El Sol and the end of conservative and liberal Mormons

Consider the images of sun images here, here, and here. The first is, of course, a Sunstone that has survived from the original Nauvoo Temple. In an unusually explicit nod to the past, the design of the new Nauvoo Temple replicated the old temple’s exterior, including this kind of sunstone. The second sun link contains a number of pictures of more recent and more subtle sunstones. In the third, an even better example, look at the lovely, understated sun that sits above the organ pipes in the Conference Center. I think I see, as I observe these early and recent suns, a movement from something baroque to something classical. The personality of the early church expressed in the Nauvoo sunstone: colorful, ornate, contradictory, unabashed, and oddly expressed. [Read more…]

The brass serpent; or, towards an end of conservative and liberal Mormons

When last we left our hero, meaning ourselves, he was standing in the middle of a field, sun shining overhead, holding his box of crayons. I like to call this field the field of tensions. As we look up and around we are captured in various kinds of tensions by the things that we see. We see other people holding and working with their various boxes of crayons, and groups of people, and ideas, and things. The strength of these tensions is partly determined by our proximity to what we are observing, and partly determined by our individual sensibilities. For purpose of fleshing out this metaphor to its breaking point, I want to identify three kinds of tensions. I understand that these don’t speak to all the ways life goes. For instance, I’m leaving out the part biological necessity plays in the creation of these tensions. I’m also drawing in broad strokes where, in reality, these images would blend and be more difficult to sort though. I mean to draw a picture on which we can picture and assess ourselves. [Read more…]

the field of tensions; or, towards an end of conservative and liberal Mormons

Thomas Parkin returns to carry on the good work.

In our last episode, I painted a picture of the soul as a crayon box. I also talked a little about the tensions that exist in life. You can read that bit here (self-promotion). In this episode, I’d like to begin to paint another metaphor around the idea of tension, and then move on to begin bringing an end to liberal and conservative Mormons. [Read more…]

the crayon box; or, towards an end of liberal and conservative Mormons

Thomas Parkin is a friend of BCC and an all-around great person. We’re pleased to welcome him as a guest and fellow traveler for a while.

I really like the word ‘tension.’ I use it frequently. I often look at my life in terms of the various tensions that present themselves for negotiation. Here is an example. Steve has invited me to guest post a few times over the last few years. Each time I’ve said, ‘I’d really love to but not right now’. I have really wanted to do it. A big part of me loves being out there, feels that I have something to say, and even feels a need to be heard. At the same time, I have really, truly, deeply not wanted to do it. Not out of a lack of confidence. There is a tired part of me that doesn’t want to engage any of it. If it weren’t that I mistrusted the tiredness, it might be the deciding factor. But I do mistrust it.

There are very few important things in life  with which I don’t experience this kind of conflict. My relationship with Katie is one. As far as I’m aware, there is no part of me that doesn’t want to be doing it. The same holds true of my decision to get some degrees, reasonably late in life. I am consecrated to these things, in a manner of speaking. I’m all-in. That is a real gift, since consecration is not something one wakes up to on a regular basis.

Here is another tension. [Read more…]