By Common Consent

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For meaning of phrase in LDS theodemocracy, see Common consent (Latter Day Saints).
By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog
By Common Consent.jpg
Type of site
Multi-author weblog discussing contemporary Mormon culture, thought and current events
Available in English
Created by Steve Evans, et al.[1]
Launched March 2004
Current status Active

By Common Consent (BCC) is a group blog featuring commentary and discussion especially of contemporary Mormon culture, thought and current events. It was founded in 2004, and is one of several blogs in the group known as the Mormon Bloggernacle.[2][3] According to the blog's mission statement, BCC was founded "to provide a thoughtful, enjoyable, and reasonable place to post and discuss Mormon topics."[4]


The blog takes its name from an 1830 revelation given to Mormon founder Joseph Smith which instructed that "all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith, for all things you shall receive by faith."[5] This statement is now canonized as Doctrine and Covenants 26:2 of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[6]

Although "By Common Consent" was used immediately as a working title for the blog, readers were asked to give suggestions on a permanent name. Suggested names included "The Rameumptom" (the original URL for the blog was [7] before moving to its present URL), "Zeezrom, Esq." (an homage to the heavy presence of legal professionals in the Mormon blogging community), "Cureloms & Cumoms", "By the Regular Sign" (a reference to the custom in the LDS Church to show support for a given proposition by raising the right hand), "Fifth Nephi" (a reference to the Book of Mormon's four books of Nephi, "Times & Seasons 2" (at the time BCC was established, Times & Seasons was the dominant Mormon blog), and "Pay On Gross" (a reference to a common debate among Mormons about whether tithes should be paid on net or gross income).[8]

Content and style[edit]

Although By Common Consent was originally created to provide a place for more politically liberal members of the LDS Church to discuss issues,[9] a vast majority of the content found on BCC is not political in nature. Post topics frequently address practical application of tenets of the LDS faith, Mormon history, analysis of ancient and modern scripture, poetry, music, humor, and current events.

New contributions to the blog are posted daily by the "permas" with frequent additional posts provided by guest bloggers. Comments from readers are supported, and while a majority of participants in comment discussions are adherents to the LDS Church, the blog aims to maintain an environment conducive to respectful interfaith dialogue. The blog includes articles and discussions, with scholarly research, satire, devotionals, and humor.

Recurring features[edit]

Since 2004, BCC has introduced several recurring features.

'Recurring Features (* = series is still active)'

  • Friday Firestorm:[10] An open thread in which readers debate short passages taken from the scriptures or sermons from LDS Church leaders. These passages are typically presented out of context, so as to render the passage (possibly) more controversial or humorous than intended.
  • The Illuminated Matsby*:[11] A (typically humorous) digitally manipulated image by Matt Page blending Mormon culture, doctrine, history, and pop culture is presented without context or explanation as "an image of faith and devotion."
  • Thursday Morning Quickie:[12] An open thread in which readers debate short passages taken from an LDS youth program manual from 1956. The nature of the manual is such that all of the topics relate to dating, marriage, love, and related topics.
  • The Top 10 LDS Musicians You've Never Heard Of:[13] This is a series of guest posts from Arthur Hatton, a specialist in LDS music and founder of Linescratchers, a website which promotes new LDS musical artists who do not write or perform LDS music. The entries in this series focus on both the artistic and musical style of the featured musician and their life experiences.
  • Police Beat Roundtable:[14] According to the site, the Police Beat Roundtable, or "PBR" is "our ongoing look at that most charming column of The Daily Universe,"[5] the student newspaper of Brigham Young University. PBR takes the form of 4-6 contributors discussing humorous or awkward entries from the police reports of the campus newspaper. As of June 2010, there have been 21 editions of PBR, with Steve Evans serving as the host. Other regular or frequent participants include Ken Jennings,[5][15][16][17][18][19] film critic Eric D. Snider,[20] "GST" (a well-known bloggernacle personality), and other bloggers from the Mormon blogging community.
  • BCC Zeitcast*: The official podcast of By Common Consent. As of 2010, the BCC Zeitcast is in its 3rd Season. The podcast is available for download at BCC, and also available in iTunes.
  • You Make the Call:[21] As explained by permablogger Kevin Barney in the first edition of You Make the Call:

