Posts Tagged ‘ LDS ’

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 other time do sacred time and space collapse quite so easily, with events and liturgies and encouragements that lead people in sustained reflection about not only their gratitude for Christ and their beliefs and hopes about salvation, but even more generally, the renewal of aspirations, plans, and energies. While Mormons…

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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 them who are not sharing the same experiences and therefore fear that something dangerous is going on. These fears often arise out of love and concern for the person, but they can also emerge from that person sensing that their own interior world and equilibrium might be jeopardized through continued…

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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 to publish it but expressing concern that some of its messaging might be more harmful than helpful for youth negotiating the important transition from childhood to adulthood, including sexuality. In this episode, two therapists, Natasha Helfer Parker and Jennifer Finlayson-Fife, who both work closely with Latter-day Saints struggling through issues often related to negative…

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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 popular media streaming service Netflix. The film eschews politics for an intimate look at Mitt and the Romney family during both the 2008 and 2012 presidential runs. In this episode, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon is joined by political watchers McKay Coppins and John Hatch to discuss the film and…

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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 literature that bolster some of the Book of Abraham’s distinctive points? Why did Abraham flee Ur? What was the episode in Egypt all about when Abraham told Sarai to say she was his sister rather than his wife? The members of the team also discuss the “Abrahamic Covenant” as well…

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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 discovering Noah naked within his tent; and (2) the Tower of Babel and God’s confounding of human languages. There is so much more going on in the Genesis text than typically gets discussed in LDS devotional settings. This episode also folds in sections of the Book of Abraham and Book…

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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 (and even preference for) a “seer stone” that he had found years before receiving the plates and two clear stones set into a bow that he identified as “Urim and Thummim,” and how little the actual plates were used during translation, with them instead usually covered somewhere in the room…

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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 which the Jesus who lived and breathed and walked the roads of ancient Palestine (or, if not that, at least the Jesus we can uncover through historical methods) might differ from the “Christ of faith.” This is a hotly contested subject, made all the more difficult because of the fragmentary…

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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 as faithful as possible to the scriptural text and the context in which it was written and the people who lived in those places and times, while (2) still honoring in some way the Christian and LDS overlays that have become deeply ingrained in ours and others’ faith journeys and…

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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 matters. If this is so, how then should we view them and the nature of “prophetic inspiration”? What does it mean for us as church members when we come to understand “revelation” as a much more human-saturated process than the “hotline phone with God” model that we perhaps once assumed?…

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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 renunciation of past teachings about black persons descending from Cain and Canaan, which teachings through centuries of biblical exegesis have been used as justifications for black slavery, and within Mormonism for the withholding of priesthood and temple blessings. The statement also repudiates the teaching that persons born with black skin…

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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 examine the scriptural text itself, including the interwoven (and quite different) J and P sources and the stories and traditions that they borrow from. The also explore takes and angles on the story presented by LDS thinkers, the wider Christian world, and Islam. What theological or devotional value can we…

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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). As each person tells her or his stories, we not only hear about loving, accepting, encouraging, inclusive leaders but also something about their own spiritual journey. Sharing stories and opening our hearts to others’ lives: a magical formula for a memorable podcast! After listening, please share your thoughts and stories…

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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 argues further that these changes have had a large negative impact for many Christians and Mormons today, but she hopes that through better understanding of these shifts and opening ourselves to the terms original meanings we might begin to undo some of the damage that has been done—damages done by…

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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 Gripkey, and one who sent in her story, Bryony Leech—who share why they engage to the strong degrees they do with Mormonism. They each also weigh in with views of what Mormon ideas or aspects are most appealing to them, where Mormonism is strongest or should step forward even more,…

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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 the human condition. These venerable writings contain great wisdom and insight, as well as wonderful plays on words and intricate literary forms. They also contain differing viewpoints from different sources that redactors (editors) placed side by side, unafraid that readers would encounter diverse accounts of everything from the Creation to…

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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 these plans has set LDS blogs afire, reinvigorating a several-decades-long and very important but complex discussion of pathways to full equality of men and women within Mormonism, including the possibility of women being ordained to the priesthood. In this episode of Mormon Matters, two members of Ordain Women—April Young Bennett…

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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 as human beings aren’t seeking meaning so much as experience–the “experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive”–and he believes that life is structured…

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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 so often it seems we act and think as if we as individuals are made for the Sabbath or the Church rather than them being given and continuing to exist in order to help and bless us. In a classic article, “The Institutional Church and the Individual,” organizational behavior professor…

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