Biblical Curses are Not Racist & Latter-day Saints Do Not Need to Apologize

When one thinks of the word curse their mind may take them back to a favorite children’s book, fairy tale, or Disney movie. The curses found in scripture take on a very different meaning. The Bible begins with the glory of creation, but the narrative of man’s relation to God quickly devolves into a theme

Patterns of Restoration – How Christ Offers Personal and Institutional Healing

The thing about scripture, is that though atheists seem to make it look easy by poking holes here and there or to point to awkward commandments (the don’t eat shellfish/don’t wear wool mingled with linen variety) and removing them from their historical context, one thing is certain, and that is that there is a sure

3 Issues That Still Haunt the Church & 3 Fatal Flaws In the Critics’ Argument

Many, I am sure, if they have any knowledge of the following culturally sensitive topics as they relate to the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saint’s history, have long written the church off as an awkward cult in the mountains of Utah. Why go to a church “with a history” and with “baggage”? There are

The Church’s REAL Name: Addressing Stumbling Blocks to the Restored Church

Telling the world we no longer wish to go by “Mormons,” “Mormonism,” or the “Mormon Church,” names that were never accurate in the first place and instead asserting our real name, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not, as President Russell M. Nelson pointed out, a publicity stunt. This course correction is

Was Joseph Smith a criminal, a fraud, and a supporter of slavery?

Among the list of stigmas Latter-day Saints have to deal with none are more insidious than the claims that Joseph Smith was a fraud, a criminal, and a supporter of slavery. These accusations were front-and-center with the liberal media during the Mitt Romney campaigns as they cherry-picked parts of the Church’s history (see video at

“One True Church” and the Intent Behind the Statement

There is a Biblical theme that is so repetitive throughout ancient scripture that one might expect that a modern-day counterpart would be accepted with enthusiasm. In a world wracked by division and violence, where are the prophets? Where are the visions and the priesthood? Has God ceased to speak to man? Have men ceased to

A Common Misconception – Does the Church of Jesus Christ have an unpaid clergy?

In January of 2017, a group known as ‘MormonLeaks’ – led by Ryan McKnight – released financial information regarding stipends, compensations, or salaries of General Authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The compensation is distributed to about 100 individuals for their administrative responsibilities, who serve in full-time capacities for the worldwide

Does the Bible warn against Joseph Smith’s angelic messenger?

As my class was learning about the Second Great Awakening, one of my students reiterated a popular notion amongst Evangelical and mainline Protestant sects, that the angel Moroni’s visit to Joseph Smith violates the Bible, and therefore, is an indication of him being a false prophet. In the first chapter of Paul’s Epistle to the

What does the Bible say about a homosexual community, and is it time to privatize marriage?

Fears of a Donald Trump presidency have sounded alarms that his VP, Mike Pence, has an agenda to overturn the SCOTUS decision legalizing gay marriage, even though Trump said he is “fine,” with the decision and is ready to move on. Are those just words? Is the Religious Right back in control and ready to

“The Story of God with Morgan Freeman” – Can we unite on our shared beliefs?

Actor Morgan Freeman and the Executive Producer, Lori McCreary, appeared on Yahoo in an interview to discuss the upcoming National Geographic series “The Story of God with Morgan Freeman.” Yahoo’s news and finance anchor, Bianna Golodryga, turned to this year’s  primary election season and the comments Trump made on banning Muslim immigrants “until we figure it

Is the Book of Mormon Racist?

  Early in 2012, during Mormon candidate Mitt Romney’s run for the Republican nomination for president, Dr. Obery M. Hendricks, author of The Universe Bends Toward Justice, published a piece in the Huffington Post on blacks and the Mormon priesthood. The fact that this topic came up during a presidential campaign demonstrates the gravity of

The Pope – A man of God, or just another man?

This week’s historic visit from Pope Francis to the U.S., which included a speech before Congress and a visit to the White House, begs a few questions. Who is the Pope to the American people? To the world? To many, the pope is just another man. What are we to take from this man’s appearance exhorting Americans to

Barriers to the Restoration & Reaching Fellow Bible Believers

It would do well for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to reflect on the media coverage their faith received from the past two election cycles and going forward. In short, the church is dealing with “a barrier to familiarity.”  What exactly were voters, and therefore other Christians unfamiliar with? Some

Pt. 3 – God’s Word and the Unpopular Notion of “One True Church”

A recent Newsmax article highlighted an of era American history that has been the subject of parts one and two, that of the First and Second Great Awakenings. These periods of religious reform heavily influenced the makeup of American life and culture and I don’t know if Christians today, let alone non-believers, appreciate the attitudes and the

Pt. 2 – God’s Word and the Unpopular Notion of “One True Church”

Recall in part one that we looked at the characteristics of Biblical prophets and that God has once again called them in our time. As a young boy, Joseph Smith, the founder and first prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was confused by the various dominations of his day, why they differed, and which

Pt. 1 – God’s Word and the Unpopular Notion of “One True Church”

It must be admitted that the least attractive contention in all of human history is one of one group’s claim of superiority over another. Supremacy belongs to God. At various times, God has established the truth through prophets, and prophets and their people existed in communities. Their claim was simple and always the same –

Sensationalism and Realities of Early Latter-day Saint Polygamy

Below is an essay I wrote for a research assignment analyzing primary sources in my first semester of graduate school at Sam Houston State University. I chose personal statements, newspapers, and Latter-day Saint scripture as the basis of my research on the topic of an early controversial practice among the Latter-day Saints. This was also

George Lucas asks, “Why are there so many religions?”

“If there is only one God, why are there so many religions?” -George Lucas In an interview with Charlie Rose (see video below), George Lucas explains what Star Wars “means” and makes an interesting conclusion on religion and humanity. As a child he asked, “Mom, if there is only one God, why are there so

Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code’ Questioned Christianity’s Origins – A comparison of ancient texts

In my Graduate program in History with Sam Houston State University, our professor asked us to compare books of the New Testament with books that are believed to be early Christian accounts of Paul and a young girl named Thecla, a gospel written by Thomas, and an epistle by Barnabas. Following the remarks below, I copied and pasted