Categories
19th Century Book excerpts Theology

How Did Early Latter-day Saints React to D&C 76?

Joseph Smith recognized that preparation to receive an expansive view of the afterlife as presented in the Vision was still limited. Later, he acknowledged: “I could explain a hundred fold more than I ever have of the glories of the kingdoms manifested to me in the vision, were I permitted, and were the people prepared to receive them.”

Categories
Ancient history Book excerpts Old Testament

How Did the Urim and Thummim in the Bible Work?

When the Urim and Thummim are identified [in the Old Testament] with the gems of the breastpiece, light is often associated with them. 4QpIsa i 4–6 can be interpreted in this way. Josephus clearly links a miraculous light with the divine revelation. The oracular shining or dimming of a stone on the breastpiece is also found in subsequent Jewish and Samaritan tradition.

Categories
Ancient history Book excerpts Old Testament

Who Is Melchizedek in the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Melchizedek is a fragmentary exegetical work from the Dead Sea Scrolls collection (11QMelch) that may be classified as a thematic pesher.1 The author quotes or alludes to biblical passages2 and reveals their true hidden meaning in connection with his main theme: the eschatological victory of good over evil.

Categories
Book excerpts Latter-day Saint History

Did Lucy Harris Steal the 116 Pages?

Although the scholars that Martin Harris had encountered in eastern New York had not been able to supply him with a translation of the transcript of the characters he carried, he was content that the Lord had indeed endowed Joseph Smith with “spectacles for to read the Book.” As for his spouse, there were few options left to Lucy Harris in 1828 short of either embracing Joseph Smith’s talk of gold plates or continuing her strenuous efforts to undermine Martin’s relationship with him.

Categories
Book excerpts Latter-day Saint History

Did Hugh Nibley Fake His Notes?

Those of us who have spent hours tracking down Hugh Nibley sources have become firmly convinced that nothing was made up or fabricated. Even if we were ultimately unable to find a quotation, we always knew it existed somewhere.

Categories
20th Century Book excerpts Latter-day Saint History

The Final Letters Between Eugene England and Neal A. Maxwell

Except for a few sporadic entries, Eugene England’s diary comes to an end in these months. His personal papers, however, reveal a spiritual torment that occludes all other concerns in his life.

Categories
Book excerpts Theology

The Latter-day Saint View of Human Nature

The religion of the Latter-day Saints may be characterized as a confluence of normative Judaism and first-century Christianity. At its core is insight into human nature that Jesus both taught and exemplified.