Euth in Asia

September 30, 2007    By: Jacob J @ 11:30 am   Category: Ethics

Not only do I think euthanasia should be decriminalized on libertarian grounds, but I personally don’t consider euthanasia to be immoral in all situations. There are several angles from which this issue is debated, but the ones I am most interested about here are the religious and moral angles. (more…)

What is Worship?

September 27, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 10:13 am   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices

Cjones brought up a question on a previous thread that I was planning on posting on.

As Christians, we worship God.
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How Many Gods Are There?

September 26, 2007    By: Blake @ 3:31 pm   Category: Ostler Reading,Theology

This post is a summary of my third volume — and also responding to the rather uninformed banter I often hear from evangelicals regarding plurality of gods. My third volume is entitled: Exploring Mormon Thought: Of God and Gods. There are certain concepts that Joseph Smith elucidated at the very end of his life that challenged the tradition at its foundations. These concepts may be summarized as follows: (more…)

A Problematic Parable (of Evil)

September 25, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 1:11 pm   Category: Foreknowledge

Sorry for the rambling nature of this. It’s been going through my head all day, and I post it now, incomplete as it is.

The Doctrine and Covenants contains an interesting parable that I noticed for the first time this morning. It’s short, and basically, Christ asks his children (all of us) to “esteem his brother [or sister, of course]” as themselves. He then says:

For what man among you having twelve sons, and is no respecter of them, and they serve him obediently, and he saith unto the one: Be thou clothed in robes and sit thou here; and to the other: Be thou clothed in rags and sit thou there—and looketh upon his sons and saith I am just?

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Homecoming gets BYU back on track

September 22, 2007    By: Geoff J @ 3:43 pm   Category: Sports

BYU football righted the ship this afternoon, manhandling the Air Force Falcons 31-6.

It was by no means a perfect game for BYU — the Cougs still turned the ball over twice and had too many penalties — but it was more than enough to get the job done. The defense decided to show up today and did their best to convince BYU fans that the Tulsa debacle was an anomaly. Max Hall and the offense continued to impress and tight end Dennis Pitta, freshman running back Harvey Unga, and juniors Manase Tonga and Michael Reed all had big games. (If I were an opposing MWC defensive coordinator I would not be looking forward to trying to stop BYU for the next few years with that kind of young talent on offense.)

This was a good win for BYU. It puts the Cougs atop the conference standings and knocks out a 3-0 team. With the other top MWC contenders (TCU and Utah) coming to Provo this year the Cougs seem to have the inside track at winning the conference at this point. If BYU can continue to dominate at home all they need to do is avoid an upset in places like Albuquerque next week. Now that BYU has proven they remember how to win we’ll see if this team knows how to win away from home next Saturday.

BTW — Anybody actually see the game? I listened online to the KSL radio broadcast. The fine folks at Comcast and The Mtn. decided to not even sell an internet streaming video of this game… lovely.

Anyway, sound off on the game or team Coug fans.

Divorce and LDS Civil Marriages

September 19, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 10:09 am   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices

Personally, I am not opposed to civil marriage within the LDS community, so long as it accords with the understanding that eventual temple sealing as the ideal is being sought out. I do understand that prophets and apostles in the past have encouraged temple marriage over civil marriage for a number of reasons. [1] There are several spiritual or religious reasons for this, which I will forego at this point as some may consider them subjective. Instead, let us look at more objective reasons for marrying in the temple.
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Survey: How much do you pay in Fast Offerings?

September 17, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 11:36 am   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices

The Church website says The Church has delivered $906 Million Dollars in Humanitarian Service Since 1985. This is just over $41 million Dollars each Year. It is unclear if this is all-inclusive (Bishops Storehouse,Internal Ward Giving, Etc.) My Guess is that it is not. I am guessing this because this would come to about $10 per active member (assuming a 30% activity rate).

However, I have no idea why the church would not include the Bishops Storehouse or Internal Ward Giving. I was unable to find any data on the above site as to how this number is derived. However, the reason I suspect most Fast Offering expenditures are not included in Humanitarian Aid is that they are not included in the Humanitarian Aid giving in the UK.
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We have no Sideblog, but all you lawyer types may be interested.

   By: Matt W. @ 9:07 am   Category: Life

Of Mice and Mormons

I am somewhat surprised I have not seen this current event discussed anywhere else. In brief, Mormon Family Therapist students are discriminated against at Purdue University-Calumet. Mike Adams does a good job of previewing what should be an interesting case.

