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In the book of Revelation, the Lord sits upon a throne overlooking creation and declares “Behold, I am making all things new.” Authors Fiona and Terryl Givens take up that theme in their latest book—a readable overview of Christian history, highlighting ways that Latter-day Saint scripture invites us to rethink the nature of sin, salvation, and eve…
 
James E. Faulconer has spent his career enriching the scripture study of Latter-day Saints, offering powerful tools to improve engagement with the word of God. His latest book continues that project. Thinking Otherwise: Theological Explorations of Joseph Smith’s Revelations. It’s the latest volume in the Maxwell Institute’s Living Faith book series…
 
Dr. Ravi Gupta joins guest host Philip Barlow to talk about faith and scholarship. Dr. Gupta was a visiting scholar at the Maxwell Institute this semester, and a previous guest on the Maxwell Institute Podcast. He’s a practicing Hindu and also a scholar of Hinduism, and he’s become a close friend of the Institute over the past few years. He’s known…
 
What a journey it’s been through the Book of Mormon over the past year, and what a year it’s been to take a journey through the Book of Mormon! David F. Holland joins us in this episode to talk about his brief theological introduction to the final book—the book of Moroni. Spencer Fluhman, executive director of the Maxwell Institute, returns as gues…
 
Literary scholar Rosalynde Frandsen Welch explores the book of Ether as a sweeping history in which Moroni, absorbed in the past, turns his heart to future readers whose spiritual fate will be at stake. This latest episode in our series about the brief theological introductions to the Book of Mormon focuses on Welch’s Ether. James E. Faulconer take…
 
We’re continuing our series talking with authors of the brief theological introductions to the Book of Mormon. Adam Miller is here to talk about his volume on Mormon—a book that he calls “a beginner’s guide to the end of the world.” Mormon testifies of Christ even as everything he loves seems to be slipping through his fingers. For the last few epi…
 
Christopher Blythe’s new book focuses on Latter-day Saint views of the end of the world, which might seem like it’s a little on the nose, but here we are! Blythe goes back to the beginning of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to find out how early church members thought about the apocalypse—the cataclysmic end of the world which would…
 
Daniel Becerra joins us to talk about his book 3rd, 4th Nephi: a brief theological introduction. Becerra says these pivotal books, depicting Christ’s visit to ancient peoples on the American continent, serve as a guidebook in the disciple’s pursuit of Christ and Christlikeness. What do they reveal about the nature of God, about human nature, and ho…
 
Historian Benjamin E. Park argues that the story of the Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois is essential to understanding the bigger story of early American history. Writes Park, “The question Mormons posed to the young American nation was not just about the boundaries of religious liberty; it concerned the very limits of democracy. And with the …
 
Author Kimberly Matheson Berkey says book of Helaman is one of the best-kept secrets in the Book of Mormon. It marks a dramatic reversal in the history of Book of Mormon peoples. The spiritual tables turn. While the Lamanites righteously cast their eyes toward heaven, the Nephites take their first steps toward a surprising precipice where final des…
 
It isn’t every day that a scholar publishes a book that changes the entire landscape of a field of study, but that’s exactly what Robert Alter did in 1981 with his book, The Art of biblical Narrative. For centuries and more, scholars had meticulously studied the Bible to tease out the voices those who compiled it, but Robert Alter paid attention to…
 
In this episode we introduce you to a story about a man who was seeking for the true church of Christ. A man who prayed and then reported miraculous visitations. He recorded revelations about the true nature of God and how the true church should be built up, ultimately inspiring a large body of converts. If all of this sounds familiar, here’s the s…
 
The Book of Mormon prophet Alma was on the wrong path. But much like the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, Alma experienced a shocking vision that changed everything. His sermons are the product of a person who understood what it meant to receive the grace of Christ and have a mighty change of heart. In this episode, Mark Wrathall joins us to t…
 
Margaret Bendroth has spent a good deal of her life trying to remember the past, and trying to help others remember, too. To Bendroth, memory is more than sentimental and history is more than a list of dates and names. Bendroth says remembering is a religious and spiritual practice. In this episode, she joins us to discuss her short but stunning bo…
 
This episode features Melissa Inouye, a self-proclaimed “bald Asian American Latter-day Saint woman scholar,” talking all about her “ventures through life, death, cancer and motherhood (not necessarily in that order)”—which happens to be the subtitle of her latest book, Crossings. It’s part of the Maxwell Institute’s Living Faith book series. About…
 
Alma is an idolatrous man in the Book of Mormon, a wicked man according to the text—until an angel’s rebuke leads to his repentance and then two decades of righteous service in realms both political and religious. But even then, Alma’s past haunts him. Kylie Nielson Turley talks about her brief theological introduction to the book of Alma, chapters…
 
