Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Quote from William Gay

I just stumbled on this quote from William Gay that I rather like:
Godly responsibility always precedes individual opportunity. Ours is a choice to see if we will take the talents, the resources, and the blessings God has given us and blaze new paths to realize His purposes or sit on the sidelines content in our individual successes or failures. … In the world of faith, you always stand at this crossroad.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

On Being Held an Offender for a Word

It is hardly a secret that I have persistently and publicly argued that the Book of Abraham is historically authentic.

Some people are spreading the gossip that I do not believe in the Book of Abraham. They are taking something I said out of context for their own malicious ends.

Here is what I actually said two years ago at the FAIR conference:
It will probably come as a surprise to many that I do not have a testimony of the Book of Abraham. That is, I have never received a spiritual confirmation of the truth of the Book of Abraham. I do not need one. I have those for the Book of Mormon, the restoration of the gospel, the calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the continuation of those keys and authority through the present day. If you have these things confirmed to you, you do not need to get a cold from every wind of doctrine that blows.
I have never had a spiritual confirmation of the truth of the Book of Abraham. I do not know many Church members who have. I have never really heard a convincing case that one is necessary. No question on the subject shows up in the baptismal interview or the temple recommend interview. In the Church, we are urged to get a spiritual confirmation of the Book of Mormon, but not the Doctrine and Covenants or the Pearl of Great Price or the Bible.

Without a spiritual confirmation I rely on scholarship, that is on evidence and argument. Perhaps there are better means but that is what I have to work with and I have no other authority.

Based on the research I have done, I am convinced that the historical setting that most closely matches the Book of Abraham is: for the first chapter, an Ur located in the area of north-west Syria or southern Turkey during the end of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt (the reign of Sesostris III or more likely Amenemhet III); by the time the text has reached the end of the published account we have moved into the area of modern Israel during the Thirteenth/Fourteen Dynasty in Egypt. That setting is based on a careful reading of the text and current scholarship. Like everything based on scholarship, it is subject to refinement and revision as new evidence comes in.

Friday, August 1, 2014

We're #9

At least according to Money magazine's college list. The premise of this list is supposedly how long it takes to repay your tuition. Brigham Young University beat out both of my other alma maters, UC Berkeley (#13) and Yale (#15).