Thursday, October 23, 2014


A partial solar eclipse darken North American skies this afternoon on October 23, 2014.  Many parts of the United States and Canada will see about half of the sun's disk obscured by the moon. Solar eclipses occur when the moon, sun and Earth line up, with the moon blocking all or part of the solar disk from viewers' perspective. The last one occurred on April 29 of this year.  A total solar eclipse will occur next year on March 20th, 2015 on the Spring Equinox, but will not be visible in North America. We will need to wait until August 21, 2017 to see the next eclipse here in Utah.  
Here is a photo I took from downtown Salt Lake City.


The LDS Church has been posting on it's website carefully worded essays about touchy topics that have caused some members to question their faith after researching and/or hearing about controversial issues. Many of the younger generation are learning for the first time about such topics like polygamy, multiple first vision accounts, and blacks denied the priesthood. This information has caused some to question and/or leave the Church. These essays have been written by scholars aimed at helping these members to better understand these difficult theological and historical issues surrounding our faith. The scholarly postings appear on under the heading "Teachings" and then under "Gospel Topics".

A memo dated Sept. 9 from the church’s "Priesthood Department" to "General Authorities; Area Seventies; Stake, Mission, and District Presidents; Bishops and Branch Presidents" explains the purpose of for the controversial articles.

"The purpose of the Gospel Topics section is to provide accurate and transparent information on church history and doctrine within the framework of faith," the memo said. "When church members have questions regarding [LDS] history and doctrine, possibly arising when detractors spread misinformation and doubt, you may want to direct their attention to these resources."

Here is list with the links to each of these essays:

Are Mormon’s Christian?

Becoming Like God

First Vision Accounts

Race and the Priesthood

Plural Marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Peace and Violence among 19th –Century Latter-day Saints

Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham

Book of Mormon and DNA Studies

Book of Mormon Translation

Temple Garments

The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage

Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo

Sidenote:  Too much transparency?

This week a new video on the Temple Garment was produced and posted on the Church's website as part of the essays on Temple Garments. I was surprised to see images, photos, and panning footage of our sacred temple clothing and garments. Some have been excommunicated for exposing this information in the past.

I wonder what the reaction would be if a Relief Society teacher displayed as her centerpiece all of the Temple clothing and Temple Garments as part of her lesson on the Temple. I think most would think that was inappropriate... even if she was displaying them in a Church building in front of members of the Church. If a table display as part of a Relief Society lesson would be deemed inappropriate, how is creating a news release with video footage for the entire, uninitiated world to see any different?