Posts Tagged ‘ Jesus Christ ’

159–163: An Easter Primer

March 12, 2013
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159–163: An Easter Primer

One of Mormon Matters podcast’s most popular episodes explored Christmas through a close examination of scriptural narratives and traditions related to the Nativity as they unfolded through the centuries of Christian history. One of the reasons for this episode’s popularity was the information it provided for Latter-day Saints about many aspects of Christmas celebrated and explored in wider Christianity that never fully became part of Mormon traditions. We’re at it again, this time focusing on Easter. 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…

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140–141: A Christmas Primer: Exploring the Nativity in Scripture, Legend, History, and Hearts (Encore Presentation)

November 26, 2012
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140–141: A Christmas Primer: Exploring the Nativity in Scripture, Legend, History, and Hearts (Encore Presentation)

This is an encore presentation of a December 2011 podcast episode examining the Christmas story as it traditionally gets told—looking closely at what the scriptures actually say and do not say about the birth of Christ and all the pieces of this familiar story? How do the Matthew and Luke accounts differ—even irreconcilably? What motives are behind the Gospel writers’ decisions to shape the stories the way they do? What about the Jesus’s place of birth and the reason the family was in Bethlehem (if they were)? Was there a great tax and registration? What about “no room at the…

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107–109: LDS Salvation Theology and Practices

June 28, 2012
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107–109: LDS Salvation Theology and Practices

“Am I saved?” “Is this idea or that practice ‘pertinent to my salvation’?” Many Mormons and other Christians focus quite a lot of energy on concerns about possible rewards or punishments in the afterlife. And many, as seems natural for humans living in an unpredictable and confusing world, long for and (even very consciously) seek assurances here and now that their life is acceptable to God, their “salvation” is secure. Concepts such as having one’s “calling and election (a New Testament phrase and idea) made sure” reveal this longing and concern. Christians seek to know they are “saved” in many…

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65: LDS Views on Christ’s Second Coming and the End Times

December 20, 2011
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65: LDS Views on Christ’s Second Coming and the End Times

Elder Boyd K. Packer’s October 2011 General Conference encouragement to youth to not fear that because of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ they will not have a chance to have a full life, including having children and grandchildren, is the latest in what seems to be a trend among LDS leaders to de-emphasize the kind of apocalyptic thinking that was prevalent among Mormons even just a few decades ago. Yet class discussions during recent lessons in the priesthood and Relief Society manuals on the signs of the Second Coming, what will happen upon Christ’s return, the Millennium, and the…

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62: A Christmas Primer: Exploring the Nativity in Scripture, Legend, History, and Hearts

November 29, 2011
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62: A Christmas Primer: Exploring the Nativity in Scripture, Legend, History, and Hearts

This podcast episode examines the Christmas story as it traditionally gets told—but what do the scriptures actually say and not say about the birth of Christ and all the pieces of this familiar story? How do the Matthew and Luke accounts differ—even irreconcilably? What motives are behind the Gospel writers’ decisions to shape the stories the way they do? What about the Jesus’s place of birth and the reason the family was in Bethlehem (if they were)? Was there a great tax and registration? What about “no room at the inn,” the manger, the star, the magi, the story of…

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54: The Atonement in Mormon Thought and Experience

October 4, 2011
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54: The Atonement in Mormon Thought and Experience

The central claim of Christianity is that all human beings are “fallen,” held captive by sin, or are in some other way in a dire circumstance that can only be overcome through God’s aid, which comes through faith in the infinite love and sacrifice of God’s own son, Jesus Christ. According to the Christian tradition, this is the central truth of the human condition, and it is only through what has been labeled the Atonement of Jesus Christ that there is a way out. Throughout history, many Christians have celebrated their feelings of being rescued from the grasp of sin, selfishness,…

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King David and the Doctrine of Blood Atonement

June 24, 2010
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King David and the Doctrine of Blood Atonement

OT SS Lesson #24 The following statement was made by the LDS Church last Wednesday in conjunction with the execution of Ronnie Lee Gardner by firing squad in Utah.  I see this as a misunderstanding or a misrepresentation of what was taught in the past regarding the doctrine.

