Latter-day Saint Perspectives

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Explore Latter-day Saint history, doctrine, and culture with amazing scholars

Laura Harris Hales


    • May 5, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • monthly NEW EPISODES
    • 41m AVG DURATION
    • 248 EPISODES


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    Latest episodes from Latter-day Saint Perspectives

    Episode 130: Welcome to Latter-day Saint Perspectives

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2021 6:39

    Welcome to the Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast. I’m your host Laura Harris Hales. I created this podcast over four and a half years ago. As I prepare to shutter the production, I am going to follow the example of fellow podcaster Nick Galieti and post an introductory episode explaining how this podcast got started, what I hoped to accomplish, and what you can expect as you listen. The story of this podcast began in June 2016. After co-authoring the book, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding and the website josephsmithspolygamy.org, my husband and I were asked to speak at a conference held in Sweden. After our presentation, I was approached by a local member, who mentioned he was grateful my husband and I as well as other conference presenters traveled so far to visit with the Swedish members. “We don’t have many options when we want to learn about church history,” he said. "Many of the books published in the United States are difficult to get ahold of here,” he continued. “So we are left with only listening to podcasts from antagonistic sources or devotional ones. There is no middle ground.” Then, he looked into my eyes and asked, “Can you help us? Can you give us a podcast that gives us an alternative?” I was fresh off my experience with compiling and editing, A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS History and Doctrine. It had been such a positive experience where all of the pieces seemed to fall naturally into place. So when I returned to the US, I approached this new project with the same fearless gusto. Latter-day Saint Perspectives would interview respected LDS scholars about church history, doctrine, and culture from a faithful perspective. With new audio equipment and a quivering voice, I taped my first interview with Thomas Wayment, which aired on September 19, 2016. Our topic was the Historical Jesus. It was rough and awkward, but to my great surprise and delight listeners tuned in. Million of worldwide downloads later, it is with a appreciative heart that I say goodbye to this project. I am thankful for the man who had the courage to approach me with his request, grateful to the guest podcasters who also shared my vision, indebted to the many outlets among them Meridian Magazine, the Mormon Interpreter, and LDS Living that reposted my material, and forever beholden to the scholars who volunteered to share their knowledge gained from years of study. When I started this podcast, I hoped to present the most recent academic scholarship to a general audience from a faithful but not necessarily devotional perspective. I also hoped to take a deeper dive into Latter-day Saint topics than listeners could typically find in Sunday School discussions. Through the years, Latter-day Saint Perspectives has done just that. We have interviewed noted scholars about recent works as well as older but influential publications. I invite those new to the podcast to check out our complete catalog on their favorite podcast application or at Latter-day Saint Perspectives.com. On the website, you can locate additional episodes on similar topics as well as check out a new feature. While we will not be regularly releasing new episodes (I hesitate to say never here), our newly designed website contains a new feature. Periodically, I will be posting bite-sized blogs about books, podcasts, and video features that promote the best in Latter-day Saint scholarship. If this is something that interests you, then subscribe at latter-daysaintperspectives.com. I have been the most unlikely of podcast hosts. Not only do I suffer from more social anxiety than average but also my vocal talents are limited. What I do have is a lot of questions. Fortunately, I was able to spend hours with scholars who have become my friends and have answered some of them. Thanks, listeners, for sharing this journey with me. In 2016, there were not a lot of options for those seeking academic enrichment from a faith...

    Episode 130: Welcome to Latter-day Saint Perspectives

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2021 6:39

    Welcome to the Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast. I’m your host Laura Harris Hales. I created this podcast over four and a half years ago. As I prepare to shutter the production, I am going to follow the example of fellow podcaster Nick Galieti and post an introductory episode explaining how this podcast got started, what I hoped to accomplish, and what you can expect as you listen. The story of this podcast began in June 2016. After co-authoring the book, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding and the website josephsmithspolygamy.org, my husband and I were asked to speak at a conference held in Sweden. After our presentation, I was approached by a local member, who mentioned he was grateful my husband and I as well as other conference presenters traveled so far to visit with the Swedish members. “We don’t have many options when we want to learn about church history,” he said. "Many of the books published in the United States are difficult to get ahold of here,” he continued. “So we are left with only listening to podcasts from antagonistic sources or devotional ones. There is no middle ground.” Then, he looked into my eyes and asked, “Can you help us? Can you give us a podcast that gives us an alternative?” I was fresh off my experience with compiling and editing, A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS History and Doctrine. It had been such a positive experience where all of the pieces seemed to fall naturally into place. So when I returned to the US, I approached this new project with the same fearless gusto. Latter-day Saint Perspectives would interview respected LDS scholars about church history, doctrine, and culture from a faithful perspective. With new audio equipment and a quivering voice, I taped my first interview with Thomas Wayment, which aired on September 19, 2016. Our topic was the Historical Jesus. It was rough and awkward, but to my great surprise and delight listeners tuned in. Million of worldwide downloads later, it is with a appreciative heart that I say goodbye to this project. I am thankful for the man who had the courage to approach me with his request, grateful to the guest podcasters who also shared my vision, indebted to the many outlets among them Meridian Magazine, the Mormon Interpreter, and LDS Living that reposted my material, and forever beholden to the scholars who volunteered to share their knowledge gained from years of study. When I started this podcast, I hoped to present the most recent academic scholarship to a general audience from a faithful but not necessarily devotional perspective. I also hoped to take a deeper dive into Latter-day Saint topics than listeners could typically find in Sunday School discussions. Through the years, Latter-day Saint Perspectives has done just that. We have interviewed noted scholars about recent works as well as older but influential publications. I invite those new to the podcast to check out our complete catalog on their favorite podcast application or at Latter-day Saint Perspectives.com. On the website, you can locate additional episodes on similar topics as well as check out a new feature. While we will not be regularly releasing new episodes (I hesitate to say never here), our newly designed website contains a new feature. Periodically, I will be posting bite-sized blogs about books, podcasts, and video features that promote the best in Latter-day Saint scholarship. If this is something that interests you, then subscribe at latter-daysaintperspectives.com. I have been the most unlikely of podcast hosts. Not only do I suffer from more social anxiety than average but also my vocal talents are limited. What I do have is a lot of questions. Fortunately, I was able to spend hours with scholars who have become my friends and have answered some of them. Thanks, listeners, for sharing this journey with me. In 2016, there were not a lot of options for those seeking academic enrichment from a faith...

    Episode 129: Learning of Joseph Smith Anew

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2021 84:39

    R. Eric SmithMatthew C. Godfrey The Interview In this episode of Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews R. Eric Smith and Matthew C. Godfrey about Know Brother Joseph: New Perspectives on Joseph Smith’s Life and Character, the new book that they coedited with Matthew J. Grow. The Joseph Smith Papers Project has published thousands of pages of transcripts, introductions, footnotes, and supplemental materials in recent years. The project’s print volumes have sold more than 200,000 copies, and last year alone, the project’s website, josephsmithpapers.org, had more than 650,000 unique visitors. Though the publications are aimed primarily at scholars, these numbers make it clear that Church members are the main consumers. Other recent Church publications, such as Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days, have also made information from the Joseph Smith Papers available to many Latter-day Saints. Still, it is undoubtedly the case that the majority of Church members have not spent time in the Joseph Smith Papers. This is certainly understandable, given the scholarly format and the sheer number of pages. Enter Know Brother Joseph, a new collection of short essays on Joseph Smith designed to bridge that gap—to share information from the Joseph Smith Papers and other recent works of scholarship with a general Latter-day Saint audience. The three coeditors, all of whom are general editors of the Joseph Smith Papers, invited more than 40 historians and other scholars who have spent years thinking about the founding prophet to provide insights into his history, teachings, and character attributes. The writers were asked to share historical perspectives in a faith-promoting way, similar to how they might present information in a fireside. Some essayists also chose to discuss how something from Joseph’s experience had personal relevance to them. The result is a collection of brief, informative, inspiring essays that all Latter-day Saints can read and enjoy. Some essayists explore familiar topics but in new ways. For example, writing on the First Vision, Robin Jensen of the Joseph Smith Papers discusses why Joseph might have waited twelve years before first writing down what he had experienced. Kathleen Flake, a professor of Mormon Studies at the University of Virginia, examines how the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of priesthood authority solved the “problem” identified in the First Vision, namely, “Where is the power of salvation to be found on earth?” Essays with personal details include those from Eric Smith and Elizabeth Kuehn. After relating episodes showing how Joseph Smith responded to adversity, Eric shares how Joseph’s example has given him strength to bear up against challenges in his own life. Elizabeth, a historian with the Joseph Smith Papers, discusses some of Joseph Smith’s character traits that she has been drawn to. She writes, “Spending the last several years immersed in Joseph’s history has brought him to life for me in ways I would never have imagined. It has made him become someone I feel I know.” That writers selected their own topics allows personal enthusiasm and expertise to shine through. For example, the essay from Scott Hales, lead writer for Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days, looks at how Joseph Smith chose to tell his own history. This kind of “meta” analysis—with one writer of history examining another—is a unique way of approaching Joseph Smith. Essayists did not shy away from potentially challenging subjects. Chapters discuss, for example, Joseph’s evolving views on race, an altercation he had with his brother William, a disciplinary council considering a case of physical abuse, Joseph’s teaching about Heavenly Mother, and questions about how the doctrine of eternal sealing might apply within a blended family.

    Episode 129: Learning of Joseph Smith Anew

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2021 84:39

    The Interview In this episode of Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews R. Eric Smith and Matthew C. Godfrey about Know Brother Joseph: New Perspectives on Joseph Smith’s Life and Character, the new book that they coedited with Matthew J. Grow. The Joseph Smith Papers Project has published thousands of pages of transcripts, introductions, footnotes, and supplemental materials in recent years. The project’s print volumes have sold more than 200,000 copies, and last year alone, the project’s website, josephsmithpapers.org, had more than 650,000 unique visitors. Though the publications are aimed primarily at scholars, these numbers make it clear that Church members are the main consumers. Other recent Church publications, such as Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days, have also made information from the Joseph Smith Papers available to many Latter-day Saints. Still, it is undoubtedly the case that the majority of Church members have not spent time in the Joseph Smith Papers. This is certainly understandable, given the scholarly format and the sheer number of pages. Enter Know Brother Joseph, a new collection of short essays on Joseph Smith designed to bridge that gap—to share information from the Joseph Smith Papers and other recent works of scholarship with a general Latter-day Saint audience. The three coeditors, all of whom are general editors of the Joseph Smith Papers, invited more than 40 historians and other scholars who have spent years thinking about the founding prophet to provide insights into his history, teachings, and character attributes. The writers were asked to share historical perspectives in a faith-promoting way, similar to how they might present information in a fireside. Some essayists also chose to discuss how something from Joseph’s experience had personal relevance to them. The result is a collection of brief, informative, inspiring essays that all Latter-day Saints can read and enjoy. Some essayists explore familiar topics but in new ways. For example, writing on the First Vision, Robin Jensen of the Joseph Smith Papers discusses why Joseph might have waited twelve years before first writing down what he had experienced. Kathleen Flake, a professor of Mormon Studies at the University of Virginia, examines how the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of priesthood authority solved the “problem” identified in the First Vision, namely, “Where is the power of salvation to be found on earth?” Essays with personal details include those from Eric Smith and Elizabeth Kuehn. After relating episodes showing how Joseph Smith responded to adversity, Eric shares how Joseph’s example has given him strength to bear up against challenges in his own life. Elizabeth, a historian with the Joseph Smith Papers, discusses some of Joseph Smith’s character traits that she has been drawn to. She writes, “Spending the last several years immersed in Joseph’s history has brought him to life for me in ways I would never have imagined. It has made him become someone I feel I know.” That writers selected their own topics allows personal enthusiasm and expertise to shine through. For example, the essay from Scott Hales, lead writer for Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days, looks at how Joseph Smith chose to tell his own history. This kind of “meta” analysis—with one writer of history examining another—is a unique way of approaching Joseph Smith. Essayists did not shy away from potentially challenging subjects. Chapters discuss, for example, Joseph’s evolving views on race, an altercation he had with his brother William, a disciplinary council considering a case of physical abuse, Joseph’s teaching about Heavenly Mother, and questions about how the doctrine of eternal sealing might apply within a blended family. The life of Joseph Smith teaches us different lessons as we return to it at diffe...

    Episode 128: What Is the Restoration? with Patrick Q. Mason

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 27, 2021 61:52

    About the Interview: Celebrating the two hundredth anniversary of the Restoration has proven to be one of the few highlights of 2020 for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In commemoration, the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles issued a Bicentennial Proclamation that boldly affirmed beliefs in a restored church, restored priesthood authority (including priesthood keys), restored revelation through living prophets, and a restored fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This declaration affirmed church leaders’ consistent message regarding the importance of past revelations and the Latter-day Saint Church’s future path. President Russell M. Nelson and other apostles have repeatedly reminded members of the church that God’s work of restoration began with Joseph Smith, but it didn’t end with him. We believe in an “ongoing Restoration”—an organic, dynamic process by which God continues to breathe life into both the church and the world not just yesterday but today and tomorrow and always. As Latter-day Saints, we hold it as an article of faith that God has much work yet to do, and many things yet to say, in the gradual unfolding of his kingdom in these modern times. There are indeed many things that needed restoration: the fulness of the gospel, the priesthood, the church, covenants, ordinances, spiritual gifts, and so forth. We call this whole package “the restoration of all things.”[1] But I would suggest that God isn’t concerned with restoring “things,” no matter how important, so much as he is with using those things to restore what matters most. And what is that? Nephi explained that the restoration of the various branches of Israel—the Jews, the scattered tribes, and the remnant of Lehi—would all be accomplished not just for their own sake but as part of something bigger. What could be more significant than the gathering of Israel? The work of salvation, reconciliation, and healing whereby God will “bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.”[2] In other words, “the restoration of all things” is designed with one grand aim in mind: to restore God’s people—our Father and Mother’s children, their eternal family—to wholeness. Those of us in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aren’t the only ones called to restore God’s family to wholeness—the work is too big, as 0.2% of the world’s population, to do by ourselves. But we are called to do some very special things. We are called to lives of holiness—that through the gift of the Atonement the title “saint” becomes less aspirational and more actual each day. We are called to extend that holiness beyond our personal lives into our communities, thereby working toward the establishment of God’s social ideal, which we call Zion. We are called to proclaim the name and gospel of Jesus to every corner of the world. We are called to seal together the whole human family, alive and dead, in one great web of mutuality. But if we are to fulfill our mission, we cannot be content with restoring things, no matter how powerfully those things work in our lives and our world. We are called to restore God’s people. We do so in imitation of Jesus, who loves all humanity but whose heart beats in sympathy with the oppressed and marginalized children of God. When he first proclaimed his messiahship, he did so by quoting Isaiah, the great prophet of Israel’s scattering and restoration: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.[3] The poor. The brokenhearted. The captives. The blind. The bruised. These are the people to whom the Messiah’s anointing is specially directed. Any restoration we claim to participate in as disciples of Jesus must therefore be primarily oriented toward those who have suffered on the margins o...

