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…]
Above is a film portrayal of the prayer of Jesus from John 17, which is a conclusion of his Last Discourse given to his disciples on the eve of the Passover. This discourse stretches from John 13 through chapter 17, with the prayer at the end, comprising chapter 17. This scene comes from a 2003 film entitled “The Gospel of John,” and takes it’s text from the American Bible Society‘s Good News Bible, which loses some of the intricate meaning in Christ’s words, but otherwise I think it is well done. I’m looking forward to the Church’s version when it is added to the collection of Bible Videos, which will use the King James Version directly (here you can see the Last Supper, which is the beginning of the discourse from John 13).
I just finished reading Professor William Hamblin‘s recent paper in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture entitled, “‘I Have Revealed Your Name’: The Hidden Temple in John 17.” It is an excellent commentary on John 17 viewed in the light of the temple. This chapter represents what is often called Jesus’ Intercessory Prayer, but also Jesus’s High Priestly Prayer, suggesting the temple theology that is central to it. [Read more…]
I was reading tonight a talk by Truman G. Madsen entitled, “Foundations of Temple Worship,” which he gave at a BYU-Idaho Devotional on October 26, 2004, shortly after the ordination of Elder David A. Bednar to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
The talk is excellent, and highly recommended reading (or listening). There was one point in particular that caused me to have an epiphany (which is an interesting word). It was on the subject of the Church of the First-born. This is the church that exists among those who so devote themselves to lifelong faithful service in the kingdom that they receive the higher ordinances of exaltation. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism states in part: [Read more…]
A few days ago I read a post by James over at his superb blog, Lehi’s Library, entitled, “Looking Beyond the Mark: Insights from Margaret Barker.” In it, James refers to an excellent article by Kevin Christensen who talks about the Deuteronomist de-Christianizing of the Old Testament and Josiah’s reforms ((Kevin Christensen, “The Deuteronomist De-Christianizing of the Old Testament,” FARMS Review, 16.2, http://farms.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=16&num=2&id=547)). I thought he made some great points that I want to reiterate and further discuss. [Read more…]