Why is Isaiah difficult?

I took a class in poetry while working on my degree at Occidental College. Being a biochemistry major, I was looking to fill my schedule with an easy class to soften the study load of organic chemistry and physics. We were on the trimester, so I would take two sciences and one general education or other seemingly easy class. I chose a Poetry class. Poetry is not easy. It’s almost like a foreign language. Maybe if we had studied the classics in high school, we would have a better background in understanding poetic devices like: allegory, metaphor, alliteration, assonance,...

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Love your neighbor

This is a great video from The Bible Project that explains how the word “love” is translated in our scriptures. We lose so much in translation. Translation of other languages and just trying to figure out what someone means. It’s even difficult to communicate our ideas and feelings to another person when we share a common language. And it’s difficult to love our enemy when we understand their intent. Can we have compassion on those who do us wrong? Taking into account the meanings of the Aramaic word for “Love” — it still comes across that the Lord expects us to have compassion on these people that we may not like, or who may be causing us trials. It seems the expert in law (lawyer) was trying to get around this meaning of loving your neighbor, as the scriptures say, he stood up to test the Lord and that he (the lawyer) wanted to justify himself: One day an expert in the law stood up to test Him. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law? Jesus replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “You have answered correctly, Jesus said....

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The great and abominable church

Over the years, I’ve heard several descriptions of who or what is the “great and abominable church” — it is much like trying to identify the  “Abominable Snowman.” Where did this phrase come from — the great and abominable church? Nephi wanted to see the same things that his father Lehi had seen in his vision of the tree of Life.  And when Nephi  sat pondering about this (1 Nephi 11:1) he was caught away in the spirit of the Lord unto an exceedingly high mountain. This is when the Spirit says “Look” and shows him various things. He...

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How does the Savior saves us?

I am looking for some feedback on whiteboard animation and learning — what do you think and what would improve this method? I am using VideoScribe software, so I have some limitations — I’m not drawing my own images in this, but choosing svg files that work. I have a post on the Vassal-King relationship which I used as the basis for this short video. It’s a trial run, as I am still learning the software too. My first one, got a big laugh from my son who is a film major — I had cartoons that were too silly for the text and music. I think maybe voice over might work well too. If you have any opinions, leave a comment....

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Counting sheep and Noah’s ark

Some nights I don’t sleep well. Instead of counting sheep, I listen to Hugh Nibley on my ipod. In the early morning hours of 4 AM, I heard Nibley talk about tough times and Noah’s ark. “If we fancy Noah riding the sunny seas high, dry, and snug in the ark, we have not read the record—” I chuckled at Nibley’s dry sense of humor — Noah, high and dry in his ark, animals smiling, sailing the seas — like those little kindergarten stories we’ve learned so well. I guess it’s time to grow up and gain a better understanding of...

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Today and Noah’s day

What similarities can you see between the people of Noah’s day and the people of our day? How could the people of Noah’s day have avoided destruction? 23 And it came to pass that Noah continued his preaching unto the people, saying: Hearken, and give heed unto my words; 24 Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if ye do not this, the floods will come in upon you; nevertheless they hearkened not.  (See Moses 8:23–24.)...

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The Prophet Isaiah

A man walks naked for three years in the streets of Jerusalem. And you may wonder why, and assume he must be crazy. This happened about 700 years before the birth of Christ when Jehovah asked the prophet, Isaiah to go naked for three years. Jehovah had spoken through Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and ungird the sackcloth from your loins and remove the shoes from your feet. And he had done so, going naked and barefoot. (Isaiah 20:2) There is more to this story hidden within Isaiah’s words and actions, which is one reason the book...

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The Bible Project videos for learning

The Bible Project has some interesting resources — videos and downloads that may help your study of the scriptures. Although everyone interprets the Bible differently (for example the story of Adam and Eve and the Holy Trinity), it is worth checking these out. I’m going to add this link to my Resources so that I can take a look at these videos later. I use my blog for keeping track of good sources and as a place for me to keep my notes. It helps me record the progression of my thinking and learning. I believe in visual learning, and I believe our attention span is short. These videos are a lot like the Dennis Prager University videos. They are short, approximately 3 mins. This makes is easy to watch and quick to learn. Now, I would like to do this with the Book of Isaiah, using Avraham Gileaidi’s translation. I believe that would transform the learning of Isaiah. Here is one on Isaiah from the Bible Project Videos: Website: The Bible Project  ...

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Council of Fifty – don’t be a dough head

Joseph Smith formed a council called the Council of Fifty. He had some advice about councils, which we might consider as we start the new year, and address the new LDS curriculum for Priesthood and Relief Society. One Sunday a month, everyone in the group be that priesthood or relief society — are supposed to meet as a council and not receive a lesson from the manual, or regurgitate someone else’s talk. It sounds like an interesting idea. I just recently started reading a book about The Council of Fifty. The Council of Fifty was a diverse group —...

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Covenant of Salt

I’ve been reading a book about the history of salt and was surprised to hear that the Bible talks about a covenant of salt. Specifically, in Leviticus, God tells Moses that the Israelites are to Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings. (Leviticus 2:13) That’s the first time God talks about the salt of the covenant — He has instructed Moses that all the offerings are to have salt added to them. Further along in the Bible,...

