There is controversy in the news with several former church members who have been strongly influenced by the book Visions of Glory. In this presentation, we explore some questions around that book and its genre, which is called apocalyptic.
Questions we explore:
Continue reading “Latter-day Saint Apocalyptic, and Visions of Glory as Case Study”
When Moses was called as a prophet, he had an extraordinary visionary experience where he saw God represented as a burning bush.
When Isaiah was called as a prophet, we read of a dramatic visionary encounter with smoke filling the temple, heavenly figures called the seraphim, and more.
When Ezekiel was called as a prophet, he offered an elaborate description of divine beings that defy any normal description.
But the prophetic call of John the Baptist, who Jesus labeled as greater than any prophet before his time, is described in only seven words that are found in a very short verse in the book of Luke.
Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. (Luke 3:2)
That’s it. No sensational experience, just… the word of God came to John.
Continue reading “John the Baptist, preeminent prophet”
There’s a quote from Jonathan Haidt’s “The Happiness Hypothesis” that has haunted me ever since I read it many years ago:
As in Plato, Christian love is love stripped of its essential particularity, its focus on a specific other person. Love is remodeled into a general attitude toward a much larger, even infinite class of objects. Caritas and agape are beautiful, but they are not related to or derived from the kinds of love that people need. Although I would like to live in a world in which everyone radiates benevolence toward everyone else, I would rather live in a world in which there was at least one person who loved me specifically, and whom I loved in return. (emphasis added)
I have long and easily felt God’s love in the general sense, “stripped of its essential particularity”. I know that God is good, and because God is good He treats everyone kindly and patiently. Of this I have no doubt. But am I loved, in particular? I know the answer is yes, but I have long struggled to actually feel that love.
Continue reading “Feeling God’s Particular Love”
This video points to a Triggernometry episode recounting a Gen Z woman’s experience with critical race theory and manufactured fragility:
Continue reading “Reverse CBT in the Church”
The source video is from Tik Tok. The story is that a lesbian and her wife who use they/them pronouns walked into a gay bar and she melted down over being called a lady. So, the gay guys in the bar kicked her out. Notice that as she is whining and performing for the camera, she has an empathetic enabler reassuring her that the mean world has mistreated her.
What did President Russell M. Nelson mean when he said to “never take counsel from those who do not believe”?
Why is it possible to create miracle-free alternatives to sacred history?
Should we be unsettled when we read that someone has created a narrative of our sacred history that denies miracles?
What is the role of memory in retaining the stories of miracles in our sacred history?
We discuss these questions and more in this presentation. YouTube narration below:
Continue reading “When Scholars Dismiss Miracles”
Sola Scriptura is the idea that scripture is the only authority for doctrine and for resolving questions of faith. It’s common in protestant sects, but it’s also embraced by fundamentalist-minded Latter-day Saints and Mormons. Our version of sola scriptura manifests itself in conversations like these:
Church leadership: we are announcing a new policy on accessing church computer systems in meetinghouses.
Critic: I don’t see any revelation in the scriptures on that! Show me in the D&C where we have a revelation on church computer systems!
Continue reading “Friends don’t let friends embrace sola scriptura”
“Follow the Prophet” is a phrase that many people have come to regard as quaint or childish. In fact, it is the exact opposite. It’s not a commitment that anyone should be unclear about; it’s a deep and intelligent and mature commitment for people who are spiritually serious.
Video narration below:
Continue reading “Follow the Prophets, Without Hesitation or Apology”
Church members often seem to get discouraged and doubtful over the prospect of their exaltation. It’s time for us to transition to thinking about this concept in ways that are more energizing and hopeful.
Video presentation below:
Continue reading “Congratulations, you are probably being exalted”
- Doubting, disbelief
- Disagreeing with a church policy or guidance
- Negativity, cynicism
These things are not necessarily apostasy; they might just indicate that a church member is going through a hard time.
So, what is personal apostasy? What are some of its common manifestations and how can we discern it?
This is the subject of our latest presentation. YouTube narration below:
Continue reading “Discerning Personal Apostasy”
Preference falsification is when someone publicly expresses a preference that they do not really hold. The phrase “virtue signaling” arose to describe a form of preference falsification; progressives tend to voice loud support for cultural transformations in the direction of diversity and inclusion. But when Hollywood creates movies that align with these professed values, progressives do not actually go to see those movies. “Go woke, go broke” is just a way of saying progressives claim to want things, but when presented with those things they claim to want, they do not choose those things.
Continue reading “Preference falsification and progressive religion”