1. My relationship with the LDS church
  2. Values, ideals, and aspirations
  3. Heavenly Mother and continuing revelation
  4. Scriptural exegesis (personal interpretations and explanations)
  5. Scriptural scholarship (my impressions)
  6. LDS apologetics
  7. The family and gender issues
  8. Book of Mormon historicity
  9. Book of Mormon stylometry

My relationship with the LDS church

Seers and Craftspeople: an excerpt from The Trouble with Physics by Lee Smolin about science as an ethical community and about the roles of visionaries and skilled workers.
Seers and Craftspeople in Mormonism: a rewrite of Smolin's epilogue as applied to Mormonism.
No We Won't Ask: My lament at the opacity of the revelatory process regarding gender equality in the LDS church. This one is sad and heartfelt.

I'm Tired: A personal essay about my journey of faith up to 2014, including my deep feelings of being Mormon, my exploration and reconciliation of science and religion, my struggles to understand my sexuality, my forays into religious activism, and my concluding understanding of the ways the LDS church and its leaders and members are human.
Reluctant Mormon Activist: A summary of the previous personal essay and justification of posting a profile with Ordain Women.
Why I want to be persecuted: If Mormons are bound to be persecuted in the last days, I want to be persecuted for these reasons.
No Higher Authority: The purpose of learning is to become experts. While we may have peers in this state, there are no higher authorities. This is the state we must reach to become Gods, and is a state we must strive for in this life--learning from others, but acting on our own agency.
Just Following the Crowd: Rather depressed thoughts after my third time marching with Mormons Building Bridges in the Atlanta Pride Parade, and no sign of increased support for acceptance of our gay brothers and sisters. I'm very optimistic for the long story, but I was depressed in the moment.
Elder Packer and Me: Personal reminiscences of the influence for good and ill that Boyd K. Packer has had on my life.
Should Prophets Prophesy?: Musings on the Tao Te Ching (38), prophets, prophecy, hero worship, hero emulation, and living in the now.
Who Is Samuel the Lamanite?: If prophets of the past have been people outside of the church hierarchy, what prophets might we be overlooking or rejecting, today?
Mormon Stories and Me: The influence of John Dehlin and the podcasts and communities he fostered on my life, and my hopes that others will join me in what I experience as a hopeful middle ground on the troubled areas of Mormonism.
Crucible of Doubt: A review of Terryl and Fiona Givens' book, and thoughts on who it is (and isn't) for.


My Personal Creed: inspired by a personal creed written by a 34 year-old George Albert Smith. This is a post I like to reread.
Books that Changed Me: A list of eight books that had particularly profound impacts on my life, and a short description of how they changed me.
Values: A list of things I value--from political ideals to day to day living. Sometimes I live up to these. I hope to keep living toward these ideals.

Heavenly Mother and Continuing Revelation

A Mother Here: a retelling of Joseph Smith's first vision hoping for the day when Heavenly Mother will be revealed to us as plainly as Heavenly Father.
As Children in Zion: a discussion and modification of the hymn, "As Sisters in Zion".
Parenting, Childhood, and Separation: thoughts about Gods as our parents and being separated from them.
Polygamy: A snapshot of how I thought about polygamy in 2014. Some positive thoughts about its place in Mormon history, some negative thoughts about its place in history and the present, and some speculative thoughts about sealing people together into networks of relationships as we approach perfection.

Answers to Prayers: The importance and difficulty of asking the right questions and hearing the answers through several years of my life.


True and Living Church: a talk I gave in North Carolina about what this phase means to me.
Thermodynamics and Atonement: a discussion of models, approximations, and practicality. The atonement works despite imperfect understanding.
Oh Say What Is Truth: A letter I wrote my Dad. It is a scriptural exegesis of "truth" written when I was 25. I still like it at 39.
No City of Enoch for Us: Why is there so little about Zion in scripture? Maybe because the Zion we need to make is not the Zion that was.

Nephi and the Doctrine and Covenants: A comparison of Nephi's actions toward his brothers and toward Laban with D&C 121 and 98.