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Symbolism of the Winter Solstice

It’s cold here where I live, in the northern hemisphere on December 21st, the Winter Solstice. The weather app on my phone says 28 degrees Fahrenheit and a low overnight of 11 degrees, with a little snow in the morning. I’m thankful for the reminder of the season. You see, I used to live where we had no big change in the weather — no visual reminder that there are seasons — no symbolism. I’ve always liked the symbolism in our lives. I think of the Creators, instilling little clues of a previous and future life. Many of them...

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The day Christ was born — maybe not April 6

Growing up in the church, I always thought Jesus was born on April 6th. I thought it was Mormon doctrine. I heard it preached by general authorities. But as Elder Christofferson explained, “not every statement made by a church leader, past or present necessarily constitutes doctrine.” (April 2012 Conference) Although April is a significant month for Mormons — General Conference is the first weekend; Joseph Smith organized the LDS Church on April 6, 1830, and Easter usually falls in April (sometimes March) — the belief that Christ was born on April 6 is questionable. I know, I know, I have...

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Was Christ born on Christmas?

There’s always been some conflict about the date of Christ’s birth. In fact, as a Mormon I thought He was born in the spring, on April 6, in the year 4 or 5 BC. New research points to the birth of Christ sometime in December of 5 BC. That would certainly help the spirit of Christmas. BYU professor, Jeffrey R. Chadwick, Jerusalem Center Professor of Archeology and Near Eastern Studies, published his research in BYU Studies, “Dating the Birth of Jesus Christ” which definitely challenges the April 6 date. Looking at all the research, and documents available — scriptural, historical,...

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The meaning of “marvelous”

Sometimes I have a hard time sitting in Gospel Doctrine because people are so rigid in their beliefs. If they were initially taught a concept then that is what they believe, even if current knowledgeable scholarly study proves the inaccuracy of that initial belief. Hugh Nibley used to say that students didn’t want to learn anything new — when he brought up some new meaning, they would say, “well I’ve never heard that before!” As I’ve been studying the scriptures, I have come to expand on the meaning of “a marvelous work and a wonder.” Sometimes, it appears that...

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Hugh Nibley Humor — “And Bring the Brush”

Here’s Hugh Nibley, classic humor, reminiscing about his days in the military on the Eve of Thanksgiving: My first assignment — it was so typically Army you must hear about it: It was the eve of Thanksgiving, and I was scrubbing toilets out with a big brush, with a big scrubbing brush. I was busy scrubbing these latrines out and so forth, and an officer came to me and said,   “come with me and bring the brush.”   So I said,   “come with me and bring the brush.”   It was a huge pile of celery, they...

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The meaning of Gentile

I’ve been researching the usage of the word “Gentile” because I think it has different meanings for different people at different periods of time. For instance, I grew up in the LDS church, and associated “Gentiles” with those not of our same faith. I don’t know how I got that idea, so I’ve looked back into the history of the church, and found some discourses by Brigham Young and John Taylor where they used the term “Gentile.” Some of the times, it seems like the early members of the church used “Gentile” to refer to those outside the church....

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Parable of the Bitter Berries

It seemed no one wanted to know the mystery of the bitter berries. Few understood the value of the seemingly poisonous berries, because, in fact, if you ate them straight from the vine, they made you sick, and stories of death were still told by the villagers. On the outskirts of this prosperous village known for its obedience to God, there was an ancient vineyard, planted on rolling hills. For many a generation, it was the source of sustenance for both young and old. Wheat grew between the rows that the villagers harvested in early summer to make life-sustaining...

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Signs of September

People have been talking about the astrological sign in the sky, September 23, 2017, saying it fulfills Revelation 12. I don’t know the full significance of this sign in the sky, but I understand that many believe that they will be raptured and saved from this telestial world. I’m not expecting that. But I do find the whole thing interesting. 1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered....

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The upside of dyslexia

“Dyslexia” — the word itself is difficult to read. But for all the bad things you hear about dyslexia, there are some good things. It’s categorized as a “learning disorder” but there’s an upside of dyslexia too. I have a son with dyslexia. I also have a husband with dyslexia. And now a granddaughter too. It’s important to look at the upside of dyslexia. Researchers have discovered a “gifted side” for those with dyslexia. My husband has always claimed that he can see the big picture in difficult engineering tasks. This was never acknowledged in school. He suffered with reading...

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Cardston Temple Vision

I found an old book on my bookshelf, entitled “Temple Manifestations” by Joseph Heinerman. I was curious if it had the account of the woman who went through the Cardston Temple before it was dedicated. Sure enough, it had a shortened version of her experience. “Mrs. Sols Guardisto was one of the 50,000 people who toured the Cardston Temple before its dedication in 1923. She was not a member of the church at the time, but has since joined.”   Pages from Edward j. Wood 2   The temple is a striking example of modern building design in the...

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“Though matter is replaced through an endless cycle of creations and dissolution, only spirit retains conscious identity, so that strictly speaking “only progeny is immortal,” each “mounting up from world to world” acquiring ever more “treasure” while “progressing towards His perfection which awaits them all.” (Nibley, Treasures in the Heavens)

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