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222–223: Becoming Like God

April 10, 2014
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222–223: Becoming Like God

The most recent entry in the Gospel Topics series at lds.org, “Becoming Like God,” represents the LDS church’s newest attempt to help clarify (for members, media, and those with other interests in Mormonism) often misunderstood or difficult gospel teachings or practices. It, like all the essays in the series, is well-crafted with many scriptural and academic citations that display engagement with scholarship even as it seeks to also maintain a devotional tone. After a short introduction that grounds the shared idea among many Christians of our being in some way “children of God” as well as the idea that Latter-day…

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217–221: (Encore) An Easter Primer

April 1, 2014
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217–221: (Encore) An Easter Primer

Encore presentation of a great discussion of all things Easter first released 12 March 2013. With a forty-day Lenten season that flows to a conclusion in Holy Week and its beautiful rituals, for many Christians, Easter (even more than Christmas) marks the spiritual high point of the year. At no…

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216: Preserving and Strengthening Relationships During Faith Transitions

March 17, 2014
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216: Preserving and Strengthening Relationships During Faith Transitions

Most listeners to Mormon Matters, like all seekers, are undergoing a faith transition—hopefully one of continuous deepening into greater richness of experience and peace. Often, however, faith transitions feel more like “crises” for persons in the midst of the reorientation, as well as for family members and others close to…

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215: Mormonism’s Modesty and Sexuality Discourse

March 3, 2014
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215: Mormonism’s Modesty and Sexuality Discourse

The cover of the March 2014 Ensign highlights an article, “The Lord’s Standard of Morality” by Elder Tad R. Callister, that has been the subject of much Internet talk of late, with most voices recognizing the importance of the subject and good desires of the author and those who chose…

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213–214: The Book of Abraham as Scripture

February 21, 2014
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213–214: The Book of Abraham as Scripture

For many struggling Latter-day Saints, a pivotal moment in their transitioning faith comes when they are confronted with the mismatch between traditional teachings about the Book of Abraham being an ancient text written by the patriarch Abraham and a nearly universal scholarly consensus that it is based upon much later,…

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212: A Fresh Look at Mitt Romney

February 6, 2014
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212: A Fresh Look at Mitt Romney

Beginning shortly after the close of his 2012 presidential bid, Mitt Romney has kept a pretty low profile. However, the recent Sundance Film Festival has forced some renewed public attention on him with the screening of the documentary, Mitt, by filmmaker Greg Whiteley, along with the film’s availability on the…

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211: Genesis, Part 4—Abraham

January 28, 2014
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211: Genesis, Part 4—Abraham

In this episode, members of the Mormon Matters “Genesis Team”—David Bokovoy, Tom Roberts, and Brian Hauglid—discuss and give textual and theological analyses of the Genesis and Book of Abraham accounts of the great patriarch Abraham. Where do the texts differ? Are there resources from ancient studies or the wider Judeo-Christian…

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210: Genesis, Part 3–Cursing of Canaan and the Tower of Babel

January 14, 2014
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210: Genesis, Part 3–Cursing of Canaan and the Tower of Babel

In this episode, the Mormon Matters “Genesis Team”–David Bokovoy, Tom Roberts, and Brian Hauglid–share good, fair, and scholarly framings of two difficult biblical stories: (1) the cursing of Canaan, Ham’s son, to become a servant to the races descending from Noah’s other two sons because of his Ham’s indiscretions upon…

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209: New LDS Statement on Book of Mormon Translation

January 6, 2014
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209: New LDS Statement on Book of Mormon Translation

The LDS Church has recently published on its website, lds.org, a short article titled “Book of Mormon Translation” that lays out in greater detail than perhaps ever before in an official statement some of the lesser-known aspects of the Book of Mormon translation process, such as Joseph Smith’s use of…

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208: Who Was/Is Jesus?

December 31, 2013
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208: Who Was/Is Jesus?