Since this is not typical NCT material, I am going to leave comments off.

Sometimes I am glad BYU games aren’t on TV anymore…

September 15, 2007    By: Geoff J @ 11:32 pm   Category: Sports

I didn’t see the game this week. I don’t get CSTV on my cable provider. Sounds like turnovers and penalties killed us again.

Sound off or vent here if you want Coug fans.

Revitalizing the Ward Library

September 14, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 10:09 am   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices

Recently I have taken to enjoying my Ward Library, which seems to be one of the best kept secrets in the church. No, I’m not talking about the old film strip projectors and film strips it still has failed to throw away, nor am I talking about the 100 or so vhs tapes with conference reports on them that will probably never ever be watched. I’m not even talking about the flannel boards and the flannel cutouts of Nephi, Jesus, and Mary Field Smith, all ready and waiting to make any primary lesson 10 times better.

I’m talking about books. Ones that you can check out and take home and read. (not just the torn up scriptures that the YM and YW check out for SS because their teacher makes them) My Ward Library has some interesting Gems in it. Here are a few:
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September 11th: a remembrance

September 11, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 7:13 am   Category: Life

6 years ago, I was a missionary in a little town called Siaton. I was the 4th missionary ever assigned there, and was, at the time, very proud of that. It was exciting and new, and we were having great success. It was, in many ways, the most challenging area of my mission, in that I was very sick and lonely most of the time I was there. Also, it was challenging because I was struggling with all the stereotypical things a missionary struggles with, only all at once: My non-member family, my fiance back home, my ethnocentricity, my lack of faith, my selfishness, my fear, my self. And it rained everyday all day, and had been doing that since August 1st or so.
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Why Are Creeds an Abomination?

September 9, 2007    By: Blake @ 1:11 pm   Category: Theology

At the “Mormon Coffee” Blog I posted a response to a post about what LDS see as being objectionable with the creeds. The post asks: “My question is, specifically what teachings in the Apostles’ Creed do Mormons think God finds loathsome or disgusting? Don’t Mormons claim to also believe all the points of the Apostles’ Creed?” They pointed out that the Nicene Creed says very little that LDS ought to find objectionable. I posted a response — but I see that my comments are still waiting moderation though several posts that were posted after mine have already been posted. Apparently a well thought out response is objectionable to the blog’s controllers. So I am going to post my response here. (more…)

Salvation of Children — is it really guaranteed?

   By: Jacob J @ 1:10 pm   Category: Scriptures,Theology

The automatic salvation of little children is hard to reconcile with the rest of what we know about the plan of salvation. If there is an “official” doctrine of the Church, it is that all little children are automatically saved in the celestial kingdom. Two representative examples are the EoM entry and BRM’s Ensign article on the same subject. However, it doesn’t take too much pondering of the “big picture” to wonder how this makes sense with the rest of our doctrine. (more…)

Turnovers, Penalties, and Lame Refs = BYU Loss in Pasadena

September 8, 2007    By: Geoff J @ 7:19 pm   Category: Sports

So it’s over. UCLA beat BYU today 27-17. The loss can be pinned on turnovers and penalties but the officiating seemed to play into both of those things as well.

BYU’s first turnover was the least controversial of the three. Max Hall tried to force a pass to Austin Collie and got picked off. The UCLA corner returned the interception for a touchdown. Ouch. The second turnover, a fumble, was highly questionable because it looked clear to me that the BYU tight end had a knee on the ground well before the ball came loose. In fact it looked to me like it was his knee hitting the ground that jarred the ball loose. The third turnover was equally suspicious with Max Hall losing the ball as he was being sacked. His arm was cocked back and moving forward just as the defender grabbed at the ball from behind him. The ball flew 5+ yards forward but the officials ruled it a fumble. Of course in both cases the reviews came down in favor of the Pac 10 team. (The Pac 10 is becoming well known for shoddy officiating (home cookin’?) and I can see why.)
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Blake Ostler Online

September 7, 2007    By: Jacob J @ 11:06 am   Category: Ostler Reading

Blake Ostler has been a big influence on my thinking since I first ran into one of his papers in Dialogue. After that, I started doing searches in BYU library for all the articles I could find. I remember being very excited when I heard he was putting out his first book (which I devoured in one weekend). The chance to discuss his book with him here at the Thang is what got me into blogging.

So, I am happy to pass on his announcement that he has recently put up a website with links to his many works. My searches were clearly not exhaustive, and now I have some reading to do. Thanks Blake!

http://blakeostler.com/

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