“Questions are good. Doubt is not the opposite of faith, but absolute, antiseptic certainty is the opposite of faith.” (Phillip Barlow, professor and holder of the Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University, Mormon Matters podcast; episode 73, “And the survey says”)

Missing Grace

Salvation by grace is all over the Book of Mormon like white on rice. And by grace, I don’t mean the modern Mormon misconception of a little dollop doled out by God after we have done everything we can possibly do. I mean the superabundance of grace God gives us to be saved without our doing anything at all. A grace separate and...

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Look Up and Be Healed!

In II Kings 18:4, King Hezekiah of the Southern Kingdom of Judah tears down the Brazen (Bronze) Serpent Moses had set up. This was in response to the rampant idol worship of the people. The Northern Kingdom of Israel had recently been carried away into captivity by Assyria, never to be heard from again. Assyria also posed an...

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Fairytale Life

Apr 23, 15 Fairytale Life

Posted by in Faith, Featured, Mormonism

I write to you after spending three very magical and tiring days in Disneyland. We’ve done princesses and rollercoasters and traumatized our children (the older ones on Tower of Terror, the youngest one on the ladybugs in the Bug’s Life area).  Hopefully, the happy memories stand out more than the few minutes they spent...

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Wandering and Choosing

I lost my best friend in Mexico. My best friend who makes a yearly pilgrimage to visit in my exile landed in a plane four hours away from me and I had no way to get a hold of her. Her American cellphone would not work in Mexican soil, and I was a mess. I called the airport every 30 minutes, asked for her to be called on the...

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Spoken of for a Memorial of Her

“Symbolic language conceals certain doctrinal truths from the wicked and thereby protects sacred things from possible ridicule. At the same time, symbols reveal truth to the spiritually alert.” (1) Women are not allowed to preside over the Sacrament; yet the Sacred Feminine is ever-present in the Sacrament itself. You just have to...

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A March Madness Metaphor

A certain woman was a big fan of her Alma Mater’s basketball team. The team had many winning seasons and were regularly invited to participate in the post season. The woman loved the coach. She trusted him completely and supported him, even through the lost games and the occasional rough season. She never blamed him for the...

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Knowing Better from the Margins, Doing better from the Center

There’s a beautiful thing that happens when 9 verses are removed from a chapter and given a chance to expand into healing scripture.  This is one of the things that has troubled me about the correlation of LDS curricula – all of the answers are there. There’s little room to explore much more than what’s already been said and...

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Faith, Doubt, AND CONTEXT

Mar 17, 15 Faith, Doubt, AND CONTEXT

Posted by in Faith, Featured, Truth

Members of the LDS church will frequently use different definitions, or versions, of the words faith and doubt. The two most common versions are what I call “truth-oriented” and “objective”. It’s important to realize that many, if not most, of the debates we have on the topics of faith and doubt are due to conflating the two...

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Lest They Be Converted: Mark’s Messianic Secret

While we are studying the New Testament in Gospel Doctrines; get ready! This is not your typical Gospel Doctrines lesson… While teaching a New Testament class last year at the community college where I work, I stumbled upon the following verse in Mark: “That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear,...

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The Keystone Dichotomy

“This book must be either true or false. If true, it is one of the most important messages ever sent from God… If false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world, calculated to deceive and ruin millions… The nature of the message in the Book of Mormon is such,...

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