February is black history month. Many white members of The Church will say “who cares?” or “good for them!” or even “aren’t they over that yet?” and move on about their daily tasks. That’s unwise. With the presidential election in full swing, our faith and our history of race relations has come under the spotlight of public scrutiny and the intensity will continue to grow. As that happens, I am hopeful that we as members are educated to move the discussion forward instead of saying things that are harmful to the Church and hurtful to many of our members. [Read more…] about Three Mormon Myths About Blacks and the Priesthood
One of my favorite things to do when I visit New York or London is to see the shows. We get an occasional traveling production in Salt Lake City, but for sheer quantity, there are no places in the world like New York and London. However, there hasn’t been anything on Broadway that I’ve been very interested in for some time now. So recently, it has been with great interest that I’ve read reviews of the Book of Mormon musical. Of course, I have been interested not only because it has been called the “savior” of Broadway, or because of all the awards it has won. I have also been interested to see reports that a number of Mormons have seen and enjoyed the show. Some Mormons have been quoted as saying that that there is enough to be offended at, but that the message is “sweet.” This might lead one to believe that, despite its offensive presentation, the core message is a positive one. However, as I have heard the show described, it has not seemed to warrant the glowing admiration that it has been receiving. I have been willing to admit that it might have good music with funny jokes. But in my judgment, not only is the show shockingly profane, but the ultimate message of the show is less-than-redeeming.
[Read more…] about The Book of Mormon Musical: Practical Religion for Modern Times?
In the April 2011 General Conference, Elder Quentin L. Cook gave the probably most-discussed talk: “LDS Women Are Incredible!” My attention went mostly to a very short line—“The recent highly acclaimed book American Grace…noted that Latter-day Saint women are unique in being overwhelmingly satisfied with their role in Church leadership.”
At the risk of assuming too much, I think that in including that one line Elder Cook was aiming at two related criticisms: First, that the Church’s gender-based organization harms women, and second, that it blunders by not fully acknowledging women’s distress over that issue. [Read more…] about ‘American Grace’ and LDS women
In what can be called “Mormon Speak,” we typically talk about “getting” and then “having” what we call a “testimony.” None of this kind of talk can be found in our scriptures, which testify to us about faith and then tell us to testify about its contents and grounds—that is, to give an apologia (or defense). [Read more…] about “Having” a testimony?