What To Make of the Word of Wisdom

I usually go to Gospel Essentials rather than Gospel Doctrine just because the way reading through the scriptures is typically done in most wards doesn’t excite me much. (There’s the usual assumption that no one read the reading assignment. Ever in their life. Then there’s the idea that everyone needs help figuring out what you should have figured out by doing the reading assignment.) Gospel Essentials is just more interesting to me.

Today we covered the Word of Wisdom though. I have some questions and I thought I’d throw them out to everyone. Continue reading

Guest Post: And Re-Introducing: The Flawed Doctrine of Universalism

The Millennial Star is pleased to present the following guest post from Chris Heimerdinger. Chris is the author of the well know “Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites” adventure series of books. He’s written a total of sixteen adult and young adult novels and has released a film, Passage to Zarahemla in October 2007.

Chris has five children and presently lives in Draper, UT.

I felt I like blogging on on a subject of a more doctrinal/philosophical nature. Maybe I’m overemphasizing the resurgence of this problem, but since some guy brought it up in Sunday School last week, and since I read where someone tried to push this doctrine on an AML blog, and since some might misconstrue that this doctrine is also supported by a new book by Alonzo Gaskill called, Odds Are You’re Going to Be Exhalted, I felt it was worth bringing up.

“Universalism” is the doctrine that eventually, whether it may take billions of years, ALL of our Heavenly Father’s children will be exalted in the Celestial Kingdom. The idea is that even though many on earth will inherit the telestial kingdom, or the lowest of the three degrees of glory, over time they will have the opportunity to progress to higher kingdoms. Usually this doctrine is couched with the emotional philosophy that a loving Heavenly Father could NEVER introduce a plan of salvation wherein only a portion of His children would receive exaltation and be permanently reunited into His presence.

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How to Give a Great Sacrament Meeting Talk – Part 3.5 of 5: Style (Analogies)

Part 3 here. Part 2 here. Part 1.5 here. Part 1 here. Part 0 here.

Analogies, metaphors, similes, allegories, etc. all can work well in a sacrament meeting talk (or gospel lesson). They can also be where the talk (or lesson) fails completely. Because Jesus taught in parables (which, when asked, Jesus interpreted allegorically), these types of teaching tools have the highest possible endorsement. But caution is also warranted.

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What is “Daily Bread”? Are you sure?

An old friend of mine is now a youth pastor. On his blog, he requested some help with a Greek translation issue in the New Testament. He read in a book (Eugene Peterson’s Eat This Book) that “daily” could be translated “fresh” – as in, “give us this day some fresh bread.” He wondered about that, and asked if anyone knew anything else about that translation.

This is actually quite a contentious issue. You’d think that “give us this day our daily bread” is a rather straight forward phrase, but it’s not and it’s likely that any understanding we have may be wrong. I’m going to post my original comment here (with some changes) and then add some additional comments to (hopefully) initiate some discussion:

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God’s Will Hath No Why?

My wife and I are reading the delightful The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, written by Maria von Trapp. I highly recommend it; it is written in an endearing colloquial style and full of practical faith and humor.

Maria clearly believes that the events of their lives are firmly directed by God’s will. She returns often to the theme of a saying posted above the doorway in her convent: God’s Will Hath No Why.

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