Monday, August 17, 2015

On Seer Stones

This week has had a lot of buzz over the release of pictures of Joseph Smiths seer stone. As I was deeply involved in getting things ready for a trip to Nauvoo and even now am in Navoo as I write this, Church history has been on my mind. I was quite excited when the pictures were released and was soon exchanging excited texts with a friend of mine over the matter. What took me by surprise was the members who were upset about this. Some claimed that they had never heard of seer stones and were deeply bothered that the story was not as straightforward as the Primary lesson they learned as a Sunbeam. Admittedly, much of the concern I was hearing was from the “concern trolls” who never had any faith to loose over the matter but will pine away wringing their hands about the Church's “secrecy”. Somewhere in the mix though there do seem to be some members who legitimately had no clue that Joseph used seer stones. I am legitimately concerned about such members but cannot help but conclude that a lifetime of incuriosity has been the catalyst of their delima more than any action of the Church. I have known about this information since I was a teenager. I would also point out some of the fallacies that are being circulated by would be historians. Let's look at a few:

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Return to Old Nauvoo

My family and I are on vacation in old Nauvoo this week. This is the first I have been here in almost 25 years. Much has changed and much has not. For example there is no better cell phone coverage than existed 25 years ago (of course no one had a cell phone then). We arrived on Saturday morning which was the last day of the young performing missionaries on site. These are a bunch of fresh faced kids (18-26) that sing, dance, act, perform in a brass band, and generally lend their youthful exuberance to the atmosphere of the place. I engaged a few of them in conversation and watched their performances with great delight. It is wonderful to have such talent and excitement in the Church. It reminds me of younger days long gone by.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Apologetics

I have been pondering a way to explain my position on apologetics. I have a deep respect for several writers that identify as apologetical writers, including Daniel Peterson, FAIR Mormon, and much of the classic FARMS publications. These writings have been of value to me personally as I have had questions from time to time and helped others who have had questions. Most of the questions have arisen from various opposition literature that has been circulated. Growing up in the Deep South I had plenty of exposure to this literature as many well meaning friends attempted to rescue me from my certain damnation in a fiery hell due to my Mormon theology. I have over the years stayed current on claims against our theology, history, and lifestyle choices. I have assisted many people who have struggled with questions and even crises of faith, sometimes with success and sadly, sometimes not. I have watched with interest the recent debate between Bill Hamblin and Phillip Jenkins and appreciated points made on both sides and was pleased that both men were able to avoid resorting to homicide. In the end I have a difficult time explaining then why attempting to produce such writing bores me so.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Leviathan

Man has explored the sea since before history began. There lies adventure and danger as well as riches and rewards. This has called young men (and some young women) wanting to prove themselves to its excitement. Inherent to this adventure has been the fascination with the mysteries of the sea. It assuredly teems with life of great variety. Hidden beneath the waves man has always known there are massive creatures, some of them deadly and hostile. Creatures that could easily smash the fragile vessels that men rely on for survival. These same creatures live and move effortlessly in an environment where man cannot. The sea with its roiling surface and unknowable icy depths provides the ultimate example of chaos. It's waves constantly claw their way trying to overwhelm the solid land yet are held in check by an invisible force. What lies under that dark surface? What allows the solid land to stay afloat on top of it?