Not a cool name, but at least a cool blog.

They Need to Look to History and the Future

I have spent the past week or so watching old LDS videos at this YouTube Channel. The breadth of what they have is impressive. Usually people like to focus on the story-based films that the Church and BYU have produced, but there have also been many historical videos produced. The YouTube Channel has a playlist devoted entirely to these documentaries, interviews, and other videos of historical interest. I find them to be a fascinating glimpse into the past of Mormonism.

They also make me more than a little sad. When watching these films you get a real sense of the grandeur of the mid-century Church.

Here's an example. The following video is called "For the Strength of the Hills" and

Evaluating the Blueprint: Change Orders and Apostles

The Mormon Church has claims since its earliest days to be a restoration of an "original" Christian religion. The 9th Article of Faith states, "We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth."

However, the era of modern biblical studies arose a few decades before the Mormon Church began, and it's rapid pace of study and learning has continue ever since. The ability to read the Christian New Testament as a unified work has grown extremely tenuous. The formation of Christian orthodoxy and its various hierarchies is now seen as a very organic process that took decades and centuries.

As such, past arguments to "prove" Mormonism as "primitive"

Evaluating the Blueprint: The Review

I've just finished a very quick read-through of Tad Callister's "The Blueprint of Christ's Church" and figured it might be nice to do a sort of mini-review of my impressions of the book as a whole before beginning to discuss pieces of the book. The verdict? About what would be expected, though with some unexpected highlights.

I was surprised to find that I was not nearly as aggravated by errors and smugness as I thought I would be (damning by faint praise, I suppose, right?). Let's be honest: everything I was expecting to find was there. The book presents a false picture of the unassailable strength of Callister's position (I'd say the position of the LDS Church, but he was

Evaluating the Blueprint: Introduction

Let me state before going any further: I don't bear Tad Callister any ill will personally. I'm sure he is a great guy, and you don't get to earn a higher degree in law and still be a dodo. You've got to read a lot of books to get there!

I've heard some bad stories about the personal behavior of some of the General Authorities when they're in private situations like visiting a friend's home or working at the Church Office Building. I find it notable that despite being a rather well-known GA, Elder Callister always comes off as a thoughtful, intelligent, and kind man when talking to anyone who has met or worked with him personally!

Which is part

I Was a Wonderin About Them Archaic English Forms

There has been an odd idea percolating through the LDS apologetic circles for the past decade or so that has in the past few months finally begun to quietly boil. It's that the Book of Mormon isn't an 18th Century production, but rather a 16th Century one! Let's look a little further into this idea and then let's explain some of the problems it presents.

A Dictation, a Dictation!

The English text for the Book of Mormon comes from a dictation. Joseph Smith dictated the text aloud and had scribes, mainly Oliver Cowdery, write down what he said during brief pauses. Even if you feel that there weren't any gold plates with writing from the 4th Century on it, I

Nonsense at Nicea: Introduction

The First Council of Nicea occurred in 325 CE, nearly seventeen centuries ago. It may be odd to think that it bears any importance to or sheds any illumination on the modern Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but in fact it does.

The common story told among Mormons about Nicea wrap up multiple ideas and beliefs about the Apostacy, the Bible, traditional Christianity, and even the Mormon conception of the nature of God. Long used, and often abused, the story is important to both Mormons and many former Mormons. However, the story itself is often mis-told, misremembered, and highly mythologized. From Jeffrey R. Holland to "The Da Vinci Code", the Council of Nicea has been the scapegoat for