The Book of Mormon has important things to say about how we say important things, according to David Charles Gore. He’s author of The Voice of the People: Political Rhetoric in the Book of Mormon (Maxwell Institute, 2019). Gore says it’s not enough to be in possession of the truth. We also have to know how to share it in ways that actually reach ot…
 
When railroads started making their way across the western frontier of the United States in the 1800s, many Americans thought it would destroy the religion known as “Mormonism.” Brigham Young, then-president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, disagreed, declaring, “It must be a damned poor religion if it can’t stand one railroad!” …
 
Jane Manning James stood out among early Latter-day Saints as one of few black converts. She was baptized into the Church as a free black woman in Connecticut and migrated to Nauvoo with her family, where she soon found herself working in the prophet Joseph Smith’s home. After his death, she traveled west with the Saints and lived the rest of her l…
 
This episode continues our special series of episodes on the Maxwell Institute’s brief theological introductions to the Book of Mormon. In his book on Mosiah, philosopher and theologian James E. Faulconer untangles a complicated narrative—a fragmentary history about a fragmented people, written by a record keeper obsessed with unity. Faulconer unpa…
 
We live in an age of polemics. Choices are presented as mutually exclusive and we are given little time to listen. You are either secular or religious. You either believe in the exclusive truth of your own religion or you believe that truth is everywhere—or nowhere. The battle over truth rages on. But what if truth were a child? What if we pursued …
 
This episode continues our special series on the Maxwell Institute’s Brief Theological Introductions to the Book of Mormon. Literary scholar and theologian Sharon J. Harris investigates the messy middle era between the genesis of the Nephite people and their reorganization under King Benjamin. What keeps things—relatively—together through Enos, Jar…
 
This episode continues our special series on the Maxwell Institute’s Brief Theological Introductions to the Book of Mormon. Deidre Green is author of the volume on the book of Jacob. Green presents Jacob as a vulnerable and empathic religious leader deeply concerned about issues of social justice. The prophet insists that religious and social life …
 
February 14, 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of Utah women first exercising the right to vote, and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution being ratified, granting voting rights to many women in the United States—but not all of them. Women’s suffrage is a complicated and fascinating history about how women gai…
 
For centuries, Christians have celebrated Mary as the miraculous virgin and Mother of God. Catherine Taylor suggests a much richer history of traditions about Mary, much closer to the experiences of Christian women down through the ages. These traditions aren’t found in the Bible. We’ll need to look at other texts and ancient artifacts—burial boxes…
 
Get behind the scenes of the Maxwell Institute Podcast in this special interview celebrating one hundred episodes. Jeremy King, the Maxwell Institute’s administrator and controller, invited host Blair Hodges to talk about how the show is made and what he hopes it offers to listeners. About the Guest Blair Hodges is the public communications special…
 
This episode continues our special series of episodes on the Maxwell Institute’s brief theological introductions to the Book of Mormon. Terryl Givens is author of the volume on what many readers consider to be the most challenging part of the scripture—Second Nephi. The authors of our Brief Theological Introductions are “seeking Christ in scripture…
 
“I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents...” So begins the first book in the Book of Mormon. First Nephi. And this is the first episode in a special series of interviews with authors of the Maxwell Institute’s forthcoming “Brief Theological Introductions to the Book of Mormon. Twelve different authors tackle twelve different parts of the book,…
 
Maxwell Institute Conversations are special episodes of the Maxwell Institute Podcast, hosted by Terryl Givens and created in collaboration with Faith Matters Foundation. Audio and video available. Is faith a choice? Does faith come naturally to some more than others? Terryl Givens and Rosalynde Welch have written and spoken on these questions, and…
 
When Latter-day Saint apostle Elder Jeffrey R. Holland visited Oxford University in England last year, he became fast friends with Reverend Dr. Andrew Teal of Pembroke College. The two of them hit it off so well that Elder Holland invited Dr. Teal to Utah to attend General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to visit…
 
One of the most outspoken critics of Chairman Mao’s cultural revolution was a young poet and journalist named Lin Zhao. She was a Christian convert, then a member of the Communist Party, then an enemy of the state who paid for her opposition with her life. She was executed by firing squad. And her story would have vanished—along with the lives of s…
 
This bonus episode feature Spencer Fluhman delivering his 2019 BYU Women’s Conference address, “Answering Sincere Questions about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” It also features an announcement about the Institute’s forthcoming series about the Book of Mormon, Brief Theological Introductions. Originally presented on May 2, 2019. The post “Answering s…
 
Almost fifty million people in the United States live with some type of physical or intellectual disability. That’s one in five. In this special episode, twelve distinguished guests—scholars, organizers, religious leaders, writers—join us to talk about how we can create communities of belonging where people with disabilities and everyone else can f…
 
