More Islands and Atolls

Personal Reflections on Scripture, Authority, and Negotiating Faith @ Ben Spackman
  -  In response to my recent post on the temple, “How Long Adam and Eve were in the...

I am a conservative, and I believe in America… @ Ben Spackman
  -  And that is why I will not vote for Donald Trump, nor any politician at the local or...

Mormon Movie Ideas @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  When I was a kid, I watched a lot of Mormon movies. I’m talking about...

Come Follow Me: Alma 53-63 “The War Chapters” Part II @ Ben Spackman
  -  Today we continue the war chapters, and get to read some military correspondence....

The Passing of My Father, a Man Who Taught His Children to the Very End @ Mormanity
  -  Every day for roughly 30 years my wife, Kendra Lindsay, has prayed that we might be near...

Come Follow Me: Alma 43-48 aka “The War Chapters” Part I @ Ben Spackman
  -  As I’ve pointed out previously, the Book of Mormon moves at different paces in...

Remembering Armand Mauss and His Work @ Ben Spackman
  -  I’m on the road, and pressed for time, but wanted to leave a brief memory and paean...

D&C 132 for Kids @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -   Here’s what the D&C Scripture Stories on the Church website has to say about...

Leonard Arrington on Church Office Culture and Magazines in 1973 @ Ben Spackman
  -  I don’t have anything particular to say here, only that I’d like to increase...

Further Thoughts on the Nephite Interpreters and Mesoamerican Culture @ Mormanity
  -  An important new study on relationships between the Book of Mormon and Mesoamerican...

Come Follow Me: Alma 40-42, Three Generations of Rebels and Repentance @ Ben Spackman
  -  These chapters (beginning in 39) are all focused on Corianton, who gets quite the...

What Does It Mean to Be Conservative in Today’s Republican Party? @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  I’m going to quote three “conservatives” in this column. I want you to know this up...

Come Follow Me: Alma 36-39 Notes and Suggestions @ Ben Spackman
  -  The Book of Mormon has a variable pace. Occasionally, we skip through decades or even...

Unmasked @ Segullah
  -  Perusing my Facebook feed these days is a reckoning. I can’t help but think of Luke 12:...

“We don’t know how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden”: Genre and the Temple, Part 3 @ Ben Spackman
  -  See here and here for parts 1 and 2 Some Latter-day Saints, including some General...

Come Follow Me: Alma 32-34 @ Ben Spackman
  -  I open today with the structure of the text we’re covering. Alma 30-34 are really...

Good Pioneer Stock? @ Segullah
  -  Although I grew up in the Church, I don’t remember hearing the phrase “good pioneer...

Holiness in High Places @ Segullah
  -  Yesterday morning my oldest daughter and I woke at 5:30 AM so we could be on the road by...

The Gaping Hole in the Church’s Official Policy on Abortion @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Several years ago, my high priests group had a lesson on a topic I can’t now recall....

19 Reasons Why True Latter-day Saints Would Never Wear a Mask @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  A bunch of people in Utah Valley, likely mostly Mormons, recently made clear how much...

Faith, Insurance, and Blessings from Disappointment: How Bad Programming Made Me Healthier @ Mormanity
  -  Sometimes our little setbacks or disappointments can open doors for big steps forward....

Publication of the Discourses of Eliza R. Snow @ Segullah
  -  Earlier this month, my nineteen-year-old daughter asked me to recount the personal...

A Book of Mormon Place Name that Teaches Us About Grace: Onidah @ Mormanity
  -   Both personal names and place names in the Book of Mormon once were a source of...

General Conference prayer length @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  When I wrote a review of Conference back in April, I noticed that the prayers were...

Making the Best of a Worst Case Scenario @ Segullah
  -  I’m trying to chip marshmallow goo out of my pathetic pandemic hair – the aftermath...

Book Review: Mormonism and White Supremacy: American Religion and The Problem of Racial Innocence @ Segullah
  -  “The negro . . . should serve the seed of Abraham; he should not be a ruler, nor...

