Scripture Roundtable 32: D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 28, “O God, Where Art Thou?”

(Originally published on 22 June 2013.)

This is Scripture Roundtable 32 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #28, “O God, Where Art Thou?,” focusing on D&C 121, 122, and 123, 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:

  • Historical setting for D&C 121, 122, 123: Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail and the tensions surrounding the “Mormon War” of 1838
  • Discussion of the LDS Theodicy as presented in those sections
  • This life is for us to gain experience, even and especially when that is hard, in order to make us more empathetic and Godlike.

Here is the link to “Sin, Suffering, and Soul-Making: Joseph Smith on the Problem of Evil,” by Blake T. Ostler and David L. Paulsen, as mentioned in the roundtable.

Panelists for this roundtable include Andrew Smith, Cassandra Hedelius, Lincoln Hale, and Stephen Smoot.

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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Scripture Roundtable 31: D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 27, “They Must Needs Be Chastened and Tried, Even as Abraham”

(Originally published on 16 June 2013.)

This is Scripture Roundtable 31 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #27, “They Must Needs Be Chastened and Tried, Even as Abraham,” focusing on D&C 101, 103, and 105, 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:

  • The trails faced by the early Latter-day Saints in Jackson County were a preparation for what was to come in terms of the trials and suffering.
  • Much good came from Zion’s Camp. Rather than being a failure, it was a training ground for future church leaders.
  • The Lord chastens those he loves, because he’s trying to educate them.  Though we seldom like it, we tend to learn more from difficulties than from ease.  We gain strength not by lifting quarter-pound weights once or twice, but by working against real resistance.
  • The Lord reassured his Saints that, although they were scattered, all flesh is in his hand and Zion will eventually be redeemed.
  • The Saints lost Zion through their own failings, but their ultimate victory is assured.

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

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

Reflecting on the “Marks of Jesus”

Abstract: Loss, pain, and suffering are too often, it seems, co-sojourners through our lives. To one degree or another, we all become familiar with these elements of a life lived in an imperfect world. It is inevitable — and virtually universal — that such companions foster questions about the meaning of life and whether there is a God who is the author, director, and finisher of that meaning. For those who conclude that God is real and has part in our lives, suffering can have or acquire eternal significance, enhanced by the personal realization that God, too, suffers and has suffered. In the Christian paradigm, God shares our suffering and we, in turn, share in His. In the depths of our sorrow we have, literally, a “co-sufferer” sharing our journey. As Christians, we are called upon to take upon ourselves the name of Christ. This act not only gives us a new name, but may require us to bear loss, pain, and suffering as did Christ — to acquire the “marks of Jesus” in our own lives. Indeed, for some, such bearing may be a key part of becoming what God plans for us to become. Continue reading

“O God Where Art Thou?” D&C 121, 122

Introduction

“O God, where art thou?  And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?  How long shall thy hand be stayed and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of they people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?  Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions, before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them?  O Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven, earth, and seas, and of all things that in them are, and who controllest and subjectest the devil, and the dark and benighted dominion of Sheol—stretch forth thy hand; let thine eye pierce; let thy pavilion be taken up; let they hiding place no longer be covered; let thine ear be inclined; let thine heart be softened, and thy bowels moved with compassion toward us.  Let thine anger be kindled against our enemies; and, in the fury of thine heart, with thy sword avenge us of our wrongs.  Remember thy suffering saints, O our God; and thy servants will rejoice in thy name forever.”  (D&C 121:1-6) Continue reading