Bill Moyers on Faith & Reason–Salman Rushdie

July 14, 2006
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I exercised yesterday in a state of bewilderment–to hear Salman Rushdie express thoughts and feelings about Islam that could just as easily have been written by me about Mormonism (if I were a better writer, of course). A big thanks to my pal Russ for the recommendation. If you have any time on your hands, please check it out. I promise you will not be disappointed. P.S. Watt Mahoon–did your name come from the Satanic Verses per chance?

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http://theironicpriesthood.wordpress.com/

July 14, 2006
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What a brilliant post. http://theironicpriesthood.wordpress.com/ I pray for more.

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Google Translation

July 13, 2006
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I was digging through my logs, and check out what I found! Holy Moly!!!! John

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The “Literal vs. Symbolic Mormon Testimony” Project

July 12, 2006
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I’ve been thinking a ton lately about literal vs. symbolic Mormon testimonies. I felt strongly that I should create a table which differentiates how I’m feeling today, from what I was taught growing up. I intend this to be an ongoing project…where the comments made below this post get fed back into the post itself. I would love your feedback on many fronts. Specifically, please let me know what I’ve missed, and which of the items in the “symbolic” column you deem as “unacceptable” within the framework of faithful (temple recommend worthy) Mormonism. If you’d like me to reword any…

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The Spirituality of Parenting

July 11, 2006
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Another “must listen” from the Speaking of Faith podcast–entitled “The Spirituality of Parenting“. Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, rabbi of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis, discusses raising your children with faith. To me, the most interesting part starts around the 30:44 minute mark, where she discusses the commonalities between all faith traditions, and the tendency of people to leave their own faith after experiencing imperfections and injustices, and to go seeking for a “less destructive” tradition. Her advice (which I’m unaccustomed to hearing from a religion–especially our own) is to do your best to stick w/ the faith of your parents. To…

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Accepting Nominations for Top Internet Events Within Mormonism for 2005-2006

July 10, 2006
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As a part of my upcoming Sunstone Presentation (The Promise and Peril of the Internet Within Mormonism), I hope to include a list of the Top Mormon Internet Events for 2005-2006. I would welcome any nominations from the bloggernacle at large. Some potential ideas might include…. Bannergate Dan Peterson Visits the Bloggernacle Marie Osmond’s Kids Uncovered on MySpace ldsblogs.org vs. ldselect.org The emergence of Mormon, and anti-Mormon podcasts FAIR Wiki The release of anti-Mormon videos on Google Video and Youtube LDS University Student Use of Facebook and MySpace. Bishops warn against it. Your nominations go here…. Please let me know…

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Some final Thoughts on Mormon/LDS Apologists (a la FAIR/FARMS)

July 9, 2006
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I received an email today from a fellow I’ll call “enochville”, who provided some good clarification with regards to apologists. I would like to share it with you all (thanks so much, enochville!!!), to offer a small bit of closure to the raging post on FAIR/FARMS and LDS Apologetics of last week: —————————————— “In sifting through arguments pro and con for Mormonism, I have found the following distinction useful. In the future as you read positions on this board see if you can identify which arguments are apologetic and which are polemical. First, let’s take a look at the dictionary:…

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Are Mormon Apologetics a Gateway to Ex- or Anti-Mormonism? Or….Why I Support Sunstone

July 4, 2006
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Last week I was counseling a friend who had left the LDS church. As he recounted to me his story, it was interesting to note that apologetics (FAIR and FARMS in particular) were a precursor to his leaving the church–and a strong source for his abiding anger/resentment, and resistance to returning. I probably get at least 2-3 emails a week from folks who have left the church–and I’m surprised at how many of these people not only delved into apologetics before they left–but also look back upon their experience w/ apologetics in almost disgust. Is it possible that the general…

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A History of Doubt

July 2, 2006
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A History of Doubt

Holy Moly (didn’t I just say that?). This episode of “Speaking of Faith” podcast entitled, “The History of Doubt” literally blew my socks off. Please, please, please listen to it, and come back here to discuss in an LDS context (if you so yearn). I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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My (Current) Favorite Podcast–“Speaking of Faith”

July 1, 2006
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Holy freaking moly. I discovered a podcast last week (thanks to Rory) that has knocked my socks off. It’s called “Speaking of Faith“, and for me, has been amazing. Please, please, please subscribe to, and listen to this podcast. For me–it is among the best out there by far.

