“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”
Is it possible for our church congregations to accommodate people who don’t believe in our doctrines or sacred history?
What should our congregations do — and avoid doing — in response to people’s struggles with faith?
Are there differences in male and female spaces when it comes to questioning and commentary?
What did President Oaks mean when he said that “research is not the answer?”
Seeker-sensitivity is way of doing church that was developed among some Christian communities in the 1970s. In this presentation, we discuss that trend and explore the question of what are realistic possibilities for accommodating seekers among Latter-day Saints.
Continue reading “Can Latter-day Saints have a seeker-sensitive church culture?”
Cynicism is a powerful anesthetic we use to numb ourselves to pain, but which also, by its nature, numbs us to truth and joy. Grief is healthy. Even anger can be healthy. But numbing ourselves with cynicism in an effort to avoid feeling those things is not. When I write off all evangelicals as hateful and ignorant, I am numbing myself with cynicism. When I jeer at their foibles, I am numbing myself with cynicism.
When I roll my eyes and fold my arms and say, “Well, I know God can’t be present over there,” I am numbing myself with cynicism. And I am missing out. I am missing out on a God who surprises us by showing up where we don’t think God belongs. I am missing out on a God whose grace I need just as desperately, just as innately as the lady who dropped her child sponsorship in a protest against gay marriage.
Cynicism may help us create simpler storylines with good guys and bad guys, but it doesn’t make us any better at telling the truth, which is that most of us are a frightening mix of good and evil, sinner and saint.
– Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday
Continue reading “Quotes on Cynicism”
C.S. Lewis’ book The Great Divorce is not about divorce; it’s about the irreconcilable split between Heaven and Hell. Hell simply cannot abide Heaven.
The Great Divorce is a very impactful book that has transformed many people’s understanding of the gospel and the afterlife. We were joined by Allyson Flake Matsoso of the Philosophy of Motherhood blog in a discussion of The Great Divorce that we hope can help people understand and share its insights.
YouTube discussions below:
Continue reading “Book Club Presentation Series: The Great Divorce”
Critics of our faith sometimes assume that we hold our beliefs out of a stubborn closed-mindedness. Is that true, or is it a false narrative that critics use to reassure themselves?
What exactly is open-mindedness?
What is the opposite of open-mindedness?
What are some things that look like open-mindedness, but aren’t?
We answer these questions and more in the presentation below:
Continue reading “Are We Open-Minded?”
Follow the Prophet is a beloved phrase and a primary song, until it isn’t. And it usually stops being beloved when church members begin to assert their own internal authority:
Continue reading “Follow the Prophet, Internal vs External Authority”
“I determine my faith commitments”
“The church doesn’t get to dictate to me what I believe”
“I follow Jesus over the church”
“There’s no middle-man between me and God”
“I’m the one who determines what my church participation should look like”
“We’re all cafeteria members, so my choices in the cafeteria are no less valid than someone else’s”
Jesus answered him, Truly, truly, I say to you, if a person is not born from on high, that person is not able to see the kingdom of God.
Sedevacantism “seat-empty-ism” is a term commonly used to describe Catholics who think the pope is illegitimate because he is apostate, lacking authority, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, etc. In Catholicism, there has long been a rift over Vatican II, where the Catholic church convened a huge council in 1962-1965 and implemented a set of reforms that included no longer doing the mass in Latin. Remember that one of the core elements of fundamentalism is an idea that things were ideal in the past, and we need to return to some past way of doing things, because back then the faith was more pure or whatever. So fundamentalist Catholics typically reject Vatican II and to the extent they still participate in the Roman Catholic church, they constantly clash with popes and other authorities who maintain the reforms of Vatican II.
Continue reading “Beware of Sedevacantism in the Church”