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Short Film: Discovering the Word of Wisdom

This is fantastic. The woman in this video, Jane Birch, contacted me a while back regarding her book “Discovering the Word of Wisdom” which I really enjoyed. I wrote a review of it here and wrote a testimonial for her site here.

I’ve studied this subject quite a bit and it’s worth our time to give it serious consideration. I think a lot of people read the beginning of Section 89 where it says, “sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint” (vs.2) and think, “Oh, ok, it’s just a suggestion then, I’ll just keep on my merry way.” But if you continue reading, this is a “revelation” that is “showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days—” (vs.2)

If that isn’t enough to catch our attention, verse four gives us even more reason to take heed, “Thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the Read Full Post

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Two Must-have Apps for Gospel Study


Two of my favorite gospel study tools are the Websters 1828 Dictionary and a Strong’s Concordance. Back before I had a smartphone I used to use website versions of these tools that you can still access under the tools menu here at oneClimbs.

Strong’s KJV

Strongs KJV Free

Strongs KJV Upgrade

For quite a while now I’ve been using app versions of these tools as they are much more convenient and efficient. I have an iPhone but I believe there are Droid versions of similar apps if you look hard enough. The first app is called simply “Strongs KJV” and it’s very simple, free and gets the job done. I used the free one for a while but got tired of the ad at the beginning and just paid the $4.99 for the full app which I felt was worth it.

If you aren’t familiar with a Strong’s Bible, it’s basically Read Full Post

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How Prayer, Creation, Returning and Reporting Can Make Life Awesome


What if there was a doctrinally-based way to make every single day of your life significant, meaningful and amazing?

Well, there is and it is so simple. I’ve only been doing this for a few days now and am still starting to get the hang of it, but I see the potential and I understand the doctrine. Have you ever started working out only to notice a few days later that your pants are fitting you better and your muscles are feeling more solid? That’s about where I’m at.

First, a little background…

Increase-in-Learning-Cover_detailI’ve been really enjoying Elder Bednar’s book Increase in Learning. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit it but this book, which was given to me as a gift from one of the wisest people I know, didn’t really impress me much at first. The title of the book really intrigued me and my expectations were pretty high since I really admire Elder Bednar. In the beginning, it didn’t really grab me and felt really “watered-down” and intended for a novice audience. I grew impatient and skimmed on through finding a couple nuggets and then shelved it about halfway through.

Big mistake. Read Full Post

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Why Every Latter-day Saint Needs to Own This Book

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A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe is probably one of my favorite books in the whole wide world. Is it the be-all, end-all, of all things ever? Nope. So what’s the big deal about it? It is a “switch-flipper” an “ah-HA!” generator and an incredibly fun read!

Latter-day Saints are a people that are swimming in a world of symbolic meaning, especially those that attend the temple, but how many really ‘get it’? The problem is with the way that we think and author Denver Snuffer hit it right on the head:

“Exposure to the culture of ceremony and symbols is a priceless advantage to anyone coming from a secularized and demythologized society. The power in the temple’s rites and symbols, lies in the reorientation of the individual and their minds from what is in society today to a different setting and different world-view…one in which you are prepared for companionship with those who, behind the veil, live in a culture of symbols and ceremony where deep meanings and eternal patterns are seen endlessly.” (Denver Snuffer, The Second Comforter: Conversing with the Lord through the Veil, Millcreek Press, pps. 260-61; 374-75)

I love that quote. In our “secular and demythologized society” we are dense to anything beyond what we see Read Full Post

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Isaiah Explained by Avraham Gileadi

I’ve recently begun a study of the Avraham Gileadi translation of Isaiah. I’ve found his site, Isaiah Explained a surprisingly rich and interesting resource. Not only do you have a parallel translation of Isaiah with the KJV translation to the left, but audio commentary of each verse in every chapter.

The audio commentary is amazingly exhaustive; for example, chapter 1 has over 95 minutes of commentary on a verse by verse basis! The visual design of the site itself is pretty poor; (I’m a web/graphic designer for a living so I’m probably a little overly critical in this area) but is nevertheless quite usable and easy to navigate.

Bro. Gileadi is a fascinating individual; here’s some information about him via Wikipedia:

Early Life and Education

Gileadi was born in 1940 in the Netherlands during World War II. In the course of the war, his father served in the Dutch resistance whose local chapter helped a New Zealand pilot escape to England. After the war, many emigrated from war-torn Europe to new lands of opportunity. Although his father prospered, idealism led him to emigrate to New Zealand.

In New Zealand, Avraham Gileadi went through a period of introspection, reevaluating his priorities and internalizing spiritual principles. After becoming religiously active and involved, he yet “sensed a lack of spiritual fulfillment.” Israel’s history in the Old Testament became the focus of his attention. He recognized what he believed to be “a partial fulfillment of prophecy in the modern State of Israel,” which led to his desire to participate in it.

