What Kind of God Would You Be?

A lot of Christians, Muslims, and other people of faith probably think it’s blasphemy to even ask such a question. Yet I suspect most Mormons have thought about this at least a little bit at one time or another. 😉

Tom Foss of Dubito Ergo Sum has come up with a meme of things he would do differently if he were God, such as allowing snow in the Summer, letting people choose their own afterlife, redesigning the human body, etc.

I’d like to ask a couple of related question of my “cultural Mormon” audience:

1. Do you ever think about what kind of world/universe you’d like to create (or did you think about this back when you were a believer)?

2. Do you (or did you) think there were any limitations on what kind of universe you could make? (eg. do you have to have a “Plan of Salvation”? Do you have any leeway in modifying some laws of physics? Would Tom’s ideas be impossible for future Gods according to LDS doctrine?)

The Most Non-conformist Girl (BYU begins…)

I watched the second hand slowly make its way around the clock face. For all of the bright, enthusiastic people running it, Sacrament Meeting in a BYU student ward really wasn’t any more interesting than the Sacrament Meetings put on by the worn-out, tired families back home. And here of course Sacrament Meeting had the added fun of being mandatory, and I don’t mean just “earn your stars in heaven” kind of mandatory. I mean more like “if you don’t show up for church regularly, then don’t bother to come back to school next semester” kind of mandatory. Read the rest of the story »

Mormons finally get the memo

Here’s some encouraging news from the Council of Fifty:

she started talking about her disappointment with the Republican party generally, and with McCain and Huckabee specifically–because of the talk about their back-room deal to edge Romney out, the Republicans’ complacency on Utah being a Red State but without reciprocal loyalty to its Utah Mormon base, and what she sees as a media bias against Romney (reflective of more general U.S. social biases against Mormons)

and

I am so with you. I have really started investigating the Democratic candidates to see if I should vote Democrat for the first time in my life. I was having the exact same conversation with my husband this morning.

and

The day Utah goes blue, is a day I thought I’d never see…until this time around.

and

I would love for Utah to go green or blue this year and not be taken for granted in the future! I would love for my vote to actually matter, instead of just be assumed.

and Continue reading “Mormons finally get the memo”

“The smartest religious book is ‘The Book of Mormon'”

Okay, I know this isn’t a serious study, but I thought it was kind of funny. A student at Cal Tech decided to plot the ten most popular books at a given University (according to Facebook) on a graph with the University’s average SAT/ACT score. The study is here. (Hat tip to Friendly Atheist.)

Go have a look — it’s quite amusing to see where all of the different books fall on the SAT spectrum!

The researcher himself notes (in the FAQ):

The smartest religious book is “The Book of Mormon”. The dumbest religious book is “The Holy Bible”. I’m sure this pleases the Mormons immensely.

The thing that surprises me the most is how high up “Atlas Shrugged” falls…

From baptism to resignation or excommunication

Now that I’ve gathered all of Outer Blogness (that I could find anyway), and updated the blogroll here accordingly, I’d like to suggest an assignment.

This is inspired Wry Catcher’s hilarious post about her baptism and why she hasn’t resigned (she was baptized by two different religions and figures they cancel each other out 😉 ), which, in turn, was inspired by Ned Flanders’ post on why he resigned.

So what about you? Have you posted your baptism story and/or why you resigned (or didn’t) or how you got ex’ed? If so, please link to your post in the comments here. If you don’t have a blog, you can tell your stories here.

I’ve posted about why I haven’t resigned, but I haven’t posted my baptism story yet. Maybe I will…

Why “Reformed Egyptian”?

If you suppose the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction, it opens a different set of questions to explore than if you suppose that it is true. For example, why did the author choose to have his characters write in “Reformed Egyptian” instead of Hebrew or something else?

The obvious (cynical) response would be that if Joseph Smith had used a known language such as Hebrew, people would have expect ed him to demonstrate his Hebrew translating abilities on other texts and/or transcribe parts of the text from the plates for others to examine. Using a non-existent language eliminates this problem. However, I think there was more to the choice of Reformed Egyptian than that. Continue reading “Why “Reformed Egyptian”?”

So is Warren Jeffs still the (FLDS) prophet or what?

To help answer this question, a Deseret Morning News article asks (my brother) John Hamer for his analysis. John is a historian specializing in the various scisms within the restoration movement and is the co-editor of Scattering of the Saints: Schism within Mormonism.

In addition to clarifying this issue, John gives some reasonable analysis regarding the public face of Mormonism:

As for whether the move will help erase continuing public confusion outside the Intermountain West over the relationship between Jeffs, his church and the LDS Church, Hamer said he believes there’s an opportunity now to educate people that “there is more than one kind of Mormon. You have fundamentalists and you have the mainstream LDS Church. I think it’s actually helpful to explain that to non-Mormons.”

Denying that fundamentalist LDS members are Mormons “just helps inflame the confusion,” he said. “Since 9/11, Americans are now able to understand there’s more than one kind of Muslim — Shiites and Sunnis — and they disagree in many ways. In the same way, I think there is the ability for the public at large to understand there’s more than one kind of Mormon.”

Escaping…

There was a very interesting exit story posted to Outer Blogness recently on the blog Escaping the Brainwashing of Zion:

Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 * Part 6

The focus isn’t on concluding the church isn’t true so much as it is on escaping from a dangerous and abusive relationship. People will probably point out that it’s not the church’s fault that this woman’s husband was mentally ill, however the church appears to have played a significant role in seeing that all of the power and all of her options were placed in his (less than capable) hands…

Saturday’s Warrior wrap-up

I couldn’t be more thrilled with the response I’ve gotten to the novella I posted about Saturday’s Warrior (part III of my novel Exmormon). According to my stats, hundreds of people read along in real time as I serialized it. And from the comments, I can see that number included Mormons as well as exmos and “never-mos” (that’s people who have never been Mormon, if you’re not in the Mo-know 😉 ). Continue reading Saturday’s Warrior wrap-up”