Religion Today

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

Episodes

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    May 17, 2024

    The Lost 116 Pages of The Book of Mormon

    In this Religion Today episode, host Martin Tanner explains that we know about the contents of the Lost 116 Pages of the Book of Mormon, which is a surprisingly large amount.  Martin explains why it is unlikely that Lucy Harris took or destroyed the lost 116 pages. He also explain the sources for what we know about the contents of the lost Book of Lehi and other details about the 116 Page. 

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    May 11, 2024

    In Honor of Mothers, on Mothers' Day

    In honor of Mothers' Day, host Martin Tanner, describes the origin of the LDS doctrine of a Heavenly Mother, from Joseph Smith, as described by Eliza R. Snow, Zina Huntington, Parly P. Pratt, Brigham Young, and others.  And, its confirmation by Gordon B. Hinckley, James E. Faust, Bruce R. McConkie, Spencer W. Kimball, James H. Talmage, B.H. Roberts and many others.  The idea of a Heavenly Mother is found in three LDS hymns, in several official Church manuals, in the Joseph Smith History of the Church, the Ensign, Times and Seasons, and many other sources. Martin Tanner also describes the Biblical sources for a Mother in Heaven, the Early Christian scriptures refering to a Mother in Heaven, and ancient Jewish sources for the belief in a female deity in Jewish thought and doctrine.

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    May 4, 2024

    Red Heifer, Rebuilding the Jewish Temple, Hebrew Language Restored, the State of Israel

    Although similar to the Christian "Signs of the Times" before the Second Coming of Jesus, Orthodox Jews believe in their own Jewish "Signs of the Times" before their Messiah comes.  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes the Jewish "Signs of the Times" including the Red Heifer, an unblemished, perfect red Angus cow, originally imported from the United States, but improved in Israel through breeding.  According to Jewish tradition, the next Red Heifer sacrificed will signal the coming of the Messiah.  Other signs of the Messiah that have already taken place include the restoration of the restoration of the Hebrew language as a primary language in Israel, the establishment of the modern State of Israel, planned, intense Jewish preparation for rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem, and anti-Semitism on university campuses and elsewhere.

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    April 27, 2024

    Where Did the Nephites Get their Priesthood Authority?

    Host Martin Tanner explains by what Priesthood authority Lehi and his family went to the New World, and there, organized new Churches and Synagogues, and performed Ordinances, including baptism.  If no family of Latter-day Saints can simply decide to move to a new country, and start a new branch or stake, by what authority did Lehi, Nephi and their extensed families form new churches and synagogues in the New World, and perform ordinances there?  In this episode of Religion Today, Martin Tanner answers these questions, and many related ones.

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    April 21, 2024

    The Visions of Joseph Smith - Part 2

    In Part 2 of the Visions of Joseph Smith, Religion Today host Martin Tanner describes about fifteen more of the 70 known visions of Joseph Smith, including four visions of the Father and the Son, and five additional visions of Jesus.  Although some of these accounts are in scripture, most are found in diary entries of Joseph Smith, and his close associates and friends.  Martin Tanner describes visions of the appearance of Adam and Eve, Moses, the Apostle Peter, Elias (Noah), Elijah, the future growth of the Church, future calamaties prior to the Second Coming of Jesus, a spiritual battle with Satan, and many others, especially in connection with the completion and dedication of the Kirtland Temple.  

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    April 13, 2024

    Filmmaker T.C. Christensen's New Film: Escape from Germany

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner interviews T.C. Christensen, Latter-day Saint filmmaker extrordinaire (filmography:  17 Miracles; Ephraim's Resccue; The Cokeville Miracle; Love Kennedy, The Fighting Preacher, and many more), who has a new film in theaters now, Escape From Germany (PG).  This historically accurate film, the story-line of which is derived from the personal diaries of the missionaries and others who experienced it, describes the miracles, and inspired decisions made by the President Heber J. Grant, the President of the LDS Germany Mission when World War II started, and many others, which enabled Mormon missionaries to escape from Nazi Germany during the final days before Hitler closed the boarders of Germany, invaded neighboring countries, and started World WW2.  This extraordinary film is a must see, accurate historical drama, from a new perspective, and is appropriate for the entire family.  Host Martin Tanner highly recommends this movie from one of the very best LDS filmmakers, T.C. Christensen    

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    April 6, 2024

    The Visions of Joseph Smith - Part 1

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes most of the early, significant visions of Joseph Smith.  Joseph Smith had 70 known visions, and it is likely that more were unrecorded.  There are four accounts of visions of Father and Son together. In several of these, others saw the vision along with Joseph Smith.  In four other visions, Joseph Smith and others with him, saw Jesus.  Joseph Smith also saw many Old Testament prophets, including Adam, Moses, Enoch, Elias and Elijah.  Joseph Smith saw New Testament Apostles Peter, James, John and Paul.  He also saw Nephite Apostles.  In part 2 of the Visions of Joseph Smith, learn about Joseph Smith's visions of the future, growth of the Church, future calamities, temple designs and locations, the Second Coming, and other subjects.

