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.
My God, why hast thou forsaken me? Over the years, that spiritual cry has been felt internally and uttered verbally by many believers in their most pressing trials, including by Jesus upon the cross. But does it mean what we think? BYU religion professor Shon Hopkin has published on the background and significance of that phrase. In this episode he analyzes and applies Messianic verses from its origin in Psalm 22, strengthening our hope in our trials through Christ’s suffering and redemptive triumph.
“‘My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?’: Psalm 22 and the Mission of Christ” (BYU Studies, 2013)
“The Psalm 22:16 Controversy: New Evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls” (BYU Studies, 2005)
Click here to learn more about professor Shon Hopkin
Scriptures are a revelatory tool. Although using it may be intuitive to some, like any tool some expert instruction is often helpful to unlock its full capacity. While many Christians know what a “Study Bible” is to aid them in understanding, fewer Latter-day Saints know about or utilize one. In this episode, professor Joshua Sears introduces the concept, addresses common reservations, and shares insightful reasons why a study Bible can be a great asset to our scripture study.
“Study Bibles: An Introduction for Latter-day Saints” (Religious Educator, 2019)
Click here to learn more about professor Joshua Sears
Although it is common to view Gadianton and his followers in the Book of Mormon as driven by a purely evil desire for power, there could be more to their movement. Why else could their rebellion persuade “the more part of the righteous…to believe in their works” (Helaman 6:38)? Professor Dan Belnap examines the root of this rebellion, and why it may have more application today than some might think.
“‘They Are of Ancient Date’: Jaredite Traditions and the Politics of Gadianton’s Dissent” in Illuminating the Jaredite Record (Religious Studies Center, 2020).
Click here to learn more about professor Dan Belnap
Since 2012, archaeologists at the Galilean village of Huqoq have been uncovering an intricate mosaic floor of an ancient synagogue. This 5th century mosaic depicts biblical scenes of Samson, Jonah, Noah’s ark, Pharaoh’s army, and snapshots of daily life in antiquity. In this episode, BYU religion’s Dr. Matthew Grey—who was supervising the synagogue excavation when it was uncovered— discusses details from this discovery, and how the archaeology of Roman Galilee can inform our understanding of the Bible.
Click here to read a BYU Magazine article and see images from the Huqoq mosaic.
“Simon Peter in Capernaum: An Archaeological Survey of the First-Century Village” in The Ministry of Peter, the Chief Apostle (Religious Studies Center, 2014)
Click here to learn more about professor Matthew Grey
The word “liminal” isn’t in most people’s everyday vocabulary. Although the word is rare, the experience it summarizes is not, particularly in religious life. Liminality means to be in an in-between space, on the verge of transformation, or at a threshold—like a doorway. In this insightful episode, Dr. Charles Swift analyzes the Brother of Jared’s liminal experience in Ether 2 and 3, and what it can teach us today about our own interactions with and answers from the Lord.
“Upon Mount Shelem: The Liminal Experience of the Brother of Jared” in Illuminating the Jaredite Record (Religious Studies Center, 2020).
Click here to learn more about professor Charles Swift
The Prophet Joseph Smith once taught that “all priesthood is Melchizedek.” Thus, the restoration of the priesthood can be understood as a series of heavenly events, including a relatively unknown experience with the Lord at Peter Whitmer Sr.’s farmhouse. In this powerful episode, Dr. Michael Hubbard MacKay explains what happened “in the chamber of old Father Whitmer” (D&C 128:21) and why it matters to our understanding of priesthood.
Click here to learn more about professor Michael MacKay
One of the great debates of the 16th century took place between William Tyndale and Thomas More over Tyndale’s translation of the Bible into English. Both men knew how words had the power to shape theology. Tyndale’s translation informed later English translations, including the King James Version. But were Tyndale’s choices right? In this episode, Dr. Jan Martin shares her research on how the King James language in the Book of Mormon provides amazing insights into these theological translation debates.
“The Theological Value of the King James Language in the Book of Mormon” (Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, 2018).
Click here to learn more about professor Jan Martin
If we seek to teach in the Savior’s way, a common approach the Lord used was parables. In fact, Mark says that “without a parable spake he not unto them” (Mark 4:34). Good parables are multi-layered, and the teacher often leaves them uninterpreted to cause listeners to reflect and draw meaning. In this episode, BYU Religion’s Hank Smith shares insights from his publication on the parables of Jesus, why the Lord utilized them to teach, and why we should seek to do the same today.
Living the Parables: Applying Christ’s Teachings to our Lives (Covenant Communications, 2019)
Click here to learn more about professor Hank Smith
Doctrine and Covenants 25 is unique and powerful. It is one of the two modern revelations directed specifically toward a woman, Emma Smith. It is also unique because of the progressive teachings it contains when studied in context, which makes it crucially relevant today. In this episode, Dr. Carter Charles analyzes the context and content of this important section, discussing how Emma Smith becomes a type for all sisters of the Church as “elect” ladies by virtue of their covenants.
“'Thou Art an Elect Lady': How Christ Includes and Empowers Women in Doctrine and Covenants 25,” in “How … and What You Worship”: Christology and Praxis in the Revelations of Joseph Smith (RSC/Deseret Book, 2020)
Click here to learn more about professor Carter Charles
The recent home-centered and Church supported plan that focuses on gospel teaching and learning in the family has re-emphasized that parents have the primary responsibility to teach the gospel to their children. In this episode BYU Religion’s Dr. Byran Korth discusses how family gospel teaching is an “echo of a celestial pattern.” Using scriptural examples such as Alma, he explains the doctrinal WHYS and practical HOWS of parents teaching children to believe in Christ.
“Parents Teaching Children to Believe in Christ: ‘An Echo of a Celestial Pattern’” in Give Ear to My Words: Text and Context of Alma 36 – 42 (RSC/Deseret Book, 2019)
Click here to learn more about professor Byran Korth
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