Agency

Ask Not For Whom the Bugle Blows

July 28, 2015
Ask Not For Whom the Bugle Blows

The Boy Scouts of America recently announced that it will no longer bar homosexuals from leadership roles in scouting, although it will also allow local troops to select leaders on their own criteria, effectively allowing religious troops to ban homosexuals as they choose. In response, the church announced yesterday: “The Church of Jesus Christ of […]

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Posted in Agency, Apostasy, Criticism, Culture, Doctrine, Education, emotions, Freedom, gender equity, LDS, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Politics | 34 Comments »

9 ProTips from Richard Bushman

July 21, 2015
9 ProTips from Richard Bushman

From a recent reddit forum with Mormon historian Richard Bushman, I extracted 9 tips for those who are concerned about church history and how to deal with sticky issues. On what to do when confronted with history that doesn’t match the church’s story. Question:  There are many people with a fraction of your knowledge of church […]

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Posted in Agency, Alternative Sunday School Lessons, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, Education, emotions, Empathy, Faith, faith crisis, Joseph Smith, LDS, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion | 81 Comments »

Sexism in the Garden

July 19, 2015
Sexism in the Garden

When telling the garden story, one person is always dumb.  In the historical Christian telling, Eve was dumb because she was deceived by Satan.  God punishes Eve by causing painful childbirth, and tells her she needs to submit to smart Adam who listened the first time. A more modern telling of the story has Eve being much […]

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Posted in Agency, Blind Obedience, Christian, gender equity, Mormon, Mormon Belief | 15 Comments »

Survey Invitation: Marital Quality & Changes in Belief

July 17, 2015
Survey Invitation:  Marital Quality & Changes in Belief

A topic often under discussion in the bloggernacle is how to navigate marriages when one spouse has a change in belief.  If this describes your marriage, please follow the link to participate.  Eligibility requirements are below. https://iu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6tYdXEwogQ9PKK1

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Posted in Agency, Culture, Education, emotions, Empathy, Faith, faith crisis, Feminism, Freedom, gender equity, LDS, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion | 12 Comments »

Sleeping through the Atonement

July 14, 2015
Sleeping through the Atonement

Sunday’s Gospel Doctrine lesson was about the twelve falling asleep during the atonement. Our teacher asked why they couldn’t do something as simple as stay awake, especially since they were supposed to be the cream of the crop, Jesus’ chosen. Matthew 26: 40:  “And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto […]

Posted in Agency, America, Apostasy, Blind Obedience, Charity, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, Faith, faith crisis, LDS, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, New Testament Sunday School Lessons, Politics, scriptures | 12 Comments »

Atheist Finds Garden of Eden

July 13, 2015
Atheist Finds Garden of Eden

Where is the Garden of Eden?  I watched a really interesting documentary, part of the Myth Hunters series found on Netflix, Youtube, and CafeMom.  They noted that the garden story is so vague that it could be anywhere.  The film notes that a Boston University president felt is was in North Pole, Mormons felt it […]

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Posted in Agency, Alternative Sunday School Lessons, Christian, Faith, History, Holy Land, LDS, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Reviews, Science and Religion, theology | 16 Comments »

A Response to the Letter Read in Wards Last Sunday

July 8, 2015
A Response to the Letter Read in Wards Last Sunday

We’d like to welcome guest author Christian Harrison who shared the following exchange with the Daily Universe (BYU’s campus paper).  Christian Harrison is an out gay man and Elders Quorum teacher in Salt Lake City, where he’s a communications professional. He has fond memories of his years at BYU, where he studied International Relations, French, […]

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Posted in Agency, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, Education, emotions, Empathy, Excommunication, Faith, faith crisis, Freedom, gender equity, LDS, leadership, LGBT, Mental Health, Morality, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Patriarchy, Politics, Prophet, scriptures, theology | 121 Comments »

The Unwritten Order of Funerals

July 7, 2015
The Unwritten Order of Funerals

I wrote the following post in June of 2009, and given Pres. Packer’s passing, it seems newly timely. Will anyone dare to speak about Pres. Packer at his funeral? [1] *** What do you want your funeral to be like?  Do you care or do you figure you’ll be dead anyway?  How do you feel about […]

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Posted in Agency, Culture, emotions, Empathy, Freedom, LDS, leadership, Mental Health, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion | 46 Comments »

Long sleeves or short sleeves?

July 5, 2015
Long sleeves or short sleeves?

It was a hot summer day.  A coworker told me that I shouldn’t wear short sleeve dress shirts any more because that wasn’t a mature thing to wear.  I noted that I wore short sleeves on my mission.  When you go to the temple, you must wear long sleeve shirts or are asked to change. […]

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Posted in Agency, Culture, Mormon, Temple | 32 Comments »

Because of my Valiance?

July 3, 2015
Because of my Valiance?

