Religion Today

Issues of faith and spirituality that matter to LDS, Mormons, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints


  • May 26, 2023

    2023-05-28 Religion Today - Religion and Memorial Day, the Inspited Constitution, its Hanging by a Thread, and the future of America

    The inspired U.S. Constitution, the religious significance of Memorial Day, and the prophecy of the Constitution hanging by a thread, are just a of few of the topics discussed in this episode of Religion Today, hosted by Martin Tanner

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  • May 21, 2023

    2023-05-21 Religion Today - Why Latter-day Saints Have the Jesus of the Bible, But CRI Does Not

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explains why Walter Martin and CRI (Christian Research Institute) have the wrong Jesus, an un-Biblical Jesus, while Latter-day Saints believe in the Biblical Jesus.  What is the distinction? The CRI believes in the "Trinitarian" concept of God which is not found in the Bible, which is that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are of "one undivided substance" which is an idea not found in the Bible. Also, CRI does not believe or ignores Jesus' statement that, "[T]he Son can do nothing .  .  . but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He [the Father] does, the Son also does in like manner." (John 5:19; emphasis added). CRI twists Philippians 2:5-5 into saying Jesus and God are of the same substance, when even the NIV says they are of the same "nature" just like two people are of the same nature, not of the very same substance.

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  • May 13, 2023

    2023-05-14 Religion Today - Great Women in the Bible - Mothers' Day

    Whether you are confident or filled with anxiety, pretty or plain, happy or sad, faithful of have a history or sins or mistakes, confident or full of self-doubt, rich or poor, happy or sad, you will find a great from each of the women in the Bible mentioned in this episode of Religion Today. Listen to hear host Martin Tanner tell the marvelous and inspirational stories of Abagail, Deborah, Esther, Hannah, Jael, Judith, Leah, Mary, Rahab and the young Shulamite woman.

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  • May 6, 2023

    2023-05-07 Religion Today - Why I Believe in Heavenly Father, Jesus, The Restoration and Life Beyond This One

    Why I believe!   In this episode, Martin Tanner describes the reasons he believes in the existence of God, Jesus, a Restoration, and an after-life, from science, scriptures, prayer, and seeing his deceased mother and later in another experience, his deceased 22 year old daughter. 

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  • April 30, 2023

    2023-04-30 Religion Today - Evidence for the Accounts in Genesis and the Rest of the Old Testament

    Latter-day Saints are fortunate. There are no creeds. There is little beyond beyond belief in Jesus as Savior, belief in God, belief in the restored Gospel, that one must believe. The fascinating story of Pelatiah Brown in Kirtland illustrates this idea, from Joseph Smith himself.  In this episode of Religion Today, Martin Tanner explains how the trend is towards historicity of the Bible.

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  • April 22, 2023

    2023-04-23 Religion Today - The Meaning of the Phrase 'Son of Man' and Why Jesus Used it to Describe Himself

    Jesus' most used description of himself was "Son of Man".  Did this, as many say, mean Jesus was saying he was a mortal, a human?  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explains how Jews, from Psalm 80:17 (God's hero, redeemer, Messiah), Daniel 7:13-14 (Son of Man has everlasting dominion and his kingdom shall not be destroyed) understood "Son of Man" meant the Messiah sent by God. He also explains how Jesus' self-reference as "Son of Man" was also a reference to himself as the Messiah, as in Matthew 25:31 (Son of Man shall come in glory, with angels and sit on the throne of his glory).

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  • April 16, 2023

    2023-04-16 Religion Today - Eyewitnesses of the Resurrection, Isaiah, Daniel, John, Matthew's Eyewitnesses, Paul, Joseph Smith and Ezekiel Johnson

    Next to the Atonement, the most incredible doctrine and belief in Christianity is the resurrection of Jesus and many others, which has already occurred.  Martin Tanner describes the eyewitness accounts of actual resurrection, and of seeing resurrected beings, given by Isaiah, Daniel, Matthew's eyewitnesses, John, Paul, Joseph Smith and the lesser known account of Ezekiel Johnson, which is very detailed. Indicia of accuracy and details of the accounts are also given.

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  • April 8, 2023

    2023-04-09 Religion Today - The last Week of Jesus' Life, His Crucifixion and Resurrection, and Accounts of the Resurrection of Others

    Easter Sunday was called "Resurrection Sunday" by the early Christians, the most holy of days. In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner gives a short chronology of the last week of Jesus' mortal life, His crucifixion, resurrection, and gradual change to a bright and glorious being, from one whom Mary could mistake for the gardener. Parents will have their children who die in infancy, to raise after they are resurrected. Old will be resurrected as they are, then grow young. Martin gives examples of others who have been resurrected.

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  • April 2, 2023

    2023-04-01 Religion Today - Accuracy of the Gospels is Confirmed by Three First Century non-Christian Historians

    Are the Gospel records accurate? Are they trustworthy? The question is not whether the authors of the Gospels had a Christian point of view, they did. The real question is whether they accurately reported the life of Jesus.  We can tell they were from the highly regarded historians of the First century, Cornelius Tacitus and his book "Annals," Pliny the Younger and his famous letter about the Christians to the Emperor Trajan, and from Flavius Josephus and his "Jewish Antiquities."  These highly regarded sources confirm the New Testament narrative that Jesus was executed under Pontius Pilate, in Judea, Jesus was worshiped as deity by the first Christians, Christianity spread fast throughout the Roman Empire and beyond, Christians from the beginning sang hymns and practiced the Sacrament, and, the Jesus' half brother James was a Christian leader.

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  • March 26, 2023

    2023-03-26 Religion Today - Near-Death Experiences that Reinforce Gospel Principles

    In this episode of Religion Today Martin Tanner shares some of the most profound Near-Death Experiences he has ever heard, from among the more than 600 he has heard first-hand. These NDEs confirm Gospel principles and reinforce a belief in Jesus as Savior and Redeemer.

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  • March 18, 2023

    2023-03-19 Religion Today - The Holy Ghost - As a Spirit, a Person, and His Purpose in Scripture, Tradition and Belief

    We know nothing of the Holy Ghost in the pre-existence. We know little of his roll in the next life.  On June 16, 1844, days before his assassination, Joseph Smith said the Holy Ghost would "take to himself a body as did the Savior." D&C 130:22 says the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit. In this episode of Religion Today, learn about the different ideas about the Holy Ghost in LDS thought, how the Lectures on Faith were removed from the LDS Canon of scriptures because they said there were only two members of the Godhead. Hear other fascinating details about the Holy Ghost and his roll in LDS and Christian belief.

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  • March 12, 2023

    2023-03-12 Religion Today - The Lives and Deaths of the Apostles After the New Testament Record Ends

    Have you wondered what happened to the Apostles of Jesus after the New Testament record? In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explores some of the well-attested information about the Apostles.  Paul founded many branches but was ultimately beheaded at the order of Emperor Nero at what is now Three Fountains Abbey.  Peter was crucified upside down.  Hear details of what happened to other Apostles, including traditions that Thomas traveled to India and Andrew, although killed near Jerusalem, was eventually buried in what is today St. Andrews, Scotland, where the game of golf originated. Not surprising for Latter-day Saints, there are no legends or traditions of the fate of the Apostle John.

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  • March 5, 2023

    2023-03-05 Religion Today - Promises of Hope to Parents of Wayward Children

    Every parent has at one time or another worried about their wayward children.  In this episode of Religion Today host Martin Tanner explains why every faithful parent has the promises of God's prophets from Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, to the present, that their wayward children will eventually return to the Gospel principles of goodness and truth.  Martin explains why this is so without violating the principle of free agency.

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  • February 26, 2023

    2023-02-26 Religion Today - Indicia The Gospels and Other New Testament Books are Based on Eyewitness Accounts

    Are critics correct, who claim the Gospels and other New Testament books were constructed well after the time of Jesus, from hearsay and second hand information, which makes them unreliable? In this Religion Today episode host Martin Tanner answers the opposite is true.  There are details in the Gospels which only eyewitnesses would know, confirming the Gospels and other New Testament books were written from eyewitness testimony.  Listen to hear the fascinating details!

