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Though raised as a Latter-day Saint in Utah, Samuel M. Brown was an atheist from an early age and proud of it. Yet, by his own account, God became an undeniable presence in his life. Now a faithful Latter-day Saint, this practicing research physician narrates some of the waypoints on his journey into believing and belonging. Some are dramatic–his w…
 
The Constitution of the United States guarantees that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Despite that promise, Latter-day Saints in the nineteenth century sometimes found themselves as victims of legal and extralegal violence against their leaders and lay members alike. Wh…
 
In today’s episode of “Abide: A Maxwell Institute Podcast,” we are studying four of Joseph Smith’s revelations. Three of them, Sections 129-131 are written in Joseph Smith’s own style, you can hear him teaching the Saints. This makes sense; they are quite literally teachings from Joseph Smith in both personal and public settings, compiled and made …
 
Following the Latter-day Saints’ expulsion from Missouri and while they worked to make a new home in Nauvoo, IL, Joseph Smith received several revelations that brought divine insight into earthly problems. For instance, what to do for those who could not afford to live in Nauvoo, or who desired to live in small cities surrounding the “City of Josep…
 
From acting as a scribe for the translation of the Book of Mormon to founding the Relief Society, Emma Hale Smith was a key figure in the Restoration. She was also her husband’s anchor and the love of his life. But how much do we really know about her role, teachings, and leadership? Drawing upon letters written by Emma to Joseph and to many others…
 
On January 19, 1841 Joseph Smith voiced a revelation that declared Nauvoo as the new gathering place for the Saints. Much had happened since we left Joseph in section 123. After the expulsion from Missouri, 5,000 Saints scattered traveling east across Missouri to safety in Illinois, 200 miles east of Far West, Missouri 1838, with a population of 1,…
 
Everything changed for Joseph Smith and the Latter-day Saints in a few short months in 1838. 5000 Saints gathered in the burgeoning city of Far West, Missouri to celebrate the 4th of July. Confident and secure in their main settlement, Sidney Rigdon declared that if a mob came again, it would be a “war of extermination.” His words proved prophetic–…
 
Eugene England was many things: a scholar, a theologian, an essayist, a husband, father, and teacher. But, above all, he defined himself as a disciple of Jesus Christ and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today, we speak with Terryl Givens, a Senior Research Fellow at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute, to discuss his biograph…
 
Sections 116-120 reveal a Church and prophet trying desperately to make the best of a bad situation. By the date of the last revelation a third of the Quorum of the Twelve would apostatize. The Lord directed that the Church move its headquarters from Ohio to Missouri. The Latter-day Saints changed their main county of residence. In the midst of thi…
 
In July of 1836 JS Hyrum Smith OC SR travelled to Salem, MA. They arrived on 5 August and rented a house on Union Street for the next 3 weeks. The revelation in section 111 might have been received there, BUT There is no contemporary evidence that tells us why they were there. THe contemporary evidence we do have, included in the JOseph Smith Paper…
 
How do we understand the lives of women who lived in ancient times? Where do historians and scholars go for evidence when there’s relatively little available in written records? In this episode of the Maxwell Institute Podcast, we will talk with Dr. Catherine Gines Taylor, a Nibley Postdoctoral Fellow at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute, and Dr. Mark …
 
We will be discussing each week’s block of reading from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Come, Follow Me” curriculum. We aren’t here to present a lesson, but rather to hit on a few key themes from the scripture block that we believe will help fulfill the Maxwell Institute’s mission to inspire and fortify Latter-day Saints in their …
 
In early 1835 the first Quorum of the 12 of the Restored Church were called and that spring were tasked with travelling “through the Eastern States, to the Atlantic Ocean, and hold conferences in the vicinity of the several branches of the Church for the purpose of regulating all things necessary for their welfare.” As they prepared to approach the…
 
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have taken the Lord’s call to “have a record kept among [them]” since the commandment was given in the first days of the Church. One of the ways that the Church accomplishes this is through the Joseph Smith Papers Project. In this episode, we will hear from Robin Scott Jensen, David Grua, a…
 
We will be discussing each week’s block of reading from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Come, Follow Me” curriculum. We aren’t here to present a lesson, but rather to hit on a few key themes from the scripture block that we believe will help fulfill the Maxwell Institute’s mission to inspire and fortify Latter-day Saints in their …
 
Charles Inouye writes, “I am Japanese but was born and raised in rural central Utah. At first, my parents were afraid that our involvement with the Church would weaken our grounding in Japanese tradition. As it turned out, it only reinforced my interest in animism, Buddhism, and other aspects of Japanese culture. As a scholar of Japanese culture, I …
 
