Moving to the lesser law — a bitter farewell to the 2.5 hour block

May 21, 2008    By: Geoff J @ 9:55 pm   Category: Life,Mormon Culture/Practices

It’s finally over. After about 4 years of enjoying the higher law in our stake — a 2.5 hour block every Sunday — we are switching back to the standard 3 hour block. Lament and wail oh ye Queen Creek saints; Zion hath fled!

I know what some of you are thinking: “A 2.5 hour block?? That must be awesome.” It has not just been awesome… oh no. It has been the most awesomely awesome awesomeness that ever inspired awe in some… uhhh… people. But alas it is over. Starting this Sunday we are back to three full hours. I don’t know how we’ll survive it. But survive it we must I suppose.

Baby girl, it was really nothing

May 15, 2008    By: Geoff J @ 10:59 pm   Category: Life

My third grade daughter was distraught the other evening. She has/had a crush on a boy and after school that day, fearless girl that she is, she asked him if he wanted to “go with” her. She never did find out his answer, but what made her distraught was that she later asked someone if it was ok for kids like her to “go with” a boy and she was told the answer was no because there was a “Mormon law” that said you shouldn’t date until you are sixteen. That kind of freaked her out. So that night after bedtime she tearfully came to Kristen and me to confess her perceived sin of earlier in the day. I calmed her fears the best I could and explained that basically it was really nothing and that she had not broken a Mormon law. I explained that there is nothing wrong with her having a crush on a boy and there is nothing wrong with her admitting it to him. And there is no law or rule against such crushes.

Forbidden Fruit

   By: Matt W. @ 10:42 am   Category: Scriptures

So, just to show I suck at New Years Resolutions, I switched from the Book of Mormon to the OT around the beginning of this month, and am currently in Leviticus.

Anyway, in Leviticus 19, we read the following:

23 ¶ And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.
24 But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the Lord withal.
25 And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I am the Lord your God.

Looking at other translations of the Bible, we see another word alternatively used for uncircumcised is forbidden.

So this got me thinking. A lot of the stories in the book of Genesis call on the law of Moses to illustrate part of the story. An example is Judah sleeping with Tamar, which requires Judah knowing and understanding Mosaic Law for it to make sense.

Is Eve’s story like this? Is the Forbidden Fruit she partook fruit of a tree that was under three years old?

(It’s interesting to note that the above mosaic ruling on uncircumcised fruit is put forth without a punishment attached, and thus could be considered only a transgression, rather than a sin out right.)

Any thoughts or feed back from you scholarly types?

What Was Mormon Thinking? Or, 30+ Chapters on War Followed By One on 200 Years of Peaceful Utopia?!?

May 6, 2008    By: Jacob J @ 4:12 pm   Category: Scriptures

The response to my previous post could be characterized as a collective “that’s it?” but I know that what you really meant was “oh yeah baby, that’s it.” So, while I am on the topic of redactors working macro-level messages into the volumes of scripture the are redacting, I want to call you attention to a very interesting paper in the JBMS and get your take on it. In his paper Prophecy and History: Structuring the Abridgment of the Nephite Records, Steven L. Olsen makes some very intriguing claims about the editorial intent guiding Mormon’s abridgment of the Book of Mormon. (more…)

The Nine Commandments

May 4, 2008    By: Jacob J @ 3:14 pm   Category: Scriptures

In a book called The Nine Commandments, David Noel Freedman argues that the Old Testament contains a hidden pattern, carefully crafted and put in place by an anonymous master editor† of the Primary History (Genesis – Kings). The hidden pattern is based on the Ten Commandments. According to Freedman, the history from Genesis to Kings is structured to show that the Ten Commandments were systematically violated by Israel (one commandment per-book) until God had no choice but to unleash the covenant curses on Israel, resulting in their capture and exile along with the destruction of the temple. (more…)

In which I ask a Seventy a question

May 3, 2008    By: Matt W. @ 9:35 pm   Category: Life

A few months ago, I enjoyed being in a Question and Answer session with Elder Anderson of the Presidency of the Seventy, as our stake was split, This weekend he has returned as we are being moved from our stake into another Stake, which is also splitting. Having anticipated this meeting for some time, I began compiling a list of questions I’d ask him, some about things like the second anointing, others about theodicies, others still about the atonement and pre-mortal life, but this morning, I felt a strong prompting to ask my wife what to ask, and she laid out her concern, which I am sure our sisters over at Zelophehad’s Daughters could empathize with. So feeling prompted by the Spirit, I asked Elder Anderson tonight in the Stake General Priesthood meeting:


A Dreamy Theodicy

May 2, 2008    By: Jacob J @ 10:41 pm   Category: Theology

Every night I go to sleep and have the most terrible dreams imaginable. I am torn to shreds by wild animals, my children die, I am forced to kill home intruders to protect my family, I show up to finals three hours late or without having studied, I am maimed, and a thousand variations on that theme. Occasionally, I am Superman, but even then, I usually develop some sort of flying disability just when it becomes important and I sort of drag along the ground rather than flying properly. (more…)