I thought I would take a moment this holiday season and mention a few words about Chanukah. My family celebrates this holiday each year including lighting the nine candles, which for a family of 6 means a total of 54 flames on the last night, in a somewhat nerve wracking display as small children and a puppy take turns trying to set themselves and the house on fire. To most of the Mormon community this holiday remains a mystery and like Christmas, those portions of it that seems to get the most air time are probably the least important aspects of the Holiday. This is my humble attempt to explain what the holiday means to me and my family.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Beginnings of Modern Zionism
On the 5th of January 1895 at a Paris military school a man is marched out into a courtyard to the roll of a drum. He is wearing his dress uniform and surrounded by guards. He stands calmly and repeats “innocent” and “Vive la France” as his comrade tears from his uniform his medals and rank. They tear his buttons and cuffs and then draw and break his sword. The man's name was Alfred Dreyfus and he stood convicted of espionage for Germany based on falsified evidence. The real culprit had been quickly cleared and evidence was forged framing Dreyfus for the crimes. Dreyfus was a Jew.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
I was asked recently about the these verses with particular interest in the phrase "received not the promise". What was this promise and why would the scripture state that the Old Testament saints did not receive it? To answer this I will make my usual winding path through scriptural context in an effort to shed some light on it.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Today's post is based on another verse by Paul. A friend requested me to have a look at this verse and see if I could parse out any additional meaning from the translation.
The notable word that jumps out from this verse is handwritng. This is the only place in the King James Version where this word is used. I also noted the word ordinances as interesting and probably the reason this verse is cross referenced in the LDS version with Ephesians 2:5. This word occurs only a handful of times in the New Testament.
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Sunday, November 2, 2014
|Jeremiah and Baruch by Gustave Dore|
The garment is translated by KJV as "girdle" which in the English of that day indicated a belt. The Hebrew word is אזור (Ezor) and could possibly indicate a belt or other type of outer wrapped garment but does not seem to mean such here. I find an interesting commentary in the Pulpit Commentary that is worth quoting at length:
Friday, October 31, 2014
|Isaiah by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo|
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.Isaiah 12:2
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
It is sometimes interesting how little we know about our favorite scriptures. I don’t mean the doctrinal interpretation of them. I mean the circumstances under which they were produced and transmitted to us. Try this game to test your knowledge. Brief instructions are given at first then some more detailed examples. Post your scores in the comments.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
|St. Paul by |
holding traditional sword
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
|Rend your heart and not your garments - statue in Yad Shmona|
Friday, October 3, 2014
|The Prophet Amos by Gustave Doré|
Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.So what does that mean? What was the great secret that was revealed? Who was Amos and what did he prophecy?
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
I am finding getting a group of readers for my blog is going to take a while. I figure I will give it some time then decide if there is a point of publishing to the Internet or if I should go back to just keeping a journal for my family, who have to read my stuff :)
Sunday, September 28, 2014
|Jehovah Creates the Earth by Walter Rane|
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Saturday, September 13, 2014
בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץWith these dramatic words opens the scriptural cannon. In themselves they are profound and have inspired volumes of philosophy and debate. Joseph Smith would famously see hints of the divine council in its opening words. Others would see a structured cosmology mirroring that of other Middle Eastern cultures. Some would find reflections of pagan myths of the subduing of chaos in the form of the sea. These opening chapters would be the sharpest contention in the confrontation of Science and Religion.
|William Blake's Ancient of Days depicts|
God as the Architect holding the Compasses
In this entry I will take a closer examination of the Genesis account and specifically point out some things that are lost on the casual reader.
Friday, September 12, 2014
You may call me Gilgamesh. After pondering the pros and cons I have decided it best to use a code name. This is not any serious attempt to hide my identity as it can certainly be learned with a little effort. It is merely to deflect any unwanted publicity to myself and my family. The use of code names has a fine tradition. Joseph Smith used code names in many of his revelations where he was known as Enoch. I have chosen Gilgamesh as he is the central character in what can rightly be called the oldest literature of mankind. Gilgamesh is a hero king who in the course of his adventures looses his best friend Enkidu to sickness and must grapple with his own mortality. Searching for answers he seeks out the wisdom of the ancient Utnapishtim who had gained the favor of the gods. From Utnapishtim he learns methods of attaining eternal life only to be ultimately foiled by his own weakness or a cunning serpent. In the end he must find peace in the joys of this life. Friends, spouse, children, the workmanship of his hands, these are his lot until death. Gilgamesh is the ancient man taking the same journey we all take. All of us are a Gilgamesh, looking for meaning and answers and trying to understand our own mortality.
So come with me on this journey. To Latter-day Saints I hope you will find my analysis of scriptural topics and topics from Church history compelling and useful. To those of other faiths I hope you find my discussion respectful and illuminating. My writings speak for no opinion but my own and I reserve the right to outgrow anything I might write. I welcome civil and uplifting discussion and appreciate a diversity of voices.