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2 minutes | Dec 1, 2022
A Short Tribute to My Genealogical Butcher Chart
Linda Hoffman Kimball's lighthearted poem joyfully explores the mix of our ancestors that blend together to create a unique individual.
34 minutes | Nov 29, 2022
Becoming Zion: Some Reflections on Forgiveness and Reconciliation
At one point several years ago, Deidre Nicole Green faced betrayal and deception which she said "crescendoed into blatant and dehumanizing cruelty" toward her. This resulted in her feeling "a deep need to understand forgiveness."
2 minutes | Nov 23, 2022
All Things Sing Praise
Not all expressions of gratitude are spoken. Susan Elizabeth Howe's poem gives voice to those whose praise is often overlooked. Listen to it today, just in time for Thanksgiving.
64 minutes | Nov 22, 2022
Much of classical philosophy can feel out-of-touch, given that the authors often lived lives of luxury. A more recent philosophy, called the ethics of care, stems from the human instinct to take care of each other. This article by Hinckley A. Jones-Sanpei suggests that the ethics of care works in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
1 minutes | Nov 17, 2022
His Body Breaks - A poem by James Goldberg
This poem received an honorable mention in our 2020 poetry contest.
47 minutes | Nov 15, 2022
Remnant or Replacement?: Outlining a Possible Apostasy Narrative
Latter-day Saints believe that a restoration of Christ's church, teachings, and covenants was necessary due to what we call the "great apostasy." But what was the exact nature of that apostasy? Nicholas J. Frederick and Joseph M. Spencer use Nephi's vision in 1 Nephi 13 to describe it.
17 minutes | Nov 10, 2022
"So, was there anything you just couldn't find there?" I asked the newly returned missionary. He had been home from Guatemala for a few months, and I would be leaving for the same country soon. "Balloons," he said. It was my turn to look puzzled. Why would a missionary need balloons?
45 minutes | Nov 8, 2022
Event or Process? How the "Chamber of Old Father Whitmer" Helps Us Understand Priesthood Restoration
Latter-day Saints have commonly abbreviated the narrative of the restoration of the priesthood by associating the Aaronic Priesthood with John the Baptist and the Melchizedek Priesthood with Peter, James, and John. Michael Hubbard MacKay proposes that we have good reason to return to the historical record, where we will find that priesthood restoration is much broader than these two events. If it is viewed instead as a process, many other experiences and manifestations become both relevant and important, particularly a revelation received by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in “the chamber of old Father Whitmer.”
17 minutes | Nov 3, 2022
My Stepdad Was a Bank Robber
"My dad was a contract killer, and my stepfather was a bank robber.” Billy Wilson used to enjoy the shock value of introducing his unusual family heritage. When he wonders if his stepfather, who was shot by police while robbing a bank, robbed that bank to have money to buy him a birthday present, his perspective on his unique family dynamics change.
58 minutes | Nov 1, 2022
The Danite Constitution and Theories of Democratic Justice in Frontier America
Americans in the 1830s were very protective of their freedom to not be forcibly removed from the land on which they lived. Debates over who should belong or be expelled are captured in a document written by a clandestine and controversial group of early Latter-day Saints known as the Danites. The document was filled with republican language even as it subtly challenged existing democratic systems. This episode is a narration of Benjamin E. Park's article of the same title, published in BYU Studies Quarterly, volume 60, number 1.
63 minutes | Oct 27, 2022
The Bible in the Millennial Star and the Woman's Exponent
Amy Easton-Flake analyzes how Church members used the Old and New Testaments in publications during the 19th century. Doing so sheds light on what was on the minds of that generation of Latter-day Saints, many of whom were among the earliest converts to the newly-restored faith.
