Sunday in Outer Blogness: Fun with beliefs Edition!!

The last call for Brodies nominations went up yesterday — and I’d like to especially call your attention to the categories that are light on nominations. If you can think of a work from 2013 that deserves recognition in one of those categories, it may make the difference as to whether the category makes it to the voting stage this year.

I’ve added my own first round of nominations (I’ve thought of a few more since that post) — but I’ve actually added relatively few nominations myself this year because other folks have nominated so many!! It’s great to see so much community involvement, and people already getting excited! I will post the polls on Thursday, and then we’ll have two weeks of voting.

Now for the news from Outer Blogness and beyond from this past week! It was time to celebrate the Chinese New Year and Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

This week’s topic was beliefs — specifically Daymon opened a can of worms by discussing the people who think the moon landing was faked (because how could a prophet get it wrong?), and Kaimi started a similar fire by comparing some sensitive re-definitions.

Daniel’s Old Testament lesson addressed the problems with reading Genesis as fiction:

So the doctrine of the Fall puts Mormon doctrine in kind of a weird bind: the gospel only works if the story is literally true, but the story cannot possibly be literally true. One could relax the literalism and go metaphorical, but what happens then? Would you accept metaphorical forgiveness? How does metaphorical resurrection sound?

Despite problems with the idea of atonement (not to mention other Bible and Book of Mormon stuff), the Garden of Eden story does have a good metaphor in there:

We grow up in a state of innocence — well, some of us do, if we’re lucky. I had very loving and very sheltering parents. But at some point, we have to make a decision to step out and gain knowledge. Once you do, you can never go back. That’s how some of our life’s choices are. Going to uni or getting a job, getting married, deconverting from your religion of origin — all of life’s major crossroads entails a choice: are you going to partake and have your eyes opened? Or will you continue as you are?

On a related note, Andrew S wrote an insightful post on why people who leave Mormonism often become atheists (though I think his post is more an explanation of why they don’t gravitate towards Christianity). His post prompted a dismissive follow-up describing the atheist experience the way believers would like to see it, and here is Andrew’s response to that.

Runtu took on the apologists’ analysis of how Joseph Smith’s knowledge of Hebrew affected his translation. (Amusingly, building a religion on faked magic writings was already an old idea long before JS.) And Andrew Hackman explained the apologetic dance — which works only if you have a willing partner.

But questions of belief aren’t always simple. Doctrine can be Wibbly Wobbly. Perhaps truth is like a fractal.

BYU (Idaho) is starting another round of withholding transcripts after anonymous tipster outs the unbeliever. Can that place get more creepy? Can you imagine being required to go there? If you have an essay about BYU to share, you might want to participate in this project.

In other church watch topics, Mormon Doubter doubts that mission the CoJCoL-dS really is three-fold. And David T shared some interesting new info about church real estate.

In life journeys, Lindsay explained why she wants to be open about her unbelief, Runtu posted a friend’s exit story, Jen gave some tips for moving on, and Mormon 411 is officially out of the CoJCoL-dS!

In general life stuff, even teachers can get bullied, Mormon X had a relationship readjustment, Knotty had a fun visit to Europe, littlemissattitude highlighted one of my all-time favorite movies, and Dan Pearce is hitting some snags as a full-time blogger — in part because of some questionable new Facebook policies.

And to wrap up on a light note, check out these Mormon dating disasters!! Have a great week!


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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