Elder Bednar’s Social Media Guidelines

Elder BednarElder David A. Bednar spoke yesterday at the BYU Education Week on using social media to “flood the earth” with the message of the Restored Gospel. After listening to his remarks, I felt, more than ever, the excitement of the times we are living in. We are literally watching, and taking part in the fulfillment of revelation and scripture.

Read and watch his address HERE, on LDS.org

He quoted Brigham Young, who said, “Every discovery in science and art that is really true and useful to mankind has been given by direct revelation from God, though but few acknowledge it. It has been given with a view to prepare the way for the ultimate triumph of truth, and the redemption of the earth from the power of sin and Satan.” When I think of how this has come to pass it is humbling. Things like the internet, satellite, radio, television; the ability to record and save audio and video of General Conference, all have a place in spreading the Gospel. We can send and receive messages, pictures and video instantly as well. Twenty years ago when I was a full time missionary in Bulgaria, it would take six months to get a VHS tape of one or two sessions of General Conference into the country. Now, members can watch Conference as it happens on line, and the following week in their meetinghouses as a Branch. It is truly amazing! Continue reading

Conference: THE LADY OF THE TEMPLE: EXAMINING THE DIVINE FEMININE IN THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN TRADITION

Conference Schedule

The Academy for Temple Studies and the Utah State University Religious Studies program announce further details of the conference to be held on October 23, 2013, on the campus of Utah State University.  It will start at 9:15 a.m. in the Eccles Conference Center and adjourn at 4:30 p.m.  Since seating is limited, we recommend that you register now if you want to attend.

THE LADY OF THE TEMPLE:  EXAMINING THE DIVINE FEMININE IN THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN TRADITION

This conference will approach this topic from a temple perspective with biblical, archeological, liturgical and LDS components.  Looking at the abstracts below it is clear that this conference should promote a lively discussion and time is being allotted for panel discussion and response to questions.

8:45 Benchmark Bookstore open in the lobby.

9:15 Welcome and Introduction of the conference.

9:30 Margaret Barker, well-known for her numerous books and articles on temple theology, whose book called The Mother of the Lord:  The Lady in the Temple was published last year.  Her presentation is entitled, “The Woman Clothed With the Sun in Revelation 12.”  A female figure, apparently not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible, appears in the centre spot of the Book of Revelation.  She is a royal figure, crowned with stars, and she gives birth to the king who rules from a throne in heaven.  She is attacked by a red dragon, escapes to the wilderness, and there waits for the allotted time to pass. Her other children were the Christians, but who was she, and where had she been hiding?  The implications are that the Lady is the Mother of Yahweh.

10:20 Q&A

10:40 break

11:00 William Dever, distinguished professor of Near Eastern Studies; has written 26 books and 350+ articles on Near Eastern archeology.  The writers of the Old Testament clearly present monotheism—the exclusive worship of the male deity Yahweh—as the ideal.  Yet the frequent condemnation of “idolatry” by prophets and reformers indicates that in folk religion other deities were often worshipped.  In particular, the Mother Goddess “Asherah” appears as a shadowy figure, almost forgotten in later times.  But several recent archaeological discoveries of both artifacts and texts have revealed that the cult of Asherah was widespread throughout the monarchy.  And in many circles she was regarded not simply as a patroness of mothers, but as the consort of Yahweh. Even in later Judaism, she appears as the “Shekinah”—the earthly Mother who represents the presence of a remote God.  Prof. Dever will give an illustrated lecture on Asherah, based on his recent book Did God have a Wife?  Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel.

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Insights from N.T. Wright’s Inaugural Lecture: Left-Brain Epicurean Thinking Dominates Biblical Studies

Last night I had the opportunity to listen to Professor Tom Wright (a.k.a. N.T. Wright) give his Inaugural Lecture as Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity here at the University of St Andrews. Professor Wright has actually been at the university a year now and has previously given major public addresses here, but I guess this one is more official.

I share here my notes from the lecture. Please be aware that the following is based on rather skimpy hand-written notes, and so does not do justice to Wright’s elegant and precise handling of the English language, but I hope I have preserved the thrust of his arguments.  The speech was entitled:  “Imagining the Kingdom: Mission and Theology in early Christianity.”

Wright begins by outlining how the four Gospels are remarkable documents that are still largely unknown to us. We are failing to understand the thrust of the Gospels. We need to apply our imagination and look beyond the boundaries of the various philosophies that guide our views.

Strengthening the Family Symposium October 28-29 2011

This Friday and Saturday, October 28-29, please consider attending the Strengthening the Family Symposium at the Marriott Hotel in Provo, UT. Pre-Registration ends today, October 26th.

The Keynote Speaker will be Lloyd D. Newell, Ph.D, Voice of the oldest continuous nationwide network radio broadcast in America, Music and the Spoken Word.

Featured speakers include:

  • Donald L. Hilton, Jr., M.D., Clinical Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Texas; Pornography and Sexual Addiction: A Disease of the Motivation and Reward Pathways of the Brain
  • Richard & Linda Eyre, Authors of New York Times #1 Bestseller, Teaching Your Children Values, and over 20 other titles; Parenting, the Ultimate Career

Visit studentsforthefamily.org to register and for more information.

Report from the 1st Annual Expound Symposium

(cross-posted from www.heavenlyascents.com)

On Saturday the 14th of May I had the opportunity to attend and participate in the 1st Annual Expound Symposium, which was held in Provo at the Brigham Young Academy building.  For anyone who was there, I hope I had a chance to talk to you — I met so many bright and interesting people there. If you didn’t attend, I’m sorry you missed out on a great event!  But no worries, they are already planning next year’s symposium, which, according to current plans, will focus on the topic of temples.  If you didn’t make it this time, you should start making plans to be there next year!

The symposium was very well put together and everyone, both the speakers and attendees, were very well taken care of (we’re talking lots of free food, free drawings for awesome publications, no entrance fee — it doesn’t get much better than this as far as these types of conferences go)!  LDS author Matthew Brown was largely responsible for putting the event together and he did an incredible job of making it a very enlightening and worthwhile experience for everyone involved.  A big thanks to him, his wife, and also to Jeffrey Bradshaw for making this event more than worth it for me to go from Scotland to Provo to be a part of it.  I also want to thank my wife and kids for letting me go and my parents virtually killing the fatted calf for their prodigal son’s return (albeit knowing it would be very short-lived).

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