I recently came across an issue that has troubled some members of the Church. It is simply that some scriptures and the words of some Church leaders seem to indicate that the Earth is only about 6000-7000 years old, and that there was no death before the Fall of Adam and Eve. This causes significant cognitive dissonance for some because it seems clear from geologic and biologic evidences that the Earth has been around for much longer than that, with birth and death throughout. Because of the conflict between these two thoughts, it has caused some to even lose their faith and leave the Church. Let’s explore these issues some more and see if there is a reasonably plausible solution or reconciliation of these views. [Read more…]
I thought I’d take a moment and give a shout out for The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR) and their 14th annual conference coming up in less than a month, on August 2-3, 2012, in Sandy, Utah. I have attended this conference in years past (which I liveblogged in 2008), and I will be attending again this year.
For those interested in the temple, topics will include “Book of Abraham, I Presume” by John Gee, and “Piercing the Veil: Temple Worship in the Lost 116 Pages” by Don Bradley, as well as many other very interesting subjects. Those that are interested in the ongoing FARMS/Maxwell Institute situation, the original founder of FARMS, John W. Welch, will be speaking about his further research on chiasmus, as will former Mormon Studies Review/FARMS Review editor Daniel C. Peterson, on the topic “Of ‘Mormon Studies’ and Apologetics,” which should be interesting given recent events.
It is significant to note that this year that you don’t have to travel to Sandy, Utah, to take part. The conference will also be available online via live video/audio streaming! You can sit in the comfort of your living room, or even on-the-go via your mobile smartphone or tablet, from anywhere in the world, and take part in this excellent conference. This news comes direct from FAIR:
This year we are providing Conference streaming for your Windows, Android, Apple, and even Roku devices. Here is a way for you to have your own FAIR Conference in your home. Hook it up to your big-screen TV and invite over your friends for a FAIR Conference event. We have updated our technology on this, so the price for streaming the conference into your home, or two your phones, computers or tablets is $15 for each day or $25 for both days. When you sign up, in the comments section please mention which device or devices you are planning on using (Roku, iphone, ipad, Android tablet, etc.)
Sign up for the two days of streaming here: http://bookstore.fairlds.org/product.php?id_product=1314
Thursday-only streaming here: http://bookstore.fairlds.org/product.php?id_product=1085
Friday-only streaming here: http://bookstore.fairlds.org/product.php?id_product=1313
Read more about the upcoming FAIR Conference here.
Update: I’ve changed some information here, as Trevor has given more details.
I know a lot of people who have been waiting for this book for many years. One Eternal Round is the 19th volume in The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, and is his magnum opus, the volume of materials he worked on for a very long time until the end of his life. The book is described thus:
One Eternal Round is the culmination of Hugh Nibley’s thought on the book of Abraham and represents over fifteen years of research and writing. The volume includes penetrating insights into Egyptian pharaohs and medieval Jewish and Islamic traditions about Abraham; Greek, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian myths; the Aztec calendar stone; Hopi Indian ceremonies; and early Jewish and Christian apocrypha, as well as the relationship of myth, ritual, and history.
The final groundbreaking chapter delves into geometry and mathematical relationships depicted on Facsimile 2. All these are woven together into a magnificent tapestry of evidence demonstrating that the book of Abraham and its facsimiles represent actual ancient materials and traditions. This book would not have come to fruition without the efforts of co-author Michael D. Rhodes. Includes illustrations by Michael P. Lyon.
In case you missed it, the inexhaustible Hugh Nibley is still hard at work churning out volume after volume of incredibly insightful reading material on a host of subjects relevant to the Church. As I heard one person remark, “Hugh Nibley wouldn’t let a little thing like death slow him down!”
Indeed, the presses are playing catch up. The Maxwell Institute is now able to bring together more of Nibley’s early writings on the Book of Abraham and the Joseph Smith Papyri. Most, if not all, of these essays have been published before, but now are brought together in a single volume.
This book, published in May 2009, is entitled “An Approach to the Book of Abraham,” and is volume 18 in his Collected Works series. Here is a brief description:
The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley contains Nibley’s early work on the Book of Abraham and the Joseph Smith Papyri. The volume contains diverse essays, including his three-year series of lengthy articles from the Improvement Era, “A New Look at the Pearl of Great Price.” According to Nibley, “Until now, no one has done much more than play around with the bedizening treasury of the Pearl of Great Price. They would not, we could not make of the Book of Abraham an object of serious study. The time has come to change all that.”
Produced at a breathtaking pace and originally published in a wide variety of places, Nibley’s work remains basic reading for anyone interested in the Book of Abraham.
This morning I was listening to the ABC News report on the incoming hurricane Ike, which is heading straight towards the Galveston/Houston area of Texas, and the forecast of widespread destruction that it is provoking. The news anchor was reporting from Galveston Island, Texas, where the brunt of the storm is said to be bearing down quickly. The reporter ended his news clip by saying that there was a rainbow directly over Galveston Island.
It is destructive times like these that cause us to reflect on God, and His place in our world. It seems like cruel irony that the rainbow was placed as a sign of the covenant that God made with man that He would not flood the earth again. But then again, that was surely a deliberate decision, that each time we witness these horrific natural events like hurricanes we remember God is still there, and that He knows our trials and tribulations (cf. Hel. 12:3). Yes, even “if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good” (D&C 122:7). Events like these turn us back to God, and remind us to worship Him who is the Creator of heaven and earth. It is only by obeying God’s commandments and enduring trying times such as these that we can “triumph over all [our] foes” (D&C 121:7-8): [Read more…]