By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Enduring to the End

"Press On" by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is a talk printed in the November 2004 Ensign. It is a talk I found very meaningful and I recommend it highly.

One quote from the talk is as follows:

The question “Why me?” can be a difficult one to answer and often leads to frustration and despair. There is a better question to ask ourselves. That question is “What could I learn from this experience?”

Another is:

Some think of enduring to the end as simply suffering through challenges. It is so much more than that—it is the process of coming unto Christ and being perfected in Him.

Enduring to the end is one of the requirements of gaining eternal life. It is something we all need to do and something we all struggle with. I found Elder Wirthlin's talk to be encouraging and explanatory. It is hard to keep in mind all that we need to do and to be, but having some favorite talks to refer to helps.



Sunday, June 19, 2005

Scripture Study

I read the scriptures and feel that we can gain a lot by reading them on a regular basis. I know that the more I read, the more familiar I become with words and phrases and how they are used, so the meaning becomes more clear to me. Still, there are difficult passages, archaic language, and other barriers to a complete understanding. I find it helpful to read commentaries, use dictionaries, and refer to other books to help me find the meanings. Using more than one source can help keep me from being led astray, too.

Some books I have found helpful include Scripture Study: Tools and Suggestions by James Faulconer (of Times & Seasons blog fame), the LDS church's institute/seminary manuals, plus various well-known commentaries and dictionaries such as Smith's Bible Dictionary and the Matthew Henry Complete Commentary. The latter two, plus many more, can be found online at Crosswalk Bible Study Tools.

I bought a CD at Wal-Mart called The Bible Collection - Deluxe that has a number of English and foreign language translations of the Bible itself, plus a number of the commentaries and dictionaries. There are also books you can buy such as Harper's Study Bible and various translations and the study tools already mentioned. In addition, if you have GospeLink and/or Infobase and/or other LDS CDs and programs, past and present, you will find commentaries in them for the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. Church manuals and magazines are at and are searchable, for even more help.

The point of all this being that sometimes we need some help figuring out obscure references or terms, the meanings of which were obvious when written, but now are hidden in history. If you have any favorite links to study tools or books you would like to recommend, feel free to do so in the comments. I would be interested and others would be, also.

I'd also suggest a trip over to Scribal Scratchings as that is a blog that discusses the Bible and its history and translation. Scott includes footnotes, too.

It's always important to read the scriptures themselves, but it can help immensely to use study tools. I realize this is old hat to some of you, but there are always new people coming along who could use some tips and links!


Saturday, June 11, 2005

More Recommendations

My back hurts too much for me to think of anything clever and witty to write about. Instead, I will direct you to some interesting writings by other people. All are linked in my sidebar.

First, there is a women's literary journal, Segullah. It's full of interesting essays and poetry. Take a look--I believe you'll enjoy it.

Next, there is a blog called The Iron Rod by John Redelfs. I just discovered it today and have enjoyed reading it. He's got some really good links, too, to scholarly sites.

Then there is Scribal Scratchings, which I've mentioned before. It's by my friend, Scott Ashby, and he writes about early Christian history and doctrines and the Bible. Lots of interesting information there.

The women's group blog, conversation, is always a good read. Not that I'm biased or anything! We do cover a lot of different topics there and I hope you will give it a read as well.

Nathan Shumate has a new url for Tachyon City. Go check out the disappearing dog. And a report of The Talk.

Have a happy weekend. Read.


Friday, June 03, 2005

Precision in Language

So what helps you use language precisely, so that your meaning is clear and your discussions don't disintegrate into definitions and semantics?

I try to improve my precision in word choice, but feel that I am getting nowhere fast. Does it help to enlarge one's vocabulary? Or would it be better to spend time studying logic? How about memorizing a thesaurus?

Seriously, I have always felt that reading a lot has given me a large vocabulary and therefore, a greater ability to use the precise word needed in a given context. However, I feel that isn't enough. For one thing, I use my pet words too often. For another, while I know generally what words mean and how they are used, the subtleties often escape me because I am picking up my knowledge from general reading rather than studying the words.

Many of you in the Bloggernacle and the blogosphere are gifted in the use of language. So help me out here, will you? Or am I doomed because I was off reading a book when our Heavenly Father passed out the gifts in language usage and word choice?

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