A Savior Is Born

From the Mormon Newsroom, “A Christmas initiative that includes a video in multiple languages and outdoor advertising in New York City’s Times Square was launched today by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The 2015 initiative, “A Savior Is Born,” focuses on finding, knowing and following the teachings of Jesus Christ.”

“We live in a world where the power and influence of God in our daily lives are downplayed and dismissed and where the need for a Savior is ignored and even mocked,” said Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the December issue of the Church’s Ensign and New Era magazines. “For those who are devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ, there has never been a greater need for us to profess our faith in our Savior, privately and publicly.

“The two-minute video can be found at christmas.mormon.org, as well as on the Gospel Library app. The video features children in locations around the world, including Israel, Los Angeles, New York and Utah, quoting Isaiah (see Isaiah 9:6 and Handel’s Messiah) and expressing their personal belief in Jesus Christ.”

Read the full press release HERE. Please share this video with your families, friends, and neighbors this season.

Review of BYU Joan of Arc Docudrama

Jeanne d'Arc, An artist's c. 1485 interpretation.

Jeanne d’Arc, An artist’s c. 1485 interpretation.

She is one of the greatest women in history, with the most documentation of any Medieval personality, but perhaps the least understood. Secularists can’t deny her importance to history, but have a hard time evaluating the spiritual claims. The miracles attributed to her gave her the status of Saint after a lengthy trial ending in burning as an heretic. France has given her a hero’s honor for saving the nation, but even past enemies celebrate the strength and convictions of an unlikely leader. It is no wonder that BYU picked Joan of Arc for the recent annual holiday spiritual docudrama series.

Unlike the offerings in the past, the story of Joan of Arc is much more epic. It covers what is known as 100 years war between two powerful nations. There is a lot of history and territory to cover for a small production. For the most part the docudrama succeeds as a primer, explaining how events in the past contributed to England taking over most of France. Anyone who wants to learn a more detailed historical context will be disappointed. Hints of a more complex narrative are dropped throughout the story. As an example, it never explains how a young girl from the bottom of society could be the fulfilment of prophecy. What the prophecy is or how she fits in was quietly passed over without comment. Despite a lack of the deeper contextualization, the narration has a logical flow that allows those less familiar with the history to follow along. Continue reading

The Mormon Case for Criminal Justice Reform

In October 2015, Senator MIke Lee gave what I believe to be one of the single most important public policy addresses of our generation entitled The Conservative Case For Criminal Justice Reform. In his address to the heritage foundation, Senator Lee lays out a conservative and moral basis for supporting efforts to reform our criminal justice system and focus on the rehabilitation of criminals. This is an excerpt of my favorite part, but implore you to read his powerful address in full:

“If there is one thought I can leave with you today, it’s this: criminal justice reform doesn’t call on conservatives to compromise our principles, but to fight for them. It’s about making our communities—the little platoons of service and cooperation at the heart of our republic—safe and prosperous and happy.


It’s about basing our laws, our court procedures, and our prison systems on a clear-eyed understanding of human nature—of man’s predilection toward sin and his capacity for redemption—along with an uncompromising commitment to human dignity.


Respect for the equal dignity of all human life, no matter how small or weak, and for the redemptive capacity of all sinners, no matter how calloused, is the foundation for everything that conservatives stand for. Our approach to policing and punishment should be no different. So, as I see it, criminal justice reform properly understood represents principled conservatism at its best.” (Emphasis added)

Continue reading

The war between identity and behavior

This is a guest post by Stephen Measure, who is a Mormon indie author. Most of his writing so far could be considered a defense of the moral positions of the LDS church on the controversial topics of our day. He’d like to write about something else yet continues to find there is more he needs to say.

This post was cross-posted at Stephen Measure’s personal site:


There is a war being waged within our culture today, two opposing worldviews about sexuality, both of which offer different visions of right and wrong. One of these worldviews is compatible with the moral beliefs of my religion, the LDS Church, and other religions that share those moral beliefs. The other worldview fights against us.

The Identity View Continue reading

Myth of God’s Changing Mind

Whenever a controversial position is held by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, detractors point to what they see as changes made in its history as evidence pressure tactics can work. They believe if there is enough “agitation” from without, with help from within, that doctrines become malleable. All it takes is for the prophet to “get a revelation and God’s mind will change on a dime.” Get the government involved, such as threatening tax exemption, and its a sure thing. Views like this are understandable for non-Mormons who have tentative grasp of Mormon history and doctrine. Members who believe this have no excuse other than blind devotion to personal presumptions. They set themselves up as wiser than the Prophets and Apostles chosen by God to be His representatives. Looking closer at the end of polygamy and Priesthood ban used as examples to prove LDS doctrine can easily be changed, it becomes less obvious there really was much of a difference.

Revelation is the foundation of the Gospel. This is not in dispute. A belief in prophets opens up the possibility of new understanding and the changes that can come with greater knowledge. To study the Doctrine and Covenants is to learn of doctrinal and procedural growth and expansion. Priesthood did not come out of whole cloth, but line upon line as the membership increased requiring new needs. Even up to the late 20th Century Priesthood organization was transformed as one set of positions were discontinued and another developed. Theological changes are not outside the realm of possibility, with questions about the afterlife following a pattern of questioning and then learning more. Damnation to an eternal lake of fire is transformed into a period of punishment and refinement before the final judgement. Heaven has multi-layered meaning with the traditional dichotomies of the soul’s fate a temporary condition. Too many mistake learning more as a sort of repudiation of former beliefs. The two most abused examples don’t prove this notion. Continue reading