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.

The King James Bible in the Book of Moses, Part I

With the recent publication of David Bokovoy’s Authoring the Old Testament: Genesis-Deuteronomy, many have wondered to what extent the Bible has had influence on the Book of Moses. The discussion has mainly revolved around the parts of the text that are obvious revisions of the Genesis creation chapters (Genesis 1, 2-3) that...

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Old Testament Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha

One of the most exciting things to discuss and study in religion for me has always been Jewish apocryphal and pseudepigraphic literature.[i] Some of the most beautiful literary works I have read are found in the Jewish writings outside of the Hebrew Bible, but roughly contemporary to the books written last (ca. 300-150 BCE) in that...

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CHILD ABUSE AND THE SACRIFICE OF ISAAC

Child Abuse and the Sacrifice of Isaac  by Tresa Brown Edmonds As a survivor of childhood abuse, the way we usually teach the story of Abraham is deeply disturbing to me.  Any God that would command someone to harm their child just for the sake of His own worship is not a God I want anything to do with. And is certainly not in...

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“As Far as it is Translated Correctly…”: Varying Bible Translations and the Latter-day Saints

Note: Just like my last post, I want to note that I use academic studies throughout this post so I have moved all of the bibliography to the end of the document in order to facilitate a more convenient reading for those not interested in the notes. If you are interested in seeing where I am getting my ideas (or just to use the list...

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Paradise Within

Guest Post: Emily Dyson Why are we righteous?  Why do we keep God’s commandments?  To what end? A while ago, I was in a Gospel Doctrine class that was discussing the view of the afterlife laid out in Doctrine and Covenants Section 76.  “The Vision” appeared to have much in common with Universalism, an increasingly...

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Become as a Little Child: Angry, Scared, and Open

Whenever I’ve been in a Sunday School class of some kind, and one of the scriptures that contains the phrase “become as a little child” is read, the inevitable question usually follows: “And how can we become as a little child?” or “In what ways should we emulate child-likeness?” The answers are usually the same-be...

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FROM THE LIFE OF JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH, CHAPTER 2: OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST

Note: I teach Elder’s Quorum every other week.  These are my lesson notes from today’s discussion.  In general, the material presented in italics, are things I said or questions asked by me; but not always!!  Also, you will notice that there is a ton of material here.  I did not get through all of it, but picked and...

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Old Testament – There’s Better Books Out There

Old Testament – There’s Better Books Out There As 2014 grew closer I began thinking about Sunday School and the upcoming study of the Old Testament (link). A week ago I walked into Seagull Book and was overwhelmed by the number of Old Testament commentaries for sale. I’m sure all of these publications were written with...

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The Tree of Life – Part III

The Tree of Life – Part III The first encounter we have with the Tree of Life is in the Garden of Eden which is described in the books of Genesis, Moses and Abraham. In Moses 3:9 we are told that God created many trees in Eden, but Moses makes particular mention of only two trees, being the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and...

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The Tree of Life – Part I

The Tree of Life – Part 1 This is a three part miniseries which will deal primarily with the powerful symbolism encompassed in the Tree of Life. The second part of this essay will provide a broad survey of the Tree of Life in other religious traditions and the third installment will focus more exclusively on LDS canonical...

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