Author: Jim F.

Sunday School Lesson 23

Lesson 23: Doctrine and Covenants 88 Notice that section 87, on war, was given only a few days before this section, “an olive leaf [. . .] plucked from the Tree of Paradise, the Lord’s message of peace.” How is the message of section 88 one of peace to the Saints?

Sunday School Lesson 22

Lesson 22: Doctrine and Covenants 89 Notice that this is the first revelation given after the School of the Prophets was organized. Is there a connection between that organization and this revelation?

The New Pope

There have been many responses to the election of Cardinal Ratzinger to the papacy, becoming Pope Benedict 16. Here are some of them (thanks to Arts and Letters Daily)

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

Lately I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the gift of the Holy Ghost. In one sense, nothing profound has come from that thinking. I’ve felt that my thinking has been worth the effort it took. I have enjoyed the spirit I felt while thinking about it and feel better prepared to received the Holy Ghost, but my thinking hasn’t something that can be reproduced in an essay.

Sunday School Lesson 17

Lesson 17: Doctrine and Covenants 59:13-14, 21; Doctrine and Covenants 119; Doctrine and Covenants 120 Thought questions for D&C 59 were included in lesson 16, so I will not repeat them here.

The Sway of Philosophy

As I see students get excited about Heidegger or Wittgenstein or some other philosopher and the insights into their own lives and the gospel that come with that excitement, I remember my first year or so in graduate school.

Christian Meditation

This week’s lesson in my ward’s Priesthood and Relief Society meetings was number four, “The Elements of Worship.” As we talked about reverence, meditation, and communion, I was reminded of a talk President Hinckley gave when, as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, on one of many visits to Korea, he spoke to the missionaries. I don’t recall the topic of his talk, but I vividly recall him talking about the need for meditation.

Sunday School Lesson 11

Lesson 11: Doctrine and Covenants 4, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 31, 33, 75 Since most of the other sections for this lesson repeat what we find in section 4, I will focus my questions on it.

Keys and Authority

In Gospel Doctrine class today, we read several verses from Doctrine and Covenants in which the keys of the priesthood are referred to. (We are on lesson eight.) An example is D&C 84:19: “This greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.”

Sunday School Lesson 10

Lesson 10: D&C 25 Verse 1: Christ is speaking here, rather than the Father. Why is it important for us to become his son or daughter rather than to be his brother or sister? He tells us that we become sons and daughters by receiving his gospel. How do we that? (Compare Mosiah 5:7.)

Sunday School Lesson 8

Lesson 8: D&C 13; D&C 20:38–67; D&C 27:12–13; D&C 84:6–30; D&C 107:1–20; D&C 110:11–16; Joseph Smith History 1:66- 73 This lesson is on the restoration of the priesthood. I will spend two weeks on this lesson, the first devoted to the Aaronic priesthood and its restoration, the second devoted to the Melchizedek priesthood. I’m including study questions for both lessons here for those who do not wish to divide the lesson into two.


Each month of this semester the Faculty Center at BYU is sponsoring a panel discussion of prayer. The participants are Julia Boerio-Goates (Chemistry), Thomas Griffith (University General Counsel), Roger Keller (Church History and Doctrine), and James Siebach (Philosophy).