New/Forthcoming books of Interest

Update: Between now and Dec 5, get 5$ off any physical Amazon book order of 15$ or more. Details here.One of the things I love about the massive American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature conference is the football's field worth of booksellers with discounts, new books, preorders, and giveaways. A few recent and forthcoming popular books might be of interest to my readers. To be clear, I haven't read any of these yet, but I hope to. … [Read more...]

BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 45-46: Ether

A few general notes about the Book of Ether.First, unlike the other two Book of Mormon migratory peoples, the Jaredites (as we call them) are not Jews under the Law of Moses. Abraham>Isaac>Jacob (Israel)>>>>Moses. They're not even Israelite (also a late term) or Canaanite, but Mesopotamian. So they are operating under a different set of religious ideas, different language (Sumerian, Akkadian, something else? Hebrew isn't an option), different cultural background than the res … [Read more...]

Church History/ Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Resources

Update: Between now and Dec 5, get 5$ off any physical Amazon book order of 15$ or more. Details here. Several things make next year extremely challenging for me. D&C is the book I have taught the least, read the least, know the least about, and have the most limited mental bibliography. The arrangement of the manual is not chronological nor section-by-section, but a hybrid topical/chronological mix. Some lessons draw on multiple D&C sections and others none at all, like this one. So to … [Read more...]

BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 43-44: Mormon 1-9

I'm combining these lessons for two reasons. First, lesson 44 (chapters 7-8) is included within the reading of lesson 43 (chapters 1-6, 9). Second, since time is limited and both the end of the semester AND the Book of Mormon draw nigh, I need to write efficiently. So I'll be posting the (shorter) final Book of Mormon lessons soon, along with some pre-D&C posts and my "What to Read for Gospel Doctrine." With Mormon, we finally arrive in "the present" or at least, Mormon's present. He's no l … [Read more...]

BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 42: 4 Nephi

Since I've already covered 3Ne 27-28 in previous posts, I'll focus on 4 Nephi.Why is 4th Nephi so short? Two interrelated ideas, I think. Remember, Mormon is dependent upon his written sources for writing the Book of Mormon. As Elder Widtsoe articulated, “When inspired writers deal with historical incidents they relate that which they have seen or that which may have been told them [as with written sources], unless indeed the past is opened to them by revelation.” Evidences and Reconciliations, ( … [Read more...]

BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 41: 3Ne 22-26

A couple of notes first. I'll be in San Antonio for the annual joint Society of Biblical Literature/American Academy of Religion meeting in late November, plus a few extra days with family. This is a massive, multi-day meeting with thousands of people and dozens of concurrent sessions, all day every day. It's a place to see lots of current scholarship and debate, meet people, do job interviews (not me, this time around), and also drool at the massive and discounted book section. Imagine a fo … [Read more...]

A Vague Post on Joseph Fielding Smith, Evolution, and Other Sides of His Story

People are multi-faceted and complex. It's very easy to develop an attitude of putting either a halo or a black hat on someone from one incident, one aspect of them, particularly when it's a historical figure. It can be hard to get a full picture of someone. Elder Maxwell once said that the tragedy of Elder McConkie was that he had the most fantastic sense of humor, and no one in the Church knew it. (See my old post here.)It's well known that Joseph Fielding Smith was strongly opposed to e … [Read more...]

BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 40: 3Ne 16, 20-30 (Rough post)

I'm on the road and having technical problems. So I'm posting this rough, now, and will try to clean up when I get home tonight or tomorrow morning.Outline3 Nephi 20- Miraculous production of bread and wine; Jesus interprets Isaiah. 3 Nephi 21- Jesus continues interpreting Isaiah. 3 Nephi 22- Jesus quotes Isaiah 54 3 Nephi 23 Jesus asks to see the records, to give them more. Rebukes Nephi. Tells them to include Samuel. 3 Nephi 24-25 Gives them Malachi. 3 Nephi 26- Mormon summarizes … [Read more...]