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About Taylor Halverson

Dr. Taylor Halverson received a B.A. from Brigham Young University in Ancient Near Eastern Studies in 1997, an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Yale University in 2001 and an M.S. in Instructional Technology from Indiana University in 2004. He completed Ph.D.s in Instructional Technology and Judaism & Christianity in Antiquity—both from Indiana University in 2006.

Dr. Halverson focuses his teaching, research, and professional work on helping others become lifelong learners. He does so through several core areas

  • Improving teaching and learning
  • Educational technology, including technology integration into teaching and learning
  • Innovation, design, and creativity, including entrepreneurship
  • Literary and comparative studies of the Book of Mormon, the Old and New Testaments and other ancient literature, ancient kingship and authority, and Judeans during the neo-Babylonian period

Dr. Halverson currently works at BYU full-time at the Center for Teaching and Learning. He is also the founder and co-chair of the Creativity, Innovation, and Design group, acting associate director of the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, and has taught a variety of courses at BYU including: “Old Testament,” “Book of Mormon,” “History of Creativity,” “Innovation Lab: The Design Thinking Experience,” and “Illuminating the Scriptures: Designing Innovative Scripture Study Tools.” Dr. Halverson is a contributor to the popular LDS Bible Videos project and the LDS Scripture Citation Index site and a columnist for the Deseret News. He and his wife Lisa lead travel tours to Israel, the Mediterranean, and Mesoamerica.

Matthew 1 and Luke 1. Testimonies of Jesus

As we approach our study of the scriptures may we be like the inquisitive Theophilus of Luke searching for the certain witness of the Lord Jesus Christ.  To satisfy such spiritual desires, faithful early Christians such as Luke composed lengthy expositions called “Gospels” filled with narratives, homilies, hymnodies, miracles, parables, sayings, doings, doctrines, and, most importantly, the sure witness of Jesus as the promised Christ.  We have four such Gospels in our canonical New Testament that share this testimony of Christ.  But just as four master painters use various styles to represent the same landscape, so too the four Gospel writers have unique approaches to sharing their certain witness that Jesus is indeed the Christ.  Additionally, each of our Gospel witnesses includes unique perspectives and valuable information as they describe life models of worthy and God-fearing individuals who populate the stage of Christ’s life such as Mary, Joseph and John the Baptist.  Continue reading

“Thou Shalt…Offer Up Thy Sacraments upon My Holy Day” D&C 87-92

From June 3 to June 6, 18311 the fourth conference of the Church was held in a log school house on the property of Isaac Morely in Kirtland, Ohio.  Right after this conference Joseph Smith received a revelation2 to send forth missionaries throughout the Western States (what was then the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri) preaching the gospel and building up congregations unto the Lord.  The elders were assigned to labor in pairs as they journeyed to “the borders of the Lamanites” on the western end of Missouri.3 By revelation, the Lord indicated that the elders were to hold a conference once they arrived in the land of Missouri.  Continue reading


  1. This conference had been convened based on revelation given to Joseph Smith in February 1831 and is now found in Section 44 of the Doctrine & Covenants. 

  2. This revelation is found in Section 52 of the Doctrine & Covenants. 

  3. The land of Missouri marked the furthest western border of the United States at that time.  What lay beyond was the Indian territory which had been the site of the first organized mission of the Church during the winter of 1831.  Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer were the four missionaries so designated by revelation (D&C 30 & 32) to preach the gospel among the Lamanites.  For a fascinating account of their journey and success see The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, Revised and Enhanced Edition, edited by Scot Facer Proctor & Maurine Jensen Proctor (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), chapters 6-8. 

“A Kingdom, Which Shall Never Be Destroyed.” Daniel 2

Introduction

Throughout the vast span of human history innumerable kingdoms have risen and nearly all of them have fallen into the dust until now they only exist as remnants of scattered memories.  These kingdoms are much like the human life—they are born, they grow and develop, they reach their maturity with a show of great might and splendor, and then they decay only to be replaced by another maturing kingdom.

As we study the fate of various mighty kingdoms, through the lens of Daniel 2, we will focus on two main themes: the sovereignty of God as the greatest and last ruler of The Kingdom which will fill the entire earth and the powerful impact one faithful and courageous individual can have in the face of great opposition. Continue reading

“I Will Write It in Their Hearts.” Jeremiah 16; 23; 39; 31

Introduction

Jeremiah lived at the crossroads of troubled times and troubled places.  He stood as a witness and a representative of an old covenant dying away with the promise of a new covenant emerging.  His message was both timely and timeless.  It was directed to the people of his day.  It spoke to later generations of Israelites.  And it yet speaks to us today as we open our scriptures and our hearts.  In this lesson we will search the promises and covenants of the Lord, expressed through Jeremiah, which can be ours if we so desire, for the Lord has promised, “Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it” (Enos 1:15). Continue reading

“Besides Me There is No Saviour.” Isaiah 40-49

“And now I write some of the words of Isaiah, that whoso of my people shall see these words may lift up their head and rejoice.” 2 Nephi 11:8

Introduction

When we come to know the true nature of God our faith can increase, our joy can expand and our eye can be single to the glory of God.  Isaiah 40-49 represent a beautiful testimony of Isaiah’s understanding of the nature of God magnificently presented in symbolic language, metaphor, and poetry.  We learn from the Lectures of Faith

that three things are necessary in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation.  First the idea that [God] actually exists.  Secondly, a correct idea of [God’s] character, perfections, and attributes.  Thirdly, an actual knowledge that the course of life which [one] is pursuing is according to [God’s] will.1

Continue reading


  1. Lectures of Faith, compiled by N.B. Lundwall (Bookcraft: Salt Lake City), p. 33.