Archive for the 'Mormon Culture' Category

Book of Mormon Geography: North America

I should probably acknowledge up front that I am nowhere near an expert on Book of Mormon geography, although that will be pretty obvious from the start.  My interest in a North American setting for the Book of Mormon (and specifically a Great Lakes / Northeastern United States) has been kindled by my move to Ohio.  There are a lot of native American Indian mounds in the area, apparently built by a group of Hopewell Indians, at about the same time frame as the story of the Nephites.  Many local members are convinced of a Great Lakes setting for the Book of Mormon, and they have encouraged us to visit some of the mound sites around the area.

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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.



“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.

Obama’s Flip-Flop

President Obama recently changed his position on the issue of gay marriage.  This adds an interesting twist to the upcoming presidential election between himself and Mitt Romney.

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A Link to a Review of Connor Boyack’s ‘Latter Day Liberty’

My friend and former co-blogger at the Blogger of Jared has written a book on his political views called ‘Latter Day Liberty’.  I have not read the book yet, and I rarely talk politics, but I wanted to pass along this link and congratulate Connor.  His book sold out the 1200 copies of the first printing in two weeks.  If you are interested in Ron Paul type political thought mingled with scripture you will likely enjoy this book.  The review can be found here.

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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Saying that Mormonism is a Non-Christian Cult is a Fallacy of Equivocation

Dan Peterson makes what I feel is an excellent point in a recent article here.

The basic point is this, people know that terms like ‘non-Christian’ and ‘Cult’ are loaded terms, and they use them anyway.  They may justify this by telling themselves that they are using a lesser known meaning or use of a word, while the audience will largely take away the common use of the word.  Peterson does a good job of bringing this out.

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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Paid Ministry and Corruption

Many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints take some pride in the claim that there is no paid ministry in the church.  This is true enough on the local level, where local leaders volunteer all of their time without financial compensation.  But I understand that it is also true that many (if not all) full time general leaders of the church do get paid – something along the lines of what a college professor might earn.  If this is not true please correct me, but it is my understanding, and I will proceed as if it were true.

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Just What the World Needs – Another Eagle Scout

My oldest son, Ken, just passed his Eagle Scout board of review and has completed all the requirements for the Eagle Scout award.

Ken is a senior at Sturgis High School (Michigan).  He enjoys participating in the orchestra and also plays the guitar.  After graduating from high school he hopes to serve a mission for the church.  He has always dreamed of being a paleontologist some day, and will probably start out doing the geology path once he starts school – unless he changes his mind.

His eagle project involved organizing an effort to provide local elementary schools with audio CDs of selected books.  As a result of this effort over 60 audio CDs/books were provided to the schools.

In addition to the required merit badges, Ken enjoyed earning the archery, rifle shooting, space exploration, music and art awards.  He served as the patrol leader, and also as troop chaplain.  He also earned the ‘On My Honor’ and ‘Arrow of Light’ awards.  All of this was not easy for him, and we are pleased with this important accomplishment.


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