Understanding LDS Homosexuality Video Pt. 2: “Marriage Hopes and Realities”

August 16, 2006
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In part 2 of this 3 part series on LDS homosexuality, we learn about a man named Russ, who followed his bishop’s counsel to get married in spite of his same sex attraction, and the problems that came about as a result.

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Understanding LDS Homosexuality Video Pt. 1: “Go Forward”

August 15, 2006
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I have been working w/ some folks affiliated with Idaho State University to post a 3-part video series on LDS homosexuality to the Internet. Today the videos were made available. Below is Part 1: “Go Forward”–the story of a young man who has sincerely tried to walk in the path outlined by President Hinckley. Please check it out (below), and let us know what you think. Also, please feel free to share your thoughts and feedback either below, or at youtube.com.

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My Sunstone Presentation on “The Peril and the Promise of the Internet Within Mormonism”

August 15, 2006
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Unfortunately, the audio/screencast of my Sunstone presentation last week failed, so it’s gonna take me a few weeks to recreate that. In the mean time, here is a link to my PowerPoint presentation on “The Peril and the Promise of the Internet Within Mormonism.” Hopefully at least some of it will be valuable to you (sans the audio).

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What Sunstone Can Mean to Folks

August 15, 2006
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I had an amazing time at Sunstone. I hope to write more later. In the mean time, check out my friend Mark’s report on Sunstone. To me, this illustrates the positive role that Sunstone can play in people’s lives–especially those who have become disillusioned.

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FAIRWiki vs. MormonWiki?

August 8, 2006
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Hey! Can anyone give me a summary of the differences between MormonWiki and FAIRWiki for my presentation on Friday? Who is the author of the content? Who is the intended audience? How are the 2 reconciled? Are they working together at all? Please help if you can.

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Cool Map of Predominant Religions Per U.S. County

August 8, 2006
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Check out this cool map of predominant religions per U.S. county (courtesy of the More Good Foundation).

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SouthPark / “I’m a Mormon” Remix

August 8, 2006
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In preparation for my Sunstone Interent presentation on Friday, I stumbled upon this remix. Check it out. Kinda fun.

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Lunch with Lou Midgley, and Musings from the FAIR conference

August 5, 2006
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I spent 11 hours at the FAIR conference on Friday, and I believe that I spent about 5 of them with Lou Midgley. The time with Dr. Midgley, and with the folks at FAIR (including Daniel Peterson), reinforced an important lesson that I keep re-learning regarding the Mormon Internet–we are sometimes not ourselves when we engage in Internet conversations, and more importantly, those we converse with are often not exactly who we think they are. Now before you start thinking that I’m gonna get all slobbery about Dr. Midgley, let me remind you of something a good friend (Gregory Prince)…

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On Location Report from the FAIR Conference — Part 1

August 4, 2006
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I’m here, live at the FAIR conference in Sandy, UT. I’ve shaken hands with a few of the top brass here within FAIR. I’ve had 2 absolutely amazing experiences so far, that I will share with you:

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Please Help Me Moderate the Discussions Here on Mormon Stories

August 4, 2006
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For a long time, I naively believed that moderation was unethical and undesirable within the bloggernacle. Recently, I’ve had to tweak my approach. Recently I’ve noticed that mean-spiritedness on either side of the debate becomes a true obstacle to those who are sincerely seeking to have genuine dialogue.

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Check out My Cousin This Weekend on C-Span 2 Book TV!!!!

August 3, 2006
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Check out My Cousin This Weekend on C-Span 2 Book TV!!!!

For those interested, a book signing that included Jimmy Parkinson (my cousin), Lee Benson and Harold Poole will be televised on C-Span2 Book TV this Sunday evening at 12AM Sunday morning EST, 9PM Saturday night PST. This book signing included a special appearance by Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah (R). Some of you will remember Jimmy from my podcast with him. Also, I wanna know why more of the bloggernacle lawyers have not listened/commented on the “being LDS and a lawyer” part of the podcast. I think it’s definitely one of the more interesting parts. Click here for more information.…

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New Article Out Regarding Lamanite DNA: “Blake Ostler’s Errors”

August 3, 2006
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Hey! Remember that whole Tom Murphy/Blake Ostler exchange in Sunstone ? I don’t expect that you do–see “Yea, Yea, Nay, Nay: DNA Strands In The Book Of Mormon“. Anyway, Signature books has a response to Blake, addressing specifically some of his scholarship. Check it out, and then return to discuss. I’m pretty clueless on this topic, so I’ll enjoy the discussion. Please remember to be respectful of other people’s faith.

