Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Persecution vs. Chastening: When #MormonMafia Is No Joking Matter

by Rob T:

When Fox News personality and Donald Trump supporter Lou Dobbs went on a rant last week about LDS presidential candidate Evan McMullin, which included referring to him as a “Mormon Mafia Tool” in a tweet, Mormons on Twitter responded hilariously.

I got in on the #MormonMafia fun (see the HuffPo link above, he said unhumbly), because I enjoy a good-natured Twitter hashtag joke stream. And I appreciated that most Mormons were having fun with it instead of seeing it as an instance of “persecution.”

While joining in the social media levity, however, two things came to my mind that weren’t joking matters.

First, Trump supporters on Twitter haven’t suddenly surfaced to go after Mormons. There have been countless instances of anti-Semitism, misogyny, racism,* and now Latter-day Saints are in the crosshairs, due in part to Trump’s declining popularity in Utah.

Thursday, September 8, 2016


by Devin Fletcher:

For the last few weeks, my family and I have been in a weird spot in our relation to the organization of the church. We’ve kinda moved. I don’t mean “kinda” in the linguistic filler type of way, or as a way to minimize the damage of a comment to follow. I mean we’ve kind of moved, but not completely. Since 2013, we’ve lived in Waco, Texas while I attended Baylor Law School. Upon graduation a year ago, I passed up a job offer because of a prompting from the Holy Ghost. Recently, I found a job and began working down in Austin during the week, driving back to Waco on the weekends, while my family finished out the lease. My family moved down and joined me in staying with my sister-in-law and her family. Due to various circumstances, we have attended church in three different wards since and have effectively been without a ward for a month.

The old saying is, “the beauty of the church is that it’s the same wherever you go.” In my experience within the U.S. that's generally true, with allowance for local flair and preference. The doctrines taught in the Austin-area wards were basically the same as anywhere else. The people were friendly and often welcoming. But I miss having a ward to call my own. It makes me feel, perhaps for the first time, truly grateful for the geographic way we determine where our members attend services.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Why My Son Said He Didn’t Believe in Evolution — and Why That Troubled Me

by Rob T:

“Some people believe in evolution, that we came from apes. But I think they’re wrong because it’s not in the scriptures.”

Those words came from the mouth of my 5-year-old son recently. They took me by surprise, not because of his opinion, but because he was thinking of this issue and forming a personal stance. Was I underestimating his intelligence and awareness of such profound matters? That’s likely.

Impressed as I was that he could articulate this thought, I also was troubled by what he said.

Shouldn’t I have rejoiced, as an LDS parent, that my child took a firm stand with what I believe to be the word of God?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

MMM Search Term Roundup 16: January 2014 - March 2014

by Scott Heffernan:

When someone finds Modern Mormon Men via search engine, we get to see what they typed to get here, giving us a small glimpse into the thought processes of those who happen upon our site. I think our readers need to see these, so I'll be sharing them monthly. Some are funny, some are sad, some are disturbing. Maybe we can work together to give some context or help answer some of those curious questions. WARNING: Although some of the more explicit entries have been excluded, saucier phrases that are included have not been edited.

See all Search Term Roundups here.

do i have to wear a shirt and tie to mormon church
I would at least wear a shirt.

mormon soaking floating marinating
Whatever you call it, you’re not fooling anyone.

are mormon men good in bed

are murmons good in bed

why dont mormons have nipples
You’re thinking of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Take a Look at Yourself, and Make a Change

by Rob T:

The use of so-called “swear words” generally goes against religious sensibilities.

It also follows that a few garden-variety words are treated with the same disdain as swear words by some more conservative religions.

One of those words is “change.”

“We will stand firm!” “We will not waver!” “Our doctrine never changes!” Having been raised Catholic and now being a practicing Mormon, I’ve heard rhetoric like this in both faiths.

Catholic writer Damon Linker discusses the appeal of this notion and why there is resistance to change with his commentary on Pope Francis’ new, pastoral approach to divorced and remarried Catholics in relation to the sacrament of Holy Communion.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

MMM Protip: Don’t Tell Women They Look Better Without Makeup

by Shawn Tucker:

I get it—I really do. You want to say, “hey, I like you just the way you are” or “just the way God made you is wonderful” or “you can feel at home around me without the need to change how you look.” I get how in your mind that sounds great. It sounds like you really care about her and you don’t want her to feel the need to change herself. Toss in how you don’t want her to feel like she has to keep up with (worldly) ideas of beauty or value and hey, you are trying to say something genuinely kind and loving. And while that is what you are thinking, there’s a really good chance that that is not the message she’s getting.

I have two daughters who take quite different approaches to makeup. One daughter takes time to regularly wear makeup. The other daughter, well if she has makeup on then you know two things: 1—this must be some event or occasion and 2—her sister probably did it. And both are lovely, lovely women! What I have learned is that there is a lot more to wearing makeup than one might think. My daughter spends a fair amount of time every day applying her makeup. She is a naturally lovely woman, and when she wears makeup she is still lovely, and lovely in a different way. There seems to be something extra sparkly about her eyes and extra lovely in her smile.

But the fact that women look lovely in makeup is not the only reason why you Modern Mormon Men should avoid telling women that they look better without makeup. Perhaps the most important reason is because they didn’t ask you and their choice to wear makeup is not really about you. It is their choice and it is for them. The process of putting on makeup can be an important ritual, an activity where she uses her talents, creativity, and skill to add beauty and luster to what God has given. Sure, perhaps some women have men in mind, and perhaps some have other women in mind, but the reasons for wearing makeup are far more complex (and interesting) than to appeal or impress others or because of backwards, ignorant ideas about vanity.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Re-Encountering God Using Greene’s Notion of Plan B

by Shawn Tucker:

I just finished Ross Greene’s fabulous book The Explosive Child. An “explosive” child, according to Greene, is one who is often seen as attention-seeking, manipulative, disrespectful, and as displaying other behaviors that adults and even other children find challenging. Yet Greene puts forward some amazing ideas, including the notions that all kids do well if they can and that the vast majority of challenging behaviors occur because kids lack the skills needed to respond successfully to certain frustrating situations. In that respect, no kids are “evil;” they merely display their lagging skills in their poor responses to various situations.

In addition to the fundamental idea that all kids do well if they can or if they have the necessary skills, Greene describes three approaches or “plans” that adults employ for dealing with challenging behaviors. Plan A is where the adults set, or better put, impose behavioral norms on kids and demand compliance. This approach actually works with children who possess the skills necessary to meet those imposed standards. Plan B is when an adult genuinely listens to a child and then equally genuinely invites the child to collaborate with the adult on solving problems that they both recognize. Working as partners, the adult and child develop practical, realistic solutions that satisfy both parties. Plan C is when adults judiciously and temporarily set aside some challenging behaviors in order to focus efforts on challenges that have a higher priority.

This is the most general overview of Greene’s insights, yet while I encourage those interested to read this book, this should be a sufficient summary to explore some insights about God that Greene’s work might reveal. Greene does not talk about God at all in this book, but what if one’s relationship with one’s parents impacted one’s view of God? What if, for instance, you lived in a home where parents used Plan A exclusively or almost exclusively? You may grow up to see God as Someone who imposes upon humans norms and standards and then demands compliance. The righteous are those who have the skills to meet those demands, while the wicked cannot.

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