Sunday in Outer Blogness: Cornucopia of scriptures edition!!
The fraud trial of Thomas Monson has begun! Like it or not, I hope you have your popcorn ready!! Looks like the CoJCoL-dS kind of blew it off, banking on the case getting quickly dismissed, but that didn’t happen. It would have been incredible if Monson had gone to court to boldly testify of the truth like the prophets of old, but that didn’t happen either. (Here’s some discussion of the fraudulent claims.)
If you were wondering what Mormons believe, it’s been a great week — we had lessons from practically all of the Mormon scriptures!!
- The Old Testament: Since the CoJCoL-dS is on the OT segment of the 4-year study cycle, even kids get to learn the wonderful morals found within! And naturally we had our Godless Doctrine lesson in which the teacher valiantly struggles to reconcile the manual’s claim “While the standards of society can change, the Lordâ€™s standards are constant” with what’s actually written in the Old Testament. Plus with the new Noah blockbuster, people are debating about what “really” happened, and Kaimi Wenger conclusively demonstrated that if you can’t imagine how the Noah story could have happened, you just need more imagination!!
- The New Testament: The story of Jesus and the woman taken in adultery â€“ J. Max Wilson does not think it means what you think it means.
- The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible: It turns out that there’s one text that Joseph Smith translated twice — and got different results!! Check out the fascinating story!
- The Book of Mormon: It turns out that the Nephites had a pretty elaborate monetary system, and you can learn all about it! Also, according the the Book of Mormon, Jesus is his own father.
- The Doctrine and Covenants: Is it a book the entire world would benefit from reading? Plus here’s a really entertaining doctrine that I wasn’t even aware of!
- The Pearl of Great Price: I am very happy to report that LDS seminary is still teaching kids that Jesus’ atonement covered the inhabitants of lots of planets — just as I learned when I was in seminary — regardless of what they’re telling the press these days.
- Teachings of modern prophets (post-JS): After Joseph Smith, it seems like the prophets haven’t taught much exciting new doctrine. Ezra Taft Benson’s teachings on communism are already pretty dated, though Heber J. Grant’s teachings on giving in rather than obsessing has interesting relevance to the church’s modern teachings on porn addiction. Whatever happened to that Strang guy anyway?
- Church magazines: Let’s not kid ourselves — the real lessons for modern times are found in sources like Meridian Magazine and The Children’s Friend.
Also-ran gospel topics include speaking in tongues and freedom of religion. (And did the CoJCoL-dS cut the number of service missionaries? Why?)
It looks like the ladies are warming up for another round of trying to attend the priesthood session, and the Bloggernacle is ready for the drama. I wonder what kind of flack women will be getting online for wanting to exercise the LDS priesthood or wearing pants. But, ladies, it’s not the men’s fault if most of God’s messages for you are about what you need to wear, right? Wouldn’t it be fun if LDS men got the same treatment?
It seems that people who are or have been Mormon can’t stop talking about it, but perhaps Mormonism’s story has profound relevance to the modern predicament of religion in the US in general:
Mormons have been where the Christian Right is collectively right now: we staked much of our political and personal identity and capital on a fight over the definition of marriage. We could see we were losing; we retrenched; we lost decisively. We sulked about it for a really long time, and now we just wish the whole sordid past could go away and stop haunting us.
And then we managed not to learn anything from our mistake and did the same basic thing again a century or so later, but this time, we got a whole bunch of other people to join us.
In Mormon life journeys, the “families are forever” doctrine can ironically tear families apart, but it gets better!! When you leave the church, you get to learn some interesting new skills. Mormon X is hesitant to embrace his differences. Adam considered whether his mission was the worst two years of his life. LDS Missionaries need to learn to listen to views they don’t agree with, and so do we all…
As usual, some people wrote about topics other than Mormonism, like scientific literacy and climate change and expectations place on teachers — not to mention tasty items like scones and traditional holiday treats in Ireland and India, as well as what this lady is selling, lol!!
Well, this has been an entertaining week in Mormonism!! Now it’s time to get back to my real-life responsibilities like preparing food for a dinner party I’m throwing tonight and making sure the kids did their homework. Happy reading!!