Posts Tagged ‘ History ’

Getting a Grip on History

March 18, 2014
Getting a Grip on History

There has been a lot of discussion in the b’nacle about what the church can do from a practical standpoint to address the thorny issues in church history.  The traditional approach has been to: 1) keep the curriculum uplifting and free from controversy, 2) to never speak ill or contradict leaders of the past or […]

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Posted in Agency, Anti-Mormon, Apostasy, Book of Mormon, Church Policy, Doctrine, Education, Faith, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, New Testament Sunday School Lessons, Old Testament Sunday School Lessons, Uncategorized | 28 Comments »

Who Are the Anti-Mormons?

February 19, 2013
Who Are the Anti-Mormons?

There are many on the internet publishing information about our faith, often not very flattering.  Some of that information is faith-shaking.  But where does it cross the line into being “anti-Mormon”?  Some would say that anyone who says anything that is not uplifting or faith promoting is anti-Mormon, but that seems like a pretty low […]

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Posted in Church Policy, General Conference, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Politics | 18 Comments »

Reflections on “Blowing Up the World”

August 18, 2012
Reflections on “Blowing Up the World”

I have been personally (and later professionally) interested in the extent to which mathematics could help forecast historical trends ever since I read the fiction of Isaac Asimov way back in the 1960′s. When I shared my first office at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory with a staff meteorologist working on air quality dispersion […]

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Posted in Agency, Faith, Freedom, Israel, Morality, Science and Religion, Violence | 17 Comments »

Recognizing the Veil Is Not There

April 14, 2012
Recognizing the Veil Is Not There

Community of Christ does not follow its LDS cousins in having secret temple rituals. So I read last week’s post by Bored in Vernal, on the “Sacred Embrace As Five Points of Fellowship” with the curiosity of one who has never even been inside an LDS Temple. Much of the terminology was unfamiliar to me […]

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Posted in Faith, History, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Science and Religion | 16 Comments »

Juana Ines De la Cruz: Nun, Feminist, and Intellectual Freedom Fighter

March 22, 2012
Juana Ines De la Cruz: Nun, Feminist, and Intellectual Freedom Fighter

I may be a historian, and I may align with feminist thinking, but I am not a feminist historian. Feminist history usually involves digging up forgotten people (women) from the past, and then holding them up to show how they were oppressed, subjected by male patriachy, or silenced. In some cases it is important to […]

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Posted in Agency, Faith, Freedom, History | 5 Comments »

A Solutrean Solution?

March 17, 2012
A Solutrean Solution?

Science knows that the Norse (Vikings) colonized Greenland a millennium ago, but the colony didn’t stick when colder temperatures returned following the Medieval Warm Period. Average daily temperatures in Greenland warmed about 3 degrees F before the plunge back into a Little Ice Age (which itself only ended well into the 19th Century) that forced […]

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Posted in America, Faith, History, Mormon Belief, Science and Religion | 22 Comments »

Patronage: In Heaven as it is on Earth

January 7, 2012
Patronage: In Heaven as it is on Earth

Over the New Year holiday, a comment by Stephen Marsh in his own post on rent seeking reminded me of something John Dominic Crossan had talked about in his book The Historical Jesus — the parallelism between the concepts of an earthly patron in the development of the Roman Empire, and heavenly patronage as it […]

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Posted in America, Church Policy, History | 25 Comments »

Nazis and Mormons

January 5, 2012
Nazis and Mormons

“A number of interesting parallels can be seen between the church and some of the ideas and policies of the National Socialists [Nazis].” Deseret News, 1933

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Posted in History, Mormon Belief, Politics | 28 Comments »

Manuscript Found – Part 2

December 12, 2011
Manuscript Found – Part 2

Solomon Spaulding died in 1816, never knowing that some 14 years after his death, he would be linked to the Book of Mormon.  A copy of Spaulding’s manuscript can be downloaded from Oberlin College.  I posted a summary of  chapters 1-5 last week, and gave a very brief introduction to the Spaulding Theory.  Here is a […]

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Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

Interview on Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — Part 1

December 10, 2011
Interview on Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — Part 1

As I was researching a post last summer on some of the organizations that have sprung up in the stead of the RLDS movement as fundamentalist alternatives to the Community of Christ, I discovered that a childhood friend had become one of the leading officials of one such organization, the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of […]

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Posted in History, Mormon Culture, Prophet | 21 Comments »

