The Summer Review: “In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

It’s summer. The crush of events at work and at home means I’ll be posting some items from the past for a while. I’m starting with one of most consistently popular things to ever appear here. So here you go, back from the archives:

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Mormons end virtually every public sermon, testimony, lesson, prayer, etc. with these words. Why? A number of scriptural justifications could be offered. But I’m more interested in the sermon angle. After sitting through the Saturday conference sessions, I wondered when this tradition started in Utah Mormonism. It doesn’t seem to be shared by other Joseph Smith-based faith traditions, at least that I can see with a cursory review. It was not used regularly as a sermon tag line in Nauvoo. And believe me, I’ve looked at that. (But see Joseph’s blessing ending on April 13, 1843 for example.)
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Cosmology – The Big Bang – And God

Recently, Stephen Hawking announced that there is no need for God, in terms of winding up the universe. The Big Bang [1] is a demonstrable result of M-theory. I won’t bore you about M-theory, except to say that It’s not complete and it’s not a sure bet yet. But even if it or one of its competitors turns out to match the data, be complete and self-consistent then great: such a thing might even have everyday consequences.
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