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Jonathan Max Wilson
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Forget White/Gold vs Blue/Black. The dress is clearly Periwinkle/Brass.

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During the last few years, I have periodically encountered members of the church who have imposed a reading on that portion of the Book of Mormon that goes something like this:

“When Jesus reviewed the scriptural records of the Nephites, he discovered that they had not recorded the prophecies of Samuel the Lamanite. (Reading between the lines) It was probably because Samuel was a Lamanite, and the Nephites were racists. Not only that, but Samuel was from outside the existing church leadership. So Jesus reprimands Nephi for not recording the prophecies of His servant Samuel and instructs him to correct the record.”

Then, applying this scriptural retelling to their own lives, they suggest that dissident voices inside and outside the church are the modern analog of Samuel the Lamanite, similarly rejected by the mainstream church and marginalized by church leadership because of bigotry, prejudice, and hierarchy. And if and when Jesus comes again, they suggest, He will reprimand the church and its leaders for ignoring the words of these modern Samuels.

But this retelling isn’t what actually happens in the Book of Mormon.

#lds #mormon #bookofmormon #folklore
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Thanks, Ryan. I've heard that one a lot too.
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To celebrate the birthday of President Abraham Lincoln today, here is an excellent article from last fall's City-Journal on States Rights, Slavery, and the Civil War:

#lincoln #politics #history #civilwar
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"God delights when His truths are taught clearly and understandably with no conspicuous ornamentation. Plainness in life, word, and conduct are eternal virtues. When the plainness of Christian teaching and living is lost, apostasy and suffering result. People walk in darkness when the light of plainness is taken from their lives.
Glamour and mystery do not lead to eternal life. Some overlook the great rewards and the joys of the gospel because they feel that the gift of eternal life and the knowledge of the Savior can only be attained by ornamentation and mystery."

- Elder Marvin J. Ashton, 1977

#lds #mormon #apostle #truth
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A man named Lars Andersen is reviving forgotten medieval archery techniques. Really amazing stuff. Worth your time to watch.

(The tone of the narration is mildly annoying, but it is worth putting up with)

#archery #archer #medieval #technique
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+Rogan Google Anti Joke, Anti joke is a joke that is not funny, it is a joke, but is not supposed to be funny.
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Have him in circles
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"Unlike every other era before us, this dispensation will not experience an institutional apostasy; it will not see a loss of priesthood keys; it will not suffer a cessation of revelation from the voice of Almighty God. Individuals will apostatize, they may turn a deaf ear to heaven, but never again will the dispensation collectively do so."

"We know for certain that if and when everything else in the latter days is down or dying; if governments, economies, industries, and institutions crumble; if societies and cultures become a quagmire of chaos and insecurity, nevertheless, through it all the gospel of Jesus Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that bears that gospel to the world will stand triumphant. It will stand undefiled in God’s hand until the very Son of God Himself comes to rule and reign as Lord of lords and King of kings."

- Elder Jeffrey R Holland​ of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints​
February 6, 2015

#lds #mormon #apostasy #faith #jesuschrist
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That is an awesome promise. 
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Jonathan Max Wilson

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[I meant to share this many months ago when I first read the linked article.]

I type two spaces after a period.

And despite what you may have been told in recent years, there is nothing wrong with that.

The idea that two spaces after a full stop is somehow "incorrect" is a modern myth that has become popular in colleges and on the internet.

Yes, I know that the Chicago Manual of Style says it's wrong. And I don't care in the slightest.

Use as many spaces after a period as you want. Just write a coherent sentence that actually ends with a period.


Roger Weber's profile photoChristopher Larsen's profile photoJonathan Max Wilson's profile photo
My approach to evaluating written text involves at least three independent factors: 

A. INFORMATION/ARGUMENTS - The coherence and quality of the arguments, ideas, or information

B. COMPOSITION/ARTICULATION - The clarity and effectiveness of the written articulation of those ideas

C. FORMATTING/LAYOUT - The visual, aesthetic presentation of the writing meant to maximize readability.

So, a writer could have excellent information or ideas, but articulate that information poorly, and yet still have nice, readable formatting.

Another writer might have poor, incoherent ideas that they articulate grammatically and clearly, and which they format for maximum readability and appeal.

And another can have powerful arguments, which they articulate perfectly well in writing, but that are hard to read because of formatting.

So, as I see it, when people talk about "good writing" they should be talking specifically about composition/articulation. Concise, clear word choice and sentence structure make for good writing. Proper punctuation and grammar are part of effective articulation because they remove ambiguity. The period at the end of the sentence and arguments about the oxford comma fall clearly into this dimension.