    Episode 128: What Is the Restoration? with Patrick Q. Mason

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 27, 2021 61:52

    About the Interview: Celebrating the two hundredth anniversary of the Restoration has proven to be one of the few highlights of 2020 for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In commemoration, the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles issued a Bicentennial Proclamation that boldly affirmed beliefs in a restored church, restored priesthood authority (including priesthood keys), restored revelation through living prophets, and a restored fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This declaration affirmed church leaders’ consistent message regarding the importance of past revelations and the Latter-day Saint Church’s future path. President Russell M. Nelson and other apostles have repeatedly reminded members of the church that God’s work of restoration began with Joseph Smith, but it didn’t end with him. We believe in an “ongoing Restoration”—an organic, dynamic process by which God continues to breathe life into both the church and the world not just yesterday but today and tomorrow and always. As Latter-day Saints, we hold it as an article of faith that God has much work yet to do, and many things yet to say, in the gradual unfolding of his kingdom in these modern times. There are indeed many things that needed restoration: the fulness of the gospel, the priesthood, the church, covenants, ordinances, spiritual gifts, and so forth. We call this whole package “the restoration of all things.”[1] But I would suggest that God isn’t concerned with restoring “things,” no matter how important, so much as he is with using those things to restore what matters most. And what is that? Nephi explained that the restoration of the various branches of Israel—the Jews, the scattered tribes, and the remnant of Lehi—would all be accomplished not just for their own sake but as part of something bigger. What could be more significant than the gathering of Israel? The work of salvation, reconciliation, and healing whereby God will “bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.”[2] In other words, “the restoration of all things” is designed with one grand aim in mind: to restore God’s people—our Father and Mother’s children, their eternal family—to wholeness. Those of us in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aren’t the only ones called to restore God’s family to wholeness—the work is too big, as 0.2% of the world’s population, to do by ourselves. But we are called to do some very special things. We are called to lives of holiness—that through the gift of the Atonement the title “saint” becomes less aspirational and more actual each day. We are called to extend that holiness beyond our personal lives into our communities, thereby working toward the establishment of God’s social ideal, which we call Zion. We are called to proclaim the name and gospel of Jesus to every corner of the world. We are called to seal together the whole human family, alive and dead, in one great web of mutuality. But if we are to fulfill our mission, we cannot be content with restoring things, no matter how powerfully those things work in our lives and our world. We are called to restore God’s people. We do so in imitation of Jesus, who loves all humanity but whose heart beats in sympathy with the oppressed and marginalized children of God. When he first proclaimed his messiahship, he did so by quoting Isaiah, the great prophet of Israel’s scattering and restoration: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.[3] The poor. The brokenhearted. The captives. The blind. The bruised. These are the people to whom the Messiah’s anointing is specially directed. Any restoration we claim to participate in as disciples of Jesus must therefore be primarily oriented toward those who have suffered on the margins o...

    Episode 127: The Kinderhook Plates with Mark Ashurst-McGee

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2020 62:07

    The Interview: In this episode of the Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews Mark Ashurst-McGee, co-author of a new in-depth study of the Kinderhook plates saga. It is well-known that Joseph Smith claimed to have translated the Book of Mormon by “the gift and power of God” from a set of golden plates that he found in a stone box buried in a hill near his home. Lesser known is his later translation from a collection of brass plates disinterred from an Indian burial mound near Kinderhook, Illinois, located about seventy miles downstream from Nauvoo. The History of the Church records that Joseph Smith “translated a portion” of these plates and declared that they contained “the history of the person with whom they were found,” who was “a descendant of Ham.” That official narrative dominated the legacy of this second set of plates for over a century. Nevertheless, controversy always swirled around the affair. This recital is a strange episode in early Mormon history, but the history of the interpretation of the story is even more peculiar. Years after the event, two of the men who were present when locals discovered the plates claimed that they made the plates with help from the village blacksmith, inscribed them with characters, planted them in the mound, and then led an unsuspecting group of curious locals to “discover” them as part of a hoax. Rejecting this contention, considering the revelation of a supposed hoax to be the real hoax, Latter-day Saints used the Kinderhook plates for decades as supporting evidence for the validity of the golden plates and their translation into the Book of Mormon. In the late nineteenth century, several publications promoted the testimony of one of the scammers as evidence of the Kinderhook forgery. Critics of Mormonism used this revelation to attack Joseph Smith’s legitimacy as a prophet and an inspired translator. Soon detractors distilled the anti-Mormon argument into a pithy slogan: “Only a bogus prophet translates bogus plates.” In light of the slur, Latter-day Saints doubled down, insisting that the forgery claims were lies, the plates were genuine, and they supported the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith’s prophetic claims. Despite these confident declarations, Latter-day Saint contentions later proved erroneous. Rigorous scientific testing in 1980 demonstrated conclusively that the plates were modern forgeries rather than pre-Columbian creations. Many wondered how these new findings spoke to Joseph Smith’s purported rendering. Latter-day Saint historian Stanley Kimball problematized any simple resolution to the mystery when he examined the drama further by turning to the contested statement of Joseph Smith regarding the translation. At about the same time scientific evidence confirmed the fraudulent origin of the plates, Church historians discovered the actual source of Joseph Smith’s declaration on the translation as found in the History of the Church. As it turns out, Joseph Smith never wrote that he had translated from the Kinderhook plates. Instead, researchers learned that early Latter-day Saint chroniclers extracted this information from the diary of Joseph Smith’s private secretary, William Clayton. In an article in the Ensign, the official magazine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Stanley Kimball revealed the modern fabrication of the Kinderhook plates, but at the same time he revealed the true source of the words attributed to Joseph Smith and argued that William Clayton was wrong when he wrote about Joseph Smith translating from the plates. In this new study, Don Bradley and Mark Ashurst-McGee provide analysis of Clayton’s relationship with Joseph Smith, his diary-keeping practices, and the broader context of the entire journal entry that served as the basis for the statements inserted in the History of the Church. They argue that Clayton knew very well what he was writing about and that Smith did, in fact,

    Episode 127: The Kinderhook Plates with Mark Ashurst-McGee

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2020 62:07

    The Interview: In this episode of the Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews Mark Ashurst-McGee, co-author of a new in-depth study of the Kinderhook plates saga. It is well-known that Joseph Smith claimed to have translated the Book of Mormon by “the gift and power of God” from a set of golden plates that he found in a stone box buried in a hill near his home. Lesser known is his later translation from a collection of brass plates disinterred from an Indian burial mound near Kinderhook, Illinois, located about seventy miles downstream from Nauvoo. The History of the Church records that Joseph Smith “translated a portion” of these plates and declared that they contained “the history of the person with whom they were found,” who was “a descendant of Ham.” That official narrative dominated the legacy of this second set of plates for over a century. Nevertheless, controversy always swirled around the affair. This recital is a strange episode in early Mormon history, but the history of the interpretation of the story is even more peculiar. Years after the event, two of the men who were present when locals discovered the plates claimed that they made the plates with help from the village blacksmith, inscribed them with characters, planted them in the mound, and then led an unsuspecting group of curious locals to “discover” them as part of a hoax. Rejecting this contention, considering the revelation of a supposed hoax to be the real hoax, Latter-day Saints used the Kinderhook plates for decades as supporting evidence for the validity of the golden plates and their translation into the Book of Mormon. In the late nineteenth century, several publications promoted the testimony of one of the scammers as evidence of the Kinderhook forgery. Critics of Mormonism used this revelation to attack Joseph Smith’s legitimacy as a prophet and an inspired translator. Soon detractors distilled the anti-Mormon argument into a pithy slogan: “Only a bogus prophet translates bogus plates.” In light of the slur, Latter-day Saints doubled down, insisting that the forgery claims were lies, the plates were genuine, and they supported the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith’s prophetic claims. Despite these confident declarations, Latter-day Saint contentions later proved erroneous. Rigorous scientific testing in 1980 demonstrated conclusively that the plates were modern forgeries rather than pre-Columbian creations. Many wondered how these new findings spoke to Joseph Smith’s purported rendering. Latter-day Saint historian Stanley Kimball problematized any simple resolution to the mystery when he examined the drama further by turning to the contested statement of Joseph Smith regarding the translation. At about the same time scientific evidence confirmed the fraudulent origin of the plates, Church historians discovered the actual source of Joseph Smith’s declaration on the translation as found in the History of the Church. As it turns out, Joseph Smith never wrote that he had translated from the Kinderhook plates. Instead, researchers learned that early Latter-day Saint chroniclers extracted this information from the diary of Joseph Smith’s private secretary, William Clayton. In an article in the Ensign, the official magazine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Stanley Kimball revealed the modern fabrication of the Kinderhook plates, but at the same time he revealed the true source of the words attributed to Joseph Smith and argued that William Clayton was wrong when he wrote about Joseph Smith translating from the plates. In this new study, Don Bradley and Mark Ashurst-McGee provide analysis of Clayton’s relationship with Joseph Smith, his diary-keeping practices, and the broader context of the entire journal entry that served as the basis for the statements inserted in the History of the Church. They argue that Clayton knew very well what he was writing about and that Smith did, in fact,

    Episode 126: From Conflict to Closeness with Emil Harker

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2020 70:26

    About the Interview: Many relationships may be improved simply by practicing good communication skills. In this interview, Emil Harker discusses a program for improving our ability to communicate well in crucial conversations. Over the past 20 years, he has counseled thousands of couples on how to improve their marriages by applying 7 critical skills: Assuming Good IntentDefining and Accepting RealityCommunicating with the Desired Outcome in MindClear, Direct, and Sensitive CommunicationKilling CriticismsFencing ConflictDisarming Landmines Listen as Emil Harker discusses how we can improve our most important relationships. You can receive a free book by here on Emil's website: emilharker.com. About Our Guest: Emil Harker graduated with a master’s degree in family and marriage therapy in 1999 from Utah State University. He is a popular speaker for public and professional organizations and companies as he teaches his innovative communication and conflict resolution strategies from his book “You Can Turn Conflict into Closeness”: 7 Communication Skills of Successful Marriages. (Free Book)  (Book/Audiobook) (Workbook) Complaining Quick Reference Card Fencing Conflict Quick Reference Card Workbook for 7 Communication Skills Complaining Quick Reference Guide Fencing Conflict Quick Reference Guide

    Episode 126: From Conflict to Closeness with Emil Harker

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2020 70:26

    About the Interview: Many relationships may be improved simply by practicing good communication skills. In this interview, Emil Harker discusses a program for improving our ability to communicate well in crucial conversations. Over the past 20 years, he has counseled thousands of couples on how to improve their marriages by applying 7 critical skills: Assuming Good IntentDefining and Accepting RealityCommunicating with the Desired Outcome in MindClear, Direct, and Sensitive CommunicationKilling CriticismsFencing ConflictDisarming Landmines Listen as Emil Harker discusses how we can improve our most important relationships. You can receive a free book by here on Emil's website: emilharker.com. About Our Guest: Emil Harker graduated with a master’s degree in family and marriage therapy in 1999 from Utah State University. He is a popular speaker for public and professional organizations and companies as he teaches his innovative communication and conflict resolution strategies from his book “You Can Turn Conflict into Closeness”: 7 Communication Skills of Successful Marriages. Workbook for 7 Communication Skills Complaining Quick Reference Guide Fencing Conflict Quick Reference Guide

    Episode 125: Latter-day Saint Beliefs on the Apocalypse with Christopher J. Blythe

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2020 66:21

    About the Interview: The mayhem of 2020 has brought the Apocalypse to the forefront of many people’s minds, but for Latter-day Saints, this kind of thinking is nothing new. Christopher J. Blythe describes in his new book, Terrible Revolution: Latter-Day Saints and the American Apocalypse, how apocalypticism has presented itself throughout the church’s history. Blythe notes, “Latter-day Saints of the nineteenth century belonged to an apocalyptic tradition. Their very identity was entangled with the belief that society was headed toward cataclysmic events that would uproot the current social order in favor of a divine order that would be established in its place” (p. 8). Nearly 200 years later, that tradition is still alive within Latter-day Saint culture. In this episode, Christopher J. Blythe discusses how end-times narratives have evolved and been perpetuated not only through official Latter-day Saint leadership channels but also folk traditions and lived religion. About Our Guest: Christopher James Blythe is a faculty research associate at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University, as well as the coeditor of the Journal of Mormon History. He completed a PhD in American religious history from Florida State University, an MA in history from Utah State University, and BA degrees in religious studies and anthropology from Utah State University and Texas A&M University, respectively. He was a documentary editor at the Joseph Smith Papers between 2015 and 2018. Blythe lives in Springville, Utah, with his wife and three boys.

    Episode 125: Latter-day Saint Beliefs on the Apocalypse with Christopher J. Blythe

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2020 66:21

    About the Interview: The mayhem of 2020 has brought the Apocalypse to the forefront of many people’s minds, but for Latter-day Saints, this kind of thinking is nothing new. Christopher J. Blythe describes in his new book, Terrible Revolution: Latter-Day Saints and the American Apocalypse, how apocalypticism has presented itself throughout the church’s history. Blythe notes, “Latter-day Saints of the nineteenth century belonged to an apocalyptic tradition. Their very identity was entangled with the belief that society was headed toward cataclysmic events that would uproot the current social order in favor of a divine order that would be established in its place” (p. 8). Nearly 200 years later, that tradition is still alive within Latter-day Saint culture. In this episode, Christopher J. Blythe discusses how end-times narratives have evolved and been perpetuated not only through official Latter-day Saint leadership channels but also folk traditions and lived religion. About Our Guest: Christopher James Blythe is a faculty research associate at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University, as well as the coeditor of the Journal of Mormon History. He completed a PhD in American religious history from Florida State University, an MA in history from Utah State University, and BA degrees in religious studies and anthropology from Utah State University and Texas A&M University, respectively. He was a documentary editor at the Joseph Smith Papers between 2015 and 2018. Blythe lives in Springville, Utah, with his wife and three boys. Terrible Revolution: Latter-Day Saints and the American Apocalypse

    Episode 124: Producing Ancient Scripture with Mark Ashurst-McGee

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2020 84:43

    The Interview: In this episode of the LDS Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews Mark Ashurst-McGee, a co-editor of a new book, Producing Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects in the Development of Mormon Christianity. The Book of Mormon is well known, but there were several subsequent texts that Joseph Smith translated after the Book of Mormon. This collaborative volume is the first to provide in-depth analysis of each and every one of Joseph Smith’s translation projects. The compiled chapters explore Smith’s translation projects in focused detail and in broad contexts, as well as in comparison with one another. The various contributors approach Smith’s sacred texts historically, textually, linguistically, and literarily to offer a multidisciplinary view. While most of the contributors are Latter-day Saints, not all are. From its inception, the book was meant to be a scholarly work that anyone could read and engage in—whether a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or from any other branch of the Restoration or any denomination of Christianity or any other faith or no faith. Due to this intentional editorial decision, there is nothing in the book asserting or excluding supernatural involvement. The various translation projects are studied not in terms of the ancient origins they claim for themselves but rather in terms of their translation into English by Joseph Smith in the modern age. Here is a brief overview of the comprehensive coverage provided in the book: A chapter by religious studies scholar Christopher James Blythe examines Joseph Smith’s translation projects broadly within the Christian tradition of spiritual gifts, especially the gifts of speaking in tongues and the interpretation of tongues. A chapter by literary scholar Jared Hickman compares Smith’s teachings about the “translation” of scripture and the “translation” (bodily transfiguration and ascension) of prophets such as Enoch and Elijah, showing how these two types of translation are related. A chapter by historian Michael Hubbard MacKay investigates Joseph Smith’s earliest efforts toward translation, when he transcribed characters from the golden plates and sent a transcript thereof with Martin Harris to have it translated by prominent scholars like Samuel Mitchill and Charles Anthon. A chapter by scholars Amy Easton-Flake and Rachel Cope shows how Emma Hale Smith, Mary Musselman Whitmer, and other women made Joseph Smith’s translation work possible and how they took on the roles of witnesses to the golden plates and their translation. A chapter by scholarly writer Samuel Morris Brown investigates what the Book of Mormon has to say about the method of translation and related forms of scriptural generation. A chapter by religious studies scholar Ann Taves compares Joseph Smith and the “translating” of the Book of Mormon with Helen Schucman and the “scribing” of A Course in Miracles—another long and complex religious text produced within a relatively short period of time. A chapter by historian Richard Lyman Bushman explores how the Book of Mormon has a heightened and unusual awareness of its own construction as a book. It also considers how the early American history and culture of books and bookmaking may have influenced the way people understood this and other translation projects. A chapter by historian and comparative religion scholar Grant Hardy explores the similarities and differences between the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith’s “thus saith the Lord” genre of commandments and other revelations (like those found in the Doctrine and Covenants), along with giving special attention to the rhetorical effect of the narrative history found in the Book of Mormon. A chapter by scholars David W. Grua and William V. Smith thoroughly investigates the text of the new account of John now found in Doctrine and Covenants 7. A chapter by New Testament scholars Thomas A.

