🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Hungary's president resigns over a pardon to a man convicted in a child sexual abuse case'

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Wondering how long it will be until implicit praise of her family values gets taken down from the LDS and BYU websites. link to “Hungary’s president resigns over a pardon to a man convicted in a child sexual abuse case”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'What is the Annotated Book of Mormon? – From the Desk'

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Grant Hardy is doing great work with the Book of Mormon. I don’t see the text the same way that he does, but I’m deeply grateful for what he’s contributed to new readings of it, and I’m glad I have a copy if this. It surprised me in this interview to learn that the LDS Church forebade a reprinting of the semi-official study edition Hardy had recently worked on. I found that to be a tremendously helpful text, and I’m glad I have a copy since it’s apparently doomed to go out of print.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 pour Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood, par Gregory A. Prince

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Rereading this book after a few years, and it continues to be great! The organization could be more clear, and it sometimes feels repetitive, but it provides important historical detail that allows the reader to understand Latter Day Saint priesthood in new ways.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for The September Six and the Struggle for the Soul of Mormonism, by Sara M. Patterson

- kudos:

This is an excellent, thorough book on the purity system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the excommunications of the “September Six” and many others for their violations of that purity system. I bought the book out of personal interest, but I think it will be professionally valuable as well. I knew much of what was in the book, but what I didn’t know was important, and I am grateful for the volume and hope that many will read it to learn about this important period in Mormon history.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Restorations: Scholars in Dialogue from Community of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by Andrew Bolton and Casey Paul Griffiths

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This was an interesting read, and there are portions of it that I expect to come back to later. However, I was surprised by how often I felt like I already knew what was being covered. Given my familiarity with both faiths, I expect that I’m not the target audience (anymore) for this volume.

Alma the priesthood counter-example

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Last Sunday, I attended a Latter-day Saint Elders Quorum meeting for the first time since March of 2020, when I taught Elders Quorum on the last Sunday before Latter-day Saint services shut down because of COVID. I had enjoyed most of the sacrament meeting (I took issue with some parts of some talks, but I have to admit that I miss the size, songs, and sense of community of Latter-day Saint services), but Elders Quorum turned out to be kind of a disappointment.

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I think academia undervalues teaching and that teaching-focused faculty deserve more status, recognition, and compensation. Yet, I’m still suspicious of the new BYU-Idaho president’s comments on the need for “a faculty free of the obligations of research.”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Church Marks Indigenous Peoples' Day | News | Community of Christ International Headquarters'

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I’ve been attending Community of Christ for over three years now, and I’m still surprised by all the little things it does that the LDS Church would never do. Both churches were born with problematic attitudes towards indigenous peoples of the Americas, but while Community of Christ isn’t perfect, I’m impressed with the steps it takes. link to “Church Marks Indigenous Peoples’ Day | News | Community of Christ International Headquarters”

upcoming research talk on DezNat for Bainbridge Latter-day Saint fireside series

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A couple of months ago, Peggy Fletcher Stack of the Salt Lake Tribune mentioned the work that Amy Chapman and I have been doing on the far-right-influenced DezNat movement. Shortly after Peggy’s article was published, someone who coordinates an unofficial series of Latter-day Saint-related firesides reached out to us about speaking to their group about our research on the DezNat movement. Before accepting, we made it clear that our work isn’t devotional, neither of us are practicing Latter-day Saints, and our work could be understood as critical of cultural and institutional Mormonism; however, the fireside organizers said that they were used to getting into controversial topics related to Mormonism and that our work was welcome with them.

Leo Tolstoy and Nephi

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One of the more awkward passages in the Book of Mormon (at least from an ecumenical perspective—there’s much worse in there) is in I Nephi 3:220-222, where an angel has this to say with Nephi, the current narrator of the book: “Behold, there are save two churches only: the one is the church of the Lamb of God and the other is the church of the devil. Wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.