And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Isaiah 8:17

If you are looking for messages about the Europe Area Humanitarian Mission, go to

Saturday, December 13, 2014

" They Gave Up Their Christmas" video on

This is a great video for this time of year.  Enjoy

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I'm teaching next week : two Christmas lessons.

I'll be teaching the Christmas in the Old Testament lesson twice next week.
I am filling in for the teachers who filled in for me for 18 months.

Wednesday, Dec 17:  11 AM Ensign Stake
135 A Street, Salt Lake City, Utah

Thursday, Dec 18 :   11 AM South Jordan Stake
2450 W 10400 S. (South Jordan Parkway) South Jordan, Utah 84095.

Everyone is welcome.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

DNA and the Book of Mormon : Ugo Perego

Several years ago I heard Ugo Perego speak about the connection between DNA research and proving or disproving claims about the Book of Mormon.  He was funny and brilliant.  Here is an article he wrote on the subject: I highly recommend it.

We're Back!

Elder Stay and I got home from our mission last Thursday.  

We had an awesome time directing LDS Humanitarian efforts, mostly in eastern Europe.

We will be reporting on our mission in our ward, Salem 7th Ward, on Sunday, November 23, at 9 AM.  

You are all invited to come, but certainly don't feel obligated! 
After Sacrament Meeting, we will be serving a light brunch at our home and later will show a powerpoint presentation on some of the Humanitarian projects we approved and completed.

 If you ARE coming down, please email me an RSVP so we know how many to plan on.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Studying the Atonement of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon

Alabaster Box by J Kirk Richards

A good friend (in every sense of the phrase) asked me for suggestions to help her study the Atonement of Christ in the Book of Mormon, something we were encouraged to do by Elder Bednar.

Here are my initial suggestions:

Studying  the Atonement in the Book of Mormon

1.  Look for what Christ DOES: notice the VERBS – then copy those actions in your life  Alma 7:11-12

2.  Look for what Christ OFFERS: look for covenants and the BLESSINGS promised for obedience   1Nephi 2:20

3.  Look for mentions of rituals, gatherings and/or ordinances.  Pay particular attention to symbolic actions.  Ask what we can learn about Christ and the Atonement by looking deeply into symbols and metaphors.    2 Nephi 25:26, 1 Nephi 2:7, (see quote below from Elder Bednar, October 2014 gen conf.)

4.  Look for the OPPOSITES of each of the first three suggestions:  remember, the opposites are, by definition, ANTI-CHRIST     1 – SIN
                                                   2 – CURSES
                                                   3 – PRIESTCRAFT
Recognizing opposites of truth helps us better understand the boundaries of goodness.

Bednar quote: “And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.
And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also” (1 Nephi 8:11–12; emphasis added).


Bednar cont. : The greatest manifestation of God’s love for His children is the mortal ministry, atoning sacrifice, and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The fruit on the tree can be considered a symbol for the blessings of the Savior’s Atonement.

Bednar cont. : Lehi’s instant response to partaking of the fruit of the tree and experiencing great joy was an increased desire to share with and serve his family. Thus, as he turned to Christ, he also turned outward in love and service.
Another important episode in the Book of Mormon describes what happened to a man named Enos after his earnest and pleading prayer was heard and answered by God.
He said:
“And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.
“And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.
“And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.
“And I said: Lord, how is it done?
“And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. … Wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.
“Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them” (Enos 1:4–9; emphasis added).
As Enos turned to the Lord “with full purpose of heart” (2 Nephi 31:13), his concern for the welfare of his family, friends, and associates increased simultaneously.
The enduring lesson we learn from these two episodes is the importance of experiencing in our personal lives the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ as a prerequisite to heartfelt and authentic service that stretches far beyond merely “going through the motions.” Much like Lehi, Enos, and our little boy in the story I recounted, we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have felt the anguish associated with spiritual uncertainty and sin. We also have experienced the cleansing, the peace of conscience, the spiritual healing and renewal, and the guidance that are obtained only by learning and living the principles of the Savior’s gospel.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ provides the cleanser necessary to be made pure and clean, the soothing salve to heal spiritual wounds and remove guilt, and the protection that enables us to be faithful in times both good and bad.  Elder Bednar, October 2014 gen conf.  

