Scripture Roundtable 36: D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 32, “To Seal the Testimony”

(Originally published on 21 July 2013.)

This is Scripture Roundtable 36 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #32, “To Seal the Testimony,” focusing on D&C 135, 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.

Here are some links to resources mentioned in the roundtable discussion:

Some interesting highlights from this roundtable discussion include:

  • Historical overview of the time and events leading up to and what occurred on 27 June 1844 with the Martyrdom of Joseph Smith
  • Thoughts on why martyrdom was necessary for Joseph and Hyrum and why their blood needed to be spilled, why they were the testators.
  • “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” – John Taylor sung with a different tune than we now use.

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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How Joseph Smith’s Grammar Differed from Book of Mormon Grammar: Evidence from the 1832 History

Abstract: Some of the grammar of Joseph Smith’s 1832 History is examined. Three archaic, extra-biblical features that occur quite frequently in the Book of Mormon are not present in the history, even though there was ample opportunity for use. Relevant usage in the 1832 History is typical of modern English, in line with independent linguistic studies. This leads to the conclusion that Joseph’s grammar was not archaizing in these three types of morphosyntax which are prominent in the earliest text of the Book of Mormon. This corroborating evidence also indicates that English words were transmitted to Joseph throughout the dictation of the Book of Mormon. Continue reading

Scripture Roundtable 17: D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 13

(Originally published on 6 March 2013.)

This is a Scripture Roundtable from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #13, “This Generation Shall Have My Word through You,” 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.

Panelists for this roundtable include Ben McGuire, Bryce Haymond, Daniel Peterson, and Mike Parker.

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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Link to Creed Haymond story audio recording.

Seers and Stones:
The Translation of the Book of Mormon as Divine Visions of an Old-Time Seer

Abstract: Joseph Smith used the term the Urim and Thummim to refer to the pair of seer stones, or “interpreters,” he obtained for translating the Book of Mormon as well as to other seer stones he used in a similar manner. According to witness accounts, he would put the stone(s) in a hat and pull the hat close around his face to exclude the light, and then he would see the translated text of the Book of Mormon. By what property or principle these stones enabled Joseph Smith to see the translated text has long been a matter of conjecture among Mormons, but the stones have commonly been understood as divinely powered devices analogous to the latest human communications technology. An alternative view, presented here, is that the stones had no technological function but simply served as aids to faith. In this view, the stones did not themselves translate or display text. They simply inspired the faith Joseph Smith needed to see imaginative visions, and in those visions, he saw the text of the Book of Mormon, just as Lehi and other ancient seers saw sacred texts in vision. Although Joseph Smith also saw visions without the use of stones, the logistics of dictating a book required the ability to see the translated text at will, and that was what the faith-eliciting stones would have made possible. Continue reading

Scripture Roundtable 7: D&C Gospel Doctrine #3

(Originally published on 28 December 2012.)

This is the seventh Scripture Roundtable from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #3 (First Vision), bringing in various insights to help us better understand these scriptures. We apologize that the recording picked up after we had already begun. These roundtables will generally follow the 2013 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.

Panelists for this roundtable include Brant Gardner, William Hamblin, Craig Foster, and Martin Tanner.

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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