Templates for Responding to Tyranny

A friend of mine, fed up with the constant, gradual abandonment of freedom by American society and the encroachment of the Federal government on basic human rights, asked, “At what point is violent resistance to government ” Many people have commented something to the extent of, “Past that point already,” or “Getting there soon,” or “Can’t wait for this to happen.” It seems that many people are itching to get into a physical fight against our government in the name of preserving liberty.

I believe that armed resistance will eventually happen, and I believe that we would do best to steer clear of it. Based historical precedence, I suspect that in the event of armed resistance, the Lord’s spokesmen (the prophets and apostles) will ask us to decline to participate. Continue reading

“….and I, the Lord, would fight their battles.”

This is a guest post from my friend, Scott Stover. I really appreciate his message about how wrongly we romanticize war.


I’ve written on the topic of war before, but I’ve never felt like this before.  My rebellion was triggered by a simple program at our ward Christmas party, which reprised the 2001 Walter Cronkite presentation with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir of the famous Christmas truce that occurred in 1914during World War I.  I’ve heard the story several times before, but this time was different.  This time I was struck at a gut level by the sheer evil that is war.  I think my reaction was prompted by the detail that a particular politician in England had the brainstorm to allow classmates and friends to all sign up together, in the same unit.  Enlistments shot up – the army quickly doubled in size, but the end result was that when a particular unit was wiped out, so was an entire generation of young men from that town.  I don’t know why it hit me like it did, but I suddenly felt revulsion at a deep spiritual level, as tears welled up inside me for the promised hope that flickered and then died with each individual death. Continue reading

On Being Behind the Times

I think that the modern age is often pretty arrogant about its relationship with earlier times. We seem to assume that collectively we are always more enlightened, more ennobled, more understanding, smarter, more discerning, than those who’ve gone before. We’re always “climbing the mountain,” and each decade finds us farther up the ascent.

I mean, after all, we’ve ended slavery, women can vote, we’ve rallied against racial discrimination, etc., etc. We wear these accomplishments with pride, as evidence that we are intellectually superior than the generations before us who’ve either ignored these injustices or perhaps even engaged in apologetics in their favor.

Because of this assumption, we look to the shifting opinions of the masses as a guide for how we should view the world. Continue reading

Announcing a New Website

I would like to announce that the website www.ldsphilosopher.com has been restored to active duty. It has been completely renovated. We will be posting new content almost daily. Nathan Richardson and I are very excited about this. We’ve spent many months building the site theme and functionality from scratch, so if you encounter bugs or have questions, let me know in the comments here, so we can fix them. The following information is lifted from the “About” pages of the site. Be sure to read the About pages, as they contain useful information about the site’s purpose and functionality.

What is the Site About?

We explore the world of ideas through the lens of the LDS faith. While our focus is philosophy, we’ll dabble in almost all realms of academic thought. The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ invites us to reconsider many of the assumptions we have about the world. As such, it is the lens through which we approach all of the subjects we write about. Our goal is not to bring philosophy into Latter-day Saint thought, but rather to contrast revealed truths with the philosophies of the world. We’ll compare insights found in ancient and modern-day revelation with the prevailing assumptions in science, religion, psychology, government, and maybe more.

What’s New?

We blogged for several years on all sorts of subjects related to philosophy and religion. Over time, however, it became clear that we are somewhat perfectionistic when it comes to writing. Continue reading

Thoughts on Baptismal Covenants

Here are some remarks that I shared at my grandmother’s funeral yesterday. I hope it is not too personal.


When I was 8 years old, I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I barely knew what I was committing to. I still don’t. But I know now that at least one of the promises we make to God when we are baptized is to “bear one another’s burdens, … mourn with those that mourn … and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:8-9). We promise to live as Christ lived—for the sake of the other.

We do this first by befriending those close to us—our family members. We learn to love them, make their interests our interests, their concerns our concerns, their pains our pains. We learn compassion, which literally means to suffer with others. Passion means “suffering,” and the prefix com means “with.” All parents know what it is like to suffer with and on behalf of their children. And children and grandchildren, as their parents and grandparents grow old, learn what it is like to suffer with and on behalf of their parents and grandparents.
Continue reading