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47 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Episode 34: The Root of Gadianton’s Dissent (Dan Belnap)
Although it is common to view Gadianton and his followers in the Book of Mormon as driven by a purely evil desire for power, there could be more to their movement. Why else could their rebellion persuade “the more part of the righteous…to believe in their works” (Helaman 6:38)? Professor Dan Belnap examines the root of this rebellion, and why it may have more application today than some might think.
41 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
Episode 33: Mosaics of Faith (Matthew Grey)
Since 2012, archaeologists at the Galilean village of Huqoq have been uncovering an intricate mosaic floor of an ancient synagogue. This 5th century mosaic depicts biblical scenes of Samson, Jonah, Noah’s ark, Pharaoh’s army, and snapshots of daily life in antiquity. In this episode, BYU religion’s Dr. Matthew Grey—who was supervising the synagogue excavation when it was uncovered— discusses details from this discovery, and how the archaeology of Roman Galilee can inform our understanding of the Bible.
45 minutes | May 15, 2021
Episode 32: The Liminal Experience of the Brother of Jared (Charles Swift)
The word “liminal” isn’t in most people’s everyday vocabulary. Although the word is rare, the experience it summarizes is not, particularly in religious life. Liminality means to be in an in-between space, on the verge of transformation, or at a threshold—like a doorway. In this insightful episode, Dr. Charles Swift analyzes the Brother of Jared’s liminal experience in Ether 2 and 3, and what it can teach us today about our own interactions with and answers from the Lord.
49 minutes | May 1, 2021
Episode 31: The Chamber of Father Whitmer (Michael MacKay)
The Prophet Joseph Smith once taught that “all priesthood is Melchizedek.” Thus, the restoration of the priesthood can be understood as a series of heavenly events, including a relatively unknown experience with the Lord at Peter Whitmer Sr.’s farmhouse. In this powerful episode, Dr. Michael Hubbard MacKay explains what happened “in the chamber of old Father Whitmer” (D&C 128:21) and why it matters to our understanding of priesthood.
49 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
Episode 30: Theology of the King James Language (Jan Martin)
One of the great debates of the 16th century took place between William Tyndale and Thomas More over Tyndale’s translation of the Bible into English. Both men knew how words had the power to shape theology. Tyndale’s translation informed later English translations, including the King James Version. But were Tyndale’s choices right? In this episode, Dr. Jan Martin shares her research on how the King James language in the Book of Mormon provides amazing insights into these theological translation debates.
49 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
Episode 29: Living the Parables of Jesus (Hank Smith)
If we seek to teach in the Savior’s way, a common approach the Lord used was parables. In fact, Mark says that “without a parable spake he not unto them” (Mark 4:34). Good parables are multi-layered, and the teacher often leaves them uninterpreted to cause listeners to reflect and draw meaning. In this episode, BYU Religion’s Hank Smith shares insights from his publication on the parables of Jesus, why the Lord utilized them to teach, and why we should seek to do the same today.
48 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
Episode 28: God’s Voice to His Daughters in D&C 25 (Carter Charles)
Doctrine and Covenants 25 is unique and powerful. It is one of the two modern revelations directed specifically toward a woman, Emma Smith. It is also unique because of the progressive teachings it contains when studied in context, which makes it crucially relevant today. In this episode, Dr. Carter Charles analyzes the context and content of this important section, discussing how Emma Smith becomes a type for all sisters of the Church as “elect” ladies by virtue of their covenants.
47 minutes | Mar 1, 2021
Episode 27: Teaching Children to Believe in Christ (Byran Korth)
The recent home-centered and Church supported plan that focuses on gospel teaching and learning in the family has re-emphasized that parents have the primary responsibility to teach the gospel to their children. In this episode BYU Religion’s Dr. Byran Korth discusses how family gospel teaching is an “echo of a celestial pattern.” Using scriptural examples such as Alma, he explains the doctrinal WHYS and practical HOWS of parents teaching children to believe in Christ.
48 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
Episode 26: The Eternal in the Temporal (Jordan Watkins)
In the summer of 1842, Joseph Smith was busy. He implemented the endowment, entered plural marriages, dealt with John C. Bennett’s fallout, and went into hiding from an attempted extradition. BYU’s Jordan Watkins is an editor of the Joseph Smith Papers publication covering this pivotal time. In this episode, we learn learn about events from this demanding period of Joseph’s life, but also how those events gave rise to his revelations, showing the beauty of an eternal that encompasses the temporal.
44 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
Episode 25: Surprised by Christ (Daniel Becerra)
Because of Christ’s greatness, we must be careful to not put him in a box, confining our understanding through partial perspectives. Certainty can be counterproductive if it stifles our openness to learning more about Jesus. In this episode, Dr. Daniel Becerra discusses the character of Christ and the Lord’s ministry in 3rd and 4th Nephi, helping us come to better know and follow the Savior, and perhaps even be a little surprised by what we find.
