Posted by Robert C. on August 8, 2014
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 by Robert C. on July 7, 2014
RS/MP Chapter 11: Honoring the Priesthood Keys Restored through Joseph Smith (Joseph Fielding Smith Manual)
Posted by Robert C. on June 4, 2014
Posted by Robert C. on May 17, 2014
I got a late-week call to teach this lesson, so I’m posting some quick notes (sorry, Kirk, if I’m preempting your own post).
Posted by Robert C. on May 9, 2014
Posted by Robert C. on April 10, 2014
(A link to the lesson can be found here. Apologies for not getting this post up sooner—I had it finished earlier, but then I lost the file. Curse Windows 8 instability, and my own foolishness for not being more careful with a backup file. This is a much shorter post than I originally wrote. If I have time in the next few days, and esp. if other express interest in particular questions, I’ll try to write or rewrite some of my own thoughts in answer to the questions I’ve posed below.)
From the life
The last sentence of this section emphasizes humility.
Question: Why is humility so important in obtaining a testimony of God and the Restoration? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Robert C. on March 6, 2014
Posted by Robert C. on February 7, 2014
Posted by Robert C. on January 11, 2014
Rather than work through the lesson in the order it is presented, I find myself thinking about this lesson in a more thematic way. So, I will present some comments on the lesson contents in terms of three thematic ideas.