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  • February 19, 2023

    2023-02-19 Religion Today - Answers to Difficult Questions About the Existence of God, Suffering, Evil and Injustice

    If there is a God why doesn't everyone see him?  If there is a God, why is there suffering in the world, especially of innocent children? If there is an afterlife, why can't we see it? If there is a God why doesn't he answer my prayers? In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner provides answers to these and other difficult questions.

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  • February 12, 2023

    2023-02-12 Religion Today - Biblical, Scientific and Restoration Era Evidence for the Existence of God and Jesus

    Biblical, scientific and restoration era evidence you may not have considered for the existence of God and Jesus are presented by host Martin Tanner. These include, (1) how rare belief in resurrection was at the time of Jesus, and how little evidence for it is found in the Old Testament, (2) how many modern scientific disciplines are coming to the conclusion scientific evidence suggests the existence of God, and, (3) how restoration and near-death experiences independently describe God and Jesus the same way.

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  • February 5, 2023

    2023-02-05 Religion Today - Purported Translation of the Sealed Portion of the Golden Plates is a Hoax

    Mauricio Berger of Brazil claims the Angel Moroni appeared to him in 2007.  Berger also claims he has translated part of the "sealed portion" of the Golden Plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith. After reading Berger's purported translation, Religion Today host Martin Tanner concludes this is a poor hoax. Berger's description of the physical description of the sealed portion of the Golden Plates contradicts the description of Joseph Smith and the three and eight witnesses.  Also, the content of Berger's bogus translation contradicts what the Book of Mormon describes in the Book of Ether.  Also, two of Berger's witnesses to the angel and Golden Plates have recanted.  Hear the details in this episode of Religion Today.

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  • January 29, 2023

    2023-01-29 Religion Today - Origin of the Name New Testament and the Purposes of the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke

    Host Martin Tanner describes how Papias in 140 AD said "Mark . . . the interpreter of Peter, wrote accurately but not in order all" Peter told him about the life of Jesus. Luke's Gospel says he "wrote in order" meaning he corrected the order.  Luke also supplemented Mark's Gospel with additional information from "eyewitnesses" at a time when there were many accounts of the life of Jesus.  The earliest Christians called their religion the "New Covenant" or sometimes "The Way" of Jesus or as taught by Jesus.  "Christians" was a put down by outsiders, which over time became the new way the early Church was described.

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  • January 22, 2023

    2023-01-22 Religion Today - Dating, Order and Manuscripts of the Books in the New Testament

    In this Religion Today episode host Martin Tanner explains why scholars believe Paul's letters were written between 45 AD and about 60 AD, before the Gospels.  According to tradition, Paul was beheaded in 64 AD.  The Gospels were written between 65 AD for the Gospel of Mark, and about 95-100 AD for the Gospel of John. Paul's letters were written to give encouragement and to combat problems in the congregation to which each is addressed.  The Gospel of Mark was written by "John Mark" who was a missionary companion of the Apostle Peter.

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  • January 14, 2023

    2023-01-15 Religion Today - How the Jewish Scriptures at the Time of Jesus Caused People to Recognize Him as the Messiah

    When Jews heard Jesus say he was the fulfillment of Isaiah 61:1, and the Kingdom of God was at hand, they recognized him as the promised Messiah. Jesus was also recognized by thoughtful, well read, Jewish listeners as the promised Messiah when he instituted the Sacrament as the "covenant of His blood" which was shed for them. Listeners would have instantly thought of Moses making the sacrifice in Exodus 24 and then throwing the blood of the sacrifice on the people, as Jesus fulfilling in their day, this Mosaic covenant.  Jewish listeners hearing Jesus message about loving God and loving other people, as the Messiah fulfilling the prophecy of Jeremiah recorded in Jeremiah 31:31-34.  Host Martin Tanner describes in detail these and other ways Jews recognized Jesus as the promised Messiah.

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  • January 7, 2023

    2023-01-08 Religion Today - Professor Kerry Muhlstein - Understanding the Covenant Path and the Blessings From Staying On it

    Host Martin Tanner's guest, BYU Professor Kerry Muhlstein, PhD, answers the question "What is the Covenant Path" we are supposed to be on?  What covenants has God asked us to make?  What blessing await those who follow those covenants?  The Abrahamic Covenant, Baptismal Covenant, Endowment covenants, Sacramental covenants, and others are discussed. Promising to obey covenants does not restrict, but gives freedom.  Just as safety results when traffic laws are obeyed, obeying God's covenants yields blessings - far greater than can be imagined.  In his new book "Finding Promised Blessings on The Covenant Path" (available on Amazon, at Seagull Book, Deseret Book, etc.) Professor Muhlstein explains these concepts in greater detail and many others.

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  • December 31, 2022

    2023-01-01 Religion Today - Signs of the Second Coming of Jesus, Matthew 24 and Orson Hyde's Dedication of Israel

    In this Religion Today episode host Martin Tanner quotes Matthew 24 and describes how the plain meaning of many of the signs described by Jesus were to happen during the lifetime of his Apostles.  The meaning of the "Abomination of Desolation" in the Book of Danial and in the Gospels is explained as the Roman destruction of the Temple and desecration by sacrificing pigs on the alter. Martin describes Joseph Smith's statement that the "last great sign" before the Second Coming of Jesus will be misunderstood by the world as "a comet or a planet."  Then he quotes from Orson Hyde's amazing October 24, 1841 dedication of the land of Jerusalem for the return of the Jews, the "building up of Jerusalem" and the rebuilding or "rearing a Temple" in Jerusalem.

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  • December 18, 2022

    2022-12-18 Religion Today - The Birth of Jesus from the New Testament in Modern English

    In this episode of Religion Today, Host Martin Tanner presents the true, authentic Christmas Story from the New Testament, of the birth of Jesus Christ, in easy to understand modern English.

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  • December 11, 2022

    2022-12-11 Religion Today - The Star of Bethlehem and The Wise Men

    Host Martin Tanner covers the major proposed ideas for the Star of Bethlehem, including a comet, Super-nova, conjunction of planets, and a special miracle. There is more evidence for the comet idea than any of the others.  Who were the Wise-men?  In ancient Christian tradition the Wise-men were astrologers who although not Jewish, were familiar with Jewish prophecy of a Messiah. They were included in the account of Jesus' birth because they brought gold (representing royalty), incense (representing priesthood), and myrrh (representing embalming and death).  The star and Wise-men both demonstrated to the early Christian reader that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah and king of the Jews.   

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  • December 4, 2022

    2022-12-04 Religion Today - Answers to Gospel Questions From Listeners

    This episode consists of a series of Gospel questions from listeners, and the answers of Martin Tanner, Host of Religion Today, The questions include: (1) Have modern Egyptologists proven the LDS Book of Abram a fraud; (2) Were ancient temples in the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Book of Mormon different from LDS Temple, and if so, why?; (3) Church policy on ordinances for the children of LGBTQI individuals and couples; (4) Hasn't archaeology disproven the Book of Mormon?, and, (5) was the First Vision of Joseph Smith just a dream?

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  • November 27, 2022

    2022-11-27 Religion Today - What was the Purpose of the Ark of the Covenant and What Became of It

    Whatever happened to the Ark of the Covenant?  In this episode of Religion Today hear the dimensions of the Ark of the Covenant, its construction and purposes.  The primary purpose of the Ark was to be the place where God YHWH physically appeared to Moses, Joshua and other prophets.  "Mercy seat" should be translated in English as the "place where merciful God appears."  There are many ideas about what happened to the Ark.  Martin Tanner describes those found in the Bible, the Apocrypha, and in rabbinic tradition.  

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  • November 20, 2022

    2022-11-20 Religion Today - Early Christianity Compared With Catholic, Protestant and LDS Beliefs and Organization

    How similar and how different were the beliefs of Early Christians and the organization of the Early Christian Church, compared to Catholicism, Protestant Faiths and the LDS Faith?  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner discusses the similarities and differences between the Early Christian Church and the major Christian denominations today.

