Posted on August 9, 2010 by Joe O.
Something is wrong, here. It’s suddenly become very normal to talk about marriage as a “right” and a “freedom” and that seems to me a rather impoverished way of talking about marriage. And yet, though one side (those opposed to gay marriage) often disagrees on marriage being a “right”, neither side can seem to get past this issue.
The “right” to be self-fulfilled
Let me try to articulate what I’m talking about: by talking about marriage as a freedom and a right, people are essentially drawing on a narrative like the very one I grew up with: when I marry, I want someone to whom I am physically and sexually attracted; I want someone who treats me well (in part because of their attraction to me) and who helps me reach my full potential as a person (can take me to the temple, etc); I want someone who cares for me like I care for them, who I can keep secrets with and who will share my life with me. I want… I want… I want…
Filed under: Politics, Relationships | Tagged: Celestial Kingdom, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, eternal marriage, gay marriage, gay marriage debate, Gender, marriage, marriage fulfillment, Mormons, Proposition 8, right to marriage, same-sex marriage, self-fulfillment, sexuality | 9 Comments »
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 2, 2010 by Joe O.
This post is a follow-up from “Marriage, part 1: Why difference matters.” Three more related posts will follow.
In the previous post, I argued that differences were actually essential for a spirit of charity to thrive in marriage. In seeking out and embracing these differences, we learn to love that which is other than us – and by love, I mean in part to appreciate and embrace the unique contribution made by those differences.
Charity, as Paul says, “Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth” (1 Cor 13:6). The truth is, we (husbands and wives) are different, and to have charity, we must rejoice in those differences. Doing so has the benefit of uniting us, as I discussed before. In this post, I’d like to discuss another benefit through a semi-narrative.
Imagine two people perpetually in conflict with one another. Let us say their conflicts are sometimes not particularly contentious, but do (as they must) get heated every once in a while. Now, in spite of how those conflicts play out (i.e., whether they are resolved or not), imagine that these two people also love each other with complete fidelity – that they are desperately faithful to one another. We might even see their love for one another manifested during conflicts.
Filed under: Mormon Culture, Relationships | Tagged: charity, Family, Folk Theologies, LDS, Love, love thy neighbor as thyself, marriage, Mormons, parenting | 6 Comments »
Posted on January 17, 2010 by Dennis
We had an excellent Sunday School lesson today in my ward about the Creation, which focused primarily on our stewardship for the earth and for all of God’s creations.
Here are some great quotes (most of which were distributed from my ward’s gospel doctrine teacher) that illustrate just a taste of why, I believe, Latter-day Saints should be the most environmentally friendly people on earth. Continue reading
Filed under: Mormon Culture, Relationships | Tagged: air quality, Alexander B. Morrison, Brigham Young, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, creation, dominion, environmentalism, Ezra Taft Benson, Hugh Nibley, Joseph Smith, Latter-day Saints, LDS, Mormon Church, Mormons, pollution, Spencer W. Kimball, stewardship, subdue the earth | 16 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 September 21, 2009 by Dennis
Elder Hafen recently gave (at an Evergreen conference) what I consider to be a wonderful speech concerning same-sex attraction and gay marriage. It is linked on the LDS Newsroom. This speech is probably the most well-balanced and well-informed article on same-sex marriage by an LDS general authority.
Then, to my dismay, I came across this post at FMH, in which ECS criticizes Hafen’s speech, in particular his use of references. But the FMH post itself is misleading and needs to be critiqued.
Filed under: Politics, Relationships, Science | Tagged: APA resolution on reparative therapy, APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, Bruce C. Hafen, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, DSM, Evergreen, Feminist Mormon Housewives, gays and lesbians, homosexuality, Latter-day Saints, Mormons, psychological treatment, Wall Street Journal | 76 Comments »