A trio of new articles were published today in Interpreter: A journal of Latter-day Saint faith and scholarship. We hope you enjoy them both and find them useful. They are:
“Testifying of the New Witness,” Written by Brant A. Gardner
Review by Robert A. Rees, A new witness to the world (Salt Lake City: by Common Consent Press, 2020). 244 pages. $9.95 (paperback).
Summary: Robert A. Rees has been writing on the Book of Mormon for over sixty years. In this book are collected sixteen essays, all of which focus on different aspects of the Book of Mormon text, and two that provide personalized interaction. Topics range from an examination of the spiritual biographies of Nephi and Ammon to the question of automatic writing as an option for Book of Mormon dictation to an essay examining the 200-year Nephite peace.
“The Body as Temple of God”, written by LaReina Hingson
Summary: Metaphors occur when there is a contradiction in the meanings of the words used that cause the text to be interpreted non-literally, as noted by Paul Ricœur. The apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians describing the body as a temple has been considered one such scriptural metaphor: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? … don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). As a metaphor, it’s a strong metaphor. The alleged contradiction between a temple and a body includes the inanimate nature of the temple, its holiness unlike the natural man, and its changeless and eternal purpose. The non-literal interpretation of the body and the temple as a place where the spirit of God can dwell is emphasized in the metaphorical reading and rightly allows us to think about how we can invite the spirit into our lives. Yet reducing the doctrine of “body as temple” to mere metaphor robs us of a deeper understanding of the body and its role in our spiritual progression and exaltation in the Plan of Happiness. Using the common characteristics that archaeologists and temple scholars use to classify various sites as temples around the world, this article shows how the human body can rightly and without contradiction be called a temple of God (D&C 93:35 ).
” Interpret Interpreter: Bodies as Literal Temples”, written by Kyler Rasmussen
My wife and I attended the funeral today of our friend, neighbor, and ward member, Phil LeFleur. He was a very good man, as I knew from direct personal experience and as many of those speaking and praying at the service today have explicitly stated. On the other hand, I am not a particularly good man. I realize, of course, that eulogies (as befits the word praise himself, from Greek praise [“praise””goodorfinelanguage””speakingwell(of)”)focusonthepositivethingsthatcanbesaidaboutapersonwhohasdiedandtendtoomitanythingnegativeButhe[«louange»«bonoubonlangage»«bienparler(de)»)seconcentrentsurleschosespositivesquipeuventêtreditesàproposd’unepersonnedécédéeetonttendanceàomettretoutcequiestnégatifMaisil[“praise”“goodorfinelanguage”“speakingwell(of)”)focusonthepositivethingsthatcanbesaidaboutapersonwhohasdiedandtendtoomitanythingnegative Buthehas been a good man, and there’s not much bad to say. And that was the case with the last funeral I attended. I found them inspiring. They remind me of areas where I urgently need very serious improvement. Here’s something, though, that I found long ago, well, striking: My small group of obsessive detractors are certain, of course, that I am a very bad person. It’s not as long as they have exaggerated my wickedness, although they have. It is that, while they have almost entirely missed my real flaws, they attributed a whole host of hopelessly bad qualities to me that are mostly fictitious. Weird.
And, speaking of weirdness, do you worry about illegal immigration and porous borders? Do you have any political views you shouldn’t have? Do you believe in God? For centuries people have had to suffer under such horrible burdens. But there is good news! A medical cure may be on the horizon!
“Scientists Say Zapping Brains With Magnets Can Treat Belief In God”
This article, written several years ago by statistician William Briggs and kindly brought to my attention at the time by Charles Steinman, highlights some of the problems with the study under consideration.
But I have some additional reservations. How, for example, can the closure of “certain groups of neurons” be distinguished from (hopefully temporary) brain damage? And does anyone else feel at least slightly uncomfortable with an attempt to change human opinions through magnets (or any other kind of technology)? What if we could find a scientific cure for the Democratic vote? What if atheism could be treated medically? Can aversion therapy be used to decrease sales of Richard Dawkins books? Would my blog attract more readers if I could aim Los Angeles with a giant ray gun? If yes, should I do it?
It was a weird object. And I’ll be really surprised, with Dr. Briggs, if it holds up.
Finally, here are some terrifying specimens of theChristopher Hitchens Memorial File “How Religion Poisons Everything”© which I somehow failed to share with you:
“Malawi Latter-day Saints on East Coast of Africa Rebuild Bridge After Tropical Storm Ana”
“Wheelchair donations to the church facilitate mobility on the islands of Guam and Palau: The desire to share more about the new Yigo Guam Temple and help others in need led to the donation”
“Church’s Recent Wheelchair Donation Commemorates 16 Years of Partnership in Argentina”
And this one isabove all striking:
“Church Provides New Classrooms, Qurans and Bibles to Primary School in Kenya: Scriptures and Classroom Upgrade Respond to Educational Needs of Struggling School”