Joseph Smith’s First (or Second) Prayer @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Rumor has it that the folks assembling the new Church hymnal are planning to embrace the...

Book Review: Taylor Petrey’s Tabernacles of Clay @ Segullah
  -  Tabernacles of Clay offers a comprehensive look at sexuality and gender during the period...

A Heart on Fire: The Inhumanity of Neglecting Black Lives that Matter @ Mormanity
  -  Black lives matter. Of course they do. Sadly, the pains and sorrows faced by the victims...

Links to think about @ Segullah
  -  I don’t have a lot of words right now. My family has weathered the pandemic better...

Words Fall In: An Interview with Bethany Brady Spalding & McArthur Krishna @ Segullah
  -  I LOVE THIS EPISODE!!!! I kept cheering as I edited this podcast because of all the...

An Open Letter to My Republican Friends @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  The election that is just over four months away is certainly the most important election...

Summer Journal, Editor’s Introduction @ Segullah
  -  If ever there were a summer where the sun mocks, it’s this. Entangled in an election...

Ancient American Goggles and the Nephite/Jaredite "Interpreters," Part 2 @ Mormanity
  -  My previous post, "Don't Google 'Spectacles,' Google 'Goggles': The Nephite...

Don't Google "Spectacles," Google "Goggles": The Nephite "Interpreters" as a Book of Mormon Anachronism @ Mormanity
  -  When Joseph Smith received the gold plates of the Book of Mormon, he also apparently...

Take a Survey About Spirituality During the Pandemic @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  From a PhD student in Counseling Psychology at BYU: “What we believe makes a real...

Mormons Defending Confederate Statues @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  A few decades ago, I served a mission in the American South. This meant that I got to...

Don’t Say His Name @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  President Nelson made a statement about the killing of George Floyd and subsequent...

More on Utilitarianism @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Following up on a previous post, let’s look at utilitarianism in the Book of Mormon. It...

Another Update on the River of Laman @ Mormanity
  -  Warren Aston, whose personal explorations in the Arabian Peninsula have done so much to...

Fear and Trembling and Sickness Unto 47 Million Deaths: Basic Math and the Pandemic Panic @ Mormanity
  -  A well-educated friend with a graduate degree from an outstanding university sent me this...

Book of Mormon Reminder: Resist Voices That Stir Hate and Violence @ Mormanity
  -   1. The Book of Mormon's Warnings Against Manipulative Power Seekers Who Stir Us to...

Remembering Pvt. Amos Franklin Terry Jr. on Memorial Day 2020 @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  The beginnings of Memorial Day are a bit confused. Apparently, the May holiday began as...

Back to Church Wishlist @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  The Church released guidelines a couple of days ago for how returning to church meetings...

Change in interest in church during the pandemic part III: Comparison between churches @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  How has interest in different churches changed during the coronavirus pandemic? This is a...

Faith and Fear in the Midst of Snitching: A Firsthand Account @ Mormanity
  -  While the tragedy of the Corona virus pandemic has brought out many examples of good as...

A Real Miracle Drug? @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  For many years now I’ve been doing an experiment with a drug that seems to have an...

Opening the Economy, Utilitarianism, Abortion, and Our Pressing Ethical Project @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  One of the best books I’ve read in recent years is, surprisingly, a textbook: The...

“The Chicken Sacrifices Are Working!” A Novel Approach for Coping with COVID-19 @ Mormanity
  -  Sacrificial victims in Hong Kong, a low-COVID-19 city.“It’s not any lockdown that's...

A Bump in the Road for the Shanghai Temple @ Mormanity
  -  Unfortunate news just reported in The Salt Lake Tribune indicates that plans for a...

Donald Trump, MD @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  There is nothing Donald Trump likes more than being in front of television cameras,...

Science-based vs. Faith-based Policies for Coping with the Corona Virus @ Mormanity
  -  Are we using faith or science to cope?Though I am open about my faith and often welcome...

