Monday, November 23, 2009

This is My Beloved Son

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F. Burton Howard discusses the visitation of God the Father and Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith. (28 minutes)

Excerpt from the talk:
"The sign said, 'The Sacred Grove,' and contained these incredible words: 'God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith in this grove.' Period! I had been intent on going into the grove and contemplating what occurred there back in
1820, but I found I could not bring myself to leave the sign. Its simple message arrested my progress. ... I read it again and again. My wife said, 'Don't you want to go into the grove?' I said, 'I need to think about the message on this sign for a moment longer. Either it is true, or it isn't. If it is, it is the greatest message in all the world.'"
Full text and references available online in English (PDF). A video of this talk is also available (MP4).

Elder F. Burton Howard was a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the time he presented this talk. He is now an emeritus general authority.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Prophets, Seers, and Revelators

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Jeffrey R. Holland discusses the need for apostles, prophets, and the principle of continuing revelation in the true Church of Jesus Christ. (16 minutes)

Excerpt from the talk:
"In a world of unrest and fear, political turmoil and moral drift, I testify that Jesus is the Christ—that He is the living Bread and living Water—still, yet, and always the great Shield of safety in our lives, the mighty Stone of Israel, the Anchor of this His living Church. I testify of His prophets, seers, and revelators, who constitute the ongoing foundation of that Church and bear witness that such offices and such oracles are at work now, under the guidance of the Savior of us all, in and for our very needful day."
Full text and/or audio available online in English, Deutsch, Español, Français, Italiano, Português, and other languages (click on the desired language, then October 2004, then look for Jeffrey R. Holland's talk from the Saturday Morning Session).

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Archaeology, Relics, and Book of Mormon Belief

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Dr. John E. Clark is Professor of Anthropology at Brigham Young University and Director of Brigham Young University's New World Archaeological Foundation based in Chiapas, Mexico. In this talk, he discusses archaeological evidences of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. (32 minutes)

Excerpts from the talk:
"The Book of Mormon still presses the world to take it seriously, and now science is lending a hand. The ... archaeology that has been undertaken in Mesoamerica is confirming historical, geographical, and political facts mentioned in the text."
Dr. Clark points out that the Book of Mormon's central challenge is "the promise that its doctrine leads to Christ" and asserts that its "instructions for coming to Christ are unsurpassed, and this is the infinitely more important destination." He quotes President Gordon B. Hinckley thusly:
"The evidence for [the Book of Mormon's] truth, for its validity in a world that is prone to demand evidence, lies not in archaeology or anthropology, though these may be helpful to some. It lies not in word research or historical analysis, though these may be confirmatory. The evidence for its truth and validity lies within the covers of the book itself. The test of its truth lies in reading it. It is a book of God. Reasonable people may sincerely question its origin; but those who have read it prayerfully have come to know by a power beyond their natural senses that it is true, that it contains the word of God, that it outlines saving truths of the everlasting gospel..."[1]
The full text of this talk, along with numerous source citations and footnotes, is available in English from the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship (formerly known as the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, or FARMS).