Welcome to our twentieth anniversary issue of the Religious Educator. This issue represents the beginning of our third decade serving those who study and teach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Begun as an annual publication in 2000, the journal has become an important resource for those interested in Latter-day Saint scripture, doctrine, and history. Within the pages of the current issue, Professors Brad Wilcox and Timothy G. Morrison narrate the story of the Religious Educator while analyzing its contents over the first twenty years. Additional authors examine the plan of salvation as taught in the Book of Mormon, present a visual approach for teaching Isaiah, and study message from the Book of Mormon we might explore in our families and classes. Finally, we present a new feature of the journal, a conversation about religious education through the personal reflections of a longtime educator.
Headlining this issue is the recent address by Elder Dale G. Renlund titled “Creating and Conveying a Christlike Culture: More Than a Job,” delivered at the 2019 university conference at Brigham Young University. In a message relevant to all who teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, Elder Renlund reminds readers, “You are participating in fulfilling one of the purposes of the gathering of Israel. You do so as you teach knowledge and help others gain intelligence. Most important, you help students come to a knowledge of their Redeemer. Your example and choices influence them.” Concluding his message, Elder Renlund notes that blessing the lives of God’s children by teaching them the gospel is a “God-given task. . . . It is more than a job.” We celebrate this task and look forward to furthering that mission in our third decade. Just as teaching can be more than a job, we hope the Religious Educator can be more than a journal.
Scott C. Esplin
Editor in Chief