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  • November 13, 2022

    2022-11-13 Religion Today - History of the Bibe and the Meaning of the Eighth Article of Faith

    What does is mean to say the Bible is the "word of God"? That God gave every word?  That God inspired the contents by concept? Something else entirely? In this episode of Religion Today Martin Tanner explores how Protestants generally believe God inspired each word of the New Testament, while Catholics, the Orthodox Church and Latter-day Saints believe the contents were inspired, but not necessarily word-for-word. Martin Tanner gives a brief history of the entire Bible from the 650 BC Ketef Hinnom amulet, to the Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, Gerome's Latin translation, the great English translators Wycliffe and Tyndale, the King James Version, and modern English translations.

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  • November 5, 2022

    2022-11-05 Religion Today - How to Answer and Resolve Issues Raised by Critics of the LDS Church

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner gives advice on responding to critics. Most issues and questions posed by critics will be answered and resolved over time.  Others by immediate research.  Others by understanding the fallacy or false assumption which underlies the criticism. One example is that in some places the CES Letter criticizes the quotes of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, saying they are identical and thus stolen from the King James Version.  In other places the CES Letter criticizes the Book of Mormon for changing slightly the wording of Isaiah quotes.  Critics can't have it both ways.  Another example is the CES Letter's claim there could not possibly have been enough people in Meso-America as the Book of Mormon claims.  But Lidar research in just the last few years proves the Yucatan Peninsula had about 20 million or more living there during Book of Mormon times, more than in Europe at that time. Will this critic retract?  Not so far. Time and research resolve criticisms. Keep your faith.

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  • October 30, 2022

    2022-10-29 Religion Today - The History of Halloween, a Holiday With Christian Origins and Some Pagan Influences

    Halloween is a Christian holiday.  The word "Halloween" comes from "Holy" or "Hallowed" and "Evening."  It was the holy evening before All Saints' Day on November 1st, which celebrated all deceased Christians.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes the origins of Halloween, and the Christian reason and purpose for asking for candy, which was originally the hungry and poor asking for food in exchange for a promise to pray the deceased Saints and other Christians.  Costumes were to trick evil spirits.  Carved pumpkins and parsnips with a candle inside were to scare evil away spirits, Satan's follows.  Halloween traditions and pagan influences are also discussed.  

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  • October 23, 2022

    2022-10-22 Religion Today - The Greatest Commandments, to Love God and Others, and Thoughts On How We Can

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes Joseph Smith's earliest known account of his first vision describes as happening as a result of his prayer for two things:  (1) to know if he could be forgiven, and, (2) to know which Church was true.  Joseph Smith learned something he hadn't asked for, that God's love was always there for him, that it was incredible and greater than he had imagined.  This love of God is something that is always there for all of us, no matter how far astray we may have gone.  We are to love God in return, with all our might, mind and strength.  Explore how to love God and understand how much he loves you.

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  • October 16, 2022

    2022-10-16 Religion Today - The Prophet Jeremiah's Life, Prophecies and Influence

    Jeremiah is under-appreciated.  He prophesied for 40 years, incredibly long, from when he was a young boy during the time of Isaiah, through when Lehi left Jerusalem, during the siege of Jerusalem by Babylon, then its utter destruction, and the scattering of the Jews.  He was, along with the other Jews, led captive away from Jerusalem into Egypt.  Jeremiah was a very emotional prophet.  If he were alive today, we might say from his anguishing, emotional descriptions, that he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the suffering, death and destruction he saw. In his writings, Jeremiah describes crying, great sadness and feelings of inadequacy.  Unusual for a prophet, he was also an actor.  God told him how to act out prophecies in metaphors, of what would befall kings, the Jews and the city of Jerusalem.   

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  • October 5, 2022

    2022-10-09 Religion Today - Enoch, the Book of Enoch in Early Christianity, the Dead Sea Scrolls and Modern Translations

    Enoch is mentioned in the OT Book of Genesis and the NT Book of Jude. In 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 Paul says he was taken up into heaven.  In the Apocalypse of Paul, an angel takes Paul to heaven and introduces him to Enoch.  The Book of Enoch is widely considered the most quoted source in the NT.  In the last 200 years much more information has been found.  Enoch's writings are in the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Early Christian Church Fathers Irenaeus and Tertullian considered the Book of Enoch to be scripture. The Book of Enoch was rediscovered by the Scottish explorer James Bruce in September 1769.  Other manuscripts of Enoch have been found.  It contents, generally divided into five sections, (1) Book of Watchers, (2) the Similitudes, (3) the Astronomy Book, (4) Book of Dreams, and, (5) Epistle of Enoch.  The contents are fascinating.

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  • October 1, 2022

    2022-10-02 Religion Today - Jesus Teachings and Actions About Love Being the Greatest Virtue

    Jesus taught the greatest virtue is love.  Specifically, he said love  God, and love others.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner suggests the greatest virtue or good is love.  We learn this from Jesus, from the Old Testament, from near-death experiences and from personal experiences with family and friends.  Although "love" is difficult or impossible to adequately define, we instinctively know we should foster it in ourselves as a quality.  Martin suggests two ways to use love in dealing with difficult people and people with whom we disagree. 

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  • September 25, 2022

    2022-09-25 Religion Today - 53 People Mentioned in the Old Testament Confirmed to be Real People by Archaeology

    Are the Old Testament stories real?  Most religious people say they are, except perhaps the early parts of Genesis.  Was there a "King David" who killed Goliath?  Could someone as tall as Goliath have lived?  There are skeptics, but Robert Wadlow, a resident of Illinois, who died at age 22 while he was still growing, was less than an inch away from nine feet tall and was slender, even though weighing 440 lbs. proving Goliath was possible.  In fact archaeology now proves 53 people mentioned in the Old Testament, including King David, who slew Goliath, were real people who actually lived.  Hear the details from host Martin Tanner in this episode of Religion Today. 

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  • September 17, 2022

    2022-09-18 Religion Today - Tips for Understanding Isaiah

    Many Latter-day Saints are studying Isaiah now.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner gives some tips for how to understand Isaiah.  These include: (1) finding an 8th century BC map of Jerusalem. Realizing that Jerusalem in Isaiah's time had a population of 1,500 to 2,750.  In comparison the LDS Conference center with 21,000 seats holds well over ten times the total population of Jerusalem in Isaiah's day; (2) reading Isaiah in a Modern English version, such as the New Revised standard Version (NRSV) or the Contemporary English Version (CEV); and, finding a good commentary on Isaiah.  Isaiah was a highly educated man with a masterful writing style.  He is easily included in the most gifted writers of all time.  He spoke of future events in our day, as well as events in his own day.  With a little effort, Isaiah will become understandable and of great value to any careful reader.

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  • September 11, 2022

    2022-09-11 Religion Today - The LDS Temple Endowment Was Not Taken From Masonry or any other Secret Society

    Due to a new book on the subject, there has been a flurry of discussion on the Internet, pro and con, on whether Joseph Smith borrowed or stole Masonic oaths, tokens, signs and penalties, words and phrases, and used them in the LDS Temple Endowment.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explains why this is impossible.  The LDS Endowment had its origins in 1833, well before the involvement of Joseph Smith or any other LDS leader in Masonry.  Further, the signs, tokens, oaths, covenants, and penalties in the Endowment are very different in wording, nature, description, use and most importantly purpose, then anything similar in Masonry.  University fraternities and other organizations, including the Carbonari, are closer to Masonic rites than the LDS Endowment. 

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  • September 4, 2022

    2022-09-04 Religion Today - Vinney Tolman and Lynn Taylor

    Vincent Tolman, a Utah County resident had a fascinating near-death experience.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner interviews Vinney Tolman about his fascinating experience.

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  • August 27, 2022

    2022-08-28 Religion Today - Jesus Earthly Appearance, Vocation and Family Make Up

    Most depictions of Jesus appearance, his vocation and family life are inaccurate.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explains that Jesus was clean shaven with short hair.  His robe was tan or wheat colored, made of undyed linen, to his knees and elbows, not to his ankles or wrists.  Jesus job was more than the mistranslation "carpenter."  Jesus and Joseph were "craftsmen."  To make it in their field they had to be skilled construction workers, able to make or repair buildings, gates, barrels, walls, furniture, roofs, wheels, carts - almost anything.  The New Testament tells us Jesus had brothers and sisters.  Early Christians, like Christians today, have a wide variety of ideas about whether Mary had any children other than Jesus, and what Jesus actual relationship was to these New Testament brothers and sisters.  Martin explains the ideas of early Christians on this.

