Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

Thanks for Nothing; Two Ironies of the Book of Job

Posted by BrianJ on August 26, 2014

We just discussed the Book of Job in Sunday School. Two ironies* struck me:

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Posted in Misc. | 1 Comment »

RS/MP Chapter 16: Bringing Up Children in Light and Truth

Posted by jennywebb on August 13, 2014

The lesson is available here on lds.org.

The following is not a lesson plan, but rather a series of questions and thoughts intended to aid in the study of the lesson material.

From the Life

President Smith recalls the various ways in which both of his parent each taught him the Gospel with evident fondness. I found his description of his mother’s methods interesting. He says,

She used to teach me and put in my hands, when I was old enough to read, things that I could understand.

While this whole section could serve as an argument for reading and telling stories with one’s children, the part that struck me here wasn’t so much the reading, but the emphasis on his mother’s actions: she “put in [his] hands” the things that she wanted to teach him. As an image, that implies that his mother understood both what she wanted to teach her son as well her son’s preparation and abilities to learn from such material. The principle I take away here is that parents (and teachers generally) can be more effective teachers when they know their students well enough to give them material that not only teaches the point the teacher wishes to convey, but does so in a manner that the child can understand. The limitation isn’t on the content itself, but rather the way in which it is presented and made accessible. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc. | 1 Comment »

A Failure to Communicate

Posted by BrianJ on August 12, 2014

The story of the Jaredites contains a brief account of the Lord “chasten[ing the brother of Jared] because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord” (Ether 2:14). Unfortunately, the text gives no reason for why the brother of Jared faltered, yet still uses this moment as a turning point in the story.

Why did the brother of Jared stop praying*?

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Posted in Misc. | 10 Comments »

Ask and ye shall receive–it really is just that simple

Posted by Matthew on August 11, 2014

A good friend who respects you comes to you and says “I don’t understand why we have to fast. I’ve prayed about this sincerely for a while and I still don’t get it. But, Jesus says ‘knock and it shall be opened unto you’ and I feel like I’ve knocked really sincerely here. Why hasn’t it been opened to me?” What do you say to them?
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Posted in Scripture topics | 10 Comments »

The Terrifying Reality of Monotheism

Posted by BrianJ on August 11, 2014

1 Kings 18 tells the famous story of Elijah calling down fire from heaven to consume the prophets of Baal: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc. | 2 Comments »

RS/MP Chapter 15: Eternal Marriage (Joseph Fielding Smith Manual)

Posted by Robert C. on August 8, 2014

The lesson can be found online here. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Lessons:RS/MP | 14 Comments »

Help a (Scriptural) Brother Out?

Posted by Robert C. on July 17, 2014

Ben Spackman has been posting the best Sunday school lessons on the internet today. However, life demands have made it impossible for him to continue posting unless we collectively step up and fill the collection plate. I urge you to search your soul and see what you can contribute.

It’s no surprise that Ben’s posts are fantastic. He has several years of high quality graduate school training, an obvious passion for reading and writing about scripture, and raw talent to boot. If his posts weren’t so good, I’d feel much more guilty that we have ceased publishing our own Sunday school lesson notes here at the Feast blog on a regular basis. But Ben’s posts are so good that I think it is perhaps better, ultimately, that we don’t (though, if you’d like to help us out in writing Sunday school posts, or other posts here, please contact me by email: rcouchZZZ@gmail.com, without the ZZZ).

Now, there is a long—and, ironically, scriptural—tradition, especially within Mormonism, to be skeptical of those mingling money and God’s word together. As Mormons, we don’t have a paid clergy (although I do think General Authorities get paid, so it’s not like this is an obvious, hard-and-fast rule). The Mormon definition of priestcraft, after all, includes receiving money for preaching (blogging, in modern terms?) God’s word. Plus, in the modern era of (mostly) free information, with newspapers shutting down left and right, shouldn’t we expect all bloggers to do their writing for free?

These are intriguing and complex questions. And I don’t have time to delve into them, even though I have a lot of thoughts about them. Suffice it to say that I think concerns like this are ill-founded. Research and writing take time, and time is money. And everyone’s circumstances are different. Many non-profit organizations in this day and age rely on benefactors. Ben’s post, which I linked to above, mentions public radio in passing. This is a great example—but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Many of the best and most important parts of modern society depend on some form of philanthropic financing. And we should rejoice in the fact that modern technology has effectively lowered the costs of financing well-deserving undertakings like Ben’s. And, although finance isn’t exactly brain surgery, I do have a PhD in finance—so I’ll happy to blithely dismiss any objections or counter views in the comments below by repeating this fact. :-)

Posted in Misc. | 1 Comment »

RS/MP Chapter 14: The Gift of the Holy Ghost (Joseph Fielding Smith Manual)

Posted by jennywebb on July 14, 2014

This lesson is available here on lds.org.

The following is not a lesson plan, but rather a series of questions and thoughts intended to aid in the study of the lesson material.

1. The mission of the Holy Ghost is to bear witness of the Father and the Son and of all truth

His mission is to bear witness of the Father and the Son and of all truth.

• The phrasing here indicates a two-part mission: to bear witness of the Father and the Son, and to bear witness of all truth. Is there truth outside the Father and the Son? Does the mission of the Holy Ghost center around witnessing, or around truth? (Or both?) Perhaps the Holy Ghost witnesses truth in all its forms, wherever it is found.

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Posted in Misc. | 3 Comments »

RS/MP Chapter 13: Baptism (Joseph Fielding Smith Manual)

Posted by Robert C. on July 7, 2014

See here for the lesson at lds.org. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Lessons:RS/MP | 3 Comments »

Book review: The Polygamous Wives Writing Club

Posted by cherylem on June 10, 2014

Review: The Polygamous Wives Writing Club: From the Diaries of Mormon Pioneer Women
By Paula Kelly Harline
Oxford University Press June 2014

Review by Cheryl McGuire

This review is of a pre-publication copy, without page numbers or numbered footnotes. Therefore quotes from the book do not list page numbers.

In many ways the church Joseph Smith began with a visionary experience in the early 19th century was both a product of its time and something Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc. | 8 Comments »

 
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