Archive for the 'Scriptures' Category

Dude. You Have the Scriptures on Your IPod?!

A paraphrased story from my #2 son:

We have recently moved to a small town in western Ohio.  My #2 son is one of only two young men in the local high school (as far as I know).  He is participating on the football team and just the other day the team had a meal together.  At the table where he sat, the conversation turned to the practices of Mormonism.  The report of the conversations went something like this:

“So you believe there should not be any sex before marriage.”

“Yes”, my boy said.

“Seriously?”

“Yes”

“What would you do if a pretty girl came up to you, unzipped your pants, and gave you a hand job?”

“I would probably slap her face.”

“No you wouldn’t”

“Yes I would”

“What about Adam and Eve, they weren’t married”

“Yes the were”

My son then pulls out his IPod and goes to Genesis 1 to show that Adam and Eve were husband and wife.

“Dude.  You have the scriptures on your IPod?!”

The boy seemed to handle it pretty well.  And seems to have no fear.

Do Nice, Expensive Scriptures Lead to a Functionally Closed Canon?

I heard a rumor once, that when the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve were finished with ‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’, that it was suggested that this document be added to the scriptures – perhaps as a section in the Doctrine and Covenants.  As the rumor goes, President Hinckley decided not to do that because it would make members feel that they needed to go out and buy a new set of scriptures.  A nice set of new scriptures is quite expensive, and the task of printing new scriptures for much of the church membership would be a significant one.

For the sake of argument, let us assume for the moment that this rumor has some truth to it.  Do nice, expensive scriptures lead to a functionally closed canon?  Unfortunately, I think the answer might be yes.

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Philosophies of Men, Mingled with Scripture

The phrase ‘the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture’ is sometimes used by Mormons to discredit some idea as a false doctrine, even if the idea has some scriptural support.  It almost always has a strong negative connotation associated with it. I imagine that people who have a background and interest in philosophy wish that this phrase, and the usual usage of it, would just go away.  I do not believe it is likely to go anywhere, and since one place this phrase is used is a narrative that is sacred to Mormons – it may be a warning to be taken seriously.

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Shining Lights or Secret Alms?

I was thinking of some of the topics that have been taught so far in the Gospel Doctrine class, and thought of the apparent contrast between letting our lights shine, and keeping our alms secret. How should one strike a balance between these two principles?

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Another Parable of Another Sower

He that has ears to hear, let him hear.

There was once a sower who went to a foreign land among strangers to sow. Some seeds fell by the wayside and birds came along and ate them. Some seeds fell among stones on hard ground and sprang up quickly, but when the sun came up they withered and died. Some seeds fell among thorns and got choked. But some fell upon good ground and brought forth abundantly.

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The Sinless Life

An aspect of the life of Christ that has caused me to marvel is the sinless life that he lead. That astounds me. Contemplating anyone surviving their entire lives without being guilty of sin to any degree stretches the limits of my imagination. Did he really accomplish such an impressive thing as a sinless life?

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Take Upon the Name of the Son

O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of the Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his spirit to be with them. Amen. (D&C 20:77)

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints made a covenant at baptism, which is renewed every week when they partake of the sacrament. Part of that covenant is to take upon themselves the name of Christ. The meaning and understanding of this promise might vary among the saints, but in general this involves representing Christ and His church by being an example of one who believes Christ and follows His teachings.

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New Jerusalem, Anyone?

Our tenth article of faith contains the phrase:

that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent;

In compliance with the Lord’s command in Section 52 of the Doctrine and Covenants the elders of the church traveled from Kirtland to Missouri. After they arrived the prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation which is Section 57 which begins thus:

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Brother of Jared: Key Events

Brother of JaredThe name of this blog is an obvious play on words regarding the chosen namesake, the brother of Jared. Simply change the ‘brother’ to ‘blogger’ and there you have the name. We have now switched to WordPress, but will probably keep the name the same. WordPress of Jared seems a little silly.

For my first post on this ‘new’ blog I thought I might review some of the key events in the life of the brother of Jared that have some doctrinal significance. Other types of significance will also show up as well I suspect.

