Seven years ago in 2006 I did a project as part of a course at BYU. The object of the project was to produce something substantially creative. I decided to recreate the Sistine Chapel as a computer generated virtual simulation. Since most people may not have a chance to visit the real Sistine Chapel, this would give them a chance to see this remarkable place, examine it, walk around, and view the masterpieces that adorn its walls. So I recreated the Sistine Chapel in a format called Virtual Reality Markup Language (VRML), reconstructing all of the high resolution photos I could find of the artwork on the walls and ceiling. Of course, the simulation falls short of the actual experience, as most simulations do, but it gives a good approximation. [Read more…]
I noted a couple days ago in my discussion about the law of consecration that there was an episode available from the Church’s official Mormon Channel on this topic, as well as on the United Order. I think these are areas where we, as a people, lack significant knowledge and correct understanding, and I would recommend that we all spend some time and learn more about them, so that we might be better educated in these important matters, and not perpetuate some of the myths that we continue to believe.
The episodes are hosted by Dr. Brent Top, chairman of the Department of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University, with Dr. Steven Harper as a guest joining him, Associate Professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University, and one of the major participants in the Joseph Smith Papers Project of the Church History department. Brent notes that Harper is one of the Church’s “experts” on the law of consecration, and that early period of Church History when it was introduced. I have read Harper’s work, and heard him speak on the topic before, and believe he has a lot to teach us regarding these subjects, and which are fully relevant to our discipleship today.
You may listen to the episodes below by clicking the “play” buttons.
My notes from the Law of Consecration, Episode 20: [Read more…]
One of the most interesting presentations, at least to me, at this year’s 2012 FAIR Conference in Sandy, UT, was Don Bradley’s “Piercing the Veil: Temple Worship in the Lost 116 Pages,” for obvious reasons; it dealt with the temple. I have not been acquainted with Don Bradley’s work before, so this was an excellent introduction.
Bradley is working on a Master’s thesis at Utah State University, and the focus of his study is the lost 116 pages of the Book of Mormon, and he is also planning to publish in a book on the subject, which is sure to be a fascinating read. I have since learned a bit more about Don Bradley, who has a unique history in and out of the Church. The Salt Lake Tribune published an article yesterday interviewing Bradley, and his experience with the Church. Of his unique gifts Don’s mentor at Utah State, Philip Barlow, said, “Intellectually, Don is uncommonly brilliant… In a roomful of Ph.D.s, he’d be among the smartest and most well-read. His writing and the thinking behind it are superlative.”
Bradley’s presentation at FAIR focused on what we might learn about the temple, and temple worship, among the Nephites, particularly from those insights gleaned from details uncovered in the lost 116 pages. Great stuff, which we’ll summarize a bit here. [Read more…]
We are planning our third fireside discussion at TempleStudy.com using Google Hangouts on Air, live online, for tomorrow night, Wednesday, August 22nd, at 7:30pm (get reminded by Google+ here). Our discussion last week was great; we discussed the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Essenes, Qumran, the Temple Scroll, Jacob at Bethel and the symbolism of Jacob’s Ladder, and some thoughts from Elder Carlos E. Asay. We should have a great chat this week too, with Professor William J. Hamblin leading the discussion.
In these discussions we talk about the history, principles, and reasons for the LDS temple, and temple worship antecedents in antiquity. Springboarding the discussion will be Andrew Skinner’s book, Temple Worship (chapter 1), which is also available as an ebook for Kindle. If you would like to be a contributor, or “panelist,” in our discussion, and you have a webcam (or have an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Android), please let me know. Otherwise you can simply watch the discussion as it takes place here at TempleStudy.com, on the Google+ event page, or the recording later which will be here at TempleStudy.com or on YouTube.
Welcome to our first fireside discussion at TempleStudy.com! This discussion is taking place with a new innovative tool from Google called Hangouts, and specifically Hangouts on Air. This allows up to ten panelists to take part in a discussion with full video/audio of each participant. The “on air” portion means that it is streamed live to the world, and will be recorded also for later for viewing. It will be streamed live on TempleStudy.com, and wherever else it is embedded. See the original post about the idea.
The text we will be using as a springboard for our discussion in these firesides is Temple Worship: 20 Truths That Will Bless Your Life, by Andrew C. Skinner. Deseret Book and BYU Religious Education note Dr. Skinner’s background:
Andrew C. Skinner is a professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, was dean of Religious Education and the first executive director of BYU’s Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. He holds master’s degrees in Biblical Hebrew and Jewish Studies and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern and European History, specializing in Judaism. He is the author or co-author of over 100 publications.
We will have several great panelists participating in our discussion tonight, including myself, Frederick M. Huchel, Gary N. Anderson, Steve Reed, and Tevya Washburn. I thank them sincerely for participating in tonight’s discussion. Thank you for coming!