Keep Preparing: Food Storage May Become Especially Important @ Mormanity
  -  There are many reasons to be optimistic about overcoming the pandemic before us and...

Easter and the Corona Virus: Rays of Hope in a Time of Darkness @ Mormanity
  -  Good Friday was a time of much reflection on the state of the world and our country,...

God Bless China and the New Shanghai Temple @ Mormanity
  -  Update, April 29, 2020: Plans for a temple in Shanghai have hit an unfortunate snag, as...

Love the New Symbol of the Church! @ Mormanity
  -   President Russell M. Nelson introduced members tonight to a beautiful new symbol...

What to Do with the Money? @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  We live in strange times. Here we were, cruising along, living under the delusion that...

Coping with the Corona Virus: A New Report on Glucosamine and Other Nutriceuticals, and an Update on Masks @ Mormanity
  -  I irritated some readers (as I often do) in February when I shared some thoughts from...

The Last Plane to Shanghai @ Mormanity
  -  On Friday at midnight in China, a ban on foreigners entering China went into effect. What...

The Great War Against the Virus: Maybe It's Time We Give Peace a Chance @ Mormanity
  -  I was saddened to hear the views online of some of the college students partying in...

Last Nurse Standing and the Coronapocalypse @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  These are odd times. But sometimes crises have their lighter side. My daughter is a...

President Nelson Gives a Message of Hope at This Troubled Time @ Mormanity
  -  As so many people struggle and worry with the craziness and uncertainty of COVID-19 and...

Streamlining Temple Ordinances @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  I’ve been thinking about temple ordinances and wondering if we couldn’t streamline...

COVID-19 Repsonse: Church Gatherings Suspended for Now, Worldwide @ Mormanity
  -  Today the Church announces that Church gatherings are temporarily suspended worldwide....

Skip Church if You Are Ill and Other Tips for Coping with COVID-19 and the Corona Virus (SARS-CoV-2) @ Mormanity
  -  In my previous posts warning about the need to prepare for the Corona virus, my greatest...

The Power of Trust @ Mormanity
  -  What a blessing it is to have friends who are truly honest and trustworthy! Can you...

URLs for My Mormon Studies Articles and Essays @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  I decided it might be useful for me, if not for others, to have the URLs to all my Mormon...

Donald or Jesus? @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  In a revelation given to Joseph Smith on August 6, 1833, we find the following: “When...

Power and Corruption @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Corruption is in the news almost constantly these days. Of course, we’re all aware of...

How Can a Latter-day Saint Vote Republican in Trump’s America? @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  I’ve taken a bit of a break from blogging. Life’s been busy, and I’ve been working...

Statistics, Misconceptions, and the Imperatives of Millennialism @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  The Deseret News ran an article this week about the American Family Survey, an annual...

The Antiquated Second Amendment @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  One of the most confusing, misunderstood, and misapplied pieces of the Constitution is...

Some Thoughts on the Mueller Report @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  It took me a while, but as of Friday I can say—unlike most Americans and unlike 99...

The Book of Mormon Critical Text Project @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  One of the interesting aspects of my job is that I am the primary proofreader for Royal...

Romanticized Notions @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  One morning in the spring of 2005, when I was a senior editor at the Ensign, the new...

Mitt and Me @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Last week we were in San Diego for a little vacation. On Sunday (June 2), we attended...

De Facto Infallibility and the Difficulty of Deciphering Spiritual Manifestations @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  The reversal of the POX has highlighted a growing problem for the Church. Church leaders...

A Parable @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  A distinguished professor has a son who gets accepted to a prestigious university on the...

Dwelling in Righteousness with No Poor among Us @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  So, I led a discussion on Sunday using the questions I listed in the last post as a...

One Heart and One Mind @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  The ward I work with on the high council is having ward conference in a couple of weeks,...

Pyrric Victories @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  JSTOR on Pyrric victories and the origin of the term.

Jerusalem’s Economy in Second Temple Period @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  I’ve always had the assumption that the Jerusalem region was fairly poor — perhaps...

