“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”
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?”
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?”
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”
What do we mean when we use the terms “liberal” and “conservative” in our discussions of faith?
Is the church “too conservative?” What does that mean?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of liberal and conservative tendencies when it comes to faith?
Are there liberal and conservative patterns in apostasy?
In this presentation, we discuss these and other questions.
Continue reading “Liberal and Conservative at Church”
Spirituality is part addition, part subtraction.
Continue reading “Spirituality is Addition and Subtraction”
In the West, we tend to focus on the addition part: doing things, getting things, and achieving things. That is not necessarily bad, but in our focus on addition, we can sometimes inadvertently add things that are not healthy, like perfectionism. We can also fail to account for our Western worldview and how it impacts our spirituality.
This blog post is based on a talk I gave for my ward on February 12, 2023.
A little over seven years ago I got the idea of reading through all the General Conference talks that are easily available on the Church’s website, which means going back to the April 1971 General Conference. I haven’t kept to my schedule perfectly since then, but I’ve read many, many talks, and I’ve really gained an appreciation for the wisdom and consistency of these teachings.
So when I was asked to give a talk on the fourth temple recommend question–a kind of topic I’ve never heard of before–I knew where to start. I did a quick search and ended up reading (or at least skimming) about two dozen talks, some of which were incredibly powerful to me. I’ll be quoting from these talks at length.
Continue reading “Sustaining Leaders and Fellow Saints”
David Hume had an experience of deep depression, and he named it “the disease of the learned.” I know from personal experience that depression is caused by a number of different things, and one contributor is our cognitive behavior, our thinking.
Continue reading “Depression and Cognitive Ground Rules”