In 1968, Gileadi left New Zealand to settle in Israel, where he lived five years. Life in Israel soon involved him deeply in the Old Testament and its religious ties to Judaism. He states that “Judaism attracted me because of the unique manner in which the Jews view the Law and the Prophets. Among the Jews, I felt a depth of understanding that, as a Gentile, I had not hitherto known.” In Israel, he settled in Jezreel. His studies in Israel also took him to an orthodox religious kibbutz, at which time he was formally received into the Jewish faith and became an Israeli citizen. The climax of his life as an orthodox Jew came when he studied at Yeshivat Hatfutzot, a rabbinic school in Jerusalem. While visiting a library in Israel, the librarian handed him a copy of the Book of Mormon and suggested he read it. Gileadi took the book to be polite and studied it out of curiosity, which led to his conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was baptized a member of the LDS Church in the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus healed a blind man by having him wash his eyes in the pool (John 9:5-7). In 1973 Gileadi moved to the United States, where he married and raised a family of nine children.

Gileadi received academic degrees from Brigham Young University: a B.A. in University Studies (1975), a M.A. in Ancient Scripture (1977), and a Ph.D. in Ancient Studies (1981) withHugh Nibley as chair. During his academic years, Gileadi taught Hebrew, Religion courses, and an Honors Philosophy class in the literary analysis of the Book of Isaiah. He also sought out and studied with Professor R. K. Harrison, a renowned Old Testament scholar of Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, Canada, who was noted for his conservative theological position. Being fluent in Hebrew, he worked with the Hebrew Masoretic Text, the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah, and the Septuagint Version to provide a translation of the Book of Isaiah intelligible in English that remains true to the Hebrew. He used lexical tools constantly in order to catch every nuance of meaning in the original language, finishing his translation of Isaiah during his Ph.D. program.

Academic Career and Church Discipline

Gileadi was hired by BYU to produce footnotes clarifying translation problems in the Hebrew prophets for the Latter-day Saint edition of the Bible, and he revised the Hebrew translation of the Book of Mormon for the Church’s Translation Division. After publishing several books, he became well known as an author in the LDS community. On completing ten years of post-doctoral work further developing his Ph.D. thesis (“A Bifid Division of the Book of Isaiah,” Brigham Young University, 1981), he published his first major work, The Literary Message of Isaiah (1994, 2012), which examines a complex literary structure in the Book of Isaiah that radically impacts the book’s interpretation.

In September 1993, Gileadi was disciplined by the LDS Church and excommunicated along with five others, a group known as the September Six. In Gileadi’s case only, however, the church afterwards reversed its disciplinary action and expunged it from the church’s records, as if it never happened. [5] Today, Gileadi continues to research the writings of Isaiah and related scriptural texts. Gileadi is the author of ten books, a majority of them on the Book of Isaiah.

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Review: The Book of Mormon, A Reader’s Edition


So I’m in love with my new “Reader’s Edition” of the Book of Mormon and I’ll explain why here in this review. First of all, I understand the value of the “official” scriptures the church puts out; they are brilliant for cross-referencing and studying.

However, I find them quite terrible for reading. If you don’t agree with me it might be because you grew up reading the four thin columns of highly compressed text and are used to it. But to many novices to scripture, especially the LDS editions, it might be a bit of a struggle if you are used to reading novels and other modern books presented in elegant typographic style.

I’m note really a novice to the LDS version of the scriptures, I’m quite used to Read Full Post

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Book Recommendation: How to Win Friends and Influence People

I don’t often recommend books, but I was just so impressed by Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” that I had to share some of my perspectives on it.

First off, for years I misjudged this book by its title. I think many if not most of us have heard of it before and I personally always thought that it was one of those ‘self help’ books for introverted people with no friends. A family member read the book and recommended it; this was enough to pique my interest.

I am pleased to say that I highly enjoyed this read and only regret not having read it much earlier in my life. I was impressed by the years and years of research that Mr. Carnegie put into discovering the principles of human interaction and formulating simple ways to apply true principles to our every day lives easily.

I purchased the audio version of the book and listened once through and enjoyed it so much that I’m going through it again so the principles can stick more firmly in my mind.

I found the book a wonderful treasure-trove of easy to understand concepts that anyone can put into practice to live in greater peace and happiness with those around them. The ideas are not new, they have been taught through time immemorial, you’ll read them in the scriptures and hear them preached over the pulpit. The book is full of valuable encounters of human situations that vividly illustrate certain principles that we can apply in our own interactions with people.

Now this is a book ‘recommendation’ and not a review. I personally don’t feel that I could do the book justice by trying to break it down for you, so I will simply leave an open invitation to read the book for yourself.

I have already noticed a huge change in the way that I deal with people. I have been surprised at how my relationships with virtually everyone I have come in contact with, from old friends, to family to strangers has been enhanced and improved. I look forward more to interacting with people and how the power of kindness can win over just about anyone.

So there you have it. Pick up a copy and give it a read, it’s fun and almost addicting putting these principles in practice and immediately reaping the rewards.

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