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About This Blog

So often in conversations today there is a lack of reason. People disagree, talk around each other, and let passion or emotion take over. No headway, towards truth or mutual respect, is ever made. We should expect so much more of ourselves!

With this blog, I would like to enter the conversation – relating generally to religion, and specifically to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I hope to do so reasonably – or, in other words, rationally and logically.

There are two overarching purposes to this blog, namely apologetics and preaching. Continue reading

Optimus Prime

How I Was Betrayed By Michael Bay

Many of you have heard of the movie Dr. Strangelove. That movie’s full title goes like this – “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”

Well, you can consider this post entitled “How I Was Betrayed By Michael Bay or: I’ve Had Enough of these Hipster Mormons They Make My Head Hurt Please Stop.”

Let’s talk about Michael Bay for a moment. Continue reading

Scary Dog

Correlation is for the Dogs

Lots of Rules

Mormon missionaries have a lot of rules. You can read them for yourselves in the Missionary Handbook.

There are 92 glorious pages, filled with gems like these:

  • “Refer to other missionaries, including your companion,
    as “Elder” or “Sister” and their surnames, not
    by their first names, nicknames, or surnames alone.”
  • “If you play basketball, volleyball, or another sport, do
    not allow the situation to become intense or competitive.
    (For example, do not keep score.)”
  • “Do not watch television, go to movies, listen to the
    radio, or use the Internet (except to communicate with
    your family or your mission president or as otherwise
    authorized).”

I’ve intentionally taken these rules out of context to heighten their “weirdness,” particularly for those who aren’t familiar with how Mormon missions work. They demonstrate some examples of the “do”s and “don’t”s that I was expected to live by for two years. Continue reading

Key

Today’s Mormon Molehill/Mountain

Folks like to give the LDS Church grief. Arguably, much of it isn’t deserved, but I think this is especially ludicrous.

Fancy Luda thinks your accusations of impropriety need to “get out the way.”

Headline from the Salt Lake Tribune – “Mormon discount? When it comes to car rentals, faith matters.

You gotta love the Trib. Continue reading

Captain_Price_(COD4)

“This is for the Record”

Geez Cousin you are super into this whole thing.”

I had posted a link to Kate Kelly’s excommunication letter, released by Ordain Women, on Facebook. I thought that it provided an interesting counter to some of the claims that Kelly has made about the process she has gone through. It wasn’t the first time I’d posted or written about the recent controversy, either: Continue reading

Camp. With Girls.

I didn’t have many close Mormon friends in high school. There were a few of us, of course – California is no Utah, but neither is it the Eastern U.S. – but us Latter-day Saints didn’t really hang out in the same circles.

This is by no means a lament – I had wonderful friends, inside and outside the Church, and I’m all the better for them. Being part of a diverse crowd, however, did give me the chance to see how other churches did things. Continue reading

Sugar and Spice and RIGHTEOUS FURY!!!

Kate Kelly published a commentary on her upcoming disciplinary council. I’d like to comment on that commentary, and I decided the best way to do that was within the text itself. You can find it below, along with my thoughts.

I feel sad, because it sounds like Kelly’s resolved to leaving the Church, and using this as a catalyst to maintain media attention for however long her 15 minutes lasts. Too bad. Continue reading

#livingauthentically

Kate Kelly was informed on June 8 that there will be a disciplinary council trying her for apostasy. Holy Bloggernacle explosion!

Holy Kate Kelly, Batman

For my part, I’m saddened by this, just as I would be saddened by any person being potentially deprived of the blessings of Church membership. Neylan McBaine expresses that sentiment quite perfectly, I think. I’ve read her post a number of times, and there’s really nothing I would object to or add my own nuance to. Because of that, I really encourage you to read her post.

Still, I wonder if McBaine’s tears are in vain. Continue reading

A Harmful Address from General Conference

I like to explore the blogosphere after General Conference ends. I’m interested in the reactions that others have to the words of the Church leaders, men who I consider to be prophets, seers, and revelators. This helps me to think more critically about what I’ve heard, which in turn builds my testimony in what they’ve said.

One particular post caught my eye. A marriage and family therapist, and member of the LDS Church, wrote a post on the Saturday morning session of General Conference, dividing each speaker’s comments into (potentially) three sections:

  • Messages I Found to be Healthy and Uplifting
  • Messages I Found to be Needing of Further Nuance/Discussion
  • Messages I Found to be Harmful

The first two sections aren’t anything special – this blog, for example, is a place where I often add my own nuance and discussion (from my perspective, of course) to the words of prophets. That third section, though, piqued my interest, perhaps because it’s an idea that is so foreign to me – it’s a short walk from “harmful” to “dismissible,” and that concerns me ever so slightly.

In the interest of adding to the dialogue, I’d like to look at the “harmful” portions identified by this blogger in Jeffrey R. Holland’s address. Continue reading

Cherry Blossom Faith

It’s beautiful in Washington state right now. Just last weekend, my family and I visited the Quad at the University of Washington, where the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. The winters here are cold and dark – in December, the sun doesn’t rise until 8am and sets as early as 4:30pm – so it’s refreshing to see color and vibrancy return as we meander into spring.

That beauty was offset by some difficult news. I say difficult, because while it doesn’t really affect me directly now, it’s indicative of a culture shift that will impact me in a big way, sooner or later. Continue reading

Polygamy, Priesthood, and Prop 8 – a FAQ

This is where the alliteration stops. I promise.

To return to my Mormonism/Same-Sex Marriage hub, go here.

An Understandable Connection

Many people have (understandably) drawn a connection between the Church’s stance on same-sex marriage and past positions on priesthood or polygamy (that alliteration wasn’t even on purpose). In essence, they’re saying this:

The Mormon Church used to practice polygamy, and now it doesn’t. The Mormon Church used to restrict priesthood ordination among blacks, and now it doesn’t. The Mormon Church is currently opposed to same-sex marriage – someday, it won’t be.

Could this be the case? I can’t say for sure. Still, I’m fairly confident that the Mormon Church’s position on same-sex marriage, for better or worse, will not be changing. This FAQ is meant to explain why.

Of course, these are my own answers. I’ve yet to hold any position of import in the Church, so take them for what they’re worth, and please excuse any error in them. I don’t presume, and never have, to speak for the Church. Continue reading

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