In this episode that was co-produced with the Mormon Sunday School and Feminist Mormon Housewives podcasts, Eric Huntsman, Jared Anderson, and Lindsay Hansen Park join me for a fascinating examination of the what has often been referred to as the “quest for the historical Jesus,” and especially the ways in…

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207: Teaching the Old Testament to Latter-day Saints

December 24, 2013
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207: Teaching the Old Testament to Latter-day Saints

One of the most difficult but important things we can do as Mormons who are alerted to the complexities of cultural differences and sacred writings is to learn how to share in church settings insights we’ve gleaned from our studies. We have a dual challenge: (1) to try to be…

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206: At Peace with Human Prophets–Personal Journeys

December 14, 2013
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206: At Peace with Human Prophets–Personal Journeys

The recent official statement on Race and the Priesthood has highlighted in a fresh way the difficult issue of prophets and apostles who are subject to the influences of culture and largely unexamined assumptions of their day that color their understandings of and impact their statements about sometimes very important…

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204–205: The New Statement on Race and the Priesthood

December 10, 2013
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204–205: The New Statement on Race and the Priesthood

On 6 December 2013, the LDS Church posted on its website, LDS.org, a new document titled, “Race and the Priesthood,” along with videos and other resources for better understanding the history of race issues within Mormonism, as well clarifying its current positions. The key piece of the statement is a…

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202–203: Genesis, Part 2—The Flood

December 2, 2013
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202–203: Genesis, Part 2—The Flood

In this two-part episode, we continue our series on the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible by examining one of scripture’s most difficult stories–God choosing to unleash a flood designed to kill all living beings on the planet except a select few. In this episode, panelists David Bokovoy, Tom Roberts, and Brian Hauglid…

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201: Good Shepherds

November 21, 2013
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201: Good Shepherds

My recent call for stories of LDS leaders who through their vision and love and ways of inhabiting their pastoral roles have made a wonderful difference in people’s lives has been answered spectacularly by four listeners—Loree, Brian Dillman, Brian Kissell, and Katie Langston (whose segment also includes a neat surprise).…

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200: Let’s Collaborate!

October 31, 2013
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200: Let’s Collaborate!

This short episode announces two projects I’d love to work on with collaborators from the Mormon Matters listening community. The first is a call for stories that would become part of a podcast episode, or a series of episodes, and possibly also a book (or series of books). Right now…

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199: Untangling Faith, Belief, and the Expectation to “Know”

October 21, 2013
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199: Untangling Faith, Belief, and the Expectation to “Know”

We think we know what it means to “believe” or to “have faith.” But do we? Has the current ways we use these terms remained stable throughout history? No, says Frances Lee Menlove in an important essay in her new book, The Challenge of Honesty: Essays for Latter-day Saints. She…

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198: Engaging Mormonism from Outside the Fold

October 14, 2013
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198: Engaging Mormonism from Outside the Fold

Over the course of its run, Mormon Matters has received emails from non-LDS persons who have become regular listeners to the podcast, as well as participants in online LDS “Bloggernacle” groups and other discussions about Mormonism. This episode features four of them—three in person, Bridget McGregor, Karrie Higgins, and Les…

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194–197: Genesis, Part 1—Creation, Garden, Expulsion, Cursing

October 1, 2013
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194–197: Genesis, Part 1—Creation, Garden, Expulsion, Cursing

The texts that Latter-day Saints and other Christians call the Old Testament (differing from scholars, who use Hebrew Bible or Tanakh) is both wonderfully rich and very problematic scripture. Its richness derives from its status as an account of how ancient persons saw the world, the nature of God, and…

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193: Ordain Women and Renewed Conversations about Priesthood

September 21, 2013
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193: Ordain Women and Renewed Conversations about Priesthood

On 5 October, a group of women (and some male supporters) will, either through tickets granted by LDS leaders (they have petitioned leaders for them) or via the stand-by line, attempt to gain entrance to the priesthood session of general conference. Spearheaded by the group Ordain Women, the announcement of…

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192: The Hero’s Journey

September 17, 2013
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192: The Hero’s Journey

