LDS Perspectives Podcast: Nephi and Isaiah with Joseph Spencer

Listen to an interview with Joseph Spencer about his new book discussing Isaiah in the Book of Mormon.

Second Nephi has a reputation for being a bit dry. Missing is the drama of the Book of Mormon. Where the story line pauses, it is replaced with long passages containing interpolations of the words of Nephi into the Old Testament scripture of Isaiah.

Nephi tells readers this departure into deeper doctrine is the “more sacred” part of the small plates. However, modern readers often have difficulty connecting with its discourses pertaining to the gathering of the house of Israel.

Our guest, Joseph Spencer, has spent much of his academic career studying covenantal history, including within Book of Mormon contexts.

Some have coined Isaiah’s presence in the Book of Mormon as a problem; Joseph Spencer sees it more as an answer to questions that emerge within the narrative.

He maintains that making sense of Isaiah’s place in the Book of Mormon is the essential key to making sense of the Book of Mormon. He identifies three narrative hinges in the Book of Mormon that each begin with a quotation from Isaiah. Maybe, just maybe, you might be encouraged to give Isaiah in the Book of Mormon a second look.

Join Laura Harris Hales as she discusses with Joseph Spencer the daunting pursuit of studying Isaiah in the Book of Mormon.

“Sacred Space Sacred Thread” Conference & Margaret Barker Lectures


An international and interfaith conference on “Sacred Space, Scared Thread” will be held on Thursday and Friday, November 3-4, at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Speakers and participants will include: Margaret Barker, Amir Hussain, John Thompson, Rory Scanlon, James Mchugh, David Judson, Roy Gane, Alonzo Gaskill, Gary Rendsburg, John Welch, Varun Soni, Patrick Mason, and Reverend Gaddis.

Click here to register and for the full program schedule. Watch on that web site for further information about how to view to this conference streamed live on line. This conference will also be shown free in the Eccles Conference Center at Utah State University, room 205/207, live, an hour earlier on Mountain time.

Conference sponsors are the John A. Widtsoe Foundation, the Academy for Temple Studies, the USC Office of Religious Life, Our Savior Parish USC Caruso Catholic Center, the California Missionary Baptist State Convention, the Los Angeles Greek Orthodox Community, and the Los Angeles Institute of Religion.

Also while here from England, Margaret Barker will deliver three other public speeches:

  • “Entering Sacred Space: Beholding the Wonders of Temple Theology,” at the Los Angeles Temple Visitors Center, 7:15 pm, Thursday, November 3.
  • “Theosis/Divinization,” in the Varsity Theatre, WSC, Brigham Young University, in Provo, 4:00 pm, Wednesday, November 9.
  • “Teaching Religion, Living Religion:  Religion in a Secular Age in the Academy.” Room 101, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University, Logan, 10:30 am-1:00 pm, Thursday, November 10.

An Invitation to Thank Dr. Richard Bushman

The Maxwell Institute is hosting a colloquium for Richard Bushman this summer (more information may be found here). As part of that colloquium, the Maxwell Institute will present a Book of Gratitude consisting of letters sent for inclusion in that book. If Dr. Bushman’s work has inspired you, you are invited to send along your thanks for possible inclusion in this Book of Gratitude. For instructions on how you may contribute to this wonderful effort, click here.