New Gilbert Temple announced — three miles from my house! [updated]

April 28, 2008    By: Geoff J @ 9:38 am   Category: Life

So I found out just yesterday that the church officially announced it will be building a new temple here in Gilbert Arizona. I thought that was pretty cool. Then I found out where they plan to build it and realized that it is like 2 miles from my house (as the crow flies). That rules. No more of those arduous 45 minute drives into Mesa!! But seriously, I’m pretty stoked about it. Rumor has it this will be a fully operational temple, albeit not a giant one. I guess there are benefits to living near a lot of Morms.

Update: Brian Duffin sent me the picture below but it is reportedly actually a picture of the Panama temple:

Gilbert temple artist rendition

Update 2: This one should be more accurate

Gilbert temple

Modernism and Traditionalism

April 27, 2008    By: Matt W. @ 8:32 pm   Category: Theology

While I wait for Blake Ostler’s book 3 to arive in the mail from, I’ve been whiling away the free moments skimming Paulson and Musser’s excellent introduction. Mormonism in Dialogue with Contemporary Christian Theologies . (It’s a great book, with some great introductions to different schools of thought. Check it out if you get the chance.)


Trying to Confirm or Deny Local Folklore: Do Fast Sunday Priesthood Committees still happen?

April 19, 2008    By: Matt W. @ 10:36 pm   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices

Yes I know they’ve never been effective, but my stake does Priesthood Committee Meetings Every other Fast Sunday, which amounts to either 4 or 6 times a year, depending on whether you do them on the odd or even months. What’s odd is there is a rumor in our stake which has gone on for two or three years that the rest of the church got a first presidency letter years ago discontinuing these committee meetings, and though it’s [supposedly] in the handbook, that’s because book 2 hasn’t been revised since 1998. [I say supposedly because I only have book 1 and not book 2, oddly enough]

Here’s the thing: How do you look at first presidency letters? They don’t seem to be compiled or stored anywhere that is accessable.

Anyone have any ideas on how one can get this kind of information? I mean, I don’t want to vent, but I’ve never seen these things be effective in any stake or ward I’ve ever been in, and if there is a way I can free us from them and move on to better things, I’d love to hand a copy of it to my stake president. What drives me even more crazy is google searches pull back absolutely zero hits for priesthood committees outside of PEC and APC!

Further, I often hear little things like this “First Presidency Letter X said Y, so we need to do Z” and there doesn’t seem to be any general way to confirm or deny such.

Basically, I currently have this to take to my Bishop in the Morning to try to put a stop to this committee nonsense, but anything more would be nice.

NCT reader question: Eternal families paradox?

April 15, 2008    By: Geoff J @ 9:46 am   Category: Theology

One of our regular readers/participants, V the K, sent me this email recently. I figured I would put it up for all to respond:

I brought up this question in Sunday School yesterday, and no one had an answer for it beyond “there are just some things we don’t understand.” I wondered if you knew where it might have been addressed before. I did a search on New Cool Thang, but did not see it discussed. Here is the paradox:

1. Families are eternal, and once sealed together families are together for eternity.
2. BUT: After judgment, some of us are assigned to the Celestial Kingdom, some to the Terrestrial, and some to the Telestial.

OK, so if I’m judged worthy of the terrestrial Kingdom and one of my sons is assigned to the Celestial Kingdom and another to the Telestial Kingdom, then we’ve been separated, haven’t we?

I appreciate any insight you can bring to bear on this.

Calling and Election Made Sure

April 14, 2008    By: Geoff J @ 1:22 am   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices,Theology

I know this is a touchy subject for some people but I am trying to get a feel from our readers exactly what you all think having one’s calling and election made sure consists of. This is one of those subjects that gets mentioned and hinted at on occasion but I am not sure if there is a universal definition in the church. Here are some of the rumors/ideas I have heard or read about it over the years:

God’s Brain and Information Theory

April 2, 2008    By: Jacob J @ 8:55 pm   Category: Theology

There is a famous episode in Mormon history when Orson Pratt and Brigham Young were having a very public debate over various points of doctrine. One of the many things they disagreed about was whether or not God was increasing in knowledge and learning new truths. Brigham taught that God does learn new truths and eventually laid the smackdown on Orson by way of a first presidency message denouncing Orson’s opposing view. Ironically, Orson’s view is probably the prevalent one in the church today, mostly because of folks like JFSII and BRM. (more…)