The Gnosis

March 31, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 11:48 pm   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices

It was while reading Hugh Nibley that I first learned that the Greek word gnosis simply meant “knowledge”. Therefore the term Gnostic meant basically “knower” or a person who claimed to have secret knowledge. Among the ancient Gnostics were the various quacks and whatnot that claimed to have the secret knowledge that Jesus imparted to his apostles. After the apostles and priesthood were taken from the earth some Gnostics (so-called) had a field day with the seekers of truth. The reason I bring this up is because until a few years ago I still believed (as I suspect most church members still do) that there was some sort of inner circle in the church of those who had the gnosis — who jointly knew and understood the mysteries of God. I thought there was a sort of club that included lots of folks… temple presidencies, general authorities, religion professors and institute directors, and perhaps other leaders that knew the answers to all those unclear deep doctrinal questions I had. Not only did they know the answers in my mind, but that all agreed on those answers. Boy was I ever wrong! (more…)

Problems with the My Turn on Earth model

March 30, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 12:25 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP

In the comments following my recent Models of our Pre-Mortal Existence post some readers sensed that I was skeptical of the commonly held notions of what out pre-mortal life was like. Well, I am skeptical. I think the model as presented is not consistent with the whole of scripture or the teaching of Joseph Smith. (I just noticed that some of these things are being discussed over at Splendid Sun even as I post this.) It is not the ingredients I object to, but rather the interpretations of those ingredients and the way they are put together. First I’ll recap the model as I have heard it then I’ll explain why I think it is an inadequate and inaccurate model. Here is what I wrote in that post: (more…)

Guest Post: Follow up comments on Peter and Easter

March 27, 2005    By: Blake @ 10:24 pm   Category: Scriptures

(Note: This is a guest post based on a comment that Blake made that I thought was too good to get buried at the end of a dying thread. With his permission I’m reposting it here. Enjoy! -GFJ)

I wanted to return to a question that many of you have asked about the prophecy that Peter would deny Christ thrice. I had kinda been wating for someone to bring this up, but since it now appears that (that) thread is dead, I think it may now be useful. (more…)

The Natural Man = Causally Determined Man?

March 26, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 11:49 pm   Category: Determinism vs. free will,Foreknowledge,Theology

My recent post asserting that exhaustive foreknowledge is a faith crippling and pernicious doctrine spurred a teensy, tiny debate… The exchange has been a very interesting one. I’d summarize that debate, but that wouldn’t do it justice so you’ll have to check it out yourself. One of the challenges posed to me and those of like mind was: “Ok, if God doesn’t see the exact future just how does he pull off prophecy, let alone have assurance things will go his way?” If I wasn’t such a sucker for a challenge I would just say “God is just that smart. It may seem difficult, but at least it is not a paradox like trying to reconcile free agency and a fixed future”. But of course I am a sucker for a challenge so here is a model of how he might pull this off. This is a continuation of my earlier post called “How God could figure out the future without foreknowledge.(more…)

Models of our Pre-Mortal Existence

March 23, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 2:54 am   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP

We Mormons are very proud of the fact that knowledge of a pre-mortal existence has been restored to us. The fourth missionary discussion where this doctrine is used to be taught was often the favorite discussion because the idea of a pre-mortal life resonates with so many people. But what do we really know about the details of our lives before we arrived here? Next to nothing. We have some vague scriptural references to councils and wars, but the details are anything but clear. As a result the models the saints have come up with can vary dramatically. I’ll mention a few I’ve heard here, and you can add more in the comments. Here goes: (more…)

The Faith-Crippling Doctrine of Absolute Foreknowledge

March 21, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 6:14 pm   Category: Foreknowledge,Theology

I have already discussed the idea of how absolute foreknowledge would actually be quite useless to God here, here, and here. Steve Hancock brought up the subject again recently over at Splendid Sun. Some people believe absolute foreknowledge and free agency are compatible but I don’t. In fact, I have become increasingly convinced that believing in a fixed future (which is required if God has absolute foreknowledge) is a pernicious and faith-crippling doctrine. (more…)

A New Thang in Town

March 20, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 11:25 pm   Category: The Thang

Well whaddya know! I got my new blog live… It’s a work in progress still but it appears to be functioning so far. Stay tuned mis amigos — this oughta be fun.

State of the Blog and Ugly BYU

March 17, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 11:07 pm   Category: The Thang

Well I made it back from a fun family trip to Utah. I see that the comments are hanging up forever with Blogger still so my first order of business is to find a new home for my blog. I expect to have www.newcoolthang.com up and running by this weekend. More on that to come. (more…)

Goin’ back to Utah

March 9, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 3:20 pm   Category: Life,Mormon Culture/Practices

I graduated from BYU in 1994 and haven’t been back to Utah since. That is about to change my friends. (more…)

I found the Bloggernacle in the D&C!

March 8, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 4:23 pm   Category: Bloggernacle,Scriptures

Yep, Sunday school inspired me again this week. We were studying section 25 and this verse about the Bloggernacle jumped out at me: (more…)

Guest Post: My Quinny (Part 3 of 3)

March 7, 2005    By: Kristen J @ 8:09 pm   Category: Life,Mormon Culture/Practices

So with my newfound faith in priesthood blessings (discussed in part 2) I returned home to my husband and children ready to relax. February was waning and I was ready for an easier, less stressful time. We had some friends visiting us so we thought it would be fun for the kids if we heated up our pool so they could enjoy a mid-winter swim. On the 24th my friend and I were watching the kids swim, trying to keep track of the little ones. I had been watching my 3 year old son making sure that he didn’t get out of the Jacuzzi and into the big pool with out a life vest. (more…)

Guest Post: Another priesthood blessing (Part 2 of 3)

March 6, 2005    By: Kristen J @ 9:04 pm   Category: Life,Mormon Culture/Practices

I told you of my less-than-splendid experience with a priesthood blessing in part one. Fast forward to 2005; life was good. And then along came February! (more…)

Guest Post: Help Thou Mine Unbelief (Part 1 of 3)

   By: Kristen J @ 1:32 am   Category: Life,Mormon Culture/Practices

In 1994 upon completing our degrees at BYU my husband Geoff and I decided to move to his hometown, San Diego. There he would pursue an MBA at San Diego State and we would start our family, or so I thought. Once we settled in to paradise I thought that I would become pregnant with in a few months of trying. Well, months went by and nothing. The wait was agonizing each month only to be disappointed every time. (more…)

Give me convenience or give me death!

March 3, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 7:33 pm   Category: Bloggernacle

I always chuckled at that saying. I think that was the title of an album by a punk band in the 80’s — but I can’t remember which band it was. In any case it applies to the new home page for the Mormon Archipelago: www.ldsblogs.org Go check it out and let me know what you think!

The purpose of the new site is to be a useful central place to see what’s going on at all of the best blogs in the Bloggernacle. We hope it will continue to grow more useful over time. Be sure to try our the sweeeeeet search function written by my super-smart younger brother Russ. Yer gonna love it!

Twisting God’s arm?

March 2, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 7:51 pm   Category: Foreknowledge,Personal Revelation,Theology

In Sunday school this week I used the term “twisting God’s arm” as a way of describing the process of petitioning the Lord with enough fervency and faith (and sometimes through enough people) to get a mighty miracle. It was a tongue-in-cheek reference and I qualified this term by mentioning God wants his arm twisted in this way by his children. But I have decided that twisting his arm is not the proper analogy for this process. (more…)