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The Givenses Contest the Teaching “My ways are not your ways”

Posted in Religion on Dec 13, 2014 | No Comments Yet

“God’s ways are not our ways”, the preacher says, hoping to dismiss our concerns and remind us of the foolishness of man’s wisdom. Terryl and Fiona Givens tackle this theme in their book, The God Who Weeps.

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Jon Huntsman, Sr: Tithing Isn’t a Charitable Donation

Posted in Religion on Dec 11, 2014 | No Comments Yet

After reading some recent debates in online Mormon forums about whether paying tithing should count as giving to charity and/or count in surveys about charitable giving, I encountered an interesting statement from Utah billionaire Jon Hunstman, Sr (he’s the father of the Jon Huntsman who ran for president in 2008). He weighed in: They require [...]

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Can a Slave Owner Be a Good Man?

Posted in Misc on Nov 29, 2014 | No Comments Yet

Solomon Northup documented his experience being kidnapped into slavery in his memoir Twelve Years a Slave. Here I consider the unusually charitable words he wrote about his first owner, a man who he said was simply “looking through the same medium with his fathers before him”.

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Discussing Your Religion: Baptisms for the Dead

Posted in Religion on Oct 9, 2014 | No Comments Yet

What Mormons think when you say “baptism for the dead” versus what non-Mormons think.

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“The spirit of the law is superior…”

Posted in Religion on Sep 23, 2014 | No Comments Yet

The spirit of the law is superior because it demands more of us that the letter of the law.

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John Turner Explains Why He Thinks Brigham Young Had Followers Despite His Flaws

Posted in Religion on Jul 10, 2014 | No Comments Yet

Historian John Turner, author of a recent biography on Brigham Young, answers the question, “With all his flaws, why was this Brigham Young revered and/or looked up to as a prophet?”

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Finding Solace in Poetry

Posted in Religion on Jun 23, 2014 | No Comments Yet

Could it be that I, of all people, have acquired an appreciation for poetry? Maybe. Maybe a little. Not for impenetrable poetry perhaps, but for poetry that’s nothing but words artfully arranged and meaningful. Lately, I’ve encountered two poems that really help me feel better about life.

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Virginia Woolf: Had Shakespeare Had a Sister…

Posted in Misc on Jun 4, 2014 | No Comments Yet

An excerpt from Virginia Woolf’s feminist classic “A Room of One’s Own”, in which she imagines what it would have been like if William Shakespeare had an equally gifted sister.

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Advice from Mormon Intellectuals to Mormon Intellectuals

Posted in Religion on May 31, 2014 | No Comments Yet

Religion historian Kathleen Flake imagines what advice some of Mormonism’s departed intellectuals might give to us today.

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Little-known History Related to Female Ordination

Posted in Religion on Apr 3, 2014 | No Comments Yet

The Salt Lake Tribute hosted an online discussion between a few noble, capable Mormon women to discuss female ordination. There were two historical anecdotes that were referenced in the discussion, and because these two incidents are so unknown among Mormons, I wanted to highlight them here.

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