Zelophehad’s Daughters

Does the Church Have Room for Doubters?

Posted by Mike C

A few weeks ago I was on a plane to India, visiting the subcontinent for the first time, excited for this grand adventure but a bit anxious about the success of our business meeting and the possibility of acquiring a nasty bout of Delhi belly. Arriving in Paris Charles De Gaulle airport, I turned on my phone […]

Taking Ally Isom at Her Word

Posted by Mike C

On Sunday I decided to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting and talk about my involvement with Ordain Women. I’ve transcribed below approximately what I said. In case you were wondering, in my opinion it was only the third strangest testimony of the meeting. Yay for Mormon weirdness! Next post I’ll share the response so far from […]

An Angry Birds Easter

Posted by Mike C

While sitting in sacrament meeting today singing, “O Savior, Thou Who Wearest a Crown”, I had an epiphany. It was all clear to me–I could finally see the connection between Angry Birds and the Gospel. Who says sacrament meeting isn’t inspirational?   Before I explain, let me step back and give some necessary background about […]

Why Faith Transitions Need to Be Less Frequentist and More Bayesian

Posted by Mike C

I know. You are probably despairing to think that such a disputed area of statistical dogma could have anything to contribute to such a disputed area of religious experience. (If you are despairing about this post for other reasons, I apologize). I mean, not even Martin Luther would have had the nerve to nail 95 non-informative […]

Is There a Way to Find Common Ground?

Posted by Mike C

Last year I was on a long car ride with my parents, who were visiting from out of state. My mom and I ended up having a discussion about gay marriage, and it was then that I started thinking about this problem of finding common ground–that is, the problem of Mormons like me and Mormons […]

The Confessions of Saint Andrew

Posted by Mike C

This guest post is brought to us by my brother, Andrew C. I tell a story about my grandparents that may be completely made up. They were looking forward to a fireside about marriage, and the morning before the presentation, their bishop told everyone in the congregation that, if they didn’t have a perfect marriage, […]

Making Space for Myself as an Uncorrelated Mormon–Part 3: Try This One Weird Trick

Posted by Mike C

(Previous posts about making space can be found here, here, and here.) A while back I listened to a podcast where Fiona Givens discussed the lovely book she and her husband co-wrote called “The God Who Weeps”. I highly recommend it–the God they describe is compelling, one worth seeking after, connecting with, and emulating. Anyway, […]

Free to Be…You and Me

Posted by Mike C

The big toe on my left foot is purple and the nail, like the hair on my head, is starting to fall out. I wish I could say this was an unusual state of affairs, but ever since I took up soccer again, I find my body perpetually suffering from minor traumas. While limping around […]

“What is God really like?”

Posted by Galdralag

When Beatrice and I were serving together as missionaries, we were lucky enough to be in a district that included the mission offices.  The APs and office Elders were in our district, so more often than not we held district meetings in a cozy conference room in the main mission office building, giving us frequent […]

Crises of Faith

Posted by Lynnette

A topic that came up several times at Sunstone this year, and generated some thought-provoking discussion, was that of crises of faith.  This got me thinking about the kind of standard “crisis of faith” narrative.  Such a crisis might be set off by any number of things–disturbing information about Church history, prayers that remain unanswered […]

To Some It Is Given: Knowledge, Doubt, Mercy

Posted by Eve

Today’s thread over at BCC arguing that the loss of faith is ultimately a choice included a comment that wrenched my heart. Subsequent discussion made reference to a passage in D&C 46 that has haunted me for most of my life, particularly these strange words: To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to […]

The Western University and the Secular Compromise: Some Implications for Literature

Posted by Eve

This afternoon one of my students met with me about his next paper, which he wants to write refuting The Da Vinci Code and defending the divinity of Jesus Christ. I found myself struggling to explain to him why he can’t write such a paper to fulfill a university assignment. I tried to help him […]

The Gospel of Positive Thinking

Posted by Lynnette

If there is a secular religion in contemporary America, it is arguably the Gospel of Positive Thinking. Adherents of this particular sect seek to maintain a positive attitude at all times, and in all things, and in all place. Their canon of sacred texts is an extensive one, comprised of dozens of pop psychology books […]

“You must do what you feel is right, of course.”

Posted by Lynnette

The Gospel of Star Wars tells us repeatedly of the importance of trusting your feelings. (If you don’t recognize my title quote, it’s what Obi-Wan says to Luke in A New Hope, when Luke is deciding whether to come to Alderaan). Qui-Gon instructs Anakin at one point, “Feel. Don’t think.” Even those on the Dark […]

An Experiential Testimony

Posted by Seraphine

I’ve never had the standard testimony experience. You know, the one that the missionaries promise investigators: if you pray about the Book of Mormon (or the church or Joseph Smith’s prophetic calling), the spirit will witness its truth to you. That isn’t to say that I haven’t prayed about all of these things. I’ve prayed […]

Using Happiness to Evaluate Belief

Posted by Lynnette

A question which came up in Kiskilili’s latest thread on feminism (and has also arisen in a number of other conversations) is that of the relationship between happiness and belief. Should we believe the things which make us the happiest? Does it make any sense for a person to believe something which leaves her feeling […]

Coffee and Doubt

Posted by Lynnette

I enjoy the smell of coffee. When I’m studying or hanging out with friends at coffee shops, I sometimes look with curiosity at all the varieties you can order. Though my friends have patiently attempted to explain, I have to confess that I still don’t understand what all the different words mean (espresso, cappuccino, etc.) […]

Personal Revelation

Posted by Lynnette

When it comes to personal revelation, I’m a believer; I really do think that there have been moments in my life when I’ve been on the receiving end of divine communication. I like that the doctrine plays such a central role in LDS thought; I love the idea that you can go directly to God […]

On Questioning

Posted by Lynnette

I’ve been reading a lot of Luther lately. He makes the point over and over that human reason is insufferably arrogant in its attempts to understand God; God’s actions may sometimes appear absurd to us, but it is not our place to judge. Faith, he says, includes believing in the goodness of God even if […]

Faith and the Imagination

Posted by Lynnette

I’ve recently been doing work on the imagination and self-narrative, and it’s made me think a lot about the role of imagination in faith. This isn’t at all to say that I see faith as equivalent to belief in something imaginary, but simply that I think our faith is always shaped by our imagination. Our […]