Philip was told to depart to the desert because Ethiopian lives matter to Christ. He was told to depart because the lives of eunuchs matter to Christ. He was told to depart because all those who exist along the margins matter to Christ.
An ancient parable adapted to the contemporary intersections of identity, faith, ministering, and charity in the context of Mormonism.
Rather than a paradigm of absolute demolition and historical dishonoring, we should instead embrace a paradigm of renovation and earthquake-proofing as observable in the case of the Salt Lake Temple. Such earthquake-proofing may not be possible from the guiding framework of Radical Orthodoxy. The Restoration deserves greater boldness and confidence. Joseph Smith is among our best examples in this regard.
The example of the Provo City Center Temple highlights the often unrecognized ways in which transgender individuals have been a wonderful blessing to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are an essential part of the Body of Christ.
In the case of the Syrophoenician woman, Jesus gained from a desperate mother seeking to save her child a better sense of what it meant to be the Christ.
To adherents of worldviews rooted in classical theism, God’s Plan to Heal Evil poses an existential challenge. To those who have struggled to believe in God in light of the problem of evil, God’s Plan to Heal Evil offers viable and compelling alternatives. And to those who, like me, found themselves asking “Why, God?” over the last year, God’s Plan to Heal Evil offers answers and hope.
Full-inclusion of our LGBTQ+ and gender-expansive siblings may be seen as a bridge too far; a place that we simply can't go given how entrenched and frequent teachings espousing a heteronormative Plan of Salvation have been from those we hold to be inspired Church leaders. Fortunately, we have established precedent in Church history for re-envisioning the cosmos in such a dramatic way.
It was while serving a mission in Armenia that I first had the thought to compare the scriptural figures of Jonah from the Hebrew Bible and Enos from the Book of Mormon with one another. Through reading the books in contrast, I feel like I have grown in my understanding and empathy towards both individuals, their lived/narrative experiences, and their encounters with God.