Video Tribute to Truman Madsen

May 30, 2009    By: Matt W. @ 7:28 am   Category: Life

I thought this was wonderful, and wanted to make sure we could all share in it. I especially loved the Covey Boys’ Madsen Impersonations, but that’s the 5 year old in me.

So many others have said so much about Madsen’s Passing, and how he impacted all our lives, I am not sure I can add anything.

I guess I can say that as a convert, his lectures on the presidents of the church series is what allowed me to have a testimony of each of the Presidents of the Church. I guess I can say he was one of the greatest orators I have ever heard and I have every talk I could find by him on my mp3 player, and they’ve been there for years, because no matter how many times I listen, I don’t get tired of them. I guess I can say that I believe he forever changed Mormonism, raising it to a higher state, making it better by his own personal efforts.

I guess I can say I never knew him personally, but I will miss him terribly.

God Speed, Brother Madsen.

Story telling

May 27, 2009    By: Matt W. @ 9:08 pm   Category: Life

One place I think there is a big gap in theology and religion is the place of story-telling. Why, if it is so important that we have this life, do we spend so much time reading, watching, playing, listening to stories of other lives? What is the place of fiction and fantasy in God’s great plan? Does it have a place, or is it just pointless enjoyment? Sometimes, it can be a problem, like when I almost dropped out of college when Final Fantasy VII came out and I didn’t go to school for a month. Sometimes it can be a big problem. But other times, it can be such a blessing. Like when I decided it was ok not to be an atheist while reading the Fantasy Novel “Beyond Ragnarok”.

So what role does art, and particularly fictional stories, play in our theology?

Latest Book: “Great Expectations”

May 26, 2009    By: Geoff J @ 4:20 pm   Category: Book Reviews

I have recently picked up a new habit. I started checking books on CD out and listening to them when I can. I figured I’d post my thoughts on some of the books I read as a new series here at the Thang. My first book was Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

I was a little surprised by this book. There were parts in that book that were really funny. I was shocked when I found myself laughing out loud as Dickens amusingly described the adults surrounding young Pip (the main character) in the early parts of the book. I didn’t expect that at all going into this book written in 1861.

Grade: A-. (more…)

We Mormons probably should all be open theists

May 22, 2009    By: Geoff J @ 4:09 pm   Category: Foreknowledge,Theology

Our regular readers know that I have recently been teeing off on Calvinism around these parts in posts and comment threads. Of course in those discussions various Calvinists have tried to defend Calvinism in spite of the narcissistic and cruelly sadistic God it paints. After not having much logical ground to stand on in their attempts some of these Calvinism defenders have plaintively protested: “Well how do you reconcile real free will with God’s foreknowledge then?” My answer is simple: I don’t. I reject the idea of exhaustive foreknowledge because exhaustive foreknowledge requires a fixed future and a fixed future is fundamentally incompatible with real free will.

Chapter 5 – Atonement

   By: Kent (MC) @ 2:29 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Plan of Salvation

Click here for previous posts in this series and why I’m writing this children’s book.

Every living person is given the Light of Christ when they are born, which is also sometimes called our conscience. This light helps us know basic right from wrong. When we feel we should do something kind for someone else, and choose not to do it, we sin against this Light, which diminishes our light and defeats some of our purposes of being here. When we hurt someone else, it hurts us too and creates guilt. The largest consequence of sin is that it hurts our relationships with others to where we can’t be trusted by others and we can’t trust ourselves. In such a state, we wouldn’t be able to stand being with holy and clean beings like our Heavenly Father. Heaven is not just a place, but it is rather a society in which trust abounds; trust that my tender heart will be valued as highly as I value it. My character is defined by my trustworthiness with the needs and feelings of others.


Truman Madsen on Polygamy on Youtube

May 17, 2009    By: Matt W. @ 8:35 pm   Category: Life

I found it somewhat interesting tonight coming across this rather simple video of Truman Madsen frankly discussing Joseph’s Polygamy.


While I can’t speak to the historicity of the video (or the history of the video for that matter). I love me some Truman Madsen, and thought this video was fairly interesting.


Looking for something better than Twilight?

May 12, 2009    By: Matt W. @ 9:39 pm   Category: Life

Try Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Since the thread over at BCC has officially been closed for a while, thought I’d give a tip to you all.


“God made me do it” — On the motivation of the Fluffy Bunny Nice Nice Club

May 9, 2009    By: Geoff J @ 6:13 pm   Category: Calvinism

Ok I spent about on hour on the phone with everyone’s favorite anti-Mormon, Aaron S, today. It was a follow up to my last post about his motivations for being such a zealous anti-Mormon (aka, card carrying member of the Fluffy Bunny Nice Nice Club) which have long baffled me. My goal was to try to figure out how he reconciled his anti-Mormon zeal with his Calvinism. (If you are in the mood to be bored for an hour you can listen to the discussion here.)

The obvious disconnect between Calvinism and missionary work of any kind is this: Calvinists teach that God predestines all souls to heaven or hell before He even creates them. Therefore the story of our souls is over before it starts. Therefore missionary work won’t save anyone since the outcome is determined regardless of the hard work of anyone. Therefore, why bother?

My paraphrase of the answer from Aaron: God made me do it. (more…)

A zealous anti-Mormon explains his motivations

May 6, 2009    By: Geoff J @ 5:29 pm   Category: Calvinism

My favorite evangelical anti-Mormon, Aaron Shafovaloff, recently published the following explanation of his zealous anti-Mormonism (I have replaced his bullets with numbers for easier reference):

Some of you might wonder why those of us in the countercult ministry keep on keeping on. We persist because:

1. we love the Mormon people
2. we want our Mormon neighbors to have a warranted assurance of permanent and comprehensive forgiveness and secured eternal life
3. we are not of this world. Jesus prepared us (read John 15) for a negative response from those who are of this world (more…)