Sunday, May 22, 2016

Isaiah and the Meaning of “Translation”

Here are a  few additional thoughts related to my previous post about Isaiah in the Book of Mormon.

My testimony of the Book of Mormon does not depend on scholars being incorrect about the authorship of Isaiah. If it turns out that Isaiah 48-54 wasn’t actually on the gold plates and Joseph felt inspired to add that material to the text of the Book of Mormon, I’m fine with that.

This kind of an approach  may not sit well with some Mormons, because we tend to assume that Joseph had very little influence on the textual form that the Book of Mormon took. But is this assumption necessary?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Isaiah in the Book of Mormon

I am grateful for two recent blog posts (here and here) by LDS biblical scholar David Bokovoy about the issue of authorship of the book of Isaiah. In these blog posts, Dr. Bokovoy describes the evidence supporting the scholarly consensus that chapters 40–66 of the book of Isaiah were written after the Jewish exile into Babylon. This is of interest to Latter-day Saints because the Book of Mormon quotes Isaiah 48–54. If the scholarly consensus is correct, the quoted material would not have been available to Lehi’s family when they left Jerusalem.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Many Footprints in the Sand

I had the privilege of baptizing my daughter Katelyn on Saturday. As I prepared for this event, I read Samuel Brown’s excellent book, First Principles and Ordinances, where I came across an insightful perspective on the famous poem “Footprints in the Sand”:

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

God the Mother

A few years ago, the LDS church released a video titled “Earthly Father, Heavenly Father.” The video, which was released in honor of Father’s Day, compares a father’s feelings for his children to our Heavenly Father’s feelings about all of humankind. It’s a good video with a nice message.

I wish the church would release something similar in honor of Mother’s Day, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon. Although Mormonism envisions the existence of a Heavenly Mother — a recently released essay on the church’s website confirms this — little theology has been developed about Her, and there is virtually no role for Her in any of the church’s current teachings or practices.

On the one hand, I’m grateful that my religion includes a representation of the feminine in its conception of the divine. However, Mormonism’s current teachings about Heavenly Mother raise a number of difficult questions for me.