Thursday, October 30, 2014

Linger Longer 36




Linger Longer is a series where we highlight religious and non-religious articles, as well as mormon-related podcasts. Click here for previous lists.

Bloggernacle (religious sites)
God of the Margins (Feminist Mormon Housewives)
On Being A Liberal Mormon: Two Defenses and An Attack (By Common Consent)
New BYU Religious Ed and CES Curriculum (Times and Seasons)
Temple Talk Trends (Zelophehad's Daughters)
Spooks A-Creep! (Keepapitchinin)
Forgiveness Comes From Without (Segullah)
Church Hop: Quaker (Doves and Serpents)
Flooding the Earth Via Social Media (Millenial Star)
On Eliza R. Snow's "To The Writers of Fiction" (Artistic Preaching)
Marilynne Robinson on Writing About Faith (A Motley Vision)
The Gospel Checklist: Crowding Out the Spirit? (Worlds Without End)
Modern Family (Dandelion Mama)
Prayer Changes Things (Mormon Women Project)
Finding Your ACE Score (The Mormon Therapist)
The Doctrine of Celibacy (No More Strangers)

Mormon-Related Podcasts
Episode 122: Slippery, A Mormon Horror Story (FMH Podcast)
Episode 503: Discussion the New Lds.Org Polygamy Essays - Part 1 (Mormon Stories)
Episode 255: New Church Video on LDS Temple Clothing and Garments (Mormon Matters)

Off-Bloggernacle (non-religious sites)
Soda SequestrationTungsten CountertopGreat Tree Great Axe and Faucet Power (What If?)
The Fasinatng … Frustrating … Fascinating History of Autocorrect (Wired)
Why the Last Five Years of Your Life Have Disappeared (Fast Company)
Thirty Things I've Learned (Medium)
Client Feedback on the Creation of the Earth (Timothy McSweeney)
American Manifesto (BoingBoing)
Here's Why Stealing Cars Went Out of Fashion (The New York Times)
How to Turn Every Child Into a "Math Person" (Quartz)
Decline of the Curve (Sports on Earth)
The American Band Championship Belt (Grantland)
Email is Still the Best Thing on the Internet (The Atlantic)
Why You Should Stop Believing in Evolution (The Week)
Always Talk to Strangers (The Atlantic)
Do Parks Make People Happier? (Psychology Today)
40 Maps That Explain the Roman Empire (Vox)
Eat More Nuts (and Vegetables, and Don't Forget to Exercise and Quit Smoking) (FiveThirtyEight)
20 Hilariously Sarcastic Warning Signs (Diply)
25 of the Most Dangerous and Unusual Journeys to School in the World (Bored Panda)
The Church of In-N-Out Burger (Priceonomics)
The Death of Adulthood in American Culture (The New York Times)
Learning from Benjamin Franklin (Seeking Wisdom)
Grandmaster Clash (Slate)
Westley Shares Inconceivable Tales from the Making of 'The Princess Bride' (The Daily Beast)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Photo Essay: Gilgal Gardens at Night



by Scott Heffernan:

If you live near Salt Lake City, Utah, you've probably at least heard of the Gilgal Sculpture Garden (or Gilgal Gardens). If you've never been to this stunningly strange spectacle, I highly recommend a visit.

Growing up in the 1980s, we knew this place as Mormon Land. We didn't know much else. We'd go in the middle of the night and had to hop a fence to get to it. With our flashlights we could make out a sphinx with Joseph Smith's face, some creepy quotes, and a guy wearing brick pants. It felt very spooky, dangerous, and thrilling!

Gilgal was built by an eccentric Mormon Bishop named Thomas Child starting in 1945, purchased by a neighbor upon his death in 1963, then in the year 2000, sold to a group whose mission is to preserve and restore the garden. Gilgal Sculpture Garden is now a city park and open to the public.

I took these photographs in 2005. I shot the garden at night because I wanted to recreate the mystery and angst that surrounded it for me as a kid. Very long exposures brought out the peculiar purple color of the sky.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Fighting Words



by Reid:

Recently I read an editorial in which owners of a wedding chapel in Idaho face fines and possible jail time for refusing to perform same-sex marriages. The husband and wife owners are both ordained ministers and believe same-sex marriage to be contrary to their religious beliefs. But the recent court rulings on same-sex marriage now make it legal in Idaho. As a result, they are in potential violation of local non-discrimination ordinances because their wedding chapel is registered as a business, not a church.

So it begins.



In reality the battle lines have been forming for quite some time now and the Church has anticipated this fight. To those that are in favor of same-sex marriage--and even those that are completely indifferent about it--the Church's position is difficult to understand. "Why not concede on this one issue and then everyone can get along with no further quarrel?"

