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Mormon Matters - (Dan Wotherspoon ARCHIVE) podcast

Mormon Matters - (Dan Wotherspoon ARCHIVE)

Mormon Matters was a weekly podcast that explored Mormon current events, pop culture, politics and spirituality. Dan retired from Mormon Matters Podcast in 2019 and now hosts a podcast called "Latter-day Faith" that can be found here: http://podcast.latterdayfaith.org/

Mormon Matters was a weekly podcast that explored Mormon current events, pop culture, politics and spirituality. Dan retired from Mormon Matters Podcast in 2019 and now hosts a podcast called "Latter-day Faith" that can be found here: http://podcast.latterdayfaith.org/

 

#557

543: A Celebration of Dan Wotherspoon and Mormon Matters, Part 3

This three-part episode consists of a recording of a live event held Sunday evening, March 24, 2019 in Salt Lake City. It is an interview of Mormon Matters' longtime host, Dan Wotherspoon, about his eight years helming this podcast, and to formally announce his stepping down from the show and alerting all who are interested about what's next in his life. Sponsored by Mormon Stories, Mormon Matters, and the Waters of Mormon Facebook group, John Dehlin interviewed Dan, and others asked questions and shared various thoughts about the show and Dan and his new plans. It was a wonderful evening, with about seventy in attendance, and many more who watched a livestream, and we hope you'll enjoy this recording of a celebration and closure to this era of the Mormon Matters podcast. Parts 1 and 2 constitute the bulk of the interview, in which John asks Dan to share a bit about his life story and spiritual journey, various reflections on Mormon Matters, and about ways he holds various Mormon and Christian truth claims and ideas about God and the elements of a transformative life path in which we become more and more in alignment with God and/or the universe, and in that way, experience deep and abiding joy in our relationships and greater effectiveness within what we are being called to. Part 3 features the announcements of Dan's new podcast and other projects, as well as interactions with several audience members.  We hope you will enjoy this final trip with Dan as Mormon Matters host, and will continue to come to Mormon Matters for its 500+ episode back catalog, with their discussions of many and diverse aspects of Latter-day Saint life, thought, and events of note! ... Read more

27 Mar 2019

40 MINS

40:57

27 Mar 2019


#556

542: A Celebration of Dan Wotherspoon and Mormon Matters, Part 2

This three-part episode consists of a recording of a live event held Sunday evening, March 24, 2019 in Salt Lake City. It is an interview of Mormon Matters' longtime host, Dan Wotherspoon, about his eight years helming this podcast, and to formally announce his stepping down from the show and alerting all who are interested about what's next in his life. Sponsored by Mormon Stories, Mormon Matters, and the Waters of Mormon Facebook group, John Dehlin interviewed Dan, and others asked questions and shared various thoughts about the show and Dan and his new plans. It was a wonderful evening, with about seventy in attendance, and many more who watched a livestream, and we hope you'll enjoy this recording of a celebration and closure to this era of the Mormon Matters podcast. Parts 1 and 2 constitute the bulk of the interview, in which John asks Dan to share a bit about his life story and spiritual journey, various reflections on Mormon Matters, and about ways he holds various Mormon and Christian truth claims and ideas about God and the elements of a transformative life path in which we become more and more in alignment with God and/or the universe, and in that way, experience deep and abiding joy in our relationships and effectiveness in what we are being called to. Part 3 features the announcements of Dan's new podcast and other projects, as well as interactions with several audience members.  We hope you will enjoy this final trip with Dan as Mormon Matters host, and will continue to come to Mormon Matters for its 500+ episode back catalog, with their discussions of many and diverse aspects of Latter-day Saint life, thought, and events of note! ... Read more