    Episode 124: Producing Ancient Scripture with Mark Ashurst-McGee

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2020 84:43

    The Interview: In this episode of the LDS Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews Mark Ashurst-McGee, a co-editor of a new book, Producing Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects in the Development of Mormon Christianity. The Book of Mormon is well known, but there were several subsequent texts that Joseph Smith translated after the Book of Mormon. This collaborative volume is the first to provide in-depth analysis of each and every one of Joseph Smith’s translation projects. The compiled chapters explore Smith’s translation projects in focused detail and in broad contexts, as well as in comparison with one another. The various contributors approach Smith’s sacred texts historically, textually, linguistically, and literarily to offer a multidisciplinary view. While most of the contributors are Latter-day Saints, not all are. From its inception, the book was meant to be a scholarly work that anyone could read and engage in—whether a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or from any other branch of the Restoration or any denomination of Christianity or any other faith or no faith. Due to this intentional editorial decision, there is nothing in the book asserting or excluding supernatural involvement. The various translation projects are studied not in terms of the ancient origins they claim for themselves but rather in terms of their translation into English by Joseph Smith in the modern age. Here is a brief overview of the comprehensive coverage provided in the book: A chapter by religious studies scholar Christopher James Blythe examines Joseph Smith’s translation projects broadly within the Christian tradition of spiritual gifts, especially the gifts of speaking in tongues and the interpretation of tongues. A chapter by literary scholar Jared Hickman compares Smith’s teachings about the “translation” of scripture and the “translation” (bodily transfiguration and ascension) of prophets such as Enoch and Elijah, showing how these two types of translation are related. A chapter by historian Michael Hubbard MacKay investigates Joseph Smith’s earliest efforts toward translation, when he transcribed characters from the golden plates and sent a transcript thereof with Martin Harris to have it translated by prominent scholars like Samuel Mitchill and Charles Anthon. A chapter by scholars Amy Easton-Flake and Rachel Cope shows how Emma Hale Smith, Mary Musselman Whitmer, and other women made Joseph Smith’s translation work possible and how they took on the roles of witnesses to the golden plates and their translation. A chapter by scholarly writer Samuel Morris Brown investigates what the Book of Mormon has to say about the method of translation and related forms of scriptural generation. A chapter by religious studies scholar Ann Taves compares Joseph Smith and the “translating” of the Book of Mormon with Helen Schucman and the “scribing” of A Course in Miracles—another long and complex religious text produced within a relatively short period of time. A chapter by historian Richard Lyman Bushman explores how the Book of Mormon has a heightened and unusual awareness of its own construction as a book. It also considers how the early American history and culture of books and bookmaking may have influenced the way people understood this and other translation projects. A chapter by historian and comparative religion scholar Grant Hardy explores the similarities and differences between the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith’s “thus saith the Lord” genre of commandments and other revelations (like those found in the Doctrine and Covenants), along with giving special attention to the rhetorical effect of the narrative history found in the Book of Mormon. A chapter by scholars David W. Grua and William V. Smith thoroughly investigates the text of the new account of John now found in Doctrine and Covenants 7. A chapter by New Testament scholars Thomas A.

    Episode 123: Producing Ancient Scripture: “Approaching Egyptian Papyri through Biblical Language: Joseph Smith’s Use of Hebrew in His Translation of the Book of Abraham” with Matthew J. Grey

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2020 40:21

    This is Laura Harris Hales, and I am pleased to introduce a special series for the Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast’s fourth season. We will be highlighting chapters from the much-anticipated volume, Producing Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects in the Development of Mormon Christianity edited by Michael Hubbard MacKay, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Brian M. Hauglid. In anticipation for our fourth-year launch on September 16, 2020, this is the second interview with a chapter author we will be highlighting. This week’s feature first aired as Episode 51. In this episode, Dr. Matthew J. Grey discusses his research for his chapter, “Approaching Egyptian Papyri through Biblical Language: Joseph Smith’s Use of Hebrew in His Translation of the Book of Abraham.” Be sure to listen through the end credits to hear information about our new show feature “Comments and Questions from Readers,” which provides opportunities for listeners to submit content for future episodes as well as receive gift cards and free books. Upcoming Featured Books: (Deadline for Submission of Questions and Comments): Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects in the Development of Mormon Christianity Michael Hubbard MacKay, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Brian M. Hauglid, eds. Prophetic Authority: Democratic Hierarchy and Mormon Priesthood by Michael Hubbard MacKay along with “Performing the Translation: Character Transcripts and Joseph Smith’s Earliest Translating Practices” in Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects. Joseph Smith’s Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism by Samuel Morris Brown along with “Seeing the Voice of God: The Book of Mormon on Its Own Translation” in Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects. Joseph Smith: History, Methods, and Memory by Ronald O. Barney Suggestions? Email us those as well. Download Transcript Episode 51 Transcript "‘The Word of the Original': Joseph Smith's Study of Hebrew in Kirtland" in Approaching Antiquity “Approaching Egyptian Papyri Through Biblical Language: Joseph Smith’s Use of Hebrew in His Translation of the Book of Abraham”

    Episode 123: Producing Ancient Scripture: “Approaching Egyptian Papyri through Biblical Language: Joseph Smith’s Use of Hebrew in His Translation of the Book of Abraham” with Matthew J. Grey

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2020 40:21

    This is Laura Harris Hales, and I am pleased to introduce a special series for the Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast’s fourth season. We will be highlighting chapters from the much-anticipated volume, Producing Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects in the Development of Mormon Christianity edited by Michael Hubbard MacKay, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Brian M. Hauglid. In anticipation for our fourth-year launch on September 16, 2020, this is the second interview with a chapter author we will be highlighting. This week’s feature first aired as Episode 51. In this episode, Dr. Matthew J. Grey discusses his research for his chapter, “Approaching Egyptian Papyri through Biblical Language: Joseph Smith’s Use of Hebrew in His Translation of the Book of Abraham.” Be sure to listen through the end credits to hear information about our new show feature “Comments and Questions from Readers,” which provides opportunities for listeners to submit content for future episodes as well as receive gift cards and free books. Upcoming Featured Books: (Deadline for Submission of Questions and Comments): Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects in the Development of Mormon Christianity Michael Hubbard MacKay, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Brian M. Hauglid, eds. Prophetic Authority: Democratic Hierarchy and Mormon Priesthood by Michael Hubbard MacKay along with “Performing the Translation: Character Transcripts and Joseph Smith’s Earliest Translating Practices” in Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects. Joseph Smith’s Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism by Samuel Morris Brown along with “Seeing the Voice of God: The Book of Mormon on Its Own Translation” in Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects. Joseph Smith: History, Methods, and Memory by Ronald O. Barney Suggestions? Email us those as well. Download Transcript

    Episode 122: Producing Ancient Scripture: Thomas Wayment on Joseph Smith’s Use of Adam Clarke in the JST

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2020 28:32

    For the Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast’s fourth season, we will be highlighting chapters from the much-anticipated volume, Producing Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects in the Development of Mormon Christianity edited by Michael Hubbard MacKay, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Brian M. Hauglid. In anticipation for our fourth-year launch on September 16, 2020, we will be rereleasing interviews with chapter authors. This week’s feature first aired as Episode 55. In our discussion, Dr. Thomas A. Wayment covers his research for his chapter “A Recovered Resource: The Use of Adam Clarke’s Bible Commentary in Joseph Smith’s Bible Translation.” Be sure to listen through the end credits to hear information about our new show feature “Comments and Questions from Readers,” which provides opportunities for listeners to submit content for future episodes as well as to receive gift cards and free books. From episode 55: In this episode, Laura Harris Hales visits with Thomas Wayment, Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast’s guest on episode one, in part two of our special first anniversary double episode on the Joseph Smith Translation to discuss some impressive findings regarding Joseph Smith’s Bible translation process. Dr. Wayment is currently a professor of Greek at BYU. He earned his BA in Classics from the University of California at Riverside then completed a PhD in New Testament studies at Claremont Graduate University. Known primarily as a New Testament scholar, Dr. Wayment has also written extensively on the Joseph Smith Translation. He became fascinated with the document early in his biblical studies and that interest has never really fizzled. In his recent studies, Wayment found an interesting connection between the JST and a biblical commentary well-known in the 19th-century, especially in Methodist circles. Adam Clarke, a British theologian, took almost 40 years to complete his comprehensive tome, published as The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The text carefully printed from the most correct copies of the present Authorized Version. Including the marginal readings and parallel texts. With a Commentary and Critical Notes.  Clarke’s commentary became a primary theological resource for nearly two centuries. New research by Michael Hubbard Mackay has uncovered a statement indicating that Joseph Smith had access to a copy of Clarke’s Bible commentary. When Wayment compared Joseph’s translation of the KJV Bible to Clarke’s commentary, he realized that Smith used it in the translation process because of the marked similarities he found between entries in the commentary and changes in Joseph’s KJV Bible. Listen in as Dr. Wayment shares what he believes this indicates about how the Prophet viewed the translation process and what it could mean for how we approach the KJV Bible and the JST. Download Transcript

    Episode 122: Producing Ancient Scripture: Thomas Wayment on Joseph Smith’s Use of Adam Clarke in the JST

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2020 28:32

    For the Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast’s fourth season, we will be highlighting chapters from the much-anticipated volume, Producing Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects in the Development of Mormon Christianity edited by Michael Hubbard MacKay, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Brian M. Hauglid. In anticipation for our fourth-year launch on September 16, 2020, we will be rereleasing interviews with chapter authors. This week’s feature first aired as Episode 55. In our discussion, Dr. Thomas A. Wayment covers his research for his chapter “A Recovered Resource: The Use of Adam Clarke’s Bible Commentary in Joseph Smith’s Bible Translation.” Be sure to listen through the end credits to hear information about our new show feature “Comments and Questions from Readers,” which provides opportunities for listeners to submit content for future episodes as well as to receive gift cards and free books. From episode 55: In this episode, Laura Harris Hales visits with Thomas Wayment, Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast’s guest on episode one, in part two of our special first anniversary double episode on the Joseph Smith Translation to discuss some impressive findings regarding Joseph Smith’s Bible translation process. Dr. Wayment is currently a professor of Greek at BYU. He earned his BA in Classics from the University of California at Riverside then completed a PhD in New Testament studies at Claremont Graduate University. Known primarily as a New Testament scholar, Dr. Wayment has also written extensively on the Joseph Smith Translation. He became fascinated with the document early in his biblical studies and that interest has never really fizzled. In his recent studies, Wayment found an interesting connection between the JST and a biblical commentary well-known in the 19th-century, especially in Methodist circles. Adam Clarke, a British theologian, took almost 40 years to complete his comprehensive tome, published as The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The text carefully printed from the most correct copies of the present Authorized Version. Including the marginal readings and parallel texts. With a Commentary and Critical Notes.  Clarke’s commentary became a primary theological resource for nearly two centuries. New research by Michael Hubbard Mackay has uncovered a statement indicating that Joseph Smith had access to a copy of Clarke’s Bible commentary. When Wayment compared Joseph’s translation of the KJV Bible to Clarke’s commentary, he realized that Smith used it in the translation process because of the marked similarities he found between entries in the commentary and changes in Joseph’s KJV Bible. Listen in as Dr. Wayment shares what he believes this indicates about how the Prophet viewed the translation process and what it could mean for how we approach the KJV Bible and the JST. Download Transcript Extra Resources: Producing Ancient Scripture

    Episode 121: Despite All We Can Do with Daniel O. McClellan

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 18, 2020 57:33

    About the Interview: Daniel O. McClellan won the Best Student Paper Award at the 2nd Annual Book of Mormon Studies Association conference for his paper on the linguistic and rhetorical contexts of 2 Nephi 25:23. In his work as a translation coordinator for the Church, he noticed that there were inconsistencies in the translation of this verse that led to misunderstandings. This finding led him to get to the roots of the phrase by studying the historical context of the reading. His research provides persuasive arguments to an interpretation of grace that clears up common misunderstandings of Restoration theology.   In this interview, Laura Harris Hales also discusses “As Far As It Is Translated Correctly” published in the Religious Educator and “The Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament” from Lincoln Blumell’s anthology on the New Testament, which provides valuable contexts and insights into the translation process. About Our Guest: Daniel O. McClellan received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in ancient Near Eastern studies, where he focused on Biblical Hebrew and minored in Classical Greek. He completed a master of studies in Jewish studies at the University of Oxford in July of 2010 and a master of arts in biblical studies at Trinity Western University just outside of Vancouver, BC. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Exeter. His areas of specialization are Second Temple Judaism, early Israelite religion, textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, and cognitive interpretation of scripture. Disclaimer:    Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast is not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The opinions expressed on this episode represent the views of the guests and the podcaster alone, and Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast and its parent organization may or may not agree with them. While the ideas presented may vary from traditional understandings or teachings, they in no way reflect criticism of Latter-day Saint Church leaders, policies, or practices. Extra Resources:  "The Old Testament in the Old Testament" in the New Testament: History, Culture, and Society "As Far as It Is Translated Correctly": Bible Translation and the Church

    Episode 121: Despite All We Can Do with Daniel O. McClellan

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 18, 2020 57:33

    About the Interview: Daniel O. McClellan won the Best Student Paper Award at the 2nd Annual Book of Mormon Studies Association conference for his paper on the linguistic and rhetorical contexts of 2 Nephi 25:23. In his work as a translation coordinator for the Church, he noticed that there were inconsistencies in the translation of this verse that led to misunderstandings. This finding led him to get to the roots of the phrase by studying the historical context of the reading. His research provides persuasive arguments to an interpretation of grace that clears up common misunderstandings of Restoration theology.   In this interview, Laura Harris Hales also discusses “As Far As It Is Translated Correctly” published in the Religious Educator and “The Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament” from Lincoln Blumell’s anthology on the New Testament, which provides valuable contexts and insights into the translation process. About Our Guest: Daniel O. McClellan received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in ancient Near Eastern studies, where he focused on Biblical Hebrew and minored in Classical Greek. He completed a master of studies in Jewish studies at the University of Oxford in July of 2010 and a master of arts in biblical studies at Trinity Western University just outside of Vancouver, BC. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Exeter. His areas of specialization are Second Temple Judaism, early Israelite religion, textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, and cognitive interpretation of scripture. Disclaimer:    Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast is not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The opinions expressed on this episode represent the views of the guests and the podcaster alone, and Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast and its parent organization may or may not agree with them. While the ideas presented may vary from traditional understandings or teachings, they in no way reflect criticism of Latter-day Saint Church leaders, policies, or practices.