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Binding the Broken-Hearted

May 23, 2010
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Binding the Broken-Hearted

Nothing is more painful than a broken heart. When this kind of sorrow gets deep into a person’s soul, all troubles are magnified, blessings are unseen, and it seems almost impossible to bear the daily experience of life. Getting out of bed is misery. Living is torment. A broken heart can cause such an intense reaction that many of us feel our lives have been completely stripped of meaning. Jobs, hobbies, and friends no longer hold any joy for us. In fact, some even experience physical pain with a tight chest, nervous stomach, or terrible insomnia. Nobody understands a broken…

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After Action Report: The Community of Christ Did WHAT?

April 21, 2010
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Headline in the Independence Examiner for Thursday, April 15, 2010: “Delegation Takes No Action on Human Sexuality Issues: Church Will Continue Dialogue.” Headline  by John Hamer on BCC on Thursday, April 15, 2010: “Gay Rights Revelation Added to The Community of Christ D&C” ———- The two headlines above generally cover the spectrum of opinion about what happened at the Community of Christ World Conference as it completed the process of canonization of a new Section 164 for its D&C. The spectrum of opinions about whether what happened was a good thing or bad thing, of course, runs even more broadly.…

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If Easter Be Not True

April 4, 2010
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If Easter Be Not True

I’ve learned a few things from teaching swimming lessons to tiny children for over 30 years. One of the most obvious is that some kids have a screeching fear of being put on their back.  No matter how much you try to reassure them, they don’t trust the water (or their teacher, or even their mom!) to hold them up.  You can demonstrate, you can show them other kids who can do it, you can bribe, coerce, cajole.  But it takes a while for these skeptical ones to learn to relax, lay their head back, get their ears wet, and…

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“Knowing” It All

November 2, 2009
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“Knowing” It All

Mormons love to use the word “know.”  We say we know God lives.  We say we know that Jesus is the Christ.  We say we know that families can be together forever.  Some say that they know the church is true or that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet (the middle initial makes him truer somehow).  People say they “know” a lot of things.  What does “know” mean in Mormonism?  Has it been overused to the point that its meaning has changed or that is has become meaningless?

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Was Jesus a Buddhist?

October 19, 2009
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Was Jesus a Buddhist?

The NT doesn’t give much insight into Jesus’ life between age 12 and 30. Did he encounter Buddhism and seek personal enlightenment? Or are these ideas just inherently the best ones humanity will continue to stumble upon in our spiritual lives?

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Approaching Isaiah 58: Fasting as a Spiritual Practice

October 12, 2009
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Sometime ago Jana Reiss wrote a column for Sunstone entitled ‘Mormonism as Praxis’[1] in which the writers attempted to explore what Mormonism means in terms of ‘spiritual practices’.  Jana, in a Sunstone podcast with Dan Wotherspoon, has explained that one of her main interests is trying to understand how these spiritual practices can become effective through a Mormon context.  This post is a feeble attempt to think in that same vein.  I wanted to try and understand how fasting is a spiritual practice.

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Do Mormon Kids Understand the Atonement?

August 28, 2009
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Does the church teach that we are saved by grace or that we are saved by works?  This is one of the most oft-repeated criticisms of the Mormon church by other churches, that we don’t correctly understand the atonement of Jesus.

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More Christ At Church

April 30, 2009
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More Christ At Church

The mission of the church is to bring people to Christ (it is not the tri-fold mission of proclaim the gospel, perfect the saints and redeem the dead).  Yet many members feel that the focus on Christ is missing in our weekly worship.  So, what’s the best way to bring Christ back to the center of our Sundays?

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The Book of Mormon’s Doctrine of Deity

October 11, 2008
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I am fascinated by the Book of Mormon’s teachings (i.e. doctrines) about deity. I am almost equally fascinated with the many scholarly attempts to force fit it into pre-existing categories to make it seem safe. [1] There is a danger in trying to force fit the Book of Mormon into a pre-existing theological doctrine of deity. It is the same danger that exists in trying to force the Bible into a pre-existing theological doctrine of deity. Scripture — whether the Book of Mormon or the Bible — supplies us points of data. They do not supply us a specific theology.…

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Our Foundation Stories Part II: The Meaning of the First Vision

June 4, 2008
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Our Foundation Stories Part II: The Meaning of the First Vision

Now that we’ve discussed the nature of the First Vision, what did it mean? There are many meanings, the most vital being those which each person can discover for herself or himself. Here are those we are most familiar with, because they have been written and spoken about at length in the official media of the institutional LDS Church:

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