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Abraham for Liberals and Conservatives

The story of Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of Isaac is one of the most perplexing moral dilemmas in all of scripture.  It has long been held up as an example of Abraham’s faithfulness.  Orthodox members do not question the traditional interpretation of the story.  They seem to reason that if God wants you to do something, you should do it with unquestioned obedience.  I am not always an orthodox believer, so I find a lack of questioning the story quite unsatisfactory.

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Jabari Parker Announces his Decision

I wanted to post this excerpt from the most recent Sports Illustrated article.

Today I sent my letter of intent to the NBA. That makes it official — my days as a Duke basketball player are over.

But my days as a Duke student are not. I intend to graduate from Duke while I’m in the NBA. I was an honor student when I arrived at Duke, and I’d like to graduate as one.

BENEDICT: Parker is the best high school basketball player since LeBron James

I know some people will say this is unrealistic. Others will say, why bother? The fact is that I have many interests beyond basketball. I’d like to write a children’s book. I am interested in various business aspects of the entertainment industry. And I’d like to work with corporate America in one way or another. A college degree from Duke will help with each of these aspirations.

I’ve had to make one other major decision recently. It is well known that I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where it is common — even expected — to serve a two-year mission at age 19. I just turned 19. Continue Reading »

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Outsourcing Morality to Hollywood

The LDS Church has asked church members to avoid R rated movies for quite some time.  (For a little more background, here is my post that discussed the documentary Cleanflix.)  As I reviewed that post recently, some ironic things struck me.

Hollywood often gets cited as having questionable morals, producing filth, and contributing to the moral decay to society.  I don’t think that criticism is unfair.  Of course, they also put together some wonderful stories.  The Ten Commandments comes to mind, but even movies that aren’t overly religious are pretty good:  Remember the Titans, Hoosiers, Lincoln, and Apollo 13 are some pretty good, moral movies.  There are some people that are very strict in avoiding R-rated movies.  They didn’t see The Passion of the Christ back in 2004 strictly because it was rated R.  I was looking for a quote from a prominent LDS person that indicated that this was one of the few cases where the movie rating system failed, but I didn’t find it.  I did find something similar from this Times and Seasons article. Continue Reading »

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Oaks Lights up the Bloggernacle

Facebook was ablaze with comments about Elder Oaks General Conference talk on Saturday night.  Disappointed that the church website didn’t have a transcript, I created one so that we could better discuss what he actually said.  I decided to let that post stand on its own without any commentary.  But in this post, I will add my own commentary.

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Elder Dallin H. Oaks: ‘Keys and authority of the priesthood’

Elder Oaks’ talk has seen the most reaction from the bloggernacle. Since the church takes a while to transcribe these, I have decided to transcribe his talk from yesterday. You can also see it on the official church website by clicking below. What are your thoughts?

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch/2014/04?lang=eng&vid=3436246697001&cid=3

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Temple Prep Suggestions

This post originally appeared at Wheat and Tares from Guy Templeton under the title Are We Properly Prepared to Enter the Temple?  I thought it was worth sharing, along with some insightful comments.

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I’ve been reading a book, Your Endowment by Mark A. Shields. The book claims to be from “an experienced gospel teacher, casts new light on the symbolism inherent in the temple ordinances and provides a wealth of insights that well change the way your worship.” I was intrigued by a story early in the book. Continue Reading »

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Defending Male Hegemony

Fiona Givens was part of an interesting interview on Mormon Matters with John Dehlin.  She spoke about a conference talk on priesthood power vs priesthood authority, and said that women already have priesthood power. (These comments appear in the interview about 8:15 in.) Continue Reading »

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