Book of Mormon Numerology

I am excited to announce the publication of my paper on Hebrew Numerology in the Book of Mormon in the most recent issue of BYU-Studies, 53:2. The thesis of the paper is that the same type of numerology used by Hebrews in the ancient world shows up in the Book of Mormon. The paper focuses on the number seven, resulting in the snazzy...

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Snakes Alive!

by Michelle Wiener I am thoroughly convinced that if Disney ever came out with their own version of the biblical creation story, the snake would come out swinging its hips and singing, “I ain’t so bad after all.” Recently my husband and I watched the new Noah movie starring Russell Crowe (*this blog post contains a spoiler...

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Jeremy Runnells and the Book of Abraham

Jeremy Runnells on the Book of Abraham by Brian Hauglid In February 2012 Jeremy Runnells experienced a faith crisis and then spent the ensuing summer and into the next year reading, reviewing, and compiling different aspects of the church that led to his crisis of faith. In the Spring of 2013 Jeremy was approached by his grandfather...

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Tiamat and the Atonement

Tiamat and the Atonement One of the oldest creation myths is that of the Enuma Elish, in which the Babylonian God, Marduk, fights the sea serpent, Tiamat (this type of divine battle is called a theomacy).    In this story, Tiamat represents chaos.  The god, Marduk, fights and wins Tiamat and out of her body parts creates the...

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Of Sustaining, Dissent, and Missing Paradigms

  Guest Post- Matt Stearmer One of the most difficult tasks any believing individual will face is how to navigate the murky waters of faith and change at the exact same time. In the LDS church, how do we advocate for change while remaining faithful? I have turned to the scriptures, what my leaders have said, and personal...

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Stop it! …No, seriously, stop it right now.

Jesus put it rather simply: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” To that simple injunction, he added a more specific warning: “With whatsoever measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you.” Barreling through the King James English, that means, “Your own measuring stick will be used to measure...

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Joseph: The Keystone of Canonizable Revelation

By my count Joseph Smith has added 868 pages to the LDS canon by means of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. All other prophets since Joseph have accumulated a grand total of 13 pages by means of the Doctrine and Covenants and Official Declarations. Perhaps the drought of canonized...

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Speculations on Israel’s Concept of Holy War

The Old Testament disturbs a lot of people who read it, and draws its share of critics as a violent book, filled with bloodshed, war, and genocide. It is true that there is a lot of smiting and being smitten going on. However, it is equally true that the Old Testament expresses clear distaste for bloodshed, murder, and war. In other...

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Homosexuality: Is the Bible Against It?

I wrote the following essay a year ago while in a Writing 2010 course at the University of Utah. Although I have posted on the topic a couple of times before, it may or may not come as a surprise that I never intended to write on homosexuality. I remember a number of conversations in high school, while serving my mission, and soon...

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OF ASSES AND PROPHETS

OF ASSES AND PROPHETS by Michael Barker A few weeks ago I was studying for that week’s Gospel Doctrine lesson, which came from Numbers, chapters 22-24 — the story of Balak, Balaam, and Balaam’s ass.   As I was reading the story, a few things jumped out at me: The story of Balaam seems out of place in the total...

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