148 years ago, critics were asking the same question of the Church regarding it's position on marriage. Brigham Young's response then is something that would work pretty well today--if we simply substitute 'polygamy' for 'same-sex marriage':
[If] we would give up polygamy ... would they be satisfied with this? No; but they would next want us to renounce Joseph Smith as a true prophet of God, then the Book of Mormon, then baptism for the remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost. Then they would wish us to disclaim the gift of prophecy, and the other gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, on the ground that they are done away and no longer needed in our day, also prophets and apostles, etc.

They want us to yield all these points, transgress the laws God has revealed for the salvation of the world, and change all the ordinances of God's house, and conform to the dogmas of modern Christianity and to the corruptions of the age. Will the Latter-day Saints do this? No; they will not to please anybody. Shall we have a warfare? We shall; we will war and contend for the right, and trust in our God until righteousness is established upon the earth, until peace shall reign everywhere, until the children of men shall lay down the weapons of their warfare and cease to exhaust their ability and ingenuity in forming weapons of destruction to slay their fellow men, until the minds and affections of mankind shall be turned unto the Lord their God, and their energies be directed to beautifying the earth and making it like the garden of Eden. We calculate to struggle on, and continue to exercise faith and enjoy our religion, keeping all the commandments of God, observing the ordinances of his house, trying to fulfill all his words, trusting in him, and we shall see what this course will come to. (Brigham Young - Journal of Discourses 11:239)
His words are eerily prophetic. Were the Church to concede on the issue of same-sex marriage, it wouldn't end there. There would be "just one more thing." I think we are in for a fight no matter what.

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Reid is an endocrinologist from Henderson, Nevada. He's blessed with wonderful wife and three great kids. His interests are charitably characterized as eclectic: cycling, fly-fishing, history, travel and the coinage of the Flavian dynasty of Imperial Rome. With a deep-seated belief that people habitually do dumb things, he's trying really hard to keep things positive. People are not making it any easier these days. The gospel has helped a lot. Blog: reidlitchfield.com.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Questions for Angela Hallstrom, Author of Bound on Earth



by Scott Hales:


Few recent Mormon novels have received as much praise as Angela Hallstrom's Bound on Earth, which was first published in 2008 by Parables. (You can read my enthusiastic review here.) Because the book is being republished by Mormon fiction powerhouse Zarahemla Books, I sent Angela a few questions about the novel, the change in publishers, and the state of Mormon fiction today.

Here is what she had to say...

Scott Hales: Tell us a little of the history of Bound on Earth. I gather that it began as a series of short stories about the Palmer family. At what point did you begin to think of it as a novel?

Angela Hallstrom: During my MFA program I was focused primarily on short story writing. Near the end of my program I took a point-of-view class that was very influential, and in it we read a few novels-in-stories. I was taken with the idea of exploring one Mormon family using such a method. I wrote "Thanksgiving" in that class, which later became the first chapter of Bound on Earth and the foundational story around which Bound on Earth was built.

The novel has recently switched publishers. What motivated the move to Zarahemla Books? Have you made any revisions to the novel in tandem with the move, or is the novel essentially how it was when it was published by Parables?

I enjoyed working with Beth Bentley at Parables, but her husband and business partner, George, recently passed away, sadly. His passing precipitated some changes at Parables and I found that the rights to the novel reverted to me. I've worked with Chris Bigelow and Zarahemla—they published the short story anthology I edited, Dispensation: Latter-day Fiction—and I approached him, knowing the novel would be in good hands. I knew I'd be in good company, too: Zarahemla has published some of the best contemporary Mormon fiction in the last decade. No changes have been made to the novel itself, but I'm grateful that my partnership with Zarahemla helps keep the novel in print.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Meet Six Mormons



by John English:


I wasn't sure I was going to see Meet the Mormons in theaters. After all, it looked like something I could record on KSL in between General Conference sessions. All eight reviews at RottenTomatoes were negative, though some of them seemed to be slamming it for not being a hard-hitting expose.

It's a documentary produced by the LDS church for nonmembers, but really, it is just as much for members, maybe more so. Meet your fellow Mormons. Come meet some members of your global family.

It's hosted by New York resident and former Daily Show employee Jenna Kim Jones, and she narrates as we meet the six spotlighted members, each getting between 10-15 minutes. Watching their stories unfold made me wonder how director Blair Treu and his crew might treat my family, or my neighbors' families. I'm sure it would accentuate the positive. (Hey, Blair, if you want...)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Thoughts on New Temple Clothing & Garments Video



by Seattle Jon:

(1) Surprise at seeing actual temple clothing and garments on video.
(2) Surprise at hearing the words "magic underwear" in a church video!
(3) Surprise at hearing the church state there is nothing "magical or mystical" about temple garments.
(4) Not surprised at how well done the video was, the church makes good videos!

What are your thoughts?



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Seattle Jon is a family man, little league coach, urban farmer and businessman living in Seattle. He currently gets up early with the markets to trade bonds for a living. In his spare time he enjoys movies, thrifting and is an avid reader. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the Japan Fukuoka mission field. He has one wife, four kids and three chickens.

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