We will be discussing each week’s block of reading from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Come, Follow Me” curriculum. We aren’t here to present a lesson, but rather to hit on a few key themes from the scripture block that we believe will help fulfill the Maxwell Institute’s mission to inspire and fortify Latter-day Saints in their …
 
We will be discussing each week’s block of reading from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Come, Follow Me” curriculum. We aren’t here to present a lesson, but rather to hit on a few key themes from the scripture block that we believe will help fulfill the Maxwell Institute’s mission to inspire and fortify Latter-day Saints in their …
 
We will be discussing each week’s block of reading from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Come, Follow Me” curriculum. We aren’t here to present a lesson, but rather to hit on a few key themes from the scripture block that we believe will help fulfill the Maxwell Institute’s mission to inspire and fortify Latter-day Saints in their …
 
We will be discussing each week’s block of reading from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Come, Follow Me” curriculum. We aren’t here to present a lesson, but rather to hit on a few key themes from the scripture block that we believe will help fulfill the Maxwell Institute’s mission to inspire and fortify Latter-day Saints in their …
 
We will be discussing each week’s block of reading from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Come, Follow Me” curriculum. We aren’t here to present a lesson, but rather to hit on a few key themes from the scripture block that we believe will help fulfill the Maxwell Institute’s mission to inspire and fortify Latter-day Saints in their …
 
We will be discussing each week’s block of reading from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Come, Follow Me” curriculum. We aren’t here to present a lesson, but rather to hit on a few key themes from the scripture block that we believe will help fulfill the Maxwell Institute’s mission to inspire and fortify Latter-day Saints in their …
 
We will be discussing each week’s block of reading from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Come, Follow Me” curriculum. We aren’t here to present a lesson, but rather to hit on a few key themes from the scripture block that we believe will help fulfill the Maxwell Institute’s mission to inspire and fortify Latter-day Saints in their …
 
We will be discussing each week’s block of reading from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Come, Follow Me” curriculum. We aren’t here to present a lesson, but rather to hit on a few key themes from the scripture block that we believe will help fulfill the Maxwell Institute’s mission to inspire and fortify Latter-day Saints in their …
 
We will be discussing each week’s block of reading from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Come, Follow Me” curriculum. We aren’t here to present a lesson, but rather to hit on a few key themes from the scripture block that we believe will help fulfill the Maxwell Institute’s mission to inspire and fortify Latter-day Saints in their …
 
We will be discussing each week’s block of reading from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Come, Follow Me” curriculum. We aren’t here to present a lesson, but rather to hit on a few key themes from the scripture block that we believe will help fulfill the Maxwell Institute’s mission to inspire and fortify Latter-day Saints in their …
 
On February 16, 1832, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were working on the Prophet’s “translation” of the Bible. This wasn’t a translation in a linguistic sense, where someone takes a text from one language and presents it in another. No, this was a project about seeking out meanings and insights that had been lost over hundreds of years of Christian…
 
How did early Latter-day Saints read the Book of Mormon? And how did that book, which the Prophet Joseph Smith called “the most correct of any book on earth” and “the keystone of our religion,” help Latter-day Saints make sense of their lives? In this episode of the Maxwell Institute Podcast, Dr. Janiece Johnson, a Willes Center Research Fellow at …
 
In the book of Revelation, the Lord sits upon a throne overlooking creation and declares “Behold, I am making all things new.” Authors Fiona and Terryl Givens take up that theme in their latest book—a readable overview of Christian history, highlighting ways that Latter-day Saint scripture invites us to rethink the nature of sin, salvation, and eve…
 
James E. Faulconer has spent his career enriching the scripture study of Latter-day Saints, offering powerful tools to improve engagement with the word of God. His latest book continues that project. Thinking Otherwise: Theological Explorations of Joseph Smith’s Revelations. It’s the latest volume in the Maxwell Institute’s Living Faith book series…
 
Dr. Ravi Gupta joins guest host Philip Barlow to talk about faith and scholarship. Dr. Gupta was a visiting scholar at the Maxwell Institute this semester, and a previous guest on the Maxwell Institute Podcast. He’s a practicing Hindu and also a scholar of Hinduism, and he’s become a close friend of the Institute over the past few years. He’s known…
 
What a journey it’s been through the Book of Mormon over the past year, and what a year it’s been to take a journey through the Book of Mormon! David F. Holland joins us in this episode to talk about his brief theological introduction to the final book—the book of Moroni. Spencer Fluhman, executive director of the Maxwell Institute, returns as gues…
 
