The theory of ethical miracles and why it is dumb

We’ve all been there. You are sitting in some Sunday School or Auxiliary lesson and some chucklehead goes on and on about how they are so obedient that if God asked them to kill someone, they would. They think they are the height of righteousness because they are chomping at the bit to get some blood on their hands. These people are psychopaths; avoid them if possible. But sometimes they influence people, so here are a few things to help.

[Read more…]

Worthiness Interviews and Moral Authority

In our church, we don’t do confession. Nor do we offer absolution. The church has made the decision to not be an arbiter of your stance before god. However, we do have worthiness interviews.

[Read more…]

Does Mormonism break our ability to properly grieve?

(CW/TW: Domestic abuse; gun violence)

Recently, a terrible crime was committed in Southern Utah. A man shot and killed his wife, his mother-in-law, his five children, and himself. It is a horrible story. But what interests me today are the public statements made by both the man’s family and the wife’s family. I’m sure you are already familiar with both and they are abyssmal, although in different ways. However, they both point to something I’m curious about: do Mormons know how to properly grieve?

Now I want to be clear, I understand that everyone grieves in their own way and that nobody should be held up to some sort of standard for proper grieving. But, in Mormonism, we all know what good grief looks like.

[Read more…]

Not yet

The Policy regarding the children of same-sex couples introduced in November of 2015 and later rescinded in April of 2019 was a watershed moment in modern Mormonism. Many of my friends in the church left over the policy and, strangely enough, its recension did not tempt them back. I didn’t leave, but I was tempted.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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:

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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?

[Read more…]

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?

[Read more…]

7 Days of Gratitude – Being Alive

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

[Read more…]

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).

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.
[Read more…]

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.