giving ordination another go

- kudos:

Way back in August 2019, I copied into my journaling app a post by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin on the Community of Christ website. I’m glad I did so, because a recent website redesign has deleted this post and a lot of other old content! At the time, I was slowly but thoroughly exploring Community of Christ, trying to figure out if it was the place for me in the context of my changing faith.

faith in heaven vs. faith in hell

- kudos:

I’ve written a few posts recently trying (somewhat awkwardly) to express an idea that’s been on my mind a lot over the past few years: That I want to respect someone’s right to hold a particular belief while being more skeptical about their right to insist that others hold that belief. A few days ago, going through Day One’s “On This Day” feature, I found to my delight that I had written something to this extent a few years ago and then forgotten about it since.

some praise for Dumbing of Age

- kudos:

I’ve been a big fan of webcomics since I first discovered they existed in the early-to-mid 2000s. I’ve been following Order of the Stick for about twenty years(!), I’ve read the entire web run of Dr. McNinja, xkcd makes frequent appearance in my lecture slides, and there are other comics that I’ve jumped in and out of over time. It hasn’t been that long since I started following Dork Tower again, but last Fall, it did a crossover with Dumbing of Age, which I mentally noted I should check out sometime.

coming to peace with the Kirtland Temple sale

- kudos:

Yesterday, Community of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that the former had sold the Kirtland Temple, other historic sites, and some important documents and artifacts for $192.5 million dollars. As the title to this post suggests, I’ve pretty quickly come to peace with the decision, and I want to explain some of that process in this post. However, there are some conflicted emotions lingering beneath that peace, and I want to make clear that the goal of this post is not to tell anyone how to feel about this.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Curveball: When Your Faith Takes Turns You Never Saw Coming, by Peter Enns

- kudos:

I owe Pete Enns a lot. Reading his books in the years before I hit a faith crisis helped that experience go a lot more smoothly, as did continuing to read his stuff and listen to his podcasts during the process of faith transition. Around the time this book was coming out, though, I needed a break. I felt like I knew most of his stuff, his media efforts felt like they were getting bigger and more corporate, and as much as I owed him, I wasn’t feeling it anymore.

the Bible—not the Book of Mormon—as weak point of Mormon apologetics

- kudos:

Almost a year ago now, Stephen C. at the Mormon blog Times and Seasons wrote a post asking what might be an “extinction-level event” for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There’s a lot of interesting speculation in the post, but the passage that I copied down at the time was this one: Of course, the truly fatal circumstance is if the President of the Church stopped believing in the truth claims.

songs that should be hymns but aren't (yet?)

- kudos:

Over the summer, I wrote about a favorite Community of Christ hymn. Without repeating the entire post here, one of my favorite things about it is that it was never written as a hymn. Rather, it was a song written by a folk song as a call for peace that got adopted into the Community of Christ hymnbook in 2013. I thought about these details last weekend as I was listening to Ici-bas, a favorite song by French Canadian folk rock band Les cowboys fringants—I figured that this song would make for a pretty good hymn, too, even if it probably has a bit more swearing than your typical hymn.

caffeine

- kudos:

I grew up not drinking tea or coffee because of religious convictions—a habit that ultimately stayed with me longer than those convictions! Over the course of the two years I spent as a Mormon missionary, I taught a number of people that (among other things) they should adopt the same convictions and also give up tea and coffee. One of the most interesting lessons on this subject I had was with Jonathan.

40 books that have shaped my faith

- kudos:

A friend of mine recently asked whether I had a list of books “that have been particularly impactful or interesting,” especially in the realm of spirituality and religion—and suggested that if I didn’t already have such a list, I could put one together for one of my next blog posts. It took me a while to actually put the list together, but it’s ended up being a really interesting exercise. Of the forty books that I’ve picked, some have been more influential than others.

things to offer vs. things to impose

- kudos:

A friend of mine invited me to attend a Community of Christ worship service tonight, a brief reference during which got me thinking about what Community of Christ folks call Joseph Smith’s “grove experience” but that I grew up referring to as his “First Vision.” This got me thinking (and reading) about the different accounts of this experience, including Smith’s 1832 account, where he writes: I cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom I could go and obtain mercy and the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness and while in the attitude of calling upon the Lord in the 16th year of my age a piller of light above the brightness of the sun at noon day come down from above and rested upon me and I was filled with the spirit of god and the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying Joseph my son thy sins are forgiven thee.

supersessionism and burdens of proof

- kudos:

On a friend’s recommendation, I’m currently reading (well, listening to) James Goodman’s But Where is the Lamb?, an interesting volume taking a look at the story of Abraham and the Binding of Isaac. This passage stood out to me yesterday: To say that you prefer your church and its stories to another church and its stories is one thing. But to say that your church annuls another church (completes it, voids it, supersedes it) is quite another.

how does a churchgoing agnostic talk about religion with his kid?