5 minutes | Oct 25, 2022
Wake Up and Dream by artist Eva Koleva Timothy
The artwork Star Stretching by Eva Koleva Timothy was inspired by a favorite saying of her mission president, Elder Ronald Rasband: “It is better to aim for the stars and drag your feet in the treetops than to aim for the treetops and drag your feet in the mud.” She learned growing up that even in poverty, oppression, and darkness, if you look for the light, it is always there. View the artwork on this page as you listen: https://byustudies.byu.edu/article/wake-up-and-dream/
52 minutes | Dec 13, 2021
The Jerusalem Center at Thirty
Volume 59:4 (2020) - I first “met” James E. Faust in June 1989, when, a month after the Jerusalem Center was dedicated, he called my home. BYU president Jeffrey R. Holland had appointed me an associate academic vice president in late February, with a portfolio that included the university’s international and undergraduate programs, but this assignment was set aside when he was called to the Seventy in April and Rex Lee was named president of BYU. In June, Rex invited me to stay on in that same role with the portfolio President Holland had given me, which on the international side included administrative oversight of the university’s new Jerusalem Center. Elder Faust introduced himself, asked me a bit about myself, and then asked when I planned to go to Jerusalem. “Probably at Christmas,” I responded. He replied, “Well, if I had administrative oversight for a First Presidency project, I think I would want to see it as soon as I could.” I can take a hint: I was on a plane for Jerusalem in early August 1989 for the first of more than ninety trips in the next thirty years. I returned to Provo, started teaching and learning about my administrative assignments. A couple of weeks after I returned from Jerusalem, I got another call from Elder Faust. He asked about my trip and, within a minute or so, it became very clear that I had been sent but had not returned and reported, and that this was a mistake. Having gently delivered that message, he invited me to join him in the office of Howard W. Hunter, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, later that week. So began wonderful relationships with, to a lesser degree, President Hunter and, to a much greater degree, Elder Faust that lasted until each passed away—relationships that have extended, in a sense, beyond their deaths with Elder Holland’s gentle reminders on occasion of their keen interest in the Center and his thoughtful counsel and concern for its success.
3 minutes | Dec 8, 2021
Book notice about The Annals of the Southern Mission: A Record of the History of the Settlement of Southern Utah
Volume 59:4 (2020) - Author James Godson Bleak (1829–1918) was a British convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and veteran of the Edward Martin handcart company. In the early 1860s, Bleak accepted President Brigham Young’s charge to be a clerk and historian for the Utah South Mission in St. George. The Annals of the Southern Mission is the result of decades of Bleak’s fulfillment of this commission.
70 minutes | Dec 6, 2021
Student Panel Discussion on the Jerusalem Center
Volume 59:4 (2020) - Students come to the Center with different ambitions. They come as young people to have fun. They come as travelers to find adventure, exploring the foreign and exotic places in the Holy Land. They come to learn about the ancient Near East and the history, culture, and religious beliefs of the Christians, Jews, and Muslims. They come as guests to encounter the gracious peoples who inhabit the Holy Land. They come as students to read and study the scriptures. Significantly, they come as pilgrims searching for experience and insight into the sacred, with hopes that their hearts can be changed. They come to walk in the footsteps of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Kings David and Solomon; the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Lehi; and the Apostles Peter and Paul. Most importantly, they come as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ to heed his admonition, as he told his ancient Apostles, “Come and see” (John 1:39). Our students come to see and hear and smell and touch and feel and experience the Spirit. They come to the land where he walked in order to learn to walk in his footsteps. Today, in the spirit of pilgrimage, we have gathered to share our stories, our stories of encountering the Holy Land through the Jerusalem Center. We are going to start this panel discussion by introducing ourselves. We have three students from the Jerusalem Center programs from 1990 through 2000 and three from programs after 2007.
15 minutes | Dec 1, 2021
Review of Understanding Covenants and Communities: Jews and Latter-day Saints in Dialogue
Volume 59:4 (2020) - Organized topically, this book’s sixteen essays provide a wealth of information about Jewish and Latter-day Saint perspectives, scripture, experience, worship, culture, and politics. However, at least for me, the true treasure of these essays is not so much informational as it is relational. In my experience, interfaith meetings frequently bear an uncanny resemblance to middle-school dances: occasions where two groups very much want to get to know each other but have absolutely no idea how to do so. Consequently, they hang back, occasionally venturing forth to make awkward, momentary contact, only to quickly retreat to the safety of their respective camps afterwards. With this book, Jewish and Latter-day Saint scholars from Loyola Marymount University; Brigham Young University; Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles; and the Academy for Jewish Religion California attempt to remedy this situation not only by offering their readers several “good practices and lessons learned about successful interfaith dialogues” (xiv) but also by demonstrating in essay form what such a dialogue looks like and what it can lead to.
