Agency

Families vs. Dynasties

February 9, 2016
Families vs. Dynasties

A recent disturbing trend surfaced in Mormon internet groups in which parents wrote letters to their young adult children explaining that if they did not stay active in the church, they would be cut from the inheritance.  At roughly the same time, LDS Philanthropies published a video featuring a father who said that if his […]

Posted in Agency, Apostasy, Atheism, Blind Obedience, Charity, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, debt, doubt, Empathy, Faith, faith crisis, Freedom | 20 Comments »

If You Let a Woman Hold Her Baby . . .

February 2, 2016
If You Let a Woman Hold Her Baby . . .

I only recently (in the last few years) became aware that the church handbook prohibits women from holding their babies while babies are being blessed unless the bishop wants to make a case-by-case exception.  In our Singapore ward, all women held their babies while the babies were blessed.  That’s the last time I was in […]

Posted in Agency, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, Empathy, faith crisis, Feminism, LDS, leadership, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Patriarchy, Women | 41 Comments »

Discernment, Coercion and Non-Verbal Cues

January 18, 2016
Discernment, Coercion and Non-Verbal Cues

I’m starting to question my faith . . . in the excellent detectives of the New York Police Department as portrayed on the various Law & Orders. Over the holidays, a lot of us got caught up in the Netflix series Making a Murderer, the story of accused Wisconsin murderer Steven Avery.  **SPOILER ALERT**  What […]

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Posted in Agency, Criticism, Culture, economics, Education, Mental Health | 14 Comments »

The Policy & The Commodification of Marriage

January 12, 2016
The Policy & The Commodification of Marriage

When I was a YW, I had a nightmare about my imaginary future marriage.  I dreamed that my parents had arranged a marriage for me with a “worthy” young man.  He came to my parents’ house to live, and when it was time to go to bed, he came out of the bathroom wearing 1950s […]

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Posted in Agency, BYU, Charity, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, doubt, emotions, Empathy, Faith, faith crisis, LDS, leadership, LGBT, Morality, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Patriarchy, Women | 37 Comments »

The Government vs. The West

January 7, 2016
The Government vs. The West

Today’s guest post is from long-time blog favorite Mary Ann. You can read other posts from Mary Ann here and here. Mormon anti-government sentiment is typically chalked up to a psychological complex from government-sanctioned persecution in the 19th century, but it doesn’t adequately explain the anger against the federal government currently festering in the American […]

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Posted in Agency, America, Criticism, Culture, economics, Education, emotions, Empathy, Freedom, Mormon Culture, Politics, Technology | 26 Comments »

Why “Planted”?

January 6, 2016
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“We live in an age of doubt, but we need not be overcome. When we are planted in the Savior we can be nourished as much by our questions as by the answers.”  “Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt” is written by Patrick Mason and is a joint venture between the Maxwell […]

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Posted in Agency, Church Policy, Criticism, doubt, Faith, faith crisis, gender equity, Grace, Mormon Culture, Reviews, understanding | 22 Comments »

God Is Love

January 5, 2016
God Is Love

The last time I substitute taught Gospel Doctrine, I got to teach John’s epistles that he wrote to the believers in his soon-to-disband Johannine community while he was living in Ephesus.  His community was divided, something we are also experiencing within our Mormon congregations in the wake of the policy change toward homosexuals and their […]

Posted in Agency, Alternative Sunday School Lessons, Anti-Mormon, Apostasy, Buddhism, Charity, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, doubt, emotions, Faith, Freedom, Jesus, LDS, leadership, LGBT, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, New Testament Sunday School Lessons, Religion | 9 Comments »

Read. This. Book.

January 2, 2016
Fresh-Courage-Take

Earlier this year I read the new release Fresh Courage Take: New Directions by Mormon Women, edited by Jamie Zvirzdin, who is also one of the contributors. It’s a book of twelve different essays by twelve very different women and how they have defined their Mormon womanhood. Their stories deal with almost every walk of life […]

Posted in Agency, Charity, Criticism, Empathy, Mormon Culture, Reviews, Spirituality, understanding, Women | 7 Comments »

Prophets < Apostles?

December 29, 2015
Prophets < Apostles?

Which is a bigger deal?  Being a prophet or being an apostle?  If you’re like me, you would probably assume that the title “prophet” is higher than “apostle,” but I recently read some interesting information on the history. I was curious to know when we started to call the quorum of the twelve “prophets, seers, […]

Posted in Agency, Alternative Sunday School Lessons, Anti-Mormon, Apostasy, Blind Obedience, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, Doctrine, doubt, Excommunication, Faith, faith crisis, Freedom, History, LDS, leadership, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Prophet, theology | 67 Comments »

Happy Festivus!

December 22, 2015
Happy Festivus!

Tomorrow marks that most mundane of holidays.  No, I’m not talking about Joseph Smith’s birthday.  I’m talking about Festivus. Most people are aware of Festivus [1], the December 23rd holiday invented and celebrated by Frank Costanza on Seinfeld.  But did you know that this tradition has much deeper roots and is a longer-standing tradition, harking […]

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Posted in Agency, America, Culture, emotions, LDS, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion | 10 Comments »

What Isn’t Church Abuse?

