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).
Posted by BrianJ on October 10, 2013
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 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 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 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 »
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:
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?
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 by BrianJ on January 21, 2012
A discussion I had this week tangentially got me thinking about Lehi’s knowledge of scripture. Specifically, how much of a “scriptorian” he was prior to his journey into the wilderness and to the promised land. Read the rest of this entry »