Showing posts from 2013

Shurtleff + Swallow = Wow!!!

How would a top legal officer in the state of Utah be answering
questions about whether gambling is legal in Utah?  More importantly, how would that officer NOT know that it IS illegal?

Am I Wicked?

One of the most counterproductive things we can do with scripture is to take it out of context--even when it comes to the Book of Mormon. Actually..especially when it comes to the Book of Mormon.

American Indians Do Not Descend Exclusively from Book of Mormon Peoples

We often called Native Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, and others "Lamanites", but does the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teach that all such modern-day peoples descended exclusively from Book of Mormon ancestors? One of the most common misconceptions of Mormonism is to think so. But in fact, this is not the case. There is a great deal of LDS scholarship and pulpit teaching that says quite the opposite.

"You'll Be the Cleanest Person in The Room!!!..."

Although I consider myself a very active member of the LDS Church, some things about Mormon culture drive me bonkers.  For example, tell me if you've heard this inaccuracy during the baptismal service for a child.

Saving Syria...or Something Else?

Beyond the reality that it's not clear to the outside world just exactly who used chemical weapons in Syria, it's important to realize that a myriad of nuances exist that are not being much talked about.  In this article I will explain what those nuances are:

"The Committee to [Screw] the World"

In 1999, Alan Greenspan (Chairman of the Federal Reserve), Robert Rubin (Treasury Secretary for the Clinton Administration) and Lawrence Summers (Rubin's deputy secretary) were dubbed on Time Magazine's front cover as "The Committee to Save the World". Ironically, just a year before that, the trio made a decision that should have earned them the moniker "The Committee to SCREW the World"

Economic Meanderings of a Saturday

What's more fun than learning good stuff on a Saturday,
especially when it comes to good economic principles? Not much.  ;-)  Here are some insights I've had today during my studies.

Jump Starting "Too Big to Fail" in 2004

“We’ve said these are the big guys,” Harvey J. Goldschmid, a Securities and Exchange Commissioner said, provoking nervous laughter, “but that means if anything goes wrong, it’s going to be an awfully big mess.”

It was a mess, but the government cleaned up the mess at the expense of you and me, by giving more favors to the same large banks very similar to the ones it gave them at that fateful meeting in the spring of 2004.

From Believing to Knowing--Via Doubts

When I was 11 years old, I was asked to bear my testimony to my "Blazer" primary class of our Latter-day Saint ward.  I remember it vividly, because at that time I said "I can't say that I know the Church is true, but I can say that I believe that it is true."

Joseph Smith's First Vision: Were All Religious Creeds Really An Abomination?

The official version of Joseph Smith's "First Vision",
found in the Pearl of Great Price of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says that God told Smith that "all [the] creeds [of the existing religions] were an abomination in his sight". Many non-Mormons take great offense at this characterization of their religions.  But I intend to show in this article that Smith used the  perfect word to describe the situation, a word that, when properly understood, should not be offensive to anyone.

The LDS Book of Abraham: We Don't Have That Papyrus

There are a lot of misunderstandings, inside and outside the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, about Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham. The most common misconception is the idea that the fragments once housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art were the source of Joseph Smith's translation.  They almost assuredly were not.

The Hazards of Occupational Licensing

Is occupational licensing beneficial to society? In a relatively few cases...perhaps.
 But in the vast majority of cases massive detriment lurks.  Here are a few examples, including in the medical industry, which, currently under licensing regulation, doesn't seem to be benefiting.

Evolution: It's Natural that There are Three Types of Selection

I believe in evolution. We are constantly evolving. I'm sure you've heard of "natural selection".

But I think we have the opportunity to evolve in two additional ways.  I call those methods free selection and divine selection.

Homosexuality: A Condition or a Feeling?

In 1995, Dallin Oaks of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke on the subject of same-gender attraction.  He explained why he thinks it's important to refer to homosexuality as a "feeling" and not a "condition".

Federal Spending as a Percentage of GDP

Advocates of big government use Debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratios to mask the bizarre fact that government spending is actually used to inflate the calculation of GDP.  A much better way to see the enormity of the problem of government debt is to note how much government spending has increased as a percentage of GDP.

Libyan Weapons, Turkey, Syria, and the Strange Death of Chris Stevens

Was the death of US Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi related to the running of Libyan weapons stockpiles through Turkey to Syrian freedom fighters? Circumstantial evidence makes it a strong possibility. Here's what I've found so far.

The Problem with Egypt

Two years following the initial Arab Spring protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square, Egyptian progress toward reform and liberty is a bit stagnant.  But it's moving, albeit slowly, forward.

What Do Albert Einstein, Joseph Smith, and Lehi Have in Common?

I came across something from Albert Einstein the other day that sounds suspiciously similar to something attributed to the prophet Lehi in the Book of Mormon, as well as to something alleged to have been revealed to LDS prophet Joseph Smith as contained in the LDS Church's Doctrine and Covenants.  The quotes are presented below. Are all three talking about the same thing? Let me know what you think.,

What's Really Wrong With Greece?

What's wrong with the Greek economy? In a word, they're lazy. If the Greeks had been responsible, they would  not have had to practice the austerity measures that they're living through now. To claim that the Greek economy needs more stimulus is to misunderstand what caused the problem in the first place.

Do You Worry for Them? Why Don't You Love Them Instead?

"I worry for my children who aren't doing the right things," I often hear  Mormon parents say of their family members who are not making good choices. Such worry often turns into an inability to love our children as much as we once could.  We worry unduly because we misunderstand the scriptures. To be more specific, we worry, because we misunderstand the mercy of God. Rather than worry, which creates negative energy, why don't we, rather, love them and hope for them instead?