A few months ago I posted a rant on facebook (usually a cause for regret) that actually turned into an interesting, respectful discussion (until my cousin showed up near the end) about how much God micromanages our lives. I had expressed my thought that I felt it was God’s will for me to not have […]

Posted in Agency, Mormon Belief, Premortality, Pride, War in Heaven | 24 Comments »

Memento Mori, Carpe Diem, and Other Life Lessons

June 30, 2015
Memento Mori, Carpe Diem, and Other Life Lessons

Respecting one’s elders is a long-standing human tradition for good reason.  The elders of the tribe have often been seen as the wise ones, the ones who carry the experience and knowledge the younger ones need to survive and thrive.  And the elders of the tribe have lived long enough to have avoided some of […]

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Posted in Agency, Charity, Culture, emotions, Empathy, Gratitude, Mental Health, Morality, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion | 5 Comments »

Mean Girls Jesus

June 23, 2015
Mean Girls Jesus

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against unpleasant impulses by denying their existence in themselves, while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude.  A person who is judgmental will accuse others of being judgmental.  For this reason, […]

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Posted in Agency, BYU, Culture, emotions, Empathy, Faith, faith crisis, Feminism, Freedom, gender equity, LDS, Morality, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Politics, Pride, Women | 24 Comments »

Authenticity: Will the Real Me Please Stand Up?

June 16, 2015
Authenticity:  Will the Real Me Please Stand Up?

It’s a common claim among participants of Mormon internet groups that people feel they cannot be themselves at church or can’t say what they think for fear of being ostracized.  They feel they are discouraged from being honest or authentic, that they would be rejected if they disagreed with the party line or articulated a non-conforming […]

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Posted in Agency, Charity, Christian, Culture, emotions, Freedom, Jesus, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Uncategorized, understanding | 16 Comments »

Duty, Conformity, Authority, Obedience

June 9, 2015
Duty, Conformity, Authority, Obedience

These four virtues have held prime real estate in recent generations, and are still considered top virtues by many:  duty, conformity, authority, and obedience.  But within the 1900s and into our century, these virtues have also come under fire, their downside exposed.  These four virtues didn’t originate in scripture but are popular cultural values.  For example, […]

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Posted in Agency, Criticism, Culture, Empathy, Faith, Freedom, LDS, Morality, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Politics | 33 Comments »

Honest in All Our Dealings

June 2, 2015
Honest in All Our Dealings

According to one study [1], 10% of communication in marriage is dishonest.  Another study showed that 38% of interactions between college students were deceptive [2].  And as we all know, 83% of statistics are made up [3].  Why do people lie?  Does everyone do it?  How can we be more honest? “It’s not a lie […]

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Posted in Agency, Criticism, Culture, doubt, emotions, Faith, Honor Code, Morality, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Truth. Lying | 25 Comments »

10 Things That Will Kill You Faster than Diet Coke

May 26, 2015
10 Things That Will Kill You Faster than Diet Coke

Noticing how tired I was one morning for my workout, my personal trainer asked if I drink coffee or tea which he was recommending so I wouldn’t be so tired in the morning [1].  I said no, but I drink Diet Coke.  He looked at me like I had just admitted to smoking heroin.  I […]

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Posted in Agency, Culture, Mental Health, Mormon, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion | 31 Comments »

O Say, What is Doubt?

May 19, 2015
O Say, What is Doubt?

E. Bednar’s recent comments disparaging doubt (in an innovative youth meeting with a Q&A) seem to imply a different definition of the word than most who experience doubt would use, as evidenced by some of the chatter about it.  Why is that?  Let’s explore what he and other church leaders might mean when they talk […]

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Posted in Agency, Charity, Criticism, Culture, debt, Faith, faith crisis, Freedom, General Conference, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion | 67 Comments »

Football, CTE, and Agency

May 18, 2015
Football, CTE, and Agency

Athletes, especially football players, have been involved in some high-profile violent incidents. Dec 16, 2009.  Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry had a domestic dispute with his fiance Loleini Tonga.  She tried to get away by getting into a pickup truck.  He climbed in the back, and while she was driving, either fell or jumped out […]

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Posted in Agency, LDS, Mental Health, Mormon, Science and Religion, Violence | 35 Comments »

“I Can’t. I’m Mormon.”

May 12, 2015
“I Can’t.  I’m Mormon.”

A few years ago, my boss excitedly said she had a real treat for the two of us to share.  It was a special tea from London that someone had bought her on a business trip.  I explained that I didn’t drink tea (although I do drink herbal tea).  She asked why I didn’t drink […]

Posted in Agency, Criticism, Culture, Feminism, Freedom, LDS, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Uncategorized, War in Heaven | 46 Comments »

Criticism

April 28, 2015
Criticism

I was thinking about E. Oaks’ comments in General Conference about criticism.  Talking about things that prevent us from benefiting from the gospel, he said: Another potential destroyer of spiritual roots—accelerated by current technology but not unique to it—is the keyhole view of the gospel or the Church. This limited view focuses on a particular doctrine or […]

Posted in Agency, Apostasy, Blind Obedience, Criticism, Culture, emotions, Faith, faith crisis, Freedom, General Conference, LDS, leadership, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Pride, Priesthood | 43 Comments »

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