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Jim Jones & Jonestown — A Lesson on the Risks of Fundamentalism and the Importance of Tolerating Dissent

June 27, 2006
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Jim Jones & Jonestown — A Lesson on the Risks of Fundamentalism and the Importance of Tolerating Dissent

I stumbled upon this RadioWest episode today about a new documentary entitled: Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (you can listen directly, or via podcast subscription). Most of you will likely not remember the Jim Jones / Jonestown tragedy (heck…I was only 9 years old at the time). Here is the summation:

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Ranking of Top Mormon-Themed Web Sites and Blogs – 2006

June 27, 2006
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For a Sunstone Presentation I’m giving in August at the 2006 SLC Sunstone Symposium, I gathered together the rankings of all the prominent Mormon-themed web sites and blogs that I could find. The data comes from http://alexa.org/. The ranking represents world ranking on the Internet. If there are any major web sites or blogs that I have omitted, please advise. Also, I’d love to hear thoughts/analysis on this list from anyone who is interested in sharing.

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Bloggernacle Get Together at Sunstone SLC? (Aug 9th-12th)

June 25, 2006
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I am so excited for Sunstone I could jump up and down singing “Hallelujiah.” The preliminary program is now out (click here to view). Anyone want to meet for breakfast or lunch or something during the conference? Or do a get together after one of the evenings? Let me know. I’d be happy to organize something. I can’t wait to meet some of you!!!!! Also, if you haven’t registered yet, please consider registering. Not only can I promise that you will thoroughly enjoy it…but I can also tell that Sunstone could use your support. I hope to see many of…

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A Consolidated List of “Highlights” So Far on Mormon Stories

June 23, 2006
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For those who’ve joined us recently–I’ve created a consolidated list of the major works I’ve done since starting the Mormon Stories podcast. Check it out, and let me know if I missed anything, and if there’s anything here you didn’t know about.

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Auditioning for Co-Hosts for Conversational Podcast

June 23, 2006
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Have any of you ever listened to any mutli-host podcasts? Some of my favorites are: Pardon the Interruption (Sports) This week in Tech Left, Right, and Center (Politics) I have some secret, big plans in the medium/long-term for the Mormon Stories podcast as it tradionally has been–but I might get energized in the short term if I could find some really smart, witty folks from across the Mormon spectrum who were willing to be co-hosts in more of a conversational style podcast–where people from the left, right, and center discuss Mormon issues. Anyone interested? All you need are: 1) a…

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Cool New Podcast!!!! “An Athiest’s Prayer” — With John and Jana Remy

June 23, 2006
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The Remys are 2 of the coolest people I know (and I haven’t even met them yet). Perhaps that statement is as ironic as the title of their new podcast: “An Athiest’s Prayer.” For my more conservative readers, please don’t be put off by the title. These is spiritual folk (as they say). Don’t confuse spiritual with religious–not always the same. Give them a listen, and let us know what you think!!!!! I’ll do so now as well!!!! John

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Southpark Creators Working on Mormon-Themed Broadway Muscial!!!

June 21, 2006
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Southpark Creators Working on Mormon-Themed Broadway Muscial!!!

Holy Moly!!!! Mormon Play By ‘South Park’ Creators A Reality South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are working on a Broadway musical – about Mormons. The new show – which will be co-created by Avenue Q writer Jeff Marx – is currently being developed by the comic duo but is yet to be given a title. Marx told Bang Showbiz: “Trey and Matt were over with me in London recently while I open Q here and so far we’ve written about four songs but we’ve got loads more ideas. “The show is going to have nothing to do…

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This I Believe: How Do You Believe in a Mystery?

