Posts Tagged 'Mormonism'

Dude. You Have the Scriptures on Your IPod?!

A paraphrased story from my #2 son:

We have recently moved to a small town in western Ohio.  My #2 son is one of only two young men in the local high school (as far as I know).  He is participating on the football team and just the other day the team had a meal together.  At the table where he sat, the conversation turned to the practices of Mormonism.  The report of the conversations went something like this:

“So you believe there should not be any sex before marriage.”

“Yes”, my boy said.

“Seriously?”

“Yes”

“What would you do if a pretty girl came up to you, unzipped your pants, and gave you a hand job?”

“I would probably slap her face.”

“No you wouldn’t”

“Yes I would”

“What about Adam and Eve, they weren’t married”

“Yes the were”

My son then pulls out his IPod and goes to Genesis 1 to show that Adam and Eve were husband and wife.

“Dude.  You have the scriptures on your IPod?!”

The boy seemed to handle it pretty well.  And seems to have no fear.

Which Star Trek Captain Would Make the Best Bishop?

Recent events in my life have caused me to think more about leadership.  It is difficult for me to observe anything without evaluating the leadership behind the event.  My wife is a big Star Trek fan, and has been watching old episodes on Netflix.  As I have watched a few of these with her, I cannot help myself from evaluating the leadership styles and preferences of the Star Trek captains.

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Who Should Be More Optimistic About The After-Life?

I have been wondering about the question of whether members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ought to be more optimistic about the after-life than members of other Christian faiths.  In asking this, I am not wondering which group is more smug, arrogant and self-righteous.  I am also not asking this in terms of who is more confident in being doctrinally correct.  What I am wondering, is given the basic theology of different religious traditions (Mormonism and mainstream Protestants for example), who should be more optimistic about the after-life?  In making such comparisons, I will of course be generalizing and over-simplifying to very high levels.  But I hope that thinking and discussing this will have some positive results.

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I Know the Church is True – Or – Epistemology of a Testimony

I know that the church is true.

This statement is repeated over, and over again on the first Sunday of every month in Fast and Testimony meetings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Members, of course, are not forced to say this, but most of them do.  This certain statement bothers a few people when they hear it.  They will often say that the ‘know’ part is to strong, and ‘true’ is a pretty strong word as well.

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Kierkegaard, Subjectivity, Mormonism and Universal Truth

Kierkegaard seems to refute the idea that truth is to be found by objectivity.  For him, ultimate truth will not result from advancing science or accumulating enough external facts.  Truth is to be found from looking within yourself, and acting authentically as an existing being.  Thus, subjectivity is truth.

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General Conference and Agency

One of the themes of conference that emerged for me was that of agency.  Elder Hales and President Monson (priesthood session) both spoke on this topic directly.  One idea from the scriptures, which both men shared, is that agency is God-given.  This might seem unambiguous and straight forward, but it brings to my mind questions about what is agency, and how is it given?

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Spirit Birth and Ontological Sameness

Joseph Smith’s teaching that something about us (intelligence/mind/spirit) has an eternal past, and was never created nor made, is a remarkable thing with many implications on Mormon theology.  One of the obvious results of such a teaching is that it ultimately eliminates the creator/creature relationship between God and man.  But with the creator/creature relationship eliminated, what then is the relationship between God and man?

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My SMPT Experience

I fully expected the good folks at the SMPT to reject my paper.  I was then going to post it with a title something like ‘Wanna read a rejected SMPT paper?’  I am glad that they accepted it because it allowed me to have a great experience.  I would like to review what I thought were some of the highlights, and then give my impressions of the session I was in.

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Reviewing Paulsen’s Statements Relating to ‘Spirit Birth’

In one week my presentation will be over, and perhaps I will be able to think about something else.  That might be nice.  In a recent thread at BCC, J. Stapley apparently felt the need to argue my presentation before it is even given.  This is probably no big deal since we have been over this stuff often, and I am sure that I will not be presenting anything that will be a big surprise to anybody.  In the comments to this thread I stated that Dr. David Paulsen and I seemed to be on the same page with much of this topic.  Matt W. said that he read the same section of ‘Mormonism in Dialogue with Contemporary Christian Theologies‘ and did not come away with the same impression.  I am pleased to pass along what I feel are the relevant statements from this section of the book.

Continue reading ‘Reviewing Paulsen’s Statements Relating to ‘Spirit Birth’’

Pinocchio, Spirit Birth and Being a ‘Real Boy’

As I am sure a few of you have noticed, I have had something of a one-track mind lately with my upcoming presentation at the SMPT conference (schedule announced here).  I was recently considering why I felt so strongly about this idea of spirit birth, when others don’t share this feeling - and even go to great length to dismiss the idea in spite of current church teachings on the subject.  This brings me to the story of Pinocchio which may bring some interesting discussion on the topic.

Continue reading ‘Pinocchio, Spirit Birth and Being a ‘Real Boy’’


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