48 minutes | Jan 15, 2021
Episode 24: Joseph Smith’s Growing Understanding of the Eternal Family (Michael Goodman & Devan Jensen)
We can sometimes think that Joseph Smith’s understanding of key Restoration doctrines came fully formed from the start. But the reality is that many concepts were revealed more slowly, here a little and there a little. Beginning with the tragic death of Joseph’s brother Alvin up through temple ordinances in Nauvoo, BYU religion’s Michael Goodman and Devan Jensen discuss how the Prophet grew in his understanding of doctrines related to the eternal family, and how God works with all of us line upon line.
46 minutes | Jan 1, 2021
Episode 23: Repicturing the Restoration (Anthony Sweat)
While existing artwork that portrays the Restoration is rich and beautiful, until now many key events in early Latter-day Saint history have not been depicted. In this episode, Anthony Sweat discusses his work to paint and write about 25 of these events, including 19th century female healing blessings, the early ordination of Black men like Q. Walker Lewis, the first baptism for the dead, and many others, illustrating why expanding our visual imagery can expand our understanding of the Restoration.
46 minutes | Dec 15, 2020
Episode 22: The Life of Paul (Nick Frederick)
One of the primary figures in establishing the trajectory of early Christian theology was Paul. Or should we still call him Saul? Was he an apostle (missionary) or Apostle (quorum)? Is the conversion narrative of rebel to saint an accurate representation of his zealous soul? In this episode, Dr. Nick Frederick challenges some of our existing assumptions about Paul while inviting us to better understand why his life and teachings are essential to Christianity, both anciently and today.
48 minutes | Dec 1, 2020
Episode 21: The Influence of Rose Marie Reid (Andrew Reed)
You may not know about Rose Marie Reid. After this episode, you’ll know why you should. In the 1950s she not only revolutionized women’s swimwear and established a multi-million dollar industry, but she also counseled with apostles about how to improve missionary work and establish relationships between Jewish and Latter-day Saint faiths, influencing interfaith dialogue today. Dr. Andrew Reed discusses the impact of this remarkable woman who built a family, built a business, and built the Kingdom of God
41 minutes | Nov 16, 2020
Episode 20: The Greek Texts of the New Testament (Lincoln Blumell)
While most of us encounter the text of the New Testament in English as it was interpreted by the King James translators, it was originally written in Greek. In this insightful episode, Dr. Lincoln Blumell takes us into the Greek world of the New Testament and its historical texts and times. He gives listeners some fascinating insights to passages and ideas from the New Testament, showing why a little contextual knowledge can have big doctrinal implications.
44 minutes | Nov 1, 2020
Episode 19: Book of Mormon Theology (Joseph Spencer)
The Book of Mormon is often read chronologically, historically, or doctrinally. But have you ever considered studying it theologically? That’s what a group of scholars at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute at BYU are doing, with wonderful results. In this episode, one of the authors and editors of The Book of Mormon: Brief Theological Introductions series, Dr. Joseph Spencer, discusses what theology is and why it can be a powerful approach to studying scripture.
50 minutes | Oct 15, 2020
Episode 18: Joseph Smith for President (Derek Sainsbury)
From the early days of the Restoration, Latter-day Saints learned firsthand that politics could impact the practice of their faith. Frustrated with politicians, in 1844 Joseph Smith launched his own U.S. Presidency campaign. Many don’t know that Joseph ran for President, or why. In this episode, Dr. Derek Sainsbury shares insights from his groundbreaking publication on Joseph Smith’s campaign, helping us understand why appropriate participation in politics is often related to building the kingdom of God.
42 minutes | Oct 1, 2020
Episode 17: The Missouri “Danites” (Alex Baugh)
In the summer of 1838, Missouri Latter-day Saints drew a line. Following several years of persecution, they chose to take up arms to defend themselves and their religious liberties. An oath-bound paramilitary society, known as the “Danites,” formed to warn out undesirable people from their community and defend the Church and its leaders. In this episode, Alex Baugh shares insights from his research that gives valuable context to why the Danites organized, and lessons learned from their actions.
40 minutes | Sep 15, 2020
Episode 16: Harmonizing the First Vision Accounts (Kerry Muhlestein)
Most Latter-day Saints are familiar with the First Vision account in Joseph Smith-History. Many, however, are not as familiar with the numerous other contemporary sources of the event. In this episode, Dr. Kerry Muhlestein discusses powerful insights from his publication, I Saw the Lord, harmonizing nine historical accounts of the First Vision. When we study the available accounts collectively, fascinating new perspectives can be gained from this foundational event that otherwise may be missed.
41 minutes | Sep 1, 2020
Episode 15: The Moses of Czechoslovakia (Mary Jane Woodger)
In 1939, Adolf Hitler’s army invaded Czechoslovakia. Although the Church was fragile in the area, the saints were strengthened by a man who is known today as the Moses of the Czech Republic. In this episode, Professor Mary Jane Woodger shares insights from her book, Mission President or Spy, The True Story of Wallace F. Toronto, the Czech Mission, and World War II, showing how faith can survive in challenging circumstances through the influence of fearless and faithful saints.
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