June 20, 2006
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On my way home from work, I heard a really good radio essay on NPR–as part of their “This I Believe” series. It captures, in many ways, my own personal belief in God. I hope you enjoy. How Do You Believe in a Mystery? by Loudon Wainwright III, Singer-songwriter Morning Edition, June 19, 2006 · Here’s a question: How do you believe in a mystery, in something you don’t understand and can’t prove? When we’re children we’re encouraged to believe in some mysterious things that turn out to not necessarily be true at all — things like the Tooth Fairy,…

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My List of “Must Read Books” for Mormon Studies

June 19, 2006
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“Must Read” Books on Mormonism and the LDS Church: Overview: Mormon America: The Power and the Promise (Hardcover), by Richard and Joan Ostling The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-Day Saints, by Leonard J. Arrington (Author), Davis Bitton On the 19th Century Church: Quest for Refuge: The Mormon Flight from American Pluralism, by Marvin S. Hill The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, by D. Michael Quinn On the 20th Century Church: David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, by Gregory Prince The Angel and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle with Assimilation, by Armand Mauss The Mormon Hierarchy:…

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When Religion Becomes Evil

June 16, 2006
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Anybody heard of this book? A friend lent it to me today and told me to read it. No connection to Mormonism at all. On the back I found the following “Five Warning Signs of Corruption in Religion.” They are: Absolute Truth Claims Blind Obedience Establishing the “Ideal” Time (no idea what they mean here) The End Justifies Any Means Declaring Holy War Let me be clear….I’m not accusing our faith/church as being evil, or as being more “guilty” on these 5 counts than any other religion today is. Still…I thought it was interesting, and worth noting….if for nothing other…

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Lots and lots of press coverage on the Jeffrey Nielsen Firing at BYU — 2 Options for What the Brethren Were Thinking

June 15, 2006
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Check these out…. USA Today LA Times Seattle PI Inside Higher Ed Pink News.UK KCPW in Utah KVOA in Tucson, AZ Even BYU NewsNet in 2 places: http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/60124 http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/60127 — With a fun/interesting quote….”This has very little to do with academic freedom” And lots of others….. Personally, I believe that the “Brethren” are both smart, and sincere….so my main question is…..which of the following scenarios are more likely? The brethren knew that they would get this type of press over this firing, and WANTED this coverage as sort of a public/PR/political “stake in the ground”, or Was it more of…

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BYU instructor Jeffrey Nielsen let go for questioning LDS stand on gay marriage

June 13, 2006
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BYU instructor Jeffrey Nielsen let go for questioning LDS stand on gay marriage

Bummer. A BYU Philosophy professor got fired for publicly voicing his views about the church’s opposition to gay marriage. His original editorial essay in the Salt Lake Tribune can be found here: http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_3896635 The news about his firing can be found here: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_3934360 Jeffrey is also being interviewed on RadioWest, which can be streamed, or downloaded later from here.

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ABC News Nightline: Life of Gay Mormons

June 8, 2006
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Others have posted this, but I can’t help myself. This is a well-worth-watching video on the life of gay Mormons. Check it out here, and please pass it on.

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030-033: An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins — An Interview with Grant Palmer

May 15, 2006
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In this episode of Mormon Stories, we interview Grant Palmer–author of the book entitled “An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins.” Grant (M.A., American history, Brigham Young University) is a three-time director of LDS Institutes of Religion in California and Utah, a former instructor at the Church College of New Zealand, and an LDS seminary teacher at two Utah locations. In episode 1, Grant talks about his childhood (growing up in Salt Lake City), his mission experience in Virginia, and his early years with the Church Education System. In episode 2, Grant talks about his move with CES from California to…

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Interviewing Grant Palmer — Please Post Your Questions for Him

May 9, 2006
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Within the next few days I will be doing a 3 hour podcast with Grant Palmer–his life, his time w/ CES, his books, his church disciplinary court, and his future. I would love to be able to present him w/ questions from my listeners. Please post any questions you would like for Grant to answer, and I will coallate and ask. Thanks!

