Welcome to ldsphilosopher. Here, we explore the world of ideas through the lens of the LDS faith. The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ invites us to reconsider many of the assumptions we have about the world. It is the lens through which we approach all of the subjects we write about. Our goal is not to bring philosophy into Latter-day Saint thought, but rather to contrast revealed truths with the philosophies of the world. We’ll compare insights found in ancient and modern-day revelation with the prevailing assumptions in science, religion, psychology, government, and maybe more.

While our focus is philosophy, we’ll dabble in almost all realms of academic thought. For us, philosophy isn’t a narrow subdiscipline of the humanities department. Philosophy is relevant to all subjects, because everyone makes philosophical assumptions about the world. Engineers, school teachers, and even airline pilots have a philosophical worldview! As you explore this site, you’ll discover that philosophy is not all about books and dead scholars. Philosophy helps shape the way we think about and live our lives. It shapes our priorities and habits of thought. This isn’t a bad thing — it’s unavoidable. The hope is that we develop the discernment to see and understand our own philosophical assumptions, and how they shape our lives, so that we can then be more deliberate in articulating and re-evaluating them.

We love talking about ideas. We hope to share that passion with you, and to share with you a vocabulary that will help you articulate your ideas. And more than anything, we want you to be spiritually uplifted by your visit here. Our hope is to share our witness, using the language of ideas, that Jesus Christ is our Savior (and the only way to salvation), that Joseph Smith restored Christ’s church, that the Book of Mormon is a testament of Christ, and that Thomas S. Monson and the present Quorum of the Twelve are Christ’s spokesmen today. If you see the world differently because of what you learn here, we hope and pray that it has strengthened your relationship with God and solidified your loyalties to Christ’s church on earth.

Regardless, every time you visit, we want you to feel like you know more than you did before, even if you don’t agree with all of our conclusions. No matter what you believe, we hope this site will give you an intellectual workout that will strengthen your ability to evaluate, defend, and persuade others of your beliefs.

The ideas presented on this site are not endorsed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are only our opinions. However, we hope to only present ideas that are consistent with current teachings of the Church, insofar as we understand them. Our loyalty lies with the current church leadership, and ultimately to Christ, whom they represent.

Commenting and moderation policy

Freedom of speech is incredibly important in building a respectful, pluralistic society. We believe that everybody should have a voice, and the means to express it. We condemn any attempt by any government or individual to suppress an ideological point of view through coercion.

That said, comment moderation does not suppress freedom of speech. If we delete your comment, you still have the freedom and ability to voice your opinion elsewhere. While we will support your right to voice your perspective, that does not automatically guarantee your right to pontificate in the comments at ldsphilosopher.

Comment moderation here at ldsphilosopher is done at the sole discretion of the authors. We don’t have a detailed set of criteria by which we make these decisions. We may not always be perfectly consistent in our enforcement, either. However, there are few guiding rules that are basically non-negotiable:

  1. Any comment that attacks on the LDS church, its doctrine, or any of its leaders will be immediately deleted. There are two main reasons for this: First, there are other websites similar to this, where the writers try to converse about church doctrine and religion in an intellectual way. Sadly, many of these sites are populated by writers and commenters who feel that their learning and education qualifies them to dismiss—and even disparage—the teachings of Christ’s spokesmen (both ancient and modern). For this reason, many faithful Latter-day Saints get the impression that advanced academic learning and loyal adherence to church teachings are all-but-incompatible. Here at ldsphilosopher, we hope to demonstrate otherwise. Second, for the same reason, other sites of this nature have become places where religious belief is deconstructed rather than fortified. We hope to create a safe environment where faithful Latter-day Saint readers can discuss ideas that are sacred to them without fearing that others in the forum will attempt to jeopardize their loyalties to the Church or weaken their resolve to live by Christ’s teachings.
  2. Any personal attack against the site authors will be immediately deleted. We welcome disagreement. If you think we are wrong in how we interpret a point of doctrine or philosophical idea, let us know. But back up your argument with reason, not ad hominem attacks.
  3. Any personal attack against other commenters will be be immediately deleted. We will defend all commenters—even those we disagree with—against ad hominem attacks as well. We will not tolerate name-calling or disrespectful conversation.
  4. Any disagreeable comment that doesn’t offer a substantive counter-argument will probably be deleted. We can’t respond to a comment that only says, “I think you’re wrong.” If you say we’re wrong, give us a reason why. Otherwise, your comment just creates a negative atmosphere. We welcome disagreement, but we won’t put up with hecklers.

Again, we are trying to build a particular kind of environment here at ldsphilosopher—an environment that builds faith, strengthens resolve, and cultivates testimony. We reserve the right to moderate any comment that we believe doesn’t contribute to that mission, however arbitrary it may seem to others. In addition, we refer to J. Max Wilson’s article: “Bite the Wax Tadpole: A Manifesto for Internet Conversation and Debate” for further insights on what to expect from us, and what we expect from our readers and commenters.

We thank you for visiting our site. We hope you enjoy it here, that you engage in conversation, and return frequently. We hope to get to know you, and that you get to know us. And we hope that you’ll see that, despite this “draconian”-sounding set of rules, that it’s very easy to discuss—and even debate—ideas freely and openly without violating any of them.