- kudos:

This summer, I’ve taken advantage of my 9-month contract with the University of Kentucky to have lots of adventures with kiddo while my spouse (who has a 12-month contract) continues at her job. It’s been a real delight! A couple of Fridays ago, we drove to Danville, a town in Central Kentucky where I spent a summer as a high schooler but haven’t been back to since. We bought her a book, me some amazing chocolate mint tea, and had a great time exploring fun shops and public art in adorable downtown Danville.

on reading scripture with an agenda

- kudos:

I grew up in a faith tradition that put a huge amount of emphasis on the King James Version of the Bible. It was only four years ago (in the early phases of my faith transition), that I deliberately picked up another translation to read instead. Even then, I picked a relatively “safe” transition to venture into: Thomas Wayment’s The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints. Since it was co-published by Deseret Book and BYU, it had some tacit approval from Latter-day Saint institutions, even if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints itself still identifies the KJV as its official English language text.

on Epiphany and insurrection

- kudos:

I grew up in a faith tradition that—with the exception of major holidays like Christmas and Easter—didn’t follow the Christian liturgical calendar. So, shortly after I began attending Community of Christ regularly (and, given the circumstances, virtually) in 2020, I decided I was going to learn more all of the seasons and holidays that I wasn’t familiar with. A few months earlier, I’d heard an interview with the Swiss abbot Urban Federer on the Babel podcast by Radio Télévision Suisse.

on faith transition and letting go of LDS modesty worship

- kudos:

I’ve mentioned before that I support the Salt Lake Tribune’s Mormon Land podcast on Patreon, one of the perks of which is that I get access to the Tribune’s Mormon coverage without having to subscribe to the whole paper (which would be a lot of money for someone who doesn’t care about Jazz coverage or Utah politics). Thanks to this Patreon perk, I read a lot of news about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and between that and over three decades that I spent as an active member of that church, you’d think that nothing would surprise me anymore.

new publication: an autoethnography on French, data science, and paradigm change

- kudos:

I’m pleased to share the publication of a new chapter of an edited volume. The chapter in question is “I’m a French teacher, not a data scientist”: Culture and languages across my professions, and it’s part of a volume called Cultures and languages across the curriculum in higher education. According to the CLAC Consortium, Culture and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) is a: a curricular framework that provides opportunities to develop and apply language and intercultural competence within all academic disciplines through the use of multilingual resources and the inclusion of multiple cultural perspectives.

- kudos:

Is to adopt a new religious identity necessarily to leave the old one behind? Many—justifiably and understandably—use that language, but it’s never quite fit my own experience. I feel like I’m nitpicking when I try to explain it, though.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'On Choosing Each Other and Eating the Fruit | By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog'

- kudos:

Fantastic post here. One of the first calm moments for me in a very messy faith transition was leaving the Louisville Temple and thinking about how central Adam and Eve’s “disobedience” is in Latter-day Saint theology. link to ‘On Choosing Each Other and Eating the Fruit | By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog’

on distinctions between 'church' and gospel'

- kudos:

During the last few years I spent as a practicing Latter-day Saint, one recurring pet peeve that I had was the overbroad use of the term “gospel” to refer to all Latter-day Saint doctrines, teachings, and beliefs. In hindsight, learning to separate the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ from everything that I believed was a major part of my faith transition—and my ability to continue in Christianity even when the version that I was used to started to no longer work for me.

should I stay or should I go?

- kudos:

I haven’t attended the Latter-day Saint congregation I officially belong to since March of 2020, and I’m coming up on one year of being an official member of Community of Christ. It’s pretty clear to me—and, likely, to others—where my religious future is headed. Yet, I’ve always expected that I would remain a de jure—if not de facto—member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Even if it’s not the right spiritual home for me or my family any more, and even if I have major disagreements with it, this church has been an important part of my life, and I’ve always wanted to preserve that by retaining my official membership.

anxiety, privilege, and trying to make a difference

- kudos:

A couple of weekends ago, I had my first experience with a Community of Christ Reunion camp. Kiddo and I only stayed for a long weekend rather than the whole week, but it was still a great experience. By far the best experience I had at Reunion was a Monday morning class for young adults and “90s kids” (which is not a label I’ve ever actively applied to myself, but it fit just fine.

an 'ultimate sense of FOMO' and joining Community of Christ

- kudos:

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been putting a lot of work into adjusting my online presence, a project that I expect to last through most of the summer. In dividing my website into distinct subareas and pivoting from a single Twitter account to a number of Mastodon accounts, I’m trying to do something about the context collapse that’s been keeping me from sharing some of the big things going on in my life lately.