LDS Perspectives Podcast


The field of Mormon studies has blossomed over the past two decades. There are more conferences to attend, more books to read, and more articles delivered to our inbox. Despite our desire to consume even a small portion of this great scholarship, there doesn’t seem enough hours in the day to make our bookshelves any lighter.

Enter the podcast that enables the curious and the serious learner to multi-task their way to greater knowledge and understanding. Whether driving, exercising, or engaging in another enterprise that allows our minds to absorb new ideas, podcasts can infuse new insights into our brains to be enjoyed and even savored.

Over the past few years, the podcasting landscape has seen many presentations come and go, leaving many wondering where to go for faithful scholarship.

LDS Perspectives Podcast grew out of a desire to fill that void. We hope to offer a place for mainstream members to learn more context about history, seek more depth to doctrine, and gain more support with cultural challenges. And all in a half-hour podcast.

Each week one of our podcasters sits down with a respected LDS scholar, author, or educator and has a casual discussion about some aspect of LDS doctrine, history, or culture. We are just everyday Mormons, but we are sharing extraordinary conversations about our religion and our faith.

Join us in the upcoming months as we discuss topics that span the spectrum of new Mormon studies: from the historical Jesus to our Heavenly Mother, or from artwork that depicts the Book of Mormon translation process to the artwork found in sacred space, or travel with us from a small Palestinian village to pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

Whether you are just beginning your studies or are an expert, we hope you will enjoy listening to our conversations.

In our first episode, we explore the historical Jesus. … Continue Reading Here

You may have heard discussions about the historical Jesus and wondered exactly what that phrase means. This episode explores the meaning of the term and why studying the New Testament differently can help us discover the Jesus of history. Often we concentrate our study of the New Testament on the teachings and ministry of Jesus, but there is value in studying the historical Jesus. Do we sometimes forget that he was a man who lived over 2000 years ago in Palestine? Do we think about what kind of clothes he wore? Were they the same or different than those commonly portrayed in portraits? Does what he was wearing tell us anything about Jesus as a man or lend understanding to the stories of the miracles of Jesus? Biblical historians believe it does. These are the things that made Jesus a man living in his time and set him apart from the many itinerant preachers of the period.

In the past, the Gospels of the evangelists have often been taught through harmonization or the comparing of each authors’ telling of a miracle, parable, or event in the life of Jesus. But when we homogenize, we lose the voice of each author who had a distinct story to tell to a specific audience. Matthew was Jewish and wrote to the Jews. Luke was a gentile and fashioned his narrative for a gentile audience. Their different presentations lend richness and diversity to the telling of a common story, while sometimes even correcting prior writings.

In this episode, Dr. Thomas Wayment chats with Laura Harris Hales about the value of looking for the historical Jesus in our study of the New Testament.

Editing Out the “Bad Grammar” in the Book of Mormon

On 6 April 2016, at BYU in Provo, Utah, Royal Skousen and Stanford Carmack presented a lecture on “Editing Out the ‘Bad Grammar’ in the Book of Mormon.” This lecture is already available in video format, and is now available in written form. This is an introduction to parts 1 and 2 of Volume 3 of the Critical Text of the Book of Mormon: Grammatical Variation, which are now available from BYU Studies (call 801-422-6691).

Click the link below for a PDF of the lecture:
“Editing Out the ‘Bad Grammar’ in the Book of Mormon” PDF file

North American Book of Mormon Geography: The River Sidon

By Theodore Brandley

Thanks to everyone who has participated in this discussion thus far. Your input is respected and appreciated. The purpose of this series of articles is to open a forum for the proponents of the two major North American theories on Book of Mormon geography and to explore a possible connection between them. Although there are some theories that are beyond the scope of these articles, most who have participated seem to agree that the narrative in the Promised Land occurred on the Continent of North America. I think all participants would agree that Moroni hid the plates from which The Book of Mormon was translated, and that he later revealed to Joseph Smith the hiding place of those plates to be in a hill near Palmyra, New York.

The dominant geographical feature in The Book of Mormon is the River Sidon. It is the only named river and is mentioned twenty-eight times in the text. It may be said that the River Sidon is the Nile of The Book of Mormon. If the river Sidon can be correctly identified then all other geographical locations should flow from it (pun intended). It is first mentioned in connection with the land of Zarahemla (Alma 2:15). The land of Zarahemla was established by the party of Mulek, son of King Zedekiah of Jerusalem, when the Lord led them across the sea. “And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth” (Helaman 6:10, 8:21; Omni 1:15-16). The Phoenicians are the only people at the time known to have the capability of crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The Greek Historian Herodotus, recorded that the Phoenicians sailed from the Arabian Gulf Coast of Egypt in 600 BC, and in two years circumnavigated Africa.1) It is interesting that the Mulek Party journeyed through the wilderness prior to crossing the great waters. It is probable that they fled from Jerusalem across the Sinai to Egypt where they bought passage on a Phoenician ship. That it was probably Phoenicians who first sailed up the Book of Mormon river is substantiated by the name Sidon. It was probably a Phoenician captain from the home port of Sidon who first sailed up the river and so named it. Continue reading

  1. Phoenician History: The Phoenician Ship Expedition, (12 May 2016 

The Position of the Church on the Adam-God Theory

Note: this is the sixth blog of a six-part series examining the Adam-God theory from the viewpoint of three modern (though deceased) apostles, and now giving the position of the Church on the matter.

The position formally taken by the Church on the Adam-God theory:

The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles (1916):

Scriptures embodying the ordinary signification—literally that of Parent—are too numerous and specific to require citation. The purport of these scriptures is to the effect that God the Eternal Father, whom we designate by the exalted name-title “Elohim,” is the literal Parent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and of the spirits of the human race. Elohim is the Father in every sense in which Jesus Christ is so designated, and distinctively He is the Father of spirits….

Jesus Christ is not the Father of the spirits who have taken or yet shall take bodies upon this earth, for He is one of them. He is The Son, as they are sons or daughters of Elohim. So far as the stages of eternal progression and attainment have been known through divine revelation, we are to understand that only resurrected and glorified beings can become parents of spirit offspring. Only such exalted souls have reached maturity in the appointed course of eternal life; and the spirits born to them in the eternal worlds will pass in due sequence through the several stages or states by which the glorified parents have attained exaltation. (As quoted from “The Father and The Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by The First Presidency and The Twelve”; cited in James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1982], 466, 473. See also James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency, 6 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75], 5:26, 34 [23-34].)

Continue reading

North American Book of Mormon Geography

by Theodore Brandley

By meticulously matching The Book Of Mormon text to the facts on the ground, Warren P. Aston and others have settled the Arabian geography question in the minds of most Latter-day Saints. This is not the case in America where occurred the vast majority of the events of the thousand-year saga of The Book Of Mormon. The American geography of the Book of Mormon has many competing theories that are divided mainly into two camps, those supporting a geography limited to the area of Mesoamerica and those supporting a geography in the north-central and Atlantic regions of the United States. Both groups have evidence to support their claims, which they vigorously defend and just as vigorously condemn the opposing views. There is much divisiveness among the members of the Church in regards to the American geography of The Book Of Mormon. This divisiveness and uncertainty plays into the hands of the enemies of the Church who use it as evidence that The Book Of Mormon is therefore a fable and is not true. Continue reading