"A friend reminded me of those old commercials featuring a close play in an NFL game, with the tag line 'You make the call!.' The idea was for the TV viewer to pretend he is the referee and call the play how he sees it, and then compare the actual call the referee made in the game. So, in that spirit...this is a game where we examine a close play, and in the comments section of this blog, presumably without the benefit of guidance by the Spirit, we state our case for the call the official should make."[22]

  • Correlation: An Uncorrelated History:[23] A series that details the cultural preconditions, emergence, historical development, and current configuration of the LDS Church's Correlation program.
  • Theological Polls*:[24] A poll is embedded in the blog presenting readers with a question, typically related to some obscure or speculative element of Mormon doctrine or policy. Often, respondents are forced to choose between awkwardly dichotomous or polemic answers.
  • Church-Hacker*:[25] Inspired by Lifehacker, a weekly "idea that you can try in your ward or calling to make the meeting block more engaging, more spiritual, or even more fun."


Over the years, By Common Consent has featured a number of authors from the Latter-day Saint community. The contributors to the blog come from backgrounds including homemaking, law, history, social sciences, humanities, fine art, biology, chemistry, and computer science, among others. Religiously, the contributors represent "a varied swath of their lived religion," with different approaches to faith, doctrine, and religious living.[4] Additionally, several of the contributors write for other online or print publications on topics such as literature, politics, pop culture, and science.[26][27][28][29]

Current (as of 2011)[edit]

Adam S. Miller
Aaron B.*
a former Seattle attorney
Earned a master's degree in religious studies from Georgetown University. Works at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at BYU.
Brad Kramer 
As of 2009, PhD candidate in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Michigan, with interests in semiotics, Marxist theory and Christian conversion.[30] In 2010, contributed an article about early Mormon economics to Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia.
Cynthia L.
SAHM with a PhD in Computer Science.
J. Stapley 
Chemist and executive at a startup firm; also independent historian of Mormonism[31] and member of the editorial board of the Journal of Mormon History.[32]
John C.
Librarian and founder of another large Mormon blog called Faith Promoting Rumor.[33]
Karen H.*
Attorney in Washington D.C. working on international justice reform issues.
Kevin Barney
Tax attorney, Mormon apologist, and expert in Biblical languages.[34]
Kristine Haglund
Editor, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Current research as of 2010: Mormon aesthetic theory and practice; history of Mormon women's publications, including blogs; Mormon women's and children's history; Mormon hymnody and children's songs. Lived in Massachusetts[35]
Kyle M
Blogger, musician, advertising executive, former missionary in Finland.
Writer, mother, former missionary in Russia.
M. Norbert Kilmer
High school teacher in Europe.
Matt Page
Graphic designer and artist.
Natalie B.
Law student.
Rebecca J.
Writer, mother, and graduate of Scripps College.
Ronan JH
Educator at a private school in Europe.
Russell Arben Fox
Assoc. Prof. Political Science, Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, from 2006. BYU Studies Academy, member, Brigham Young University, 2006-2009. From 2008, Book Review Co-Editor, Dialogue[36]
Sam MB
Physician and medical researcher in Utah.
Scott B.
Economist in Southern California and proud alumni of Utah State University.
Steve Evans*
Principal founder of By Common Consent. Prolific commentator on Mormonism and new media, and, Mormonism and social memory. Wisconsin resident. Lived in Seattle with his family as of 2010.[37]
Steven P.
Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Integrative Biology at Brigham Young University, from 2000, teaching History and Philosophy of Biology and Bioethics.[38] As of 2010, had authored books, poetry, a novel and essays with Dialogue, Covenant, BYU Religious Studies Center, Irreantum, Amer. Tolkien Society, Newsweek and elsewhere.[39]
Sunny Smart
Tracy M.
Tracy McKay, writer, adult convert to the LDS church, graduate student at George Washington University (fall 2012) and divorced mother of three. Keeps a personal blog at Dandelion Mama.
W.V. Smith
Professor of Mathematics at Brigham Young University.