    Episode 120: Spiritual Anxiety with Debra Theobald McClendon

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 4, 2020 43:36

    About The Interview: In this episode of Latter-day Saint Perspectives, Laura Harris Hales interviews licensed psychologist, Debra Theobald McClendon, PhD. Anxiety is a normal emotion with adaptive functions that provides us with important data. For example, anxiety anticipates future danger and notifies us of risk, prepares us for action, and heightens our senses. These responses help us to focus on what we need to do in particular situations. Anxiety prior to completing a task may be an indication that you need to work to build proficiency to match the demand of the moment, so it has positive benefits on performance at a moderate level.  But as anxiety continues to increase to higher levels, performance proficiency decreases significantly until you shut down and are unable to cope.  Difficulty managing anxiety in a healthy way can severely impair our quality of life.  Neal A.  Maxwell clarified: “There is a difference, therefore, between being ‘anxiously engaged’ and being ‘over-anxious.’” Dr. McClendon indicates that although anxiety is normal, more serious problems develop when anxiety feels chronic, unmanageable, overwhelming, and/or interferes with your daily activities.  There may be times when outside support or even psychological treatment is recommended to regulate anxiety. Formal psychotherapy treatment for anxiety is effective and is relatively short-term. Dr. McClendon also introduces the concept of scrupulosity, a disorder otherwise known as religious OCD.  Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by particular obsessions that create a significant amount of anxiety followed by compulsions, mental or physical actions done in an effort to neutralize the anxiety.  This generates high-intensity anxiety and an inability to extricate oneself from the compulsive cycle.  The content of OCD varies, such as concerns over contamination, symmetry, or order.  For some, the content takes on religious themes, with such concerns about sinning or confessing “properly.”  This can make it difficult for those with scrupulosity to discern the nature of the problem; they may believe their problem is spiritual, but in reality, they are trapped by poorly-regulated, very high anxiety.  Martin Luther, a catalyst of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, is believed to have suffered from scrupulosity.  He wearied his ecclesiastical leaders with repeated confessions. Martin Luther “confessed frequently, often daily, and for as long as six hours on a single occasion.” (Bainton, Here I stand, 35).  Additional resources can be found in Dr. McClendon’s Ensign articles: “Understanding Scrupulosity (Religious OCD)” “Discerning Your Feelings: Anxiety or the Spirit?” About Our Guest: Dr. Debra Theobald McClendon is a licensed psychologist in the state of Utah. She is a Clinical Psychologist with training in Marriage and Family Therapy. She focuses her practice on helping those with Religious OCD (Scrupulosity). Dr. McClendon has published articles on anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder’s Scrupulosity in the Ensign.  She has also co-authored book chapters and articles on outcome assessment and group therapy in the academic community.  She and her husband, Richard J. McClendon, have published a book chapter on LDS marriage and divorce.  More recently they have published the book: “Commitment to the Covenant: Strengthening the Me, We, and Thee of Marriage.” Dr. McClendon has previously taught as an adjunct faculty member at both Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University.  On a personal note, Dr. McClendon enjoys working out, reading, mountain views, doing puzzles, reading to her kiddos, sitting on the deck in the evening with her hubby, and eating spicy garden salsa and dark chocolate with mint (but not together).   Commitment to the Covenant: Strengthening the Me, We, and Thee of Marriage "Understanding Scrupulosity"

    Episode 120: Spiritual Anxiety with Debra Theobald McClendon

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 4, 2020 43:36

    Debra Theobald McClendon About The Interview: In this episode of Latter-day Saint Perspectives, Laura Harris Hales interviews licensed psychologist, Debra Theobald McClendon, PhD. Anxiety is a normal emotion with adaptive functions that provides us with important data. For example, anxiety anticipates future danger and notifies us of risk, prepares us for action, and heightens our senses. These responses help us to focus on what we need to do in particular situations. Anxiety prior to completing a task may be an indication that you need to work to build proficiency to match the demand of the moment, so it has positive benefits on performance at a moderate level.  But as anxiety continues to increase to higher levels, performance proficiency decreases significantly until you shut down and are unable to cope.  Difficulty managing anxiety in a healthy way can severely impair our quality of life.  Neal A.  Maxwell clarified: “There is a difference, therefore, between being ‘anxiously engaged’ and being ‘over-anxious.’” Dr. McClendon indicates that although anxiety is normal, more serious problems develop when anxiety feels chronic, unmanageable, overwhelming, and/or interferes with your daily activities.  There may be times when outside support or even psychological treatment is recommended to regulate anxiety. Formal psychotherapy treatment for anxiety is effective and is relatively short-term. Dr. McClendon also introduces the concept of scrupulosity, a disorder otherwise known as religious OCD.  Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by particular obsessions that create a significant amount of anxiety followed by compulsions, mental or physical actions done in an effort to neutralize the anxiety.  This generates high-intensity anxiety and an inability to extricate oneself from the compulsive cycle.  The content of OCD varies, such as concerns over contamination, symmetry, or order.  For some, the content takes on religious themes, with such concerns about sinning or confessing “properly.”  This can make it difficult for those with scrupulosity to discern the nature of the problem; they may believe their problem is spiritual, but in reality, they are trapped by poorly-regulated, very high anxiety.  Martin Luther, a catalyst of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, is believed to have suffered from scrupulosity.  He wearied his ecclesiastical leaders with repeated confessions. Martin Luther “confessed frequently, often daily, and for as long as six hours on a single occasion.” (Bainton, Here I stand, 35).  Additional resources can be found in Dr. McClendon’s Ensign articles: “Understanding Scrupulosity (Religious OCD)” “Discerning Your Feelings: Anxiety or the Spirit?” About Our Guest: Dr. Debra Theobald McClendon is a licensed psychologist in the state of Utah. She is a Clinical Psychologist with training in Marriage and Family Therapy. She focuses her practice on helping those with Religious OCD (Scrupulosity). Dr. McClendon has published articles on anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder’s Scrupulosity in the Ensign.  She has also co-authored book chapters and articles on outcome assessment and group therapy in the academic community.  She and her husband, Richard J. McClendon, have published a book chapter on LDS marriage and divorce.  More recently they have published the book: “Commitment to the Covenant: Strengthening the Me, We, and Thee of Marriage.” Dr. McClendon has previously taught as an adjunct faculty member at both Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University.  On a personal note, Dr. McClendon enjoys working out, reading, mountain views, doing puzzles, reading to her kiddos, sitting on the deck in the evening with her hubby, and eating spicy garden salsa and dark chocolate with mint (but not together). 

    Episode 119: The First Vision with Spencer W. McBride

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 5, 2020 56:13

    About the Interview: The First Vision is a podcast produced by the Joseph Smith Papers and published by the Latter-day Saint church, which is now available on the Joseph Smith Papers website and podcast syndicators. Our guest, Spencer W. McBride, wrote and hosted the show, which has proven to be wildly popular. During its debut week, it ranked in the top 25 of all podcasts on iTunes. The format of the show is engaging and innovative, interspersing narration with interviews. Moving beyond the standard narrative, McBride elevates the discussion regarding one of the most familiar incidents in Latter-day Saint history as he urges listeners to view Joseph’s experience “through the eyes of a historian.”   Building on the familiar, guests provide additional context to the “unusual excitement” that encourages a young man to seek forgiveness for his sins in a nearby grove of trees. About Our Guest: Spencer W. McBride is a volume editor of the Documents series of the Joseph Smith Papers. He earned a PhD in history from Louisiana State University. His research interests include the intersections of religion and politics in early America, and his book, Pulpit and Nation: Clergymen and the Politics of Revolutionary America, examines the political activism of Protestant clergymen during the American Revolution and in the early American republic. Extra Resources: The First Vision: a Joseph Smith Papers Podcast

    Episode 119: The First Vision with Spencer W. McBride

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 5, 2020 56:13

    About the Interview: The First Vision is a podcast produced by the Joseph Smith Papers and published by the Latter-day Saint church, which is now available on the Joseph Smith Papers website and podcast syndicators. Our guest, Spencer W. McBride, wrote and hosted the show, which has proven to be wildly popular. During its debut week, it ranked in the top 25 of all podcasts on iTunes. The format of the show is engaging and innovative, interspersing narration with interviews. Moving beyond the standard narrative, McBride elevates the discussion regarding one of the most familiar incidents in Latter-day Saint history as he urges listeners to view Joseph’s experience “through the eyes of a historian.”   Building on the familiar, guests provide additional context to the “unusual excitement” that encourages a young man to seek forgiveness for his sins in a nearby grove of trees. About Our Guest: Spencer W. McBride is a volume editor of the Documents series of the Joseph Smith Papers. He earned a PhD in history from Louisiana State University. His research interests include the intersections of religion and politics in early America, and his book, Pulpit and Nation: Clergymen and the Politics of Revolutionary America, examines the political activism of Protestant clergymen during the American Revolution and in the early American republic.

    Episode 118: Part 2–How the Book of Mormon Counters Anti-Semitism with Bradley J. Kramer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 8, 2020 41:26

    Horrified by the Holocaust and fearful that the New Testament, as it has been traditionally understood, may have contributed to this tragedy, Christian scholars and ministers of all stripes have, in recent decades, proposed several, “extra-textual” ways of altering that understanding. Eugene Fisher, for instance, the former director of ecumenical affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, warns against reading the passion accounts, which seem to portray all Jews as guilty of Jesus’s death, from the pulpit without “adequate catechesis and preparation.” He also recommends that passages that reinforce this charge, such as the Parable of the Marriage Feast in Matthew (22:1–15), should be avoided entirely. Marilyn Salmon, an episcopal priest and writer, similarly counsels caution when presenting certain incidents in the New Testament, especially in the Gospel of John. She encourages ministers to read from Bibles that substitute “our people,” “the crowd,” or “the public” for John’s spiritually blind “Jews” and suggests that when they relate stories that appear to accentuate that blindness, such as Nicodemus’ nocturnal visit to see Jesus, that they do so imaginatively, from another, pro-Jewish, viewpoint. In addition, both Salmon and Fisher recommend that readers of the New Testament avail themselves of “interpretive tools,” such as study Bibles and scholarly commentaries, which place the hostility towards Jews present in John and in the other Gospels in a more historically limited, less “everlasting” context. John Shelby Spong, a retired episcopal bishop, offers a more radical and, for many, a less acceptable approach. He views many of the events in the Gospels as simply “untenable,” primarily because they represent for him literary, not historical, efforts to portray Christianity as superior to Judaism. As Spong sees it, there were no literal shepherds, no angels, no guiding star, no magi, no flight into Egypt,” no temptation in the Wilderness—not even a Sermon on the Mount. He therefore urges his readers to look “beyond the literal and culturally dependent interpretation of the Gospels” and read into them what he feels is “their true, more modern meaning”—a meaning that not only refutes anti-Semitism but conforms to current political agendas. In this episode of Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews Bradley J. Kramer about his new book, Gathered in One: How the Book of Mormon Counters Anti-Semitism in the New Testament. In this book, Kramer reviews how Fisher, Salmon, Spong, as well as other Christian scholars and ministers have attempted to deal with such anti-Semitic elements as the “blood curse” in Matthew (27:25) and John’s claim that the devil is the father of the Jews (8:44), and he contrasts their efforts with the approach employed by the Book of Mormon.   According to Kramer, the Book of Mormon counters anti-Semitic elements in the New Testament not by avoiding, altering, reimagining, or rejecting its most problematic passages but by joining with the New Testament and by adding to an expanded canon a multitude of pro-Jewish elements. Coming as they do from a scripture of equal stature and status, the many pro-Jewish statements, portrayals, settings, and structuring elements present in the Book of Mormon mix in with their anti-Semitic counterparts in the New Testament and overwhelm them with their greater power, broader context, wider sweep, and closer connections to Judaism as it is practiced today. In this way, the Book of Mormon discourages anti-Semitic attitudes and behaviors in the same way the New Testament encourages them—literarily, and it does so respectfully, without challenging the New Testament’s text or undermining its religious authority or reliability. As Kramer writes, just as “the Gospels work together, despite their differences, to provide Christians with a more complete and more religiously accurate picture of Jesus and his teachings,

    Episode 117: Part 1–A New Approach to Studying the Book of Mormon with Bradley J. Kramer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 8, 2020 51:13

    The Book of Mormon contains a multitude of short, impressive statements, which Latter-day Saints often memorize and even “master,” so they can repeat them as the occasion requires. These statements include divine promises such as “Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land” (2 Ne. 1:20); inspiring resolutions such as Nephi’s commitment to “go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded” (1 Ne. 3:7); theological insights such as “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy” (2 Ne. 2:25); as well as ringing assertions such as “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10) and “charity is the pure love of Christ” (Moro. 7:47). Nevertheless, despite the obvious utility of these statements, Bradley J. Kramer asserts that “the Book of Mormon is simply too much of a book to be approached simply as a source of quotations. It is a sophisticated literary work where ideas do not exist in isolation, but where wording, characterization, setting, description, plot, as well as their placement in the canon relative to other scriptures, must be considered in order to be fully understood and appreciated. The Book of Mormon consequently demands a comprehensive, in-depth literary approach.” In this episode of the Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews Bradley J. Kramer about his book Beholding the Tree of Life: A Rabbinic Approach to the Book of Mormon. In this book, Kramer outlines what he means by a “comprehensive, in-depth literary approach” and employs many of the techniques developed by Talmudic and post-Talmudic rabbis in order to show how this approach applies to the Book of Mormon.   Kramer makes no claim that Nephi, Jacob, and the other authors of the Book of Mormon were personally acquainted with these techniques or consciously employed them as they wrote. Nonetheless, since this rabbinic approach represents what he calls “universal principles” of effective reading that have been specifically adapted for scriptural narratives, he feels they are well suited to the Book of Mormon. As Kramer asks, “Given that these rabbis took seriously the words of the Hebrew scriptures; assumed that these scriptures formed a coherent, meaningful, and inspired whole; and devoted themselves to scrutinizing every aspect of that whole in order to uncover subtly, sometimes hidden messages from God, why would their approach not work well with other scriptures? And why would it not work especially well with the Book of Mormon, a scripture that, like the Hebrew scriptures, tells a story of how a group of Jews left their homes, journeyed to a far off Promised Land, attempted to create a ‘holy nation,’ sinned under judges as well as kings, received prophetic warnings of destruction if they did not repent, failed to repent, and were ultimately dispersed or destroyed along with their capital city?” Kramer, clearly, thinks it does and includes in his book several examples to defend his position. For instance, the Talmudic and post-Talmudic rabbis taught that the Torah (the Five Books of Moses) has at least seventy “faces” or meanings (Numbers Rabbah 13:15). They, therefore, encouraged their students to read the Torah on multiple levels—something Kramer feels the writers of the Book of Mormon do as well. As he points out, not only does the Book of Mormon contain at least one highly developed allegory (Zenos’s allegory of the olive tree), but Lehi’s dream demonstrates how simple elements in the Book of Mormon (mocking people in Jerusalem, a river and fruit in the wilderness, darkness in which Nephi creeps to find Laban’s house) can be interpreted allegorically—much as Nephi’s vision and his lecturing of his brothers afterward shows how the meaning of these elements can be expanded sermonically as well as mystically, through direct experience with the divine. These rabbis also advocated that their students study everything

