Deciphering Ballard

M. Russell Ballard begins a talk (given at BYU August 20, 2013) reprinted in the September 2014 Ensign and titled 'Men and Women in Priesthood Power" with this In what I say, please keep in mind and think straight about the basic doctrines of Christ…. Let me suggest five key points to ponder and think straight about this important topic. The phrase “think straight” and the way he’s using it implies that if you don’t view things the same way then you are incorrect/mistaken/bent.  So let's Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Modest proposals edition!

This has been an interesting week! The leaders of the CoJCoL-dS have launched a new campaign to encourage members to share their faith on social media. Then they helped out by providing some viral-worthy stories such as using the BYU commencement to speak against gay marriage and removing same-sex-marriage greeting cards from the shelves of the BYU bookstore. (I love these hilarious suggestions for BYU-friendly same-sex marriage cards.) Similarly, issues of Cosmopolitan were pulled from a Utah Read more [...]

What part of Mormonism is in you?: Johnny Townsend’s “A Day at the Temple”

Mormonism is a complicated thing. Whether you're in it or whether you've extracted yourself from it, there are bits of Mormon belief and culture that you can't stand, and other bits that you can't shake. Sometimes it's the same bits. And its always a little different from one person to the next. In his recent book A Day at the Temple, Johnny Townsend explored a wide range of Mormon experiences and emotions. Reading this book, I couldn't help but compare it to the CoJCoL-dS's own "I'm a Mormon" Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Fun with scripture and doctrine edition!!

This has been a good week for scripture study! Alex covered everyone's favorite Book of Mormon story -- Korihor! And after pointing out that Korihor made what is probably one of the most insightful prophecies in the book, he hit the key point of the parallel between Korihor and the guy who rebuked him: Why doesn't Korihor get that same chance? He gets no heavenly visitation. He admits that he was wrong and professes the truth, but instead of being in a coma for a while so he can battle his inner Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Conferences Edition!

This past week there were a lot of great discussion of the sessions of two recent LDS-interest discussion conferences: Sunstone and FAIR. In particular, I think Andrew S really nailed the key problem with Ty Mansfield's deconstruction of gay identity: deconstruction goes all the way down. I’d be more OK if Ty’s discussion weren’t so focused on the social situatedness of homosexuality without saying anything at all about heterosexuality. Because here’s the deal — heterosexuality is Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: I’m back edition!!

Folks, I'm very sorry to have taken off an entire month from my usual Internet activities. First I was in Paris -- which sounds more exciting than it was -- I was hanging out with my kids in the 'burbs while my husband was running a Math conference. Then for the past week I've been volunteering at Camp Quest Switzerland (maybe you can find me on the team page if you look closely). There I had no Internet at all except for occasionally reading my email on my phone. Starting this week, everything Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Response edition

The big news this week is that Kate Kelly has appealed her excommunication. In her appeal, Kate wrote: I am, and have always been, a faithful Mormon. My only “sin” elucidated by you has been speaking my mind and pushing for gender equality in the Church. Far from being wrong, I believe I am following the pattern of revelation taught by Christ in the scriptures: ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you. Kate's husband also wrote a letter, questioning why he was Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Reflection Edition

Chanson asked me to fill in for SiOB this week - I think it's been a quiet week. (Sort of like Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon - it's always a quiet week). But this week is quiet for many reasons - perhaps we're all still reacting (or not reacting) to the news of Kate Kelly's excommunication - and the other active members who have been penalized or silenced. Still others are realizing that they can no longer stay in a church that would treat its members this way, and are leaving. The silence Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Corporations are people edition!

You've probably heard some very disturbing news from the United States Supreme Court this past week. If not, John Oliver nailed it: We've all had some laughs over this piece on reasons not to leave Mormonism. I like Profet's response and hawkgrrrl's: There’s an implied set of cautions for the church in all this too. Here are the five things this says about what we as a church should do: Quit being offensive. Quit being so vague about the doctrine and conflating policies and practices Read more [...]

The Church asks its gay members to water-down doctrine

The LDS gay community has had ideological ties with the evangelical gay community for many years. Both groups went through an "ex-gay" phase from the 1980s to the 2000s and now both groups are in a phase of "you can be gay, just don't act on it" after the near simultaneous collapse of the Evergreen and Exodus models to "pray away the gay." One of the differences between Mormonism and evangelicalism, though, is there is some room in the latter now to be gay-affirming and to preach that without Read more [...]
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    Lists of Brodie award winners:

    X-Mormon of the Year 2013: J. Seth Anderson and Michael Ferguson

    X-Mormon of the Year 2012: David Twede

    X-Mormon of the Year 2011: Joanna Brooks

    X-Mormon of the Year 2010: Monica Bielanko

    X-Mormon of the Year 2009: Walter Kirn