One Shot or Many? a post on MMP and mercy

February 28, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 3:15 pm   Category: MMP

Geoff has written on this topic numerous times, and as I’ve always wanted to bite the hand that feeds me, to see what it’s like, here goes… (more…)

Questions on omnipresence

February 27, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 11:25 am   Category: Theology

We have discussed often omniscience and omnipotence and there meanings in relation to the reality of our Father in Heaven. Less discussed is Omnipresence. The LDS Guide to the scriptures defines omnipresence simply as “God’s ability to be present everywhere through his spirit.” [1] Robert Millet opines, in his article ”What is our Doctrine?” a sort of clarification to this. He says “Our Father in Heaven is indeed omnipotent, omniscient, and, by the power of His Holy Spirit, omnipresent.” [2] (more…)

Amazing Smurfiness, how sweet the sound

February 24, 2007    By: Geoff J @ 7:17 pm   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices

One of our readers, CEF, asked me to read and review a book by Philip Yancey called “What’s So Amazing About Grace?“. In fact, CEF even sent me a copy of the book. I have been promising to review it for months now so I figured I had better get to it. I am admittedly only five chapters in at this point but I figured that if I started reviewing the book I’d have more motivation to finish it. (I have a dozen or more books that I have started but not finished — I’m not sure what that reveals about me…) Anyway, in this post I will give some general impressions about the book so far and address some issues about the word grace that have been on my mind in recent months.

Ownership, Will, and Giving to God

February 23, 2007    By: Jacob J @ 2:29 am   Category: Theology

In a recent post, Matt quoted Elder Maxwell talking about the submission of our wills as the only real gift we can offer God. It was one of Elder Maxwell’s favorite doctrines to expound upon.

The submission of one’s will is placing on God’s altar the only uniquely personal thing one has to place there. The many other things we “give” are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when we finally submit ourselves by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, we will really be giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give. (Neal A. Maxwell, If Thou Endure It Well, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996, pg. 55.)


On giving away books.

February 22, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 10:08 am   Category: Life,Mormon Culture/Practices

A recent post at FPR regarding the best books has gotten me thinking about a few questions.

A. If you had the opportunity to give only one book to someone, in an effort to share your beliefs with them, and with the probability being that you would never see them again, what book would it be and why?* Is the Book of Mormon really the best book for that job?

Peer-Relationships, Power and Paradox

February 19, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 9:03 am   Category: Ostler Reading,Theology

In Blake Ostler’s seminal series on Mormon Thought, he proposes that the purpose of our existence is that God wants to have a peer-relationship with us. A relationship based on “love” in the truest sense of the word, where we and God are interdependent on one another for our mutual continued happiness and where we are not in a parent-child relationship, or a master-slave relationship, but a true peer to peer relationship.

There is a sort of Paradox to this. To achieve this peer-relationship, the ultimate step seems to be absolute submission.

Is Work for the Dead Irrational?

February 14, 2007    By: Blake @ 10:32 pm   Category: Life,Theology

There have been several political commentators lately who have opined that Mitt Romney cannot be trusted to be rational because he believes in baptism for the dead (notwithstanding 1 Cor. 15:29). This is not about Mitt, but about this kind of political spin non-sense. There are also Jewish groups who are offended that LDS do work for their dead. I think they take this work to be an implicit message that we judge their progenitors to not be good enough as Jews so we must make them Mormon. However, imputation of such motives is itself a judgment of Mormon by attributing motives which I don’t believe could possibly explain this work for the dead.

Love has got to go.

   By: Matt W. @ 2:17 pm   Category: Life,Theology

I was going to wait to post this, but since it is Valentines Day, I figured it would be a bad marketing decision to wait.

In my last post it became apparent towards the end of the comments that love is a very inefficient word. So it’s got to go.

On Ostler: The Conditions of Unconditional Love

February 13, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 9:30 am   Category: Ostler Reading

I’ve been invited to do some posts here. For those of you who don’t know me, I have no favorite color. I like sunshine, orange juice, and my life mainly revolves around my 3 year old. I go to church every sunday, have family home evening every week, and daily chastise myself for being not as good as I would like in personal prayer and scripture study. I am, in other words, the stereotypical 29 year old LDS father.

Last night I was going through Chapter 1 of Blake’s Book 2 (as there was a mishap in my order and I received book 2 instead of book 1, and, to make matters worse, the cover was torn upon delivery, so I can not return it.)

Anyway, I don’t want to belabor the point here, but I am not sure I understand Blake fully. Or rather, I think he is over-complicating things.

Why Marriage?

February 11, 2007    By: Blake @ 9:29 pm   Category: Life,Theology

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. I have been researching the distortion of statistics by the media to make marriage look like a bad deal that only a fool would consider. I’ll follow up on that; but first I choose to focus on why anyone would choose to be married at all. L.D.S. theology makes marriage the centerpiece of the kingdom of God. Why? Are there good reasons for marriage?

You are the best! (Jesus and compliments)

   By: Geoff J @ 3:13 pm   Category: Scriptures

Everyone loves being complimented. I know I do. And I like sincerely complimenting other people too — everybody wins with a good compliment.

Jesus knew people love being complimented too. In our Sunday school lesson today I noticed an odd compliment that Jesus seemed to pay to some rather trollish Pharisees. Here is the passage from Luke 5:

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