    Episode 118: Part 2–How the Book of Mormon Counters Anti-Semitism with Bradley J. Kramer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 8, 2020 41:26

    Horrified by the Holocaust and fearful that the New Testament, as it has been traditionally understood, may have contributed to this tragedy, Christian scholars and ministers of all stripes have, in recent decades, proposed several, “extra-textual” ways of altering that understanding. Eugene Fisher, for instance, the former director of ecumenical affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, warns against reading the passion accounts, which seem to portray all Jews as guilty of Jesus’s death, from the pulpit without “adequate catechesis and preparation.” He also recommends that passages that reinforce this charge, such as the Parable of the Marriage Feast in Matthew (22:1–15), should be avoided entirely. Marilyn Salmon, an episcopal priest and writer, similarly counsels caution when presenting certain incidents in the New Testament, especially in the Gospel of John. She encourages ministers to read from Bibles that substitute “our people,” “the crowd,” or “the public” for John’s spiritually blind “Jews” and suggests that when they relate stories that appear to accentuate that blindness, such as Nicodemus’ nocturnal visit to see Jesus, that they do so imaginatively, from another, pro-Jewish, viewpoint. In addition, both Salmon and Fisher recommend that readers of the New Testament avail themselves of “interpretive tools,” such as study Bibles and scholarly commentaries, which place the hostility towards Jews present in John and in the other Gospels in a more historically limited, less “everlasting” context. John Shelby Spong, a retired episcopal bishop, offers a more radical and, for many, a less acceptable approach. He views many of the events in the Gospels as simply “untenable,” primarily because they represent for him literary, not historical, efforts to portray Christianity as superior to Judaism. As Spong sees it, there were no literal shepherds, no angels, no guiding star, no magi, no flight into Egypt,” no temptation in the Wilderness—not even a Sermon on the Mount. He therefore urges his readers to look “beyond the literal and culturally dependent interpretation of the Gospels” and read into them what he feels is “their true, more modern meaning”—a meaning that not only refutes anti-Semitism but conforms to current political agendas. In this episode of Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews Bradley J. Kramer about his new book, Gathered in One: How the Book of Mormon Counters Anti-Semitism in the New Testament. In this book, Kramer reviews how Fisher, Salmon, Spong, as well as other Christian scholars and ministers have attempted to deal with such anti-Semitic elements as the “blood curse” in Matthew (27:25) and John’s claim that the devil is the father of the Jews (8:44), and he contrasts their efforts with the approach employed by the Book of Mormon.   According to Kramer, the Book of Mormon counters anti-Semitic elements in the New Testament not by avoiding, altering, reimagining, or rejecting its most problematic passages but by joining with the New Testament and by adding to an expanded canon a multitude of pro-Jewish elements. Coming as they do from a scripture of equal stature and status, the many pro-Jewish statements, portrayals, settings, and structuring elements present in the Book of Mormon mix in with their anti-Semitic counterparts in the New Testament and overwhelm them with their greater power, broader context, wider sweep, and closer connections to Judaism as it is practiced today. In this way, the Book of Mormon discourages anti-Semitic attitudes and behaviors in the same way the New Testament encourages them—literarily, and it does so respectfully, without challenging the New Testament’s text or undermining its religious authority or reliability. As Kramer writes, just as “the Gospels work together, despite their differences, to provide Christians with a more complete and more religiously accurate picture of Jesus and his teachings,

    Episode 117: Part 1–A New Approach to Studying the Book of Mormon with Bradley J. Kramer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 8, 2020 51:13

    The Book of Mormon contains a multitude of short, impressive statements, which Latter-day Saints often memorize and even “master,” so they can repeat them as the occasion requires. These statements include divine promises such as “Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land” (2 Ne. 1:20); inspiring resolutions such as Nephi’s commitment to “go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded” (1 Ne. 3:7); theological insights such as “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy” (2 Ne. 2:25); as well as ringing assertions such as “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10) and “charity is the pure love of Christ” (Moro. 7:47). Nevertheless, despite the obvious utility of these statements, Bradley J. Kramer asserts that “the Book of Mormon is simply too much of a book to be approached simply as a source of quotations. It is a sophisticated literary work where ideas do not exist in isolation, but where wording, characterization, setting, description, plot, as well as their placement in the canon relative to other scriptures, must be considered in order to be fully understood and appreciated. The Book of Mormon consequently demands a comprehensive, in-depth literary approach.” In this episode of the Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews Bradley J. Kramer about his book Beholding the Tree of Life: A Rabbinic Approach to the Book of Mormon. In this book, Kramer outlines what he means by a “comprehensive, in-depth literary approach” and employs many of the techniques developed by Talmudic and post-Talmudic rabbis in order to show how this approach applies to the Book of Mormon.   Kramer makes no claim that Nephi, Jacob, and the other authors of the Book of Mormon were personally acquainted with these techniques or consciously employed them as they wrote. Nonetheless, since this rabbinic approach represents what he calls “universal principles” of effective reading that have been specifically adapted for scriptural narratives, he feels they are well suited to the Book of Mormon. As Kramer asks, “Given that these rabbis took seriously the words of the Hebrew scriptures; assumed that these scriptures formed a coherent, meaningful, and inspired whole; and devoted themselves to scrutinizing every aspect of that whole in order to uncover subtly, sometimes hidden messages from God, why would their approach not work well with other scriptures? And why would it not work especially well with the Book of Mormon, a scripture that, like the Hebrew scriptures, tells a story of how a group of Jews left their homes, journeyed to a far off Promised Land, attempted to create a ‘holy nation,’ sinned under judges as well as kings, received prophetic warnings of destruction if they did not repent, failed to repent, and were ultimately dispersed or destroyed along with their capital city?” Kramer, clearly, thinks it does and includes in his book several examples to defend his position. For instance, the Talmudic and post-Talmudic rabbis taught that the Torah (the Five Books of Moses) has at least seventy “faces” or meanings (Numbers Rabbah 13:15). They, therefore, encouraged their students to read the Torah on multiple levels—something Kramer feels the writers of the Book of Mormon do as well. As he points out, not only does the Book of Mormon contain at least one highly developed allegory (Zenos’s allegory of the olive tree), but Lehi’s dream demonstrates how simple elements in the Book of Mormon (mocking people in Jerusalem, a river and fruit in the wilderness, darkness in which Nephi creeps to find Laban’s house) can be interpreted allegorically—much as Nephi’s vision and his lecturing of his brothers afterward shows how the meaning of these elements can be expanded sermonically as well as mystically, through direct experience with the divine. These rabbis also advocated that their students study everything

    Episode 116: Joseph Smith, Nauvoo Leader with Christian Heimburger

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 18, 2019 42:38

    The editors of the Joseph Smith Papers Project spend years poring over the documents that are featured in each volume. After marinating themselves in the record, they become pretty familiar with Joseph's daily activity for the period. I asked Christian Heimburger, an editor of the recently released volume 9 of the Document Series, to identify several items that shed light on Joseph's life in Nauvoo from December 1841 to April 1842. Below are the documents we discuss: Joseph Smith as editor of the Times & Seasons Revelation, 28 January 1842Agreement with Ebenezer Robinson, 4 February 1842Editorial, ca. 1 March 1842Book of Abraham Excerpt and Facsimile No. 2, 15 March 1842Church History, 1 March 1842 (Wentworth Letter)Selections from Times and Seasons, 1 and 15 March 1842 An Interesting, Cryptic Letter Letter from B. F. Withers, 28 December 1841 Missionary Work and Eastern Branches Letter from Eli Maginn, 22 March 1842Letter from Erastus Snow, 11 April 1842Petition from Philadelphia Branch, 22 April 1842 Missouri and Joseph Smith’s views on Abolitionism Letter to John C. Bennett, 7 March 1842Letter from John C. Bennett, 8 March 1842 About Our Guest: Christian Heimburger received a B.A. in American Studies from Brigham Young University and Ph.D. in modern American history from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Japanese Americans who left World War II incarceration camps to work in communities around the Mountain West, and is working on a book manuscript based on that dissertation. Christian has taught nineteenth and twentieth-century American history courses at Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University. He is currently employed as a historian and documentary editor at the Joseph Smith Papers, and is a co-editor on Documents: Volume 5, Documents: Volume 9, and Documents: Volume 13.

    Episode 115: Jesus Christ in the Topical Guide with Stephanie Dibb Sorensen

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2019 41:49

    In 1979, the first Latter-day Saint edition of the Bible was published. Notably, it included a "Topical Guide with Selected Concordance and Index." Approximately 100 Church Education System teachers and about the same number of returned missionaries at Brigham Young University assisted in the process of gathering scriptural references for a long list of categories. Subsequently, several committees continued the process of compiling, organizing, and categorizing this large collection of topical verses.1 This tool was designed as a significant resource to aid church members in a more purposeful, robust study of the scriptures. Though not exhaustive, the Topical Guide provides just under 3,500 categories with reference to over 50,000 verses of scripture across the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.  Beginning in 2017, President Russell M. Nelson extended challenges to the members of the Church to study Jesus Christ across the Standard Works. He invited them to begin their study by carefully reading everything under “Jesus Christ” in the Topical Guide.2 By far its largest category, a study of “Jesus Christ,” includes 57 subcategories with more than 2,200 scripture references. President Nelson stated that completing this course of study changed his life, and to all those who would take the same challenge, he promised an increased love for the Savior and God’s laws, a desire to keep the commandments, and power to overcome temptation and danger.3 Stephanie Dibb Sorensen teaches as adjunct faculty in the Department of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. She primarily teaches the Living Prophets class, and while inviting students to heed prophetic counsel, she initiated a personal course of study based on President Nelson’s Topical Guide challenge. By enhancing her study with teachings of living prophets and religious educators, Stephanie created a study guide to help others undertake a similar study experience. The result was Learn of Me, an annotated study workbook of Jesus Christ in the Topical Guide, published by Covenant Communications in October 2019.  President Ezra Taft Benson once testified, “To learn of Christ necessitates the study of the scriptures and the testimonies of those who know him.”4 The Learn of Me workbook includes the full-verse citation of the listed scripture references across all 57 subtitles, supplemented with quotes from prophets and apostles, general authorities, and gospel scholars. It also includes reflection questions, definitions, suggestions for further study, prompts for family discussion, recommended hymns and videos for each topic, and plenty of space to take notes. Beautiful artwork from James Tissot depicts scenes from the life of Jesus Christ in each chapter. An appendix outlines a chronological course of study through the key events of Christ’s life across the four gospels. These combined resources provide a convenient tool to complete the prophet’s challenge and come unto Christ through the study of all scriptures listed in the Topical Guide and related modern revelation. After the completion of the updated LDS-version of the Standard Works, including the new Topical Guide, Elder Boyd K. Packer made the following prophecy:  The older generation has been raised without them, but there is another generation growing up. The revelations will be opened to them as to no other in the history of the world. Into their hands now are placed the sticks of Joseph and of Judah. They will develop a gospel scholarship beyond that which their forebears could achieve. They will have the testimony that Jesus is the Christ and be competent to proclaim Him and to defend Him.5 This personal testimony is the goal of the Learn of Me study workbook. In this episode of the Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales and Stephanie Dibb Sorensen discuss the research and writing process that went into Le...

    Episode 115: Jesus Christ in the Topical Guide with Stephanie Dibb Sorensen

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2019 41:49

    In 1979, the first Latter-day Saint edition of the Bible was published. Notably, it included a "Topical Guide with Selected Concordance and Index." Approximately 100 Church Education System teachers and about the same number of returned missionaries at Brigham Young University assisted in the process of gathering scriptural references for a long list of categories. Subsequently, several committees continued the process of compiling, organizing, and categorizing this large collection of topical verses.1 This tool was designed as a significant resource to aid church members in a more purposeful, robust study of the scriptures. Though not exhaustive, the Topical Guide provides just under 3,500 categories with reference to over 50,000 verses of scripture across the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.  Beginning in 2017, President Russell M. Nelson extended challenges to the members of the Church to study Jesus Christ across the Standard Works. He invited them to begin their study by carefully reading everything under “Jesus Christ” in the Topical Guide.2 By far its largest category, a study of “Jesus Christ,” includes 57 subcategories with more than 2,200 scripture references. President Nelson stated that completing this course of study changed his life, and to all those who would take the same challenge, he promised an increased love for the Savior and God’s laws, a desire to keep the commandments, and power to overcome temptation and danger.3 Stephanie Dibb Sorensen teaches as adjunct faculty in the Department of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. She primarily teaches the Living Prophets class, and while inviting students to heed prophetic counsel, she initiated a personal course of study based on President Nelson’s Topical Guide challenge. By enhancing her study with teachings of living prophets and religious educators, Stephanie created a study guide to help others undertake a similar study experience. The result was Learn of Me, an annotated study workbook of Jesus Christ in the Topical Guide, published by Covenant Communications in October 2019.  President Ezra Taft Benson once testified, “To learn of Christ necessitates the study of the scriptures and the testimonies of those who know him.”4 The Learn of Me workbook includes the full-verse citation of the listed scripture references across all 57 subtitles, supplemented with quotes from prophets and apostles, general authorities, and gospel scholars. It also includes reflection questions, definitions, suggestions for further study, prompts for family discussion, recommended hymns and videos for each topic, and plenty of space to take notes. Beautiful artwork from James Tissot depicts scenes from the life of Jesus Christ in each chapter. An appendix outlines a chronological course of study through the key events of Christ’s life across the four gospels. These combined resources provide a convenient tool to complete the prophet’s challenge and come unto Christ through the study of all scriptures listed in the Topical Guide and related modern revelation. After the completion of the updated LDS-version of the Standard Works, including the new Topical Guide, Elder Boyd K. Packer made the following prophecy:  The older generation has been raised without them, but there is another generation growing up. The revelations will be opened to them as to no other in the history of the world. Into their hands now are placed the sticks of Joseph and of Judah. They will develop a gospel scholarship beyond that which their forebears could achieve. They will have the testimony that Jesus is the Christ and be competent to proclaim Him and to defend Him.5 This personal testimony is the goal of the Learn of Me study workbook. In this episode of the Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales and Stephanie Dibb Sorensen discuss the research and writing process that went into Le...

