Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Why Didn't Jesus Teach the Nephites Anything?

I remember several times reading the story of Christ's appearance to the Nephites in the Book of Mormon and thinking, “Wow. Nice entrance, but is that all there is? Surely he could have taught them more than he did."

Well, he actually did.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Why ISIS is Succeeding

This is an analysis of the article "The Mystery of ISIS"

Earth's Creation Was Really About Organization, Ordering, and Obeying

Abraham chapter 4 in the Pearl of Great Price gives great insights into how the creation of the earth
came about.  According to Abraham, the earth was not creating out of nothing, but out of existing matter. Abraham 4 uses 3 very interesting "O" words--organization, order, and obedience.

Everything was organized and given order, but it's interesting about how the concept of obeience was different for the different entities that were "created".

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Original Sin: The Doctrinal Differences Between Mormonism and Other Christian Religions

Do Mormons believe in Original Sin?  Sort of...but not really.  In only the most general terms can what Mormons believe about the fall of Adam and Eve be considered similar to what other Christian religions teach about Original Sin. Yes, Eve and Adam's individual choices to partake of the forbidden fruit brought mortality and 'fallenness' into the world.

But there the similarities end.  Here are some of the major doctrinal differences:

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Nephi Says So: Lehi's Family Didn't Find Themselves Alone When They Came to the Americas

It seems to be unusually common among those acquainted with the Book of Mormon to imagine that when Lehi's family came across the ocean to the Americas that they encountered no other peoples.  There are, however, multiple subtle references in the Book of Mormon itself that point out that Lehi, Nephi, and their clan did engage with native populations shortly after they arrived.  In this article, I give one such example.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Book of Abraham: An Insightful Look on Whether it is Authentic and How it May Have Come Forth

Is the Book of Abraham true?  Yes, I think so.  But this volume of LDS scripture very likely didn't come about in quite the way that you were taught in seminary or Sunday school.

I've recently come across a great podcast called Mormon Sunday School by Jared Anderson. In one of his episodes, Jared and his panel of guests have some very insightful looks at the value of the Book of Abraham and how it came to be.  The podcast can be found here.  My interpretive notes and quotes from the podcast are included in this blog article.

Note: Jared and his guest panelists come at this topic from a believing perspective.  They all agree that the Book of Abraham is authentic and teaches profound eternal truths. For some who may not be sure that they can accept the traditional story of how Joseph Smith brought about the Book of Abraham, the 3-hour podcast discussion will be a treat!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Legend of Enkidu and Shamhat: Wait!...Did I just Read About Adam and Eve???

The story of Enkidu and Shamhat seems similar to that of Adam and Eve.  See what similarities you can find in my description of the story of Enkidu, Shamhat, and Enkidu's alter-ego, Gilgamesh below.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Who Questions or Leaves the LDS Church? Often People With Great Integrity. So Please Show Them Some Respect.

Although I am as comfortable with my testimony of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints and Christ's gospel as I am in my own skin, I realize that there are people who aren't. But whether someone leaves or questions their testimony of the LDS Church is not a litmus test for whether they are my friend or not.  I hope they always will be.

I recently read an article about those who question or leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I was especially struck by this poignant thought that the article contained:

"I worry that many younger Mormons are going through a very difficult and at times traumatic break from the Mormon church without resources and support that might have better informed their decision about staying or leaving or anything in between. "

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Jeremy Runnells and his Letter to a CES Director-My Response

I listened to almost all of the interview with Jeremy Runnells the other day on Mormon Stories.  The following comment was submitted, but was not accepted by the blog editor.  I include it here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Were the "Dark Ages" Really That Dark?

As Mormons, perhaps under the influence of Enlightenment thinking, we seem to subconsciously accept the idea that nothing good occurred during the "Great Apostasy" or the Dark Ages. That's not really correct.