Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

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.

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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July 27th, 2015 08:00:04

Naea Bennet, Sabbath Hero

July 26th, 2015 by G.

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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…)

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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…)

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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.

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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?


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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…)

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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…)

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July 14th, 2015 06:10:00

Bright Minds and Bright Paint

July 13th, 2015 by G.

On the sweetness of Mormon life.

The “youth” speaker is a little blonde girl who grew up in the better kind of trailer home in a family compound. She turned out to be brain. A couple of years ago, you recall, she won the state science fair or something like that with lasers or transistors or something like that. She went to BYU, got married, and is home for the summer and also very pregnant. Her husband is a Basque-Indio hipster hardcore social conservative. Her topic is service. She takes Paul’s little sermon that begins “Charity never faileth” and replaces charity with service. It is illuminating. (more…)

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July 13th, 2015 11:16:50

The Wars of the Gods

July 09th, 2015 by G.

In normative versions of the creation story, Adam and Eve at first don’t recognize Satan when they meet him in the Garden. Later, as a consequence of his actions, he is exposed.   But then, curiously, when expelled from the Garden, they again don’t recognize him.

I think that is a signal that we are supposed to consider Adam and Eve’s after-garden experience as part of a pattern that repeats itself, the pattern that first took place in the Garden. (more…)

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July 09th, 2015 08:30:16

Implications of our Mother in Heaven

July 04th, 2015 by Bruce Charlton

Feeling the implications of having a Mother in Heaven is a thing the pace of which I have not forced; but which has gradually crept up on me in the time since – not much more than a year ago – I became sure of her reality.

As would probably be expected from an understanding of the complementarity of the sexes – there are situations when thoughts of Mother in Heaven hardly arise – and one of these is theology. It seems natural, and almost necessary, to focus exclusively on Heavenly Father (and Jesus Christ) when discussing theological matters.

So far, her reality is most vivid in meditation – as contrasted with prayer. When I consider Heaven, and when I get a glimmering of a vision of this state, it makes a great difference that the divine family is headed by a Father and Mother – rather than a Father alone.

And Mother in Heaven works against losing myself in abstraction, and makes ‘God’ into actually real persons; makes ‘God’ a complex and differentiated entity – not anything like a simple force.

Mother in Heaven makes my feeling of the love of God something individual and specific and concrete – a very here and now and palpable kind of love.

And when I think of the monarchy of Heaven, I now think in terms of an ideal version of the many models of rulership between Man and Woman that are depicted in Tolkien’s Legendarium: Beren and Luthien, Earendil and Elwing, Celeborn and Galadriel, Aragorn and Arwen, Tom Bombadil and Goldberry.

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July 04th, 2015 12:01:49