President Nelson and the Problem of Prophetic Infallibility

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T. L. Peterson is an editor who lives in Utah. He is also known as Loursat.

Peterson would like to express his upfront gratitude to Sistas in Zion, whose insightful tweets on the day of President Nelson’s sermon suggested the key idea for this post.

Treating our leaders as though they are infallible is a problem for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  With his energy and bold language, President Nelson might be showing us a way through that problem.  But his solution comes with some nervous questions and a new conundrum.

A popular saying among Latter-day Saints purports to tell the difference between Catholics and Mormons: Catholics say the pope is infallible, but they don’t really believe it*; Mormons say the prophet is fallible, but we don’t really believe it. This saying started as a joke, but I think it has become a truism. [Read more…]

Conflict over Baby Names

Once my sister gathered all of us siblings around a table and pronounced that we were going to decide on the spot who gets dibs on various names for our upcoming babies. By “upcoming,” I mean possibly/hypothetically/hopefully upcoming, not yet expected, in the biological sense. As I understand it, one of the names I’d chosen was one she’d had on her short list of possibilities, and she wanted to prevent any future name-nappings. The rest of us balked at this idea. First come, first serve, we said.
[Read more…]