By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog

My Journey Back to God

My Journey Back to God

Mette Ivie Harrison, a well-known mystery and young-adult novelist, is the author of The Book of Laman, which was published this week by BCC Press. Below, reproduced in its entirety, is the author’s afterword to this exciting new book. The Book of Laman can be purchased here in paperback form and here as a Kindle e-book. […]

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Succession in the Presidency: A Feature, a Bug, or Both?

Succession in the Presidency: A Feature, a Bug, or Both?

Most of you I’m sure are familiar with the 1844 succession crisis. When Joseph was killed in the Carthage jail, who would then lead the Church? If his brother Hyrum had survived, as Assistant President it surely would have been him. There is a good chance it would have been Joseph’s son Joseph III if […]

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“What’s a nice Mormon girl like you doing writing plays like this?”

“What’s a nice Mormon girl like you doing writing plays like this?”

Melissa Leilani Larson is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter whose work has been seen on four continents. Her first book, Third Wheel: Peculiar Stories of Mormon Women in Love was released this week by By Common Consent Press. BCC Readers can purchase the book here for a 20% discount using the code QNTEGAHB. The Kindle version can also […]

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Trek Re-Enactments We’d Like to See, Ranked

Trek Re-Enactments We’d Like to See, Ranked

It’s summer! It’s time to dust off the pioneer clothes! It’s time to walk some miles with carts! It’s time for well-intentioned stake leaders to pretend to be a mob and wake you up in the morning with gunfire! It’s time to explain in Sacrament meeting that you “get” your pioneer ancestors now! It’s TREK […]

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Trump, Scouting, my Dad, and Me

Trump, Scouting, my Dad, and Me

[Cross-posted to In Media Res] I don’t know why this makes me so angry, but it does. Maybe anger’s not the right word; I’m not angry, I don’t think. (I rarely get angry; not in my make-up, I suppose.) But I am annoyed, chagrined, bothered, upset, pissed off. And I suppose I know why too, […]

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If Gender is Essential, Why Are We Pushing It?

If Gender is Essential, Why Are We Pushing It?

I have often said that the gender roles described in the Proclamation are unnecessary because either they are descriptive (meaning people naturally behave this way, so who cares) or prescriptive (meaning, people should behave this way, but if it’s not natural to them, they won’t anyway and you can’t make them). This perspective neutralizes the power […]

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Sister Wives Series #12: Mary Larsen (the 11th—and final—wife)

Sister Wives Series #12: Mary Larsen (the 11th—and final—wife)

Part 12 in a series; see the rest of the series here. To commemorate Pioneer Day this year, I am returning to the Sister Wives Series I began to commemorate Pioneer Day last year. Today I am writing about Archibald Gardner’s 11th and final wife, Mary Larsen from Denmark, who married 55-year-old Archibald Gardner when she […]

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These Are the Books!

These Are the Books!

It’s July 24th. On this day 170 years ago, the Mormon pioneers entered Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young said “this is the place,” and we have been celebrating ever since. But you know what we will be celebrating 170 years from today? We don’t either. But there is a good chance that it will be […]

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Second Guessing the Call to Serve

Second Guessing the Call to Serve

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t thank the Lord for having the courage to second guess the call to serve. Let me explain. When I turned 19 in the spring of aught-ninety-eight (a show of hands if you’ve never heard the expression), I joined the throngs of other nineteen-year-olds (there may have been […]

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The Redemption of the Pharisee

The Redemption of the Pharisee

Hope Harrison served a mission in Houston TX from 2013-2015. Since then Texas has been her favorite shape for waffles, cookies, and corn chips. She is currently a senior at MIT, studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She loves sharing friendship and understanding with people of different religions and has participated in the Addir interfaith […]

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What Kind of Rules are Commandments?

What Kind of Rules are Commandments?

“There are in nature neither rewards nor punishments — there are consequences.”— Robert G. Ingersoll If I had to select one thing that sets my adult spiritual understanding apart from the one I had as a child (i.e. until my late 30s or so) it would be that the adult me has adopted of a […]

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On Becoming a Liberal-Minded Mormon

On Becoming a Liberal-Minded Mormon

I self-identify as a liberal-minded Mormon.[1] But I was just wondering, “How did I get this way?” I was pretty conservative as a kid, and it was not set in stone that I should grow up to become progressive in my religious views. So I thought I would think back over my life’s history and […]

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A Low, Quiet Calm

A Low, Quiet Calm

The following is an excerpt from Tracy McKay’s new book, The Burning Point. For the next three days, you can purchase the Kindle edition of The Burning Point for the surreally low price of $3.99–just because we love you. Don’t miss out on this phenomenal deal from BCC Press. My search for God started early, […]

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Using or abusing dystopian fiction

Using or abusing dystopian fiction

Like a lot of people, I spent some time leading up to and following the recent American presidential election reading some dystopian fiction in my spare time. I’ll recommend a few titles at the end of this post. But first, this morning I read K. E. Colombini’s provocative First Things post about dysfic. In a nutshell, Colombini […]

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Coming Soon from BCC Press

Coming Soon from BCC Press

As you all know, BCC Press has unleashed a tide of awesomeness on the universe that cannot be contained. And we have given up all pretense of even trying. On July 24–that magic Mormon miracle day–we will have our biggest release yet, as three (count-em, THREE) new books will be released all at once. And […]

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Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness: Why a Temple? Why Sacraments?

Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness: Why a Temple? Why Sacraments?

Terryl Givens gave the following talk in my Provo ward yesterday. I couldn’t pass up the chance to ask Professor Givens if I could post it as part of our occasional “Sunday Sermons” series, and he graciously accepted. I had a long conversation a few days ago with a much beloved daughter. We were talking […]

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Intercessory Prayer

Intercessory Prayer

Anglo-Mormon that I am, I subscribe to the Society of St. John the Evangelist‘s daily “Brother, Give Us a Word” email. A few weeks back, the word was “Intercede,” and this is what Br. Geoffrey Tristram had to say about it: Intercessory prayer is hard work, but it is a work of love. It is […]

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Virtue and Self-Reliance

Virtue and Self-Reliance

One summer, my parents’ ward held a special Sunday School class for the kids who had come back from college for the summer.[fn1] The Sunday School class was essentially a basic financial life skills class, the kind of thing that every college student (and most of the rest of us) needs, but that is woefully undertaught. […]

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