Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

Author Archive

Two Atonements

Posted by BrianJ on April 11, 2014

Primary General President Rosemary Wixom, in her recent General Conference address (Keeping Covenants Protects Us, Prepares Us, and Empowers Us), said,

“Temple ordinances lead to the greatest blessings available through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”

Maybe it was the context of those words—she had just finished discussing baptism and the sacrament—but I balked. You see, when I hear “atonement,” I think about Jesus’ sacrifices in Gethsemane and on the cross, but I don’t think about how those directly relate to temple blessings. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc. | 20 Comments »

A Critique of “Come Follow Me” (the new youth Sunday School curriculum)

Posted by BrianJ on April 4, 2014

I offer my evaluation* after fifteen months of using the new Sunday School curriculum for youth, Come Follow Me (CFM). The purpose of this report is help teachers, parents, and students to capitalize on the strengths while moderating the weaknesses of the new program.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc. | 22 Comments »

Gaining a Testimony: As Easy As Being Saved

Posted by BrianJ on October 10, 2013

A recent conversation about the challenges in keeping youth and 20-somethings in the Church got me to notice a similarity between how we talk about testimonies and how other Christians talk about being saved (or at least, how we talk about how they talk about being saved).

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc. | 13 Comments »

Is It a Sin to Annoy God?

Posted by BrianJ on August 26, 2013

When I was about eight years old, I visited a radio station (in the middle of Nowhere, UT) with my father. I don’t remember why we went—he had some kind of business to do there. While there, I heard the station playing Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney’s number one hit “Ebony and Ivory.”

I don’t know if it was the unique atmosphere of hearing the radio while in a radio station, or just the fact that the song is catchy pop at its best, but I couldn’t get the song out of my head. Which also means that I couldn’t stop singing it. Which of course means that everyone at home had to keep hearing me sing it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc. | 3 Comments »

King Benjamin Lived in…Uruguay?

Posted by BrianJ on January 7, 2013

“And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne—-and of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day.” (Mosiah 2:14)

“[The president of Uruguay,] Mr. Mujica, 77, shunned the opulent Suárez y Reyes presidential mansion, with its staff of 42, remaining instead in the home where he and his wife have lived for years, on a plot of land where they grow chrysanthemums for sale in local markets.” (New York Times)

(Not sure if Benjamin would have legalized marijuana though….)

Posted in Misc. | 1 Comment »

The Nephites were a failure…but when?

Posted by BrianJ on August 16, 2012

Imagine reading the Book of Mormon backwards. Not literally of course, where nothing would make sense, but arranging all the “stories” or segments in reverse-chronological order. This way, instead of starting with a righteous and devoted prophet-king (Nephi), we begin the tale reading about a barbaric, rebellious people who are utterly destroyed. They are wicked and perverse—among the baddest of the bad in all of history—and it isn’t until much later that we find more than a handful of Nephites we would want to emulate.

The question is: At what point would you say, “Here is a model society”?

Or, put another way, knowing that Nephite society is ultimately a horrible failure, at what point did their politics, culture, leadership, etc. essentially doom them to that fate? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Lessons:Sun. School | 12 Comments »

“The Commandments Written in Your Hearts”; Literary Allusion in Mosiah 13:11?

Posted by BrianJ on May 20, 2012

When chastening the priests of Noah, Abinadi makes an accusation that he may have intended as a literary allusion to Exodus 31:18 Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc. | 4 Comments »

RS/MP Lesson 10: “The Scriptures, the Most Valuable Library in the World” (George Albert Smith Manual)

Posted by BrianJ on May 19, 2012

For me, this lesson has three parts:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc. | 1 Comment »

Is struggle-free forgiveness possible?

Posted by BrianJ on May 5, 2012

Enos cried all day and into the night for forgiveness. At long last, the Lord tells him, “Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.”

Is this kind of wrestle a prerequisite to forgiveness? Can remission of sins be received more easily?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Scripture topics | 5 Comments »

Reading Nephi Reading Isaiah: Reading 2 Nephi 26-27 (Book Review)

Posted by BrianJ on February 18, 2012

Spencer, Joseph M. and Jenny Webb, eds. Reading Nephi Reading Isaiah: Reading 2 Nephi 26-27. Salem, OR: Salt Press, 2011.

ISBN: 978-0-9839636-1-5. Pages: 160. Retail: $19.95.


“This series of books is based on a novel idea: that Mormons do theology.” So begins the Series Introduction to the Mormon Theology Seminar published by Salt Press. “[Theology] speculates,” it continues, “it experiments…tests new angles…[and] reads old texts in careful and creative ways.”

I’m not sure how many readers will agree with that definition of theology—I have never considered myself a practitioner or even student of theology—but that is not really my concern here. Rather, in this review I will answer how well the authors of “Reading Nephi” deliver on their promise to “display…theology as a Mormon ideal.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc., Scripture topics | 8 Comments »


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