Chris on Religious Evolution @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Chris Goble has an interesting Twitter thread on the emergence of monotheism in axial...

Getting the Blog Back Together @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  I’ve been posting regularly at Times and Seasons and plan on continuing with that....

To the People Defending the Church’s Decision to Ditch the “Mormon” Nickname @ Peculiar People
  -  First, I want you to know that I respect your decision to call yourself something other...

The Women Who Enable Abusive Men @ Peculiar People
  -  After the Kavanaugh hearing last Thursday, an image went viral that depicted a row of...

Joseph, Potiphar’s Wife, and the Truth about False Allegations @ Peculiar People
  -    In response to multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh,...

Robert Kirby and Edgy Mormon Men @ Peculiar People
  -  Like many progressive Mormons, I’ve enjoyed Robert Kirby’s self-deprecating...

To the Men Who Grabbed McKenna Denson and Dragged her away from the Pulpit @ Peculiar People
  -  To the men who grabbed McKenna Denson without her consent and dragged her away from the...

Why Would a Feminist Keep her Father’s Name? @ Peculiar People
  -    Back in April I wrote about my experience with software systems and institutions...

Mormon: The New Shibboleth @ Peculiar People
  -  Here’s hoping Lindsey releases a new, revised video: I’m a member of Church...

Sorry to Bother You: The (Human) Body as Technology @ Peculiar People
  -  This review contains major spoilers for Boots Riley’s 2018 film Sorry to Bother You....

Do Married Mormon Men Understand Consent? @ Peculiar People
  -    Image obtained through creative commons. I was 28 years old when I got married...

Making Ministering Holy @ Peculiar People
  -  My priesthood lesson prompt was very open-ended: “ministering.” My mind leapt to the...

What Will Combined MP Quorums Mean? @ Small and Simple
  -  In a shocking announcement during the Priesthood Session of the 2018 March/April General...

How Can Anyone Remain a Mormon in the Face of All the “Facts”? @ Small and Simple
  -  One of the things that you will see sometimes in anti-Mormon forums is what appears to be...

About That Taylor Christensen Video @ Small and Simple
  -  There is a video making the Mormon facebook circuit by Taylor Christensen.  He starts...

The New York Times Thomas Monson Obituary and Fake News @ Small and Simple
  -  The president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently died, and the...

Perfect College Football Playoff System: 2017 Version @ Small and Simple
  -  Several years ago I published to the world the perfect college football playoff system. ...

Moderate Worship Losing Ground @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  While it’s not really new news, Sociological Science had an interesting story on how...

Philosophy, Science and Religion: The Divine Hiddenness Argument @ Small and Simple
  -  The fourth week of the Coursera course on Philosophy, Science and Religion focuses on the...

Philosophy, Science and Religion: Friendly Disagreement, Testimonial Knowledge, and the Importance of Fellowship @ Small and Simple
  -  The third week of the Coursera course on Philosophy, Science and Religion addresses...

Philosophy, Science and Religion: The Conflict Between Science and Religion @ Small and Simple
  -  In the second week of the Coursera course on Philosophy, Science and Religion, professor...

Philosophy, Science and Religion: The Mind and The Religious Experience @ Small and Simple
  -  I am taking an online course through Coursera on Philosophy, Science and Religion.  In...

Testimony and the Spiritual Experience @ Small and Simple
  -  I was raised in the religious tradition of my parents, which happens to be The Church of...

Bows, Arrows & the Book of Mormon @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  This is just a “holder” post for a discussion I was having over whether...

Salvation in Mormonism @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Robert at Scriptural Mormonism does a good job discussing the place of grace in “old...

Terryl Givens on Mormons at the Forefront @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Terryl Givens has up an essay at First Things called “Mormons at the Forefront.”...

God and Evolutionary Psychology @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Evolutionary psychology suggests God makes more sense than not. I’m not sure he sees...

PEL on Scientism @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -   “…[scientism] is contributing to a growing trend on the left, quite as ferocious...