Skip to main content

About

The following articles where written to provide information about me and about this blog:

Welcome to my Blog: This opening post explains why I choose the title of this blog, defines some key terms I use, and briefly explains some of my plans for this blog.

About Me: What more is there to say? This post explains all about me: my family, my upbringing, my mission, my education, my interest, and my marriage to my wonderful wife McKall.

The Purpose of my Blog: This posting explains in detail my what motivated me to start writing about LDS apologetics, and what I hoped to achieve with this blog, including secondary goals that go somewhat beyond the scholarly and apologetic fields.

My Testimony: On this posting, I explained what I believe the is process of gaining a testimony/discovering truth. I explain four different means of discovery and how all four interact with each other and how each plays a role in one’s testimony. In the end, I share the testimony I have in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as represented in the LDS Church.

Later Addendum

Why I Choose to Believe: A post where I explain my personal, non-revelatory reasons for choosing to believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, despite questions or doubts that arise from time to time.

Novum Nomen - Studio et Quoque Fide: This post explains the new name and provides my take on the meaning of the passage in the Doctrine and Covenants to which it refers. I also provide an updated explanation of what this blog is all about.

Stay up-to-date on the goals and aims of this blog and my other apologetic-relevant activities by reading the occasional Blog Updates.

About Apologetics

I originally had no intention of explaining what apologetics is. However, when someone misunderstood my use of the term on a discussion board, I decided it might be good to provide a little bit of an explanation.

Many people misunderstand what “apologetics” means, and (understandably enough) assume it is related to apologizing, or saying sorry. This, however, is not the case. Apologetics involves giving reasons for, or defending, what you think or believe. Most of us are involved in some basic apologetics of some sort or another on a daily basis. We all have our reasons for believing, thinking, and feeling the way we do about things. Anytime in which we are asked to explain why we think, or believe, of feel that way (whether it is because of hostile questioning, or simple curiosity) we are engaged in some informal apologetics. Formally, apologetics is typically a defense of a religious belief and involves using logic, argument, and evidence to support your reasoning and belief.

Some people suggest that apologetics is not appropriate for Latter-day Saints. This is not true. The work of LDS apologists has been featured in Church publications, including Sunday school and institute manuals, as well as the Ensign. Various general authorities have engaged in apologetics over the pulpit. Orson and Parley Pratt, John Taylor, John A. Widstoe, B.H. Roberts, James E. Talmage, and Bruce R. McConkie are all examples of General Authorities who have, to varying degrees, written or spoken apologetically. Most recently, several of Elder Jeffery R. Holland’s General Conference talks have had an apologetic nature [1].

So, there is nothing particularly wrong with being involved in apologetics. Certainly, as with all things, there is both good apologetics and bad apologetics. Here, I make every effort to use good, sound reasoning, quality scholarship, and honest representation of evidence. In short, I sincerely try to practice “good apologetics.” Please understand I am imperfect, and I may make mistakes. As such, I welcome any and all feedback which may help me improve.

For more information on LDS apologetics, I recommend these articles:

http://en.fairmormon.org/Apologetics

Daniel C. Peterson, "Editor's Introduction: An Unapologetic Apology for Apologetics," FARMS Review, Vol. 22, Iss. 2 (2010), pg. ix-xlviii

----------------------------------

Notes:

1. See Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent,” Ensign (Nov. 2007), pg. 40-42; Holland, “My Words…Never Cease,” Ensign (May 2008), pg. 91-94; Holland, “Safety for the Soul,” Ensign (Nov. 2009), pg. 88-90

Popular posts from this blog

Nephite History in Context 1: Jerusalem Chronicle

Editor’s Note: This is the first contribution to my new series Nephite History in Context: Artifacts, Inscriptions, and Texts Relevant to the Book of Mormon. Check out the really cool (and official, citable) PDF version here. To learn more about this series, read the introduction here. To find other posts in the series, see here
Jerusalem Chronicle (ABC 5/BM 21946)
Background
The so-called “Babylonian Chronicles” are an important collection of brief historical reports from Mesopotamia, found in Iraq in the late-19th century.1 They are written on clay tablets in Akkadian using cuneiform script, and cover much of the first millennium BC, although several tablets are missing or severely damaged, leaving gaps in the record. One tablet, colloquially known as the “Jerusalem Chronicle” (ABC 5/BM 21946),2 provides brief annal-like reports of the early reign of Nebuchadrezzar II (biblical Nebuchadnezzar), including mention of his invasion of Jerusalem.
Biblical sources report that King Jehoiac…

Nephite History in Context 2a: Apocryphon of Jeremiah

Editor’s Note: This is the first part of the second contribution to my new series Nephite History in Context: Artifacts, Inscriptions, and Texts Relevant to the Book of Mormon. Check out the really cool (and official, citable) PDF version here. To learn more about this series, read the introduction here. To find other posts in the series, see here
Apocryphon of Jeremiah (4Q385a)
Background
Between 1947 and 1956, a few well preserved scrolls and tens of thousands of broken fragments were found scattered across eleven different caves along the northwest shores of the Dead Sea near Qumran. Now known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, they are arguably the most significant discovery ever made for the study of the Bible and the origins of Judaism and Christianity. Among the writings found are the earliest copies of nearly every Old Testament book, many of the known apocryphal and pseudepigraphic works, and several other texts discovered for the first time at Qumran. Altogether, more than 900 differe…

The 15 “Best Books” to Read BEFORE Having a Faith Crisis

Elder M. Russell Ballard recently stressed that it is important for Gospel educators to be well-informed on controversial topics, not only by studying the scriptures and Church materials, but also by reading “the best LDS scholarship available.” I personally think it is imperative in today’s world for every Latter-day Saint—not just Gospel educators—to make an effort to be informed on both controversial issues as well as knowing reliable faith-building information as well.
(Given that Elder Ballard’s CES address was published to general Church membership in the Ensign, I think it’s safe to say that Church leadership also feels this way.)
An important step in the process of getting informed is reading the 11 Gospel Topic essays and getting familiar with their contents. But what’s next? How can a person learn more about these and other topics? What are the “best books” (D&C 88:118) or “the best LDS scholarship available”?
Here are 15 suggestions.
1. Michael R. Ash, Shaken Faith S…