On being chosen

1 Peter 2:9 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: We have been taught that we are a chosen people.  What does that really mean?  As Mormons we are rather proud of our...

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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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Be ye therefore emotional

I was asked to do an “emotional kick off” for my relief society this week. I’d had my own emotional meltdown the night before giving my 20 minute workshop so I figured that made me a perfect candidate for teaching the concepts that I needed to use. And I felt a little bit like a hypocrite at the same time. So, as introverted as...

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The desolation of the middle

I have been told in the past that I am something of an empath. I think that may be part of what drove me to my career. A lot of empathetic people go into medicine. A lot of them have it stamped and squashed right out of them by the pressures of the job for which empathy is simply a drag. Empathy, the capacity to feel in some small...

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LDS Marriage in 2112

There has been a lot of coverage about the new polygamy essays in the news. If you have not read them, there is one on Kirtland/Nauvoo polygamy/polyandry, one on Utah era polygamy (up to 1890), and one on “post-manifesto” polygamy. There have also been a lot of apologetics blossoming around the essays. They’re...

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Scripture as Totem: Religion and the Importance of the Text

It is easily recognized that throughout the history of religious traditions texts have served an important role in the continued conceptualization and endurance of the individual faith traditions.[1] In the history of studies on religion, monographs, essays, articles, and books have mostly focused on attempting to interpret these...

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Snakes Alive!

by Michelle Wiener I am thoroughly convinced that if Disney ever came out with their own version of the biblical creation story, the snake would come out swinging its hips and singing, “I ain’t so bad after all.” Recently my husband and I watched the new Noah movie starring Russell Crowe (*this blog post contains a spoiler alert!)....

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Jeremy Runnells and the Book of Abraham

Jeremy Runnells on the Book of Abraham by Brian Hauglid In February 2012 Jeremy Runnells experienced a faith crisis and then spent the ensuing summer and into the next year reading, reviewing, and compiling different aspects of the church that led to his crisis of faith. In the Spring of 2013 Jeremy was approached by his...

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Joseph: The Keystone of Canonizable Revelation

By my count Joseph Smith has added 868 pages to the LDS canon by means of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. All other prophets since Joseph have accumulated a grand total of 13 pages by means of the Doctrine and Covenants and Official Declarations. Perhaps the drought of canonized...

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Biblical Inerrancy and the Book of Mormon

Biblical Inerrancy and the Book of Mormon: Creating a Platform for LDS/Evangelical Dialogue by Michelle G. Wiener Question: Is there room for the Book of Mormon within the theological framework of “biblical inerrancy”? Recently the following paragraph from my essay “Two Lampstands: Two Branches” featured in Rational Faiths made its...

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