First, a teaser. I’ve got something fun coming down the pike in less than two weeks I think a lot of people will be excited for. You’ll see it here and some other places.
Once again, I’d remind you of the book on King Benjamin’s speech (paper here), and the verse-by-verse commentary in it.
I’ll add my own bits which don’t overlap, and happen to be, well, on quasi-controversial topics. Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Mosiah 4-6”
(Originally published in 2010 elsewhere) Most people know the genre of “parable” because they’re in the Gospels, but “myth” is poorly understood and the term carries a lot of negative baggage. Like “literal” you have to be very careful throwing around the term without defining it. One simple definition of myth is that myth is worldview in narrative form. That is, it’s a way of explaining one’s conception of how the world works in everyday language or story form. Continue reading “Science and History as Myth and Fiction: Exploring Some Common Labels”
To open, we need some big picture structural discussion.
Mosiah 1 is not Mosiah 1. In fact, it is Mosiah 3, and the first two chapters are missing. How do we know this? Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Mosiah 1-3”
Elder Bednar in General Conference talked about the spread of temples throughout the world, as well as doubling the number of available languages of the presentation of temple ordinances. This got me thinking again about something I think about from time to time: the state of our collective temple knowledge and how it affects our temple experience.
Since I have a lot of links below, let me summarize with these three bullet points. Continue reading “Revisiting Temple Preparation”
My musical tastes are… eclectic. But on days like Good Friday, when I want music to orient myself towards the sacred, the holy, the divine, the cosmic, the music I like tends to share several imprecise elements. Continue reading “Music for Holy Time and Holy Space”
Sundown over Galilee (my pic)
We often assert that the Book of Mormon is historical in nature, and necessarily so, in my view. But we must equally recognize that it’s historical nature certainly does not mean it was written as modern history, with our expectations about what history-writing means. Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Enos, Jarom, Omni, Words of Mormon”
The future is difficult to plan right now, but I’m happy to report my proposal for the American Academy of Religion (AAR) national conference has been accepted. It traditionally meets with the Society of Biblical Literature in a massive multi-day conference attended by thousands. This year it’s in Boston, mid/late November. I pray by then we’ll be back to some kind of normalcy. Continue reading “Joseph Fielding Smith’s Assumptions”
I have a young friend currently serving a mission in Norway, who is confined to her apartment except for groceries and cabin-fever prevention walks. She asked me to send her some reading, which prompted this post.
Missionaries tend to be out and about. Being in an apartment with minimal internet or personal connection can lead to feelings of wasted time and lack of utility. But it’s also a real opportunity for missionaries to dedicate time they wouldn’t otherwise have to some intensive and important study, about our own scriptures (especially the Book of Mormon), scripture we share with other Christians (especially the New Testament), or Church history and doctrine. Continue reading “Suggestions for Missionaries in Lockdown”
The previous lesson covered Jacob 1-4, and this one the lengthy allegory of the olive tree and its interpretation in chapters 5-6. This is understandable from a how-much-material-can-I-really-cover perspective, but there’s a way in which this division obscures important things. Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Jacob 5-7”
A candle inside Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulcher
Jacob marks a distinct and important break of sorts in the Book of Mormon. Why? Unlike Nephi, Jacob did not grow up in Jerusalem. Born in a wilderness, the first eight or so years of his life were spent… we don’t know. Maybe in captivity, maybe in the desert, definitely under duress and hardship. Point is, everything Jacob knows about and his attitudes towards Jerusalem, Jews, Hebrew, etc. he has learned directly from his family (and whatever peoples they have encountered along the way); he hasn’t seen any of it first hand. It’s a socio-cultural-linguistic founder effect.
Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Jacob 1-4”