Recently, a scholar friend mentioned that during the announcement of the new Joseph Smith Papers Project and seer stone photos, those in attendance were seated in separate groups. Those who were friends of the Maxwell Institute sat on one side of the room, while Mormon Interpreter fans sat on the other side. Those agnostics that did not belong to either camp found themselves uncomfortably sitting in the middle.
As I pondered what he said, and how events that occurred three years ago are still causing divisions and contention among those LDS scholars that should be leading the way towards unity, I wished for a new beginning for everyone.
Given that many here at Millennial Star are conservatives that squarely sit on the side of the Interpreter, I wish to share with everyone and encourage them to open themselves up to the quality work being done at the Maxwell Institute. For example, its Living Faith series of books is providing a fresh view of the gospel, with excellent books, such as Adam S Miller’s “Letters to a Young Mormon”, and Steven Peck’s upcoming volume, “Evolving Faith” (which I reviewed here).
Today, I’d like to share with you a great series of podcasts that the Maxwell Institute provides. Hosted by my friend, Blair Hodges, these are a great series of interviews. Unlike the excellent podcasts at Mormon Interpreter, Blair’s interviews complement MI’s work by providing us interviews from many sources, not just LDS scholars.
Here are my notes for the Sunday afternoon General Conference session:
Presiding: Thomas S Monson
Conducting: Henry B Eyring
Music by Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Hymn: Praise the Lord with Heart and Voice
Invocation: Elder Bjorg Klaymangott (sp)
Hymn: God is a God of Love
Elder D. Todd Christofferson: Continue reading
Book Review – “Evolving Faith: Wanderings of a Mormon Biologist”, by Steven L. Peck
Maxwell Institute’s newest volume from the Living Faith series is scheduled to be released the end of October 2015. The author, Steven L. Peck, is an associate professor of biology at BYU and is trained as an entomologist.
I wasn’t sure what to expect of this book, as it seems the Living Faith series appears to be somewhat eclectic, such as Adam S. Miller’s excellent book, “Letters to a Young Mormon.” And “Evolving Faith” is an eclectic book, as Peck ranges widely in several essays from science to personal musings on death and nature. Continue reading
Many years ago, the son of a good friend was preparing for a mission. He was offered a scholarship to a major university, and so decided to attend for a year before leaving on his mission. By the end of the year, he was no longer an active, believing member. His parents raised him believing in a 6000 year old earth, with a Creation that occurred over a very short period of time. After several science classes that included biology and evolution, he was forced to choose between the incontrovertible evidence of science and the claims made by church leaders and his parents on the age of the earth. Such is a great danger to many of our kids today, and so various scholars and others are seeking methods to be able to resolve the conflict, and hopefully save some of our people.
Recently, my friend Ben Spackman recommended a book by Protestant Bible scholar Peter Enns, entitled: “The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say About Human Origins”.
It is an interesting book, with the following chapters:
- Genesis and the Challenges of the 19th Century: Science, Biblical Criticism, and Biblical Archaeology
- When Was Genesis Written?
- Stories of Origins from Israel’s Neighbors
- Israel and Primordial Time
- Paul’s Adam and the Old Testament
- Paul as an Ancient Interpreter of the Old Testament
- Paul’s Adam
Previously, I reviewed a couple of interesting discourses/articles by Dennis Potter and James McLachlan in the book, “Discourses in Mormon Theology”, which contains the discourses for the first Seminar of the Society of Mormon Philosophy and Theology (SMPT).
In this post, I’ll discuss an article written by former LDS member, Margaret Toscano, titled: “Is There a Place for Heavenly Mother in Mormon Theology? An Investigation into Discourses of Power”.
I was hoping for some interesting information regarding the belief in a Heavenly Mother through the ages Continue reading