Every week we publish a complimentary study guide for the LDS Gospel Doctrine class. This in-depth guide thoughtfully broaches topics, ideas, and questions that most likely are not addressed in most Sunday School classes.

Start a Foyer Sunday School in Your Ward

I love the scriptures as much as anyone, except for maybe Colby. I read the Old Testament in 40 days and 40 nights when I was in Seminary. The girls were so impressed I had three requests for the Sadie Hawkins dance that year. The look in my Seminary teacher’s eyes when I crossed off Malachi from my reading chart will always stay...

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Lest They Be Converted: Mark’s Messianic Secret

While we are studying the New Testament in Gospel Doctrines; get ready! This is not your typical Gospel Doctrines lesson… While teaching a New Testament class last year at the community college where I work, I stumbled upon the following verse in Mark: “That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear,...

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Ancient Jewish Parallels and Mormon Scripture

In my research at the University of Utah I have mainly focused on Hebrew and Jewish studies, but have had the opportunity of taking a good sampling of courses on Mormon history, text, and practice as well. Both in and out of class I have read many studies that seek to understand Mormon scripture better in its own context, and in so...

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The Question of the Sermon on the Mount

The Sermon on the Mount[1] holds a special place in the Christian canon. So many scholars, thinkers, and writers have commented on its verses that, according to Hans Dieter Betz, a “complete account of the history of the exegesis of these texts does not exist at the present time and may never exist.”[2] There have been attempts at...

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Mormon Talents and the Five Factor Model of Personality

  My wife and I teach the 5-and-6-year-olds in our ward’s Primary, and we have distinct roles (I know “roles” is a loaded word on Mormon blogs, but bear with me). After we read the manual together, my wife prepares handouts, pictures, games/activities, and an outline for the lesson. My role is to become...

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Scripture as Totem: Religion and the Importance of the Text

It is easily recognized that throughout the history of religious traditions texts have served an important role in the continued conceptualization and endurance of the individual faith traditions.[1] In the history of studies on religion, monographs, essays, articles, and books have mostly focused on attempting to interpret these...

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The Authorship of Isaiah and Its Bearing on the Book of Mormon

Scholars today recognize that the full text of Isaiah was not written by a single individual named Isaiah in the latter half of the eighth century BCE, but rather that the text was written by at least two, and more probably three, individual authors spanning a period of about four centuries. Generally scholars identify chapters...

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Drowning at church

This essay is a response to the First Presidency’s recent statements that encourage open discussion of hard questions at church. It is co-written by Jenn Kunz and Lori Burkman; two sisters who grew up as faithful Mormons in a literal-believing family. Upon reaching maturity and starting to teach the gospel and restoration to...

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Repurposing Sunday School

This post must begin by acknowledging the current events regarding the excommunication of Kate Kelly. Regardless of how you feel about the excommunication, we should all be mourning together. We should all be grieving. We should all follow our baptismal covenant to comfort each other and bear each other’s burdens. We need to...

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The Young Women (lessons) are a Changin’

So today I was browsing the ol’ book of Faces, when I saw a link to a Google doc done by Laura Compton comparing the Young Women’s manual from June of 2013 to June of 2014.  The lessons are on the priesthood. The changes are pretty fascinating, especially since church correlations and corrections usually attempt to be...

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