• Episode 51: The Logos of God

    In this episode, Christopher and Riley trace the roots of the Logos of God, translated “Word” in John 1:1 in the New Testament, through the early Church fathers Clement of Alexandria and Justin Martyr to its roots in Ancient Greek Presocratic philosopher Heraclitus. In so doing, Christopher and Riley explore the meaning of the Logos of God in-depth, including in comparative religious perspective with the Hindu concept of Maya through the yogi Yogananda. Ultimately, Riley and Chris conclude with Paul Tillich, “He who sacrifices the Logos principle sacrifices the idea of a living God, and he who rejects the application of this principle to Jesus as the Christ rejects his…

  • Episode 78: D&C 135-136

    Shiloh and Ben discuss some historical context and the memorial passage from John Taylor dedicated to Joseph Smith after his death in Carthage, IL. How we remember and memorialize those who have come before us are powerful tools in how we frame current identities, and how we remember and memorialize Joseph Smith still speaks to the strong identity that Latter-day Saints have to the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is an interesting shift between Joseph and Brigham between Sections 135 and 136, and in 136 we see Brigham taking practical advice and standards that the Saints should keep and observe along the long journey…

  • Episode 77: D&C 133-134

    Ben and Shiloh discuss the many repeating themes found in Section 133 from the beginning of the D&C, and they muse over how Section 133 is an interesting original bookend following Section 132. This is as if to show that Section 133 is how things start, and Section 132 is how things ended in Joseph's experience as the leader of the Church. The "declaration of belief" concerning government found in Section 135 has an interesting historical context to the Saints when it was first written and voted on by the Saints while Joseph was away. It shows a very interesting window into the beliefs of the early Saints concerning how…

  • Episode 76: D&C 129-132

    Shiloh and Ben discuss the instructions given from Joseph Smith to the Church concerning how to deal with angels, the physical nature of God, the state of the earth during the millennium, and other end-of-days prophecies. The “revelation” on polygamy pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, written by Joseph directly to Emma, merits a bit of historical context. Polygamy is never an easy discussion, and there is still currently a lot of pain and trauma silently endured by Church members concerning these narratives and doctrines. The Church still believes in and continues to practice polygamy today. As one church leader once told Shiloh: “The church still believes in and…

  • Episode 50: Retrospective

    In this episode, Christopher and Riley are joined by Latter-day Peace Studies and Latter-day Contemplation podcast co-founder, Shiloh Logan, to commemorate the podcast’s 50th installment. They look back on the genesis of the podcast, what it has taught them about the contemplative mindset, and express gratitude for those who have contributed to the emerging community of peace-loving disciples of Christ that Latter-day Peace Studies and Latter-day Contemplation has created. In the process, they touch on some of the podcast’s highlights and share their vision for the future of the podcast.

  • Episode 49: The Need for a Church

    In this episode, Christopher and Riley talk about the need for a church. First, they refer to the Greek word in the Bible translated “church” and bring out its two simultaneously operative meanings. Next, they explore in-depth the need for a church based on those two meanings. Finally, they explore a threefold path one tends to take as a member of the body of Christ we call the church leading from dependence through participation to either disillusionment or leadership. But the leadership they discuss is not the top-down leadership one thinks of when thinking of the church as an institution, but the bottom-up, or grassroots, leadership in which one can…

  • Episode 75: D&C 125-128

    Ben and Shiloh talk about the letters from Joseph Smith to the Church while he was in hiding concerning the new and unique doctrine of baptism for the dead. These letters show an increasing complexity in Joseph's understanding of the "Mormon Cosmology" and in how the Plan of Salvation operates. By the time these letters were written in 1842, Joseph had already started secretly engaging in the practice of plural marriage (showing that he had been thinking of the eternal nature of men and women and of humanity's eternal relationships) and had participated in the rites of the newly established Freemasonry lodge in Nauvoo (which added a new layer of…

  • Episode 48 – Loving Kindness

    How would it change you to know that there is someone who loves you unconditionally? In this episode, Riley and guest host, Shiloh Logan, explore the awareness and utilization of loving kindness as an operative definition of love. They discuss how it interfaces with latter-day saint theological constructs like Zion and the degrees of glory, as well as the longstanding Christian call of disciples to nonviolence and detachment from outcomes. The calculus of transactional ROI in today’s religious observation has become a distraction leading to toxic burnout when expected outcomes don’t materialize. Conversely, pursuing the “mighty change of heart” which results from transformational experiences with God helps us escape the…

  • Episode 74: D&C 124

    Shiloh and guest co-host Christopher Hurtado talk about the early Saints' consistent divine call to create sacred space. Whether in Kirtland, Jackson County, Caldwell County, Daviess County, or Nauvoo, the Saints are instructed to construct a temple in order to perform sacred ordinances or to have revealed sacred things. When, in the New Testament, the Jews asked for a sign of authority for Jesus Christ's actions in driving out the money changers of the temple, he answered by saying "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The people, thinking he was talking about the physical temple of stone, did not understand that "he spake of…

  • Episode 47: The Importance of Mentors

    In this episode, Riley and Christopher discuss the critical importance of mentors in our lives. In the process, they wander back and forth through the various benefits and risks inherent in the establishment of mentor/protégé relationships. At its core, mentoring is about teaching, but on a deeper, more personal level. Mentorships include expectations of both parties, involve bi-directional growth. Mentors can help us grow in all areas of our life, secular and spiritual. In particular, spiritual mentors or gurus can help us grow spiritually. A traditional guru/disciple relationship is a long-term devotional practice. Christopher and Riley discuss the necessary discernment and grace that should attend mentor/protégé and guru/disciple relationships, as…

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