Vegetarianism and the church

By: Steve H - February 28, 2005

I would like to contrast two opposing views of vegetarianism. One takes Gen 9:3, “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you,” and 1 tim 4:3 about evil people that will come “commanding to abstain from meats,” and says, as a friend once did, “That’s why vegetarians don’t make good mormons.” (more…)

The Past as the Present

By: Steve H - February 28, 2005

Reading my daughter’s My First Book of Mormon, my wife was struck by a strategic lack of beards. Certain heroes were conspicuously placed as beardless among their bearded counterparts. Nephi, for instance is beardless among his prothers and Alma is the only beardless one among the priests of Noah. In each case, the change seems intended to let us know who the characeter is. (more…)

Painting by Numbers

By: J. Stapley - February 24, 2005

As I sat coloring with my son the other day, I remembered a story on NPR about President Eisenhower’s love for Paint by Numbers. He had his Cabinet each do one for the Presidential gallery and other famous people contributed as well. If I remember right, Ezra Taft Benson was reluctant in his effort (rumor was that his aids did it). I couldn’t find the story online to verify this, but I did find this interesting article. (more…)

Evolution of the Spirit of Elijah

By: J. Stapley - February 23, 2005

I’ve always been fascinated how Mormons use the term “Spirit of Elijah”. What is it exactly that we are talking about? I took a look in the The Words of Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses and Collected Discourses and found only four instances of “Spirit of Elijah” and three of them were not how we used them today: (more…)

Jews and Posthumous Baptism

By: J. Stapley - February 20, 2005

In 1995 the Church reached an agreement with prominent genealogists and activists in the Jewish community to remove the genealogical records of many Jews from the ordinance indices of the church. The Church announced as policy that members should not do ordinance work for Jews other than their direct descendants. The problem is that Holocaust victims and prominent Jews (e.g., Einstein) keep popping up in the records. Among the many issues that this raises, there are two that I find interesting: 1) does removing the names from the records negate the ordinances and 2) is this a matter of doctrine or public relations? (more…)

Splendid Sun Upgrade

By: J. Stapley - February 18, 2005

I have updated my site to WordPress 1.5 (and tweaked the layout a bit). Hopefully, things look a little nicer and are easier to use (note the new comment box). This is the first unveiling of a series of new things in the works – look for others at by the end of the week. I would appreciate any feedback in making Splendid Sun better.

1845 Proclamation of the Twelve

By: J. Stapley - February 16, 2005

I was doing some research and stumbled upon the Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles to the World. Not the one often discussed in the last years, but the one proclaimed in 1845. I was astonished first by the existence of such a precedent. Then I was astonished by its content. (more…)

Blog Update

By: J. Stapley - February 07, 2005

I’m heading to Purdue tomorrow (Tuesday) to negotiate for the rights to the patent I developed while at grad school. I should be posting and commenting at night, but if it is slow during the day, that is why. I’ll be back on Saturday.


By: J. Stapley - February 03, 2005

Behold. The piece de resistance (I haven’t figured out how to add accents). Dave’s Mormon Inquiry is, in my estimation, as good as it gets. Welcome.

Edited “R”’s and our Need for Popular Culture

By: Steve H - February 02, 2005

I will take as a given here the counsel of the brethren not to watch “R” rated movies, though of course I may get comments on it despite that. My concern is not for whether we should watch unedited “R” movies, but why we feel compelled to fight for our right to The Matrix and a clear consicence. (more…)

The Tranformation of American Religion

By: J. Stapley - February 01, 2005

I recently picked up a book I read a while back: The Transformation of American Religion – How We Actually Live Our Faith. By Alan Wolfe (Boston College and The New Republic). I thought I would toss out a few notes on the book. (more…)