December 15, 2015
What Isn’t Church Abuse?

A recent study was circulated that shows the psychological markers of “church abuse,” or an environment in a religious atmosphere that can lead to exploitation or abuse of individuals who join.  In the study, participants rated their religion in light of the following 28 organizational behaviors, as either exerting a lot of pressure and control or […]

Posted in Agency, Anti-Mormon, Apostasy, Atheism, Blind Obedience, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, Education, Freedom, LDS, leadership, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Patriarchy, Politics, Prophet, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Truth. Lying, Women | 22 Comments »

Trump or Sanders? (weekend poll)

December 12, 2015
Trump or Sanders?  (weekend poll)

Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are doing surprisingly well in their respective party campaigns.  Jimmy Fallon even asked Bernie Sanders about a head-to-head matchup!

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Posted in Agency, Morality, Mormon, Politics | 32 Comments »

Becoming Devout?

December 11, 2015
Becoming Devout?

One of the troubling aspects within certain parts of Islam seems to be the instances where some adults, previously casual in their religious observance, suddenly or over a short period of time, become devout. In the case of the shooters in San Bernardino, both the man and the woman were known to their family and […]

Posted in Agency, Apostasy, Doctrine, Faith, Joseph Smith, LDS, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Polygamy, Prophet, Religion | 10 Comments »

The Rexburg Response to #PantsToChurch

December 9, 2015
rsvp

This Sunday is the fourth annual Pants to Church Day and my third time participating. The first year Stephanie Lauritzen organized the event with the purpose was to highlight gender inequity in the Church (I didn’t participate the first year, back then I never would have even said the f-word). Since then other women have been […]

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Posted in Agency, Feminism, gender equity, Mormon Culture, Women | 60 Comments »

Always towards better things…

December 9, 2015
Always towards better things…

It’s that time of year (in Australia anyhow!!!) where school is coming to an end for the year. Formals, schoolies and parties mark the calendars of anyone under the age of 18. It’s often a time, also, for speeches. One speech by Sarah Haynes, school captain of Ravenswood Girls High School in Sydney (Ravo) has […]

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Posted in Agency, Apostasy, Blind Obedience, Culture, doubt, Faith, faith crisis, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Truth. Lying, Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Defending the Family vs. No Paid Leave

December 8, 2015
Defending the Family vs. No Paid Leave

A recent article in the Washington Post highlighted that despite pro-family rhetoric, many religions do not offer paid family leave to employees.  Mormonism was highlighted as providing no paid family leave to either men or women [1], although they were consistent with a few other conservative religious groups.  Given our focus on families, why doesn’t the […]

Posted in Agency, Charity, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, debt, economics, Education, Empathy, Feminism, Freedom, gender equity, General Conference, LDS, leadership, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Patriarchy, Politics, Religion, understanding, Women, workplace | 21 Comments »

The Idolatry of Following the Brethren

December 7, 2015
The Idolatry of Following the Brethren

I sometimes feel LDS church members are guilty of idolatry. Perhaps it is not completely the members fault; We have been told so much to “follow the brethren” that we have built them up as idols, and fail to “study it out in our minds, and ask God if it be right.” Early church leaders […]

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Posted in Agency, Blind Obedience, Church Policy, LDS, Mormon, Prophet | 101 Comments »

Two Hour Block? Hallelujah! Oh Wait, Nevermind.

December 1, 2015
Two Hour Block?  Hallelujah!  Oh Wait, Nevermind.

Rumor was that a stake in Boston announced they would begin piloting a new two-hour block schedule in the coming year.  Throw in coffee & donuts, and allow for shorts, and we might be able to compete with all the surrounding megachurches in my community! There will be an “elimination of all but essential Sunday meetings, i.e. […]

Posted in Agency, Alternative Sunday School Lessons, Church Policy, Culture, Doctrine, Freedom, LDS, leadership, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, New Testament Sunday School Lessons | 47 Comments »

Next Steps? (weekend poll)

November 28, 2015
Next Steps? (weekend poll)

The new church policy regarding children of gay parents has been out for a few weeks now.

Posted in Agency, Church Policy, Faith, LDS, LGBT, Mormon, Mormon Culture | 10 Comments »

Texts Before Sects

November 24, 2015
Texts Before Sects

As I’ve taught various classes at church, I’ve been struck by the similarities between frustrations expressed by teachers in using the church-approved materials with the frustrations of the Protestant reformers 500 years ago. One of the fundamental questions of the Protestant reformation was who should be reading and interpreting scripture:  the clergy or the congregation.  In Catholicism, the mass […]

Posted in Agency, Alternative Sunday School Lessons, Christian, Church Policy, Culture, Doctrine, Faith, General Conference, LDS, leadership, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, New Testament Sunday School Lessons, Old Testament Sunday School Lessons, scriptures, seminary | 19 Comments »

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