A Mormon View of Charity vs. Justice

Elder Holland’s October 2014 General Conference address titled “Are We Not All Beggars?” was a masterpiece. In it, Elder Holland exhorted Mormons to serve and help others, even if those others seem to “deserve” their plight.[1] His sermon was a Christlike reminder that the poor are the Savior’s...

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Sin Next to Murder

The views expressed in this document are the author’s and do not reflect the opinions of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense or the Federal Government.   Let’s do a thought experiment. Imagine the following four situations: A husband and wife kidnap a child. Other than the kidnapping, they do not...

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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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By Goddess, I Will Not Be Left Behind!

by Michelle Wiener Recently I found out that Nicholas Cage will be starring in the remake of Left Behind to be released in theatres this October. This came as a total shock to me, considering what a great actor he is. I was equally appalled that he would even consider taking part in a B-grade evangelical film about – of all...

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Jobology 101: Prose and Poetry in the King James Bible

Sep 24, 14 Jobology 101: Prose and Poetry in the King James Bible

Posted by in Featured, Old Testament, Poetry

For the last eighteen months or so, I have been a semi-professional Jobologist. In researching for my book, Re-reading Job: Understanding the Ancient World’s Greatest Poem, I read the Book of Job many times in a dozen or so different translations. I also read a good-sized shelf full of commentary and derivative Jobanalia. And I...

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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 1-39...

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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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