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”?”
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 â€” Shiites and Sunnis â€” 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.”
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…
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”
As expected, thoughts on Romney’s speech are all over the blogosphere:
On the Bloggernacle:
Times & Seasons provides a list of articles and Nine Moons some commentary. Andrew’s Miracle Drug is skeptical about Romney’s exclusion of skeptics while A Bird’s Eye View sees the speech as pluralistic. My favorites are the feminist Mormon housewives — who are Christian enough to wonder why the president should have to be Christian, and of course Snarkernacle, who cleverly warned us all to get our posts in early for “Romsday.”
In the atheosphere, the reviews weren’t quite so mixed. Ezra Klein says: “In a speech Romney was forced to give because he feared unfair discrimination, Romney did not stand against intolerance. Instead, he simply asked that it not be directed against him, a man of faith. You can be intolerant, but do it to them, over there. They’re even more different.” Similarly, Wendy Kaminer notes: “Romney opposes bigotry in self-defense, not in defense of others, which is to say that he does not really oppose it at all.” These sentiments are echoed by many others: Friendly Atheist, Jewish Atheist, and Unscrewing the Inscrutable.
Unsurprisingly, the exmos were none too pleased with Mitt’s rhetoric: see Mind on Fire, My Thoughts Exactly, and NxtOracle.
So with all the many people he alienated, did he at least win the hearts of his core constituency, the Evangelical right wing? Apparently not. Short version: “Nice try, Mitt, but you forgot to denounce your ‘horribly blasphemous’ beliefs about Jesus.”
Walter arrived in his suit and tie since the plan was to go out to a fine restaurant. Dressed like that and with his haircut, he looked like he was on his mission already. With his gorgeous looks and friendly manner, it was clear that he would have no difficulty approaching people and convincing them to be receptive to his message in the two years to come. Read the rest of the story Â»
At the end of the party I was hesitant to ride home with Rex because he had been drinking. He laughed at my fears and told me that he had only had two beers the entire evening and was certainly not drunk. Still, I suggested that since I had my learner’s permit maybe I should be the one to drive. “Whatever,” he said, handing me the keys. Read the rest of the story Â»
I inserted the pills the next morning as instructed. Even though the counselor had explained what would happen, I didn’t know exactly how it would go. It seemed to me like it wouldn’t be a good idea to go to church, so I got back into bed and asked Joy to tell Mom and Dad that I wasn’t feeling well. Read the rest of the story Â»
When I woke up, Jake was already in the shower. I rested in bed listening to the water and gathering my strength.
Jake came out of the bathroom in his boxers and started getting dressed. “Well? You’d better get up and take your shower,” he said. “You’ve got a big day ahead of you.” Read the rest of the story Â»
In the morning Rex dropped me off at Jake’s house. Jake already had his motorcycle out in the driveway and was working on it with some tools. I hoped that it was just some last-minute adjustments and not that something was wrong.Â Read the rest of the story Â»