Coming Soon…exclusively at Patheos… A “Future of Mormonism” Extravaganza

Thanks to Jana Riess for posting an interview at her "Flunking Sainthood" blog about our Gospel Doctrine Podcast!Remember to tune in next week for our Future of Mormonism series... an exclusive series of essays from many of the leading voices on Mormonism -- part of our summer series on the Future of Religion.Contributors next week include:Kristine Haglund, Brian Hales, Neylan McBaine, Grant Hardy, Richard Livingston, Reese Dixon, Blake Ostler, Boyd Peterson, Aaron Reeves, Armand Mauss, … [Read more...]

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...]

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.)[audio: ]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...]

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. [audio:] Right-click here to download. Partial Transcript Notes and References … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Podcast Lesson 22, 1 Samuel 9-17

[audio:] Right click here to download.Below are the podcast notes on Lesson 22, 1 Samuel 9-17. … [Read more...]

Joseph Smith’s Home Teacher and Social Roles

I’ve never enjoyed home teaching. … [Read more...]