Newly published just now in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:
Abstract: In this essay John Gee draws a connection between the Egyptian “Book of the Temple” and the book of Exodus, both in structure and topic, describing the temple from the inside out. Gee concludes that both probably go back to a common source older than either of them.
[Editor’s Note: Part of our book chapter reprint series, this article is reprinted here as a service to the LDS community. Original pagination and page numbers have necessarily changed, otherwise the reprint has the same content as the original.
See John Gee, “Edfu and Exodus,” in Temple Insights: Proceedings of the Interpreter Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, “The Temple on Mount Zion,” 22 September 2012, ed. William J. Hamblin and David Rolph Seely (Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation; Salt Lake City: Eborn Books, 2014), 67–82. Further information at https://interpreterfoundation.org/books/temple-insights/.]
For those with strong stomachs and resilient constitutions, here’s yet another horrific case drawn from the Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File©:
It’s nice to know that we Latter-day Saints aren’t the only religious group containing a faction that resists receiving the vaccines against COVID-19:
“White Evangelical Resistance Is Obstacle in Vaccination Effort: Millions of white evangelical adults in the U.S. do not intend to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Tenets of faith and mistrust of science play a role; so does politics.”
“Islamic leaders battle misconception about vaccines, fasting: Islamic leaders are using social media, virtual town halls and face-to-face discussions to spread the word that it’s acceptable to be vaccinated for the coronavirus during Ramadan.”
My position on this topic has, I hope, been clear: If you are able and if there’s no medical reason not to do so, you should get the vaccine. As I did. As the First Presidency did. As Joe Biden did. As Donald Trump did. I want us to return to full normalcy, including not only unhindered dining-out and unworried travel but in-person worship services and the complete re-opening of our temples.
You might enjoy this column, posted in Meridian Magazine:
And, in that context, it’s worth mentioning that Remembering Heaven won the Best Documentary award at the Utah Film Festival over the weekend. Tom Laughlin, who directed and edited the film, reports that the turnout was large and that a majority of the audience were not Latter-day Saints.
Perhaps more directly relevant to readers here, though, is the fact that a free virtual screening of Remembering Heaven will be given on 30 April 2021. I’ll try to share more details about that here, as they become available.
The filmmakers are using the hashtag #rememberingheaven to help spread the word online. They are also still looking at various potential distributors and will be talking to more such in May, at the International Christian Film Festival in Orlando, Florida.
As has been my practice of late, I now share links to some articles from a previous number of Interpreter:
Review of Jennifer Ann Mackley, Wilford Woodruff’s Witness: The Development of Temple Doctrine (Seattle, WA: High Desert Publishing, 2014). 441 pp., appendices, selected bibliography, index. $26.95.
Abstract: In this paper, Christ’s ministry is characterized by his relationship with the females found in the four gospels. The drastic differences between the ways Jesus and society treated women are emphasized. The culture into which Christ was born had degraded women for generations. Under Christ’s leadership first-century priesthood brethren were shown how to treat women. However, after Christ’s ascension Hellenistic philosophy pervaded the Christian Church’s thinking and accelerated an apostate perception of women. This study explores Jesus’s actions and teachings which restored women’s true identity. In short, this paper focuses on the reverence, respect, and loving kindnesses, that Christ showed women. By studying Jesus’s example we are taught that women are an integral part of divine creation having individual worth.
Review of Terryl L. Givens, Wrestling the Angel: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Cosmos, God, Humanity (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014). 424 pp.
Abstract: Terryl Givens’ masterful work Wrestling the Angel takes on the daunting task of examining the history of Christian belief while also examining the worldly philosophies which shaped its scriptural interpretation. As in the biblical story of Jacob’s struggle with the angel, we all must forge our own testimonies while confronting a secular world including godless philosophies. Sometimes testimony wins, and tragically sometimes the world wins and a testimony is lost. In dealing with this intellectual “matter unorganized,” interpretation of the secular philosophy becomes the key. With the right interpretation, philosophies deemed “secular” or “godless” can be seen as helpful and even providentially provided by the Lord to help provide a philosophical grounding for a testimony instead of destroying it. Aspects of the philosophy of Immanuel Kant can be seen as laying a groundwork for much of contemporary American philosophy, Continental philosophy, and a possible basis for interpretations of these philosophies, which help rather than hinder the spread of the gospel. Kant’s concept of the synthetic a priori, for example, can help us understand how humans organize our individual ideas about reality from “matter unorganized,” perhaps in a way similar to how our “human” God organizes our world. Kant’s philosophy had vast influences, arguably resulting in a new way to see the relationship between God and mankind, which is compatible with the gospel. Finally I examine Givens’ view of humanism and how it can be interpreted as helpful rather than hindering the gospel.
Posted from Park City, Utah