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  • August 21, 2022

    2022-08-21 Religion Today - Pre-Existence of Human Spirits in the Bible, Greek Philosophy, Early Christianity and LDS Thought

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes how Catholicism, the Eastern Orthodox faith, and most of Protestant Christianity do not believe in the pre-existence of souls, spirits or intelligences.  Latter-day Saints are the current exception.  There are many however, many Bible verses, in the Old and New Testaments, which clearly state or pre-suppose the pre-mortal existence of the human spirit or soul.  The Book of Mormon's Book of Ether includes a description of the pre-earth life spirit body of Jesus.  Early Christian Father Origin, Jewish philosopher Philo and early Greek philosopher Plato believed in the pre-mortal existence of human spirits.  Joseph Smith also described such a belief in his famous funeral sermon, the King Follett Discourse, just weeks before he was killed.

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  • August 14, 2022

    2022-08-14 Religion Today - Archaeological Discoveries Which are Evidence the Bible is Genuine History

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes archaeological discoveries which are strong evidence the Bible is genuine history, not just myth. Included are the significance of the Rosetta Stone, Dead Sea Scrolls, Tel Dan Inscription (9th century BC reference to "House of David"), Ketef Hinnom scrolls (7th century BC text of Numbers 6), Moabite stone (referencing Chemosh, Omni 1:9) and 2 Kings 3, the Lachish Letters, Epic of Gilgamesh, Hezekiah's tunnel, Seal of Mulek (Mosiah 25:2), crucified man at Givat Hamivtar, and, God as a Man in the Diorite Stele (depicting God as a seated man).

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  • August 7, 2022

    2022-08-07 Religion Today - Scott Drummond and International Near-death Experiences Conference in Utah

    Martin Tanner's guest Scott Drummond shares a little of his near-death experience which has had over 19 millions views on YouTube.  Scott Drummond Martin discuss the near-death experiences conference sponsored by IANDS coming to Salt Lake City September 1-4, 2022.  A 60% discount is available to listeners, students, listeners and anyone who uses this code:  STUDENT288  when signing up at:  Sign up for one speaker, one day or the entire conference.  Speakers include:  Mary Neal, MD, Professor Dan Peterson, Scott Drummond, Jeff Olsen, Emily Spear, Martin Tanner and dozens of others.  See the new film Remembering Heaven about near-death experiences in which those waiting to be born are seen.  Email Martin Tanner with any questions:

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  • July 30, 2022

    2022-07-31 Religion Today - Joseph Smith's Appearance, Height, Weight, Hair and Eye Color, His Personality and the Only Known Photograph of Him

    Several daguerreotype photographs, one newly discovered this year, are purportedly of Joseph Smith.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explains why most of them are not of Joseph Smith.  Martin also provides details about Joseph Smith's personality, hair color, eye color, height, weight and so forth, from reliable sources, people who actually knew him. 

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  • July 23, 2022

    2022-07-24 Religion Today - The Rest of the Story - Little Known Details of Church History in Honor of Pioneer Day

    In honor of the 1847 and later Pioneers, in this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner provides "the rest of the story", little known details of LDS Church history, including the likely date of Joseph Smith's "First Vision", what happened to the original Nauvoo Temple, how Wilford Wood acquired for the LDS Church, the Nauvoo Temple site, the Newell K. Whitney Store, the Johnston Farm, the Adam-Ondi-Ahman property, part of the original Book of Mormon manuscript, Liberty Jail, Carthage Jail, and other Church History sites.  He describes how the Salt Lake Valley looked when the Pioneers arrived and how it was already occupied, and described as beautiful and lush by the early Pioneers.  

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  • July 16, 2022

    2022-07-17 Religion Today - The Relief Society of Nauvoo and Its Influence on Women's Right to Vote in the U.S. and Worldwide

    In the Spring of 1842 Sarah Kimball and Margaret Cook decided to create a women's benevolent society to sew new and repair damaged clothing worn by workers building the Nauvoo Temple.  They asked Eliza Snow to write articles and bylaws.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes how the Relief Society was formed, and how Joseph Smith "ordained" its first Presidency and helped organize it after the pattern of the Priesthood.  After research and prayer, the Relief Society women voted on on issues. They were seen as bright and competent. This led to Utah in 1869 being the first place in the entire United States and its territories to give women the unfettered right to vote. Wyoming was next. Susan B. Anthony visited Utah years before she was successful in her suffrage efforts, to learn how Utah women had acquired such power.  From the efforts of Utah's Relief Society the right of women to vote spread around the world. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the "Susan B. Anthony" amendment giving all U.S. women the right to vote, passed in 1920, which was 51 years after Utah women had the right to vote. 

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  • July 9, 2022

    2022-07-10 Religion Today - Responses to Criticisms of the LDS Faith by Eric Johnson

    If you are a Latter-day Saint, you have or will be subjected at work on the Internet or somewhere else to criticisms of your Church.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner responds to a few of the many self-contradictory, un-Biblical criticisms of the LDS Church made by Eric Johnson who has devoted much of his adult life to criticizing the LDS Faith in ways his won Church would not withstand.  For example, Johnson suggests LDS are not Biblical and therefore not genuine Christians.  Yet the center of his faith is the Trinitarian belief, which is not Biblical.  He believes all one must do is believe Jesus is your Lord and Savior.  Yet he does not believe Latter-day Saints who believe Jesus is their Lord and Savior are Christians or going to Heaven.  He ignores 1 Corinthians 6:9 which says "Don't you know the unrighteous do not inherit the kingdom of God?  Don't be deceived . . . ."  Yet Johnson says belief in Jesus gets you into Heaven, not righteousness.

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  • July 2, 2022

    2022-07-03 Religion Today - God's Foreknowledge, How Christianity Influenced or Caused Freedom, and Independence Day

    Jesus said "Know the truth and the truth will make you free." Jesus taught humans have freedom or free agency, or free will.  Yet Christians typically believe God knows the future in every detail.  How is this possible?  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explores the three explanations:  (1) John Calvin said God controls all and freedom is an illusion; (2) God knows everything, but somehow this does not conflict with free will; and, (3) God knows all that can be know, especially in a macro-sense, but not in every details until humans make choices using their free will.  Freedom is tied to events in history, the influence of Christianity and inspiration of God.

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  • June 26, 2022

    2022-06-26 Religion Today - Polycarp - Early Christian Bishop and Martyr - and 2022 IANDS Conference in Utah over Labor Day Weekend

    Many have not heard of Polycarp, who was born in 70 AD and was taught Christianity by the Apostle John.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner gives a brief sketch of Polycarp's life, that he was Bishop of the Church is Smyrna for decades, where he had a tremendous influence for good in pointing out false ideas and doctrine during the early days of the Great Apostasy.  Polycarp was burned at the stake at age 86, in 155 AD, when he refused to deny Jesus and proclaim the Roman Emperor God.  Polycarp was revered by all of the Early Christians who knew him and by those who knew his story of faith.

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  • June 18, 2022

    2022-06-19 Religion Today - Fathers and Their Divinely Ordained Purpose in Family and Society

    In this Fathers' Day episode, host Martin Tanner describes the divinely ordained purpose and role of fathers.  Being in a single parent home is the greatest predictor of poverty for a child.  A long neglected area of study is the impact of fathers on children and the family unit.  It is no coincidence that in all areas where fathers are absent, there is an increase in poverty, crime, alcoholism, drug use, lack of education, mental illness and physical health.  In this age where the idea is a person can chose to be a man or woman or anything in between or nothing at all, science has come to understand biology cannot be chosen.  The role of men and fathers in society and in the family is important 

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  • June 11, 2022

    2022-06-12 Religion Today - Methodological Problems and Inaccuracies of Jon Krakhaur's Book and the HULU Mini-Series Under the Banner of Heaven

    HULU's recent mini-series "Under the Banner of Heaven" based on the 2003 Jon Krakauer book with the same title has led to listeners emailing to ask about the accuracy of the book and mini-series.  In this episode host Martin Tanner explains how Krakauer in this and prior books leaves out critical facts, paints heroes as bad and suffers from other major flaws.  Among them are (1) the misleading idea that Ron and Dan Lafferty are "Mormons" when they were earlier excommunicated and had started their own church; (2) the lie that Lafferty's murdered because they were following the "oath of vengeance" in LDS Temples, when there has never been such an oath; (3) Ron and Dan were influenced by Brigham Young who ordered the massacre at "Mountain Meadows" even though Brigham Young explicitly and in writing did the opposite.  Krakauer's methodologies in "Under the Benner of Heaven" on consistently bad, just as in his prior book "Into Thin Air" in which he criticizes a competing Mt. Everest guide who saved all of his hikers, when Krakauer's group suffered the death of eight climbers.

