Religious Freedom Under Attack?

We had an interesting lesson in church on Sunday, and it’s been banging around inside my head since then, so I wanted to explore it a bit more here on digital paper. It stemmed from a talk given this past General Conference, arguing that religious freedom is under assault. I’d read the talk ahead of the lesson, and I’d listened to it back when it was given live in April. At the time, I didn’t think that much of it one way or the other. As I said in our meeting Sunday, “I’m in favor of religious freedom,” and that

Yes, Church Leaders Make Mistakes. Sometimes Big Ones

Sigh. Yet again, someone from my church is making waves in the news for saying something stupid. This time, it’s a member of the General Young Men’s presidency, who gave a talk the other day covering a wide range of topics. The talk was Zoomed, and the Zoom recording made its way to the interwebs, and . . . it blew up from there. The part that’s receiving the most attention is when he started to try and defend why there was a priesthood ban for Black members of the church until 1978. Maybe not defend it so much as

Mourning with Those Who Mourn

Having been out of Utah for 14 years now, and away from BYU for the same amount of time, it shouldn’t surprise me that from time to time I’m slow to hear about news from campus. This morning when I got on social media, I was greeted with a few posts about a talk Elder Holland gave at BYU four days ago. He’s usually one of my favorite speakers, so I was surprised to see these posts not generally being about how great the talk was, but rather how upsetting. Naturally, I had to go read it for myself. In

Faith in the Time of COVID

As I mentioned last week, I had the chance to head back to in-person church on Sunday. It was capped at 25 people, we all had masks on, and sanitizer abounded. Did I feel safe? Yes. Did it feel normal? Not at all. Was it good to be back? I’m honestly not sure. It felt so different. But I think it was an important first step. In any case, here’s the talk I delivered yesterday. (I discovered that I breathe more when I’m nervous, and when I breathe more with a mask on, my glasses fog up more, which makes

On Self-Evaluation: Special Guest Post by Denisa

Happy Monday! (For values of “Happy” that include “still stuck in pandemic mode, and likely to remain there”) Denisa was asked to give a talk in church over the weekend, and I liked it so much, I asked her if she’d be willing to let me post it here. She was taken aback by the request (I guess she didn’t think it was as good as I did?), but she ultimately agreed. The talk touches on a lot of things I’ve been thinking as well. (When you’re stuck in social distancing mode, there’s a whole lot of time to think