    Episode 114: The Book of Revelation with Nicholas J. Frederick

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 13, 2019 52:09

    Nick Frederick has a gift for sharing thought-provoking insights about familiar topics. In Episode 92, we discussed intertextuality in the Book of Mormon. This time around we discuss the Book of Revelation, perhaps one of the most neglected books in our contemporary Latter-day Saint lexicon. Lesson manuals usually refer to verses that encapsulate concepts or convey warm feelings about the gospel; the Book of Revelation defies this picking and choosing and demands a treatment that looks at the whole picture. But let’s admit it, wading through its ancient imagery is difficult. Lucky for us, Dr. Frederick has done the heavy lifting and shares his insights on both the beautiful metaphors contained within the book and how Joseph Smith used this New Testament book to frame Restoration concepts. Please join me as we dive for hidden treasures in the Book of Revelation. About Our Guest: Nicholas J. Frederick served a mission in Brussels, Belgium, then attended BYU where he received his BA in classics and his MA in comparative studies. He then attended Claremont Graduate University, where he completed a PhD in the history of Christianity with an emphasis in Mormon studies, after which he returned to work at BYU. His research focuses primarily on the intertextual relationship between the text of the Bible and Mormon scripture.  He enjoys teaching courses on the Book of Mormon and the New Testament, particularly the writings of Paul and the Book of Revelation. *Dr. Frederick is indebted to the scholarship of Craig R. Koester, author of the Anchor Bible Commentary on the book of Revelation, as well as the shorter (and cheaper—so everyone should buy it) book Revelation and the End of All Things. The Interview: LDS Perspectives Podcast Episode 114: The Book of Revelation with Nicholas J. Frederick* This is not a verbatim transcript. Some grammar elements and wording have been modified for clarity. Introduction:              Nick Frederick has a gift for sharing thought-provoking insights about familiar topics. In Episode 92, we discussed intertextuality in the Book of Mormon. This time around, we discuss the book of Revelation, perhaps one of the most neglected books in our contemporary Latter-day Saint lexicon.                                     Lesson manuals usually refer to verses that encapsulate concepts or convey warm feelings about the gospel; the book of Revelation defies this picking and choosing and demands a treatment that looks at the whole picture. But let’s admit it, wading through its ancient imagery is difficult.                                     Lucky for us, Dr. Frederick has done the heavy lifting and shares his insights on both the beautiful metaphors contained within the book and how Joseph Smith used this New Testament book to frame Restoration concepts.                                     Please join me as we dive for hidden treasures in the book of Revelation. Laura Hales:               This is Laura Harris Hales, and I am pleased to be here today again with Nick Frederick, one of my favorite people to interview and talk to about biblical studies. We’re going to talk today about the book of Revelation (no “s”) in the New Testament and Latter-day Saint scripture. Nick, what have you been doing since the last time I interviewed you? Nick Frederick:           I have been teaching here at BYU, working on my regular stuff, looking at the connections between the Book of Mormon and the Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants and the Bible. I have also been working on a paper on the Daughter of Jared from Ether 8, writing a couple of papers on D&C 93 (that’ll be coming out soon­). Laura Hales:               When we analyze the book of Revelation­, I’m going to break it into two parts—the historical analysis in its first-century context and then its theological project. Let’s first talk about what scholars have proposed as the first century historical me...

    Episode 113: Religion, Politics, and Community Involvement with George B. Handley

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 30, 2019 42:09

    Laura Harris Hales interviews George B. Handley about If Truth Were a Child: Essays. They dive into such diverse topics as religion, politics, and community involvement. About Our Guest: George B. Handley teaches interdisciplinary humanities at Brigham Young University. He also serves as the associate director of the Faculty Center. He received his PhD in comparative literature from UC Berkeley. If Truth Were a Child

    Episode 113: Religion, Politics, and Community Involvement with George B. Handley

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 30, 2019 42:09

    Laura Harris Hales interviews George B. Handley about If Truth Were a Child: Essays. They dive into such diverse topics as religion, politics, and community involvement. About Our Guest: George B. Handley teaches interdisciplinary humanities at Brigham Young University. He also serves as the associate director of the Faculty Center. He received his PhD in comparative literature from UC Berkeley.

    Episode 112: The Council of Nicaea and Its Creed with Lincoln H. Blumell

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 9, 2019 39:14

    Dr. Lincoln Blumell discusses the landmark Council of Nicaea, the Nicaean Creed, and a new book he edited about New Testament times.

    Episode 111: A Church History Moment with J. B. Haws

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 6, 2019 39:08

    About the Interview: With the release of Saints last year, the study of church history officially moved beyond the dusty cobwebs of the Church History Library and the podiums of sparsely attended academic conferences to the nightstands of lay members. Suddenly, members were talking about a more complex narrative than they had rehearsed in their Sunday meetings. But was this change really sudden? J. B. Haws, associate dean of BYU’s College of Religious Education, believes this interest has been growing for many years. In 2017, guest podcaster Taunalyn Rutherford interviewed Dr. Haws about his research on what he sees as a seminal moment in the study of Latter-day Saint history. He traces the origins of this new trend and speculates why this moment has been so much more successful than a similar increase in interest during the 1970s. Their discussion identifies key players in architecting a movement that will shape how a new generation of Saints approach Latter-day Saint history. Please note that this interview was conducted before members were asked to use terms other than Mormon and Mormonism when referring to the church. About Our Guest:  Professor J.B. Haws is an accomplished associate professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. Since attending Weber State University and BYU and receiving his PhD in American History from the University of Utah, Professor Haws has authored and edited for several works on the history of the Latter-day Saints in America. These include the book The Mormon Image in the American Mind: Fifty Years of Public Perception and the articles “Reconciling Joseph Smith—History 1:10 and 1:18–19” for Religious Educator, “When Mormonism Mattered Less in Presidential Politics: George Romney’s 1968 Window of Possibilities” for Mormon Historical Studies, and “President Joseph F. Smith’s Encouragement of His Brother, Patriarch John Smith” for the book Joseph F. Smith: Reflections on the Man and His Times, which he also worked on as an editor. His focus on the Church’s history and American perception of it through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has helped change and inform public opinion of the Church. Professor Haws was born and raised in Utah. He served a mission in the North Carolina Raleigh Mission before returning to his home state for his education and career. After graduating, Professor Haws spent several years teaching seminary in northern Utah before joining the religious education staff of BYU as an associate professor and a coordinator of BYU’s Office or Religious Outreach. After returning home from North Carolina, he married Laura Favero. The two have four children that Professor Haws talks about in his devotional “…” From his children, he has learned many different lessons about love, pride, cooperation, and comparison that he shared in that speech for his BYU audience. “I can still hear his little voice yelling, “Good catch, Par!” or “That was great, Par!” And then he would miss the next throw that came to him.  But somehow that didn’t dampen his enthusiasm for Parley’s success.  Somehow, he knew that his contest was not with Parley.  He could have joy in Parley’s success.  How do we recapture that sense of childlike celebration for the good fortune of others?”* *Biography courtesy of BYU Speeches.

    Episode 110: The Global Church and Lived Religion with Melissa Inouye

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 14, 2019 47:29

    The Interview:  “Dear Reader,” Melissa Inouye opens her memoir, “I’ve always been fuzzy about deadlines, but in May 2017 when I was diagnosed with colon cancer, everything snapped into focus: ‘Oh shoot!’ I’m going to die.’ Suddenly thinking about the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything seemed terribly urgent. To be more precise, the project of writing about life and its conundrums seemed terribly urgent, because my children are young. … When one contemplates the possibility of being entirely absent, a few letters do not seem enough. This is why I began to think about writing a book: a literary form of food storage. … a stash of thoughts. …” In this episode join Laura Harris Hales as she interviews Melissa Inouye about her perspectives on lived religion, the purpose of life, and what she has learned from studying global religious studies. She also discusses how to approach difficult topics with youth. Below are some pointers from Dr. Inouye: “Five Ways to Respond When the Youth [and Others] Ask Tough Questions” In many parts of our worldwide church, we are struggling to retain young people. The urgency of the issue can be seen in the numerous church-sponsored fora and addresses on issues like doubt and faith crisis.[1] Part of this difficulty is related to the global problem of accommodating fast-paced cultural change and generational shifts; part of it is related to the advent of the Information Age; and part of it may have to do with a fondness for certainty and aversion to questions in our local church cultures. Here I suggest that increased willingness to engage tough questions, as well as to be innovative and energetic in our responses, will create a renewed church culture in which young people—and indeed all who wrestle with hard questions—find the power and beauty of our collective church endeavor in today’s world Don’t dismiss them; take them seriously. The youth are the real investigators at church. They deserve thoughtful, respectful, loving answers. Remember, as Dieter F. Uchtdorf pointed out, the whole Church project started with a young person asking hard questions. As he put it, “I’m not sure how one can discover truth without asking questions.” Hard questions open the door to inspiration and divine guidance. Be enthusiastic: “That’s a great question! I’m impressed that you asked!” We are trying to raise thoughtful, reflective young people, not robots. Help the youth see that the complexities and contradictions of the gospel can withstand rigorous exploration. We are not the Wizard of Oz. Things that are real and true can bear scrutiny. Remember that we are in the Information Age. As Elder Ballard says, “every possible point of view” on the Church, negative and positive, is available to the youth in a few clicks on their phone or computer. Educate yourself about hot-button topics by reading the Gospel Topics Essays, reading Saints, and checking out nuanced but faithful conversations such as the Big Questions Project at the Faith Matters Foundation. If you encounter new information or alternative views that make you uncomfortable, don’t panic. Give yourself time to develop a sense for evaluating which sources are reliable and also to develop empathy for people in their diverse situations. Information leads to knowledge which leads to understanding, though processes of sorting and refining require considerable effort. Understand that today’s youth are used to counting and comparing as a way to define equity and fairness. Take, for example, the awesome US women’s soccer team that has won numerous Olympic gold medals and World Cup championships. Everyone knows they rock. Everyone thinks it’s lame that the women are paid less than the men, who don’t win nearly as much. As observant youth sit in your congregation on Sunday and count how long women speak compared to how long men speak, or compare the roles of women and girls to the roles of men and boys within the service,

    Episode 109: The Power of Godliness with Jonathan Stapley

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 10, 2019 62:19

    The Interview: Just one day before Jonathan Stapley was awarded the best book award for The Power of Godliness by the Mormon History Association, I visited with him about the history and development of core ideas essential to current Mormon identity such as priesthood, authority, and ordinances. We also discussed how priesthood power relates to temple practice and what Jonathan refers to as the ordering of heaven. His volume is an academic history of Mormonism, and as such it’s intent is to understand and analyze the past and contextualize and historicize the present. On this episode, Jonathan Stapley shares his perspective on Latter-day Saint liturgy in theory and practice. About Our Guest:  Jonathan A. Stapley is an award-winning historian and scientist. An active participant in the field of Mormon Studies, he is also the Chief Technology Officer for a bio-renewables company. Jonathan received his Ph.D. from Purdue University and has been active in the field of Mormon History for over a decade.  You can read some of his publications here.  He also writes for the academic history Juvenile Instructor blog, and at By Common Consent,  a Mormon blog. Download PDF of the transcript. Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast Episode 109: The Power of Godliness Released July 10, 2019 This is not a verbatim transcript. Some wording has been modified for clarity. Laura Hales:              Hello, this is Laura Harris Hales, and I’m here today with Jonathan Stately to talk about his book, The Power of Godliness, which was published by Oxford press in January of 2018. Jonathan, can you tell us just a little bit about your educational background? Jonathan Stapley:      I’m a trained chemist. I have a PhD in carbohydrate chemistry from Purdue University. I did my undergraduate studies at BYU in food science. I deal with what’s called electro-chemistry. That’s using electricity instead of chemicals to change sugars into other useful products. Laura Hales:              And you write in Mormon Studies. How did that happen? Jonathan Stapley:      Well, after I finished my dissertation in 2004, I created a company that industrialized my graduate work, and I was focusing more on managing individuals and ideas as opposed to actual research. Just at that time, institutions, including the church, began digitizing their collections, and blogs were just coming online. I was part of a group of people that were starting to access these materials and do research, kind of a new generation in the 2000s. Being a scientist and interested in systems, I applied my interest and love of our church to that same study. Laura Hales:              What is Mormon liturgy? Jonathan Stapley:      We are accustomed to talking about ordinances and priesthood in our church, but those words have a particular meaning within our faith that is peculiar. It’s different than the way those words are used outside of our tradition. There is a technical and scholarly approach to ideas of worship and ritual that exists. I’m using those frameworks and bringing them into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Liturgy is the system of ritual and ritualized acts that believers participate in to mark occasions and celebrate and worship. On Sundays, for example, we go to sacrament meeting and participate in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and that is the liturgy of the Lord’s Supper. Now, if you are Roman Catholic or Orthodox or Jewish, you will be familiar with those terms because they’re part of the regular worship. They talk about the liturgy, but for us, it’s a little disorienting, I think, because we’re not exposed to that vocabulary. Laura Hales:              Sometimes we talk about “high church” and “low church.” Even though we’re technically “low church,” we have liturgy like the Catholics, who would do it maybe with more ceremony. Jonathan Stapley:      Yeah, for sure. And, of course, our tradition is complicated by the fact that we have the temple an...

    Episode 108: The Latter-day Saint’s and Zion with Matthew C. Godfrey

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 12, 2019 52:56

    The Interview: Historian Jedediah S. Rogers and Matthew C. Godfrey recently co-edited a collection of essays on Latter-day Saint environmental history entitled The Earth Will Appear as the Garden of Eden. In the volume, contributors explore the relationship between members of the church and the places they settled. Editor Matthew Godfrey has written extensively about the early years of the church and lends additional light on how these connections were both physical and theological. In this episode, join us for Matthew Godfrey’s perspective on the early Latter-day Saint quest to obtain and redeem a promised land. About Our Guest: Matthew C. Godfrey is a general editor and the managing historian of the Joseph Smith Papers. He is also a member of the Church History Department Editorial Board. Matthew holds a PhD in American and public history from Washington State University. Before joining the project, he was president of Historical Research Associates, a historical and archeological consulting firm headquartered in Missoula, Montana. The Transcript: Download PDF. ____ Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast Episode 108: The Latter-day Saints and Zion with Matthew C. Godfrey   Released June 12, 2019   This is not a verbatim transcript. Some wording has been modified for clarity.   Laura Harris Hales:             Historian Jedediah S. Rogers and Matthew C. Godfrey recently co-edited a collection of essays on Latter-day Saint environmental history entitled The Earth Will Appear as the Garden of Eden. In the volume, contributors explore the relationship between members of the church and the places they settled. Editor Matthew Godfrey has written extensively about the early years of the church and lends additional light on how these connections were both physical and theological. In this episode, join us for Matthew Godfrey’s perspective on the early Latter-day Saint quest to obtain and redeem a promised land.   Laura Harris Hales:             Hello, this is Laura Harris Hales, and I am here today with Matthew Godfrey from the Church History Department. Matthew, we have spoken before. In fact, it was one of my favorite podcasts to research. It was about the Utah–Idaho Sugar Company. But to those who may not have listened to that episode yet, can you remind us about your educational experience and what you do professionally? Matthew C. Godfrey:           Sure. I have a PhD in history from Washington State University where I studied American and public history, and I’m currently the managing historian and a general editor of the Joseph Smith Papers Project with the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Laura Harris Hales:             We are going to talk today about something that we don’t talk about very often. It’s a little off the trodden path. We’re going to talk about the Latter-day Saint relationship with the environment. How did you become interested in this topic? Matthew C. Godfrey:           Before I was working at the Joseph Smith Papers, I was a historical consultant in Missoula, Montana, and I did several projects for the federal government that touched on environmental history. I did studies for the National Parks Service and the Army Corps of Engineers and got interested in environmental history that way. Then a few years ago, in 2012, I think, one of the renowned environmental historians in the United States, Mark Fiege, published a book that’s called The Republic of Nature where he took several events in American history and looked at them through the lens of environmental history. He was taking events such as Brown vs. Board of Education and the building of the transcontinental railroad and looking at what we can learn, what insights we can gain, from these things if we look at the human interactions with nature surrounding these events. It was a nontraditional approach to some of these topics in American history, and it just fascinated me.