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  • June 4, 2022

    2022-06-05 Religion Today - Information, Statistics and Google Searches About Religion and What They Tell Us

    There are approximately 7.8 billion people in the world, of which 7 out of every 8 self-identify as being religious.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner provides statistics and information about the world's religions and scriptures.  Nearly a third of the world are Christians, 2.38 billion.  Muslims total about 1.8 billion and Hindus 1.2 billion.  Many are surprised at hearing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with over 16.3 million members is larger than the number of Southern Baptists, with about 16 million and the number of Jews, numbering about 15 million.  Martin Tanner discusses the number of Bibles printed and other books published and read on religion.  He provides other information and statistics about religion and its benefits.

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  • May 29, 2022

    2022-05-29 Religion Today - Core American Values and How to Keep Them

    What are the core American values that make the United States the place people sneak into, not out of?  Why do some people in the U,S. want to "fundamentally transform" it when it is the greatest country that has ever existed?  In this Memorial Day weekend show, host Martin Tanner talks about the fundamental freedoms of religion and speech which are found no where else in the world, He quotes the Founding Fathers saying the founding and values of the Unites States was inspired by God, and how the Doctrine and Covenants says God inspired the Founding Fathers.

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  • May 21, 2022

    2022-05-22 Religion Today - Are Reincarnation and Christianity Compatible

    Are reincarnation and Christianity compatible?  A growing number of Latter-day Saints and other Christians self-identify as Christians and believers in reincarnation.  In this episode of Religion Today host Martin Tanner explains why belief in reincarnation and Christianity are not compatible.  He explains why it is not possible that Jesus taught reincarnation.  He explains how reincarnation in incompatible with the Atonement, resurrection, eternal families, eternal progression.  The ultimate goal of Christianity is eternal progression resulting in a resurrected individual very much like Jesus.  The ultimate goal of reincarnation is to become one with the universe without an individual identify, and without a body.  Why do some people who have near-death experiences believe they see reincarnation?  They see themselves or other in the pre-existence.  They see others who have died in Paradise or Spirit Prison, in the next phase of eternal progression.  This they misinterpret at reincarnation.

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  • May 14, 2022

    2022-05-15 Religion Today - Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls for Latter-day Saints and Other Christians

    The Dead Sea Scrolls are an important find for Jews, Christians and especially Latter-day Saints.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner demonstrates that the Qumran Community called themselves "Latter-day Saints."  The DSS vindicated Joseph Smith's claim that ancient records were written on thin metal sheets and stored to come forth in the "Last Days."  The DSS "Copper Scroll" was such a scroll.  The DSS also include a scroll which describes the Messiah as "Son of God" and "Son of the Most High" as we read in Luke 1:32.  The DSS "Pierced Messiah" text shows some pre-Christian Jews believed the Messiah would be crucified.  Other information about the DSS significant for LDS and other Christians is included.

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  • May 7, 2022

    2022-05-08 Religion Today - Heavenly Mother in Ancient Jewish, Early Christian and Latter-day Saint Beliefs

    Latter-day Saints sometime speak of a "Mother in Heaven".  But most know little about her.  In honor of Mothers everywhere, on this Mothers' Day, in this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner gives a thumb-nail sketch of ancient Jewish belief in a Hebrew Goddess, Early Christian belief in a Heavenly Mother and the origins and belief of a Mother in Heaven in LDS belief, as explained by General Authorities and others.

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  • April 29, 2022

    2022-05-01 Religion Today - Remembering Heaven Movie on Experiences with Spirits Waiting to be Born

    Host Martin Tanner interviews the researchers and film makers of the first documentary on experiences, communications and encounters in near-death experiences, visions and dreams, with spirits waiting to be born into life on earth.  Film makers and researchers Sarah and Brent Hinze new documentary describes their 30 years of research in compiling, recording and analyzing over two hundred such experiences.  Their book Life Before Life has been a favorite for many years.  Now their documentary adds a unique documentary to their efforts. Opening in theaters this week "Remembering Heaven" has one first place and "people's choice" awards in four independent film festivals.  For more information go to: 

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  • April 23, 2022

    2022-04-24 Religion Today - Descriptions of Jesus for Easter Sunday

    Last week was Easter for Protestant ,Catholic and all Western Christian faiths.  But today is Easter Sunday for the Eastern Christian faiths, including the Orthodox Church.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner continues with last weeks Easter theme by providing descriptions of Jesus by those who actually saw him, during his life on earth, in vision thereafter, and, in recent Near-death Experiences.  His appearance may not be quite as you thought or imagined.  

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  • April 16, 2022

    2022-04-17 Religion Today - Resurrection, What it Means, How it Happens and How Parents Can Raise their Children Who Have Died

    In this Easter Sunday edition of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explains what the word "resurrection" means.  He mentions the four Old Testament verses which describe resurrection and a few of the many New Testament scriptures which mention resurrection.  He explains how Mary could mistake newly resurrected Jesus for a gardener, and how the Apostle Thomas could put his fingers inside Jesus' unhealed wound on his side after the resurrection; and, why these accounts do not contradict the description of Jesus in Joseph Smith's First Vision of a bright and glorious resurrected Jesus.  Martin explains how parents can raise their deceased children in the Millennium and how people who's physical body has been obliterated can still be resurrected.

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  • April 8, 2022

    2022-04-10 Religion Today - The Endowment, its Meaning and Origins, and the Symbolism of the Exterior of the Salt Lake Temple

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is renovating the Salt Lake Temple which was completed in 1893. Many wonder at the meaning and purpose of its design and the origin of the "Endowment" or primary ritual inside the LDS Temple.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes the origin of the "Endowment" and how Joseph Smith conceived its purpose.  He also describes how the location for the Salt Lake Temple was chosen, and describes the detailed and rich symbolism of its design and exterior features.

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  • April 3, 2022

    2022-04-03 Religion Today - Some Things You Might Want to Know About the King James Bible

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner discusses details about the King James Bible you ought to know.  For example, it was not a translation from the early Greek manuscripts.  Well over half was taken word-for-word from William Tyndale's translation.  It was in 1611 easy to read and understand for ordinary people.  Ironically today, it is difficult to understand and its archaic English is difficult to understand.  But it has contributed to phrases still in use today like "in the twinkling of an eye" and "by the skin of your teeth" and "knock and you will find."  But is has miss-translations, including in the Book of Revelation where we read "the book of life" which should read "the tree of life."  Erasmus just plain got it wrong on that one.

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  • March 27, 2022

    2022-03-27 Religion Today - Music in the Bible, in Judaism, Christianity, and in Heaven

    In this episode of Religion Today host Martin Tanner presents a brief history of music in pre-earth life, in the Bible, in Judaism, in Christianity, in Heaven, and how music in Heaven has been described in Near-death Experiences.  Music has the ability to elevate feelings, mood, happiness and resolve.  By implication, in Genesis and Job, music is a gift from God.  The Book of Psalms, today in modern English would be titled, "The Book of Songs" or "The Book of Hymns."  Music in Heaven has been described as soft (not loud at all) complex, yet very pleasing and uplifting, something like an exquisitely detailed symphony, yet soft and of uncertain musical instruments or sources.

