When Having the Answers is the Wrong Answer

Mar 26, 15 When Having the Answers is the Wrong Answer

Posted by in Featured, Mormonism

Celebrating my son’s ninth birthday this year was extra fun. He decided to have a Star Wars birthday and I was beyond thrilled. While my wife spent the requisite hours searching Pinterest for Star Wars party ideas to entertain a crew of rowdy boys, my contribution to the party was a group of life-size Star Wars cardboard cutouts....

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Did Joseph Smith, Jr. Ordain Elijah Able[s]?: A Note on W. Paul Reeve’s Essay

Mar 25, 15 Did Joseph Smith, Jr. Ordain Elijah Able[s]?: A Note on W. Paul Reeve’s Essay

Posted by in Featured, Racism, Uncategorized

This essay was originally posted at www.mormonhistoryguy.com. Russell Stevenson is the author of Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables and For the Cause of Righteousness: A Global History of Blacks and Mormonsim, 1830-2013.  Yesterday, W. Paul Reeve, author of Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for...

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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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Social Psychology and Religious Behavior

Mar 20, 15 Social Psychology and Religious Behavior

Posted by in Featured, Mental Health, Mormonism

In chapter 2 of The Origins of Political Order, Francis Fukuyama gives a compelling overview of how human biological and social evolution has provided the basis for modern political organization. In brief, he argues: As humans, we have always existed in groups. Our early primate ancestors developed a strong tendency to affiliate...

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Even in Brokenness There is Beauty

I work up close and personal with disability every day. When people found I was going into child neurology their first question was often, “why?” I often hear about how it’s too sad or too depressing. Fellow physicians struggle with the fact that there often isn’t anything we can do to fix many disorders of the brain such as severe...

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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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Defending the Family

Mar 16, 15 Defending the Family

Posted by in Family, Featured, Homosexuality, News

Meridian Magazine (ldsmag.com) recently started a column inviting scholarly discussion of significant cultural and moral topics. More explicitly: Meridian EXPAND will be anxiously engaged in the good cause of defending core teachings of the Church concerning morality and the family, even though, indeed precisely because, these...

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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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Six Reasons Why Middle-Way Mormonism Sucks

I was going to write about why Middle-Way Mormonism is awesome, but complaining is a lot easier. I was also going to write a sizable introduction with all of the nuance and balance that you would expect from someone trying to make a middle-way work. I took the easy route and wrote about the parts that suck instead. Say goodbye to...

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Reductio ad Absurdum: Joseph Smith and His Critics

Mar 09, 15 Reductio ad Absurdum: Joseph Smith and His Critics

Posted by in Featured, LDS Church History

“Liar,” “Fraud,” “Adulterer,” “Charlatan,” “Pedophile,” “Con-man,” “Blasphemer,” “Anti-Christian.” These are just some of the negative epithets that Joseph Smith’s critics use in describing him. The Latin phrase reductio ad absurdum means literally “reduction to the absurd.” But it also means “disproof of a proposition by showing...

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