    Episode 107: Why Does Latter-day Saint Art Matter? with Jennifer Champoux

    Play Episode Listen Later May 8, 2019 34:44

    In this episode, I discuss with Jennifer Champoux, an art history scholar, how biblical women are depicted in the art of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Portrayals of biblical women are scarce among images that are endorsed by the LDS Church. Those women who are depicted are frequently shown as simplified, didactic figures, and they are typically divided into two groups: wise or foolish. This dichotomy is apparent in the symbolism and formal elements of many LDS paintings of both the parable of the ten virgins and of Mary and Martha, which are the only images in which we see groups of women. Champoux takes us through an examination of LDS depictions of Mary and Martha, revealing that they generally rely on earlier Christian visual and textual interpretations that privilege Mary and show her as quiet and passive.  Most LDS images do not offer alternative interpretations of the story, although Church leaders have offered various readings. Champoux also explains how Minerva Teichert’s painting, "Jesus at the Home of Mary and Martha," offers an intriguing counterpoint to other LDS images of this scene. Teichert’s style and symbolism leave the meaning open for interpretation by the viewer, and she incorporates distinctive LDS ideas about agency, personal study, the balance between faith and works, and the primacy of scripture. This study of Mary and Martha images reveals larger patterns and tensions found in LDS visual culture, such as the scarcity of images of biblical women, the presumed accuracy of images endorsed by the Church, and the way Church members incorporate visual imagery into their religious experience. About Our Guest: Jennifer Champoux is a lecturer in art history at Northeastern University, and also previously taught art history courses as adjunct faculty at Emerson College, Emmanuel College, and Colorado Community Colleges Online.  She earned a BA in international politics from Brigham Young University and an MA in art history from Boston University. She currently serves as vice president of Mormon Scholars in the Humanities. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and three children. Extra Resources: Wise or Foolish: Women in Mormon Biblical Narrative Art Episode 107 Transcript Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast Episode 107: Why Does Latter-day Saint Art Matter? with Jennifer Champoux Released May 8, 2019 This is not a verbatim transcript. Some wording has been modified for clarity. Laura Harris Hales:  Hello, this is Laura Harris Hales. I’m here today with Jenny Champoux, who has an interesting background. You have a master’s in art history, but that’s not what you started out studying. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your background? Jennifer Champoux:  Sure. Thank you. When I was at Brigham Young University, I got my undergraduate degree in international politics and political science, and I did a minor in art history. I went on an art history study abroad to Europe and then ended up writing an honors thesis paper on a Flemish artist and just fell in love with the research and writing process in art history. I realized that that was really what I love to do. I decided to pursue a master’s degree in art history, and I took some extra art history classes, learned French, and did my graduate work at Boston University studying Dutch art of the Golden Age, Baroque art. Laura Harris Hales:  You lecture part-time on art history right now, don’t you? Jennifer Champoux: I do. I’m adjunct faculty at Northeastern University. Laura Harris Hales: Our discussion today is based on your article “Wise or Foolish: Women in Mormon Biblical Narrative Art,” published in the summer 2018 issue of BYU Studies Quarterly, which is a tough venue. So congratulations. Jennifer Champoux: I was very excited. Laura Harris Hales: What motivated you to write about religious visual imagery? Jennifer Champoux:  Well, I’m coming from a background studying Flemish and Dutch art from th...

    Episode 107: Why Does Latter-day Saint Art Matter? with Jennifer Champoux

    Play Episode Listen Later May 8, 2019 34:44

    About the Interview: In this episode, I discuss with Jennifer Champoux, an art history scholar, how biblical women are depicted in the art of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Portrayals of biblical women are scarce among images that are endorsed by the LDS Church. Those women who are depicted are frequently shown as simplified, didactic figures, and they are typically divided into two groups: wise or foolish. This dichotomy is apparent in the symbolism and formal elements of many LDS paintings of both the parable of the ten virgins and of Mary and Martha, which are the only images in which we see groups of women. Champoux takes us through an examination of LDS depictions of Mary and Martha, revealing that they generally rely on earlier Christian visual and textual interpretations that privilege Mary and show her as quiet and passive.  Most LDS images do not offer alternative interpretations of the story, although Church leaders have offered various readings. Champoux also explains how Minerva Teichert’s painting, "Jesus at the Home of Mary and Martha," offers an intriguing counterpoint to other LDS images of this scene. Teichert’s style and symbolism leave the meaning open for interpretation by the viewer, and she incorporates distinctive LDS ideas about agency, personal study, the balance between faith and works, and the primacy of scripture. This study of Mary and Martha images reveals larger patterns and tensions found in LDS visual culture, such as the scarcity of images of biblical women, the presumed accuracy of images endorsed by the Church, and the way Church members incorporate visual imagery into their religious experience. About Our Guest: Jennifer Champoux is a lecturer in art history at Northeastern University, and also previously taught art history courses as adjunct faculty at Emerson College, Emmanuel College, and Colorado Community Colleges Online.  She earned a BA in international politics from Brigham Young University and an MA in art history from Boston University. She currently serves as vice president of Mormon Scholars in the Humanities. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and three children. The Transcript: Download PDF. Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast Episode 107: Why Does Latter-day Saint Art Matter? with Jennifer Champoux   Released May 8, 2019   This is not a verbatim transcript. Some wording has been modified for clarity. Laura Harris Hales:  Hello, this is Laura Harris Hales. I’m here today with Jenny Champoux, who has an interesting background. You have a master’s in art history, but that’s not what you started out studying. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your background? Jennifer Champoux:  Sure. Thank you. When I was at Brigham Young University, I got my undergraduate degree in international politics and political science, and I did a minor in art history. I went on an art history study abroad to Europe and then ended up writing an honors thesis paper on a Flemish artist and just fell in love with the research and writing process in art history. I realized that that was really what I love to do. I decided to pursue a master’s degree in art history, and I took some extra art history classes, learned French, and did my graduate work at Boston University studying Dutch art of the Golden Age, Baroque art. Laura Harris Hales:  You lecture part-time on art history right now, don’t you? Jennifer Champoux: I do. I’m adjunct faculty at Northeastern University. Laura Harris Hales: Our discussion today is based on your article “Wise or Foolish: Women in Mormon Biblical Narrative Art,” published in the summer 2018 issue of BYU Studies Quarterly, which is a tough venue. So congratulations. Jennifer Champoux: I was very excited. Laura Harris Hales: What motivated you to write about religious visual imagery? Jennifer Champoux:  Well, I’m coming from a background studying Flemish and Dutch art from the 15th to 17th centuries.

    Episode 106: The Symbol of the Cross with Gaye Strathearn

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 10, 2019 47:16

    Good Friday is seen as the holiest day in the Christian tradition, yet it is not particularly emphasized in Latter-day Saint dialogue. And outside of Easter lessons, pictures of the crucifixion are rarely displayed. In contrast, depictions of the suffering of Christ on the cross hold prominent positions within most Christian buildings whether local meetinghouses or grand cathedrals. Dr. Gaye Strathearn grew up Latter-day Saint in a small branch in Australia. She and her fellow members did celebrate Good Friday. When she spent her first Easter on BYU campus, she was surprised that what she had always celebrated as a sacred day was pretty much a non-event. This has always bothered her and has led her to research the topic. In “Christ’s Crucifixion: The Reclamation of the Cross,” she explores the relationship of Latter-day Saint teachings and culture regarding the crucifixion. Strathearn isn’t arguing to put crosses on our buildings or forgetting the seminal event of Gethsemane, but she does think we need to put a bit more of our attention on the instrument of Jesus’ death, the cross. Some Latter-day Saints may feel uncomfortable with this prospect, which is natural. Even among early Christians, some followers were unsure how to deal with the crucifixion. It was an ugly way to die, and they struggled with the idea that the Son of God would be executed in such a shameful manner. The accounts of Jesus’ Crucifixion in the four Gospels are the most detailed accounts that we have of an ancient crucifixion. But while they describe what happened, only the writings of Paul discuss the why of Christ’s Crucifixion. Paul taught early Christians that the most important things Christ had delivered unto mankind were the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Strathearn details four reasons why she believes the cross should hold an important place in our private and public discourse, both among ourselves as Latter-day Saints and in conjunction with our Christian friends. The events on the cross are an integral part of the Atonement. Bruce R. McConkie wrote that the suffering begun in Gethsemane was finished on the cross. For the Book of Mormon, the cross is not a marginal footnote to the Atonement. Rather, the phrase “sufferings and death” is at the very heart of important sermons. The Doctrine and Covenants specifically includes Christ’s death in the Atonement equation as well. The scriptural metaphor that we can be “lifted up” because Christ was lifted up on the cross is a symbol of God’s great love for us. When the Savior described his gospel to the Nephites, he did it in terms of the cross. In the New Testament the invitation to take up our cross was the symbol of discipleship. Just as there was a cost to the Atonement, there is a cost to our discipleship. The signs of the Crucifixion were so important for Christ that he kept them even after he received a glorified, resurrected body. When the Savior visited the America’s, he made it a point that all feel the wounds in his hands. He also showed his wounds to his disciples in the Old World. Listen in as Gaye Strathearn not only shares the historical background of crucifixion but also shows how rooted Latter-day Saint scripture is in the death of Christ on the cross. About Our Guest: Gaye Strathearn is an associate professor in the Department of Ancient Scripture and in the Ancient Near East Studies program at BYU. She has taught at BYU since 1995, including a year at BYU’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. Dr. Strathearn received her Bachelor of Physiotherapy from the University of Queensland (Australia), a BA and MA in Near Eastern Studies from BYU, and a Ph.D. in Religion (New Testament) from the Claremont Graduate University. Her research centers primarily on New Testament topics, especially those of interest to Latter-day Saints. The Article: “CHRIST’S CRUCIFIXION: RECLAMATION OF THE CROSS” FROM WITH HEALING IN HIS WINGS

    Episode 106: The Symbol of the Cross with Gaye Strathearn

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 10, 2019 47:16

    The Interview:  Good Friday is seen as the most holy day in Christian tradition, yet it is not particularly emphasized in Latter-day Saint dialogue. And outside of Easter lessons, pictures of the crucifixion are rarely displayed. In contrast, depictions of the suffering of Christ on the cross hold prominent positions within most Christian buildings whether local meetinghouses or grand cathedrals. Dr. Gaye Strathearn grew up Latter-day Saint in a small branch in Australia. She and her fellow members did celebrate Good Friday. When she spent her first Easter on BYU campus, she was surprised that what she had always celebrated as a sacred day was pretty much a non-event. This has always bothered her and has led her to research the topic. In “Christ’s Crucifixion: The Reclamation of the Cross,” she explores the relationship of Latter-day Saint teachings and culture regarding the crucifixion. Strathearn isn’t arguing to put crosses on our buildings or forgetting the seminal event of Gethsemane, but she does think we need to put a bit more of our attention on the instrument of Jesus’ death, the cross. Some Latter-day Saints may feel uncomfortable with this prospect, which is natural. Even among early Christians, some followers were unsure how to deal with the crucifixion. It was an ugly way to die, and they struggled with the idea that the Son of God would be executed in such a shameful manner. The accounts of Jesus’ Crucifixion in the four Gospels are the most detailed accounts that we have of an ancient crucifixion. But while they describe what happened, only the writings of Paul discuss the why of Christ’s Crucifixion. Paul taught early Christians that the most important things Christ had delivered unto mankind were the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Strathearn details four reasons why she believes the cross should hold an important place in our private and public discourse, both among ourselves as Latter-day Saints and in conjunction with our Christian friends. The events on the cross are an integral part of the Atonement. Bruce R. McConkie wrote that the suffering begun in Gethsemane was finished on the cross. For the Book of Mormon, the cross is not a marginal footnote to the Atonement. Rather, the phrase “sufferings and death” is at the very heart of important sermons. The Doctrine and Covenants specifically includes Christ’s death in the Atonement equation as well. The scriptural metaphor that we can be “lifted up” because Christ was lifted up on the cross is a symbol of God’s great love for us. When the Savior described his gospel to the Nephites, he did it in terms of the cross. In the New Testament the invitation to take up our cross was the symbol of discipleship. Just as there was a cost to the Atonement, there is a cost to our discipleship. The signs of the Crucifixion were so important for Christ that he kept them even after he received a glorified, resurrected body. When the Savior visited the America’s, he made it a point that all feel the wounds in his hands. He also showed his wounds to his disciples in the Old World. Listen in as Gaye Strathearn not only shares the historical background of crucifixion but also shows how rooted Latter-day Saint scripture is in the death of Christ on the cross. About Our Guest: Gaye Strathearn is an associate professor in the Department of Ancient Scripture and in the Ancient Near East Studies program at BYU. She has taught at BYU since 1995, including a year at BYU’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. Dr. Strathearn received her Bachelor of Physiotherapy from the University of Queensland (Australia), a BA and MA in Near Eastern Studies from BYU, and a Ph.D. in Religion (New Testament) from the Claremont Graduate University. Her research centers primarily on New Testament topics, especially those of interest to Latter-day Saints. The Article: “CHRIST’S CRUCIFIXION: RECLAMATION OF THE CROSS” FROM WITH HEALING IN HIS WINGS

    Episode 105: Discipleship with Eric Huntsman

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 20, 2019 59:01

    In this episode of LDS Perspectives Podcast, Laura Hales interviews Eric D. Huntsman about his new book, Becoming the Beloved Disciple: Coming unto Christ through the Gospel of John, about learning from the Gospels, and John more generally. As this year’s Come Follow Me course of study leads individuals and families to study the New Testament more intently, Huntsman’s new book treating important aspects of the Gospel of John provides helpful models for understanding and applying John, and other scripture, to today’s world. While Latter-day Saints are accustomed to “likening all scripture unto ourselves” (see 1 Nephi 19:23), sometimes we have difficulty understanding scripture in its original context, making it less accessible for modern readers. In the introduction to Becoming the Beloved Disciple, Huntsman borrows two images from Murray Krieger, a scholar of Shakespeare’s sonnets, to better understanding texts: seeing literature first as a window and then as a mirror. Using these images, he suggests that we first see John, and other scripture, as a window into the ancient world that requires us to understand what it meant “to them, there, then.” After that, we are better able to hold scripture up to ourselves, using it as a mirror to understand what it means “to us, here, now.” Huntsman, who is involved in a much larger project producing a translation of and full commentary on the Gospel of John, became interested in how drama theory, and particularly character theory, applied to the Fourth Gospel. Searching for a way to produce a medium-length book for Latter-day Saints on John, he was struck by the possibility of using the various characters in this Gospel to represent the different walks of faith and the different types of members that we find in the Latter-day Saint Church today. As he writes in the preface of his new book, “At a time when the Church and society-at-large are grappling with questions of unity and diversity, the characters of John show that there are many ways to be disciples of Jesus Christ.” In Becoming the Beloved Disciple, Huntsman has chosen some of the most striking characters in the Gospel of John, arranging them in chapters that present similar themes and reflect different ways of coming to Christ and gaining testimonies of who he is and what he came to do. The first disciples—most of whom were later numbered among the Twelve—came to faith in the way so many people do today, through the witness of others, which they then act upon and make their own. Others, however, such as Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman at the well, represent different types of faith. In many ways Nicodemus has much in common with some intellectuals today who are more comfortable with questioning and reasoning and as a result have different walks of faith, even though they, too, can come securely to a witness of Jesus’ saving death on the cross. The Samaritan woman was the ultimate outsider. In terms of her ethnicity, gender, and even lifestyle, she was looked down on by the Jewish mainstream of her day. Nonetheless after Jesus ministered to her directly, she became the first, and in many ways most effective, missionary in the Gospel, bringing her entire village to Christ. Other types of disciples include “women who knew” such as the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene; the disciples who were troubled by “hard sayings”; friends of Jesus such as Martha and Mary of Bethany who were not spared suffering despite their close relationship with the Lord; and impulsive but devoted disciples such as Thomas and Peter, who though fallible were nonetheless faithful. In each chapter, Huntsman marshals solid New Testament scholarship to provide us accurate windows into these characters and what they represented. He then closes every chapter with application sections that hold these characters up as mirrors, comparing them to experiences of people in the Latter-day Saint Church, including some of his own most vulnerable experiences,

