I wanted to review three books I've recently finished (or am continuing to use in one case) that relate to this year's Come, Follow Me study of the Book of Mormon and to the focus on the Restoration ahead of April's unprecedented General Conference.
Matthew 5: Blessed and Perfect
The first chapter of Matthew's Sermon on the Mount is one of the most written-about New Testament texts but perhaps also one of the most misunderstood because of its heavy dependence on social constructs that we no longer practice. Here are some thoughts that might make the blessings, teachings, and promises of this chapter more understandable to our day.
The Power of Jesus’ First Miracle: Water into Wine
Mary brought a problem to Jesus during a wedding. His response and actions are surprising but instructive in many ways.
Christmas Stories (Part 3): Was Jesus Born in a Stable?
Last year I wrote two blogs about Christmas stories, one about Luke's narrative and the other about Matthew's account. This year I wanted to add a bit more about one particular well-known section in Luke's gospel, especially chapter 2, verse 7, to answer the question of where Jesus was born.
A New New Testament
Studying a modern translation is a great help to understanding the New Testament. This blog is about an excellent new translation and study Bible created just for the Latter-day Saint audience.
1 Corinthians 10:13 and Suffering
I had an email exchange with a friend earlier this year that I thought was very valuable. With his permission, I have included it here. I hope it might be interesting to others. It has to deal with the tests and challenges of life. The most penetrating question came late in an email exchange from … Continue reading 1 Corinthians 10:13 and Suffering
“We Have Got a Bible” — Thoughts on Bible Translation
I believe it's time to reverently set the KJV to the side and move on to better things. And fortunately, we are blessed to be able to do just that with a number of important trends.
Can We Believe the Creation Accounts?
Genesis chapters 1 and 2 give the story of the creation of the world—except they actually give two accounts. In addition, Latter-day Saints have versions of those same two creation accounts in Moses chapters 2 and 3 and Abraham chapters 4 and 5. Each of them offers a different view of the creation story with unique attributes and information. Are these creation accounts something we should take literally or do we toss them out like myths, as many advocate?
My Encounters with Thomas S. Monson
Late last night the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas S. Monson, passed away at age 90. In my life, I had three personal encounters with him.
Moses 1: A Model for Self-Understanding
As many turn to the study of the Old Testament in 2018, Moses 1 is a common starting point. It serves as an introduction to Genesis, which is an introduction to the whole message of the Hebrew scriptures. Moses 1 also has much to say about how we view and understand ourselves—in fact, it can serve as a model for how we might view our own lives in relation to God's plan for us.
Christmas Stories (Part 2)
In my previous blog, I wrote about Luke's infancy narrative. Now I want to say a few words about Matthew's. As before, the goal is to focus on Matthew's core message about the birth of Jesus.
Christmas Stories (Part 1)
The Christmas season is upon us with the many traditions, events, and emotions of the season. In all of it, I hope we take some time to ponder the reason for the season, which is to celebrate the birth of a small baby in Bethlehem.