Can blogging be spiritual?

April 26, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 10:03 pm   Category: Bloggernacle,Widtsoe Reading

In 1937, John A. Widtsoe presented the following test as a measure of spirituality. I really like what he says:

Spirituality in man or woman may be recognized by simple tests, of which the three following are of major importance:

In the time thou eatest thereof…

April 22, 2007    By: Jacob J @ 8:46 pm   Category: Scriptures,Theology

Many of the prevailing ideas surrounding the atonement have parallels in our ideas about the fall. For example, the idea that our sins are transferred to Christ in the atonement is very similar to the idea that Adam’s transgression was transferred to each of us in the fall, giving us a “fallen nature.” I often pontificate against these sorts of transferals, as I don’t believe sinfulness or righteousness can be transferred from one person to another in an economic sort of transaction.

Instead of Adam’s transgression making the rest of humanity inclined to sin, I favor the view that the fall effected a change in the spiritual environment. The Earth fell from the presence of God. According to this explanation of the fall, the natural tendency of humankind to sin is explained by our pre-existing weakness before coming to earth. When we leave the presence of God to face the experience of life on our own we find that we have not yet developed the strength of character necessary to remain righteous in the face of temptation.

Now, there are many scriptures that could be brought to bear on this topic, but I wanted to focus this post on a favorite of mine. I don’t remember ever seeing the following scriptural argument made, but then, I don’t read much. I am interested in your reaction/criticism. As is often the case, I could be way off base. (more…)

Of course personal revelation is our ultimate epistemological trump card!

April 21, 2007    By: Geoff J @ 7:47 pm   Category: Personal Revelation

I have been diverting myself by debating with several of Zelophehad’s Daughters and their friends over the past few days. The ZDers are mostly a group of intelligent and well-educated Mormon women (many of whom are actually sisters) who like to talk about, well, Mormon women’s issues. After two too-long threads we arrived at a disagreement on what what the ultimate “trump card” (their term) is when it comes to understanding metaphysical truths (aka the ultimate realities of existence).

The general topic of the latest debate specifically was this subject: Is God a sexist? In other words, does God see women as the property or possessions of their husbands?

(No, I’m not kidding. Some of them really are deeply concerned that this is the case. I can only imagine how distressing taking such a metaphysical nightmare seriously would be.) (more…)

Wedded Bliss

April 20, 2007    By: Kristen J @ 8:54 am   Category: Life

As of this summer I am officially no longer a “newly wed”. G and I will hit our 15 year anniversary right about the time the temperatures are reaching their peak. For some of you that may seem like a drop in the bucket and others it may seem like an eternity. For me, there are days when it feels like I just got married and days when it feels like I’ve been married forever. (more…)

Man, As The Head Of Woman

April 19, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 12:29 pm   Category: Scriptures

Some people are offended by the sensibilities of two scriptures by Paul which seem to note a secondary status of women in relation to men. This is my attempt to analyze one these two scriptures. (more…)

Widtsoe on MMP

April 16, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 8:06 pm   Category: Widtsoe Reading

THe Following is a lengthy excerpt from evidences and reconciliations, which was quite possibly the most popular book by John A. Widtsoe. In it he rejects reincarnation. I submit it here for your amusement and comment. For those concerned with copywrite issues or interested in reading more of evidences and reconciliations, the whole text is available online here.

Three doctrines lie at the foundation of belief in reincarnation.

First, the pre-existence of the “soul” of man; second, the indestructibility of the “soul” of man after death; and, third, the possibility of constant development of the pre-existent, eternal “soul.” These are all necessary doctrines to the thinking mind. They are supported by divine revelation. But, in the explanations and applications of these truths, the proponents of reincarnation have failed dismally, and have shown how the semblance of truth, becoming untruth, may lead men into vast fields of deception…

The first SNL clip to be shown in General Conference

   By: Geoff J @ 7:42 pm   Category: Life,Mormon Culture/Practices

Ok, it won’t really be shown in conference — but it sure could be. Click here to see the skit called “Don’t Buy Stuff”. (Hat tip BCC). Nothing like a little comedy (starring Steve Martin no less) to make a point about provident living. Reminds me of a comedian I once saw pitching his revolutionary “stop eating so much” diet.