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Seeking Simple Answers from Apologists on Tough LDS History Issues

August 1, 2006
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Ok…let me state up front that I am an active and believing (though non-traditional in some aspects) member of the church. I love and deeply respect the church, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon, and believe that they all are inspired of God, and teach eternal truths. That said, after studying LDS history, many of us have found that some of the historical facts within Mormonism are very different than what we were taught growing up, and in some instances, a bit hard to understand. Apologists (I believe) often do a wonderful job of doing solid research, and working…

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A Mormon Stories Milestone: 200 Comments on a Single Post (And Peterson/Midgley to boot!!!)

July 31, 2006
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Holy freaking moly! I submit a small-time post referencing a podcast that I listened to recently, and it’s grown to over 200 comments!!!! With heavy participation from Dan Peterson and Lou Midgley to boot!!!! I know it’s small beans for you big-time blogs out there, but for me, it’s cause for a mini-celebration! Thanks to all my readers/listeners for tuning in!!!! For those who haven’t dropped by, please check out the conversation. I actually believe that it’s quite interesting–if not entertaining.

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New Podcasts from the Remys: John & Jana’s Joint Journey

July 29, 2006
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How’s that for alliteration. John & Jana have a new podcast episode out, and it’s definitely worth the listen. It chronicles their joint journey of faith as a couple. Check it out, and please give them lots of Mormon Stories love.

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Very cool CES policy about what NOT to do as a CES/EFY speaker

July 28, 2006
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Thanks to Chris (a reader/listener) for referring me to this really cool CES policy about what NOT to do as a CES/EFY speaker. My favorite part is here: “I also have some concerns as I attended these programs. The concerns usually arise because a wonderful speaker desires to communicate well with the youth and inspire and motivate them to live the gospel more fully. Occasionally, speakers use poor judgment in an attempt to keep the young people’s attention and to communicate with them in terms they understand. That manifests itself in numerous ways, some of which have been:

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Resurrection of the Epic Tom Trails Filmstrip

July 27, 2006
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Resurrection of the Epic Tom Trails Filmstrip

For those who haven’t seen this yet–what a goldmine (thanks to Paula for the reference). As the site says, “Tom Trails is a filmstrip series originally released in 1968 by the Church Educational System of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was intended as a comprehensive tool to teach gospel principles in seminary and Institute of Religion classes. Constructed as a 17-chapter series to be shown one at a time in connection with a particular lesson topic, the filmstrip as a whole told one continuous and quite elaborate story. With a total running time of 3…

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PBS Gets in Touch With Its Mormon Side

July 27, 2006
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More on the upcoming PBS documentary on Mormonism (again from AML). Looks like it will be a co-production between Frontline and American Experience (both of which I love). It also says that it will be edited into 2 90 minute parts. The original post also claims that it will air in April of 2007 (not Fall of 2006), which is different from what I thought.

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Book of Mormon Geography Map/Comparison to New York/Canada Area

July 26, 2006
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Has anyone ever seen this? http://www.mazeministry.com/mormonism/holley/holleymaps.htm. It’s dated 1992, so it can’t be new. I noticed links to my blog from the the FAIR board regarding my “Why people leave the church, and what we can do about it” video cast, and someone referenced this map within the thread. I can’t tell if it’s totally bogus, or something w/ a bit of substance (not a smoking gun, mind you, but maybe one of those “sources of inspiration” aspects to the BOM translation, perhaps). Those of you who know your BOM geography, or know any links that debunk these maps…please post…

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“Joseph Smith, Jr. — My Superman” — A Video

July 26, 2006
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“Joseph Smith, Jr. — My Superman” — A Video

This video is clearly gonna illicit strong reactions (both very positively and very negatively), but I think it’s powerfully well done, and worth the watch. The creator is listed as Seth Adam Smith. Let me know what you think. For the disbelievers, please keep your comments respectful.

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Upcoming PBS Frontline Documentary on LDS Church May not Be As Negative as Anticipated

July 25, 2006
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Upcoming PBS Frontline Documentary on LDS Church May not Be As Negative as Anticipated

As many of you know, for the past few years documentarian Helen Whitney (Emmy Award, Peabody Award, Oscar nomination, the Humanitas Award, and the prestigious duPont-Columbia Journalism Award) has been working on a documentary for PBS Frontline on the LDS Church/Mormonism. I first met Helen at last year’s Sunstone Salt Lake symposium, where I saw her interviewing Grant Palmer for the documentary, among many other “Sunstoneites.” Well, for the past year, the perception on anti-Mormon boards (and even FAIR) has been that the upcoming documentary was going to be a “hatchet job” on Mormonism. Today, while listening to a recent…

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Ken Jennings in ‘Jeopardy’ with show host?

July 25, 2006
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14028070/ NEW YORK – “Jeopardy!” ace Ken Jennings, who won $2.5 million during his 74-game winning streak, has a few unkind words to say about the show — and dapper host Alex Trebek. “I know, I know, the old folks love him,” Jennings writes in a recent posting, titled “Dear Jeopardy!” on his Web site. “Nobody knows he died in that fiery truck crash a few years back and was immediately replaced with the Trebektron 4000 (I see your engineers still can’t get the mustache right, by the way).”

