Scripture Roundtable 28: D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 24, “Be Not Deceived, but Continue in Steadfastness”

(Originally published on 25 May 2013.)

This is Scripture Roundtable 28 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #24, “Be Not Deceived, but Continue in Steadfastness,” focusing on D&C 26, 28, 43, 50, and 52, bringing in various insights to help us better understand the scriptures. These roundtables will generally follow the 2013 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.

Some of the interesting discussion in this roundtable includes:

  • Discussion of the historical and cultural backgrounds of the early members of the Church and how that would have potentially affected not only how many, as seekers, would find Joseph’s message attractive, but also how some would have had a hard time staying true once in the Church.
  • A discussion of the use of “spirit” in D&C 50, and the scriptural ambiguity that can be seen at one and the same time as an otherworldly entity and simply a metaphorical spirit (i.e. of contention, or pride, etc).
  • Cassandra’s new interpretation of “false spirits.”
  • Andrew’s comments on order, epistemology, and pedagogy.
  • Craig’s thoughts on the relationship between Oliver Cowdery and Hiram Page and reestablishing ancient Christianity.

Panelists for this roundtable include Andrew Smith, Cassandra Hedelius, Craig Foster, and Lincoln Hale.

This roundtable is also available as an audio podcast, and will be included in the podcast feed. You can listen by pressing the play button or download the podcast below:

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Apostate Religion in the Book of Mormon

Abstract: Nephite missionaries in the first century BC had significant difficulty preaching the gospel among Nephites and Lamanites who followed Zoramite and Nehorite teaching. Both of these groups built synagogues and other places of worship suggesting that some of their beliefs originated in Israelite practice, but both denied the coming or the necessity of a Messiah. This article explores the nature of Zoramite and Nehorite beliefs, identifies how their beliefs and practices differed from orthodox Nephite teaching, and suggests that some of these religious differences are attributable to cultural and political differences that resonate in the present. Continue reading

Mormonism and Intellectual Freedom

Abstract: To many outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (and to some of its members), the Church’s teachings and practices appear not only socially and experientially constraining, but intellectually restrictive as well, given its centralized system of doctrinal boundary maintenance and its history of sometimes sanctioning members who publicly dissent from its teachings. Do these practices amount to a constraint of intellectual freedom? This essay argues that they do not, and offers several possible explanations for the commonly-asserted position that they do. Continue reading

Dissenters: Portraying the Church as Wrong So They can be Right Without It

Abstract: This essay addresses the reasons many persons have left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In particular, there are those who publicly assert the Church is not led by inspired leaders so they can feel at peace about their decision to leave it. One common argument used to justify their estrangement is the “Samuel Principle,” which ostensibly would require God to allow his followers on earth to go astray if they chose any level of unrighteousness. Problems with this interpretation are presented including examples from religious history that show that God’s primary pattern has been to call his errant followers to repentance by raising up righteous leaders to guide them. Also explored are the common historical events that dissenters often allege have caused the Church to apostatize. The notion that the Church and the “Priesthood” could be separate entities is examined as well. The observation that Church leaders continue to receive divine communication in order to fulfill numerous prophecies and that a significant number of completely devout Latter-day Saints have always existed within the Church, obviating the need for any dissenting movement, is discussed. In addition, several common scriptural proof-texts employed by some dissenters and their ultimate condition of apostasy are analyzed. Continue reading

Scripture Roundtable 69: Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 19, The Reign of the Judges

This is Scripture Roundtable 69 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss the Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #19, The Reign of the Judges, focusing on scriptures in Judges 2, 4, 6-7, and 13-16, bringing in various insights to help us better understand the scriptures. These roundtables will generally follow the 2014 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.

Panelists for this roundtable include Martin Tanner, Daniel Peterson, and Craig Foster.

This roundtable is also available as an audio podcast, and will be included in the podcast feed. You can listen by pressing the play button or download the podcast below:

Play