Welcome to my blog, and thank you for visiting! As you can tell from the title, this blog is primarily going to be an outlet for me to express my thoughts and insights on several issues involved in LDS scholarship and apologetics.
What’s in a Name?
Some may wonder what is meant by “Reason and Revelation: Insights into LDS Scholarship and Apologetics.” First, let me explain what I mean by “Reason and Revelation” in the context of my blog title.
Reason: The practice of using logic, rational thinking, evidence, and argument to gain knowledge and learn truth and evaluate truth claims to determine their validity.
Revelation: Knowledge and truth given by God. There are two forms of Revelation, general revelation and personal revelation. General revelation is given to the world through God’s chosen servants (i.e. Prophets and Apostles) and personal revelation is given to an individual through the Holy Ghost (or Spirit of God) according their faith.
While my full purpose for this blog will be explained in greater detail later, the meaning of the title is to illustrate that, although they can often seem to be opposites, both reason and revelation go hand in hand. I see both as tools to arrive at truth, which, just like the hammer and the nail, are more useful as tools when used together rather than used independent of each other. As such, I echo the sentiments of David L. Paulsen and R. Dennis Potter, in that I feel “that both reason and revelation support the LDS position.”
Truth and knowledge are universal. Truth is truth and knowledge is knowledge, regardless of whether its source is reason or revelation. Hence, true reason and true revelation will harmonize as one, not conflict each other. For this reason, I believe that when reason and revelation seem at odds with each other, one is either misunderstood or one or the other is not true. There are several scenarios which could exist when reason and revelation seem to contradict each other:
1. The reason could be based on incomplete knowledge, making it seem contrary to revelation. When more information in secular learning becomes available, the picture will become clearer and reason will harmonize with revelation.
2. The revelation may be misunderstood, causing it to seem to contradict reason, but when understood in its proper context it actually harmonizes with reason.
3. The revelation may actually not be a revelation, or is a false revelation, and therefore cannot be harmonized with true reason.
4. The reasoning may be flawed, thus the apparent contradiction with revelation does not really exist.
There are surely more possibilities, but these four are sufficient for the scope of this blog as they include most circumstances. I believe that anyone who relies exclusively on one or the other becomes more susceptible to the flaws of reason or the misunderstanding of revelation. Thus, I believe that, as one LDS apologist put it, “instead of compartmentalizing faith and reason, study and faith should be seen as complementary. We should avoid the extremes of blind faith or dogged skepticism and seek instead a balance of both reason and faith.” 
Next, for further clarity, allow me to explain what I mean by “LDS Scholarship and Apologetics.”
LDS Scholarship: The insights into the scriptures, teachings, or history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints gained through academic study and research.
LDS Apologetics: The defense of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, including its scripture, doctrines, and history, against the criticisms of anti-Mormons and other critics, typically (though not always) through scholarly means.
Hence, while the theme of balancing reason and revelation (or study and faith) will be touched on throughout many of the topics on this blog, I will primarily be focusing on the reasoning rather than the revelation. It is important to understand, however, that my process of reasoning is affected by what I perceive to be revelation.
Who am I and What am I Doing?
More on who I am and what I am doing will be shared later. For now, let me just say this: I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), and I look forward to helping you understand why. While a great deal of this blog will be dedicated to defending the LDS claims, I would like to make clear that I am fully aware that legitimate criticisms against the LDS Church do exist. Nevertheless, I do believe the LDS Church to be a divinely established institution, containing and maintaining the truths which God has revealed through prophets both ancient and modern.
Mapping Out Our Discussion
Initially what I was planning to do was format my posts into “series” and “sub-series” where I would post several subsequent articles related to each other with overall topics and sub-topics. However, I found that it would be easier if I could just address issues more at random, allowing my study interests some freedom to move in the direction they wish to go. So, after a brief introductory series where I will share more about me, my purpose for this blog and my testimony, I will move forward discussing various issues pertaining to LDS doctrine, the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, the prophetic call of Joseph Smith, Church History, etc. I will try to keep things organized by creating index pages and postings which will provide links to related topics of discussion.
On one final note, I will try to respond to comments, questions, and critiques as often as possible. I want to be involved in the discussions that follow each post, however, if there does begin to be a lot of traffic, or if other priorities in life become more demanding, it will become difficult to keep up, so I apologize if I am not able to respond to every criticism. However, I hope that this blog creates an atmosphere that encourages discussion between LDS and non-LDS, in which you (the visitors) interact and dialogue with each other and thus relieving me from the pressure of responding to every comment and criticism. Also, if there are any issues you would specifically like to have addressed, please feel free to say so in the comments. I will try to make a plan to address it, as well as try and direct you to some other resources which could help answer your question.
Once again I’d like to thank you for visiting my blog! I hope you enjoyed it, and please come back again!
1. David L. Paulsen and R. Dennis Potter, “How Deep the Chasm? A Reply to Owen and Mosser's Review” FARMS Review, Vol. 11, Iss. 2 (1999) pg. 264
2. Stephen O. Smoot, “The Faith and Reason of Michael R. Ash”, FARMS Review, Vol.21, Iss. 2 (2009) pg. 237