Sunday in Outer Blogness: Books Edition!!
Last week the book Hippie Boy — one of the Mormon Alumni Association books — made it to the New York Times Best Seller List!! In celebration, the author Ingrid Ricks is giving away two signed copies. The lucky winner will be drawn from those who comment this week on my review.
In other book news and reviews, Johnny Townsend’s The Mormon Victorian Society got a fun new Kirkus review and Scott Hales wrote an interesting review of Ryan McIlvainâ€™s Elders. I’d like to read both of those books, but I have two new books on my pile before them that I’m reading to review for this site. The Overeducated Housewife posted a list of exmo books — it makes me wonder if she might be interested in participating in Mormon Alumni Association Books. If you’re interested, please join the Facebook group!
Dad’s Primal Scream has analyzed Mormonism by the Numbers and Mormonism 411 explained why so many missionaries. Exmocaptainmoroni found a new candidate for the upcoming X-Mormon of the Year Award. And nomorelies posted a new exit story to Life After Mormonism.
Weird how Mormonism teaches that America is the promised land and that the US Constitution is divinely inspired despite the Book of Mormon providing repeated examples of righteous societies with zero separation between church and state.
Actually it was a pretty good week for new insights! G posted a real-life illustration of the dynamics of passive-aggressive problem-solving. Nathaniel pointed out that Mormon beliefs about the Godhead might not be different from the theology of the Trinity (aside from terminology), and Andrew S followed-up with the point that the Book of Mormon agrees more with protestant theology than with the distinctive doctrines of Mormonism:
The Book of Mormon was never meant to be a place for distinctive doctrines. In fact, it was meant to be as familiar to the 19th century as possible, so when people would read it, they would nod along. It would confirm what they already knew was true.
Rather, what the Book of Mormon was meant to do was to give credibility to the idea of an expanded canon.
John Hamer made a very similar point, that the open canon is the unique doctrine, and that by taking the miracles in it too literally (more literally than they were understood by those who wrote the scriptures), modern Mormons close the canon back up again.
More theology: Guy Templeton wonders what is the point of being sealed to one’s parents, and Andrew Hackman gave some examples of how religion sells you things you already had. Alliegator presented some evidence that references to the Mother God in the Bible that references to the Mother God in the Bible translated her name as “Sacred Tree” — very interesting in light of our earlier discussion of Yahweh’s hostility towards trees. Rediscovering Mother in Heaven is a key part of the movement to ordain women, as is simply taking charge of your own life.