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Mormon Fasting for Dummies

It’s important to keep in mind the end result—growing stronger in faith and closer to God—rather than the dead legalism of focusing on a single right way to do fasting.
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Thinking About IVF and PGD? A Q&A with Author Ellen Painter Dollar

How should Christians respond to reproductive technologies like IVF and PGD? Ellen Painter Dollar is a mother, blogger, and author of the excellent new book No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Parenthood, and Faith in an Age of Advanced Reproduction. In it, she describes why she decided to use preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and the moral questions it raises for people of faith. 
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Mormons Just Don’t Understand Jews

The stubborn persistence of Mormon proxy baptisms of Holocaust victims, including Simon Wiesenthal's parents (!), cuts to the heart of both Mormon and Jewish beliefs. One thing I have noticed in the controversy over Jewish baptisms is that Mormons are very anxious to explain that recipients of proxy baptism are still in full possession of their free will. 
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Rising Star Matthew Bowman Discusses “The Mormon People”

Matthew Bowman is a young scholar on the rise, and an increasingly important voice in Mormon Studies. Here he discusses his new book The Mormon People and why 20th-century history is the key to understanding 21st-century Mormonism.
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Don’t Read This Part of the Bible If You’re Under 30—Or a Woman

It's long been known that Ezekiel is -- well, let's be honest here -- one crazy-ass book of the Bible. Now that I'm tweeting about it every day and reading it cover to cover, I've come to understand one of the oldest traditions about it: it's not for everyone.
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3 Myths & 2 Truths About Yoga

As a yoga practitioner -- no, make that "zealous convert and obsessed fanatic" -- I listened with great interest to Terry Gross's Fresh Air interview this week with William Broad, whose book The Science of Yoga has just been released. In the interview and in the book, Broad (a science writer for the New York Times and a yoga practitioner for over 40 years) takes on some of the claims about yoga and separates the wheat from the chaff, arguing that only some of these claims are borne out by science. Here are three myths debunked, and two major claims -- that yoga can do wonders for your sex life and your mood -- officially verified.
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“Mormon Girl” author on faith, justice, and a very special visiting teacher

Joanna Brooks initially found BYU a haven of inquiry and warmth, but found while she was there that the LDS Church was cracking down on feminists and gays.
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Why We Fast

In February of 2009, when I tried a month-long Ramadan fast for the book Flunking Sainthood, I felt like a failure for most of the month. Fasting was not a practice I ever cheated on (weirdly, it was easier for me to give up food completely than it was just to be a vegetarian in October of that year, when I did cheat -- how lame is that?). But I never felt like I fully "got" it. 
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The Top Six Mistakes Reporters Make About Mormons

As I noted on Friday, I spent the weekend in New York at a conference I co-organized on Mormonism and American politics. One of my favorite talks was by veteran religion reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack, who has been covering Mormonism (and every other faith) for years for the Salt Lake Tribune and had some advice for journalists who suddenly find themselves trying to understand Mormonism.
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When Joseph Smith Ran for President

We know that Mitt Romney is running for President, but he's by no means the first Mormon to do so. In fact, the tradition extends all the way to 1844, when Mormon founder Joseph Smith ran. This morning at Columbia University's conference on Mormonism and American politics, historian Richard Bushman said that far from having a fully fleshed out platform, Smith ran primarily as a protest candidate. In one sense Smith's very candidacy was ironic. He and other early Mormons believed that the end of the world was coming imminently, so why would earthly governments matter at all?
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