Thursday, November 6, 2014

Highlights from the bloggernacle

These are interesting times for the LDS church.  The Mormon moment that started with Mitt Romney's candidacy for president has not really lost much steam.  The number of missionaries serving is at its pinnacle - about 88,000.  The church continues to be spotlighted by the media for a variety of reasons in a wide range of media outlets. Many church members have also received attention do to their activism.  In response to this added scrutiny, the church has published essays on church history and doctrine.  Recently the church also produced a video clip explaining the sacred nature of garments and temple clothing, a move that 20 years would be unthinkable.  The result of all this is a very active bloggernacle.  I thought I would highlight a few of the more interesting media and blog entries I have seen in the last month or so. 

Here is an article in the Daily Beast about the LDS temple in Rome, Italy which is currently under construction.  

This interesting piece by Jana Reiss on modesty offers an interesting view point on the topic.  Some of the rules at BYU and BYU-Idaho are a bit extreme.  From banning beards to blocking You Tube (yes they really did that when I was going to BYU only a few years ago) Church institutions love focusing on the nitty gritty.  Jana Reiss asks an interesting question, does the focus on the unimportant things detract us from some of the more important principles of the gospel?

Another interesting piece by Johnny Wycliffe deals with spiritual abuse.  Are we every guilty of using church or gospel principles to exert pressure on others in an unrighteous manor?  In the wards I have been in most of the members and leaders would have graded out well in those questions.  Yet looking at other people's experiences I know this isn't always the case, which is why I wanted to highlight this blog.

Lastly, a response to the Church's new article on Joseph Smith's polygamy.  It was an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune. I think this is a well intended response that brings up some important aspects.   


  1. Hi Matthew,
    My name is Mark Willder. I stumbled upon your blog doing some research for LDS missions in Estonia, as my son is heading over there in 8 weeks. We just dropped him off at the MTC two days ago.

    It's been great to learn about Estonia through your words and photographs, and to follow your time there. I'm only through 2010, so I'm excited to learn what happens to you guys!! I worked on a Ph.D in German Literature years ago, so I'm very much enjoying your posts about your path of study, etc.

    Keep an eye out for Elder Willder this coming January! He had an Estonian tutor for the past three months as we thought it would help him have a head start and maybe reduce some of the stress. The tutor was an RM, married to an Estonian woman (young woman) from Talinn; her name is Caronlian. Not sure if you know her family at all.

    Anyway, thank again for this blog, and I'm sure my wife will enjoy it as well.


    Mark Willder

    1. Hi Mark,
      Thank you for the comment, I hope you enjoy the blog. That is great you son will be serving in Estonia! There isn't a better place to serve. The missionaries here are excellent and they all love the new mission president. We know Karolina well and I bet she was an excellent tutor for him. That is nice he had that opportunity, learning Estonian is a stressful experience! We'll be excited to meet Elder Wilder in January!