By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog

“Thy will, O Lord, be done.” #MLK

“Thy will, O Lord, be done.” #MLK

Yesterday in the ward I attended we sang “When in the Wonderous Realms Above,” for the sacrament. This hymn has as its refrain, “Thy will, O Lord, be done.” The third verse goes like this: “We take the bread and cup this day / in memory of the sinless One / and pray for strength […]

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Guest Post: #MutualNight: Afrobeat & Fela Kuti’s “Zombie”

Guest Post: #MutualNight: Afrobeat & Fela Kuti’s “Zombie”

Trevor, a relatively recent BYU graduate and Utah transplant, loves to talk music and religion (though not usually in tandem). He blogs (infrequently) at furusatoe and tweets (frequently) at @thabermeyer. The first time I heard Talking Heads’ magnum opus, Remain In Light, I was stunned. Released in late 1980, the album sounded like none of […]

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25 Things NOT to Say to a Loved One Leaving the Church (& what to say instead)

25 Things NOT to Say to a Loved One Leaving the Church (& what to say instead)

Julie de Azevedo Hanks, PhD, LCSW is the owner/director of Wasatch Family Therapy, a popular blogger, an online mental health influencer, a local and national media contributor. Dr. Hanks’ new book The Assertiveness Guide For Women (download a free chapter) helps women find and use their authentic voices to improve their lives and relationships. Julie […]

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Book Review Roundup: JSPP, Spencer, Johnson/Reeder

Book Review Roundup: JSPP, Spencer, Johnson/Reeder

Once again, three quick reviews of some highly interesting books, any one of which is worthy of serious long-form discussion. Three very affordable books that really ought to be in everybody’s library/kindle collection, quite frankly. Ron Esplin, Matthew Grow, Matthew Godfrey, Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers […]

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Are Mormon General Authorities Overpaid?

Are Mormon General Authorities Overpaid?

Just a head’s-up: I’m not going to answer this question. I’m a law professor. A significant part of my job is to complicate questions that appear, on first glance, simple. Like this one. If you want a simplistic yes or no, I’m sure you can find it somewhere on the internet. The Salt Lake Tribune recently reported […]

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The Peaceful Transfer of Power: At What Cost its Celebration?

The Peaceful Transfer of Power: At What Cost its Celebration?

Church authorities have been at pains lately to emphasize that neither the participation of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir nor two apostles is an endorsement of the casino magnate cum president-elect. Instead, their participation is a celebration and reaffirmation of the peaceful transfer of power. Now, the peaceful transfer of power is certainly a pearl of great price, but […]

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Nihilist Gospel Doctrine Lesson #3

Nihilist Gospel Doctrine Lesson #3

Lesson 3: “I Had Seen a Vision” (note: Lesson 2 was skipped for being so dang sincere. Picking on it felt like kicking a puppy. I’m not a monster.) Purpose To strengthen class members’ testimonies of the First Vision and of Joseph Smith’s calling as the prophet through whom God restored the fulness [sic] of […]

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Does the Source of GA Allowances Matter?

Does the Source of GA Allowances Matter?

In the wake of the recent GA allowance leak, a Church spokesman made this statement: “None of the funds for this living allowance come from the tithing of Church members, but instead from proceeds of the Church’s financial investments.” I’m trying to figure out whether this caveat should make a difference in how we perceive […]

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Lesson 3: “I Had Seen a Vision” #DandC2017

Lesson 3: “I Had Seen a Vision” #DandC2017

Learning Outcomes: At the end of class, students will be able to: Describe the religious and cultural context in which Joseph Smith had his First Vision. Compare the various accounts of the First Vision. Summarize the relevance of the First Vision to contemporary Mormon belief and practice. Vermont, New York, and Religious Liberty Joseph lived […]

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Spirituality as a Skill, Not a Talent

Spirituality as a Skill, Not a Talent

This is an attempt to bat some ideas around that I originally picked up here in a mindfulness/fitness context. Your mileage may, and likely will, vary. It’s entirely possible that this post doesn’t apply to you at all. That’s cool. Sometimes, when people tell me that they are experiencing a faith transition or challenge, when […]

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Sunday Morning Poem: Henry Vaughan, “The Night”

Sunday Morning Poem: Henry Vaughan, “The Night”

I love this poem by the Welsh poet Henry Vaughan (1621-95), for its marvelous depiction of the mystical life. His phrase “dazzling darkness” owes to John of the Cross, the 16th-century Spanish mystic whose Dark Night of the Soul sets out an apophatic spirituality, and Vaughan, too, urges the night, both literal and metaphorical, as the […]

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Cleaning the Church

Cleaning the Church

Today our turn on the cleaning schedule rolled around once again. My wife and I both have colds, but not wanting to leave the team leader in the lurch I went in and emptied all the garbage throughout the building. Since there was a family of four and a single sister also on the team, […]

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1/15 Deadline: Applications for 2017 Mormon Theology Seminar

1/15 Deadline: Applications for 2017 Mormon Theology Seminar

The Fourth Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology “God Himself Shall Come Down: Reading Mosiah 15” College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia June 5–June 17, 2017 Sponsored by the Mormon Theology Seminar in partnership with The Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies and The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship […]

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Thoughts on Two Baptisms, 1989 and 2016

Thoughts on Two Baptisms, 1989 and 2016

PCB is a professor and prior guest of the blog. We’re really glad he chose to share these sacred thoughts here. Recently I baptized my eight-year-old son. It was an emotional and profoundly spiritual experience for me, perhaps one of the most important in my life. I know a lot of parents feel this way, […]

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Nihilist Gospel Doctrine Lesson #1

Nihilist Gospel Doctrine Lesson #1

Introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Purpose: To introduce class members to this year’s study of the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history and to help them understand their place in the dispensation of the fullness of times.

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What Tax Folks (and Kyle) Talk About When They Talk About Tithing

What Tax Folks (and Kyle) Talk About When They Talk About Tithing

Yesterday, I saw this tweet from Jana Riess: Study says young adult #Mormons most likely generation to tithe (but there’s a catch) https://t.co/V7jqAfkBfl via @janariess — Jana Riess/Twible (@janariess) December 26, 2016 The catch: younger members are more likely than their elders to say they’re paying tithing on net, rather than gross, income. The question […]

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My New Year’s Resolution: No More Cheap Outrage

My New Year’s Resolution: No More Cheap Outrage

It’s called “outrage porn” for a good reason. Like pornography, it provides all of the sensations of a strong emotion without incurring any of the costs (time, relationship building, risk of rejection). It briefly satisfies our need to experience sensation but does not lead to meaningful engagement with anything. It is risk free, and, ultimately, […]

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