Zelophehad’s Daughters

New Scripture Mastery: Now With 40% Less Prooftexting!

Posted by Ziff

The list of scripture mastery scriptures that seminary students are asked to memorize was modified last September. Over a third of the 100 scriptures (25 for each book of scripture / year of instruction) were replaced. NoCoolName Tom has some fascinating discussion of the scriptures that were dropped at his blog (from the Old Testament […]

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 […]

General Conference Talk Complexity by Speaker (and by Session)

Posted by Ziff

Last week I blogged about looking for differences in General Conference talk complexity by session type. I thought it would be fun to break down the same data in a couple of other ways.

Does General Conference Talk Complexity Vary by Session Type?

Posted by Ziff

Back in November, the Church announced a new General Women’s Meeting that will occur the weekend before each General Conference. This meeting will include girls who are eight to eleven years old in addition to women and teenage girls. I saw a number of people on the Bloggernacle suggest that the result would be that […]

General RS Presidencies Having Children and GAs Having Children

Posted by Ziff

On my post last week about how many kids GAs have, Petra asked about what the numbers would look like for women in general Church leadership positions. To answer this question, I’ve looked up the number of children that women in the General Relief Society Presidency (hereafter, GRSP) have had. To match the dataset I […]

GAs Having Children and Talking about Having Children

Posted by Ziff

In comments on Steve Evans’s recent post at BCC on how birth rates might be increased in accordance with GAs’ counsel to have more children, the question was briefly raised of how many children GAs themselves have. One commenter pointed to a post at By Study and Faith where Jared had found that younger members […]

Most “Liked” Conference Talks

Posted by Ziff

What was your favorite General Conference talk? Was it President Uchtdorf’s, where he said this? Some struggle with unanswered questions about things that have been done or said in the past. We openly acknowledge that in nearly 200 years of Church history—along with an uninterrupted line of inspired, honorable, and divine events—there have been some […]

Usage of “I know” and “I believe” in General Conference

Posted by Ziff

Geoff Nelson at Rational Faiths wrote an interesting post a few weeks ago where he looked at how often General Conference speakers say “I know” versus “I believe.” Hooray for more data analysis in the Bloggernacle! Anyway, he found that usage of “I know” has been increasing relative to “I believe” since the early 20th […]

Most Common Conference Talk Topics, 1971-2013

Posted by Ziff

A couple of months ago, my co-blogger Beatrice pointed out that lds.org applies handy topic labels to General Conference talks. I thought it might be fun to look through these to see which topics have been addressed most frequently in the last 40 years.

How often are men and women quoted in General Conference?

Posted by Beatrice

Soon after I finished my most recent post, I realized that it would be fairly easy to assess how often men and women are quoted and how often stories are told about men as opposed to women in General Conference.  I decided to analyze the most recent conference (April 2013) to get the most up-to-date […]

How often are men and women quoted in church?

Posted by Beatrice

I have heard anecdotal evidence that men are much more likely than women to be quoted during LDS church services, and that stories about men are more often shared than stories about women.  It is not surprising that this trend would exist given that the majority of scripture stories in the LDS canon are about […]

Heavenly Parents, are we really talking about you more?

Posted by Ziff

After April Conference, I was asked by someone in the fMh Facebook group to check whether this Conference had featured an unusually large number of references to Heavenly Parents. The answer is yes, it did.

They always say the same thing in Conference (Part 1)

Posted by Ziff

A few months ago, I was working on a project that required me to look through a lot of search results at the Corpus of LDS General Conference Talks. I was surprised to find that some speakers not only told the same stories and made the same points in multiple talks, they frequently used exactly […]

Gender-neutral Language in Conference

Posted by Ziff

In a recent discussion in a Facebook group, I guessed that one way the Church might have improved recently in its treatment of women is in GAs using more gender-neutral language in talks. My memory is that President Hinckley, for example, when he quoted scriptures talking about men, would sometimes explicitly point out that it […]

Who Wrote the Proclamation on the Family?

Posted by Ziff

While the Proclamation on the Family was nominally written by all 15 men serving in the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve at the time it was issued, it seems likely that some of them were more central to the project than others. For some reason, I’ve always thought it was Elder Nelson’s baby, […]

Doctrinal Density of the Scriptures

Posted by Ziff

We just finished talking about the war chapters at the end of Alma a couple of weeks ago, in my ward’s Sunday School anyway. Discussion of these chapters sometimes brings up an argument about whether all scriptures are equally valuable, since of course if you don’t believe they are, these chapters are perfect examples to […]

Why are Mormons so . . .

Posted by Ziff

A recent article at Slate described blogger Renee DiResta’s idea of looking at what people think of different states by typing the question beginning “Why is [state] so” into Google and checking what the top autocomplete search suggestions were. I thought it might be fun to try this with religions.

A Modest Bit of Data

Posted by Ziff

Over at Doves and Serpents, Heather Olsen Beal recently blogged about a Friend article in which a four year old girl learns the importance of not wearing clothes that show her shoulders. The article was also discussed at fMh, and Heather, Erin Hill, and Chelsea Fife were guests on a Mormon Matters podcast, where they […]

Obedience Is the First Law of Earth

Posted by Ziff

Reading Lynnette’s excellent post about obedience got me to wondering a little about whether the Church has always been as obedience-happy as it currently seems to be.

Data Deniers’ Delight: The Mormon Gender Gap Is Unremarkable

Posted by Ziff

Pew’s 2007 Religious Landscape Survey (of the US) found that 56% of respondents who identified as LDS were women. Is that a lot?