27 Mar 2019

1 HR 19 MINS

1:19:15

27 Mar 2019


#555

541: Celebrating Dan Wotherspoon and Mormon Matters, Part 1

This three-part episode consists of a recording of a live event held Sunday evening, March 24, 2019 in Salt Lake City. It is an interview of Mormon Matters' longtime host, Dan Wotherspoon, about his eight years helming this podcast, and to formally announce his stepping down from the show and alerting all who are interested about what's next in his life. Sponsored by Mormon Stories, Mormon Matters, and the Waters of Mormon Facebook group, John Dehlin interviewed Dan, and others asked questions and shared various thoughts about the show and Dan and his new plans. It was a wonderful evening, with about seventy in attendance, and many more who watched a livestream, and we hope you'll enjoy this recording of a celebration and closure to this era of the Mormon Matters podcast. Parts 1 and 2 constitute the bulk of the interview, in which John asks Dan to share a bit about his life story and spiritual journey, various reflections on Mormon Matters, and about ways he holds various Mormon and Christian truth claims and ideas about God and the elements of a transformative life path in which we become more and more in alignment with God and/or the universe, and in that way, experience deep and abiding joy in our relationships and what we are being called to. Part 3 features the announcements of Dan's new podcast and other projects, as well as interactions with several audience members.  We hope you will enjoy this final trip with Dan as Mormon Matters host, and will continue to come to Mormon Matters for its 500+ episode back catalog, with their discussions of many and diverse aspects of Latter-day Saint life, thought, and events of note! ... Read more

27 Mar 2019

58 MINS

58:52

27 Mar 2019


#554

540: Millennial Mormons—Beliefs, Practices, and Authority Structures

In the brilliant and fascinating new book, The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church, Jana Riess, with collaboration from Benjamin Knoll shares results from a huge, representative, survey they designed and administered that compares Millennial Mormons with two other generations—Boomers/Silent Generation and Generation X in ten major areas. In this episode, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon focuses the conversation on three of these: beliefs (in God and various LDS claims and directives), practices (from church attendance, to prayer, scripture reading, and more), and how members of each generation decides what sources are most authoritative in their lives. The book also covers LDS missionary experiences, rites of passage such as baptism and other ordinances, as well as experiences with the Temple; Singleness within the church; gender-related topics; Mormonism and race; LGBT inclusion; and social and political views. Another chapter looks at Millennials who are former Mormons.  We are excited to have Jana and Ben join us for a fascinating discussion of the chosen themes and a bit more. They are engaging, thoughtful, incredibly informed. Plus you can learn more about the book, including where you might purchase it, as well as the website that features additional materials, synopses, the survey itself, and regular updates. ... Read more

21 Mar 2019

1 HR 16 MINS

1:16:39

21 Mar 2019


#553

539: Moving Beyond Toxic "Outrage"

This episode was conceived as a supplement to the previous one, the two-parter 537–538: Being "Good and Mad" within Mormonism,  featuring Kristine Haglund. It certainly serves well as that but ended up being more of a full episode than originally envisioned. In particular, the topic is the potent emotion of “outrage” and it’s very strong role in driving much of social media, that then fosters thinking and speaking habits that can cripple our ability to engage with others in ways that might truly be transformative and work for the good of the changes we want to see instantiated.  Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon invited his friend and former colleague, John Hatch, to come on the show to read a short essay about outrage that he wrote about five years ago and presented at a Sunstone symposium session focused on moving beyond “black and white thinking.” He reads that piece here, and then the conversation that followed went into explorations that led to additional dives into other related ideas. It’s a terrific essay, accompanied by discussion of some of its themes that we hope you will also find interesting and worthwhile! ... Read more

15 Mar 2019

58 MINS

58:49

15 Mar 2019


#552

538: Being "Good and Mad" Within Mormonism, Part 2

In this two-part episode, a conversation between Kristine Haglund and Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon, Kristine shares insights and distillations from various sources and her own thinking about "anger" and ways to understand and better utilize its energy, especially within Mormonism. In her presentation, she picks up the term, "Good and Mad" from Rebecca Traister's recent book, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger, and applies it as an aspirational ideal within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—Ways we might learn to be both angry (and harness its power) and good (operate within acceptable discourse and behavioral standards). Whereas there is no setting in today's very top-down hierarchal structure in which anger can be well-received, regardless of our sex, we can, however, learn how to effectively channel our strong senses of "This is not right" or "No God I can ever believe in would countenance this sort of behavior (or teaching)" into forms that can lead to interpersonal as well as organizational changes. This is a terrific listen containing many powerful insights. Part 1 offers a wide framing of the topic, and Part 2 introduces and discusses Kristine's ten different principles for helping us better comprehend our own and others' anger, and to then make sure its energies don't go to waste as easily as they often do in this day of social media and its unfortunate stock-in-trade: outrage, and then outrage about what's the proper amount of outrage, ad infinitum. Kristine originally presented some of the ideas within this episode at the Utah Valley University Mormon Studies Conference, "Women of Mormondom," held March 7–8, 2019. Audio/video of the conference's sessions is forthcoming very soon. ... Read more

13 Mar 2019

1 HR 03 MINS

1:03:46

13 Mar 2019


#551

537: Being "Good and Mad" Within Mormonism, Part 1

In this two-part episode, a conversation between Kristine Haglund and Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon, Kristine shares insights and distillations from various sources and her own thinking about "anger" and ways to understand and better utilize its energy, especially within Mormonism. In her presentation, she picks up the term, "Good and Mad" from Rebecca Traister's recent book, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger, and applies it as an aspirational ideal within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—Ways we might learn to be both angry (and harness its power) and good (operate within acceptable discourse and behavioral standards). Whereas there is no setting in today's very top-down hierarchal structure in which anger can be well-received, regardless of our sex, we can, however, learn how to effectively channel our strong senses of "This is not right" or "No God I can ever believe in would countenance this sort of behavior (or teaching)" into forms that can lead to interpersonal as well as organizational changes. This is a terrific listen containing many powerful insights. Part 1 offers a wide framing of the topic, and Part 2 introduces and discusses Kristine's ten different principles for helping us better comprehend our own and others' anger, and to then make sure its energies don't go to waste as easily as they often do in this day of social media and its unfortunate stock-in-trade: outrage, and then outrage about what's the proper amount of outrage, ad infinitum. Kristine originally presented some of the ideas within this episode at the Utah Valley University Mormon Studies Conference, "Women of Mormondom," held March 7–8, 2019. Audio/video of the conference's sessions is forthcoming very soon. ... Read more

13 Mar 2019

49 MINS

49:46

13 Mar 2019


#550

536: God, Evil, Faith

The classic theological puzzle known as the “problem of evil” arises when we assert the existence of an all-powerful God who is also perfectly loving, while also asserting the presence of genuine evil in the world. As David Hume puts the case: “Either God would remove evil out of this world, and cannot; or He can, and will not; or, He has not the power nor will; or, lastly He has both the power and will. If He has the will, and not the power, this shows weakness, which is contrary to the nature of God. If He has the power, and not the will it is malignity, and this is no less contrary to His nature. If He is neither able nor willing, He is both impotent and malignant, and consequently cannot be God. If he is both willing and able (which alone is consonant to the nature of God), whence comes evil, or why does he not prevent it?” Very often, as in Hume’s framing above, the focus of efforts to approach the “problem” is on God. Can God? Should God? Is God? Why does/doesn't God? In a departure from this, in this episode the panelists place greater attention on those who are currently, or who have, suffered great evil, and how traditional approaches so often fail them. In many cases, one of the costs of great suffering, especially when it does not arise as a natural consequence of something we did, is the loss of faith in God altogether. More atheists are created by the fact of genuine, massive, and seemingly unfair distribution of great suffering than any other trigger. Clearly, in such cases, an “omni-everything” concept of God fails as a being or power that is able to comfort those who suffer. In a new book, God Can’t: How to Believe in God and Love after Tragedy, Abuse, and Other Evils, Christian and open-relational theologian Thomas Jay Oord directly faces the effects on individual faith that arise from evil. Through his posing and discussing five theological claims about God's loving nature in relation to evil, many Christians, and we sense Latter-day Saints would as well, have at last found new hope and the kind of comfort and peace that only an explicit faith in God can bring. Brittney Hartley and Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon join Tom in discussing the ideas of his book, while contributing as they arise various places where Mormon thought is in close alignment with his theses. In the final section, they also discuss one large disconnect between Tom’s and wider Christianity’s view of God and that of Latter-day Saints: the question of whether God is embodied or not. It leads to a fascinating exchange, even as it primes the pump for many more explorations. We are grateful to Tom as an open-hearted, brilliant, and friendly conversation partner. Here’s to more episodes to come! Please listen in! Share! And be mindful that we’d also love your comments and ideas to become part of the ongoing conversations at mormonmatters.org! ... Read more

19 Feb 2019

1 HR 34 MINS

1:34:19

19 Feb 2019


#549

535: “The Covenant Path”: Reflections and Extensions, Part 2

No term to date has been more associated with the leadership tenure of President Russell M. Nelson than “Covenant Path.” It’s become ubiquitous in his and many other church leader messages, and it now also rolls easily off the tongues in LDS stakes, wards, and other conversations. It’s an intriguing term, yet to date, it seems to Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and his friend and fellow close church watcher Mark Crego that it hasn’t been explored as widely and deeply as it might. Right now, in its current usage, comes across primarily a goal to be accomplished—"make and keep covenants, and if you stray, return to the covenant path"—with a promised reward at the end: eternal life (with all its inherent meanings when understood in full Latter-day Saint context). In that sort of presentation, walking the covenant path feels very “transactional.” Do this, receive that. To Dan and Mark, however, the idea of both “covenant(s)” and “path(s)” are very rich concepts, and in this two-part episode they share what they consider to be larger and more ennobling visions of what this simple phrase might mean were we as Godwrestlers and faith journeyers to keep revisiting this term and allow its symbolism and sensibilities to grow along with us as we continue to walk our spiritual paths. Among other things, this episode covers: What are Mormonism’s seven primary covenants that make up the “covenant path”? What is their relationship to each of us individually and our relationship with God, however we define that term, but also (and perhaps even more importantly) as members of a religious or community? What roles do symbols and ritual markers of covenanting play in human lives, and can we allow our understanding of such things to become ever expanding and empowering? As LDS rhetoric about the covenant path is still in its infancy, how might each of us learn to understand it and teach of its richness with far more power than we currently do and see/hear from those around us? Please listen in! We’d also love your comments and ideas to become part of the ongoing conversations at mormonmatters.org! Please share! ... Read more

07 Feb 2019

55 MINS

55:06

07 Feb 2019


#548

534: “The Covenant Path”: Reflections and Extensions, Part 1

No term to date has been more associated with the leadership tenure of President Russell M. Nelson than “Covenant Path.” It’s become ubiquitous in his and many other church leader messages, and it now also rolls easily off the tongues in LDS stakes, wards, and other conversations. It’s an intriguing term, yet to date, it seems to Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and his friend and fellow close church watcher Mark Crego that it hasn’t been explored as widely and deeply as it might. Right now, in its current usage, comes across primarily a goal to be accomplished—"make and keep covenants, and if you stray, return to the covenant path"—with a promised reward at the end: eternal life (with all its inherent meanings when understood in full Latter-day Saint context). In that sort of presentation, walking the covenant path feels very “transactional.” Do this, receive that. To Dan and Mark, however, the idea of both “covenant(s)” and “path(s)” are very rich concepts, and in this two-part episode they share what they consider to be larger and more ennobling visions of what this simple phrase might mean were we as Godwrestlers and faith journeyers to keep revisiting this term and allow its symbolism and sensibilities to grow along with us as we continue to walk our spiritual paths. Among other things, this episode covers: What are Mormonism’s seven primary covenants that make up the “covenant path”? What is their relationship to each of us individually and our relationship with God, however we define that term, but also (and perhaps even more importantly) as members of a religious or community? What roles do symbols and ritual markers of covenanting play in human lives, and can we allow our understanding of such things to become ever expanding and empowering? As LDS rhetoric about the covenant path is still in its infancy, how might each of us learn to understand it and teach of its richness with far more power than we currently do and see/hear from those around us? Please listen in! We’d also love your comments and ideas to become part of the ongoing conversations at mormonmatters.org! Please share! ... Read more

07 Feb 2019

48 MINS

48:27

07 Feb 2019


#547

533: What Is the “Good News” Jesus Taught?—Part 2

As they begin to experience shifts of faith, many Latter-day Saints and others within the Christian tradition come to think of Jesus Christ differently than what they did when they were younger, and for most who undergo these shifts, the transition from one understanding to another is fraught with a great deal of angst. It takes time to "unlearn" traditional stories and to formulate new ones based upon our own experiences and encounters with Jesus over and against what we had "received" from others. It's confusing. It feels transgressive as we come to gain new sensibilities from those we see in our communities. But, even with this wrestling and searching and the disorientation of the period in which we are changing, it is vital that we take it on. Jesus and his teachings really come alive when not seen primarily through institutional lenses that often emphasize actions and beliefs that are geared toward conveying how much we "need" them in order to be saved. In this two-part episode, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon has brought together separate recordings he made with nine different friends over a ten-day period in which they shared their journeys and the fresh views they have gained, or are now moving toward, in response to the following question: "What do you believe is the "good news" of the gospel as taught by Jesus of Nazareth?" What they shared is wonderful! Some played with similar themes ("kingdom of God within us" or "losing one's life in order to find it") but each with their own unique emphases and flavoring unique to them. We think you will very much enjoy what you find here! In Episode 532 (Part 1), you'll hear from Susan Hinckley, Barbara Roberts, Tom Roberts, Scott Turley, and JoDee Baird. In Episode 533 (Part 2), those sharing are Thomas McConkie, Cynthia Winward, Matt Jones, Jana Spangler, and Dan Wotherspoon. ... Read more

31 Jan 2019

56 MINS

56:53

31 Jan 2019


#546

532: What Is the Good News Jesus Taught?—Part 1

As they begin to experience shifts of faith, many Latter-day Saints and others within the Christian tradition come to think of Jesus Christ differently than what they did when they were younger, and for most who undergo these shifts, the transition from one understanding to another is fraught with a great deal of angst. It takes time to "unlearn" traditional stories and to formulate new ones based upon our own experiences and encounters with Jesus over and against what we had "received" from others. It's confusing. It feels transgressive as we come to gain new sensibilities from those we see in our communities. But, even with this wrestling and searching and the disorientation of the period in which we are changing, it is vital that we take it on. Jesus and his teachings really come alive when not seen primarily through institutional lenses that often emphasize actions and beliefs that are geared toward conveying how much we "need" them in order to be saved. In this two-part episode, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon has brought together separate recordings he made with nine different friends over a ten-day period in which they shared their journeys and the fresh views they have gained, or are now moving toward, in response to the following question: "What do you believe is the "good news" of the gospel as taught by Jesus of Nazareth?" What they shared is wonderful! Some played with similar themes ("kingdom of God within us" or "losing one's life in order to find it") but each with their own unique emphases and flavoring unique to them. We think you will very much enjoy what you find here! In Episode 532 (Part 1), you'll hear from Susan Hinckley, Barbara Roberts, Tom Roberts, Scott Turley, and JoDee Baird. In Episode 533 (Part 2), those sharing are Thomas McConkie, Cynthia Winward, Matt Jones, Jana Spangler, and Dan Wotherspoon. ... Read more

31 Jan 2019

55 MINS

55:42

31 Jan 2019


#545

531: Talking New Testament Translation and Its Ramifications with Thomas Wayment

As Latter-day Saints begin to dig into the New Testament as part of this year's scripture study, a terrific new resource, a translation from the Greek with wonderful notes, has arrived on the scene. The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints (A Study Bible) by Thomas A. Wayment, published by the Religious Studies Center at BYU in cooperation with Deseret Book, can stimulate discussions among Latter-day Saints about the authorship and dating of each part of the New Testament, the context in which each was written, textual issues at play that lead some passages we are used to seeing in the King James Version to be dropped while opening up others to broader meanings than we typically speak about in church, and much more—all of it quite relevant in our own Christian lives and how we interact with Jesus's core messages and his calls for us to follow. This episode is an interview with Thom Wayment about his new translation as well as the entire project of figuring out how best to present it in book form. Within the conversation, Thom and Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon discuss a wide range of things, but most often with a focus on "what difference could this make in how we understand our own faith?" Who wrote the Gospels? Which of the Pauline epistles are not written by Paul? What aspects of Paul's writings and teachings influenced the Gospel writers who all created their texts after Paul had died? The Jesus of history is significantly different from the Christ of Paul, so what does teasing that apart open for us and how we approach Jesus's teachings and our own reading of the New Testament? In what ways are we asking certain texts, or even just particular verses, to do a lot of work for us (be foundational) in the LDS tradition that skew our understandings of the early Christian movement and developing church? In what ways does approaching our reading with more information about the texts' origins lead us, should we let them, to a more enlivened faith, a more energetic interaction with what it was about Jesus and his life and messaging that led so many people to give their lives (at times, literally, their own life) to spreading its influence? There is a freshness to our Bible studies that this book can bring if we will truly dive into the scholarship presented along with a plain English translation (none of this "thee, thy, thou, thine" stuff, or archaic phrasings, folks!) that also includes a much clearer picture of the role of women in the early church. This is a book and study year that we hope will  be quite transformational. ... Read more

14 Jan 2019

1 HR 27 MINS

1:27:39

14 Jan 2019


#544

530: Impressions and Reflections on Changes to LDS Temple Ceremonies

This is a quick turnaround podcast episode both recorded and released on the day after LDS temples around the world implemented and offered to patrons a new version of the endowment ceremony, as well as changes to the scripts of both the sealing and women's initiatory ordinances. We do not go into great specific detail about the changes within the conversation presented here other than to reflect upon the greater equality now experienced between men and women within the rituals, as well as a offering a few references to other changes. What this episode DOES include, however, are wonderful reflections by three brilliant and powerful spiritual seekers—Jody England Hansen, Julie de Azevedo Hanks, and Mark Crego—about their experiences from either participating yesterday in the temple since the changes were implements and/or their having collected a great deal of reactions to them from Latter-day Saints.They also join with Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon in helping frame what the temple ritual is and is not, the power of symbolic/mythic/ritual engagement in spiritual journeys, why changes to temple and other rituals are often made and why it is vital that they are. In these reflections, they each also share a bit about their own journeys to come to understand sacred texts—scripture, ritual scripts and practices, etc.—in new and far more profound ways than how they had earlier in their lives. We may have this episode together quickly, but the insights and their power are anything but rushed and easily forgotten. Please listen in! You will not regret it!  ... Read more

04 Jan 2019

1 HR 36 MINS

1:36:35

04 Jan 2019


#543

529: A Mystical Approach to the Christmas Story

This episode suggests layers of depth to the Christian Nativity story and the insights it has for our own individual spiritual paths. It features meditation teacher and yogi Phil McLemore in conversation with Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon about how many of the elements in the birth of Christ narrative can serve as models and teachers for our own birthing of Christ within us, our learning how to nurture and allow the development of the divinity that is our core (but is most often forgotten). When we begin to understand that certain events portrayed in scripture are not historical, we often choose to dismiss them. This isn’t a good move, because in so doing we are throwing away chances to deepen our understanding of God and the journey we are being called to take, saying no to chances to gain insights about our true selves that can bring us great peace and reveal deep, deep significance to our lives. In short, as this conversation suggests, God is actually delighted when the literal understanding of the story no longer “does it” for us. Coming to this crossroad suggests that we are ready to go deeper, to begin to see more like mystics do, to have these stories become even more profoundly meaningful to us. Listen in for new insights about how the things that happened in Mary are models for all of us, and how we must learn to identify with her. You’ll learn more about intercourse with God that still preserves virginity (again, we aren’t talking literal/physical things here). Why was it wonderful that there was “no room at the inn” and Jesus was instead born in a cave? Can we learn how to not just read the story, but instead become the story? It is a story that depicts the universal path to a full realization of our divine nature as human beings, just set within the particularity of Christianity. It’s quite exciting! Start listening now! ... Read more

14 Dec 2018

1 HR 16 MINS

1:16:15

14 Dec 2018


#542

528: (Encore) A Christmas Primer: Exploring the Nativity in Scripture, Legend, History, and Hearts--...

This is an encore presentation of a December 2011 Mormon Matters podcast episode examining the Christmas story as it traditionally gets told—looking closely at what the scriptures actually say and do not say about the birth of Jesus and all the pieces of this familiar story. For instance, how do the Matthew and Luke accounts differ—even irreconcilably? What are possible motives behind the Gospel writers’ decisions to shape the stories the way they did? What about Jesus’s place of birth and the reason the family was in Bethlehem (if they were)? Was there a great tax and registration? What about “no room at the inn,” the manger, the star, the magi, the story of Herod killing all male infants under two years old? How did Christmas come to be held on December 25th? In this episode, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and panelists Kristine Haglund, Jared Anderson, and Zina Petersen explore all these questions plus lead a fascinating tour into other parts of the Christmas story. Why are only five women mentioned in the Gospels’ presentations of Jesus’s lineage—and why are the ones listed all women with “questionable” sexual pasts? What are the Twelve Days of Christmas? What is the “Immaculate Conception” and how does it affect theology about Mary and ideas about the Eucharist and other religious devotions? How has pagan history and ideas folded into the history of “Christmas” (not Jesus’s birth but the celebration of it)? The panel discusses solstices and equinoxes, the meshing of calendaring systems, the link between carnivals and holy days, shepherds’ presents to the Christ child, and even a longstanding tradition of “ghost story” tie-ins with Christmas that Charles Dickens resurrected. Why was there a period of time in which Christmas was illegal? The panelists also talk about Christmas music and other aesthetic elements that make this season so compelling for many people. Part of that discussion answers how and why the host and panelists and many other Christians throughout history, knowing all that they know about what likely is and is not factual about traditional accounts, still celebrate Christmas and zestfully sing carols alongside those for whom the stories are less complicated. How can those who understand that we are during this time dealing primarily in mythos rather than history (not only with the Christian story but also something like Santa Claus) still experience this season as spiritually enriching? This is a two-part episode to be savored again! ... Read more

06 Dec 2018

1 HR 15 MINS

1:15:44

06 Dec 2018


#541

527: (Encore) A Christmas Primer: Exploring the Nativity in Scripture, Legend, History, and Hearts--...

This is an encore presentation of a December 2011 Mormon Matters podcast episode examining the Christmas story as it traditionally gets told—looking closely at what the scriptures actually say and do not say about the birth of Jesus and all the pieces of this familiar story. For instance, how do the Matthew and Luke accounts differ—even irreconcilably? What are possible motives behind the Gospel writers’ decisions to shape the stories the way they did? What about Jesus’s place of birth and the reason the family was in Bethlehem (if they were)? Was there a great tax and registration? What about “no room at the inn,” the manger, the star, the magi, the story of Herod killing all male infants under two years old? How did Christmas come to be held on December 25th? In this episode, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and panelists Kristine Haglund, Jared Anderson, and Zina Petersen explore all these questions plus lead a fascinating tour into other parts of the Christmas story. Why are only five women mentioned in the Gospels’ presentations of Jesus’s lineage—and why are the ones listed all women with “questionable” sexual pasts? What are the Twelve Days of Christmas? What is the “Immaculate Conception” and how does it affect theology about Mary and ideas about the Eucharist and other religious devotions? How has pagan history and ideas folded into the history of “Christmas” (not Jesus’s birth but the celebration of it)? The panel discusses solstices and equinoxes, the meshing of calendaring systems, the link between carnivals and holy days, shepherds’ presents to the Christ child, and even a longstanding tradition of “ghost story” tie-ins with Christmas that Charles Dickens resurrected. Why was there a period of time in which Christmas was illegal? The panelists also talk about Christmas music and other aesthetic elements that make this season so compelling for many people. Part of that discussion answers how and why the host and panelists and many other Christians throughout history, knowing all that they know about what likely is and is not factual about traditional accounts, still celebrate Christmas and zestfully sing carols alongside those for whom the stories are less complicated. How can those who understand that we are during this time dealing primarily in mythos rather than history (not only with the Christian story but also something like Santa Claus) still experience this season as spiritually enriching? This is a two-part episode to be savored again! ... Read more

06 Dec 2018

1 HR 20 MINS

1:20:24

06 Dec 2018