Previous (as of 2010)[edit]

  • Amri Brown
  • Bob Caswell
  • Christina TK (Christina Taber-Kewene)
  • David Knowlton
  • DMI Dave
  • ECS
  • Edward Snow
  • HL Rogers
  • J. Nelson-Seawright
  • Jen J.
  • Jeremy G.*
  • John F.
  • John Hamer: Editor, John Whitmer Books; executive director, John Whitmer Historical Association, 2010–2011. Independent researcher, historian and mapmaker – having made maps for The University of Michigan Press, Columbia University Press, The Smithsonian Institution Press, The Strategic Air and Space Museum, The Lewis and Clark National HIstoric Trail Interpretive Center, and The Joseph Smith Papers Project. Author of "Northeast of Eden: A Historical Atlas of Mormon History (to be published). As of 2010, resided in Ann Arbor, Michigan.[40]
  • John Hatch
  • Kaimi W.* (Kaimipono Wenger)
  • Kathryn Lynard Soper
  • Kris Wright
  • Logan B.
  • Margaret Blair Young : Author, with Darius Aidan Gray, of both the trilogy about African-American LDS, Standing on the Promises, and the documentary Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons[41]
  • Mark Brown.
  • Mathew P.* (Mathew Parke)
  • Melissa DM
  • Steve Cannon*
  • Taryn

* Original authors


BCC also features content produced by guest authors from the Latter-day Saints community, including the LDS sociologist Armand L. Mauss,[42] LDS Biographer Gregory A. Prince,[43] and parenting author Richard Eyre.[44] Additionally, By Common Consent periodically posts interviews with members of the LDS community, including an interview with comedian and author Elna Baker, and an interview with Michael Otterson, the Managing Director of Public Affairs for the LDS Church.[45]


Since the initiation of the Bloggernacle’s annual "Niblet" awards in 2005, BCC has consistently won the award for "Best Big Blog."[46] In 2009, BCC authors won the Niblets in the categories of "Best Overall Blogger," "Funniest Thread," "Best Humorous Post," "Best Historical Post," "Best Personal Post," "Best Doctrinal Post," "Best Current Events Post," "Best Podcast," "Best Book/Article Review," and "Best Contribution to the Bloggernacle."[46]

Alliance with Dialogue[edit]

Several of the blog's long-term guest contributors are also editors or board members of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.[3][47][48] Kristine Haglund, one of BCC's permabloggers, is currently the Editor in Chief of Dialogue, while Ronan JH and Steven Peck, two other permabloggers, serve as Dialogue editors, and other current and former permabloggers contribute to the Dialogue editorial board.[49]

BCC Zeitcast[edit]

Coverart for the BCC Zeitcast, by Matt Page

By Common Consent is the home of the BCC Zeitcast,[50] one of the Bloggernacle's few podcasts. The BCC Zeitcast has typically been approximately 30 minutes in length, and takes the form of a group podcast, with anywhere from two to five contributors participating in a given episode. The podcast consists of a free flowing conversation on Bloggernacle meta-topics, popular culture, current events, religious topics, or news from the world of Mormonism.

