The C-F-A and a Non-literal Adam and Eve

This past Sunday I taught my 14 year old SS class about the Atonement from 2 Nephi 2 (we're a week behind). A strange thought occurred to me after class concerning the possible effects of a non-literal or symbolical reading of the Adam and Eve story on the way we (or at least I) understand the Atonement. … [Read more...]

LDS Zeal for Law

While some of my fellow bloggers here at FPR conclude their probably ecstatic SBL experience, I thought I'd make a post about a topic that I've been musing on for the past while. A realization that I've had recently is connected to just how legalistic we are with respect to the attaining of salvation, even exaltation. Just a quick perusal of our modernly revealed scriptures reinforced this idea to me: the LDS salvific model (as fluid a concept as that is) has a very strong legalistic flavor to … [Read more...]

Julian of Norwich and the Atonement

I don’t know if you have ever heard of Julian of Norwich. She’s a 14thcentury mystic, an anchoress, really, in Norwich, England. When she was thirty years old, she became so ill that her local priest came to administer the Last Rites. As she fixed her eyes on the crucifix, she experienced a series of sixteen visions (shewings), beginning with a vision of the blood running down Christ’s face as the crown of thorns was pressed home. She produced one version, called the Short Text, quite soon af … [Read more...]

Spontaneous Sacrament Meeting Talk

Last Sunday, before Sacrament meeting, one of the counselors approached me and my wife with a slip of paper. "We don't think our speakers are going to show up today, and this is our backup procedure." The paper read, "please take a few minutes to discuss a favorite scripture or two that has strengthened your faith in Christ, brought you comfort, or deepened your understanding of the Gospel." As it turned out, the speakers did not show up and the first three people given these slips of paper … [Read more...]

The Nature of Jesus’ Suffering

I've been pondering the Atonement lately and I recently had some inspiration that I'd like to share. I don't expect everyone to agree with me but I am interested in discovering what people think of my idea and how they view different aspects of the Atonement. Part of my thoughts concerned the nature of Jesus' suffering and so I think I'll start with that. … [Read more...]

The Joy of Suffering

The Gospel is a strange thing sometimes. Often, it challenges our most fundamental conceptions of truth. It forces us to question our basic assumptions about humanity. This is no more clear instance than in the value and valorization of suffering in the scriptures. For example, the Lukan Beatitutes offer a vision of salvation for those who suffer the most in this world. This overall theme is difficult to miss in Jesus's ministry. The model of discipleship is suffering. Jesus's … [Read more...]

He is Risen?

Many LDS scholars are more or less willing to give up on historical accuracy of the accounts of Jesus's life, and even some of the historical details of the Passion Narrative. However, I haven't met any that are willing to compromise the necessity of the resurrection. Indeed, some even argue that this is the ONLY thing which needs to have occurred in order for the gospel to be "true." Presumably, the reason is because the atonement and miracle of Jesus's resurrection are the foundation of our … [Read more...]

Sacrament Meeting Talk- Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus

I've been assigned to speak to my relatively new ward on Easter Sunday about the crucifixion and resurrection. The Bishop thoughtfully assigned me about two months ahead of time, with the side comment "I hear you're quite the scriptorian." I'm not sure what he's expecting, but more importantly, what do I deliver? Clearly, something having to do with atonement, crucifixion and resurrection, but that's no small topic. I've had about 15 different ideas, and I've just been jotting down thoughts, … [Read more...]


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