Vicarious Performative Wokeness: The White Ex-Mormon’s Burden

[This post contains explicit language.] Last week saw the unfolding of what my friend Tarik LaCour has called Streetergate. To summarize the incident, on Thursday, May 17, 2018, just as LDS Church leaders were meeting with leaders from the NAACP, an ex-Mormon blogger named Jonathan Streeter created a website parodying the Church’s official newsroom and … Read more

“Believing Women” Includes Believing Joseph Smith’s Plural Wives

The recent news concerning Joseph L. Bishop, the former president of the Provo Missionary Training Center (1983–1986) who admitted to sexual misconduct with one sister missionary and is accused of attempted rape of another, has rightly outraged many. So “serious and deeply disturbing” are the allegations that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints … Read more

A Note on Book of Mormon “Trinitarianism”

One exercise I have found interesting is looking at the criticisms Joseph Smith’s contemporaries made against the Book of Mormon. The granddaddy of Book of Mormon skeptics is without a doubt Alexander Campbell (1788–1866), the learned Christian divine who spearheaded, along with his father Thomas, the Restorationist movement of Christianity. Campbell published the first substantive … Read more

Triple Book Review: New Mormon Theology Seminar Volumes

The Neal A. Maxwell Institute’s Mormon Theology Seminar continues to release interesting publications highlighting and exploring key Mormon scriptural texts. The latest wave of publications, three volumes dedicated to analyzing 1 Nephi 1, Jacob 7, and Genesis 2–3, adds to this growing list and gives readers helpful new resources for better understanding these passages. In … Read more

The Book of Mormon (Abridged for Reddit)

When asked by the New York Times to name a book that people might be surprised to discover on his bookshelf, the illustrious physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson responded, “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. . . . [T]he book tells a dramatic story in fine biblical style. The reader has to … Read more

In Memoriam: Thomas S. Monson

President Thomas S. Monson, sixteenth president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died on January 2, 2018, as reported on the Church’s website. The news reached me just as I was turning in for the night. As I fell asleep I was able to ponder on how I gained a … Read more

Jesus, the Alt-Right, and Latter-day Publicans

One thing I’ve found very helpful in making the New Testament relevant to my own life is understanding its cultural backdrop and looking for parallels to today’s world. Recently I read the book Jesus: A Very Short Introduction by Richard Bauckham. It is quite good at providing an overview of the life and times of … Read more

What do the Scriptures Say about “Mocking” Sacred Things?

Over on Twitter my friend Kwaku El tweeted his dissatisfaction with those who “mock” Mormonism. The ensuing discussion centered around what exactly is meant by “mocking” and when or if it is ever appropriate when it comes to sacred things (e.g. religious doctrines). Mocking Mormonism and “participating in a dialogue” are not the same & … Read more