I enjoy studying scriptures in a variety of ways.
Currently I am studying the New Testament in chronological
order. I try to set aside a minimum amount each day for scripture study.
Since I am a Mormon, my scriptures consist of more than the Bible, but much
of my study has been concentrated around the Bible.
Here are some samples that will give you a good idea of how I have studied
Talks Given in Church
There is no paid clergy in the Mormon church, so members are often called
on to present talks on various subjects. Many of mine have focused on
scripture study, as you can see from the following list.
- Gospel in Action: Home and Visiting Teaching
I mentioned to my branch president that I was concerned about the level of home
and visiting teaching in the branch.
Several days later, he called me and ask that I
give a talk at church about home and visiting teaching.
- Service and the Gospel
I was asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting about service.
My talk was followed by President Koncurat,
who spoke on "Thrust in your sickle."
- My Conversion Story
I was asked to speak at a fireside about my conversion story.
If you have ever wondered how an agnostic became a Mormon
in a matter of months, you can read it here.
- Anne Lauer Funeral
Anne Lauer was a wonderful lady that I home taught for many years.
Anne had detailed instructions on her funeral:
who was to talk, say the prayers, etc.
I was asked to explain how Mormons view death and resurrection,
and my wife was asked to give the closing prayer.
It was a beautiful service,
which ended with her daughter Carole reading a letter
that Anne had written to her friends
for her own funeral.
Anne joined the church after her husband died.
I know that she had the temple work done for her husband,
and he was sealed to his parents.
I assume that she was sealed to him,
but since I didn't know that for sure, I didn't mention it in the talk.
- Scripture Study
I gave this talk on 22 Feb 2009.
I love studying scriptures,
and this talk was meant to inspire others to start studying the scriptures.
Several people told me afterwards that they were going to try it.
- Video Games and the Gospel
This isn't actually a talk,
but rather some ways in which I have included video games
as part of Priesthood lessons for teenage boys (actually, 12-18)
- Personal Revelation
- My wife and I spoke on personal revelation 12 Aug 2007 in South Philly
- I'm Glad You're Here
This talk was given 22 Oct 2006, shortly after General Conference.
We were to talk about something from General Conference that impressed us.
- I Can't Do That!
This talk was given after my wife and I were called back to serve in South Philly
I was asked to speak about how Jesus chose people from humble
circumstances but who then went on to become great religious leaders.
- Parting Words at South Philly
My wife and I were asked to speak the Sunday it was announced that us,
and the other members from the Stake, were being released and sent home.
I gave this talk on July 25th, 2004, which was the day after "Pioneer Day",
an LDS holiday commemorating when the first LDS Saints entered the Salt Lake Valley
after their trip west.
- Families and God's Plan
- I gave this talk on May 30th in the Broomall 1st Sacrament Meeting.
This was unusual, since my wife and I are serving in the South Philly
branch for two years. We had already planned to leave on vacation the day
before, but we decided to leave after our talks instead.
- Mormons and Marriage
- I was asked to speak about Marriage at a ring ceremony for one of my
former Primary students.
- Fasting & Missionary Work
- I gave this talk in the South Philadelphia Branch on June 29, 2003. It
talks about fasting and prayer. And was given the week before we were asked
to fast about Missionary work in the area.
- Perfection and Guilt
- I gave this talk in Church on April 27, 2003. It discusses how to
resolve the commandment "Be ye perfect" with the way we really
- Love and the Gospel
- I gave this talk in Church on Feb 13, 2000. It discusses love,
marriage, and how they relate to the Gospel.
- In the Service of Your God
- I gave this talk in Church on Aug 23, 1998. It discusses a passage from
the Book of Mormon that states when you are serving others, you are serving
- The Meaning of the Scriptures
- I gave this talk in Church on Dec 31, 1995. It discusses some of the
methods I use when studying the scriptures.
The Flood Story (Documentary Hypothesis)
Most scholars consider that the Pentateuch - the five books of Moses - is
actually an editted combination of several sources: E (Elohim), J
(Jehova/Yahweh), P (Priestly), and D (Deuteronomy). The E and J sources were
named because of the name for God that each used. The P source is so named
because it deals with priestly duties, numbers, statistics, genealogies, etc.
The D source is considered the last source which wrote Deuteronomy as well as
the final editing of the Pentateuch.
In some cases (such as Genesis 1 & 2), the two stories are inserted
one after another. (Genesis 1:1-2:3 is the P source, and Genesis 2:4b-25 is
the J source). In other cases (such as the flood), the different texts are
woven together to form a single story.
This page shows you the breakdown of the flood
story into two segments: the J version and the P version. You can then judge
for yourself whether there is any merit to the theory.
Original Language Studies
One method of study that took a considerable number of years to complete
was studying the entire Bible in its original languages (Hebrew and Greek). I
have started putting together a book containing the notes I made during this
I originally did this study using Quick Verse from Parsons.
I then exported the notes, and wrote a program that converted them
Then I wrote an XSL program to produce the HTML for these pages.
The Genesis notes were composed using
(and inexpensive) Bible search program
definitions of Hebrew words are from that program.
My current scripture study project is to place the four Gospels of the New
Testament in chronological order. I actually did this in the mid 1980's using
a notebook where I pasted cut up sections of two Bibles. However, I don't
remember where the notebook is, and so I decided to do it electronically.
There are a number of good books that do something similar. However, what
I have added is a column for prophecies and related scriptures from the
Hebrew Bible (a.k.a. Old Testament). As you can easily tell from my other
writings, I especially enjoy the Hebrew Bible, and am often amazed (and
disappointed) that many Christians don't realize how much of the "New
Testament" is actually from the "Old Testament". This makes the New Testament
not that new, and the Old Testament not that old.
Here is the beginning of that study.
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