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Nine Moons

Negotiating LDS History and Faith Challenges (notes, recap)

Christian J - October 9, 2013

A few weeks ago, I attended the Negotiating LDS History and Faith Challenges presentation in Manhattan, organized by the Temple and Observatory Group and featuring Richard Bushman, Fiona Givens and Terryl Givens. I took some notes that I wanted to share with anyone who was not in attendance but might benefit from what was said. Upon realizing the choppiness of my notes and also my inadequacy in explaining the ideas and thoughts of the speakers, I hesitated.

What changed my mind was the interest from others and the desire to, at the very least, point people to an outline of the presentations and especially to point them to some of the referenced literature. If there is anyone out there who attended and would like to add a different or additional view of what was said, please do so in the comments. My own additional thoughts about specific points will be in parentheses. If there are exact quotes, I’ve used the appropriate punctuation, otherwise the notes reflect my best summary of what was said. (more…)

What Goes Around

MCQ - July 27, 2013

Since the time I understood the basic idea of it, I have always believed in the Hindu concept of Karma. In its most basic form, that idea of Karma is summed up by the aphorism, “What goes around comes around.” (more…)

FAQ: Temple Cancellation/Clearance

MCQ - June 18, 2013

Over at MormonMentality, NewlyHousewife has posted a great list of FAQs for those interested in temple cancellations or clearances. This info is not well known and is hard to find, so I’m reposting it here. Feel free to comment here or at MM.

10 frequently asked questions regarding Temple Clearance and Temple Cancellations.

Having divorced my husband, and talked with my local leaders at length I’ve decided to share what I have learned with others in the hopes that they’ll have a greater understanding of the process—whether for their own benefit or for the benefit of those around them.

Before I start, let me first define the two:

Temple Clearance: Sought by the man when he wants to remarry. He is sealed with his first wife, and will be with the woman he is marrying—men cannot seek clearances if they are not engaged.

Temple Cancellation: Sought by the woman. She is no longer going to be sealed with her former husband, and is likely to be sealed with another man in the near future—women can seek clearances if they are not engaged, but it is highly discouraged. (more…)

N.T. Wright on Jesus

Christian J - April 1, 2013

I took the advice of Henry Eyring yesterday – imagining the talk that I needed and wanted to hear. I’ve linked to the best and last part below, for your viewing pleasure.

We need to meet him today, with the dust of the street on our shoes and in our souls.

Tithing And Responsibility

Christian J - March 19, 2013

A court has ruled that paying back taxes is a higher priority than paying tithing – for one LDS businessman. I expect, for many, this will be viewed as an outrageous breach in the fabric of religious freedom. However, when does paying tithing become irresponsible? (more…)

Prophets Don’t All Weigh The Same

Christian J - March 6, 2013

Mormons like to beat themselves up for not giving enough value to the man they call prophet. And there may be something to that, for a variety of reasons. However, the practice goes off the rails when we start throwing in historical prophets as a comparison.

“We would all sit up a little straighter if it was Moses right?” And on and on about the complacency of modern life and the ease in which we receive the Word. Its true, many of us do live a more comfortable life than our forebears. And for many in history, scripture (or information of any kind) was terribly hard to acquire. But those are not the reasons that we value some prophets more than others. (more…)

When Women Don’t Want The Priesthood

Christian J - February 25, 2013

Imagine for a moment a Northeastern urban ward. The average age is 32, a large number of RMs/temple married, both men and women college educated and the most common political affiliation you would find is “moderate”. (more…)

Brother Husband

D Christian Harrison - February 1, 2013

If the stars align just so, my first novel will be released this summer. Needless to say, I’m excited.

It’s been a two-year labor of love. I love the story and I love the people in the story. I can’t even bring myself to call them “characters”. They’re certainly more real to me than half the people I know on Facebook.

