Sunday, February 28, 2016

Women and the Book of Mormon

I recently read an essay by Carol Lynn Pearson in which she discusses some of her feelings about the way in which women are portrayed in the Book of Mormon:

“A few years ago, I read the [Book of Mormon] specifically to focus on what it says about women, circling in red every female reference. And as I did, it became more and more clear why I had always felt like an unwelcome visitor as I entered Nephite society, a stranger in a strange land indeed.”

I was initially surprised when I read this, because I have never thought of the Book of Mormon as portraying women negatively. But Pearson makes some excellent points.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Rethinking Adam and Eve

For anyone who believes that working toward a reconciliation of evolution and Christianity is a worthwhile goal (as I do), I highly recommend Peter Enns’s The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins (TEoA).

Enns is a biblical scholar and a committed Christian. He “believe[s] in the universal and humanly unalterable grip of both death and sin, and the work of the Savior, by the deep love and mercy of the Father, in delivering humanity from them.” At the same time, Enns is convinced “that evolution must be taken seriously.” With both of those considerations in mind, TEoA presents an alternative way to think about the story of Adam and Eve.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Choosing the Left

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Many Mormons consider the word “liberal” to be a pejorative description. For example, when I decided to attend law school at the University of California, Berkeley, several of my family and friends made comments like, “But that’s the most liberal school in the country!” In other words, why on earth would a Mormon choose to go to such a liberal school?

However, BYU political science professor Richard Davis sees the term “liberal” quite differently. Rather than having negative connotations, Davis defines “liberal” the way that it is used in the scriptures, namely describing “personal characteristics of generosity, magnanimity, and charity.” Davis thinks that all Latter-day Saints should become “liberal souls” (a term taken from Proverbs 11:25), meaning someone who “follow[s] Jesus Christ in his love and acceptance of others, specifically in his care for the poor and the needy, his concern for the most vulnerable in society, and his compassion toward all.”