Author Archive

DOMA and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

April 4, 2013

Several years ago, before the movies and the hype, I somehow stumbled into The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  After finishing it, I immediately read the second book in the trilogy, which had just been translated into English, but it ended in a cliff-hanger and wouldn’t be available in English for another 6 months or […]

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Posted in America, Church Policy, Doctrine, Europe, Mormon Belief | 8 Comments »

Post Election Hope

November 8, 2012

After the election results were announced, I was surprised by the number of people posting doom and gloom.  I read comments about how the outcome showed that we had lost faith in God as a country.  People talked of Armageddon and the Mayan Calendar.  You would have thought the world was ending.  To me, it […]

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Posted in America, Freedom, Politics | 33 Comments »

Obama vs Romney: A Mormon Dilemma

September 19, 2012

We’re in the home stretch of the US Presidential elections.  Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent to try to pursuade voters to vote one way or another.  We have a Mormon running for the first time against a first-time African-American president.  We have multiple issues – massive debt, economic problems, wars and rumors of wars […]

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Posted in America, economics, Freedom, Mormon Belief, Politics | 166 Comments »

Why I Write for Wheat and Tares

June 21, 2012

It’s been over 16 months and 40+ posts since Hawk invited me to try my hand writing a guest post for Wheat and Tares, and I’m still plugging along.  With some of the recent posts and comments, it made me step back and wonder – why do I keep doing this?  This site has been […]

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Posted in Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture | 25 Comments »

Is “Born Mormon” Enough?

May 23, 2012

I am a Mormon.  I haven’t made a fancy ad of me skateboarding or anything like that, but still, I’m a Mormon.  But “why” am I a Mormon?   What makes me say that? Like many people in the Church, I was “born Mormon”.  I have ancestors who were born in Winter Quarters in 1846 on […]

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Posted in Mormon Belief | 63 Comments »

If I Were In Charge: Revisit the Word of Wisdom (Including Obedience and Obesity)

May 17, 2012

What is the Word of Wisdom?  From, we read that “our bodies are precious gifts from God.  We believe He has given us guidance about how best to take care of them.  He revealed a law of health, called the Word of Wisdom, to Joseph Smith in 1833.  The Word of Wisdom prohibits the […]

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Posted in Church Policy, Mormon | 93 Comments »

Mormonism 101: An Encouraging FAQ

March 29, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about some aspects of the new Mormonism 101: FAQ that were confusing.  These seemed confusing in the sense that they seemed to change things that I thought were taught as doctrine in the church as I was growing up.  While I pointed out some things I didn’t like […]

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Posted in Church Policy, Mormon Belief | 5 Comments »

2nd Annual General Conference Statistics Predictions (with Poll)

March 22, 2012

14,433,880.  That is my prediction for the number of members that will be announced in General Conference next week for year-end 2011.  In case you missed last year, I made similar predictions then had a follow-up analyzing how close the estimates were in a post entitled Good vs Great: Iomega and General Conference Statistics.  I […]

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Posted in General Conference, Mormon | 51 Comments »

Mormonism 101: A Confusing FAQ

March 15, 2012

Given the increased media interest in the Church over the past year, the Mormon Newsroom recently published a document entitled “Mormonism 101: FAQ” .   Overall, the document does a good job of clearing up some misconceptions about the Church, and it is very well written, but I do have an issue with some of the […]

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Posted in Church Policy, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture | 165 Comments »

Ten Things I Like About My Ward

March 8, 2012

Today’s post is a list of ten things I like about my ward.  The impetus is a comment by Mormon Heretic to my post last week where he said, “It seems like many of the items in here are a bit like scab-picking to me, and seems to have a negative focus. I mean I […]

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Posted in Mormon Culture | 25 Comments »

If I Were In Charge: Reopen the LDS Canon

March 2, 2012

There has been a lot of discussion recently about some comments made by Professor Bott at BYU.  For me, seeing the discussions on race has been interesting, but I’d already resolved the issue for myself, much like Andrew S talked about in his recent post.  To me, it was basically just institutionalism of the racism […]

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Posted in Church Policy, Mormon Belief | 56 Comments »

Is Medical Marijuana Against the Word of Wisdom?

