Morality

Birth of the Devil

August 31, 2015
Birth of the Devil

Abraham is known as the father of monotheism.  Growing up in a culture of polytheism with both good and bad gods, Abraham declared that there was only one god, YHWH. Egyptologist Kara Cooney has narrated a Discovery Channel series (now on Youtube) and has said that archaeological evidence has shown that ancient religions have always […]

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Posted in Agency, Christian, Faith, Morality, Mormon, Religion, scriptures, theology | 6 Comments »

Has Atheism become a Religion?

August 21, 2015
Has Atheism become a Religion?

I recently watched a CNN documentary entitled, “Atheists: Inside the World of Non-Believers” and it was fascinating to me. Mostly because it went far deeper than just the absence of a belief in God or a higher power, which seems to be the basic definition of atheism. There are passive atheists and what I would […]

Posted in America, Atheism, Culture, Faith, Morality, Religion, Uncategorized | 85 Comments »

Unclean & Common

August 18, 2015
Unclean & Common

Would you eat a cherry that was in a bowl of cockroaches?  Would you eat a cherry if there was one cockroach in the bowl?  How much impurity is too much?  I had a boss years ago who would never eat anything at a potluck dinner because of her fear of food contamination. When we […]

Posted in Agency, Alternative Sunday School Lessons, America, Charity, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, Doctrine, doubt, emotions, Empathy, Feminism, Freedom, gender equity, LDS, leadership, LGBT, Mission, Modesty, Morality, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, New Testament Sunday School Lessons, Politics, Pride, scriptures, theology | 22 Comments »

An Interview with Mitch Mayne

August 10, 2015
An Interview with Mitch Mayne

Mitch, you’ve become well known because of how you’ve interacted with the Church, but can you tell us how you found the Church (or how it found you)? My parents converted to Mormonism when I was really young. I grew up in Idaho, so the culture was already heavily influenced by the Mormon faith.  My […]

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Posted in Agency, Christian, Culture, Empathy, Faith, faith crisis, Freedom, LDS, leadership, LGBT, Mental Health, Mitch Mayne, Morality, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Politics | 22 Comments »

“Born This Way” Is Too Simplistic

August 6, 2015
“Born This Way” Is Too Simplistic

“There are so many interacting causes for sexual orientation that two different individuals can be gay for a different combination of reasons. Some people know at earlier ages than others. Some are bisexual rather than gay, some show more change over the course of their life. All this means that whenever someone comes up with […]

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Posted in LGBT, Morality, Politics, Science and Religion, theology, Uncategorized | 36 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 »

Atheist in a Foxhole; The Tillman Story

July 6, 2015
Atheist in a Foxhole; The Tillman Story

I watched an interesting documentary last week, The Tillman Story.  Pat Tillman played NFL football for the Arizona Cardinals, and unexpectedly quit the NFL and enlisted in the army rangers following the September 11 attacks.  I knew he had been killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004, and there was a coverup, but didn’t really […]

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Posted in Book of Mormon, Morality, Mormon, Reviews, Violence | 8 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 »

Parenting Taboos – Part 1

June 22, 2015
Parenting Taboos – Part 1

With Father’s Day here, maybe it’s a good idea to talk about parenting Taboos.  Parents Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman (I guess she didn’t take his last name–maybe that’s another taboo) gave an interesting Ted Talk (episode 3 available on Netflix) where they discussed parenting taboos.  I created a transcript, and here’s what they had […]

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Posted in Christian, LDS, Morality, Mormon, Women | 27 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 »

Have we lost the War on Drugs?

April 27, 2015
Have we lost the War on Drugs?

Richard Nixon started the War on Drugs as a campaign issue to show Republicans were the “law and order” party.  Have we won the war on drugs?  It seems the answer is “no.”  Is it time to re-assess our strategy? Despite the fact that thee United States has just 5% of the world’s population, we […]

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Posted in Morality, Politics, Violence | 40 Comments »

Looking at Iraq via the Book of Mormon

April 22, 2015
Looking at Iraq via the Book of Mormon

Here is another guest post from Morgan Deane. He is a military historian and history professor at BYU-I.  His first book, Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents: Ancient Warfare in the Book of Mormon is available in book stores, and he blogs at http://mormonwar.blogspot and www.arsenalofvenice.com How do you solve a problem like Iraq? Insights from the fall […]

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Posted in Book of Mormon, BYU-Idaho, History, LDS, Morality, Mormon, Politics, Violence | 15 Comments »

Nazi Mormons

April 20, 2015
Nazi Mormons

“We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law”, states the 12th Article of Faith. So how does the LDS Church respond when missionaries are in a country where Nazis take over the government? David Conley Nelson gives a fascinating history of Mormons in Nazi Germany […]

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Posted in Church Policy, Culture, Freedom, Jewish Studies, LDS, leadership, Mission, Morality, Mormon, Mormon Culture, Uncategorized | 20 Comments »

Northern Ireland’s Gay Cake

March 26, 2015
Northern Ireland’s Gay Cake

Today and tomorrow the case brought by Gareth Lee, a volunteer with the Queer Space collective, supported by the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland against Asher’s Bakery supported by The Christian Institute is to be heard in court. So far as I can tell, this particular cake differs from similar cases in the US in […]

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Posted in Agency, Christian, Culture, Freedom, LGBT, Morality, Politics, Uncategorized | 26 Comments »

Marriage For Now

March 23, 2015
Marriage For Now

Is it looking past the mark to think of our marriages as eternal rather than thinking of what we need in the here and now and in the near future?  Do we focus so much on eternity that we are just barely enduring to the end in the day-to-day marriage? Last week I re-posted a review […]

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Posted in Agency, BYU, Culture, economics, Education, emotions, Feminism, Freedom, gender equity, LDS, Morality, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion | 37 Comments »

On Being Wrong

March 18, 2015
On Being Wrong

So let me ask you guys something. How does it feel — emotionally — how does it feel to be wrong? Dreadful. Thumbs down. Embarrassing. Okay, wonderful, great. Dreadful, thumbs down, embarrassing — thank you, these are great answers, but they’re answers to a different question. You guys are answering the question: How does it […]

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Posted in Agency, Blind Obedience, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, emotions, Morality | 10 Comments »

The Myth of Traditional Marriage

March 17, 2015
The Myth of Traditional Marriage

According to the song, love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage.  But when it comes to the history of marriage, pairing marriage with love is putting the cart before the horse.  If we look at why people used to get married, traditionally, we’ll quickly see why marriages today are less stable.  And why […]

Posted in Agency, America, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, economics, Education, emotions, Europe, Feminism, Freedom, gender equity, LDS, money, Morality, Mormon, Mormon Culture, understanding, Violence, Women | 73 Comments »

Is Belief in Polygamy Required for Church Membership?

March 10, 2015
Is Belief in Polygamy Required for Church Membership?

A blogger faces excommunication for his OP stating that he does not believe D&C 132 and the early church practice of polygamy to have been inspired.  In his blog post, he affirms that marriage is between one man and one woman, the church’s current teaching.  If I were tasked with defending this individual, here’s what […]

Posted in Agency, Apostasy, Blind Obedience, Book of Mormon, Criticism, Culture, Doctrine, doubt, Faith, Freedom, gender equity, LDS, leadership, Morality, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Patriarchy, Polygamy, Prophet, scriptures, Temple, theology, Women | 113 Comments »

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