The book, while not a Mormon book per se, is awash in Mormon questions and Mormon answers. Polygamy, gay marriage, and the meaning of love and faith and family in the wake of the end of oil. It also asks what happens to a global, hierarchal Church when the wells go dry …

So what do you do with a hard-won global empire when the global low fuel light is flickering? Do you call everyone home? Do you shutter operations and pray for a miracle? Cold fusion, perhaps? The Second Coming, maybe? The answer came, one Sunday morning, five years before the oil stopped flowing. In a letter translated into 180 languages and read from every pulpit.

Brother Husband, Chapter 5

Want to hear more?

Chapters 1–4 are available as an audio preview on Soundcloud:

 

You can also like Brother Husband’s fanpage on Facebook.

But here’s the question for you: how do you imagine the end of oil might affect the Church? Assume the end of oil also spells the end of reliable electricity … how do wards change? How does worship change?

Wear Pants To Church Day

MCQ - December 12, 2012

A group is asking Mormon women to wear pants to church this Sunday as a sign of support for gender equity. I support the idea of gender equity and I am supportive of this effort, though I don’t know anything about the group that is behind it. It’s causing an uproar of sorts, and some backlash, even though the Church has stated that it does not officially take any position on the question of whether women should wear dresses or pants to church meetings:

“Generally church members are encouraged to wear their best clothing as a sign of respect for the Savior, but we don’t counsel people beyond that.”

-Scott Trotter, Church Spokesman (more…)

The Best and Worst of the “Mormon Moment”

MCQ - December 3, 2012

We’ve been hearing for a while now about the so-called “Mormon Moment,” a singularly insipid moniker for the period of time beginning roughly around the start of Mitt Romney’s candidacy for president in 2008 and probably now drawing to a close with his defeat this year. His non-stop candidacy over those years, combined with his role as a faithful Church member and leader brought unprecedented attention to the Church. This led directly or indirectly to all kinds media spotlights on the Church and gave rise to or influenced other cultural touchstones including political issues, a broadway musical, television shows and documentaries like The Mormons on PBS. Arguably, the attention even may have influenced some changes in longstanding Church policies and/or practices. (more…)

Ann Romney Does SNL

MCQ - September 23, 2012

Check out this hilarious clip from SNL’s weekend update and let me know what you think. Just when you think you know what they will do, SNL goes a whole other direction.

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

MCQ - September 19, 2012

A fragment of a book written in Coptic has now been discovered which suggests that early Christians of about the fourth century believed that Jesus was married. This may not be earth-shattering news, but it does raise some interesting questions. For myself, I have always believed that Jesus was most likely married, despite the paucity of evidence on the subject. It just seems more likely to me that he would have set an example of being the perfect husband (and perhaps father?), along with the other things he did perfectly.

What about you? Do you have any beliefs or assumptions about Christ’s mortal marriage or lack thereof? Does the importance of marriage in our doctrine play any part in your assumptions? Does this new discovery impact your belief one way or another? Should this have any impact on those who practice or believe in celibacy?

Brightly Beams

MCQ - August 7, 2012

Here’s another great version of one of my favorite hymns:

Brightly Beams Our Fathers Mercy A Cappella from Jamez on Vimeo.

The Lower Lights: A Hymn Revival Volume 2

MCQ -

The Lower Lights // I Saw The Light from The Lower Lights on Vimeo.

The Lower Lights is a group of amazing musicians and performers who have taken it upon themselves to rework some of our hymns in a style that is newer and somewhat less, well, churchy and starchy than we may be used to. The style of their albums is folky and bluegrassy, yet still spiritual and perhaps even more meaningful than the original arrangement, at least to some. We’ve talked about them before, when their first album came out. I’m happy to let you know that their second volume of hymns came out last month, and even happier to tell you that it’s even better than volume 1 (which is saying something). (more…)

Agree or Disagree?

MCQ - July 2, 2012

The intellect of man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.

-William Butler Yeats

Discuss.

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