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027-029: My ( John Dehlin’s ) Story

May 7, 2006
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At least once each week a listener will ask me (John Dehlin) about my testimony of the LDS Church. Liberals or ex-Mormons sometimes call me an apologist. A few conservatives have accused me of being a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” So, to dispel the speculation–and in response to lots and lots of requests–I recorded a 3 part episode sharing a bit of my own story within the Mormon context. For more details on the episodes, see below: Part 1–Mormon to the Bone: In this episode, I discuss my childhood, youth, and missionary experiences within the Mormon church, through the end…

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Progress on my “Top 10 Tough Issues in Mormon History” Site

May 1, 2006
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Hey, For an HTML class I’m taking for my masters at USU, I’ve been creating a web site dedicated to laying out the “facts” surrounding 10 of the top issues that cause some people to struggle within Mormonism and Mormon History. You can check out the site here: http://www.mormonstories.org/top10toughissues I very much welcome your feedback….for both tone and accuracy. As mentioned on the home page, my design specs for this site are: For each topic, we will in no way attempt to cover the material comprehensively. Instead, these topics will be VERY BRIEF. Our intent will be to do the…

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Teen Suicide in Utah – My Elder’s Quorum Lesson Today

April 23, 2006
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Today, Deseret News began a multi-part series on Teen Suicide in Utah. Some of the statistics were surprising to me: Every 11 days a Utah teen commits suicide Utah leads the nation in suicide among men 15-24 Utah has the 11th highest overall suicide rate in the nation The Utah youth suicide rate has tripled over the last few years Suicide is the #1 cause of death among Utah teens Since today’s Elder’s Quorum was on death & resurrection, I decided to teach a lesson on depression and suicide in the church. My sources were:

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026: Blacks and the LDS Priesthood–An Interview with Darius Gray and Margaret Young

April 12, 2006
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026: Blacks and the LDS Priesthood–An Interview with Darius Gray and Margaret Young

Recently, Brigham Young University invited Darius Gray–one of the founders of the LDS Genesis Group, and a black Mormon for over 30 years–to deliver a presentation entitled, “Blacks and the LDS Priesthood.” An audio-based PowerPoint presentation of this podcast can be found here. In this podcast, Darius re-delivers this presentation, along with Margaret Young. Darius and Margaret are co-authors of a trilogy dealing with black Mormon history entitled: Standing on the Promises. 2 of the links mentioned in the podcast are: http://mormonstories.org/top10toughissues/blacks.html and http://www.ldsgenesisgroup.org/howtoreach.html Finally–Darius, Margaret, and Richard Dutcher are collaborating on a documentary about blacks and the Mormon church…and…

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025: New Order Mormons Pt. 2–Ann’s Story

April 9, 2006
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Today we finally release Part 2 of our series on New Order Mormonism. New Order Mormons’ web site can be found here. According to their web site, “New Order Mormons are those who no longer believe some (or much) of the dogma or doctrines of the LDS church, but who want to maintain membership for cultural and social reasons.” In part 2 of this series, Ann discusses New Order Mormonism in detail, and talks about the “Seasons” within her life as a New Order Mormon. Note: After listening to the initial release, there’s a 5-10 minute segment near minute 45…

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022-024: Black and Mormon — The Darron Smith Story

March 30, 2006
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In this 3 part series, we interview Darron Smith–a black man who joined the LDS church as a teenager in Tennessee. After serving a mission for the LDS Church and graduating from the University of Utah, Darron began a 10 year teaching career at church-owned Brigham Young University. Late last year, Darron’s employment was terminated in response to (according to Darron) his public outspokenness regarding the LDS Church and its treatment of blacks–past and present. In this podcast, Darron: Discusses his positive upbringing in the LDS Church Provides a brief history of Blacks within the LDS Church Discusses his termination…

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