The Book of Isaiah opens by properly sharing its theme, but I don’t know in what tone it was meant to be delivered. It starts out clearly enough, “The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw…,” but should we read what follows as a rebuke or a beckon?
Posted by BrianJ on August 26, 2014
We just discussed the Book of Job in Sunday School. Two ironies* struck me:
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*?
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 by BrianJ on June 4, 2014
“Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?”
Jesus saith unto him, “I say not unto thee, ‘Until seven times’: but, Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22)
That’s how many times Peter will forgive you—but what about God?
Posted by BrianJ on April 23, 2014
In the comments section of another post, I got into a discussion with Robert C and JKC about the purpose of having a resurrected body and the undesirable nature of being dead.
I see those comments (and others) making a few points:
- We needed a body to progress beyond our premortal existence.
- It is comforting to know that we will be resurrected because it assures us of an ongoing existence.
- The resurrection assures that our ongoing existence will not be disembodied.
- Knowing that a body is important eternally should elicit reverence for our bodies, not disdain as other Christians would teach.
I agree with each of these points. 100%.
Now let me express how these points don’t really answer the question* for me.
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 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 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).
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 »