Nels Nelson on LDS Preaching, Teaching, and the Life of the Mind

I’ve been thinking a good bit, and collecting various notes and ideas, around something Betsy VanDenBerghe said to me on Facebook.

What comes out of our mouths, as Jesus said, reflects the state of our hearts and minds, what we’ve been reading and contemplating, and coming to conclusions about…. The quality of your talk, sermon, or lesson will not exceed the quality of what you’ve been reading and thinking about.

If our spiritual diet mostly consists of Twinkies, social media, and a few minutes of scripture before bed, well, that’s not good for the quality of our discussions with family, friends, neighbors, and students. Continue reading “Nels Nelson on LDS Preaching, Teaching, and the Life of the Mind”

Revisiting Temple Preparation

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”

Suggestions for Missionaries in Lockdown

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”

March Madness! With books and deals!

I’ve been a user of Logos for almost 20 years. It’s my research library. I’ve written about how to use its free software; you buy the books, and can buy extra functionality, but you can download and get a lot of usage out of it for free. My previous posts about using Logos to get at Greek and Hebrew (instead of using Strong’s) here and here. I made some video demos, and there are many more on the site.

Every March, Logos holds March Madness uh, March Matchups. It’s a little different every year, but books, authors, or collections go into a bracket, and users vote. Every week, the winners move forward, with increasing discounts, until there is only one.  The winning books/collections this year get 60% off, which can be significant. Below is my “voting guide” for LDS users. Continue reading “March Madness! With books and deals!”

Robert Alter, at BYU and Amazon

Robert Alter is an emeritus professor of Hebrew, Literature, and Jewish Studies at UC-Berkeley. He recently completed his entire translation and commentary on the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament, in traditional Christian terms). It’s a lovely 3-volume hardcover set retailing for $125. However, [ad link] Amazon frequently sells it for about $65, sometimes with a checkbox coupon for another $20 off. That’s is a screaming deal on the magnum opus of a wonderful scholar, Continue reading “Robert Alter, at BYU and Amazon”