For anyone who intends to come to one of the talks I have a couple of requests and a bit more information:
First, unless the talk is scheduled on Sunday, please come in casual dress. There is no reason for you to be uncomfortable. Come relaxed so your minds can focus on the information. If I do schedule one on a Sunday, it may be more convenient for some who attend to remain in Sunday dress. I leave it to each to decide for themselves, but as a matter of courtesy to those who will come on their way to or from a church meeting, I will be wearing something appropriate for a Sacrament meeting.
Second, please bring your scriptures. You will want them. They will help you follow the discussion. (You will be encouraged to use them.)
Third, no one can be expected to accept the religion restored through Joseph Smith unless it has been preached to them. That hasn’t been something we’ve focused on for many years now. Therefore, we will be trying to recover it. Your presuppositions and present understanding can be more a hindrance than help. So if you attend, please come open-minded, capable of being taught from the scriptures about something you may not have noticed before. This is called “humility” and it requires us all to approach with some respect and a little awe what God was trying to accomplish by sending Joseph on His errand. The topic awes me, and leaves me thinking of my own inadequacy and foolishness. The subject is greater than I will ever be. But the attempt to address this is important enough that even the inadequate can provide a little insight if the heart is right.
Fourth, these will all be recorded. The last time I did this there was a question and answer exchange at the end. The questions could not be heard, and as a result the recording was incomplete. Therefore, I’d like any questions to be in writing so, if I choose to address questions at all, I can read and then answer them. I’ve not worked out any mechanics for this, but if you think you will have a question, please bring a pen and paper and plan to write it and pass it forward. Then, if I choose to address inquiries, the recording will include both the question and answer.
Fifth, these series of discussions will really be one long exposition of the religion restored through Joseph Smith. I do not expect anyone will attend more than one of them, but everyone can listen to the recordings of all of them. There will be some deliberate continuity in the total of the recordings.
The first talk will focus on the big picture of what Joseph Smith represents in the context of prophecies about the last days, and how that should influence our understanding of the religion he was sent to begin restoring. You should read the JS-History in the Pearl of Great Price to remind yourself of how Joseph explained the beginnings as he wrote in 1838.
Finally, since I am paying for this, the venues will be chosen in an effort to reduce my costs. Since everything will be recorded, I do not think it matters much whether the place holds 400 or 40. There will be no charge for attendees, but it will be first-come first-served, so to speak. I will let you know beforehand how many seats will be available.