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  • March 19, 2022

    2022-03-20 Religion Today - Importance of Gehenna, Mar Saba, St. Catherine's Monestery and the Secret Gospel of Mark

    Host Martin Tanner explains "Hell" is a northern-European Norse word for the underworld.  Jesus used the Aramaic word "Gehenna" which is poorly translated as "Hell" in the King James and other Bible versions.  Gehenna is a small gorge at the edge of ancient Jerusalem where garbage was tossed and burned.  When Jesus tells people they are in danger of Gehenna, he is saying you are in danger of becoming worthless.  Martin also explains how St. Catherine's Monastery at the base of Mt. Sinai has an ancient, exquisite painting entitled the "Ladder of Ascent to Become Divine" or "Ladder of Divine Ascent, of special meaning to Latter-day Saints.  Martin also explains why the ancient Mar Saba Library adjacent to the Kidron Valley is of importance because the "Secret Gospel of Mark" was found there, which contains what appears to be a description of an early Christian ritual like the LDS Temple Endowment.

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  • March 12, 2022

    2022-03-13 Religion Today - The Existence of God, People, Matter and Energy in Religion and Science

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes how traditional Christianity believes there was a time in the beginning when God alone existed.  Nothing else, not space, matter, energy or life existed.  God created everything ex nihilo out of nothing.  In LDS theology, not just God, but all matter, energy and life, in the form of intelligence or spirit, has always existed.  Joseph Smith explained, as recorded in D&C 93:33 "[T]here is no immaterial matter."  Anything that is created can be destroyed.  Ultimately, LDS theology would say God, through eternal progression, moved from being like humans are now, through progression, into the being he is now.  In that sense, God through progression turned himself into God. 

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  • March 6, 2022

    2022-03-06 Religion Today - The Lost Book of the Law and Josiah's Deuteronomic Reform of Judaism

    In 622 BC King Josiah's Priest Hilkiah found a scroll, the "Book of the Law" which is thought to be Deuteronomy chapters 12-26 with a few additions.   King Josiah read it and instituted major political and religious reforms, including changes in the Temple and local worship.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes the two views of Josiah's reforms:  (1) the people, the Dead Sea Scrolls and 1 Enoch imply Josiah's reforms were not sanctioned by God, resulting in God allowing Josiah's death, Jerusalem and the Temple to be destroyed and the Jews exiled; and, (2) Josiah's reforms were good.  Martin describes why it is likely Josiah removed the original Menorah from the Temple, which was also called the "Tree of Life" and prophecies of its Latter-day restoration.

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  • February 27, 2022

    2022-02-27 Religion Today - The Scriptures at the Time of Jesus and the Apostles were Very Different from Our Old Testament

    Jesus' words in Luke 11:50 imply the last of the "Old Testament" or scriptures in his day was the scroll, now known as the book of 2 Chronicles.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner provides other examples showing the scriptures in Jesus' day were very different from the Old Testament we have today. For example, Jude 14 quotes "Enoch the seventh generation from Adam[.]"  Earlier in Jude in some early manuscripts there is a quote of a description of Michael having a dispute with Satan over Moses' body.  This is a quote from an unknown work.  Matthew 2:23 says the prophets say, "He shall be called a Nazarene" but the source for this quote is now unknown.  These and many other examples are provided showing the scriptures at the time of Jesus and the Apostles were quite different from our Old Testament today. 

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  • February 20, 2022

    2022-02-20 Religion Today - The Tower of Babel has been Found - Genesis 11 was Based on Historical Events

    The remnants of the Tower of Babel described in Genesis chapter 11 have been found.  In this episode of Religion Today host Martin Tanner explains how many sources outside the Bible confirm The Tower of Babel account was based on Etemenanki, an ancient Babylonian Ziggurat (stepped pyramid) about 298 feet high, located 56 miles south of what is today Bagdad, Iraq.  Genesis 10 says Shen, Ham, gentiles and their descendants all had different languages.  Thus, Genesis 10 seems to contradict the Genesis 11 assertion that before the Tower of Babel, the people of the earth all spoke one language.

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  • February 13, 2022

    2022-02-13 Religion Today - Old Testament - Its Purpose and How it has Come Down to Us

    Have you wondered when and for what purpose the Old Testament was written; and how it got its name?  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner provides an overview of when the Old Testament was written in the form we have it (about 623 BC).  He describes how we miss the meaning of some of its narratives due to cultural differences.  Martin then describes way the Jewish Faith understand the Tanakh (Old Testament), and about major Bible translations, when they were written and for what purpose.

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  • February 6, 2022

    2022-02-06 Religion Today - The Book that Turned a Generation Against the U.S, the Constitution, Religion and Freedom

    Have you heard of Howard Zinn?  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes how pseudo-historian and propagandist, Zinn, in his book "A People's History of the United States" through its influence on high school teachers and university professors, has turned young Americans against the U.S., its Constitution, religion, Christopher Columbus, Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Kennedy and other genuine heroes of history, by twisting the U.S. from a country based on freedom into a racist, imperialist nation.  Tanner suggests a source to combat against Zinn's awful book.

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  • January 30, 2022

    2022-01-30 Religion Today - Egyptologist Prof. Kerry Muhlestein on the Book of Abraham

    Host Martin Tanner interviews Egyptologist, Professor Kerry Muhlestein, PhD, on the Book of Abraham.  Prof. Muhlestein explains why the papyri on which the Book of Abraham text was written were burned in the Great Chicago Fire, and are not among the few fragments obtained from the New York Metropolitan Museum in the 1966.  Prof. Muhlestein also explains the Joseph Smith must be a true prophet because he correctly translated and described the meaning of ancient Egyptian beliefs, artifacts and ancient locations, all of which were entirely unknown during Joseph Smith's life time.

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  • January 23, 2022

    2022-01-23 Religion Today - Understanding Strange, Odd and Difficult Stories in the Bible - Part 2

    In this second of a two-part series on possible ways to understand difficult stories and versus in the Bible, host Martin Tanner explains how the real 2021 Newspaper and TV accounts of a New England lobster diver who was swallowed by a Humpback whale, and lived to tell about it, may help explain the story of Jonah in the Bible.  Martin also discusses what happened to those resurrected immediately after Jesus as described in Matthew, and how to possibly understand the "giants" mentioned in Genesis 6:2.

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  • January 16, 2022

    2022-01-16 Religion Today - Understanding Strange, Odd and Difficult Stories in the Bible - Part 1

    In the first of a series of shows, host Martin Tanner describes ways to understand difficult to grasp and understand Bible stories that seem strange, odd, bazaar and are difficult to understand.  These include the following:  How could Eve be created from Adam's rib?  How could a serpent or snake talk and tempt Adam and Eve?  Did sons of God (deity) come to earth and have children with human women as Genesis 6 describes?  Were they giants?  How could a bush burn but not be burned up, when Moses saw God of God's angel in Exodus?  These and other strange Bible versus are discussed.

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  • January 9, 2022

    2022-01-09 Religion Today - A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament and Some Tips for Understanding It

    The Old Testament is as relevant today as it ever has been.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explains why it is still relevant and gives tips on how to more easily understand it.  "Genesis" comes from a Greek word meaning "beginning."  Genesis describes the beginning of the earth, heaven, sun, moon, stars, the human race, plants, animals, evil, Israel (God's people), the Jewish religion and many other beginnings.  Understanding Genesis and the other Old Testament books is much easier using the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) or Martin's favorite, the Contemporary English Version (CEV).  Do not look at Genesis as a scientific text-book, but instead a description of the model the Jews had to understand the beginning of everything.

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  • January 1, 2022

    2022-01-02 Religion Today - The Future, Ideas for 2022 Resolutions, in Religion and Politics

    Now in its 32nd year Religion Today begins 2022 with host Martin Tanner quoting the Apostle Paul about evil in the Last Days.  Brigham Young is quoted from the Journal of Discourses.  Ideas for New Year's resolutions are presented; and, about acquiring knowledge before being zealous in religion and politics.

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  • December 24, 2021

    2021-12-26 Religion Today - Jesus Birth Date and Birth Year, Messiah, Son of Man

    Host Martin Tanner corrects an error from his prior podcast, then describes why there was a Jewish community or colony in Egypt when Joseph, Mary and Jesus fled there to escape the wrath of Herod.  The Star of Bethlehem was likely a comet, seen and noted in 5 BC.  The phrase in Matthew 2:9 the star "stood over" was used exclusively to describe comets in the ancient world.  "Jesus" (from the Hebrew) also transliterated "Joshua" or "Yeshua" literally means "YHWH saves".  "Christ" (from the Greek) "kristos" is a translation of the Hebrew word "Meshia" or "Messiah" literally means "smeared, or anointed with oil."  Jesus was thus "Jehovah who saves, the anointed or chosen Savior." 

