Out of the Best Books- Talking about (Bible) Commentaries at Institute

I've been teaching a lightly-attended Institute class this summer, on scripture study. We've talked a lot about techniques and tools; last night we covered commentaries. The following comes from the handout and discussion.What’s a commentary? Generally speaking, a commentary is an extended analysis of some other text, whether the Bible, Book of Mormon, a Shakespeare play, the tax code, etc. A commentary’s purpose is to clarify, expound, explain or interpret the text. At right is a tra … [Read more...]

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Door to Door Atheist Visits Utah

What if atheists come knocking?  A classic video.[Mild language warning] … [Read more...]

CleanFlix and Clean Flicks: A Look At Edited Films

Once upon a time, my wife and I watched a TV movie on a basic cable channel -- the TV-edited version of a movie that was originally rated R in theaters.  It was okay, but the interesting part was what we didn't see. … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Podcast Lesson 28: 1 Kings 17-19

(My internet connection is radically unstable, so I'm posting this while I still have a connection, and will update the notes as able. Also, our podcast widget is on the fritz, but I'm leaving the code in, below.)Click here to listen in this window, or right-click and "save as" to download.TranscriptNotes and References … [Read more...]

Nauvoo at Dusk

An eight-year-old waits for the pageant to start.What about you?Visiting any of the church's pageants this summer? … [Read more...]

Eyes to See

Is seeing something that just happens when light hits your retina, or is it a mental process?  In two books I recently read, scientists describe what it’s like to see things, and they describe it as more than a simple sensory function.For example, William Herschel, an astronomer from the late eighteenth century described his “art of seeing” like this: … [Read more...]

Easy Bible History for Dummies, with an excursis on why Persia is so much less threatening than Iran

Right about now in Gospel Doctrine classes, everyone should nearing the Divided Kingdom stories, when Jereboam breaks off and takes 10 tribes with him, and we get two Israelite kingdoms (Israel and Judah) with two Israelite kings (Reheboam and Jereboam.)And coincidentally  right about now, it gets darn hard to keep everyone straight. Instead of one  story, we're now switching back and forth between narrative of the northern kingdom and narrative of the southern kingdom, like in Lord of the R … [Read more...]

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Gospel Doctrine Podcast 26- 1 Kings 3-11 (updated)

Lesson 26: 1 Kings 3-11Having technical issues with the plugin at the moment, but if you click on the download link below, it will open and play without downloading. Download link is now visible again, and here's the direct link to the audio file. http://media.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/Media/MormonPodcastLesson26.mp3Right-click here to download. Transcript link [opening clip by Loreena McKennit, "Marco Polo"] Notes and References … [Read more...]

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Sacred music and the Establishment Clause

My last post on patriotic music in church got me thinking of sort of the opposite side of that coin - sacred music in the public sphere.  Specifically in public schools.   Last year, a U.S. Appeals Court in New Jersey upheld the Maplewood - Orange County school district's decision to ban all religious music in school performances.  The ban had been in place since 1990, but when the school district expanded it to include instrumental versions of religious songs in 2004, a parent filed a lawsuit sa … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Podcast 25- Psalms (u)

I'm on the road, so the podcast and notes are a little bit rougher this week.Right-click here to download. Partial Transcript Notes and References … [Read more...]


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