February 22, 2012

The impetus for this post is a recent report that a mission president in Oregon has told the missionaries in his mission that an investigator using medical marijuana cannot be baptized unless they first stop.  From the outset, let’s be clear about what we are talking about.  This is medical marijuana for which someone has […]

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Posted in Mormon Belief | 171 Comments »

Are You A Theravada or Mahayana Mormon? (With Poll)

October 26, 2011
Dharma wheel

There have been many “types” of Mormons discussed online and in other places.  Sometimes these “types”  have to do with one’s “faithfulness”.  Other times they may have to do with someone’s level of participation on Sundays.  Perhaps it is based on whether someone is primarily “spirit of the law” or “letter of the law”.  Today, […]

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Posted in General Conference, Mormon Culture | 40 Comments »

Bono and the Pharisees: On Being Spiritual vs Religious

October 19, 2011

In my post last week on what we should do if we truly wanted to spread the gospel more effectively, there was some discussion in the comments on being spiritual vs being religious.  Is one possible without the other?  Is one “better” than the other?  Is there a difference between the two?  And, if so, […]

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Posted in Church Policy | 45 Comments »

If We Truly Want To Spread The Gospel More Effectively…

October 12, 2011

While there is a decline in numbers in some denominations, one religion has been experiencing great success in the United States.  It grew approximately 170% in one decade (1990-2001).  It has grown nearly 10-fold in the past few decades.  Is this religion that is “rolling forth like a stone” the LDS Church?  Nope.  It’s Buddhism. […]

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Posted in Church Policy | 82 Comments »

If I Were In Charge: Create Service Missions

October 5, 2011

This past weekend was General Conference.  Among other things, there were two topics that stood out for me.  One was President Ucthdorf’s talk in the priesthood session on serving others.  The transcript should be available soon on, but it was about the importance of true service.  Paraphrasing, he said it didn’t matter how well […]

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Posted in Church Policy | 46 Comments »

Science & Religion #15: Was Adam Part Neanderthal? (A DNA Primer)

September 28, 2011

Several recent studies suggest that there is a good chance that Homo sapiens (us) mated with Neanderthals in the past?  Did Adam have Neanderthal DNA?  Do we?  What does this mean?  The next few posts in this series will discuss evolution, different species, time lines, etc.  In order to understand this better, this is a […]

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Posted in Science and Religion | 27 Comments »

The 9/11 Sacrament Meeting I Wish We Had (Instead of Hammering Women on their Modesty)

September 14, 2011

This past Sunday was the 10th anniversary of the events of 9/11.  It was an emotional time for many people around the country.  The Mormon Tabernacle Choir had a wonderful broadcast of “Music and the Spoken Word” with Tom Brokaw that morning.  Various sporting games and other events had touching memorials throughout the day.  It […]

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Posted in Church Policy, Freedom | 28 Comments »

Retirement of “If I Were In Charge” Series

July 27, 2011

ADDITION (10/25/2011): This post was written when I actually did retire the “If I Were In Charge” Series.  Like that of many sports figures,the “retirement” didn’t last long.  The series is now alive.  For an ongoing list of posts in the series, please see the Overview & Topical Guide.  For a list of my other […]

Posted in Church Policy | 26 Comments »

If I Were In Charge: Stop Requiring Specific Donations For Spiritual Participation

July 13, 2011

Being willing to give away what we have is essential.  Christ told us that we need to be willing to impart of our possessions and to have charity towards others.  Zakat (almsgiving) is one of the fundamental Five Pillars of Islam.  Dana (generosity or giving) in Buddhism is essential to purify oneself and is one […]

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Posted in Church Policy | 112 Comments »