41 minutes | Nov 29, 2021
Faculty Perspectives and Experiences at the BYU Jerusalem Center
Volume 59:4 (2020) - In 1985, my friend and I decided to backpack around the world. I said that if we were doing that, the first thing I wanted to do was get to the Holy Land. We were on a dime traveling, and we just had a Bible in one hand and a Let’s Go Europe in the other. That visit to the Holy Land started a fire within me, a love of that land. I was home about a year and a half when Elder James E. Faust spoke at our stake conference in Australia. He began by noting that “the Jerusalem Center is opening soon.” After conference, I asked Elder Faust, “Really, what do I need to do?” He told me to write to Robert Taylor. Two months later, I was at the Jerusalem Center as a student in the fall 1987 program. I later returned as a faculty member from August 2014 to August 2015.
29 minutes | Nov 24, 2021
Review of Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volumes 7-9
Volume 59:4 (2020) - Almost fifty years ago, my wife, Patricia, and I had the distinct privilege to work for incoming Church Historian Leonard J. Arrington in combing through the archives of the Church History Library in Salt Lake City for source materials long since shelved, considered lost, or otherwise off-limits. Along the way, we also enjoyed working with a team of other dedicated scholars brought in to work under Arrington’s kind and learned tutorship. Among them was a talented archivist/historian named Dean Jessee, who was an assiduous student of the document, particularly the papers of the prophet Joseph Smith Jr. Owning a passion for the original manuscript and for letting primary sources speak for themselves, Jessee was less the interpreter and more the preserver. The publication of the multivolume Joseph Smith Papers a half century on owes much to the quiet, painstaking, and transformative work of this good man. They are a legacy to his vision, drive, and effort through years of ups and downs too many and sometimes too painful to discuss here. They are also a tribute to the leadership of Elder Steven E. Snow, recent Church Historian and Recorder from 2012 to 2019, who did so much to see these latest volumes published.
34 minutes | Nov 23, 2021
“If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem” by Jeffrey R. Holland
Volume 59:4 (2020) - Thank you for allowing me to be with you today. In some ways, what I say today could be a precursor to the sermon someone might give at my funeral. Funeral or not, I am going to have these words written on my tombstone: “He did not fight at Hawn’s Mill, he was never incarcerated at Liberty Jail, he never pulled a handcart, but he did work on the BYU Jerusalem Center.” I have all the scar tissue, shared with a lot of other people, to prove that point. I am delighted to have the chance on this thirtieth anniversary to reminisce a little about that experience. A couple of tributes need to be paid right at the outset. Since they would not say it of themselves, honor and integrity demand that I say a word or two about some very devoted people who made the Jerusalem Center happen. Even as I single out a few, so much more should be said about so many more.
22 minutes | Nov 17, 2021
Connections between the Jerusalem Center and the Local Israeli Academy
Volume 59:4 (2020) - When we first occupied the Center, construction of some of its facilities was not completed. For example, the dining area, which would come to be called the Oasis, was not finished in time for the summer term of 1987, and my students and I had to walk across the street to the Commodore Hotel for our meals. During the first week my student group was lodging at the Center, I was approached by a man who owned the house just across the street from our lower gate and desired to meet some of his strange new neighbors. He invited me to his son’s wedding, to be held in their small patio court that weekend. It was a delightful event for me and several of our students, as we began the process of getting to know the people of our new surroundings. It was not all easy, however, and not always friendly. I also remember being approached by a belligerent man at a tourist site who recognized the students as the “Mormons” whose new Center he felt was a dangerous missionary presence in the Holy Land. He attempted to bait me and some of my students into a religious discussion, which we avoided. It would take quite some time for the fears that some people had about the Center to abate.
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