The Most Popular April 2014 Conference Talks (According to Facebook Likes)

The table below sorts the April 2014 LDS General Conference talks according to the number of Facebook likes they have gotten. I think that this is an interesting way to see which talks really resonated with the largest number of listeners or readers. See also the list I made for the October 2013 talks.


Why Are Mormon Congregations Called Wards?

This is something I’ve wondered about for a long time. The word ward has always struck me as a bit odd. A ward is like… part of a prison or a hospital, right? So why do we Mormons call our congregations wards? Well, I was browsing the excellent online version of the the Encyclopedia of Moronism and read the entry for ward. This is what it had to say:


Thoughts on Jesus Washing the Apostles’ Feet

I’ve lived in Southeast Asia for about four months now. It’s warm year-round, and just about everyone wears flip flops. In a hot, wet place that has the tradition of taking off shoes before entering someone’s house or any sort of religious or special building, flip flops make sense. They dry quickly, allow the feet to breathe, and are easy to slip on and off.

The city that I live in here in Southeast Asia is big and dusty. After spending a day out and about in the city, I’ll come home and my feet will be a few shades darker from the dust and dirt that is caked on them. I love the feeling of then standing in the shower, turning on the water, and seeing the dirt melt away from my feet and go down the drain.

In the past, I’ve thought of Jesus’s washing the feet of the apostles [John 13:4–10] solely as an act of service that was also an example of how the apostles should serve and be humble. I still think that’s the case. But washing my own dirty feet has brought a few additional insights to mind: 


When Prophets Speak “As Men”

It appears that with the church being a little more open with its histories and doctrines (as if they were not open before), many people do not know how to reconcile the mistakes prophets have made in the past with a prophet’s divine calling. How can someone “called of God” ever make any mistakes at all? Better yet, how do we know when a prophet is “speaking as a man” and when he is speaking God’s words? Turns out Deuteronomy made this very easy for us (chapter 18):


Lehi’s Imperfection and Its Modern Implications

Due to its position at the very start of the Book of Mormon, the story of Lehi and his family leaving Jerusalem might be the best known story in the entire book. But this post over at Scriptorium Blogorium looks at the story in a new light by asking this question: What if Lehi had a “a tendency to get big ideas that were too much for him to implement or that fizzled when he tried them”?


Guest Post: The Problem with Comparing the LDS Church to the Church in Christ’s Time

I wrote a post in response to Elder Callister’s devotional about how the LDS Church is a carbon copy of the Christian church from Christ’s time. It went live a couple days ago over at Modern Mormon Men, and you can read it here.

Here’s an excerpt:

The problem is that when you use Bible verses to back up your claims, you open up the door for people to draw verses from the Biblical well that could contradict or refute your claims. It turns into Bible bashing. For every Bible verse that Elder Callister reads that purportedly backs up our modern practices of baptism for the dead or the three degrees of glory, I can find a couple Bible verses that talk about things that we don’t do in the church today.


9 Recent Mormon Articles Worth Reading (2/22/14 Edition)

By PGH

Here are 9 interesting recent articles written on Mormon blogs. Note that by linking to an article here, we endorse it as food for thought but don’t necessarily agree with it.


What Is the Difference Between Faith and Hope?

By PGH (724 words)

Faith and hope are often lumped together, but what exactly is the difference between the two, and how are they related?


Never Lose the Humanity

By PGH (589 words)

I just listened to a recent episode of the Mormon FAIR-Cast podcast. As the host and his guest talked about some of the issues they’ve had with the Church throughout their lives and the spirit of the law versus the letter of the law, the host mentioned a great nonmember-oriented fireside that he had helped put on when he was a bishop. Here’s an excerpt that has been slightly edited for readability (it starts at about 53:38 in the audio link above):


How to Read the New Testament in 30 Days

By PGH

I had a goal to read the New Testament through from beginning to end during the month of January, and I did it. Here’s the one month/30-day reading schedule I used.