Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture

From the whirlwind great things happen.

I suspect to fill the gap resulting from recent changes at the increasingly anemic Maxwell Institute, and just from a demand and a longing from the LDS public, a new publication has been born, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.

From what I can gather it is a joint effort of Prof. Daniel Peterson, Prof. William Hamblin, and Bryce Haymond ( There may be more hands in the venture, but that is all I am aware of at this time.

Now, if you guys happen to read this post, let me tell you what I hope and expect to happen. You guys make a connection with a publisher and in ten years I should see a row of your Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture books next to my colorful row of FARMS books.

Good luck!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Tree of Life

I am releasing my newest short book titled "The Tree of Life."

I am very proud of the this book. I worked hard to keep it short and to the point, yet every day I think I really should add this or that. There are a few additions I will make later, but this is the substantially the completed work. 

While not shifting any blame to them, I should recognize the editing assistance of my wife Mary, and my friend Bill Hess, thank you!

Your comments, or criticism (constructive or otherwise) are welcome.

Download PDF HERE.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Coming up on August 2nd. is the Fair conference. I'm going... Don't be square, see you there!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

I Have Dreamed a Dream

I have recently visited with a couple people who are members of the church that have described a kind of deja vu. Where they would dream some event, maybe seeing somewhere they have never been, and seeing a few things clearly. However, what they have seen does not seem to be of any major import. Days, weeks, or even months later they find themselves in that place, with all the details in place. 
The people I have spoke with have found that the event did not have any apparent importance as far as a point of decision, or that there was something to be done then and there. So, they have wondered what the purpose was.

My advise has been that I would be very carful to make sure you are making the right decisions in that place. That perhaps the experience could be a gift or blessing in and of itself, or perhaps you are being trained in prophecy. I think some of these things have to play out before we can see through this darkly.

Following the above discussion, I have only by chance read experiences by a number of other members who have had the same kinds of things happen to them. And, with less detail, I have had the same experience many times.

I am socially awash in LDS members so naturally the people I have spoken to about this phenomenon have been LDS. But, I have to believe this gift is not unique to church members. However, I wonder if it is found more commonly in LDS members, or perhaps in people who are pushing forward on a spiritual journey?

I can tell you this, that this phenomenon is not new, I came across these in the Zohar.

“As has been established, a dream has numerous bearers and chieftains, rung upon rung [levels of sanctification], so that some dreams are entirely true and some contain truth and falsehood. But the truly righteous are shown no false material at all, only truth.” (The Zohar, Daniel Matt, Vol. 3, pg. 225)

 “Come and see: When a person is asleep in bed, his soul leaves and roams the world above, entering the place that she enters. Numerous bands of dazzling demons traverse the world, and they accost that soul, and they convey false information to her or things that will happen in the near future. As she awakens, the soul within him informs him what she has seen.”

“Therefore, a person who is not virtuous is shown a good dream that is not true - all in order to lead him astray from the path of truth, since he has strayed from the path of truth. For whoever comes to purify himself, they purify: whoever comes to defile himself, they defile.” (The Zohar, Daniel Matt, Vol. 3, pg. 227)

Now, do I believe that my spirit actually leaves when I sleep? I am not sure of that, but I don’t think distance is much of a factor for spirits, and as things are relative, what come to what is less of an issue in the spirit realm.

This is the issue, some portion of the gift of prophesy is working among some people, it has been going on for a long time, and it points to a spiritual, parallel existence. This knowledge can be a spiritual plum along our path, or perhaps a forerunner to greater things.

As appropriate, feel free to share your experiences.

---------------------- ADDITION ----------------------------------

In the comments below ChristianZ made a very good comment that I did not want to have overlooked, so I am adding the reference he made here - Thanks ChristianZ.

“He [God] has caused us to forget everything we once knew before our spirits entered within this veil of flesh. For instance, it is like this: when we lie down to sleep, our minds are often as bright and active as the mind of an angel, at least they are as active as when our bodies are awake. They will range over the earth, visit distant friends, and, for aught we know, the planets, and accomplish great feats; do that which will enhance our happiness, increase to us every enjoyment of life, and prepare us for celestial glory; but when we wake in the morning, it is all gone from us; we have forgotten it. This illustration will explain in part the nature of the veil which is over the inhabitants of the earth; they have forgotten that they once knew...” Pres. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, Page 351.

This concept seems to be understood by many, but not discussed much.