Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

We Need to Gather to Zion Culturally

July 12th, 2016 by The Junior Ganymede

The JrG is pleased to share this guest post from our friend Aardvark.  He proposes a cultural variant of the Benedict Option.

Sometimes I find myself envious of Lehi and his family, or of the early saints; they had somewhere to go. Things got weird, they saw that things got weird, so they packed their bags and left. Sure, I’m glossing over a whole host of important details that would make me less envious of those two parties, but suffice it to say, lately I feel the the desire to leave for the wilderness and gather very keenly.


Alas there are few empty places in the world left to run to, and short of an explicit call to gather from the prophet there are most likely not enough people willing to leave that could make any self-imposed exile sustainable in the long run. It seems that we are left with the Benedict Option as our first step. This idea has been covered on this blog recently and previously, as well as in other places so I’ll avoid rehashing what it is.


Ultimately, it seems that many people I speak with think this isn’t even available as a first step for us anymore. It seems that we are in the world a bit too much these days. For Mormons this appears to be the crux. We have many of the necessary structures in place already to execute a highly successful Benedictine withdrawal, but our desire for respectability keeps us trying to straddle the line. As modern culture continues its willful descent into a Hieronymus Bosch painting, we’ll get pulled down along with it.


As has been observed by others on this blog, we as Mormons have outsourced much of our cultural and social economies to the broader culture; shunning the world then simply will not work. On the one hand, we are too reliant on it for our entertainment. On the other, we cannot retreat or hide from the onslaught of a decadent culture forever, hiding behind rocks that progressively get smaller and smaller. What we need to do, is replace it. Yes, let us replace the decadent culture around us with a rich beautiful culture infused with the sense of divinity we lay claim to as Latter-day Saints. And when I say culture, I don’t mean we should pick off the lowest hanging fruit. I aim for us to retake the ultimate expression of a society’s culture: its theater, dance, music, architecture, sculpture, drawing, painting, and other fine arts. (more…)

Comments (15)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , ,
July 12th, 2016 12:00:19

The Good Tent Zion: Juxtapositions VIII

November 28th, 2014 by G.

Pavilions, tents, and canopies. (more…)

Comments (0)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , ,
November 28th, 2014 09:11:36

Two Atonements

April 11th, 2014 by G.

There are two atonements.
Christ becomes one with us (salvation).
Then we become one with Christ (exaltation).

Comments (0)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , ,
April 11th, 2014 16:23:26

What We Could Learn from the Amish

April 08th, 2014 by G.

The Amish are one of the few healthy communities in the modern world by the simplest and most profound metric.

At the same time, they aren’t able to excel in math, technology, art, or society. Their (very effective and admirable) solution is also self-limiting.

But the Mormon model isn’t ideal either. It allows more individual and family excellence and much more missionary work. But it isn’t as good at promoting real community (I know, because I grew up in an old-fashioned stake in one of the Mormon settlements on the Deseret periphery that was still run the old way, and I can see the very big distance between then and now. It’s not just my youthful nostalgia either. My father moved there as an adult from the urban wards where he grew up; he gets choked up remembering the experience). And it isn’t as effective at retaining the young or even at having young. Though still quite good, mind you.

What’s needed, I think, is for Mormons to capture a little bit of that old experimental flair. We need more Mormon intentional communities. All kinds of efforts. We need more failures, basically.

Comments (3)
Filed under: We transcend your bourgeois categories | Tags: , , , , ,
April 08th, 2014 12:13:08

Ephraim’s Rescue

January 20th, 2014 by G.

The family watched Ephraim’s Rescue yesterday. We recommend it.

It was actually pretty funny, and yes, affecting and inspiring. I blubbered a bit and resolved to live a life worthier of a crown. (more…)

Comments (1)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
January 20th, 2014 15:38:27

That’s Why We’re Here

September 21st, 2012 by G.

I’m going to quote an atheist quoting a man of no obvious religious conviction to make a religious point. In fact, it may be *the* religious point. (more…)

Comments (10)
Filed under: Deseret Review,Martian Rose | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
September 21st, 2012 13:59:35

Bank foreclosures on churches skyrocket

March 09th, 2012 by Bookslinger


This illustrates the wisdom of the LDS church’s economic model of raising (or setting aside) funds in advance and paying cash for church buildings (no mortgages).

It also illustrates the wisdom of church headquarters owning the real estate and not the local congregations.

I suppose some of those empty churches might be just the right size to be easily adapted for LDS use.

Comments (2)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , ,
March 09th, 2012 13:57:03

Feet to Zion

June 13th, 2011 by G.

On the sweetness of Mormon life (more…)

Comments (4)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , ,
June 13th, 2011 11:20:12

Walter Mead Runs over the Clercs with a Mac Truck.

May 13th, 2011 by G.

Gotta say, the clercs have it coming.

Here in the early years of the twenty-first century, the American elite is a walking disaster and is in every way less capable than its predecessors. It is less in touch with American history and culture, less personally honest, less productive, less forward looking, less effective at and less committed to child rearing, less freedom loving, less sacrificially patriotic and less entrepreneurial than predecessor generations. Its sense of entitlement and snobbery is greater than at any time since the American Revolution; its addiction to privilege is greater than during the Gilded Age and its ability to raise its young to be productive and courageous leaders of society has largely collapsed.

Booyah. (more…)

Comments (3)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , ,
May 13th, 2011 12:51:25

An Imperfect Plat for the City of Zion

April 15th, 2011 by G.

For fans of a Plat for the City of Zion, this article about how our souls are shaped by our setting is an extremely good read. (more…)

Comments (0)
Filed under: We transcend your bourgeois categories | Tags: , ,
April 15th, 2011 10:47:40

Scholarship, Art, and Culture that are Specifically Mormon

January 17th, 2011 by G.

Comments (3)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , , , ,
January 17th, 2011 17:25:19

Amish Hackers

October 05th, 2010 by G.

It’s hard not to see a lot of good in the Amish approach to community and technology. (more…)

Comments (2)
Filed under: We transcend your bourgeois categories | Tags: , , , , , , ,
October 05th, 2010 09:03:41

Life in a Body

April 06th, 2010 by G.

Ross Douthat does his best to sound Mormon.

Comments (1)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , ,
April 06th, 2010 09:51:15

The Sacred Origins of the State

March 01st, 2010 by G.

Comments (2)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , ,
March 01st, 2010 10:38:26

They Can Stick It

April 20th, 2009 by G.

On the sweetness of Mormon life–
I am waiting to pass the sacrament. Our newest deacon explains to me in whispers why “Rock of Ages” is wrong for an opening hymn. (more…)

Comments (2)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , , ,
April 20th, 2009 06:49:30