Feb 02

Convictions, Believe, and Conversion

Church leaders have always told us to be careful of what we watch, read, and listen to.  Why does it matter?  How does it affect what we believe?  As a matter of fact, where do our convictions come from? How do we get converted, or deconverted? What can we do about protecting our testimony? Dr. Jeffrey Thayne helps unpack some of these questions. Very fascinating presentation.

Here is the transcript: https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/conference/august-2022-fair-conference/moral-intuitions-and-persuasion

Nov 24

LDS Study Tools – BYU Speeches

There are some wonderful gospel study tools provided by BYU. Today, we wanted to share one of the richest resources available for studying the Gospel. It’s called BYU Speeches. The site has speeches given at BYU over the past several decades. You can search by topic or by speaker.

Each speech has several methods of obtaining it. You can read the speeches, listen to them, watch, download, or print them. This is a great resource to see what folks have said on certain topics.

Take a look at a quick intro to the tool in the video below.

Here is the link to BYU Speeches:

BYU Speeches

Check out other tools outlined on our Study Tools page.

Nov 01

Core LDS Doctrine Fixed, Policies Changeable

In studying about different levels of “authoritativeness” of Church doctrines, I found this article by Anthony Sweat, Michael Hubbard MacKay, and Gerrit J. Dirkmaat of the BYU faculty. It proposes some different types of doctrine, from the core, unchangeable everlasting truths of the Gospel to Church policies that apply to the current needs of the Church in a given moment. It is an excellent article that helps one determine for themselves when something is authoritative or not. It also explains how to handle changes when they occur. I highly recommend this article to anyone interested in this topic.

Here is an excerpt:

“Many … wonder and have pressing questions related to Latter-day Saint ‘doctrine,’ such as ‘If God is unchanging and truth is eternal, then why does Church doctrine sometimes change?’ or ‘Why don’t we still teach some of the doctrines that were taught in the early Church? Were they wrong, or are we?’ When discussing the Latter-day Saint faith, some imply or assume that everything ever spoken by any Church authority past or present constitutes eternally binding Church doctrine. Additionally, upon hearing an idea brought up in the Church, some want to know, ‘Is that teaching an official doctrine? How can I know?’ These questions and many others about Latter-day Saint doctrine have caused difficulty for many, both within and outside the Church.”

Read the full article here:

Doctrine: Models to Evaluate Types and Sources of Latter-day Saint Teachings

Mar 01

26 New E-Books Available!

There are now a list of 26 new ebooks available on the Books and References page. A few of the titles include “Mormon Doctrine,” “Gospel Doctrine,” “President Woodruff’s Manifesto,” and many others. Some of the authors include works by B. H. Roberts, Joseph Fielding Smith, and James E. Talmage to name a few. If you’re looking to add to your collection of ebooks, take a look at the Books and References page.

Feb 27

E-Book: Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt

Lately, it’s been interesting to see how many electronic versions of classic LDS books I can find that are in the public domain. To share what I’ve found, I’ll post links to them here every once in awhile. The first one is “The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt.” The cumulative list will also be available on the Books and References page here on ldsscripturestudy.com.

Link to ebook: Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt

Jan 24

Journal Edition of the Book of Mormon

At Deseret Book this morning, I noticed that there were Books of Mormon that were so-called “Journal” editions. As I opened one up, I quickly figured out why. They have over-sized margins so that you can write a lot more out to the side of the verses.

This is great news for us. Each time you create a note, it gets a note number and you create a title for it. You write this out in the margin of each scripture that you link to that note. This allows you to quickly refresh your memory of what the note is or look it up in your journal if you want to, whether that’s online or in the PDF of your notes that you can create and carry with you (either digitally in a device or printed out).

If you’d like to take a look at these journals, here is a link:

Book of Mormon – Journal Edition

Nov 09

Journal of Discourses and History of the Church – Text Available Online

Reading books is such a great thing to do.  Do you know what is even better than that?  Having an electronic copy of the text so that you can search through it!  What’s even better than that?  Having electronic copies of the Journal of Discourses and the History of the Church!  For anyone who may wish to have these texts, they are available below:

Journal of Discourses – The entire text is available in a well-organized, easy to read format. Available Here

History of the Church – The text is made available by the BOAP project.  Available Here

Having these texts means that you can download them, read them, and search through them for specific words.  Should you be a computer programmer, or know someone who is, you might analyze the texts different ways.  Of course, you could also put them on your mobile device for reading on-the-go.

