Right, Wrong, and the Divine Voice in Scripture

The story of Abram and Sarai in Egypt has always been concerning, specifically the part about him asking her to tell others they weren’t married but were brother and sister. One issue, by no means the most important, is that it seems he asked her to lie for him, which could conflict with notions of what a prophet is and is not supposed to do. The parallel account of Abraham, Sarah, and Abimalech claims that it was only a partial falsehood, since Sarah was the prophet’s half-sibling (Genesis 20: … [Read more...]

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Paul and the three degrees of glory

Even though D&C 76 was prompted by revision of John 5:29, it also creatively draws from Paul’s discussion of resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15.Because the revelation of the three degrees of glory is framed as lost biblical material (see the section heading), it can come as a surprise to learn just how different Paul’s views of heaven were from modern LDS beliefs.In 1 Corinthians 15:40-43 (KJV as always), we do find the words celestial and terrestrial as well as reference to the glor … [Read more...]

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What was not discussed in Sunday school this week

In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul, on the one hand, takes it for granted that women pray and prophesy alongside men – historical evidence of female prophetic roles.On the other hand, he distorts scripture in order to argue that women should do so veiled. The distortion is not always recognized much less challenged, in part because of its longstanding influence on Christian culture and society.Paul distorts the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 by using bits and pieces of both, while i … [Read more...]

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Contextualizing Crises of Faith

It might seem that Latter-day Saints have a corner on the faith-crisis market, especially now that everything and everyone is online.No doubt this is an information age second to none, at least in terms of quantity of info. Still there have been previous information ages, and Mormonism is far from being the oldest let alone the only religion on the planet.Plus faith crises need not be religious. Many can be seen together as a subset of the universal human experience of (feelings of) … [Read more...]

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Obedience and Speaking for God

Last week in my ward, the Sunday school lesson included 1 Samuel 15, where Samuel speaks for God and tells Saul, “go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”So Saul kills the Amalekites, except the king, while sparing the best animals, ostensibly for sacrifice. Then, as is well known, Samuel tells him that “to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. … [Read more...]

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Unanswered Questions about the Priesthood

As President Uchtdorf said in his in general conference talk last October, “Sometimes questions arise because we simply don’t have all the information.”[i] And as Managing Director of Public Affairs for the Church, Michael Otterson, stated last month, “I suppose we do not know all the reasons why Christ did not ordain women as apostles, either in the New Testament or the Book of Mormon, or when the Church was restored in modern times.”[ii]It’s important to recognize how much we don’t know, an … [Read more...]

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Remember that one time God totally denied having a body in restoration scripture?

There I was looking at all the fascinating differences between the First Book of Moses called Genesis in the KJV and the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price … such as the global change from third person to first person (e.g. Genesis: “God said” > Moses: “I, God, said”) … when to my surprise I saw this anti-anthropomorphism:Genesis 3:8 KJV And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of t … [Read more...]

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Even More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha

I once wrote about the Jacob (pseud)epigraphon in the book of Alma, which I said I would follow up on but never did, and I won’t do it here. Because there are even more Old Testament pseudepigrapha to write about that are not old but new!The current issue of the Ensign features an article written in the first person as though by Adam. It looks to be the initial article in a series called “Old Testament Prophets,” coinciding with the year’s gospel doctrine topic. Apparently, soon there will be … [Read more...]

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