What An Original Apostle Said About The Name of the Church

In a recent post I showed that President Russell M. Nelson’s recent General Conference talk on the correct name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not outside of the mainstream of Latter-day Saint discourse on this point. This morning while doing research on another topic I came across Elder Orson Hyde‘s … Read more

A Note on Book of Mormon “Trinitarianism”

One exercise I have found interesting is looking at the criticisms Joseph Smith’s contemporaries made against the Book of Mormon. The granddaddy of Book of Mormon skeptics is without a doubt Alexander Campbell (1788–1866), the learned Christian divine who spearheaded, along with his father Thomas, the Restorationist movement of Christianity. Campbell published the first substantive … Read more

As Far As It Is Translated Correctly: Translation, Interpretation, and Revelation

The first half of the eighth Article of Faith reads, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.” This simple statement captures the theological position on the Bible accepted by Latter-day Saints. Unlike their Protestant friends, Latter-day Saints reject the doctrine of sola scriptura and instead … Read more

“Whose Fruit was Desirable to Make One Happy”: The True Story of José Almerich

José Almerich (left) with my uncle Matthew Stevens (right) circa 1973–1976. This account was written by my mother Jill Stevens Smoot. The following transcription has standardized and corrected some grammar, spelling, and punctuation.  This is the true story of José Almerich. From 1973–1976 my father, Robert V. Stevens, along with his wife Sue Stevens and their … Read more

Latter-day Khumrot and “Fences Around the Law”

Jesus disputed with the Pharisees over matters of the Law of Moses on a number of recorded occasions. (From LDS.org) In Judaism exists the concept of the khumrot (חומרות), or proscriptions that are implemented to safeguard the halakhah (הלכה)–––the body of Jewish religious laws–––from being transgressed. The khumrot of Orthodox Judaism are not the laws themselves, but are instead … Read more

Saved by Charis: A Review of “Relational Grace: The Reciprocal and Binding Covenant of Charis”

Paul Writing His Epistles attr. Valentin de Boulogne (17th century). Paul had a thing or two to say about salvation. The Book of Mormon famously teaches, “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it … Read more

Wrestling the Angel

Alexander Louis Leloir, Jacob Wrestling With the Angel (1865). This evening I (finally) finished reading Terryl Givens’ excellent Wrestling the Angel: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Cosmos, God, Humanity. (Before I say anything else, may I express my delight in Givens using a story from the Hebrew Bible to symbolize his treatise on Mormon theology?) … Read more