Burning Bosom

Theology, History, Culture, Politics & Life from a LDS (Mormon) Perspective

Archive for the ‘Scripture’ Category

How Mormons Are Buddhists & Vice Versa

Posted by Andrew on March 12, 2008

BuddhaFirst VisionA few months ago, I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting in which I discussed how studying other religious faiths and their scriptures had enriched my life. When the meeting was over, a couple approached me and said they wanted a copy of the talk to give their daughter because she described herself as a “Buddhist Mormon.” The couple said their daughter couldn’t decide whether to be a Buddhist or a Mormon, so she was trying to be both. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Apologetics, Book of Mormon, Inter-Faith Relations, Scripture, Theology | Tagged: , | 40 Comments »

Gathering God’s Words to “All Nations”: When, Where, How, and Who Cares?

Posted by Andrew on March 10, 2008

VishnuAt a recent General Conference, Elder Oaks reiterated the Book of Mormon prophecy that “the Lord will eventually cause the inspired teachings He has given to His children in various nations to be brought forth for the benefit of all people.” [1] So inquiring minds may want to know: when, where, and how will God’s words to “all nations” be brought forth and gathered? Fortunately, I just happen to have all the answers. 🙂 Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bible, Book of Mormon, Inter-Faith Relations, Restoration, Scripture, Theology | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

The Unfinished Restoration: A Global Vision

Posted by Andrew on March 5, 2008

GlobeMormons tend to think of the Restoration as a discrete series of events that began with the First Vision and concluded with the Martyrdom. Because we tend to view the Restoration as something that has already occurred, we don’t seem to talk much about whether there is something more we can and should be doing to complete it. However, there is an aspect of the Restoration that is unfinished, and which seems to be largely overlooked.

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Posted in Apologetics, Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, Mormon History, Restoration, Scripture, Theology | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Zen Of Moving Chairs

Posted by Shawn L on February 11, 2008

ZenAs a young missionary in the MTC, I expended a lot of energy worrying about the relative strength of my testimony. I was raised in the Church, my whole family (at that time, at least) was fully active, and I was excited finally to be heading out to Guatemala to serve. But I was troubled because I felt as though something was missing. For me, the issue was not whether I had a testimony, but whether it was sufficiently buttressed with spiritual experiences. Hoping to see tangible fruit borne of Moroni’s promise, I nightly prayed fervently for a sign — something physical, something remarkable — to cement my testimony, to give me the ability to state, without hesitation, that “I know the Book of Mormon is true.” I honestly believed that, if I prayed hard enough, it was simply a matter of time. I knelt in the dark for long periods after I had finished, just waiting.

And after nine weeks of this . . . nothing happened. Well, not “nothing” — my testimony did grow and I felt closer to the Lord than I ever had. But I still felt let down — why didn’t I merit a life-altering, veil-thinning sort of experience? Isn’t that my entitlement as a faithful seeker? In the many years since I left the MTC, I have often pondered the question, what do we do when we don’t receive the spiritual confirmation for which we are earnestly searching? For me, the answer has come from an unexpected, and positively mundane, source.

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Posted in Missonaries, Mormon Culture, Scripture, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Physical Contact with the Emblems of Christ’s Suffering

Posted by Kerry on January 25, 2008

With credit and respect to Thomas Griffith (last I heard, a Stake President over one of the BYU stakes) for pointing out this beautiful gospel perspective, let me share a thought that has really affected me personally lately.

When the Nephites were visited by the resurrected Lord, immediately after introducing himself by saying “…I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world” (3 Nephi 11:9-10), the people responded:

When Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them.” (3 Nephi 11:12)

Remember, these weren’t a bunch of non-believers, but instead were “…the righteous remnant, those who had heeded the warnings of the prophets. They were prepared to meet the Lord.” (Griffith citation here) Yet after seeing the risen Lord and hearing him introduce himself, they fell to the earth. Why did they fall to the earth? Some of them probably recognized the Savior and humbly felt impelled to kneel, others may have not recognized Him but felt peer pressure to kneel down. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Book of Mormon, Faith, Scripture | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Church’s (Official?) Position on Biblical Interpretation

Posted by Andrew on January 25, 2008

Brother Jensen thinks the story of Jonah spending three days in a whale’s belly is not literally true, but is a beautiful metaphor of Christ’s death and resurrection. Brother Christiansen, on the other hand, insists the story is literally true, and thinks Brother Jensen is going to hell for thinking otherwise.

Brother Smith believes story of the Garden of Eden teaches true spiritual principles, but is not historically accurate. Brother Young, on the other hand, insists Mormons must believe the Bible’s history as well as its spiritual teachings.

For quite some time I’ve been trying to figure out whether the Church has an “official position” on how we are to interpret the Bible (e.g., literally or not, historically accurate or not). And I’ve been completely unable to find any such statement from the Church. Until now . . . Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bible, Church News, Scripture | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

Just Who Exactly Is The “Natural Man”?

Posted by Shawn L on January 20, 2008

Walk into any seminary classroom on any given morning and speak the phrase, “the natural man.”  In response, you’ll hear a rush of pages as students race towards King Benjamin’s admonition in Mosiah 3:19 that “the natural man is an enemy to God.”  Over the course of many, many lessons in varied fora, I have heard this scripture used to support the proposition that all men and women – that means us – are inherently evil and, by our very natures, stand in opposition to God.  The corrollary to this teaching is that unless we are ever vigilant, we inevitably will devolve into our “natural” sinful behaviors.

With all apologies to the CES instructors out there, I respectfully say . . . . Phooey!

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Posted in Book of Mormon, Scripture | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »

Mourning With Those That Mourn

Posted by Shawn L on January 9, 2008

Our ward is passing through a time of tragedy: our Bishop lost his 4 1/2 year old son on New Year’s Day in a sledding accident.  This loss was especially difficult news for our family because the son and my daughter were playmates — same co-op preschool, same Primary class, etc.  But, to my surprise, this experience has helped to shed new light on a very familiar scripture and has helped remind me of the blessings I enjoy as part of a ward family.

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Posted in Mormon Culture, Scripture | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Defending the “Burning Bosom”

Posted by Andrew on January 4, 2008

If you Google the words “burning bosom,” you’ll find several websites and even a video that criticize Mormons for believing that God speaks to our hearts though his Holy Spirit. In LDS scripture, God tells us that when we have a question about something, “you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.” (D&C 9:8.) Thus, Mormons believe we need to: (1) use our minds and do research, such as scripture study (“study it out in your mind”); (2) pray to God for guidance (“ask me if it be right”); and (3) listen to our hearts for a confirmation of truth (“your bosom shall burn within you”). Mormons believe the burning in the bosom described in the scripture quoted above is God speaking to our hearts through his Holy Spirit.

To me, this approach to truth-seeking should not be controversial to anyone who has studied the Bible. However, apparently several people who claim to believe the Bible find the concept of the “burning bosom” to be a false and dangerous notion that can lead people astray. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Apologetics, Bible, Faith, Scripture | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Which God Should I Believe In?

Posted by Andrew on January 1, 2008

In the Old Testament, God is often doing things that seem grossly out of character for the God I believe I know. The God I believe I know doesn’t order “his people” to kill the elderly, women, and little children (Ezek. 9:6); he doesn’t order the death penalty for those who break the Sabbath (Ex. 31:14-15); he doesn’t strike someone dead for making a misguided attempt to help (2 Sam. 6-8); and he doesn’t send bears to tear children into pieces–not even for making fun of a prophet’s bald head (2 Kings 2:23-25). These types of stories in the Old Testament present me with a dilemma. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Apologetics, Scripture | Tagged: | 9 Comments »