sin next to murder?


Justify your answer below.

Monday Mid-Afternoon Theological Poll: Active Afterlife Edition

What do you expect to spend the majority of your time on in the celestial kingdom? Or, if you don’t think you’ll qualify, what do you think people will be doing there?


Justify your answer below

Monday Morning Theological Poll: Sinister Sasquatch Edition

Why does Cain, of all people, get immortality?


Justify your answer below.

Monday Morning Theological Poll: Salvific Synonym Edition

Which of the following is the best description of what the atonement does?


Justify your answer below (see what I did there?).

Monday Morning Theological Poll: Decider Edition

What is most influential when you are making important personal decisions?


Justify your answer below.

Monday Morning Theological Poll: Canon Conundrum Edition

Does it matter if the “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” is ever canonized?


Justify your answer below.

Monday Morning Theological Poll: Translation Edition

When we say, in the Articles of Faith, that we believe in the Bible, “as far as it is translated correctly,” what exactly do we mean?


Justify your answer below.

Monday Morning Theological Poll: Historicity Edition

Is it theologically necessary for the Book of Mormon to describe actual, objective history for it to be divine in origin? This one was hard to write. I think I’m just scratching the surface.


Justify your choice below.

Monday Morning Theological Poll: Also-Ran Edition

What is the difference between the lower two tiers of the celestial kingdom and the terrestrial kingdom in the eternities? We’re going to exclude differences in glory and types of bodies from this poll, because those seem too obvious (and vague) to me. Complain below, if you must.


Justify your answers in the comments.

Monday Morning Theological Poll: LGBTQ in abstract edition

How does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints view Homosexuality as a whole (the concept and its implications, rather than the acts of any particular individual or group).


Justify your answers below.

The Prophet Project: Answers to Prayer

One might, at first glance, think Elder Brook Hales’s talk “Answers to Prayer” is about…well…prayer. But it really isn’t; rather, it is about hope and the effect it can have in our lives. [Read more…]

The Prophet Project: Careful versus Casual by Sister Becky Craven

Near the end of her talk, Careful versus Casual, Sister Becky Craven says something fairly radical, so radical that it runs against the apparent grain of the rest of her talk. [Read more…]

The Prophet Project: How Can I Understand? by Elder Soares

Perhaps you are familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect? It is the psychological tic that so many of us have that allows us to think we are competent when we are not and incompetent when we are. The less we know, the more likely we are to think we get things right. The more we know, the more likely we are to see our faults and shortcomings. As I read through Elder Ulisses Soares’s recent conference talk, “How can I understand?”, I couldn’t help but think about the Dunning-Kruger effect and how it influences us. [Read more…]

The Prophet Project: An Introduction

I’ve never been a “modern prophets” guy. [Read more…]

Judging Righteous Judgment, Part 2: a long-overdue post

Six years ago, I started what I thought would be a series of posts about how to judge righteously. One post in and I realized that I didn’t really have much else to say at the time. But I was recently inspired to start thinking about it again when I was informed that “Judge not!” was “the war cry of the great and spacious culture warrior.” [Read more…]

In Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, women were recently given permission to drive. Women had been demanding this right and some had gone to jail for it. Even though women now have the right to drive, those activists who went to jail are still in jail, presumably because of their objection to authority. After all, what they did is no longer illegal.

People who care about human rights don’t punish others because they object to authority and they certainly don’t seek to punish them using ordinances that no longer apply.

The Children Suffer

A child of god died this week.
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