Looking at the Spaulding Manuscript – Part 1

December 5, 2011
Looking at the Spaulding Manuscript – Part 1

Soon after the publication of the Book of Mormon, critics believed that Joseph must have plagiarized it from another source.  One of the most prominent theories since the 1830’s is the Spaulding (or Spalding) Theory.  Briefly, the theory states that Joseph Smith plagiarized (or at least used as a source) an unpublished book written by […]

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Posted in Uncategorized | 69 Comments »

Musings on Inactivity from Bishop Bill

November 19, 2011
Musings on Inactivity from Bishop Bill

Something a little different from Bishop Bill this week: The other day I was thinking about all the “inactive” Mormons I’ve talked to over the past 30 years. In that time, I’ve been an Elders Quorum President twice, a bishop’s counselor twice, and a bishop. By inactive, I mean people that haven’t been to church […]

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Posted in Church Policy, Faith, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture | 122 Comments »

The Legend of the Lost Book of Gold (Part 4 of 4)

October 25, 2011
The Legend of the Lost Book of Gold (Part 4 of 4)

Foreword This is the final post of a 4 part series.  Context for this post is provided in part 1, part 2 and part 3. Concluding Observations The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has wisely taken no official position on Book of Mormon geography,89 despite the clear presence of americentric sentiment throughout the Church as […]

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Posted in America, Holy Land, Mormon Belief, Science and Religion | 33 Comments »

The Legend of the Lost Book of Gold (Part 3 of 4)

October 18, 2011
The Legend of the Lost Book of Gold (Part 3 of 4)

Foreword This is part 3 of a 4 part series.  Context for this post is provided in part 1 and part 2. Moroni and Cumorah Often the first protest directed at the Malay Hypothesis is the issue of Cumorah, New York, and the irreconcilable distances and settings it would require to get the plates from Asia […]

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Posted in America, Holy Land, Mormon Belief, Science and Religion | 26 Comments »

The Legend of the Lost Book of Gold (Part 2 of 4)

October 11, 2011
The Legend of the Lost Book of Gold (Part 2 of 4)

Foreword This is part 2 of a 4 part series.  Context for this post is provided in part 1. Geographic Correspondence At first glance the Malay Hypothesis’ most striking strong point is the peninsula’s correspondence to geographic features mentioned in the Book of Mormon text. The size and relative distances between various points are commensurable […]

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Posted in America, Holy Land, Mormon Belief, Science and Religion | 53 Comments »

The Legend of the Lost Book of Gold (Part 1 of 4)

October 4, 2011
The Legend of the Lost Book of Gold (Part 1 of 4)

Prologue In 1827, Christian missionaries travelled into the jungles of Burma to bring the gospel to an indigenous group known as the Karen people. As the missionaries began teaching the Karens from the Bible, they were astounded to discover that the Karens already worshipped a deity they called “Y’wa”, had a detailed creation story with […]

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Posted in America, Holy Land, Mormon Belief, Science and Religion | 37 Comments »

Letter from the Past: RLDS Fundamentalism

August 20, 2011
Letter from the Past: RLDS Fundamentalism

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” That’s a somewhat simplistic, but nevertheless effective way to teach the law of conservation of momentum, and I think there’s actually some metaphorical version of that law which applies to churches. When someone leaves a church, his/her absence allows/pushes the church that remains to go […]

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Posted in History | 20 Comments »

Mormons were Anti-Slavery and Anti-Abolitionist

July 18, 2011
Mormons were Anti-Slavery and Anti-Abolitionist

Newell Bringhurst’s book Saints, Slaves, and Blacks: The Changing Place of Black People Within Mormonism is a fascinating look at the church’s relationship to black people from 1830 to 1980.  I wanted to share some impressions from the first few chapters. Some people have incorrectly asserted that early Mormons were abolitionists.  Abolitionists were seen as radicals back […]

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Posted in Uncategorized | 63 Comments »

Gangs of New York Again?

June 25, 2011
Gangs of New York Again?

New York is a city composed of five Boroughs that include dozens of neighborhoods with histories often unrecognized by their modern residents. As the city grew from its origins on the southern tip of Manhattan Island over several centuries, it enveloped and altered what had been separate communities and erased the reasons for their original […]

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Posted in America, Freedom, Holy Land, Politics, Violence | 55 Comments »

MHA 2011 Recap

May 30, 2011
MHA 2011 Recap

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Mormon History Association meetings in St George this weekend.  For those who enjoy Mormon history, this is a truly refreshing, wonderful conference.  I can’t recommend it enough.  I gave a longer version of highlights from Days 1, 2, and 3 from my blog, but thought I would […]

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Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

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