Sunday in Outer Blogness: Ninja polygamist modesty edition!

This week's Mormon news-of-the-weird was the ninja polygamist sister wives. (Actual satire can't compare.) Then there was the assault of the out-of-control dress codes in Utah high schools and LDS universities. Pat Bagley nailed it. The modesty obsession highlights an unhelpful focus on appearances and does psychological harm to victims of sexual assault: I want them to be taught to dress and act like ladies. To be respectful of their bodies and treat them like the temples and Godly gifts Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Short and fun edition!

It was a bit of a light news week in Mormon-land -- no crazy scandals to get everyone riled up. Perhaps the worst of it was the super-wealthy Marriotts' tacit admission that they underpay their cleaning staff. So lots of people blogged about random life stuff like a gay dad at his gay son's wedding, tossing out religious books, trying to get a job, visiting Athens, explaining entropy, and photographing flowers! Of course the CoJCoL-dS provided some discussion fodder with more emphasis on dress Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: A little bit of equality edition!

This week's news in Mormon land was this odd talk by Ballard: Here is a very good illustrated version of it. In essence, it's important to have women's input in council meetings -- but not too much! Which naturally leads to the question how much is too much? And why are women consigned to an "auxiliary"? Why the second-class role instead of equality? Meanwhile, the atheist movement has its own problems with institutionalized sexism -- which I personally posted a righteous rant about. Will Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Judgment edition!

This weeks topic was judging. For stuff like the pictures you post to Facebook and surfing the web while watching your kids at the park. And taking it to the next level: shunning. (And someone finally asked the question about BYU that I've always wondered about!) Who's not pat of the fold is the ever-present question. Sadly, while the CoCJoL-dS can excommunicate people for apostasy (however arbitrarily), they can't seem to define it. Maybe Rock's book will help. Or this week's Old Testament Lesson: However, Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Stay or go edition!!

This week's reading included this charming analogy: So imagine that you get to know one of your co-workers and eventually find out that she was raised LDS, but left the church because she moved to a new ward with an epically terrible organist, which resulted in a major faith crisis for her, because how could a church possibly be true if it had an organist that bad? It is no exaggeration to say that expectations and assumptions can matter more than facts. None of us would leave the church over Read more [...]

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 [...]
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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