21st Century Family History: Not your grandma’s genealogy

Prelude For ages I felt like there was no point for me to do family history work. My family is about as Mormon as it gets. Sure I can claim 7th generation Mormon status, but the thing is that I don’t have anyone in my family tree who wasn’t Mormon as long as Mormonism has been around. 30 of my 32 great-great-great...

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Let It Go

It was the song heard round the world. Over and over and over and OVER again. And we’re still listening to it. As sick as I sometimes get of hearing it, it also never really gets old. I often find myself singing my Let It Go guts out in the car with my little girls. Why do we all love it so much? (Or I suppose some people...

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The Liberating Form of Government Intervention

Some Mormons who fall on the right of the political spectrum like to suggest that government intervention does nothing but restrict freedom. They argue that the government should provide national defense and little else on the grounds that anything more will limit freedoms. And I won’t disagree–much government...

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48: Operation Underground Railroad

Over 25 million people are enslaved around the world, in 2015. Over 10 million people are enslaved for sexual purposes, in 2015. There are about 2 million minors lured and trapped into sexual slavery, in 2015. It would be extremely difficult to find a human being who did not consider those facts as the most troubling human problem...

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Confessions of a Misanthropic Misandronist

I have a deep, dark secret that I have lived with for too much of my life. I hate my gender. Maybe I don’t hate to the point I feel born the wrong gender or wish to change or anything. I just have a deep seated loathing of what men are and by extension, what I am. At least, I loathe what I have been taught all my life, in countless...

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Lucifer’s Plan

Do you hate the devil because of his temptations and the evil he works in the world? Or do you hate him because people use him as a tool of fear and control, or as an excuse to not take responsibility for their own moral choices? Or do you simply think he doesn’t make theological or historical sense? I know I don’t...

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Ancient Jewish Parallels and Mormon Scripture

In my research at the University of Utah I have mainly focused on Hebrew and Jewish studies, but have had the opportunity of taking a good sampling of courses on Mormon history, text, and practice as well. Both in and out of class I have read many studies that seek to understand Mormon scripture better in its own context, and in so...

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Is Revelation Just Divine Dictation? – The LDS.org Book of Mormon Translation Essay

As part of their “Gospel Topics” essays, the Church released an article on the translation of the Book of Mormon [1]. Some of the controversial topics discused include the use of the “seer stone” vs the “Urim and Thummim” and the use of a hat along with these stones. The most interesting section to me, however, was “The Mechanics...

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Mixed Messages and Missing Doctrine

This post was co-authored by Jake Abhau and Lori Burkman. After having many discussions on the current events and press conferences of late, we wanted to put our thoughts into an essay that describes the lack of clarity on so many things. Where did we come from? Who are we? Why are we here? Where are we going? It’s the set of...

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Learning to Write my Name

I have this memory nestled into the recesses of my brain that pops up every now and again. It is from when I was about four years old, which is remarkable; my memories from early childhood are few and far between. I don’t know why this one stands out, but it is fairly clear. I’m sitting at the coffee table in our living room, with...

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