My home teaching companion, Bruce, shares lots of wisdom when we home teach together. This month he perceptively mentioned that most people treat God like he is either their Bellhop or Santa Claus. We hope to call on God to take care of undesirable tasks for us or to give us stuff. Sure we might be profusely grateful when he fills either of these roles but gratitude doesn’t change the basic Santa/bellhop role we tend to cast God in. In this, the second installment of my reading of the newly released Volume 2 in Blake Ostler’s Exploring Mormon Thought series I’ll cover Blake’s views on the type of relationship we should have with God (covering pages 15-22). (more…)
How often do we actually use our free will? I have vigorously defended the doctrine of robust free will here and elsewhere on the Web. I am convinced that if there is no free will in the libertarian sense then the entire structure of the gospel fails. We must be free to choose our future in a robust way or this life is no real test at all. With no libertarian free will we all find ourselves as predestined cogs in the great machine called the universe. But having said that, I’m not at all convinced we actually use our free will very much at all in life. (more…)
It never ceases to amaze me how many Mormons will, when push comes to shove, choose to believe in a fixed future and a fated existence instead of an open future and a robust version of free will. What gives? (more…)
One of the benefits of attending the SMPT conference last week was that I was able to pick up a copy of the second volume in Blake Ostler’s series on Mormon theology: Exploring Mormon Thought (Volume 2) – The Problems of Theism and the Love of God. It was supposed to come out about this time last year so it was a welcome sight sitting on the table in the lobby (even if mine came sans the dust jacket). This post will be in the first in my series covering the book. If I can stay focused I will post on the entire book over the next several weeks. (more…)
What do you get when you jam 80 people enthralled with Mormon philosophy and theology into one room?
Answer: A very interesting conference.
I have always loved to dance. I’m what you would call a “self-taught” hoofer who has had minimal exposure to dance instructors. This handicap has never stopped me from fully immersing myself in a good dance groove when the mood has struck. I can often be seen shakin’ my stuff while cleaning, doing dishes, or whenever I get the chance. (more…)
The Sunday School lesson I taught yesterday ended up being relatively lame, I thought. I did not connect well with the class members. The Spirit was not really teaching us most of the time. Sure, there were some high points of the lesson, but overall it was weak. I’m pretty bummed about it — mostly because it was surely due to lax spiritual preparation on my part. (more…)
A simple way to understand paradigms is to see them as maps. We all know that “the map is not the territory.” A map is simply an explanation of certain aspect of the territory. That’s exactly what a paradigm is. It is a theory, an explanation, or model of something else. … In the more general sense, it’s the way we “see” the world — not in terms of our visual sense of sight, but in terms of perceiving, understanding, interpreting.
(Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, 23)
I hate waking up early in the morning. If I had it my way I wouldn’t wake up until I was completely ready and then my housekeeper would tiptoe in with a tray of hot cocoa and pastries. I would then read in my bed until I was ready to face the day. (more…)
[The following guest post was submitted by bloggernacle regular, DKL. Enjoy!]
I am not a woman, not by sex and not by gender construction. Even so, I have a considerable and active interest in women. I am, of course, heterosexual, and I am–thankfully, for the single women of the bloggernacle–married. I also have a mother, two sisters, and four daughters. I have some stake in the avenues of opportunity available to the women who influence my life, not the least of whom are my daughters. I am unequivocally committed to their having every worldly avenue of opportunity open to them. Am I necessarily starting off on the wrong foot with regard to women’s rights if I adhere to some form of gender essentialism? (more…)
The kids were watching the Lilo & Stitch TV series the other day. (Yep, that’s the sort of place I get the ideas for my theological/philosophical posts…) It was an episode where Stitch’s cousin had the power to erase memories so all the characters were getting amnesia. The notion of amnesia made me wonder… If I lost all of my memories would I still be me? I mean, I think of myself as the sum of all my experiences. My character has been etched out of those experiences and the choices I have made along the way. Plus my family associations and memories are an integral part of what I consider me. What if all of that were erased? What would be left? Would it really be me? (more…)