Most of us are familiar with Joseph Smith’s well-documented stay in Liberty Jail, and the later criminal charges at Carthage that led to his murder. Many of us also know about the different lawsuits for debt collection, particularly concerning the Kirtland Safety Society. Church history geeks will be familiar with two back-to-back sham trials in 1830 while Joseph was still in New York, in which his enemies scoured the countryside for anyone willing to testify against him with any ridiculous story they could invent. After he was acquitted at the first trial, he was immediately handcuffed and re-arrested for the second trial. It lasted well into the early hours of the morning before he was acquitted a second time. [Read more…] about Letter For My Wife Rebuttal, Part 7: The Early Church – The Translation [C]
Letter For My Wife Rebuttal, Part 6: The Early Church – The Translation [B]
Two topics that are often misunderstood in Latter-day Saint circles are those of folklore and what is sometimes termed “folk magic.” When we hear those words, as a people we tend to think of something negative or spiritually dangerous. We might think of examples such as Ouija boards or tarot cards. But the actual definitions are a lot more benign than that.
Folklore, for instance, is simply pieces of knowledge or stories that are passed down from one person to the next over the generations. Santa Claus; the Tooth Fairy; the Easter Bunny; vampires and werewolves; George Washington and the cherry tree; the seagulls eating the crickets in the Salt Lake Valley; the family stories you tell over and over again about how your brother microwaved a fork and fried the appliance or how your sister used to eat a single bite out of the center of a piece of bologna and discard the rest; or perhaps the oft-told story of how your friend once bit into an apple and found half a worm; these are all examples of folklore. [Read more…] about Letter For My Wife Rebuttal, Part 6: The Early Church – The Translation [B]
For the Strength of Youth: A Higher and Holier Way
By David W. Smith
In the October 2022 general conference, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf announced an updated version of the youth standards guidebook For the Strength of Youth: A Guide for Making Choices. Elder Uchtdorf explained that the booklet “has been updated and refreshed to better cope with the challenges and temptations of our day.”
With the purpose of pointing youth to Christ, this new version is focused on “teach[ing] you eternal truths of His restored gospel” and “how to make righteous choices based on those eternal truths. . . . It focuses on values, principles, and doctrine instead of every specific behavior.” 
Have the Standards Been Relaxed? [Read more…] about For the Strength of Youth: A Higher and Holier Way
Come, Follow Me with FAIR: Faithful Answers to New Testament Questions – Matthew 6–7
Podcast: Download (20.8MB)
Evangelical Questions: Why Do You Need Prophets Anyway?
by Jennifer Roach, MDiv, LMHC
Matthew 7:15-20 Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Welcome back to Come Follow Me with FAIR: Faithful answers to New Testament questions. My name is Jennifer Roach and today we’re going to talk about prophets. As you know we’re going through the Come Follow Me readings and addressing common questions that Evangelicals ask about our faith as we go along. Our purpose here is not to fuel debate but to help you understand where your Evangelical friends and family are coming from so that you can have better conversations with them, and perhaps even be able to offer them a bit of our faith in a way they can understand.
A common question from Evangelicals is why do we think we need prophets? Aren’t they easily identified as false prophets? And to be honest, when I was investigating the church this was the hardest issue for me to grapple with. The idea of having prophets made literally no sense to me. These days I can see it how other Latter-day Saints see it – it’s a blessing and a gift – but back then I felt suspicious. So why is it so hard for Evangelicals to understand the need for modern prophets? I think there’s two reasons and we’ll talk about both of them. [Read more…] about Come, Follow Me with FAIR: Faithful Answers to New Testament Questions – Matthew 6–7
Come, Follow Me Week 52 – Christmas
Christmas Message, Christmas Prophets, Christmas Joy
by David W. Smith
Jerusalem, 600 BC
The year is approximately 600 BC. The place is Jerusalem. It has been about 20 years since a major religious reform has changed how people worshiped. The prophet Jeremiah has been warning the people of Jerusalem that they need to repent or else watch as their city is destroyed and they are taken into captivity. Many other prophets echo his message. Now, after preaching for over 20 years, he is in prison. [Read more…] about Come, Follow Me Week 52 – Christmas
Come, Follow Me Week 51 – Malachi
Malachi and Turning the Hearts of the Children to Their Fathers
by Craig Foster
While the Book of Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament, it is certainly not the least in terms of the eternal teachings within the book. The name Malachi means “My Messenger” and the Malachi certainly fulfilled the purpose of his name in his prophetic calling as he discussed the end-time which is currently being fulfilled. [Read more…] about Come, Follow Me Week 51 – Malachi
Come, Follow Me Week 50 – Haggai; Zechariah 1–3; 7–14
by Daniel Ortner
There are many powerful prophecies of the events leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. But as someone who comes from a Jewish background one prophecy stands out as particularly vivid and poignant, and that is that one day the people of Israel who did not recognize Jesus as their Messiah and Lord will come to recognize him.
Zechariah describes the moment when the Jewish people will look upon their crucified Lord: [Read more…] about Come, Follow Me Week 50 – Haggai; Zechariah 1–3; 7–14
Come, Follow Me Week 49 – Nahum; Habakkuk; Zephaniah
Habakkuk – For our day
by Jennifer Roach, LMHC
Habakkuk is the book you never knew you needed.
The problem of evil is a question every generation must grapple with. If God exists, why does he allow school children to be killed in a shooting? If God is good, how can he let people suffer as they do? If God cares about his children, how can poverty, disease, and violence rampage us as they do?
Habakkuk grappled with this question too. In his day the question was, “If God loves us, why do the Babylonians terrorize us?” I offer the following reading of Habakkuk – for his day, and for our day – as an answer to the problem of evil. [Read more…] about Come, Follow Me Week 49 – Nahum; Habakkuk; Zephaniah
Come, Follow Me Week 48 – Jonah; Micah
Podcast: Download (11.3MB)
A Gourd, a Worm, and an East Wind: Discovering God’s Extensions of Love in the Book of Jonah
by Matt Crawford
Jonah called Gath-hepher home—a town which was west of the present-day Sea of Galilee (see 2 Kings 14:25). When the Lord called Jonah on a mission from his comfortable home to the Assyrian city of Nineveh, he did not hesitate to act. Jonah immediately “rose up to flee unto Tarshish” (Jonah 1:3). [Read more…] about Come, Follow Me Week 48 – Jonah; Micah
President Joseph F. Smith Explains What “Mormonism” Really Is
(submitted by Dennis B. Horne)
Editorial Note: In the below article, President Smith defines the label “Mormonism” very much as President Russell M. Nelson has. These prophets are one in their views on this matter. President Smith also expounds in some detail on many facets of church practice and doctrine, including the future. Most of the material is as true and relevant today as it was a hundred and twenty years ago—there is great consistency in church teachings and practice. One effect of his message is to make one proud to be a faithful member of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ. The original article is titled, The “Mormonism” of Today: [Read more…] about President Joseph F. Smith Explains What “Mormonism” Really Is