Joseph Campbell spent a lifetime studying myths and stories from around the world, especially the ones that related to life’s biggest questions: Where did everything come from?; Is there purpose to the things that come up in our lives?; How do we as human beings fully flourish? For him, we…

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190–191: The Institutional Church and the Individual

September 6, 2013
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190–191: The Institutional Church and the Individual

Are we made for the Sabbath, or is the Sabbath made for us? Likewise, are we here primarily to serve the Church, or does the Church exist to serve and assist us as individuals? Most of us would think the second part of each sentence represents the deeper truth, yet…

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188–189: Hugh Nibley—Part 3: Prophet of Zion

August 29, 2013
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188–189: Hugh Nibley—Part 3: Prophet of Zion

In this third and final installment of our Hugh Nibley series, we look at Nibley’s powerful, far-ranging, and definitely direct/hard-hitting/deliciously skewering social critiques. Ranging from warnings and insights about the accumulation and concentration of wealth to the forces driving war, environmental destruction, and keeping us from truly enjoying the abundance…

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186–187: Hugh Nibley—Part 2: Scholar and Defender of the Faith

August 26, 2013
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186–187: Hugh Nibley—Part 2: Scholar and Defender of the Faith

These episodes (186 & 187) constitute the second of our three-part series on Hugh Nibley (1910–2005), focusing this time on Nibley as scholar of the ancient world and the ways he applied this scholarship to places of intersection with LDS scripture, history, and theology. In these episodes, Mormon Matters host…

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184–185: Hugh Nibley—Part 1: A Fascinating Life

August 21, 2013
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184–185: Hugh Nibley—Part 1: A Fascinating Life

These episodes launch a three-part series on Hugh Nibley (1910–2005), a towering figure in twentieth-century Mormonism who every Latter-day Saint deserves to know better. Most often viewed as an intellectual, scholar of the ancient world, teacher, and defender of the faith, Nibley is also one of Mormonism’s most vocal and…

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182–183: Is Mormonism’s God Worthy of Worship?

August 17, 2013
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182–183: Is Mormonism’s God Worthy of Worship?

Mormonism has a distinctive view of God that differs quite a bit from that of traditional theism. And though we as Latter-day Saints recognize and most often celebrate the differences, in our Sunday and typical discourse about God and God’s power and influence, we very often sound as if there…

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181: Grieving (and Can We Do it Better?)

July 12, 2013
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181: Grieving (and Can We Do it Better?)

The death of loved ones and other difficult transitions really shake us up, and it is very natural for us to want and need to grieve our losses. Unfortunately, we sometimes don’t take the time to fully acknowledge our pain and the complicated emotions associated with that person (or situation)…

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180: Mormon Missions Take to Facebook!

July 1, 2013
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180: Mormon Missions Take to Facebook!

On Sunday, June 23, 2013, LDS leaders announced changes to the LDS missionary program, with most of the new focus directed to decreasing door-to-door contacting, and instead shifting attention to conversations on and teaching through Facebook and missionary blogs. The shift is to unfold gradually worldwide, having been piloted the…

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178–179: Tolerance

June 17, 2013
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178–179: Tolerance

Tolerance is a tricky virtue. In a list of ways one might interact with others, it’s certainly better than active persecution but falls far short as an ideal way to engage people or ideas we don’t fully understand or (yet) trust. How do we draw the line between the need…

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176–177: The Adam-God Doctrine: What? When? Still?

June 6, 2013
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176–177: The Adam-God Doctrine: What? When? Still?

When Brigham Young first taught in initial outlines of what is now known as the “Adam-God Doctrine” (or the “Adam-God Theory”—the preferred term by those who want to downplay its status within LDS doctrinal development) some commented that with this theological position the cat was truly “out of the bag!”…

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174–175: The Chaplains on . . . Suffering

May 20, 2013
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174–175: The Chaplains on . . . Suffering

When we meet someone who is suffering, whether physically or emotionally, we naturally want to be of service to them. Sometimes our fears overcome us, and we avoid opportunities we’re presented with to “bear one another’s burdens” or “mourn with those who mourn” (Mosiah 18:8–9). Other times we step in…

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