What a treasure these two sets are.  There is so very much that can be learned about the beginning of this Last Dispensation from these two works.  Enjoy your studies of the Gospel!

Oct 16

Recommended Reading: Searching the Scriptures – Gene R. Cook

Searching the Scriptures

Searching the Scriptures

While a member of the First Council of the Seventy, Elder Gene R. Cook wrote what seems to be one of the best books available on studying the scriptures. He has a considerable amount of expertise on the topic, being an Emeritus General Authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  To our good fortune, we have available to us this book, called “Searching the Scriptures.”  The subtitle reads, “Bringing power to your personal and family study.”  No truer description of this book could be conceived.

Elder Cook begins with an in-depth elaboration of what the scriptures are.  He insightfully expounds their importance to each of us.  It feels as though his primary purpose is to enlighten, uplift, and edify readers.  Should you wish to gain a solid foundation of scripture study, this book must become part of your library.

The next 70 pages are spent laying out the whats, whys, and hows of personal scripture study.  Elder Cook explains the different facets of feasting upon the word of the Lord.  His recommendations include asking questions, pondering about what is being read, looking for patterns, applying the scriptures to ourselves, and how to receive deeper understanding.

The balance of the book broadens the scope slightly to instruct us regarding family scripture study.  Elder Cook again goes to great lengths to convey his message.  He begins this third section with an explanation of how we will be blessed by studying together as a family.  His personal experience with this subject affords him a wealth of examples, stories, and suggested formats for family scripture study.

A description from DeseretBook.com:

One of the most valuable purposes of the scriptures is to serve as a tool to help us hear the voice of the Lord. But, as Elder Gene R. Cook emphasizes in his book, that blessing doesn’t come through casual effort.

In Searching the Scriptures, Elder Cook explores how we can effectively ponder, question, and mark the scriptures and understand how they apply to our lives. He also shares his testimony of the power and blessings that come from knowing God’s word. And he gives suggestions on how to organize family study and how to use the scriptures as a way to bless each family member. Relating personal experiences to show what has worked and what hasn’t, Elder Cook shares ways to motivate everyone in the family to participate and work to invite the Spirit to be present at reading time.

Elder Cook’s hope is to help Latter-day Saints gain a deeper understanding of what scriptures really are and how they apply to us today, and thereby have a desire to learn more from them.

Whether a seasoned scriptorian or someone who just wants to gain a solid foothold on mastering the Gospel, I highly recommend “Searching the Scriptures” by Elder Gene R. Cook.  It spends little time on my own bookshelf, as I gain a deeper understanding of scripture study every time I read it. This book is fully deserving of the spot it has earned in our Recommended Books section.

Oct 09

BYU Religious Education Review

Creating an edifying and uplifting environment and atmosphere for yourself is conducive to your desire to be the best person that you can.  Hanging photos on your walls of the Lord, the leadership of the Church, or temples can serve this purpose.  In addition, informative and worthwhile books and magazines can help perform this function.  Many likely have the Scriptures and the Ensign close by.  But do you have your copy of the BYU Religious Education Review?

From the site, a description of this magazine is given as follows:

“BYU Religious Education Review magazine provides readers with information about BYU’s college of Religious Education, the Religious Studies Center (RSC), the Religious Educator journal, our most recent books published, the latest information from BYU’s Religious Education, including interviews, commentary, articles, advancements, awards, and often features faculty members who are making news and realizing extraordinary accomplishments.”

The subscription for the semi-annual magazine is free.  Those who wish to take advantage of this marvelous resource may do so on the SUBSCRIPTION PAGE.  You may also call 801-422-6975 if you wish to subscribe by phone.

Each issue includes recent discoveries and scholarly developments made since the last issue.  Also included are dates of conferences and symposia that will be held in the six months following the publication of that issue.  The events are generally free of charge, and registration is not usually required.  Take a look at the CONFERENCES AND SYMPOSIA page for further details.

This is a recommended resource for those who wish to keep current on Gospel Scholarship.