Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Evolutionary Adaptation and the Prophets: Courtship

November 16th, 2015 by G.

Sex selection is a big thing in evolution.  Why does the peacock have a gaudy, useless tail?  The only reason we can think of is that drab little peahens like the macho display.  The tail says, “look at me!  I’m (bird)man enough to survive and thrive while carrying all this useless junk around.”  So generation after generation the drab little peahens flock around the guys with the biggest tail and cluck over his eggs, and so generation after generation the little male peachicks are the ones with the genes for the biggest tails.  So every generation the pea race gets bigger tails, tempered only by the fact that, you know, a lot of the peacocks sporting big tails probably get eaten.

That’s the theory anyway.  It’s the best explanation we can come up with for features that otherwise don’t make sense. (more…)

Comments (6)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , ,
November 16th, 2015 06:41:19

The Angels that Pertain to Us

September 11th, 2015 by G.

I like the old, weird Mormonism.  The quirky doctrines that float out there like driftwood, but that tie in profoundly to the gospel when rightly understood.  Things like the three degrees of glory, immortal bodies having flesh but not blood, the devil’s dominion over the waters, the two atonements on the cross and at Gethsemane.

But the author of Mormonism is also the author of mere Christianity.  There’s plenty of quirks there too. (more…)

Comments (6)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , ,
September 11th, 2015 11:03:00

Secure in Council

September 10th, 2015 by G.

Secure authority is good authority. But as above, so below. Secure followers are good followers. (more…)

Comments (3)
Filed under: Birkenhead Drill,Deseret Review | Tags: , , , ,
September 10th, 2015 12:00:36

The Lion and the Robin

September 08th, 2015 by G.

In the grove in the evening, the lion heard a great racket from a father Robin and his brood and went to investigate.

“Friend Robin,” the lion said, “why do you make a fuss?”

“Look at this nest, O Lion. All my work on it is ruined.” The nest was a ring of thorns the robin had woven to keep the young away from the edge. But in the middle of the ring at the bottom of the nest there was little. The pine needles and other such stuff the robin put here had mostly fallen away.

“Do not fret, friend Robin,” the lion said. “As I walked here, I saw several empty nests. I will lead you to one. Then it will be as if your mistake never happened.”

“O Lion,” the robin replied, “what a piteous state would be mine if all my work for my brood were meaningless. I cannot bear that they go to another nest as if all my day’s work had never happened.”

“Then you will have your brood sleep in this nest?” the lion asked.

“No,” said the robin, “they would fall. It is not fair to them to suffer for my mistakes.”

“And you see no way for the nest to be repaired?” the lion asked.

“Oh no,” said the robin, “it was a bad idea from the start.”

Then the king of beasts took the ring of thorns and placed it on his own head. “Let your brood nest in my mane, walled in by you’ve the ring you made.”

Someone must bear the consequences.

Comments (7)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , ,
September 08th, 2015 11:30:01

Why does the Mormon church insist on good behaviour from all members?

August 14th, 2015 by Bruce Charlton

The average of behaviour is higher among Mormons than among the large Christian denominations. I wonder whether this may be related to the fact that nearly all Mormon men are Priests? (more…)

Comments (26)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , ,
August 14th, 2015 06:45:20

Too Proud to Play

August 12th, 2015 by G.

Elders’ Quorum this Sunday was Ezra Taft Benson on pride. He didn’t offer just one definition of pride. He offered several. Too big of a sin for soundbites. (more…)

Comments (4)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , ,
August 12th, 2015 09:30:19

The Benedict Option: the Brotherhood of the Way

August 05th, 2015 by G.

At last conference, Elder Perry gave a powerful appeal for the truth that there is a Way, a Tao, a Natural Religion, that unites believers across many faiths: (more…)

Comments (8)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , ,
August 05th, 2015 09:42:29

A Date with An Ironing Board

July 27th, 2015 by G.

Ironing Boards

On the sweetness of Mormon life.

It’s Saturday evening, and you need to do some ironing for Sunday and the week. Your wife, your lovely one, says, “do you remember when you ironed on one of our dates?” You don’t. She tells you. (more…)

Comments (6)
Filed under: Birkenhead Drill,Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , ,
July 27th, 2015 08:00:04

Naea Bennet, Sabbath Hero

July 26th, 2015 by G.