On Grudging Obedience

   By: Jacob J @ 12:21 am   Category: Life,Scriptures

Not too long ago DMI Dave said he was going to start putting up something devotional on Sundays. I like the idea, but this is as devotional a post as I could come up with for today.

The Lord commanded Cain to offer the “firstlings of their flocks for an offering unto the Lord” (Moses 5:5). You might expect that Satan would come along and tell Cain not to do it. Instead, Satan “commanded [Cain], saying: Make an offering unto the Lord” (Moses 5:18). Rare agreement between God and Satan. Seem strange? Read on… (more…)

I’m Freaked Out!

April 11, 2007    By: Kristen J @ 8:46 pm   Category: Life

The time has come to potty train my Grand Finale and I don’t feel I’m up to the task. You see, there is nothing that strikes more fear in my heart then potty training a kid. It’s too hard, all the excrement, I just don’t want anything to do with it. (more…)

Today was a good day.

April 10, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 8:04 pm   Category: Life


Welcome to the world, Sarah Anne.

Graphing Eternal Progression

April 7, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 3:33 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,Theology

Due to some confusion I caused myself in the last post, and also due in part to the following [il]logical problem, I have developed 5 graphical models of eternal progression that are possible alternatives which I believe are the only models there are, from a reductive standpoint. [1]

3 variations of the same question: The problem of infinity and beginningless spirits

April 6, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 12:26 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,Theology

1. The two track Question: If Spirits are without beginning, God has always been God, and Time is Infinite, Why did God wait forever(an infinite amount of time) to begin the Plan of Salvation? How can he ever introduce the plan of salvation if it takes him forever to do so?

2. The God via self-effort (one track) Question: If Spirits are without beginning, Time is Infinite, and God Developed himself to be God via self-effort and obedience, it took him forever(an infinite amount of time) to do this. How can God ever reach the time where he is who he is, if it takes forever to get there?

3. The infinite regress of Gods (one track) Question: If spirits are without beginning and God became God by going through a process just like we are now, even down to the fact that he had a God like we do, and his God had a God, etc etc. God had to wait forever for his God to make him God, so how can God now be God if it takes him forever to become such?

Kristen J and the Highway

April 3, 2007    By: Kristen J @ 7:21 pm   Category: Life

Beware, this is a really long post!

It’s about 2:30 am and I’m racing up a dark and lonely street known as Happy Valley Road. There is nothing pleasant on this pathway. In fact I feel as if I’m in my own personal nightmare and I’m running as if the Hounds of Hell are after me. I can only hope that no lonely and miserable souls are coming up behind me. (more…)

One Flesh

   By: Geoff J @ 12:42 am   Category: Theology

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen. 2: 24; Matt. 19: 5; Moses 3: 24; Abr. 5: 18)

This verse is one of those rare scriptures that was quoted by Jesus himself. Modern readers usually view it as a simple endorsement of marriage, but many ancients viewed it as being much more literal than that. For thousands of years there has been a view that Adam and Eve (and thus perhaps all humankind) were once literally joined as male and female into a single being in the beginning and that returning to a similar fusion is a goal for humans in the end. In this post I’ll list some of the sources that lend themselves to this idea starting with canonized scriptures then moving to a few non-canonized ancient texts and finally pointing out some modern LDS comments along these lines. I am not arguing for the truth of this idea here — my goal for now is simply to lay out a few sources for readers to ponder and perhaps discuss. I don’t know whether this notion has any validity or not, but I definitely think it is fascinating. (more…)

A Rational Theology: Sin, Damnation, and those who do not accept the Gospel.

April 2, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 1:44 pm   Category: Widtsoe Reading

Ok, so I’ve given up on orderly systematic analysis of this book. Why? Because the more I read of Widtsoe, the more I see that he begins ideas in one chapter and ends them much later. (For example, his view of epistemology from chapter 2 is returned to in Chapter 33).