The Mormon blog sphere (I’ve decided there’s no real “Bloggernacle” anymore, it’s too divided and Balkanized to have such a unifying name anymore) has been abuzz about the recent changes at BYU for the religious class requirements. Generally, the consensus has been that this is a bad thing – even those not totally shocked have only offered a very qualified “wait and see” approach.
I, however, think the changes are (probably, likely) a good thing.
For those who came in late: Continue reading
Title: How Do I Know If I Know?
Author: John Bytheway
Publisher: Deseret Book
Number of pages: 138
Reviewed by Ivan Wolfe for the Association for Mormon Letters
John Bytheway has made a fairly nice niche for himself writing books aimed at Mormon youth that do quite a few things well: He doesn’t talk down to them, he avoids overly complicated language, and he presents the ideas straightforwardly.
I could see a complaint that his writing is too simplistic in handling controversial aspects of the gospel (his work is not at all like Adam Miller’s recent “Letters to a Young Mormon” which does tackle hard issues). However, such a criticism would be missing the point. Continue reading
In the most recent conference, Elder Oaks said:
“today, when [followers of Christ] hold out for right and wrong as they understand it, they are sometimes called bigots and fanatics.”
I expect that from the world. What most depresses me is that too many of those calling Mormons bigots and fanatics are, well, other Mormons.
[I also find it interesting how Oaks and Packer have switched places recently among the more progressive set of Mormons].
At college (Ricks College, which really dates me!), one of the oddest controversies I encountered dealt with students complaining that the DJs were playing a filthy, dirty song about sex at every dance. Now, I have no complaints about people actually complaining about songs that are actually and explicitly about sex, but this one was a bizarre one: “Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane (this also dates me, since most people are more familiar with the recent Rascal Flatts in the Pixar Cars movie).
The funeral was very cathartic – it actually helped me gain a testimony of the necessity of rituals around the important times in life (birth, marriage, death, etc.). However, I have had a hard time getting the distance required to say what I really wanted to say about my dad. I keep crying every time I try to write this eulogy, as it means I really have to admit he really is gone. I know that he isn’t really gone, and I can’t imagine what it would be like for me if I didn’t have a solid testimony of the Gospel, but it still hurts.
This is not the tribute my father truly deserves, but it’s the best I can do for now. I feel I’ve delayed too long, so I will post the best I can, rather than wait too long for more distance. Continue reading