 Some other suggested web resources include:

Lessons from the new Youth Curriculum

An essay by Robert Millet on the Atonement of Christ published by FARMS in 1995

And here are some scriptures to start with, compliled here by Rachel Bruner

An Infinite and Eternal Sacrifice
"And now, behold, I will testify unto you of myself that these things are true. Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

"For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made.

"For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice." (Alma 34:8-10)

Justice and Mercy
"But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.

"But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice.

"For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved." (Alma 42:22-24)

A Sacrifice for Sin
"And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified...

"Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.

"Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered." (2 Nephi 2:5-7)

Redeemed From the Fall
"Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

"And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself." (2 Nephi 2:25-27)


Go check out all his awesome work on his website:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mount Zion Conference II : October 25th

Presentations at Temple on Mount Zion Conference II in Memory of Matthew B. Brown
October 25, 2014
8:45 am–5:30 pm

8:45 am           Opening Prayer, Greeting—Donald W. Parry, presiding
9:00 am           Jeffrey Bradshaw: “What Did Joseph Smith Know about the LDS Endowment by 1836?”
9:30 am           Dan Belnap: “‘Let the Beauty of the Lord our God be Upon Us’: The Role of Visual Aesthetics in Ancient Israel’s Temple Worship”
10:00 am         Carli Anderson: “Enthroning the Daughter of Zion: The Coronation Motif of Isaiah 60-62”
10:30 am         Break

10:45 am         Carli Anderson, presiding
                        Stephen D. Ricks: “Prayer with Uplifted Hands”
11:15 am         David Calabro: “Joseph Smith and the Architecture of Genesis”
11:45 am         Stephen Smoot: “The Book of the Dead as a Temple Text and the Implications for the Book of Abraham”
12:15 pm         David J. Larsen: “Psalm 24 and the Two Yahwehs at the Gate of the Temple”
12:45 pm         Lunch break

1:55 pm           Greeting—David J. Larsen, presiding
2:00 pm           Ann Madsen: “Temples in the Margins: The Temple in Isaiah”
2:30 pm           Donald W. Parry: “The Number ‘Seven’ in the Context of the Ancient Israelite Temple”
3:00 pm           Matthew L. Bowen:  “‘I Have Done According to My Will’: Reading Jacob 5 as a Temple Text”
3:30 pm           Break

3:45 pm           Stephen D. Ricks, presiding
                        John W. Welch: “Leviticus as an Archetypal Temple Template”
4:15 pm           John S. Thompson: “Jesus the High Priest and the Temple in the Gospel of John”
4:45 pm           Shon D. Hopkin: “The Day of Atonement, the Mosaic Temple, and the Christian Sacrament of Communion: Links and Symbols”
5:15 pm           Daniel C. Peterson: “The Cosmic Mountain in Canaan and the Qur’an”
5:45 pm           Concluding Remarks, Closing Prayer

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hamblin & Peterson: Biblical names for Lord have a strange history

