Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

Archive for the ‘Misc.’ Category

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc. | 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. | 3 Comments »

Our Capricious God

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc. | 16 Comments »

RS/MP Chapter 9: Witnesses of the Book of Mormon (Joseph Fielding Smith Manual)

Posted by Robert C. on May 9, 2014

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

Posted in Lessons:RS/MP, Misc. | 3 Comments »


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:

  1. We needed a body to progress beyond our premortal existence.
  2. It is comforting to know that we will be resurrected because it assures us of an ongoing existence.
  3. The resurrection assures that our ongoing existence will not be disembodied.
  4. 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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc. | 11 Comments »

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. | 26 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. | 26 Comments »

All or Nothing

Posted by Matthew on January 2, 2014

At times people approach a concern about the scriptures as if their entire testimony depends on resolving the question in a particular way. I think of this as all-or-nothing type thinking. I want to discuss here why I think all-or-nothing type thinking is wrong.

Others here on Feast may not be interested in reading this post. They’ve already helped me work through my thoughts related to this on a couple of different occasions (see for example herehere, and here). The purpose of this post is not to break new ground but rather to sum up my current thinking.

A specific event prompted me to write this post. A Mormon neighbor of mine has had a lot of questions about things that bother her in our church both in the scriptures and with things the prophets have said. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc. | 9 Comments »

Christmas List 2013: Books on Scripture/Theology

Posted by kirkcaudle on December 9, 2013

Because the list I wrote up last year was so popular, I have decided to continue this Christmas list tradition. As was the case last year, I will include a few of my favorite books related to scripture and/or theology along with their corresponding interviews that I conducted during this past year. As the host of The Mormon Book Review, I have the unique opportunity of reviewing a number of books in realm of Mormon Studies. I will include my top 5 of 2013 here (in no particular order). Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Misc., On studying, Scripture topics | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »