177: Nephi’s Vision (BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 4)

January 22, 2016

Engaging Gospel Doctrine

“The Things Which I Saw While I Was Carried Away in the Spirit”


Nephi tells a tale of two Churches–the Church of the Lamb of God, and the Church of the Devil. Can we line up these two churches with the two plans, the Plan of Salvation and the Plan of Damnation? This episode explores the nature of Nephi’s churches, the need to remove our stumbling blocks and soften our hearts, and the importance of untangling human and divine influence in scripture.


Class Member Reading: 1 Ne. 12-14

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You can access the Annotated Reading here (or PDF).

You can access the Lesson Notes here (or PDF).



Official Church Essay about DNA and the Book of Mormon

Nephi and Lehi’s Visions as Apocalyptic Literature, BYU Religious Studies Center

Nephi’s “Great and Abominable Church”, Stephen Robinson

A thoughtful post on the character of Columbus from an LDS perspective, Rational Faiths

3 Responses to “177: Nephi’s Vision (BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 4)”

  1. Kay Says:

    Would you agree that your narrative of the church, religion, scriptures, truth, etc are focused on post modern subjectivism (and deconstructs in an attempt to make sense of that which does not make sense )?

    Do you think it is a help or hurt to religion to see it through post-modern eyes?

    Is “pushing back” as you sometimes say, your way of being able to fit scriptures and doctrine into your own narrative and personally prioritized values rather than the other way around? (stories shaping your values)

    Just asking how you look at this. I’m sure you have thought about it. I often identify with your personal beliefs, but sometimes find my “conscientious” approach to religion to be somewhat faithless and empty.


    • Jared Anderson Says:


      What a marvelously thoughtful and insightful comment. Thank you. I would say my approach is more critical and analytical, bringing in multiple disciplines and approaches, than post-modern specifically. Sure, I reject objectivity and aim for “intersubjectivity”–perspectives that can be accessed and appreciated by people with a range of experiences and worldviews. What does “sense” mean? Don’t the scriptures make their own sense? They can make sense from their historical contexts, and we must make sense of them based on our understanding.

      What is religion that it can be helped or hurt? I am more worried about the experience of the *adherents* of religion. I absolutely believe that we must reverence the soul of religion, keep the magic and mysticism. I hope you feel that in my podcasts. I am a deeply spiritual person and experience life as sacred.

      Remember that the pushing goes both ways–“challenge and be challenged by the scriptures”. I think we must allow the scriptures to challenge us as we challenge them. I think all of us should “fit scriptures into our own narrative and personally prioritized values”. This is making the gospel our own. I also think that we need to remain humble and open. Whenever I come across an idea that I don’t agree with I look at it carefully, feel it out, to see what I have to learn.



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