Posted on April 7, 2010 by Dennis
At this last General Conference, I was anxiously awaiting someone–particularly President Monson or the Presiding Bishopric–to discuss details about the Church’s new mission: helping the poor and needy. This mission will be added to the the Church’s existing three missions, which will be called four purposes: perfecting the saints, proclaiming the gospel, redeeming the dead, and helping the poor and needy.
I assumed that it would at least be mentioned. Which would have been nice, as most members I’ve talked with, including priesthood leaders, are unaware of the announced addition to the church’s mission.
To my surprise, there was no mention of it (unless I missed something). This post is not a complaint; I imagine the Brethren know what they’re doing in terms of implementing the new mission. Perhaps they just want to take the time to develop a systematic program before they make a big deal out of it.
So why did the Church make the announcement several months ago? Perhaps it was more a message to the world than to the Saints. Perhaps they didn’t want to wait to let others know that we are really serious about helping the poor and the needy.
I’m curious if anyone has information about the rolling out of the fourth mission. Has the Church communicated anything about this to stake or ward leaders? Has anyone’s ward, stake, or quorum began any kind of organization or new callings associated with helping the poor? For example, has anyone’s Elders Quorum called a Helping the Poor and Needy chair? And would it be OK to do something like this, absent specific instructions from Salt Lake?
Filed under: Mormon Doctrine | Tagged: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, fourth mission of the church, fourth purpose of the church, General Conference, LDS Church, Mormons, Thomas S. Monson, three missions of the Church | 7 Comments »
Posted on February 25, 2010 by Joe O.
This is the final post in a five-part series on marriage, in case that wasn’t obvious in the title.
Thus far I have tried to make a case for difference in marriage, arguing that without confronting the fundamental differences symbolized by the sexual unity of male and female, we are less able to understand fully what it means to be charitable. In this final post, I will argue that defending marriage – and by association, charity – requires we defend difference.
Thus far, Latter-day Saints have put a lot of money and rhetoric into defending marriage, in particular against gay marriage. Perhaps the most notable example of this was the church’s recent campaign for Prop 8 in California. Though Prop 8 passed, we have seen since its passage that this “victory” for marriage cost more than just a lot of money. For the Latter-day Saint church in particular, the victory bordered on a public relations nightmare, with a lot of hate generated against the organization and its membership. Even worse, perhaps, was the division it caused within the membership.
Filed under: Culture, Mormon Culture, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged: And They Were Not Ashamed, charity, Family, gay marriage, Gender, LDS Church, marriage, Mormon Culture, Proposition 8, same-sex marriage, sexuality, women | 73 Comments »
Posted on January 28, 2010 by Joe O.
This is the first in a five-part series on marriage, wherein I discuss charity in marriage, why the gay community should favor marriage between a man and a woman, and why Latter-day Saints are not positioned well to defend against gay marriage.
In all three scriptural accounts of the physical creation, Adam is created of the dust of the earth, while Eve was created of Adam (Genesis 2:7, 21-22; Moses 3:7, 21-22; Abraham 5:7, 15-16). Adam, upon seeing woman for the first time, notes the significance of this division when he calls woman bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh. What is striking to me is what Adam says next: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (v. 24 in Genesis and Moses, emphasis mine). Were they not already one flesh before God removed the rib from Adam’s side?
Filed under: Faith, Mormon Culture, Relationships, Scripture | Tagged: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Faith, Folk Theologies, LDS Church, marriage, sanctity of marriage, Scripture, traditional marriage, women | 15 Comments »
Posted on November 10, 2009 by Joe O.
This site has been quiet for some time and it makes me wonder if we’ve stopped “thinking in a marrow bone.” I haven’t stopped thinking, but I’m not sure if I’m doing much thinking that’s worth anything. So instead, I’d like to issue a challenge and have you do the thinking for me: someone help me understand why so many Mormons accept evolution whole cloth without settling some of the most crucial divisions between doctrine and Darwinian dogma?
