Sunday in Outer Blogness: What do Mormons believe? edition!

First and foremost — Outer Blogness has gotten a major technical upgrade!!! This is such a huge and vibrant community that it deserves its own page where you can get a clear view of what’s up. It also means faster loading of our main page and more space in our sidebars for additional content. Thanks Kari for your technical wizardry! 😀

And now for this week’s trends! It seems that (almost) everybody loves the new Book of Mormon musical! And one highlight is the song I Believe — an emotionally-charged song where a Mormon passionately croons about what he believes. Trouble is, nobody seems to agree on what Mormons believe.

Even something as simple as interpreting a parable turns up differing beliefs (actually, that latter interpretation makes a lot of sense). So, when it comes to esoteric questions like covenants vs. creeds (which covenants? which creeds?) — fuhgeddaboudit! Contention is ripe in blogspace (and, fortunately, leads to loads of funny comments!). Yet perhaps it’s to be expected. Mormonism, after all, is about proving contraries and ambiguity can be liberating.

Points of confusion include absolute morality, perfection, sin and punishment, the pre-existence and reward/punishment, spirit prison, the Plan of Salvation, capitalization, folklore, divine mysteries, values, favorite guns, where the hell is hell, who is the prophet, who needs the priesthood, who is god, and what does S/He think? Should we silently dump our least favorite scriptures? Some can’t even agree with themselves, as evidenced by this strange assortment of bumper-stickers. It’s so confusing it’s gotten so you (and FOX) can’t tell which ideologies are parodies! And that’s without starting in on Mormon sex and marriage! (Of course, even atheists and humanists have their open questions.) About the only thing we can agree on is that Mormons love Disney!

In personal stories, people are thinking of Japan. RollerDoll is now officially exmo, and — after a couple false starts — Carson came out to family as non-believing. Some folks have been chatting with General Authorities. Non-believers at BYU are are getting very worried, perhaps with good reason. Chandelle is moving to Broke Ass Farm, Aerin is reading banned books, Holly is honoring bad memories, and Jana is creating new rituals for moving on. It seems apostasy has been pretty good for some folks.

So, given what you know, would you try it again?


C. L. Hanson is the friendly Swiss-French-American ExMormon atheist mom living in Switzerland! Follow me on mastadon at or see "letters from a broad" for further adventures!!

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12 Responses

  1. kuri says:

    The Outer Blogness site looks great, but my feed isn’t showing up.

  2. Justin says:

    where the hell is hell

    Beneath our feet.

  3. Kari says:

    Kuri, sorry about that. I’ve had some issues with feeds that use feedburner,but it should be fixed. As a regular here, and past Brodie winner, I’ve added your site to the comment aggregator as well and hope that you will soon be linking to Outer Blogness on your blog.

    Unfortunately, as with all sites that use feedburner to manage feeds, the title of your post doesn’t get feed into the comment section, so all you’ll see is “Name of commentor” @ To Try a New Sword on a Chance Wayfarer. Sorry, it’s a technical hurdle that I haven’t been able to work around.

  4. kuri says:

    Thanks Kari! I appreciate it. I have an Outer Blogness button in my side bar, and I’ll mention the new site next time I do a links post.

  5. chanson says:

    There are probably a few bugs to work out. Anyone else who sees a problem with the way their feeds are displayed (or not), please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

    Also, there was an interesting update since yesterday!

    I’d meant to include this post about the “14 fundamentals of following the Stake President” — but I discovered that President Paternoster’s blog had mysteriously disappeared! I suspected some of the guesses found here (especially the one about it making a TBM loved one cry — that seems to lead to the demise of a non-trivial number of blogs), but ultimately figured that it’s President Paternoster’s business if he wants to delete his blog.

    But — lo and behold! — it’s back! And the above thread lead to a discussion featuring a distressing lack of hesitation when it comes to lying for the Lord. Another highlight of the same discussion is found here — I totally agree about not “feeding the trolls,” but… You start a thread just to bash someone, but don’t consider it “feeding the trolls” until the subject/victim comes by to tell you to knock it off…?

  6. Chino Blanco says:

    Regarding Chanson’s update, I think Joanna Brooks got it right in a recent Mormon Matters podcast that there’s something about Mo culture that militates for a mean response to chicanery. As if calling shenanigans isn’t enough. Gotta light up the phone tree and attempt to get the joker booted off Blogger. Sigh.

    Chalk it up as another reason why I’m really glad Outer Blogness is finally staking out its own online space. There’s simply too much good exmo blogging happening under our noses to bother any longer with excruciating levels of Bloggernacle in-group pettiness. Among the admins and regulars over there who mock and ban us with alacrity you’ll find the same cast of characters who perpetuated the fraudulent “Banner of Heaven” imbroglio. Go figure.

    Of that crew, DKL remains the only one who continues to amuse. The rest have settled for stuffed shirt status. I don’t know how he puts up with it.

    That said, I’m no longer bothered, because we’re no longer the barbarians at the gate. We’ve got our own gate now and it’s wide open for anyone who prefers talent, intellect, authenticity, honesty and humor over the increasingly meager and messy meanderings on offer from the ostensibly Mormon, ostensibly sane, Bloggernacle crowd.

    Good luck with ad hominem all-the-time, chuckleheads. We’re moving on. We have been moving on. We’ve moved on.

  7. chanson says:

    I don’t know — I still think there are a lot of fun bloggers and interesting discussion on the Bloggernacle. I don’t want to dismiss them completely. That’s why I was surprised by that comment I linked to above. A commenter openly says “I don’t think that joke is funny, so I’ll flag it as ‘hate/violence’ [even though I know it isn’t actually hate/violence] to try to get the authorities to shut the blog down.” And nobody followed up with even the slightest “Maybe we should think twice about whether that’s an honest/ethical thing to do…” — just a couple of “Go girl!” remarks instead.

  8. Chino Blanco says:

    That it’s not a self-regulating community is what’s leading to its ongoing self-marginalization. You’re right that there are still interesting voices to be found over there, but I think I’m done wading through the marsh to read them unless they land themselves at Outer Blogness. Because Hendrik Hertzberg got it right in his New Yorker piece when he noted that, like a polluted swamp, cliquishness tends to get thicker and more toxic as it dries up. Viscousness begets viciousness. And so it goes.

  9. chanson says:

    Fair enough. I’ll be very happy to chat with them when they turn up here! 😀

  10. Thanks for the comments on my blog Soeur Chanson and Chino Blanco. Often as a stake president I feel as Jesus – like an outcast amongst my own people; For I came among my own and they knew me not. I end up having to spend my preaching time with the publicans and sinners on these blogs.

  11. Chino Blanco says:

    Often … I feel as Jesus

    That should’ve been your first warning sign that maybe it was time to seek professional help rather than tasking the rest of us with explaining that we don’t know you from Adam.

  12. Yeah sorry ’bout that. Professional help is on the way 🙂

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