28 Jul 2021

Learning from the Latter-Day Saints, Part II

In the first part of this article, I attempted to show how Latter-Day Saints relate to doctrine in a robustly positive sense, seeing it not as mere “head knowledge” or a burdensome inheritance from the past, but as a path for life. This pragmatic approach to doctrine is commonplace within the Latter-Day Saint community, so much so that one can almost be forgiven for thinking that the tradition is bereft of, or at least uninterested

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14 Jul 2021

Learning from the Latter-Day Saints, Part I

A few years ago, I was working on a sermon, listening absent-mindedly to hymns on a list generated by YouTube. Deep in my writing, I suddenly became aware that the music floating through the background of my mind was filled with strange and unfamiliar words: If you could hie to Kolob in the twinkling of an eye And then continue onward with that same speed to fly, Do you think that you could ever, through

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16 Mar 2015

Sects Positions: Sex, Celibacy, and Marriage

In the last article in this series, we attempted to give an introduction and summary of the Mormon worldview through the doctrine of “eternal progression,” the age-long process through which we all move from intelligences to spirit children to mortal bodies to exalted Godhood in eternal marriage. It is within this final stage of eternal progression that we will be camping out in for a while, seeking to understand how “celestial marriage” functions within Mormon

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02 Mar 2015

Sects Positions: How God Became God

“What kind of being is God? Does any man or woman know? Have any of you seen Him, heard Him, or communed with Him? Here is the question that will, peradventure, from this time henceforth occupy your attention.”1 Thus begins the King Follett Discourse, one of the most famous sermons delivered by Joseph Smith, the Prophet and first president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Over the course of this article and

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17 Feb 2015

Sects Positions: Jehovah’s Witnesses and the End of the World

What practices, beliefs, and people qualify as Christian? How broad is the umbrella of Christianity? How might orthodox Christians learn from, even submit to, the wisdom of deviant “Christian” traditions? Within a new series of articles, what I’m calling “Sects Positions,” I’m going to examine these questions while looking at the beliefs of the fringes of Christianity, groups that many would not consider true Christians. In particular, I will be engaging with the Jehovah’s Witnesses

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