When you think about the earliest Christians you might imagine the twelve disciples, like Peter and John. Maybe Paul comes to mind. But what about women in early Christianity? What drew them to a life of discipleship and what did they bring to the community and the church as it began to spread? Few people have spent as much time thinking about thes…
 
Maxwell Institute Conversations are special episodes of the Maxwell Institute Podcast, hosted by Terryl Givens and created in collaboration with Faith Matters Foundation. Audio and video available. Samuel Brown deals in matters of life and death every day. He’s a doctor working in a Shock/Trauma ICU. In his spare time, he’s also a theologian and a …
 
Joseph Smith left a lot of documents behind when he died in 1844, from the mundane to the intriguing. Some of the more puzzling documents deal with a book of scripture in the Latter-day Saint canon called the Book of Abraham. Said to be translated from ancient papyrus, the scripture broadens the story of the Hebrew Bible’s figure of Abraham. Where …
 
In this episode, historian Tisa Wenger of Yale University joins us to talk about religious freedom—the legal right to worship according to the dictates of a person’s own conscience. An important ideal to be sure, but—as historians like Wenger are fond of saying—it’s complicated. We’re talking about her new book Religious Freedom: The Contested Hist…
 
Maxwell Institute Conversations are special episodes of the Maxwell Institute Podcast, hosted by Terryl Givens and created in collaboration with Faith Matters Foundation. Audio and video available. Thomas Wirthlin McConkie was born into a prominent American Latter-day Saint family, but the faith didn’t resonate with him as a teenager. He disconnect…
 
We’re extremely excited that the Maxwell Institute Study Edition of the Book of Mormon has finally been published. We see it as a watershed moment in the history of Latter-day Saint scripture publishing. It’s the first study edition ever published by a church affiliate, and it includes new formatting, useful footnotes, original artwork, and more. E…
 
According to historian Colleen McDannell, women have played vital roles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the beginning. From the hard-scrabble pioneer worker to the Progressive Era suffragette, from the domestic housewife to the working mother, the international convert, the single adult, the black Latter-day Saint—each have …
 
Many believers live their entire lives without learning much about other people’s religion. Maybe some people avoid interreligious dialogue because they think they already know their religion is true. Maybe some people fear that such exchanges might somehow change them and they don’t want change. In this episode we’re joined by Catherine Cornille. …
 
Maxwell Institute Conversations are special episodes of the Maxwell Institute Podcast, hosted by Terryl Givens and created in collaboration with Faith Matters Foundation. Audio and video available. A lot has changed for Thomas Wayment since this he sat down for this conversation with Terryl Givens. At the time, Thom was a professor of ancient scrip…
 
William Bickerton was a coal miner from England who emigrated to the United States and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1845. Without ever having met the church’s founding prophet, he soon came to see himself as Joseph Smith’s true heir, leading what came to be called simply The Church of Jesus Christ, but more commonly ref…
 
Maxwell Institute Conversations are special episodes of the Maxwell Institute Podcast, hosted by Terryl Givens and created in collaboration with Faith Matters Foundation. In this episode Terryl Givens sits down with Margaret Blair Young to talk about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Congo, faith transitions, spiritual healing, wri…
 
The religious marketplace in Denmark was thrown wide open in 1849 when the country ratified its first democratic constitution. After nearly a thousand years of state control, the people were guaranteed religious freedom. No more would Danes automatically be Lutheran. Missionary-minded Christians from around the world flocked to Denmark. Thousands u…
 
This year marks forty years since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began, once again, to ordain black members of African descent to its priesthood. Forty years since the church began administering it sacred temple ordinances to black women and men. Over the past forty years the body of scholarship on race and the Church has expanded,…
 
Jane and Emma is a new film based on the historical relationship of Jane Manning—one of the few black converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during its infancy—and Emma Smith, who presided over the Church’s women’s organization, the Relief Society, and who was married to the prophet Joseph Smith. It’s an emotional film that del…
 
Maxwell Institute Conversations are special videocast episodes of the Maxwell Institute Podcast, hosted by Terryl Givens and created in collaboration with Faith Matters Foundation. In this episode Terryl Givens sits down with Brian Kershisnik to talk about art, creativity, and worship. About the Guest Brian Kershisnik is an American painter. He stu…
 
When thirteen colonies declared their independence from the British government in 1776 they had no clear vision about what they would do once the apparent shackles of the British monarchy were shattered. What did it mean for them to create a new nation? It’s a complicated and fascinating story—a story that resonates all the way up to the present ti…
 
Maxwell Institute Conversations are special videocast episodes of the Maxwell Institute Podcast, hosted by Terryl Givens and created in collaboration with Faith Matters Foundation. In this episode Terryl Givens sits down with Thomas F. Rogers to talk about the risks of discipleship, and worshiping God with all one’s heart, might, mind, and strength…
 
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