Scriptural Scholarship

Before Abraham Was: a book review examining some over-extensions of the documentary hypothesis. I'm more comfortable with most aspects of the documentary hypothesis, now, but I still find the entire field of breaking ancient texts up into hypothesized sources problematic. Good guesses don't equal truth or certainty.
Jesus is dead, I presume: my reaction to Jesus and Judaism by E. P. Sanders. Summary: naturalistic assumptions a priori rule out the possibility of the miraculous (i.e. anything we decide is beyond understanding).
Christ in the New Testament: a partial review of Raymond Brown's An Introduction to New Testament Christology. I love Raymond Brown's approach, and hope for an LDS Raymond Brown to come along who can synthesize broader Christian scholarship with LDS scholarship in an approachable way.
Biblical authorship hypotheses: My justifications for holding with minority scholarly views on biblical authorship. I'm more comfortable with large parts of majority views, now, but this is a snapshot in my journey. I continue to find the fact that it requires years of study to fully understand the reasons given for various aspects of the documentary hypotheses (plural) as evidence of something--either subtlety or weakness of the evidence, or its consistency with multiple hypotheses.


Apologies: Venting my annoyance at facile dismissal of Mormon truth claims during my (relatively) early immersion in online Mormonism and Mormon podcasts. I still feel these things, but less strongly, and I don't think about them often.
TBM: My thoughts on embracing this sometimes acrimonious acronym.
My Testimony vs. Science: My take on the pitfalls and strengths of personal testimony of truth from the perspective of psychology.
My Father's Response: Some thoughts from my father about testimony and living a good life.
Trust in God's Prophets: Some reasons I trust LDS prophets despite desiring change and sometimes disagreeing with them.
The Dead and the Living: Thoughts on how religious service and religious donations may actually optimize social service and donations at the scale of a large institution.
tDatL Alternate Perspectives: Responses and additions to my thoughts on resource use by the LDS church.
Finding Darwin's God: A summary of Ken Miller's book by that name. I believe in Gods of Evolution, not the God of Intelligent Design or other fundamentalist views.
Siding with Atheists: Reasons I often find myself siding with atheists in my religious reasoning rather than with those "defending" God.
Religion Encompasses Science: True religion should both encompass and be shaped by science. They are inseparable, and should be.
My Responses to the CES Letter: The criticisms of the LDS church largely don't address the church I believe in. Let's improve both as a church and as individuals, and not require that people or institutions be stuck in fundamentalist nonsense.

The Family

Family Proclamation Intro: Reasons I support "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" despite disagreeing with some common interpretations of it.
The Family Part 2
The Family Part 3
The Family Part 4
The Family Part 5
The Family Part 6
Eternal Gender: More reasons I actually like the statement in "The Family" that gender is eternal. It opens the door for changes in our understanding of gender roles in our LDS culture, despite its seemingly being intended for the exact opposite purpose.
Defending the Family: My hopes for the development of a mainstream Mormon discussion of the problems facing families in the world today. As of almost a year later they had not been realized.
Family Policy Musings: Dreams for a world where family life is measurably supported.

The Book of Mormon

Paradigm of Book of Mormon Historicity: A first expression of the value I think can be had from accepting that the Book of Mormon has an ancient source text.
Thor Hyerdahl and Jaredite Boats: How Hyerdahl's journeys gave me a more tangible picture of the travels of the Jaredites.
Book of Mormon Evidence: My impression of the sum of evidence for and against the historicity of the Book of Mormon.
Archaeology of Zion: Archaeological evidence regarding the conditions in which a Zion society flourished in 1st-3rd centuries ACE in Mesoamerica. Based on descriptions from Mormon's Codex by John Sorenson. Is there another way to build Zion without the natural disasters?
Historicity and Progressive Ideals: My first attempt to explain why I think the Book of Mormon having at its core a real, ancient source text is a stronger argument for supporting progressive ideals than simply viewing it as a religious myth.

The Gift and The Power Meets Stylometry: A review of Brant Gardner's book on translating the Book of Mormon compared with the results of stylometry. It's a good match.
A sketch of how one might reanalyze the observation that the words "wherefore" and "therefore" have a distinct change in their frequencies that correlates with the break in translation that Joseph took in roughly the middle of 1829.


An exploration of the academic field of stylometry as it applies to Book of Mormon authorship. (An improved treatment of this topic can be found in my posts at Start with the oldest ones.)

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