Literary scholar Rosalynde Frandsen Welch explores the book of Ether as a sweeping history in which Moroni, absorbed in the past, turns his heart to future readers whose spiritual fate will be at stake. This latest episode in our series about the brief theological introductions to the Book of Mormon focuses on Welch’s Ether. James E. Faulconer take…
 
We’re continuing our series talking with authors of the brief theological introductions to the Book of Mormon. Adam Miller is here to talk about his volume on Mormon—a book that he calls “a beginner’s guide to the end of the world.” Mormon testifies of Christ even as everything he loves seems to be slipping through his fingers. For the last few epi…
 
Christopher Blythe’s new book focuses on Latter-day Saint views of the end of the world, which might seem like it’s a little on the nose, but here we are! Blythe goes back to the beginning of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to find out how early church members thought about the apocalypse—the cataclysmic end of the world which would…
 
Daniel Becerra joins us to talk about his book 3rd, 4th Nephi: a brief theological introduction. Becerra says these pivotal books, depicting Christ’s visit to ancient peoples on the American continent, serve as a guidebook in the disciple’s pursuit of Christ and Christlikeness. What do they reveal about the nature of God, about human nature, and ho…
 
Author Kimberly Matheson Berkey says book of Helaman is one of the best-kept secrets in the Book of Mormon. It marks a dramatic reversal in the history of Book of Mormon peoples. The spiritual tables turn. While the Lamanites righteously cast their eyes toward heaven, the Nephites take their first steps toward a surprising precipice where final des…
 
It isn’t every day that a scholar publishes a book that changes the entire landscape of a field of study, but that’s exactly what Robert Alter did in 1981 with his book, The Art of biblical Narrative. For centuries and more, scholars had meticulously studied the Bible to tease out the voices those who compiled it, but Robert Alter paid attention to…
 
In this episode we introduce you to a story about a man who was seeking for the true church of Christ. A man who prayed and then reported miraculous visitations. He recorded revelations about the true nature of God and how the true church should be built up, ultimately inspiring a large body of converts. If all of this sounds familiar, here’s the s…
 
The Book of Mormon prophet Alma was on the wrong path. But much like the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, Alma experienced a shocking vision that changed everything. His sermons are the product of a person who understood what it meant to receive the grace of Christ and have a mighty change of heart. In this episode, Mark Wrathall joins us to t…
 
Margaret Bendroth has spent a good deal of her life trying to remember the past, and trying to help others remember, too. To Bendroth, memory is more than sentimental and history is more than a list of dates and names. Bendroth says remembering is a religious and spiritual practice. In this episode, she joins us to discuss her short but stunning bo…
 
This episode features Melissa Inouye, a self-proclaimed “bald Asian American Latter-day Saint woman scholar,” talking all about her “ventures through life, death, cancer and motherhood (not necessarily in that order)”—which happens to be the subtitle of her latest book, Crossings. It’s part of the Maxwell Institute’s Living Faith book series. About…
 
Alma is an idolatrous man in the Book of Mormon, a wicked man according to the text—until an angel’s rebuke leads to his repentance and then two decades of righteous service in realms both political and religious. But even then, Alma’s past haunts him. Kylie Nielson Turley talks about her brief theological introduction to the book of Alma, chapters…
 
The Book of Mormon has important things to say about how we say important things, according to David Charles Gore. He’s author of The Voice of the People: Political Rhetoric in the Book of Mormon (Maxwell Institute, 2019). Gore says it’s not enough to be in possession of the truth. We also have to know how to share it in ways that actually reach ot…
 
When railroads started making their way across the western frontier of the United States in the 1800s, many Americans thought it would destroy the religion known as “Mormonism.” Brigham Young, then-president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, disagreed, declaring, “It must be a damned poor religion if it can’t stand one railroad!” …
 
Jane Manning James stood out among early Latter-day Saints as one of few black converts. She was baptized into the Church as a free black woman in Connecticut and migrated to Nauvoo with her family, where she soon found herself working in the prophet Joseph Smith’s home. After his death, she traveled west with the Saints and lived the rest of her l…
 
This episode continues our special series of episodes on the Maxwell Institute’s brief theological introductions to the Book of Mormon. In his book on Mosiah, philosopher and theologian James E. Faulconer untangles a complicated narrative—a fragmentary history about a fragmented people, written by a record keeper obsessed with unity. Faulconer unpa…
 
We live in an age of polemics. Choices are presented as mutually exclusive and we are given little time to listen. You are either secular or religious. You either believe in the exclusive truth of your own religion or you believe that truth is everywhere—or nowhere. The battle over truth rages on. But what if truth were a child? What if we pursued …
 
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