Posted on January 28, 2010 by Joe O.
This is the first in a five-part series on marriage, wherein I discuss charity in marriage, why the gay community should favor marriage between a man and a woman, and why Latter-day Saints are not positioned well to defend against gay marriage.
In all three scriptural accounts of the physical creation, Adam is created of the dust of the earth, while Eve was created of Adam (Genesis 2:7, 21-22; Moses 3:7, 21-22; Abraham 5:7, 15-16). Adam, upon seeing woman for the first time, notes the significance of this division when he calls woman bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh. What is striking to me is what Adam says next: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (v. 24 in Genesis and Moses, emphasis mine). Were they not already one flesh before God removed the rib from Adam’s side?
Filed under: Faith, Mormon Culture, Relationships, Scripture | Tagged: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Faith, Folk Theologies, LDS Church, marriage, sanctity of marriage, Scripture, traditional marriage, women | 15 Comments »
Posted on October 4, 2009 by Dennis
I always feel spiritually rejuvenated after General Conference, and this conference was no exception. Here are some of the dominant themes and highlights I noticed, along with some of my own thoughts:
1. Fresh ways of looking at the “fundamentals”
I sometimes grow tired of the way the “fundamentals” in the Church are sometimes talked about by church members: “the Sunday School answers; you gotta read, pray, and go to church; you gotta make good habits; etc.” It’s not that I disagree with the importance of the “fundamentals,” it’s that I think they are too often talked about in shallow ways.
This conference, however, had several excellent talks that can aid members in the way they think and talk about the “fundamentals” of consistent scripture study, prayer, family home evening, and worship.
Filed under: Mormon Doctrine, Scripture | Tagged: Africa, Atonement of Jesus Christ, Book of Mormon, Boyd K. Packer, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, conversion, Dale G. Renlund, Dallin H. Oaks, David A. Bednar, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Gospel of Jesus Christ, heart transplant, Henry B. Eyring, Holy Ghost, Jeffrey R. Holland, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, Joseph W. Sitati, LDS, LDS Church, Michael T. Ringwood, mighty change of heart, Mormon Church, Mormons, Neil L. Andersen, Richard G. Scott, Richard L. Bushman, Robert D. Hales, Rough Stone Rollling, South Korea, testimony, Thomas S. Monson, Two Great Commandments, Vicki Matsumori, Yoon Hwan Choi | 2 Comments »
Posted on July 11, 2009 by Joe O.
My five-year-old daughter came home from Primary one Sunday and told us all about her lesson the Word of Wisdom. Her teachers had creatively made pictures of things that were “bad” so the children could throw them away. They threw away images of cigarettes, alcohol, tea, and coffee – all the things that are restricted based on D&C 89 and other, later admonition from the prophets.
Filed under: Mormon Culture, Mormon Doctrine, Scripture | Tagged: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Latter-day Saints, LDS, LDS Church, LDS Primary, Mormon health, Mormons, Word of Wisdom | 5 Comments »
Posted on June 2, 2009 by Joe O.
I’m not usually a literalist about the scriptures, but I’m a little baffled by a verse I read today and the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 137. This section is the account of a vision Joseph Smith had of the celestial kingdom. He names Adam and Abraham, as well as his parents, as inhabitants, likely those who were saved “by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.“
And then he mentions his brother, Alvin. Joseph “marvels” that his brother Alvin is there, “seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins.” And then the great revelation that “All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God.” Of course, this revelation plays a big part in understanding why we do work for the dead in our temples…right?
Here’s my question: What was Alvin doing there in the celestial kingdom when his work hadn’t been done yet?
Filed under: Scripture, Theology | Tagged: Alvin Smith, Celestial Kingdom, Doctrine and Covenants, Doctrine and Covenants 137, Folk Theologies, Gospel of Jesus Christ, interpretation of scripture, Joseph Smith, Latter-day Saints, LDS, life after death, mass confusion, Mormon Church, Mormons, Resurrection, Scripture, scriptures, Temple work, temples, Theology, unanswered questions, work for the dead | 14 Comments »
Posted on April 15, 2009 by Dennis
Just a few thoughts from my reading the accounts of the resurrected Christ to his followers.
In three visitations, Christ was not recognized at first: (a) the visitation to Mary at the empty tomb, (b) the extended journey with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, (c) and the appearance on the shore while Peter and the disciples were fishing.
I think it can be profitable to point out what happened before His followers recognized Him. For Mary, it was after he called her by name. For the two disciples, it was when he blessed and broke bread. For the fisherman, it was after they, following His instructions, pulled in their net overflowing with fish.