After reviewing the first few chapters of Ether, and a book that my father wrote but never got published called ‘Book of Mormon in a Nutshell’, I am convinced that the brother of Jared may be the most underrated prophet in history, and perhaps deserves a spot in the Prophet Hall of Fame. Hopefully I can make a case for this.

Continue reading ‘Brother of Jared: Key Events’

Diversity is Overrated


Kaimi made an interesting post recently at Times and Seasons about Times and Seasons. He was writing about the benefits of being an inter-ideologically diverse group blog. He mentioned how many group blogs are places where birds of a feather flock together. I suppose he could have been talking about Blogger of Jared and similar blogs. The contributors here tend to be fairly similar, and from my understanding this is intentionally the case. When I was first invited to join this blog I asked a couple of my blogging friends for their advice. One comment was made that ‘I can’t tell those guys at BofJ apart’. Well, just scroll down a couple of posts to see an example of a strong difference of opinion! But generally speaking, we are similar people. Is this such a bad thing? Does it make BofJ boring and irrelevant?

This has caused me to think a bit about whether or not there are benefits to diversity in a group blog when what is being discussed is so often the doctrines and practices of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Is diversity within a blog and within the church in these areas a desirable thing? For now I think the answer is no, it is not.

Now don’t get me wrong. (I say that a lot). I delight in the differences of personality, style, knowledge, experience, etc. that I find in the bloggernacle, and in life. I like what Brigham Young said about stereotype Mormons, although I could not find the reference today (little help?). I’m talking more about ideological, or perhaps more specific, theological diversity as it relates to the doctrine, and to a lesser extent practices, within the church and within Mormon blogs. Should we not in general be a united people in these areas?

Brigham Young had a lot to say about unity. In fact there is an entire chapter on the subject in Discourses (Chapter 25). This chapter starts out with the following paragraphs:

Be of one mind and one heart – I pray, my brethren, the Bishops, the Elders, the Seventies, the Apostles, yea, every man and woman and child who has named the name of Christ, to be of one heart and of one mind, for if we do not become of one heart and mind we shall surely perish by the way.

If we were one, we should then prove to heaven, to God our Father, to Jesus Christ our Elder Brother, to the angels, to the good upon the earth, and to all mankind that we are the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we are not one, we are not in the true sense of the word the disciples of the Lord Jesus.

And quotes like that continue throughout the chapter.

The writings of Paul are filled with pleadings that the saints in various areas are united. I will give just one as an example ‘Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.’ (1 Cor. 1:10) Look in the TG under unity to get quite a list of similar verses. But this is not all.

In the intercessory prayer Jesus himself says. ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17:20-21).

During the wonderful time after the Saviors visit to the Americas it was said of the people:

And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God. And how blessed were they! (4 Ne. 1:15-17)

The D&C states, ‘I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.’ (D&C 38:27)

Also, ‘Hearken, O ye elders of my church whom I have called, behold I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall assemble yourselves together to agree upon my word.’ (D&C 41:2)

To ultimately agree upon the word of God. Should that not be the desire and goal of those who gather with saints here or elsewhere? Sure, it may be fun for a time to debate and speculate regarding certain gaps in the revelations – but to what end?! Should we not seek to become a united people?

And if I have not beat the horse quite dead yet, There is verse three of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ (Hymn 246)

Like a mighty army Moves the Church of God;
Brothers, we are treading where the Saints have trod.
We are not divided; All one body we:
One in hope and doctrine, One in charity.

Well, I did not seek the bloggernacle out for argument or debate. It seems to me there are plenty of sources for ideologies and theologies that are contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Life is challenging enough for me. I hope for peace and unity within the gospel. Greater understanding, not additional confusion. I am sincerely grateful for all the uplifting, faithful, interesting, and uniting contributors out there. Perhaps there are some who find BofJ a tad boring. Well, there are also those who find the scriptures boring. And conference. And the Ensign. And prayer. We certainly do not put ourselves in the same category as those sources, but hopefully the similarity you may see in us here in some way represents a type of unity which comes from being part of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We are not divided; All one body we: One in hope and doctrine, One in charity.


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