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An Apology, A Clarification, and a Possible Solution to the “Bloggernacle” Problem

July 25, 2006
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The Apology I’ve felt badly ever since I responded to DMI’s post by writing this and this. Two of the secrets I have learned in life are:

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“fit for the kingdom” – Combination documentary shorts and blog from BYU

July 25, 2006
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I stumbled upon this today: http://fitforthekingdom.byu.edu/index.php via an AML email forward from my Mom. It seems to be a combination of documentary video shorts and a blog about regular, everyday church members. Pretty interesting. From Randy Astle, “If you’ve got eight minutes to look at just one film on the website, I suggest “Leroy Pratt” (aka “Crossings”). Below is an excerpt from the email by Randy Astle of BYU, who apparently is involved in the project. Whaddya think? —————————– BYU film professor Dean Duncan, with other faculty and student participants (primarily Ben Unguren, currently, I believe, doing PhD film work…

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Battles Lines and High-Fiving White Guys

July 23, 2006
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I’ve pondered all morning how to respond to the recent “Mormon blog battle lines” discussion that has arisen here and here. I’ll have more to say about this in August during my Sunstone presentation, but for now I’ll leave it with the following response:

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Questions for Upcoming Podcast: “How to Remain Active in the LDS Church After Becoming Disaffected?”

July 22, 2006
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Over the past year it’s become clear to me that perhaps the biggest productive role my podcast and blog serve on the Internet within Mormonism is in providing people w/ coping mechianisms to remain active, or reactivate themselves, after becoming disaffected w/ the LDS church. For many, this is a really hard thing to deal with. My next podcast is going to address this topic. For those of you who fit the following description, “I want to participate in church….but it’s just so hard now that I’ve been through all this”–please send me in advance the questions or problems that…

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The “Mormon Theology in 6 Minutes” Video, Digg.Com, YouTube.com and the Web 2.0

July 20, 2006
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Because of my interest in Mormon Studies, a work colleague today pointed me to http://www.digg.com, one of the top news sites for the technology industry. The link he pointed me to was this article, where digg readers had highlighted a new anti-Mormon video as interesting or important. Currently, it ranks #1 in the Educational Video section of Digg. So far it’s been watched 5,300 times.

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Bloggernacle Spotlight: For Those Who Wonder (Managing Religious Doubt and Questions)

July 20, 2006
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Bloggernacle Spotlight: For Those Who Wonder (Managing Religious Doubt and Questions)

Today I am very proud to announce another new entry to the bloggernacle: http://www.forthosewhowonder.com. FTWW is based on a book written by D. Jeff Burton by the same name. This book is downloadable for free on Jeff’s new web site. Jeff lives in Salt Lake City, is actively fulfilling a service mission for the church, and sits on the Sunstone board (what a combination, eh?!?!?!). But most importantly, Jeff has dedicated a good portion of his life towards helping LDS folk who stumble upon a crisis of faith figure out a way to STAY IN the church (if it is…

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Bloggernacle Spotlight: KVNU For the People

July 20, 2006
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Last night Dan Wotherspoon and I were invited to speak on a radio show called “For the People” at radio station 610AM (KVNU) here in Logan, UT. The co-hosts are super cool guys (Tom Grover and Ryan Yonk), and you can listen to the full show by clicking here (the program actually begins around the 3:51 time mark). After the show, I helped them set up a new blog and podcast, which can be found here. Please visit their newly formed blog and give them a hearty welcome to the bloggernacle!!! Tom and Ryan also run another local blog here…

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New Poem and Podcast from John & Jana Remy (Holding Back the Night)

July 18, 2006
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I was fortunate this morning to find a new episode of “An Athiest’s Prayer” (by John and Jana Remy) on my iPod for my morning bike ride to work (thanks for the shout out, btw!!!). During the devotional, a poem was read that struck me as quite inspirational. I’ll share it here, but please go listen to the podcast and let the Remys know how cool they are. The Young Galileo Speaks By Ray Bradbury O child, they said, avert your eyes

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034-036: Jim Parkinson and Soldier Slaves

July 14, 2006
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This podcast is a slight divergence from my most recent interviews, but in every way fits the original spirit of Mormon Stories. Within these 3 episodes, we tell the story of Harold Poole–an LDS survivor of one of the most barbaric events in the 20th century–the Bataan Death March. We also discuss in some depth the ethics of law, and the juxtaposition of being LDS and a lawyer. Episode 1: We meet James W. Parkinson–a high profile personal injury lawyer, and a member of the LDS Church. We discuss Jim’s early years in Indio, CA, his early career as a…

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