Perhaps these stories can be analogous to our lives, in terms of recognizing the Savior’s presence and influence. When we feel that Christ knows us personally and calls us by name; when we partake of the sacrament and renew covenants with God in His name; and when, following His instructions, we are successful beyond our wildest dreams in building His Kingdom — in these circumstances, we see Christ for who He really is.
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Filed under: Religious Experience, Scripture | Tagged: Easter, empty tomb, Gospel of John, Gospel of Luke, Jesus Christ, Latter-day Saints, Mary Magdalene, missionary work, Mormons, Peter, Resurrected Christ, Resurrection, road to Emmaus, sacrament | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 24, 2009 by brentm
“Can you be a good Mormon and want to be a millionaire?”
This question, or something very much like it, was posed in my Sunday School class last week. I think the very question says something interesting about the asker, but since my short answer (“No”) would not have gone over terribly well, and my longer and more justified answer would’ve taken over the lesson, I thought a blog entry might be a good place to explore the issue.
Filed under: Scripture | Tagged: Brigham Young, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, economics, eye of a needle, Gordon B. Hinckley, Hugh Nibley, Jesus Christ, King Benjamin, Latter-day Saints, love of money, Mammon, Mormons, rich young ruler, riches, Scripture, Solomon, Sunday School, wealth | 34 Comments »
Posted on January 25, 2009 by Dennis
I’m going to say what many Latter-day Saints are thinking, but some are afraid to say: Sunday School is often mediocre.
I really don’t wish to gripe. I definitely realize that each person — teachers and students — need to do their part. I also recognize that most teachers try hard and take their callings seriously. But certainly Sunday School doesn’t have to be the mind-numbing chore that it seems to be for many members. We can do much better!
In this post, I offer ten simple tips that could radically improve Sunday School lessons. (Yes, I will be that bold.) These tips are simply suggestions from myself, a Latter-day Saint who has done a fair amount of teaching and thinking about this issue. They can be applied by virtually anyone, in my opinion.
Filed under: Faith, Scripture | Tagged: Latter-day Saints, LDS, Mormon, scriptures, Sunday School, teaching, testimony | 41 Comments »
Posted on April 18, 2008 by Dennis
As I’ve been reading the first third of the Book of Mormon, I’ve been thinking about the “laborer in Zion.”
Filed under: Politics, Scripture | Tagged: blue-collar workers, Book of Mormon, consecration, economics, families, Gospel of Jesus Christ, government, laborer in Zion, Michelle Obama, Mormons, Obama, Politics, sacrifice, scriptures, work | 41 Comments »
Posted on April 17, 2008 by Dennis
In the spirit of my wanting more posts that comment on specific scriptural passages, I am providing this commentary on Abraham 2:16. I wrote the following as a brief paper for a Pearl of Great Price course that I took as an undergraduate at BYU:
After He rescued Abraham from the murderous priest of Elkenah, Jehovah led Abraham and his family to the land of Haran (Abr. 2:3-4). While there, they avoided the sore famine of their native Ur, prospered economically, and “won” many souls unto the Lord (vv. 5, 15). Haran was not Abraham’s final destination, however; while there, Jehovah promised to send him to “a strange land,” the land of Canaan, where he and his future posterity, if obedient to God, would dwell forever (v. 6). Abraham’s journey from Haran to Canaan must have had special significance, considering the way Abraham writes about it: “Therefore, eternity was our covering and our rock and our salvation, as we journeyed from Haran by the way of Jershon, to come to the land of Canaan” (v. 16).
Why did Abraham speak of his journey in this way? (more…)
Filed under: Scripture | Tagged: Abraham, Atonement, Canaan, Eternity, Gospel of Jesus Christ, Haran, intelligences, Jehovah, Jershon, Jesus Christ, John Greenleaf Whittier, Kolob, Pearl of Great Price, Rock of Heaven, salvation, Scripture, stars | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 30, 2008 by Candice
This post comes from a presentation I gave this semester in response to a lecture on Mayan weaving given by Allen Christensen, a talented Maya scholar at BYU.
I am also writing this in response to the discussion on relationships with China that Doug raised several days ago.
There is an interesting correlation between how Mayans and Christian Americans connect themselves with their religious narratives and how they produce clothing. This is one small way of exploring how Americans have become insensitive to human suffering in relationships with China and other poor countries. (more…)
Filed under: International Relations, Politics, Scripture, Theology | Tagged: Atonement, China, Economy, Elaine Scarry, globalization, Jesus Christ, Mayans, Mormon Culture, narrative theology, Paul Ricoeur, Politics, Scripture, suffering, Theology, weaving | 7 Comments »