Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Mainstream and Mormon Christianity and Agency – compared

February 05th, 2016 by Bruce Charlton

[Note: The following is from my ‘Notions’ blog, and attempts to explain something to non-Mormon Christians – especially those who try to ‘explain’ Mormon theology in terms of a borrowing and synthesis of various forms of paganism and Christian heresies such as Arianism and Pelagianism… but it may be of interest here… especially since I am trying briefly to summarize some implicit aspects of Mormon theology which are seldom taken much notice of by active members of the CJCLDS – and indeed why should they be?]


When people talk about ‘free will’ they are implicitly referring to an uncaused cause – in other words, the ability to act (e.g. to think a thought) without that act being caused but coming from within. (more…)

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February 05th, 2016 05:56:29

BYU Thoughts on the Sexes

February 04th, 2016 by G.

Date night

In the LDS church, for Sunday services we take communion (we call it “the sacrament”), then we intersperse sermons with hymns. The sermons come from the congregation. The bishop picks new speakers each week. In most congregations, when some new family moves in, the bishop customarily has the couple speak. The wife speaks first and does the social thing: she introduces the family.


Today the wife told a typical story about how they met. He was her hometeacher at BYU, they dated a few weeks, got engaged, and were married a few months later.


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February 04th, 2016 08:48:33

Anatomy of Honesty

February 02nd, 2016 by G.

What is honesty? Brother Petersen answered the question in his Ocrober 1971 general conference address from the Saturday morning session, Honesty, a Principle of Salvation. (more…)

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February 02nd, 2016 07:30:38

The Boys in the Boat – a book review

February 01st, 2016 by G.

Some sports books suffer from not taking their subject seriously enough.  Seriously, not somberly.  Meaning that the book does not view game-playing as an end in itself.  The Boys in the Boat is not that sort of book.  It is one of the best sports books I have ever read. (more…)

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February 01st, 2016 11:50:12

What is the purpose of Death?

February 01st, 2016 by Bruce Charlton

We already know that death is necessary for spiritual progression toward a higher and fuller state of divinity – but how does this work?

If the purpose of mortal life is incarnation (to get a body) then why? One answer may be that the body brings us irresistibly into contact with ‘the world’ – because the body is unavoidably part of the world. (more…)

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February 01st, 2016 06:30:53

The Continuing Curse of Babel

January 31st, 2016 by Zen

One thing that has had my attention for a while now, is how our language puts good for bad, even when we intend no such thing.

Thus, common language compels us to understand that something that is “wicked”, “sick”, “naughty”, “sinful” or even “perverted” is something good. Bad boys, and rebels, are held in esteem. While on the other hand, a “goody two-shoes” is an obnoxious person.

One bit of language that has really had my attention, is the use of the word “porn”, not in the sense of actual naked bodies, but as a kind of hedonistic indulgence. So, a gallery of fine vintage cars would be called “car porn”. A fine collection of computers would be “computer porn”. I just saw a demonstration of the Hilbert Curve referred to as “math porn”. No one is going to complain about the Hilbert Curve, but then it would seem to suggest, that likewise, no one would object to pornography.

It isn’t at NewSpeak levels yet, but there is a real problem here, where our language itself called evil good, and good evil, even when we do not!

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January 31st, 2016 18:47:11

The Cattle who Stripped the Field Bare

January 28th, 2016 by G.

Once a herd of cattle in a field decided that it was unfair that the bull ate so much more grass than the cows. Even the bull said he saw the justice of the complaint. But as he was not willing to eat less grass, it was decided that the cows would have to eat more. (more…)

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January 28th, 2016 06:59:55

Repenting like Achilles

January 27th, 2016 by G.

The Lovely One read Lehi’s deathbed counsel to his children recently. She found some interesting points that I had not remarked before. (more…)

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January 27th, 2016 12:15:33

No Easy Path

January 26th, 2016 by G.

The  most discouraging thing I saw last Sunday was roughly 1/4 to 1/3 of the children in Sacrament meeting being entertained with tablets.  Tablets are easy.  But they are not a solution to the challenge of taming children to church attendance.  They are a way of avoiding the problem.  The high road gets to Scotland faster, it turns out, because the low road does not get there at all.


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January 26th, 2016 07:30:29

Two Keys of Manhood

January 25th, 2016 by G.

Manhood has two different musical keys.  Many of the same notes, but being played in a different arrangement. (more…)

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January 25th, 2016 06:44:45

Where Change Is — Juxtapositions XI

January 21st, 2016 by G.

  • Caelum, non animum mutant, qui trans mare currunt.  They change their sky but not their soul, those who cross the sea.


  • Wherever you go, there you are.


  • The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ would take the slums out of people, and then they would take themselves out of the slums.

-Ezra Taft Benson

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January 21st, 2016 21:33:08

Working Out Our Collective Salvation

January 19th, 2016 by G.

“Individual salvation” is a phrase that nowhere occurs in the scriptures.

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The concept can be found there. But so can the concept of corporate salvation. (more…)

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January 19th, 2016 07:30:39

Dangerous Waters

January 18th, 2016 by G.

Here’s a talk I gave at church.

A few years ago I was at an Air Force base in Honduras with the National Guard. Lovely place, up in the highlands. Pine forests and temperate. The group of us had a day off and decided to go exploring. We poked around in the little town and ended up on the outskirts at a gorgeous waterfall. Since we were not in the United States, there were no guard rails and we were free to get down in the waterfall and compete to see how much of the pounding force we could take, or to climb up top and compete to see how close to the edge we could get. We were young men and full of blood, so being free to do those things, we did those things. It was a beautiful experience. The water was clear and gorgeous. It sparkled like crystals in the sunshine. When we got back to base, the regulars there were appalled. “Don’t you know,” they said, “that the town discharges its untreated sewage a few miles upstream?” We didn’t know, of course. The water looked pure. But the most important thing about our waterfall experience turned out to be something we could not see, something we had no control over, that had already happened miles upstream. The vomiting and the diarrhea started a few hours later. It continued the rest of our tour.


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January 18th, 2016 10:49:07

Surprised by Grief

January 15th, 2016 by G.

Grief is a form that love takes.  In the distinction that C.S. Lewis has popularized between enjoyment and contemplation, grief enjoys love.  In grief, one contemplates the loved one and enjoys the love.

I have mulled over grief lately.  My conclusions may be best expressed by an analogy to Lewis’ concept of Joy.  It is a longing for one knows not what, painful but desired, and the longing for Joy can itself be a form of Joy.  It also cannot be forced or manufactured.

Grief though painful is desirable.  When you grow out of a grief,you cease to actively feel that love for the departed–the memory of what is being grieved has worn thin.  When you notice that you have stopped grieving, you experience that as a loss also and therefore also as a grief.  That is the second grieving.  And the second grieving usually awakens the first.  After both are done, the grief is rare.  But when grief still stabs, it is painful but also very desirable, because it brings back the one you miss and your love for them.

At the same time, you mostly cannot and certainly should not aim for the feeling of grief.  It is hard to do.  And when it is done, it dulls both your ability to do it in the first place and your memory and relationship with the one you grieve.  It deadens not only your access, but what is accessed.  Grief should never come to substitute for the subject of the grief.

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January 15th, 2016 07:19:37

Grieving for Things

January 13th, 2016 by G.

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In Surprised by Joy, C.S. Lewis talks about his last term at Wyvern, which he hated.  He says that even a chair can take on a ghostly quality when you know it is the last time you will ever see it. (more…)

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January 13th, 2016 07:11:21