Each year, Brigham Young University Religious Education professors produce hundreds of publications on subjects related to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This podcast brings this research into one place to enlighten the everyday seeker of truth. Interviewing the author, we discuss why the study was done, why it matters, and why the professor chooses to be both a scholar, and a disciple. This is Y Religion.

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The Incommensurability of Translation
Michael Hubbard MacKay
August 2022

How did Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon? Joseph’s brief answer was “by the gift and power of God,” sometimes adding that it was done by means of “Urim and Thummim.”  Some have asked why Joseph Smith didn’t give more specific details about the process.  In this enlightening episode, translation scholar Dr. Michael Hubbard MacKay discusses his research on the “incommensurability” of Joseph Smith’s divine translation work and why it gives insight into expressions of religious truth and experience.

Publications:

The Secular Binary of Joseph Smith’s Translations” (Dialogue, 2021)

Click here to learn more about professor Michael Hubbard MacKay

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Refugee Treatment under the Mosaic Law
Krystal Pierce
August 2022

The Law of Moses gives divine direction for how God’s covenant people should care for displaced refugees, foreigners, and strangers, who are referred to in the Bible as ‘gēr.’ In this episode, Dr. Krystal Pierce of BYU’s Ancient Scripture Department shares her published research on the teachings and narratives in the Old Testament and Book of Mormon related to what are commonly called the “Gēr Laws,” and discusses ways in which we can apply those teachings as covenant people today. 

Publications:

The Gēr in the Pentateuch and the Book of Mormon: Refugee Treatment under the Mosaic Law” in Approaching Holiness: Exploring the History and Teachings of the Old Testament (RSC/Deseret Book, 2021)

Click here to learn more about professor Krystal V.L. Pierce

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Considering the Cross
John Hilton III
July 2022

How do Latter-day Saints perceive images of Christ’s suffering on the cross? How does artwork influence their understanding of the Savior’s Atonement? What does it mean that Christ shed His blood for us? In this powerful episode, Dr. John Hilton III shares findings from his continued research related to the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and why embracing Christ’s death upon the cross can deepen our worship of Him.

Publications:

Latter-day Saints and Images of Christ’s Crucifixion” (BYU Studies Quarterly, 2021)

Jesus Suffered, Died, and Rose Again for Us” (Liahona, 2021)

Teachings of Church Leaders on Christ’s Final Seven Statements” (Religious Educator, 2021)

Considering the Cross: How Calvary Connects us with Christ (Deseret Book, 2021)

Joseph Smith, Gethsemane, and the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” in How and What You Worship: Christology and Praxis in the Revelations of Joseph Smith (RSC/Deseret Book, 2020)

The Teachings of Church Leaders Regarding the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ: 1852–2018” (BYU Studies Quarterly, 2020)

Click here to learn more about professor John Hilton III

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The Value of Historic Sites
Scott Esplin
July 2022

For many Latter-day Saints, there is a strong desire to visit sacred sites of the Restoration, such as the Sacred Grove or Carthage Jail.  These historic places can help us better understand the past as we strive to live the gospel in the present.  In this episode, Dr. Scott Esplin discusses the value of historic Latter-day Saint sites, how the Church acquired some of them, and how we can all learn from them, regardless of where we live.  

Publications:

‘Come, See the Place’: Teaching Students the Value of Historic Sites” (Religious Educator, 2021)

Click here to learn more about professor Scott Esplin

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The Gethsemane Grotto
Matthew Grey
June 2022

The events recorded in the gospels took place in the Garden of Gethsemane are sacred to our faith. Although we can envision the olive trees of the garden, where did they press its oil, from which the translated word “Gethsemane” derives? Thanks to archeological research, including some by BYU ancient scripture professor Matthew Grey, there are possible answers.  In this episode Dr. Grey discusses research on the Gethsemane grotto and explores potential reasons why this location matters.   

Publications:

Olive Processing and Ritual Purity in the ‘Place of the Oil Press’: Reexamining the 1st Century Features and Functions of Jerusalem’s Gethsemane Grotto” in To Explore the Land of Canaan: Studies in Biblical Archaeology in Honor of Jeffrey R. Chadwick (De Gruyter, 2022)

Click here to see some images of the Gethsemane grotto discussed in this episode

Click here to learn more about professor Matthew Grey

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Hugh Nibley’s Contribution to Book of Mormon Studies
Joseph Spencer
June 2022

It’s likely that many of you have heard of the name Hugh Nibley. Over a nearly fifty-year career as a BYU professor, he became one of the most prolific scholars and authors in the history of the Church. In this episode, Dr. Joseph Spencer shares his research publication on Nibley’s influence as one of the great figures in the field of Book of Mormon studies. 

Publications:

“Standing on the (Shrugging) Shoulders of a Giant: Notes on Hugh Nibley’s Contribution to Book of Mormon Studies” (Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, 2021)

Click here to learn more about Joseph Spencer

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Community of Christ and the First Vision
Keith Wilson
May 2022

The Community of Christ, formerly known as the “Reorganized” Church or “RLDS,” is a global restoration faith which traces its origins to the life and ministry of Joseph Smith.  In this episode, Dr. Keith Wilson of BYU Religious Education provides a fascinating historical and doctrinal journey of two different restoration faiths that share the same roots by comparing each church’s respective views of Joseph Smith’s First Vision throughout the years. 

Publications:

“The First Vision and Continuing Revelation,” in Restorations: Scholars in Dialogue from Community of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (forthcoming in press RSC/Deseret Book, 2022).

Click here to see Dr. Keith Wilson present on a comparative analysis of The First Vision

Click here to learn more about professor Keith Wilson

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The Best of BYU Studies
Steven Harper
May 2022

For over sixty years, BYU Studies Quarterly has published scholarship informed by the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on a broad range of topics that are of interest to Latter-day Saints.  In this episode, Dr. Steven Harper, the current editor of BYU Studies, discusses some of the most significant articles in the history of BYU Studies.

Publications:

Sixty Years of BYU Studies Quarterly, 1959–2019,” (BYU Studies, 2021)

Click here to learn more about professor Steven Harper

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Confronting Prejudice with Samuel the Lamanite
Jan Martin
April 2022

Because we live in a day where prejudice and discrimination of all kinds remain fundamental problems across the globe, members of the Church have been counselled “to abandon all personal prejudices.” In this episode, Jan Martin of BYU Ancient Scripture shares her research publication about Samuel the Lamanite and what a past prophet’s experience with discrimination can tell us about confronting and eliminating prejudice in our personal lives.  

“Samuel the Lamanite: Confronting the Wall of Nephite Prejudice” in Samuel the Lamanite: That Ye Might Believe (RSC, 2021)

Click here to learn more about professor Jan Martin

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A Strength to the Poor
Dana M. Pike
April 2022

Although it is common to cite Isaiah’s remarkable prophecies about the Savior, Isaiah’s repeated teachings related to the poor usually don’t receive as much attention.  In this episode, emeritus BYU Ancient Scripture professor Dana M. Pike shares his latest publication that magnifies Isaiah’s teachings to provide “a strength to the poor” (Isa. 25:4)—a timeless message applicable today.  Dr. Pike also shares about his work on the Dead Sea Scrolls and insights about studying the Old Testament from his years of training and experience over his career. 

Publications: “The Poor and the Needy in the Book of Isaiah” in Covenant of Compassion (RSC, 2021)