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  • December 19, 2021

    2021-12-19 Religion Today - The Magi The Star and the Birth of Jesus

    Religion Today host Martin Tanner explains the "Wise Men" or "Magi" (the root word for magician" in English may have been Zoroastrian Priests traveling from the east, near or at Babylon.  The Star of Bethleham could have been a comet, a super-nova or perhaps a super-natural event.  Jesus was likely born in 4 BC or earlier because King Harod, who spoke with the Magi, died in 4 BC.  These and other details of the traditional Christmas Story of the Birth of our Savior are described in this episode of Religion Today.

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  • December 12, 2021

    2021-12-12 Religion Today - The Widespread Belief in Angels

    Belief in angels is widespread.  Would it surprise you to learn more people believe in angels than believe in global warming or climate change?  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explains what or who angels are, where they come from and what their purpose is.  Many people, even some who do not consider themselves to be religious, say they have seen an angel who gave them direction, help or a warning.  Belief in angels is far more common than most people imaging.  Well over half the population in the United States, for example, believe in angels.








































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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  • December 4, 2021

    2021-12-05 Religion Today - Read the Gospel of Mark For Christmas and it Will Enhance Your Understanding of Our Savior

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner suggests that during the Christmas Season, reading the Gospel of Mark, all at once, which will take about 1 1/2 hours, will enhance your understanding of our Savior.  It was the first Gospel written, and it was written in "first person."  For example God says "I love you and am so pleased with you my own dear Son" in Mark.  In other Gospels God says "This is my beloved son, with whom I'm well pleased" seemingly talking to others.  Mark has details like Jesus holding a child in the "crook" of his arm; and, how Jesus fell asleep on the "rower's cushion" before calming the sea.  Mark is Peter's Gospel.  John Mark, its author, was Peter's missionary companion.  Try reading Mark in the "Contemporary English Version" or the "New Revised Standard Version" both available free online.

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  • December 4, 2021

    2021-11-27 Religion Today - Polygamy in the Old and New Testaments, in the LDS Faith in the 1800, and in Christianity Today

    In this Religion Today episode, host Martin Tanner puts polygamy in perspective.  At least 40 men in the Old Testament were polygamists, including Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Esau, David and Solomon.  What is less known is that polygamy was practiced in Judaism into the third and fourth centuries AD, according to Josephus, St. Augustine, Justin and other reliable sources.  Martin Luther stated he could find no Biblical prohibition of polygamy and he specifically authorized it a few times.  Popes and other Christian leaders actually required it at times.  Today, if a convert is already married to more than one wife, in the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist and other denominations, polygamy is allowed.  But not in the LDS faith.  Misconceptions about Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and polygamy are also dispelled.

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  • November 21, 2021

    2021-11-21 Religion Today - Love and Gratitude and Thanksgiving are the Ways to Find Happiness During Life's Trials

    In this Thanksgiving episode, host Martin Tanner provides real life experiences, scriptures and other insights into how to find happiness during difficult times in one's life, and during troubles times in the world. 

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  • November 13, 2021

    2021-11-14 Religion Today - Prof. Kerry Muhlestein on his new Isaiah Commentary and Guide

    In this Religion Today episode, host Martin Tanner interviews Professor Kerry Muhlestein, MA, Ancient Near-Eastern Studies, PhD, Egyptology, past Visiting Fellow at Oxford, and current Director of the BYU Egypt Excavation Project.  Prof. Muhlestein has just published an excellent book on Isaiah "Learning to Love Isaiah."  The 2022 Come Follow Me is the Old Testament.  "Learning to Love Isaiah" is a practical guide-book for beginner through scholar on the meaning, message, and past, present and future fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecies.  

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  • November 6, 2021

    2021-11-07 Religion Today - How to Persuade Atheists and Agnostics in the Existence of God.Part 2

    In this second of a two part series, host Martin Tanner explains in easy to understand ways, some of the scientific evidence for God, including the astronomical odds against the finding water, oxygen, the right temperature range, the right gravitational pull, needed carbon and other nutrients, for the existence of life.  In addition, even the most simple one celled life has DNA, which is digital code, like computer code to tell the cell how to operate. The only known source for digital code is a guiding intelligence.  Stated another way, the existence of life can only be explained by, intelligent design; and, the intelligent designer is God.

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  • October 31, 2021

    2021-10-31 Religion Today - How to Persuade Atheists and Agnostics in the Existence of God

    Believers in God often try to persuade atheists or agnostics God exists by using scriptures such as the Bible or Book of Mormon.  Typically, arguments of faith do not work with atheists and agnostics, who see scriptures as faith based.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner provides an overview of some of the most persuasive arguments for the existence of God, specifically for atheists and agnostics, based on science, mathematics, probabilities and physics.  After these, arguments of faith may be persuasive too.

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  • October 24, 2021

    2021-10-24 Religion Today - The Impact of Anti-Mormon and Anti-Joseph Smith Publications on Joseph Smith and The Restored Church of Jesus Christ

    During the type-setting of the Book of Mormon, continuously to the time of his death Joseph Smith was faced with anti-Mormon and Anti-Joseph Smith publications, from newspaper publications, to pamphlets, to books.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner gives an over-view of the extraordinary opposition Joseph Smith faced and overcame during his lifetime.

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  • October 16, 2021

    2021-10-17 Religion Today - How to Answer Difficult Gospel Questions - Martin Tanner's Debate with a Former Latter-day Saint as an Illustration

    How do you find answers to difficult Gospel Questions?  In this episode of Religion Today Host Martin Tanner uses his 2018 debate with a former Latter-day Saint who left the Church over questions he could not answer in the Book of Mormon, to show how to be patient and how to look to find answers to difficult questions.  Specifically, Martin discusses how steel mentioned in the Book of Ether in about 2,500 to 2,000 BC is a question with an answer.  Martin gives other answers and describes an approach to finding answers.

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  • October 10, 2021

    2021-10-10 Religion Today - God Loves You No Matter Your Flaws and Imperfections - God's Love is Always There for You No Matter What

    Many people have the idea, and have even been taught, that God's love is conditional; that God loves the righteous more than the unrighteous; that he loves people with problems less and good people more.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explains from the experiences of Joseph Smith, the teachings of Church Leaders and from near-death experiences he heard first hand, that God's love is ALWAYS there, for EVERYONE, no matter how good or bad they are.  This does not mean God doesn't care if you're good or bad.  It does mean he loves you no matter what.  God's love is always there for you, no matter what you've done, no matter how imperfect you are.

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  • October 3, 2021

    2021-10-03 Religion Today - Was there Baptism Before Christianity - Is Baptism in the Book of Mormon Before Christianity aa Error

    What was John the Baptist doing when he baptized people?  His baptism was not a Christian ritual.  After all, he was baptizing before Jesus' ministry began.  Is Baptism in the Book of Mormon before the time of Christ an error and proof it is not of God?  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explains that "baptism" then called "washing" was performed with anointing and clothing in clean garments, and is described in Exodus in connection with Moses' Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant and in Psalms.  Pre-Christian immersion fonts are described in the Dead Sea Scrolls and were excavated at Qumran.  Hence the Book of Mormon's pre-Christian mention of baptism is not an anomaly, but fits correctly within pre-Christian Judaism.

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  • September 25, 2021

    2021-09-26 Religion Today - Touching Near-Death Experiences from a 6 year old boy and a 14 year old girl

    The near-death experiences of a 6-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl are shared by host Martin Tanner in this touching episode.  Both saw Jesus and one saw Heavenly Father.  Both experiences will help listeners understand how all are loved by God, how all can be forgiven, what is important in life, and that the Second Coming will happen.

