Empathy in the back seat

I am your older brother. I have been around the block a little more than you. I feel responsible for how you develop. I might even say it is my duty to teach you how to live a good life. But life isn’t easy and sorrows abound. That is why I feel your pain, even as I force you to hit yourself repeatedly in the face in the back seat of our car, currently driving to Grandma’s.

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Once more for the people in the back

There is no contradiction between the first and second great commandments. They are the same thing.

That is all.

What the Actual F***?!?

So, I guess the reason we have all those billions is to pay off settlements in civil lawsuits for sexual abuse?

There will be and should be hell to pay.

Burn Kirton McConkie and everyone behind this “risk management” call-line to the ground.

Mercy and Justice are not polar opposites

A few weeks ago, I was attending my new ward and the bishop got up to speak. He was talking about the power of the atonement and, honestly, there are so many ways to understand the atonement I don’t really mind if people disagree with me regarding how it works. But he said something that I’ve heard a lot, that is a natural extension of the way that we talk about the atonement, but that I think completely misses the point. He said, at one point, that the essence of the gospel and the atonement was the reconciliation of justice and mercy (which I agree with), which is hard to understand because they are polar opposites. It’s the last part that I think needs reconsideration.

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A Rant about Self-Reliance

Self-Reliance is not a gospel principle. It is found nowhere in the scriptures. The closest we come to it are various verses requesting that one not be idle. But we appear to have made an idol out of the “self-made” man that is antithetical to the gospel and really needs to stop.

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BCC Labs presents: Bibliolatry

We here at BCC Labs are always innovating, aspiring, prognosticating, and masticating in order to provide you with the spiritual and apotheotic materials you need to succeed in eternal life. You may have recently heard someone say that “demanding revelation from God is both arrogant and unproductive” and then said to yourself, “Wait, that really seems to have no foundation in scripture!” Well, if this describes you, you are now in luck as BCC Labs is happy to provide you with a host of scriptural passages, parables, and proof-texts to support this new approach to continuing revelation. See below:

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Elder Holland’s university address reflects a failure of moral judgment that is endemic to the Church

A few months ago, there was a twitter thread about what it means to be an LGBT ally if you are a member of the church. Is it even possible? It gave me pause. I’ve never considered myself much of an ally because, believe it or not, I usually keep my mouth shut and roll my eyes. And it reflects in my friends. I have a few gay friends, but none who are particularly close. I’m sure I have some homophobic tendencies. I am who I am and I’m okay with that. But it made me wonder about why I’m in the church.

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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.