By William Hamblin and Daniel Peterson, For the Deseret News
Published: Saturday, Sept. 20 2014 5:43 p.m. MDTdecorations still clearly legible after 395 years, at his Christian Heritage Museum on July 18, 2006, in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Chris Gardner, AP
For the Deseret News
You can find the orginal of this article on the Deseret News webpage HERE
Ancient readers and translators of the Bible, in their attempts to be reverent toward the Supreme Being, also created ambiguities and theological problems.
Readers of the King James (or Authorized) version of the Bible will be familiar with references to God appearing in the Old Testament as “LORD” (in small capital letters), reflecting a strange and varied history.
In Exodus 6:2-3, God reveals his name to Moses: “I am the LORD; and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty (“el shaday”), but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.”
In this verse, both LORD and JEHOVAH translate precisely the same Hebrew word: YHWH, which is generally pronounced by modern scholars as “Yahweh” — sometimes called by scholars the “tetragrammaton” or “four letters.” Every time the name LORD appears in the Bible in small capital letters, it translates this Hebrew proper name. The full spelling “Jehovah” was used four times by the King James translators (see Exodus 6:3, Psalms 83:18, Isaiah 12:2 and 26:4), and three times in transliterating Hebrew proper names (seeGenesis 22:14, Exodus 17:15 and Judges 6:24); it thus entered common English usage.
The name “Yahweh” may be related to the Hebrew root HYH (“hayah,” “to be,” “to exist” or “to become”). Thus, “Yahweh” might mean something like “he who is.” Some scholars think Yhwh may also be related to God’s name as given to Moses in Exodus 3:13-14: “When (the Israelites) ask ‘What is his (God’s) name?’ … God said to Moses: ‘I am who I am.’ Say to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”
“I am” in Hebrew in these verses is “eHYeH” (or “ehyeh”), the first person singular form of the verb HYH.
The proper name “Yahweh” is found throughout the Hebrew Bible and in many Hebrew theophoric names — names, that is, that contain the name of God. It seems to have been generally pronounced “Yahu,” or shortened to “Yah,” and anglicized (or put into English form) as “-iah.” Thus, “Jerem-iah” = “Yermi-yahu” = “Yahweh lifts up”; “Isa-iah” = “Yeshi’-yahu” = “Yahweh saves”; and “Elijah” = “Eli-yahu” = “Yahweh is my God.” Originally, the name seems to have been in common usage among ordinary Jews.
But some centuries after the return from Babylonian captivity (c. 538 B.C.), pious Jews began to interpret the commandment “Thou shalt not take the name of Yahweh (the LORD) thy God in vain” to mean that the name shouldn’t be spoken in ordinary daily life. Thereafter, the name was only pronounced by priests in the temple, and, after the Romans destroyed the temple in A.D. 70, its true pronunciation was forgotten.
Greek-speaking Jews confused the matter further when they occasionally tried to transliterate Hebrew “Yahweh” into Greek. Greek has no letter for an internal “h” sound, as can be seen in Anglicized versions of such biblical names as “Aaron,” which was originally “Aharon.” Trying to write “Yahweh” became problematic in Greek due to its double internal "h."
Josephus claims that the name of God was written on the high priest’s golden crown with four vowels (“Jewish War” 5:235, alluding to Exodus 28:36), which he refused to write for his gentile audience. This is confirmed by occasional transliterations of the name “Yahweh” by early Greeks, Jews and Christians as “Iao,” “Iaou,” “Iaue” or “Ieuo,” which are all attempts to render “YaHweH”/”Yawe” without the "h."
By the third century B.C., Jewish unwillingness to pronounce the name “Yahweh” when reading scripture in the synagogue or speaking had led them to replace “Yahweh” in pronunciation with either with the word “adonay” (“the lord”) or “ha-shem” (“the name,” referring to “Yahweh”).
This practice was followed as well by the Jewish translators of the Septuagint, the Hebrew Bible rendered into Greek in the second century B.C. There they translated the Hebrew “Yahweh” as “kyrios,” the Greek word for “lord.”
Unfortunately, however, they also rendered Hebrew “adonay” as “kyrios,” creating a confusing ambiguity in their translation between the proper name “Yahweh” and the ordinary title “adonay.” This confusion continued in the New Testament, where “Yahweh” is always rendered “kyrios,” as well as in the Christian Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible, which likewise translates both “Yahweh” and “adonay” as “dominus” (= “lord”).
The King James printers tried to resolve this ambiguity by representing “Yahweh” as “LORD,” and “adonay” as “lord.” But doctrinal problems persist. When Jesus is called “Lord” (Greek “kyrios,” e.g. at 1 Corinthians 12:3and Phillippians 2:11), does it mean simply that Jesus is a powerful ruler or master, or that he’s the biblical Yahweh?

Daniel Peterson founded BYU's Middle Eastern Texts Initiative, chairs The Interpreter Foundation, and blogs on Patheos. William Hamblin is the author of several books on premodern history. They speak only for themselves.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

New MoTab Music Channel

 Choir Music 24/7
The Choir has a new feature on its website -- a music stream powered by the Mormon Channel. Now you can listen to Choir music all day, without interruptions. And, all night, too. The music stream is programmed with selections from the Choir’s deep reservoir of recorded music.

The best part is that the music stream is easily accessed on the Choir’s website under “Watch and Listen.” Click here for a simple step-by step guide on how to use the new stream.