The first BCC Zeitcast was posted on February 4, 2008, with subsequent episodes recorded and posted semi-regularly until Spring 2009.[51] During this period, the primary contributors were permabloggers from By Common Consent such as Steve Evans, Ronan JH, Amri Brown, and Brad Kramer, but would occasionally feature guests. The BCC Zeitcast returned in December 2009, with largely new permabloggers contributing to the new season.[52]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A weblog full of 'tiny dramas in Mormon lives'". 2005-11-19. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  2. ^ "Mormon Archipelago: Gateway to the Bloggernacle and list of LDS and Mormon Blogs". Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  3. ^ a b "Mormon Bloggernacle is No Choir". Religion Dispatches. 2009-03-04. 
  4. ^ a b "About Our Site". By Common Consent. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  5. ^ a b c "Police Beat Roundtable XXI « By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  6. ^ "Doctrine and Covenants 26:2". 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  7. ^ "We've moved!". Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  8. ^ "A Name and a blessing « By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". 2004-03-13. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  9. ^ "Political Leanings". Times & Seasons. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  10. ^ "Your Friday Firestorm: Analysis". By Common Consent. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  11. ^ "The Illuminated Matsby". By Common Consent. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  12. ^ "Thursday Morning Quickie". By Common Consent. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  13. ^ "The Top 10 LDS Musicians You've Never Heard Of". By Common Consent. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  14. ^ "Police Beat Roundtable". By Common Consent. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  15. ^ "Police Beat Roundtable #6 « By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  16. ^ "Police Beat Roundtable #13 « By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". 2008-12-22. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  17. ^ "Police Beat Roundtable #14 « By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  18. ^ "Police Beat Roundtable #18 « By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  19. ^ "Police Beat Roundtable #19 « By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  20. ^ "Police Beat Roundtable #11 « By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  21. ^ "You Make The Call". By Common Consent. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  22. ^ "You Make the Call – By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". 2007-11-12. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  23. ^ "Correlation: An Uncorrelated History (Part 1 — The Mormon Underground) – By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". 2010-03-03. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  24. ^ "Theological Poll". By Common Consent. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  25. ^ "Church-Hacker #1: The Guest Professional – By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  26. ^ "The Red Brick Store". The Red Brick Store. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  27. ^ "Russell Arben Fox". By Common Consent. 
  28. ^ "A pop culture blog". Kulturblog. 2011-11-10. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  29. ^ Steve P (July 21, 2012). "The Mormon Organon". Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  30. ^ "Contributors". Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Spring 2009: 242. 
  31. ^ "Jonathan A. Stapley's Scholarly Papers". Social Science Research Network. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Staff of the Journal of Mormon History". Archived from the original on February 12, 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  33. ^ "Faith-Promoting Rumor — Exploring Mormon Thought, Culture, and Texts". Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  34. ^ Barney, Kevin (May 2, 2011). "King James Bible finds new life in Mormon Church". Chicago Tribune. 
  35. ^ Hagland, Kristine (August 9, 2010). "Mormon Publishing, the Internet, and the Democratization of Information". Patheos. 
  36. ^ "Russell Arben Fox". Archived from the original on October 21, 2014. 
  37. ^ Evans, Steve (August 9, 2010). "The Future of Mormons on the Internet". Patheos. 
  38. ^ "Peck, Steven L.". Archived from the original on January 9, 2011. [dead link]
  39. ^ "A BYU Bio-Professor Explores Science and Faith". The Mormon Organon. Archived from the original on September 17, 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2010. 
  40. ^ Bringhurst, Newell G.; Hamer, John C., eds. (2007). "About the Contributors". Scattering Of The Saints: Schism Within Mormonism. Independence, Missouri: John Whitmer Books. pp. 343–344. ISBN 978-1-934901-02-1. OCLC 225910256. 
  41. ^ Young, Margaret Blair; Gray, Darius Aidan (August 9, 2010). "The Colorful LDS Future". Patheos. 
  42. ^ Guest author (2007-06-07). ""The Race Issue:" Thoughts on the State of the Field". By Common Consent. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  43. ^ "Jeanne Cheverton Dunn – By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  44. ^ "Four-Dimensional Success – By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". 2009-10-22. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  45. ^ "Interview with Michael Otterson – By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". 2009-06-09. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  46. ^ a b "2009 Niblets Results — Analysis". Mormon Matters. 2010-02-08. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  47. ^ "Dialogue-posts". By Common Consent. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  48. ^ "From Tabernacle to Bloggernacle". Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  49. ^ "Staff and Boards | Dialogue – A Journal of Mormon Thought". Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  50. ^ "iTunes Store". Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  51. ^ "BCC Zeitcast 3 – By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". 2008-02-04. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  52. ^ "BCC Zeitcast 41: The Worst Christmas Present Ever – By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog". 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 

External links[edit]