Let me reveal my ignorance by talking about things I don’t understand.
Filed under: Mormon Doctrine, Science | Tagged: "survival of the fittest", age of earth, carbon dating, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, creation, creationism, death, eternal matter, evolution, Garden of Eden, intelligent design, LDS, LDS Church, Mormons, natural selection, Resurrection, Science and Religion, Two Great Commandments | 29 Comments »
Posted on October 4, 2009 by Dennis
I always feel spiritually rejuvenated after General Conference, and this conference was no exception. Here are some of the dominant themes and highlights I noticed, along with some of my own thoughts:
1. Fresh ways of looking at the “fundamentals”
I sometimes grow tired of the way the “fundamentals” in the Church are sometimes talked about by church members: “the Sunday School answers; you gotta read, pray, and go to church; you gotta make good habits; etc.” It’s not that I disagree with the importance of the “fundamentals,” it’s that I think they are too often talked about in shallow ways.
This conference, however, had several excellent talks that can aid members in the way they think and talk about the “fundamentals” of consistent scripture study, prayer, family home evening, and worship.
Filed under: Mormon Doctrine, Scripture | Tagged: Africa, Atonement of Jesus Christ, Book of Mormon, Boyd K. Packer, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, conversion, Dale G. Renlund, Dallin H. Oaks, David A. Bednar, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Gospel of Jesus Christ, heart transplant, Henry B. Eyring, Holy Ghost, Jeffrey R. Holland, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, Joseph W. Sitati, LDS, LDS Church, Michael T. Ringwood, mighty change of heart, Mormon Church, Mormons, Neil L. Andersen, Richard G. Scott, Richard L. Bushman, Robert D. Hales, Rough Stone Rollling, South Korea, testimony, Thomas S. Monson, Two Great Commandments, Vicki Matsumori, Yoon Hwan Choi | 2 Comments »
Posted on July 20, 2009 by Dennis
In many respects, Catholics and Mormons have similar views on abortion. In general, both churches are pro-life, although individual Mormons are probably more likely than Catholics, at least in the U.S., to be pro-life. Plus a larger number of U.S. Catholics are more likely to emphasize (Democratic) legislation and interventions to reduce abortion, rather than (merely) emphasize (with Republicans) repealing Roe v. Wade. So, on average, it is probably safe to say that individual Mormons are more conservative than Catholics on the abortion question.
However, in terms of their institutional positions, it is the other way around–the LDS church is more liberal.
These differences are relevant in light of the Catholic church’s recent automatic excommunications of the family and doctor of a nine-year-old Brazilian girl who received an abortion. The pregnancy (twins) was a result of rape from the girl’s father (the girl is not subject to automatic excommunicated because of her age). Two weeks after the decision (March 2009), the archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho (who made the ruling) stepped down, prompting some to wonder whether the Vatican disagreed. Time Magazine (above link) reports, however, that a recent Vatican publication “unequivocally confirmed automatic excommunication for anyone involved in an abortion — even in such a situation as dire as the Brazilian case.”
Filed under: Comparative Religion | Tagged: abortion, Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, automatic excommunication, Catholic, Catholic abortion position, Catholics, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, excommunication, incest, LDS, LDS Church, Mormon abortion position, Mormon Church, Mormons, Pope Benedict XVI, pregnant 9-year old, pro-choice, pro-life, rape, Vatican | 16 Comments »
Posted on July 11, 2009 by Joe O.
My five-year-old daughter came home from Primary one Sunday and told us all about her lesson the Word of Wisdom. Her teachers had creatively made pictures of things that were “bad” so the children could throw them away. They threw away images of cigarettes, alcohol, tea, and coffee – all the things that are restricted based on D&C 89 and other, later admonition from the prophets.
Filed under: Mormon Culture, Mormon Doctrine, Scripture | Tagged: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Latter-day Saints, LDS, LDS Church, LDS Primary, Mormon health, Mormons, Word of Wisdom | 5 Comments »