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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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.

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