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.
[Read more…]

The black hole, part 3: Have we heard the last word on pornography?

Prior to the advent of the internet, free pornography was relatively difficult to come by. You had to know someone who could provide access or hope for the proverbial nudie mag in a ditch. But the world wide web brought with it both cheap and relatively anonymous mass access to pornography and headaches for the church. It turns out it was only easy to avoid the temptation of pornography when it was hard to find.
[Read more…]

Fox News and False Prophets

Hananiah was the son of a prophet. He was well-known in the circles of court and temple. He prophesied of peace, of optimism, of a God who would bless his people materially and spiritually. He was a false prophet.
[Read more…]

Baby Steps

I hadn’t been to church in a while.

It’s the best

[Read more…]

White genocide or how I first encountered the alt-right in a suburban Mormon Fifth-Sunday meeting

Several years ago, I was visiting my mother’s home ward in my hometown in the South. My wife and I went to church with my mom and, as it was a fifth Sunday, all the adults in the ward (without a calling elsewhere) gathered together to watch a video. Normally, this just means that the bishopric hasn’t really had the time to put together a lesson (or call someone to do so). After all, we’ve all looked forward to Church videos when we haven’t gotten our Sunday School lesson together. However, this video wasn’t obviously by the church. I don’t recall the production company, but the content was disturbing.

The main point of video was that women don’t have enough babies. [Read more…]

A helpful guide to understanding the source of inspiration

As we all know, true revelation comes to both the heart and mind and teaches of Christ. And yet, our ability to rationalize frequently renders us incapable or unwilling to discern such revelation. On occasion, people ask how to know the difference between divine revelation or inspiration and the wayward desires of our own heart. It is no easy task. Or, at least, it wasn’t prior to today. [Read more…]

Patriarchal Innocence and the Church

Recently, I’ve been listening to Eric Michael Dyson’s book Tears We Cannot Stop: a Sermon to White America. As a white dude who grew up in the South and who currently lives in the south in the era of Black Lives Matter and the Drumpf Administration, I’ve been thinking a lot about what race has meant to me. Professor Dyson’s book is an excellent jeremiad against indifference to the suffering and death being inflicted on our African-American brothers and sisters and I recommend the book to anyone who really wants to understand what is at stake in our current racial discord. But I don’t really want to talk about that today. Instead, I want to talk about innocence.

Geek & Sundry GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
[Read more…]

Nihilist Gospel Doctrine Lesson #3

Lesson 3: “I Had Seen a Vision”

(note: Lesson 2 was skipped for being so dang sincere. Picking on it felt like kicking a puppy. I’m not a monster.)

Purpose

To strengthen class members’ testimonies of the First Vision and of Joseph Smith’s calling as the prophet through whom God restored the fulness [sic] of the gospel to the earth.  [Read more…]

Nihilist Gospel Doctrine Lesson #1

Introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History

Purpose:

To introduce class members to this year’s study of the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history and to help them understand their place in the dispensation of the fullness of times.
[Read more…]

Donald Trump and the Mammon of Unrighteousness

Although it is often hard to see when you are in the Intermountain West, the fact that Mormonism is and always has been a minority religion is worthy of consideration in understanding the quick retreat from a moral high ground that we’ve witnessed the church undergo in the last month and a half. Though we sing that we should always “Do what is right” and “Let the consequences follow,” our history, from the Manifesto onward, demonstrates a willingness to adapt to new political situations and to compromise strongly-held beliefs when the organization’s survival is on the line. I do not say this to accuse anyone of cowardice; when you are faced with extinction, a veritable ton of moral flexibility should be offered you. Perhaps the church believes that the Trump presidency could be such an existential threat and groveling should commence now. [Read more…]