But the amount of space between sentences is not punctuation. It is squarely in the realm of formatting and layout (and a very minor part of it at that!). Presentation aesthetics are important. But formatting is a separate skill that should be evaluated independently of the quality of the writing and the quality of the argument.

It is reasonable for a professor to establish formatting conventions intended to make his or her job easier when reading and commenting on a pile of printed essays. But I think that teachers should be careful about making universal rules out of aesthetic trends or personal preferences. Design trends regarding white-space have changed even during the last few years, and will continue to do so. Page layout is just as impermanent as clothing fashion-- just look at a sample of web pages or printed resumes over the last decade.

And I think it is a mistake for a professor who has established formatting requirements for his or her class to conflate "failure to follow instructions regarding formatting" with "bad writing".

Approaching these three factors independently allows a teacher to give a more precise and helpful evaluation like this: 

"The arguments you are making are very good and thoughtful. Your articulation is good, except in the third paragraph which has some grammatical problems that make it more difficult to understand, and the concluding paragraph which feels incomplete and rushed. The formatting of your text makes it difficult and unpleasant to read."

I want good thinking and good articulation. Formatting, while important, is tertiary.
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Some really interesting statistics about American views related to religion, relationships, sex, marriage, divorce, and family.

Mormons really do stand out in a lot of the categories surveyed.

Check out the full PDF report here:

#lds #mormon #sex #marriage #family #stats
Introduction. American society has undergone a veritable revolution over the past half-century in the way in which its population understands and approaches family life, religious faith, and sexuality. Within that span technological, cultural, and legislative changes have shifted the way many ...
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wow. Some very interesting data. Going to come back and go over this more later. 
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A 1st edition copy of the Book of Mormon owned by Martin Harris, one of the Three Witnesses.

Despite the fact that all three witnesses of the Book of Mormon eventually separated themselves from Joseph Smith and the church, they were known as honest men of good reputation by the people of the communities in which they lived and they never denied their testimonies of the Book of Mormon.

Read their testimony here:

For an in depth look at the three witnesses and their testimony of the Book of Mormon, I recommend

Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses
By Richard L. Anderson

#lds #mormon #scripture
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That is so cool!
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An excellent article by Brother Robert Millet on the last 15 years of dialogue between a handful of Mormon BYU professors and a number of Evangelical Protestant professors and theologians. There is so much common ground for us to build on.

#LDS #Mormon #Christian #Protestant #Dialogue
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The best post of the day.  Thank you J. Max.  Great article  by Millet! Had no idea that this interfaith dialogue between the two had been going on for so long.  I especially liked the fact that they went way beyond just "surface" exploration here.  This entailed attending each others' religious services/seminars.  A whole new world in the opinion of this southerner who grew up in the "Bible Belt." Pretty familiar with the antagonism. New classics in verbage as well. Will remember "cheap grace" and "greasy grace." Love seeing this amount of cooperation, admiration, understanding, and  respect. Christians need unification. Less branding. Quit arguing about the nature of the Godhead/Trinity, and move to greater mutual concerns and problems to be solved.  
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Jonathan Max Wilson

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Political Philosopher Harry V. Jaffa passed away yesterday at the age of 96.

His book, A New Birth of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln and the Coming of the Civil War, had a significant effect on my political views. He influenced many conservative politicians and thinkers.

Requiescat In Pace
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poetry + programming + puppetry + everything else
I'm a dedicated Mormon family man with wide ranging interests in religion, politics, history, science, nature, technology, education, language, and art.

An experienced web application engineer by profession, I'm formally educated in English literature and literary criticism with additional studies in physics and electronics.

On the side, I perform puppet-comedy shows, dabble in mime as time permits, and am trying to be a part-time farmer.

I am a firm believer in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I run a web portal for LDS blogs.  I also often write about Mormon related subjects on my own blog, Sixteen Small Stones.

As a conservative republican curmudgeon, I believe strongly that the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted through the natural rights philosophy of the Declaration of Independence and principles of limited government, liberty, responsibility, virtue, self-reliance, thrift, and self-control.

I was born and raised in the western United States. I have also lived in Santiago Chile and traveled in Puerto Rico, Italy, and Israel.
Bragging rights
Didn't learn to read until I was nearly 9 years old. Read The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion by the time I was 11 years old.
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Other names
J. Max Wilson, J. Max, Max, Jon
Jonathan Max Wilson's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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