Categories
Bible Theology

How Do Latter-day Saints Approach Biblical Theology?

Biblical theology is both ancient and new as an academic field. In recent years, there has been a blossoming of theological work among the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including the Old Testament, New Testament, and Restoration scripture. This interview with Joseph M. Spencer discusses the relationship between church members and biblical theology.

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Book Reviews Theology

Appreciation for Terryl Givens’s When Souls Had Wings

Latter-day Saints ought to think more deeply and seriously about the implications of believing in a premortal life. And there is no better starting point than Terryl L. Givens’s book When Souls Had Wings: Pre-Mortal Existence in Western Thought.

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Latter-day Saint History Theology

The King Follett Sermon: A Biography

The King Follett Sermon is one of Joseph Smith’s best-recorded and most controversial sermons. Records and memories of the sermon shaped many of the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but have also been partly rejected within the Church. This interview with William V. Smith discusses the King Follett Sermon and its history.

Categories
Bible Theology

Margaret Barker: Why Do Latter-day Saints Like Her So Much?

Margaret Barker is a world-renowned biblical scholar. She’s been quoted by the likes of N. T. Wright and given an award by the Queen of England. Interestingly, the Methodist preacher is also a favorite of many Latter-day Saint scholars. In this interview, Kevin Christensen tells the story of how Barker first encountered the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—and why so many of the faith’s scholars are drawn to her work.

Categories
Book of Mormon Theology

What’s Next For Book of Mormon Studies?

The Book of Mormon is a foundational text for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The earliest related research produced reference works, and there have been decades of investigation into its historicity, leading to today’s “golden age” of scholarship. In this interview, Joe Spencer and Nick Frederick discuss the future of Book of Mormon studies, such as emerging emphases on reception history and theology.

Categories
Joseph Smith Theology

What did Joseph Smith Teach About Christ?

Joseph Smith taught many truths about Jesus Christ that stemmed from his First Vision and other revelatory experiences. For example, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has said that Joseph’s depiction of a weeping Jesus in the Book of Moses reveals more about the true nature of Christ than any theological treatise. In this interview, historian Keith Erekson draws on the Joseph Smith Papers to explain what the Prophet taught about the Savior.

Categories
Theology

Let’s Talk About Temples and Ritual

Latter-day Saint Temples play an important role in helping members focus on Christ and become more like Him. Disciples make sacred promises inside the temple, such as covenanting to live the Law of Consecration. Everything about the rituals are centered on Jesus Christ. In this interview, Jennifer C. Lane discusses her new book about temples and ritual.

Categories
Devotional Intellectualism Joseph Smith Latter-day Saint History Theology

Who Was Truman G. Madsen?

Truman Madsen is perhaps best known for his Joseph Smith lectures. The BYU professor thought of the Prophet as a window through which he could see Jesus Christ. But his contributions extend far beyond lectures given at Brigham Young University. Those who knew him best, like his wife, Ann Madsen, say there was much more to Truman G. Madsen than meets the eye.

Categories
Doctrine and Covenants Theology

Did Joseph Smith Write D&C 76 in Poetic Form?

The poetic version of D&C 76 has been lauded since it was first published under Joseph Smith’s name in 1843. However, the latest scholarship suggests that it was ghostwritten by William W. Phelps. While some also think it may have resulted from coordination between the Prophet and Eliza R. Snow or Parley P. Pratt, most scholars agree that Joseph Smith wasn’t the sole author of “The Vision” in poetic form.

Categories
Intellectualism Theology

Can Faith and Science Coexist in the Search for Truth?

Faith and science are often seen as conflicting approaches in the search for truth—including within the Latter-day Saint community. For example, Joseph Fielding Smith and B. H. Roberts disagreed about whether science or scripture should take priority in the debate over evolution (see the story in Saints 3). In this interview. Dr. Jamie L. Jensen explains that faith and science are symbiotic pathways to truth.

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