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  • September 19, 2021

    2021-09-19 Religion Today - Race in Judaism, Christianity, and in the LDS Faith

    Several critics emailed to ask whether host Martin Tanner believes Brigham Young was racist.  In this broadcast, Martin Tanner answers and responds to a broader question by explaining why neither The LDS Church and Joseph Smith were ahead of their time in having Blacks, Native Americans and others treated like all other visitors and members, without segregation, calling them to positions of authority and giving them the Priesthood.  Brigham Young, after giving praise to Black Elders in the LDS Faith changed policy in 1859, disallowing Blacks to be ordained to the Priesthood.  This was likely done to quell many threats against the Church for treating minorities the same as other members.  Over all, Martin Tanner explains why the LDS Faith has an excellent history of welcoming and treating minorities well.  More than half of all Church members today do not speak English as their native language.

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  • September 12, 2021

    2021-09-12 Religion Today - Radical Islamic Religious Beliefs Caused 9-11, Not Western Politics or Foreign Policy

    The day after the 20th anniversary of 9-11, Religion Today Host Martin Tanner explains why the interpretation of 109 verses in the Quran by Radical Muslims, like the Taliban, ISIS, Al Quada, etc. caused 9-11, not U.S. foreign policy or U.S. involvement in the Middle-East, as some erroneously claim.  Learn why 99% of all terrorist attacks in the world are done in the name of one religious movement, Radical Islam, which believes that to be a good Muslim, one must fight against and kill infidels (non-Muslims).  This idea comes from teachings in the Quran.  Islamic terrorism has been going on in the form of the Barbary Coast Pirates (Muslim extremists of the 1700 and 1800s, and before, continuously to the present.

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  • September 5, 2021

    2021-09-05 Religion Today - The Church Will Not be Led Astray, is Not Off Track, or In a State of Apostasy

    Recently Religion Today Show host Martin Tanner has received many emails concerned about the future:  Is the Constitution hanging by a threat?  Is the Church off track?  Is there a need for yet another restoration?  In this episode of Religion Today Martin Tanner explains from the Old and New Testaments, in clear language, why there will not be another restoration, why the LDS Church is not off track or in a state of apostasy and why the future looks bright.  His message is one of comfort and peace, that all will be well.

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  • August 28, 2021

    2021-08-29 Religion Today - Responding to Those Who Say Latter-day Saints Should Not be Considered Real Christians

    Religion Today host Martin Tanner explains how to respond to claims that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in a different God, a different Jesus and have a different view of salvation that is found in the New Testament.

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  • August 21, 2021

    2021-08-22 Religion Today - Humor in the Bible - Does God Have a Sense of Humor

    Have you wondered whether God and Jesus have a sense of humor?  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner give some examples of the hundreds of places in the Bible where humor is appropriately used by God, Jesus, the Apostle Paul, Prophet Elijah and others to make an appropriate point.  Because we read scriptures with a serious mind set, because we do not recognize humor in 410 year old King James Bible English, we miss much of the humor it contains.  Humor in the Bible is not gratuitous, it is done to make a point.  Once you learn how to spot humor in the Bible, it will open up new ways to understand certain episodes.

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  • August 14, 2021

    2021-08-15 Religion Today - The Greek Septuagint Bible, and How Jesus, the New Testament Writers and Early Christians Used It

    Did you know that Jesus, the Apostles and New Testament writers all read the scriptures the Greek (the Septuagint version of the Bible)?  In this episode of Religion Today, the host Martin Tanner explains why Jesus, the Apostles and Early Christians all read the Old Testament in Greek (the Septuagint Bible) and quotes from it.  The Apostle Paul, in his NT writings, quotes over 100 times from the Septuagint.  The Septuagint is often from an earlier, better version of Hebrew, than existing Hebrew Bibles today.  For example, the Septuagint says the Messiah would be born to a virgin.  The Hebrew Bible says the Messiah would be born to a young woman.  The differences have a profound effect on Christian doctrine.

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  • August 7, 2021

    2021-08-08 Religion Today - Prayer, How to Overcome Doubts About it and How to Make it More Effective

    Prayer is communication with Heavenly Father.  If God knows all, why should we pray?  How can we overcome doubts about prayer and whether God listens?  In this Religion Today episode, host Martin Tanner answers these and other questions about prayer.  Prayer is important for everyone.,  If points us in the right direction, by re-orienting our life.  Prayer is indispensable when done as Jesus instructed.  It is alright to pray in public as well as in private.

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  • July 31, 2021

    2021-08-01 Religion Today - Near-Death Experiences, LDS and other Religious Beliefs

    Religion Today host Martin Tanner explains why even though the first book on Near-death Experiences (NDEs) wasn't published until 1975, a careful study shows NDEs have been known much earlier:  (1) in the 1800s in the LDS Faith, (2) in the Middle Ages, (3) in the first millennium after Christ, (4) in the New Testament, (4) in the Book of Mormon, (5) Centuries before Christ, and, even earlier, (6) in the writings of Plato.  NDEs have many overlapping points with Latter-day Saint beliefs and doctrines which makes them especially acceptable to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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  • July 24, 2021

    2021-07-25 Religion Today - Baptism for the Dead in Early Christianity and as Restored in the LDS Faith

    In this episode of Religion Today host Martin Tanner explores the meaning of vicarious "Baptism for the Dead" by early Christians in Corinth as mentioned by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:29.  Harvard scholar and professor Krister Stendahl, later head of the Lutheran Church in Sweden, and the New English Translation of the Bible made by the Dallas Theological Seminary, suggest and acknowledge Paul was using Baptism for the Dead as an argument that the resurrection is real.  Stated another way, the early Christians in Corinth believed in Baptism for the Dead, but some had doubts about the resurrection.  Paul was trying to convince them the resurrection was real.

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  • July 17, 2021

    2021-07-18 Religion Today - To be an Apostle Must One See Jesus and Was This a Requirement to be an Ancient Apostle

    Was it a requirement to be an Ancient Apostle to see Jesus Christ before and after his resurrection?  To be a modern Apostle, must one see Jesus Christ?  Is is possible for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to fall away and the Gospel be restored yet again in the future?  Religion Today host Martin Tanner answers these and other questions.  Not all ancient nor all modern Apostles have seen Jesus.  But some have.  The calling of an Apostle, to be a special witness of Jesus as savior and that he was resurrected, is one based on divine calling, not whether a person has seen Jesus.  The D&C makes it clear that everyone who is worthy, regardless of calling, may have that wonderful, person experience.  Joseph Smith and others have said the Church as a whole will never fall away and the Gospel will not again be restored..

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  • July 11, 2021

    2021-07-11 Religion Today - The Joseph Smith Translation - What it is and How to Better Understand it

    What is the "Joseph Smith Translation" also known as the "Inspired Version"?  Was it ever finished?  What are the six kinds of changes Joseph Smith made to the Bible when he made the JST?  Which Bible translation did Joseph Smith use when making the JST?  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner answers these answers and more.  If you have ever wanted to learn more about the Joseph Smith Translation, this episode of Religion Today is one to hear.

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  • July 3, 2021

    2021-07-04 Religion Today - The U.S., the Founding Fathers, freedom versus socialism, False Claims of Systemic Racism, etc

    Dr. Thomas Sowell, PhD, of the Stanford Hoover Institution, a black conservative, famously said blacks were not enslaved because they were black, but because they were available.  Whites have enslaved whites.  Asians have enslaved Asians.  Blacks have enslaved blacks.  The U.S. is not a racist country.  On the contrary, based on Christian values, European Christians who emigrated to the New World, fought to end slavery in the Colonies, England and the rest of the world.  By the time the U.S. Constitution was enacted, nine of the original 13 Colonies had abolished slavery, and the U.S. had made operating a slave ship a crime, subject to the death penalty.  A democratic republic provides for freedom.  Socialism removes freedom, puts the government in charge and takes away the incentive to work and succeed.  May God bless the U.S. and help us maintain a democratic-republic.

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  • June 26, 2021

    2021-06-27 Religion Today - What is in the Doctrine and Covenants, What is Not, and Why

    The Doctrine and Covenants was first published in 1835 as successor to the Book of Commandments.  The first title of the book "Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God".  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explains the little known story of who selected the revelations included in the D&C and why.  Martin Tanner also explains how the D&C originally contained two parts, lectures describing basic church doctrine, followed by a selection of revelations containing covenants for Church members, hence the title "Doctrine and Covenants".

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