About J. Max Wilson

J. Max Wilson is one of the founders of the Millennial Star. You read more of his thoughts about Mormonism and other topics on his personal blog: http://www.sixteensmallstones.org.

On the Folly of Demanding Demographic Diversity among the LDS Apostles

[Cross Posted from Sixteen Small Stones]

As you probably already know, three new apostles were called during the recent October 2015 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Apostles serve as special witnesses of Jesus Christ and hold priesthood authority and keys to direct the work of God on the earth. Jesus directs his church through these living apostles and prophets. And as members of the church we believe these men are called by God through inspiration to the living prophet and president of the church.

Some members of the church, and not a few dissidents and former members, have expressed disappointment and feelings of hurt because the three new apostles do not come from diverse enough backgrounds to meet their contemporary concepts of Diversity. All three new apostles are white men, born in Utah. These disappointed members and critics wanted new apostles with backgrounds more representative of the diversity in church membership, which now has more members outside of the United States than in.

There has been plenty of commentary about this criticism, and I don’t want to rehash what has already been said. But I do want to step back and take a more abstract look at some of the problems with wanting the Lord to call apostles based on demographic diversity.

Diversity is a good thing. Each individual brings a unique package of experience, background, talents, and ideas that can contribute to building the Kingdom of God.

However, when considering diversity, it is important to recognize that we, as human beings, tend to draw arbitrary lines and to group people based on simplistic similarities. However we draw those lines, we unavoidably generalize, oversimplify, and reduce people from complex individuals into artificially uniform groups.

Continue reading

LDS Friends & Foes Rendezvous Tonight


Just a quick reminder that the 2nd Annual Friends & Foes Rendezvous is tonight from 6 to 8 pm.


I hope to see some of you there. Especially those who dislike my online interactions but who have never met me in person.

If you won’t be able to attend but would like to meet up some time, please feel free to contact me through the contact form at http://www.sixteensmallstones.org and we can arrange to have lunch.

And whether I see you or not, I hope you have a fantastic General Conference weekend!

J. Max Wilson

What You Should Know About That Mormon Gender Issues Survey

[Note: this post was co-authored by J. Max Wilson and LDS Philosopher]


“If the answer to any of these questions is not 100% yes, then come with me right now for a free introductory seminar on power through positive real-estate.”

Regarding the “Mormon Gender Issues Survey” that you may have seen being passed around social media:

The survey was created by a group calling itself the “Mormon Gender Survey Group”, which includes in its membership well-known LDS dissenter and agitator, John Dehlin, as well as other progressive Mormon activists who have pushed for the church to ordain women and to change its doctrine regarding homosexuality.

The survey questions are worded in ways that subtly push their typical agenda. Continue reading

Debunking that Quote about Brigham Young’s Greatest Fear


The greatest fear I have is that the people of this Church will accept what we say as the will of the Lord without first praying about it and getting the witness within their own hearts that what we say is the word of the Lord.” – Brigham Young

This quote is probably familiar to many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have participated in online discussions about the church.

Faithful members have had it thrown in their faces by dissidents and detractors on numerous occasions. Dissenters see it as a powerful sound-bite in support of the notion that members of the church must be continually vigilant that the fallible leaders of the church do not lead the church astray.

And as a soundbite it is reasonably effective. But there is one problem: Brigham Young never said it. The quote is completely spurious.

Continue reading