Psalm 110 and the Adaptation of Scripture

“No other psalm has in research evoked so many hypotheses and discussions as Psalm 110.... We should at once emphasize that both in questions of textual criticism and in history-of-religions problems the last word has not yet been spoken.”— Hans-Joachim Kraus New Testament writers quote Psalm 110 more than any other psalm.  (And one of... Continue Reading →

The Christopher Columbus Myth

Few individuals outside of Mormonism are respected more than Christopher Columbus. If you search “Christopher Columbus” on LDS.org you’ll find a number articles. Here, here, and here, for example. He's part of a small group of influential non-LDS people LDS people like to quote and reference.  C.S. Lewis is in that group, maybe a few others.  Columbus'... Continue Reading →

How the Book of Mormon Became the “Stick of Ephraim” (It Isn’t)

In LDS theology, Ezekiel's Valley of Dry Bones prophecy points to the Bible and the Book of Mormon.  For review, the prophecy reads, "Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For... Continue Reading →

The Folly of Multiple Mortal Probations

For the uninitiated, Multiple Mortal Probation (MMP) is similar to the concept of reincarnation. It suggests that we find ourselves in endless cycles of creation, living and dying over and over, learning and progressing, ascending the ladder step-by-step until we eventually "get it right."  By "get it right," I presume we become "sanctified" and qualify... Continue Reading →

Alma 13 and the “Premortal Existence”

According to the LDS Plan of Salvation, Jesus and Satan presented competing plans to Heavenly Father during the Divine Council. You and I were in attendance, as were all of Heavenly Father's spirit children. Jesus volunteered to be our redeemer and we all accepted, presumably by raising the right arm to the square. Satan was... Continue Reading →

2 Nephi 32:6: The Second Comforter or Jesus’ Appearance at Bountiful?

There are many self-styled prophets and teachers in greater Mormondom currently advocating the "doctrine" that Jesus will personally appear to you in this life if you follow the Doctrine of Christ.  This is commonly referred to as "The Second Comforter" and can pretty reasonably be traced back to Joseph Smith's misinterpretation of John 14.  (The... Continue Reading →

D&C 133: A Case Study in Revelation

I think we have the impression that prophets sit down and dictate or write down their revelations straight from the mouth or mind of God.  They are channels to the divine.  God's ventriloquist dummies, if you will.  I suppose that sometimes could be the case, but more often than not, "revelation," or what we call... Continue Reading →

Jacob 2:30 – “Raising Up Seed” and The Polygamy Question

Polygamy was, is, and likely ever will be Mormonism's defining doctrine.  Even though the Church officially ended the practice with Wilford Woodruff's 1890 "Official Declaration 1," spiritual polygamy, one man sealed to two or more women, is alive and well.   LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson is sealed to two women--his first wife, Dantzel (d.... Continue Reading →

“Urim and Thummim” and the Revision of History

A few weeks ago I had a Facebook discussion with two individuals resolute in their belief that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon via "Urim and Thummim" and insisted Joseph was consistent in using the term from the beginning of the church.   As one might expect, there's considerable difficulty with that claim.  It didn't... Continue Reading →

Why Do We Baptize Children?

"And the first fruits of repentance is baptism." (Moroni 8) In the LDS tradition we baptize children at eight years old.   It's an important rite of passage in our culture and usually accompanied by a program (prayer, song, talk, song, prayer), a family get-together, a lunch or dinner, and an outpouring of love for the... Continue Reading →

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