Comments (0)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , ,
July 26th, 2015 05:04:01

Too Much Holiness

July 24th, 2015 by G.


It’s hard to know when to stop being holy. Some things we are supposed to be doing, there are no natural stopping points. Can you ever do enough missionary work, when more people are born every minute then you can talk to in 60 seconds? Can you ever baptize the dead enough, when they die faster than you can baptize? Don’t run faster than you have strength, the scripture says. But conscience always whispers that maybe we have just a little bit more strength than we will let ourselves know. (more…)

Comments (2)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , , , ,
July 24th, 2015 10:20:43

Good Questions from an Investigator

July 20th, 2015 by G.

The following are lightly edited transcripts of a conversation I am having with an honest inquirer, who is also a friend of the JG.  He can out himself in the comments if he wishes.  Comments are welcome.  If you would like to have a private conversation with him, say so in the comments and the Club Committee will try to oblige, subject to the consent of the inquiring gentleman. (more…)

Comments (2)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , , , ,
July 20th, 2015 11:52:56

Mormon theology versus Classical theology – either may be Christian

July 20th, 2015 by Bruce Charlton

The fact that Mormons are Christian, and have remained Christian over eight generations – becoming more obviously Christian with each generation – proves to me that there is scope for at least two fundamentally different theologies and metaphysical systems to underlie Christianity.

Although I personally prefer Mormon theology and metaphysics; I acknowledge 100 percent that evidence from two thousand years demonstrates conclusively and abundantly that it is perfectly possible to be a Christian with Classical theology and metaphysics!

(To say the least of it!)

Therefore I regard metaphysics as proven to be (to some significant degree – although obviously not in an open-ended way) a matter of preference (individual preference, denominational preference) and not of fundamental necessity – furthermore I regard different metaphysical approaches as having different advantages and disadvantages because (being human constructions and understood and implemented by humans) none of them are completely-true.

The most I will say for Mormon metaphysics (which is a lot!) is that it has several advantages over Classical metaphysics – and that these advantages correspond to particular needs of our time and circumstances.

In some other respects mainstream Classical metaphysics are superior (e.g. in making clearer the greatness of God and His qualitative difference from Men – Mormon metaphysics does not deny this, of course! – but it is less-clear).

In sum, which metaphysical system a Christian adheres to should not be used as a criterion for challenging whether or not he is a Christian. Metaphysics is secondary to Christianity, which means we ought not to insist upon any particular species of it – the essence of the Christian religion is revelation.

Comments (7)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , ,
July 20th, 2015 05:36:26

The problem of Mormonism (for mainstream Christians)

July 16th, 2015 by Bruce Charlton

Musing on a recent posting and comments at The Orthosphere

The Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion

The problem of Mormonism for mainstream Christians could be analysed as follows:

If we distinguish Mormon Fruits from Beliefs – with Fruits being the behaviour of Mormons, and Beliefs being the doctrines, theology and scriptures – then:


The basic observation is that

1. Mormon Fruits are very similar-to mainstream Christian ideals


2. Mormon Beliefs are very different-from mainstream Christianity.

So, to mainstream Christians there seems to be a large mismatch between Mormon Fruits and Beliefs.

How to explain this?


Comments (34)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , ,
July 16th, 2015 05:23:58

The Founder’s Cult

July 15th, 2015 by G.

Peter Thiel says that successful new companies tend to turn into founder’s cults. It’s only natural. Building things is hard. Building institutions that build things is harder. You look around and see this successful thing, in a world of friction and entropy, and your heart is filled with respect. Respect is a form of love. It is akin to worship. (more…)

Comments (5)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , ,
July 15th, 2015 08:45:26

Why does the Book of Mormon (apparently) work better than The Bible as an instrument of conversion in the modern West?

July 14th, 2015 by Bruce Charlton

Why does the Book of Mormon (apparently) work better than The Bible as an instrument of conversion in the modern West? (more…)

Comments (5)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , ,
July 14th, 2015 06:10:00