    Episode 105: Discipleship with Eric Huntsman

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 20, 2019 59:01

    The Interview: In this episode of LDS Perspectives Podcast, Laura Hales interviews Eric D. Huntsman about his new book, Becoming the Beloved Disciple: Coming unto Christ through the Gospel of John, about learning from the Gospels, and John more generally. As this year’s Come Follow Me course of study leads individuals and families to study the New Testament more intently, Huntsman’s new book treating important aspects of the Gospel of John provides helpful models for understanding and applying John, and other scripture, to today’s world. While Latter-day Saints are accustomed to “likening all scripture unto ourselves” (see 1 Nephi 19:23), sometimes we have difficulty understanding scripture in its original context, making it less accessible for modern readers. In the introduction to Becoming the Beloved Disciple, Huntsman borrows two images from Murray Krieger, a scholar of Shakespeare’s sonnets, to better understanding texts: seeing literature first as a window and then as a mirror. Using these images, he suggests that we first see John, and other scripture, as a window into the ancient world that requires us to understand what it meant “to them, there, then.” After that, we are better able to hold scripture up to ourselves, using it as a mirror to understand what it means “to us, here, now.” Huntsman, who is involved in a much larger project producing a translation of and full commentary on the Gospel of John, became interested in how drama theory, and particularly character theory, applied to the Fourth Gospel. Searching for a way to produce a medium-length book for Latter-day Saints on John, he was struck by the possibility of using the various characters in this Gospel to represent the different walks of faith and the different types of members that we find in the Latter-day Saint Church today. As he writes in the preface of his new book, “At a time when the Church and society-at-large are grappling with questions of unity and diversity, the characters of John show that there are many ways to be disciples of Jesus Christ.” In Becoming the Beloved Disciple, Huntsman has chosen some of the most striking characters in the Gospel of John, arranging them in chapters that present similar themes and reflect different ways of coming to Christ and gaining testimonies of who he is and what he came to do. The first disciples—most of whom were later numbered among the Twelve—came to faith in the way so many people do today, through the witness of others, which they then act upon and make their own. Others, however, such as Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman at the well, represent different types of faith. In many ways Nicodemus has much in common with some intellectuals today who are more comfortable with questioning and reasoning and as a result have different walks of faith, even though they, too, can come securely to a witness of Jesus’ saving death on the cross. The Samaritan woman was the ultimate outsider. In terms of her ethnicity, gender, and even lifestyle, she was looked down on by the Jewish mainstream of her day. Nonetheless after Jesus ministered to her directly, she became the first, and in many ways most effective, missionary in the Gospel, bringing her entire village to Christ. Other types of disciples include “women who knew” such as the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene; the disciples who were troubled by “hard sayings”; friends of Jesus such as Martha and Mary of Bethany who were not spared suffering despite their close relationship with the Lord; and impulsive but devoted disciples such as Thomas and Peter, who though fallible were nonetheless faithful. In each chapter, Huntsman marshals solid New Testament scholarship to provide us accurate windows into these characters and what they represented. He then closes every chapter with application sections that hold these characters up as mirrors, comparing them to experiences of people in the Latter-day Saint Church,

    Episode 104: Silent Souls Weeping with Jane Clayson Johnson

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 6, 2019 50:26

    In early January, I sat down with Jane Clayson Johnson, a former news correspondent for CBS and ABC news, to discuss her research on mental illness. Over the course of three years, Jane recorded hundreds of interviews with Latter-day Saints about their experiences. Her book, Silent Souls Weeping, contains frank discussions aimed at breaking down the stigma associated with depression and providing ministering tools. Join us for Jane Clayson Johnson’s perspective on mental illness. About Our Guest: Jane Clayson Johnson is an award-winning journalist widely known for her work at CBS News, ABC News, and the nationally syndicated NPR program On Point. Over more than two decades, she traveled the world covering stories from international news to presidential campaigns and interviewing the biggest newsmakers of the day. Jane is the best-selling author of I Am a Mother. She has served in regional, stake, and ward public affairs, as a Gospel Doctrine teacher, and in many Relief Society and Primary callings. Jane and her husband, Mark, live in Boston. They are the parents of five children and grandparents of three. Silent Souls Weeping Episode 104 Transcript

    Episode 104: Silent Souls Weeping with Jane Clayson Johnson

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 6, 2019 50:26

    In early January, I sat down with Jane Clayson Johnson, a former news correspondent for CBS and ABC news, to discuss her research on mental illness. Over the course of three years, Jane recorded hundreds of interviews with Latter-day Saints about their experiences. Her book, Silent Souls Weeping, contains frank discussions aimed at breaking down the stigma associated with depression and providing ministering tools. Join us for Jane Clayson Johnson’s perspective on mental illness. About Our Guest: Jane Clayson Johnson is an award-winning journalist widely known for her work at CBS News, ABC News, and the nationally syndicated NPR program On Point. Over more than two decades, she traveled the world covering stories from international news to presidential campaigns and interviewing the biggest newsmakers of the day. Jane is the best-selling author of I Am a Mother. She has served in regional, stake, and ward public affairs, as a Gospel Doctrine teacher, and in many Relief Society and Primary callings. Jane and her husband, Mark, live in Boston. They are the parents of five children and grandparents of three. Transcript: Download PDF

    Episode 103: The Need for Historicity of the Book of Mormon with Stephen Smoot

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 20, 2019 48:14

    In a recent article published in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship titled “Et Incarnatus Est: The Imperative for Book of Mormon Historicity,” Stephen Smoot maintains the credibility of the Book of Mormon is intricately linked to its historicity. As explained in the paper’s abstract: Some have come to insist that the Book of Mormon should be read as inspired fiction, which is to say that readers, including Latter-day Saints, should abandon any belief in the Book of Mormon as an authentic ancient text and instead should see it as an inspired frontier novel written by Joseph Smith that may act as scripture for those who follow his teachings. This paper provides reasoning to reject this proposition as not only logically incoherent but also theologically impotent. It raises the objection that this position fundamentally undercuts the credibility of Joseph Smith. The Prophet’s direct claims concerning the coming forth of the Book of Mormon as well as how the Book of Mormon presents itself to the world do not easily permit any leeway for a “middle ground” on this matter. In this episode, Smoot further discusses his views on the importance of the Book of Mormon and responds to some of the countertheories proponents of an inspired yet fictional Book of Mormon have put forth over the years to counter the importance of Book of Mormon historicity. About Our Guest: Stephen Smoot earned his master’s degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations with a concentration in Egyptology. His work on biblical and Latter-day Saint topics has been published by the Religious Studies Center, BYU Studies, the Neal A. Maxwell Institute, and the Interpreter Foundation.  He currently works as a research associate for Book of Mormon Central. Extra Resources: Et Incarnatus Est: the Imperative for Book of Mormon Historicity

    Episode 103: The Need for Historicity of the Book of Mormon with Stephen Smoot

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 20, 2019 48:14

    About the Interview: In a recent article published in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship titled “Et Incarnatus Est: The Imperative for Book of Mormon Historicity,” Stephen Smoot maintains the credibility of the Book of Mormon is intricately linked to its historicity. As explained in the paper’s abstract: Some have come to insist that the Book of Mormon should be read as inspired fiction, which is to say that readers, including Latter-day Saints, should abandon any belief in the Book of Mormon as an authentic ancient text and instead should see it as an inspired frontier novel written by Joseph Smith that may act as scripture for those who follow his teachings. This paper provides reasoning to reject this proposition as not only logically incoherent but also theologically impotent. It raises the objection that this position fundamentally undercuts the credibility of Joseph Smith. The Prophet’s direct claims concerning the coming forth of the Book of Mormon as well as how the Book of Mormon presents itself to the world do not easily permit any leeway for a “middle ground” on this matter. In this episode, Smoot further discusses his views on the importance of the Book of Mormon and responds to some of the countertheories proponents of an inspired yet fictional Book of Mormon have put forth over the years to counter the importance of Book of Mormon historicity. About Our Guest: Stephen Smoot earned his master’s degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations with a concentration in Egyptology. His work on biblical and Latter-day Saint topics has been published by the Religious Studies Center, BYU Studies, the Neal A. Maxwell Institute, and the Interpreter Foundation.  He currently works as a research associate for Book of Mormon Central.

    Episode 102: The Fourth Gospel with Joshua Matson

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 6, 2019 50:23

    Even a casual, first-time reader quickly notices that the Fourth Gospel, or the Gospel of John, is different than the other New Testament gospels. From the first verse, the metaphorical language tells readers that this is more than a historical rehearsal; it is scripture written to persuade men that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Redeemer of Israel. Jesus’ Second Temple period Jewish audience would have had expectations of what the Messiah would be like and what he would do. Depending on their religious community and sect, these hopes would likely represent exaggerations of various Old Testament prophecies. Some of the Jewish leadership had willingly altered the concept of the Messiah, but other characteristics became distorted through time. The fourth evangelist likely wrote his gospel to a group of Jewish-Christian believers in the late part of the first century after Christ’s death. He meant his message to inspire Jews to re-examine their expectations and assumptions regarding the Messiah. The writer deliberately presents contrasting interpretations of messianic prophecy to emphasize how misguided expectations that hampered a belief in Christ. In this episode of Latter-day Saints Perspectives podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews biblical scholar Joshua Matson about why many first century Jews failed to see Jesus as the Messiah. Matson identifies the biblical texts that speak of the Messiah and those that interpret those prophecies in the Apocrypha. Many of these scriptures spoke of a warrior king who would reunite a divided Israelite kingdom and deliver Israel from bondage. Jesus addressed these concerns during his ministry, and the fourth evangelist fashions the account to teach current Jews how to recognize the Messiah. His message to a first-century audience is just as applicable and beautiful to seekers today as it was two millenia ago. Tune in as Joshua Matson describes the messianic message of the Gospel of John. About Our Guest: Joshua Matson is a PhD candidate in religions of western antiquity at Florida State University, a teacher at the Tallahassee Institute of Religion, and currently is living in Israel as a research associate with the Scripta Qumranica Electronica Project at the University of Haifa. Josh received a BA in ancient Near Eastern studies from BYU, and a master’s in biblical studies from Trinity Western University. Extra Resources: Episode 102 Transcript Thou Art the Living Christ: the Person and Work of Jesus in the New Testament Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast Episode 102: John’s Messianic Message with Joshua Matson  Released February 6, 2019 This is not a verbatim transcript. Some wording has been modified for clarity, and timestamps are approximate. Laura Harris Hales: 00:01 This is Laura Harris Hales, and I’m here today with Joshua Matson to talk about the Gospel of John. Joshua Matson is a PhD candidate in religions of western antiquity at Florida State University, a teacher at the Tallahassee Institute of Religion, and currently is living in Israel as a research associate with the Scripta Qumranica Electronica project at the University of Haifa. Josh received a BA in ancient Near East studies from BYU and a master’s in biblical studies from Trinity Western University. Our discussion today is based on the address “The Fourth Gospel and Expectations of the Jewish Messiah” given at the 2018 Sperry Symposium at BYU. Hello, Josh. Since we last talked, you moved from being a PhD student to a PhD candidate. I bet that feels good. What’s the topic of your dissertation? Joshua Matson:  01:07 For my dissertation, I am writing on the textual history and the reception history of the Hebrew Bible minor prophets in the Second Temple period, trying to answer the question of whether or not the minor prophets circulated as one single scroll among Jewish communities during that time. Laura Harris Hales: 01:45 The topic of your address is “The Fourth Gospel and Expectations of the Jewish Messiah.

    Episode 102: The Fourth Gospel with Joshua Matson

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 6, 2019 50:23

    Joshua Matson The Interview: Even a casual, first-time reader quickly notices that the Fourth Gospel, or the Gospel of John, is different than the other New Testament gospels. From the first verse, the metaphorical language tells readers that this is more than a historical rehearsal; it is scripture written to persuade men that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Redeemer of Israel. Jesus’ Second Temple period Jewish audience would have had expectations of what the Messiah would be like and what he would do. Depending on their religious community and sect, these hopes would likely represent exaggerations of various Old Testament prophecies. Some of the Jewish leadership had willingly altered the concept of the Messiah, but other characteristics became distorted through time. The fourth evangelist likely wrote his gospel to a group of Jewish-Christian believers in the late part of the first century after Christ’s death. He meant his message to inspire Jews to re-examine their expectations and assumptions regarding the Messiah. The writer deliberately presents contrasting interpretations of messianic prophecy to emphasize how misguided expectations that hampered a belief in Christ. In this episode of Latter-day Saints Perspectives podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews biblical scholar Joshua Matson about why many first century Jews failed to see Jesus as the Messiah. Matson identifies the biblical texts that speak of the Messiah and those that interpret those prophecies in the Apocrypha. Many of these scriptures spoke of a warrior king who would reunite a divided Israelite kingdom and deliver Israel from bondage. Jesus addressed these concerns during his ministry, and the fourth evangelist fashions the account to teach current Jews how to recognize the Messiah. His message to a first-century audience is just as applicable and beautiful to seekers today as it was two millenia ago. Tune in as Joshua Matson describes the messianic message of the Gospel of John. About Our Guest: Joshua Matson is a PhD candidate in religions of western antiquity at Florida State University, a teacher at the Tallahassee Institute of Religion, and currently is living in Israel as a research associate with the Scripta Qumranica Electronica Project at the University of Haifa. Josh received a BA in ancient Near Eastern studies from BYU, and a master’s in biblical studies from Trinity Western University. The Transcript: Download PDF. Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast Episode 102: John’s Messianic Message with Joshua Matson  Released February 6, 2019 This is not a verbatim transcript. Some wording has been modified for clarity, and timestamps are approximate. Laura Harris Hales: 00:01 This is Laura Harris Hales, and I’m here today with Joshua Matson to talk about the Gospel of John. Joshua Matson is a PhD candidate in religions of western antiquity at Florida State University, a teacher at the Tallahassee Institute of Religion, and currently is living in Israel as a research associate with the Scripta Qumranica Electronica project at the University of Haifa. Josh received a BA in ancient Near East studies from BYU and a master’s in biblical studies from Trinity Western University. Our discussion today is based on the address “The Fourth Gospel and Expectations of the Jewish Messiah” given at the 2018 Sperry Symposium at BYU. Hello, Josh. Since we last talked, you moved from being a PhD student to a PhD candidate. I bet that feels good. What’s the topic of your dissertation? Joshua Matson:  01:07 For my dissertation, I am writing on the textual history and the reception history of the Hebrew Bible minor prophets in the Second Temple period, trying to answer the question of whether or not the minor prophets circulated as one single scroll among Jewish communities during that time. Laura Harris Hales: 01:45 The topic of your address is “The Fourth Gospel and Expectations of the Jewish Messiah.

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