First Impression

First Impression

The interview I did for Mormon Stories has an introductory title designed to grab attention and get the followers of that site to listen to the interview. I presume most of that audience is unacquainted with what I’ve written. I know John Dehlin had not read any of the books I’ve written before interviewing me.
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Podcast

Podcast

I reluctantly did an interview with John Dehlin at Mormon Stories Podcast. I do not like doing those types of things. You can listen to it here. John Dehlin asked that I do the interview and then stay around to answer some questions on his site. I took care of that and anyone who is
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Bishop Whitney’s Revelation to Joseph Smith

Bishop Whitney’s Revelation to Joseph Smith

Years after the revelation (after the problems in Kirtland) informing Oliver Cowdery that it was inappropriate for him to command Joseph Smith because Joseph was at the head of the church, (D&C 28:6), Bishop Whitney sent a note to Joseph Smith: “Thus saith the voice of the spirit to me, if thy Brother Joseph Smith
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Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day

We have a few thanks to dispense for Valentine’s Day: Rome, for killing Christians. Roman Catholicism for honoring the killed Christians. Pope Gelasius I for designating the Feast of St. Valentine. His decision would be rescinded by Pope Paul VI, but by then it was too late to undo the celebration. Valentine (there may have
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Standing Up To History

Standing Up To History

LDS scholar Dan Peterson has written an article in the Deseret News on February 9th titled The Restoration Stands Up to History. His notion is that there are three levels to church history following an Hegelian model of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Although this puts a happy face and familiar intellectual language on the subject,
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“Some of Christ”

“Some of Christ”

I was asked in an email what the words “some of Christ” means in Section 76, verse 100. The verse reads:  “These are they who say they are some of one and some of another—some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some
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Marlin Jensen’s Last Answer

Marlin Jensen’s Last Answer

The last question put to Marlin Jensen began with the questioner retelling his own struggle to adjust his beliefs after discovering new information in our history. The “new data points” required him to change his understanding. He was asking for a more broadminded approach that would allow open discussion of troubling history in church meetings.
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Interpreting History, Part 10 Conclusion

Interpreting History, Part 10 Conclusion

Seriously studying history allows us to recognize unresolved issues or to fix our errors. With a superficial knowledge of our history we risk making presumptions and missing the mark, or risk not even recognizing there are errors to what we believe today. Isn’t the subject of our religion and its beginnings important enough to want
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Interpreting History, Part 9

Interpreting History, Part 9

History and doctrine are linked. To alter history is to alter doctrine. You can see the links throughout scripture. Just one example from the New Testament illustrates the point: Jesus was confronted by the Pharisee lawyers and accused of breaking the law. He and His disciples had taken plucked wheat (labor of harvesting), then rubbed
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Interpreting History, Part 8

Interpreting History, Part 8

When you come to understand something in our history as an actual event then you need to understand the event. What are its details? How important are differing accounts? If there are contradictions among witnesses, how are they harmonized? When you’ve sorted through the material and arrived at the most accurate version, what does the
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