Seminary Series: Just how long IS three millennia?

Author’s note: This is the fourth post in a series about my experiences with and reflections on teaching seminary on a volunteer basis this past year. Its observations and opinions do not necessarily represent the teachings or policies of the Seminaries & Institutes program or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.It is natural for modern readers of ancient religious literature to read their own lives into the text. This is fine. That’s why we read the texts we read instead of a … [Read more...]

Seminary Series: Scripture Mastery

Author’s note: This is the third post in a series about my experiences with and reflections on teaching seminary on a volunteer basis this past year. Its observations and opinions do not necessarily represent the teachings or policies of the Seminaries & Institutes program or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.I was a bad seminary student; out of the nearly 100 scripture mastery verses in all 4 years of seminary, I memorized three of them. Back then, I thought it was a waste … [Read more...]

Seminary Series: What Is Seminary For?

(update:) Author's note: This is the second post in a series dealing with my experiences teaching seminary on a volunteer basis over this past year. The thoughts and observations contained therein do not necessarily represent those of the Seminaries and Institutes program or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The introductory post can be found here.I support and deeply value the seminary program and its role in the lives of LDS youth. That’s why I accepted the call. But as I b … [Read more...]

Seminary Series: Introducing the Class

(update) Author's note: This post is first in a series about my experiences and reflections on teaching seminary on a volunteer basis over the past year. No statement therein necessarily represents the positions of the Seminaries & Institutes Program or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Most universities are already out, but high school students are still wrapping up their year (poor kids). Our seminary class is no different; we’ve basically got Jonah and Malachi ahead of u … [Read more...]

Rethinking Mormon Christianity

When I first entered divinity school I met a friend who described his home denomination as "Methodist but with more of an emphasis on Holiness." I was befuddled. I had assumed that it was common practice even among the most liberal denominations to at least make a gesture at avoiding profaneness. I was embarrassed to ask him what he meant by "holiness." His response was a diplomatic, "Oh. Wow," and then an awkward attempt to explain something he had assumed was a fundamental principle. The man … [Read more...]

“Stop Complaining and Sustain Them All”

I served on my mission with one of the grandsons of emeritus Seventy Elder F. Enzio Busche, whose autohagiography has been on Mormon bookshelves for a few years. My wife and I recently completed reading it a chapter a week for FHE. Among the often incredible and always uplifting stories he tells is one about Sister Neuberg, an elderly German sister with unique spiritual gifts. The two became acquainted while Edler Busche was working in Salt Lake around 1983. He gives one vignette in which Sister … [Read more...]

Textual Criticism

Recent comments around the blogosphere on the publication of the new NIV reminded me of my first encounter with biblical textual criticism at age 14. Curt Bench,1 my youth Sunday school teacher at the time, took me aside as Ammaron of old and gave me a bible. "Son," he said, "You are a sober youth of sound mind and so I give you this." It was a hardbound NIV. "This is not the King James version, but it is a new translation made by believing Christians and not godless heathens." My sentiments … [Read more...]

Book of Mormon Ethics Revisited

Hi, everybody it’s my first post. Newbie that I am, I’m still becoming acquainted with everyone’s positions on various and sundry topics. Sometimes you’re really bright, and sometimes you’re godless heathens; I’m confident my final conclusion will come to rest somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. In short, though, I appreciate that questions and concerns are being discussed in the open free from fear of stoning, burning, and/or excommunication.I mention this feeler-extending process to exp … [Read more...]


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