Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Detail for Upcoming Boise Talk

The planned talks will be an effort show gratitude to the Lord for the faith I found and to return something of what I have learned back to my fellow saints. I'd welcome anyone and everyone. I encourage you to invite skeptics, the faithful or the disaffected, those who dislike me or fear me, those who question my motives, and those curious about Mormonism. I'm hoping the audience will include local leaders and those who are inactive and everyone in between. Mormonism is one of the most interesting, compelling and inspiring subjects we can spend time considering.

The Boise venue will be the Boise Hotel and Convention Center on Vista Avenue. I will begin at 6:30 p.m and speak for approximately 2 hours.

Because of family commitments (school will have started), my wife and I will drive up immediately prior to speaking and return home immediately after.

The tentative plan for the next two talks will be Idaho Falls on a Saturday evening and Logan the following, Sunday evening. Dates, venues and times are not yet set, but we hope to do them this Fall.

We have received a generous, anonymous donation from a family and a handful of verbal offers from people wanting to contribute to the cost of this venture. We had not anticipated that, but we want to clarify: We do not expect nor want financial contributions for this effort. We aren't set up to receive them. The offers are appreciated, but if you want to donate, then contribute to a local homeless shelter, or a family in need, or a stranger who needs food, shelter or clothing. Bless the lives of those less fortunate. When you do good to the stranger you are doing good to your Lord.

There have also been people who have offered to find or provide local venues for the lectures. Inasmuch as we do not have locations lined up for all of them, we may take people up on that offer.

Finally, there will be a professional recorder who has agreed to come (at his own expense) to every one of the discussions. He will record and edit the lecture into easily accessible tracks and afterwards make it available for purchase. I appreciate very much the work and donated time he and others behind the scenes are making.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Upcoming Talks

For anyone who intends to come to one of the talks I have a couple of requests and a bit more information:

First, unless the talk is scheduled on Sunday, please come in casual dress. There is no reason for you to be uncomfortable. Come relaxed so your minds can focus on the information. If I do schedule one on a Sunday, it may be more convenient for some who attend to remain in Sunday dress. I leave it to each to decide for themselves, but as a matter of courtesy to those who will come on their way to or from a church meeting, I will be wearing something appropriate for a Sacrament meeting.

Second, please bring your scriptures. You will want them. They will help you follow the discussion. (You will be encouraged to use them.)

Third, no one can be expected to accept the religion restored through Joseph Smith unless it has been preached to them. That hasn't been something we've focused on for many years now. Therefore, we will be trying to recover it. Your presuppositions and present understanding can be more a hindrance than help. So if you attend, please come open-minded, capable of being taught from the scriptures about something you may not have noticed before. This is called "humility" and it requires us all to approach with some respect and a little awe what God was trying to accomplish by sending Joseph on His errand. The topic awes me, and leaves me thinking of my own inadequacy and foolishness. The subject is greater than I will ever be. But the attempt to address this is important enough that even the inadequate can provide a little insight if the heart is right.

Fourth, these will all be recorded. The last time I did this there was a question and answer exchange at the end. The questions could not be heard, and as a result the recording was incomplete. Therefore, I'd like any questions to be in writing so, if I choose to address questions at all, I can read and then answer them. I've not worked out any mechanics for this, but if you think you will have a question, please bring a pen and paper and plan to write it and pass it forward. Then, if I choose to address inquiries, the recording will include both the question and answer.

Fifth, these series of discussions will really be one long exposition of the religion restored through Joseph Smith. I do not expect anyone will attend more than one of them, but everyone can listen to the recordings of all of them. There will be some deliberate continuity in the total of the recordings.

The first talk will focus on the big picture of what Joseph Smith represents in the context of prophecies about the last days, and how that should influence our understanding of the religion he was sent to begin restoring. You should read the JS-History in the Pearl of Great Price to remind yourself of how Joseph explained the beginnings as he wrote in 1838.

Finally, since I am paying for this, the venues will be chosen in an effort to reduce my costs. Since everything will be recorded, I do not think it matters much whether the place holds 400 or 40. There will be no charge for attendees, but it will be first-come first-served, so to speak. I will let you know beforehand how many seats will be available.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Forty Years in Mormonism

The first talk planned for Boise, Idaho will be the first in a series of lectures. September 10, 2013 will be the first, and the last will be in Phoenix, Arizona on September 9, 2014. They will all be recorded and made available for those interested.

The lectures will be free to those who attend. I want to show my gratitude to The Lord by expounding on the religion Joseph restored. Each talk will build on that subject, but any single one will be self-contained.

After Boise, the next engagements will be in Idaho Falls and then Logan, Utah. Some locations will be close enough that I intend to schedule them on Saturday and Sunday of the same weekend. No dates are set for any other than September 10th, and no locations are arranged. As further information becomes available it will be posted here.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Boise, Idaho September 10, 2013

On September 10th I will have been a Mormon for 40 years. To mark the occasion I am going to give a talk. I was in New Hampshire when I joined the church, but I grew up in Idaho and would like to give the talk there.

September 10th is a Tuesday this year; so I don't expect many people will attend. However, if you are in or near Boise and have that evening available, you can come and listen. As always, it will be free.

The tentative talk title is: "Forty Years in Mormonism." It will probably start around 6:30 p.m.

It will be recorded and the the recording will be available for any who want it. Specific details will follow.