Archive for the 'Scriptures' Category

Book of Mormon Geography: North America

I should probably acknowledge up front that I am nowhere near an expert on Book of Mormon geography, although that will be pretty obvious from the start.  My interest in a North American setting for the Book of Mormon (and specifically a Great Lakes / Northeastern United States) has been kindled by my move to Ohio.  There are a lot of native American Indian mounds in the area, apparently built by a group of Hopewell Indians, at about the same time frame as the story of the Nephites.  Many local members are convinced of a Great Lakes setting for the Book of Mormon, and they have encouraged us to visit some of the mound sites around the area.

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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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