This past weekend I was, for the umpteenth time, reading the writings of a certain LDS apostate held in high regard by many who make criticism of the Church their avocation. I don’t want to name this apostate; indeed, his name is not important. Instead, I want to review my thoughts on one particular aspect of his writings. It is these thoughts that others may find of value. (Or not; I hold no illusions that my writings are of any intrinsic value, other than when they provide a springboard for introspection within others.)
The Church has a problem.
We are caught between the Scylla of our long history of practicing — and strongly defending — plural marriage, and the Charybdis of having given up that practice and now having to disassociate ourselves from modern polygamous groups.
From the standpoint of defending the Church, how should we navigate that strait? [Read more…] about Navigating the Straits of Polygamy
I’m certain this is not the first place people turn for news, but in case you missed it, President Hinckley passed away Sunday, January 27.
Here are some links to early news reports:
Here’s the official announcement from the Church:
Jan Brown, a freelance writer, apologist, and ministry consultant, wrote an interesting article at Christianity Today. The article is not that bad, from an Evangelical Christian’s perspective. There are, however, a few things that just jumped out at me as I was reading through the piece.
This Jarom 1:8 phrase is used throughout the Book of Mormon and appears to borrow its language from the Abrahamic covenant in Gen 17:2 and elsewhere. It appears to be an apt description of the early Utah Saints, who saw themselves as modern heirs of the covenant. Mormon women welcomed many more children into their homes than their national counterparts, a phenomenon I attribute largely to polygamy.
As a disclaimer, I realize that this blog entry is not in good taste, especially from a feminist perspective. Some of the quantitative analysis that follows will no doubt feed into Mormon stereotypes that we like to keep our women barefoot and pregnant.
Periodically I run into statements which imply or directly state that those who believe in the tenets of Mormonism are less intelligent than those who believe in other Christian faiths, or those who have somehow rid themselves of any beliefs whatsoever and thereby transcended the stupidity of Mormons.
There is something about politicians specifically appealing to the bigots among society that really puts me off!
Yesterday in a speech found here, one political candidate (name omitted to protect the guilty–let’s call him Finn, after the Mark Twain character in the book Tom Sawyer) said, “You don’t like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do…. In fact, if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we’d tell ’em what to do with the pole, that’s what we’d do.” What a “defender of freedom”—except that the flag he refers to is the Confederate battle flag, which some South Carolinians want to use for official functions.
In an interesting study that was released today, researchers at Vanderbilt University report that it appears that people who really have problems with presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s religious beliefs cover that problem by saying that they believe he is a “flip-flopper.” Apparently, ingenious Americans are finding the flip-flopping charge to be more socially acceptable than just saying ‘Mitt’s a Mormon, and that disqualifies him from being president.’
For years, critics of the Church have attacked the Nephite “coinage,” mentioned in Alma 11:3-19, claiming that this in itself makes the Book of Mormon fiction [See Allen Wyatt’s blog, “Coins in the Book of Mormon.”]. Really, I don’t see what the fuss is about. [Read more…] about Nephite money and “coinage”
To many people, the collapse of the Kirtland Safety Society is a “deal breaker” for Joseph Smith’s Prophetic calling. After all, wouldn’t God make sure a bank set up and run by a Prophet won’t fail? Not necessarily. God uses things (and people!) to accomplish His purposes, and, when His purposes are accomplished, those things (and people) must necessarily wane from the spotlight. When John the Baptist’s job as harbinger for the Saviour was complete, God didn’t even spare his life. Why should He then spare a bank when its job of financing the Kirtland Temple was complete? [Read more…] about The Kirtland Safety Society’s collapse is significant!