About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the LDS church for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg contends Joseph was under commandment to restore plural marriage and taught the acceptability of plural marriage. But Meg suggests Joseph may have privately defied the commandment for love of his wife, Emma.

The Myth of Ego Depletion

Ego DepletionFor the past twenty years a narrative has been building steam. Willpower, it appeared, was a consumable commodity. If you used up your willpower too early in the day, you were left defenseless by evening, unable to continue making right choices.

A previous generation was known to say, “The devil made me do it!” Moderns were able to say with scientific verve, “I just ran out of willpower.”

Then junior scientists such as Evan Carter attempted to replicate the famous willpower experiments, only to be unable to repeat the results. A meta study of prior results was attempted, only to show no effect of “ego depletion.”

The formal Association of Psychological Science (APS) reports are not yet published, but the uncopyedited, unformatted reports can be reviewed at the APS website, and will be replaced by the published versions as soon as they are final.

For those of us wishing for a shorter synopsis, Daniel Engber wrote a cover story for last month’s Slate regarding the paradigm shift, titled Everything is Crumbling. Continue reading

The Relief Society might have handled it better…

BYU freshman, Madeline MacDonald, was reportedly 1 assaulted by a creep.

Ms. MacDonald did the right thing and reported the assault to the proper authorities. Then for reasons that seemed reasonable to someone at some distant time in the past, the rape report appears to have been forwarded to the BYU Honor Code folks. Said Honor Code folks then contacted Ms. MacDonald and let her know there was some question about whether or not she had broken the honor code. [Update: Nothing I said above is incorrect. However Michael Davidson has shared better information about the reason Ms. MacDonald’s past experience is hitting the news now.]

I’m about to send a daughter to BYU. Frankly, I’m less worried about her being sexually assaulted at BYU than at other institutions of higher learning. Institutional levels of stupid happen at any of a number of places.

Relief Society, 1842

But I couldn’t help but think back to Nauvoo in 1842, when terrible acts were occurring, Continue reading

Notes:

  1. I use the term “reportedly” as the one describing the event was a participant in the event. Had the description of the event come from someone who was not involved in the event, I would have used the term “allegedly.”

Reluctant Polygamist Limited Edition

RP_CoverReluctant Polygamist, the book that grew out of the Faithful Joseph series posted here in 2014, will be available via Amazon.com later this week. The Amazon price will be $14.95 + S/H.

To kick this off, I am offering a limited edition of autographed, numbered copies for $10 each, to cover costs and handling. The offer is only valid through Monday, April 11, at 11:59 pm MDT, or until 500 books have been requested, whichever occurs earlier.

Each limited edition comes with a personalized pdf excerpt (sent via mail), the signed book, and certificate.

The first twenty-five copies will be raffled off among those signing up by Saturday, April 9, at 11:59 pm MDT. The winners of the raffle will not be invoiced for their copies.

To sign up for the autographed limited edition, click on the SurveyMonkey logo or paste this URL into your browser: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BJ9TG8X

Continue reading

Denial

Rachel WeiszIn 2000, a British judge found Deborah Lipstadt innocent of libel with respect to her book, Denying the Holocaust. The movie Denial, now in post-production, documents the real-life court battle between Holocaust-denier David Irving (played by Timothy Spall) and Professor Lipstadt (played by Rachel Weisz, pictured). Directed by Oscar-nominee Mick Jackson and based on the book Deborah Lipstadt wrote about the trial, the movie may be expected to emphasize the difference between conscientious or objective historical research and “histories” that knowingly and “deliberately mis-represent or manipulate historical evidence.”

David Irving waited to sue Lipstadt in the British courts because English libel law puts the burden of proof on the defendant rather than the plaintiff. Lipstadt and Penguin won the case by demonstrating in court that Lipstadt’s accusations against Irving were substantially true and therefore not libelous. Mr Justice Gray produced a written judgment 334 pages long detailing Irving’s systematic distortion of the historical record.

The trial was the first time a legal standard was established for historical objectivity. For those of us who don’t have time to master all 334 pages, Wendie E. Schneider distilled the ruling into seven concise principles:

1) Treat all sources with appropriate reservations. This is a principle too often ignored in treatments of Mormon history. One can often predict the leanings of a historian by which sources they will include without critical review and which sources they will pretend don’t even exist. Continue reading

#LDSconf General Conference – Mar 26, ’16, Women’s Session

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Rosemary M. Wixom

President Wixom [General Primary President] will be conducting this meeting. President Thomas S. Monson presides.

President Wixom: Welcome! The First Presidency, several other apostle’s, and the presidencies and boards for the Relief Society, Young Women’s Organization, and Primary are present on the stand.

Choir of Primary girls, Young Women, and Relief Society sisters from over 50 cultures. Instead of the traditional pastels, the choir members are all wearing white shirts.

Choir and Congregation: #223 – Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?

Opening Prayer: Young Woman Continue reading