     

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    March 31, 2024

    Easter and The Resurrection of Jesus

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner defines "resurrection," explains what happens when a person is resurrected, based on science and religion, and quotes latter-day prophets promises that parents who have lost a child to death, will be able to raise them durring the Millennium. 

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    March 23, 2024

    The Bible is Inconsistent With Core Protestant Tenants of Faith

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explains why the core Protestant tenants of Sola Scriptura, a Closed Canon of scripture, and no Revelation after Jesus and the Apostles contracts the Bible.  First, Sola Scriptura, which means doctrine only from the scriptures is not Biblical.  The Bible does not say which writings are scripture and which are not, people, not the Bible have always made that decision.  Second, a closed canon is not Biblical.  The Bible does not say it is closed to new writings, people make that decision.  Third, the Bible does not say there will be no more revelation after Jesus and the Apostles.  On the contrary, the Book of Revelation specifically mentions two latter-day prophets, telling us there will be revelation in the future.

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    March 16, 2024

    Priesthood, the Nature of God and Salvation

    Although Protestant faiths such at Lutherans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists and others, are in many ways similar to those of Latter-day Saints, there are some significant differences.  The most significant are the Trinitarian concept of God, the Priesthood of All Believers, and Salvation by Grace, solely based on belief Jesus is your Lord and Savior. In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner compares and contrasts LDS understanding of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost as three seperate person, an ordained priesthood, and Salvation by God's Grace, based on obedience to God's laws, with Protestand beliefs.

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    March 8, 2024

    The Purpose, Description and Fate of the Ark of the Covenant

    Scholars date Moses life, his receipt of the Ten Commandments and construction of the Ark of the Covenant, to between 1,500 BCE and 750 BCE.  The Ark was about 4 feet long, 2 1/2 feet wide and 2 1/2 feet tall.  It held the 10 Commendments written by God on a stone tablet, Goliath's sword David used to cut his head off, and, according to some sources, the Urim & Thummim.  Moroni's stone box held the Golden Plates, Laban's sword Nephi used to cut his heaf off, and the Nephite Interpreters.  The Ark's main purposes were to hold the 10 Commandments, and, according to the Bible, provide a suitable place for YHWH (Jehovah) God appeared to Moses and others (immediately above the Ark).  In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner give additional details about the Ark, and different theories about what happened to it.

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    March 3, 2024

    The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible or Inspired Version

    Joseph Smith's "Inspired Version" often described as the "Joseph Smith Translation" was an inspired effort made by JS to restore plain and precious truths to the Bible which had been lost.  The IV or JST was inspired by passages in the Book of Mormon, observed during the translation process, that pertained to ther Bible.  It commenced just a few months after the Book of Mormon translaton and printing had been completed. It was never completed.  JS was working on it until the day he died in 1844. The JST/IV consists of (1) expensions of material about Moses, Enoch and Melchizedek, (2) grammatical improvements, (3) meaning changes, (4) interpretive changes or additions usually indicated by "or in other words", (5) changes that clarify, and, (6) reconciling passages that contradicted other Bible passages.  To make his JST or IV, Joseph used a King James Bible purchased from E.B. Grandin by Oliver Cowdery.  Learn more about the inspired changes from this episode of Religion Today, hosted by Martin Tanner

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    February 24, 2024

    Similarities Between the Secret Gospel of Mark and the Temple Endowment

    Is there any evidence something like the LDS Endowment was part of Jesus teachings, or part of the belief system of Early Christianity?  The answer is "yes."  The evidence is found in the "Secret Gospel of Mark" which was a longer gospel, written by John Mark, the author of the Gospel of Mark, compiled from the notes and writings of Peter (shortly after Peter had been killed) and the notes notes and writings of Mark.  The "Secret Gospel of Mark" tells of a rich young man who was brought back to life by Jesus, after dying and being placed in a tomb.  Jesus rolled away the stone from the tomb, took the young man's hand, and brought him back to life.  The grateful young man was fascinated by Jesus's teachings.  After being taught by Jesus for six days, Jesus placed a linen garment on the rich young man and "taught him the mysteries of the Kingdom of God" and how to live one's life in a way to get there.  This appears to be very much like the Temple garment, teachings and purpose of the LDS Endowment.

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    February 18, 2024

    On the Origin and Potential of Every Person

    Latter-day Saints, Catholics and the Orothodox faiths all have an important doctrine in common.  All believe the potential of each person is divinity, thosis, to become a god, to become like Jesus and Heavenly Father. In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes the sources of LDS beliefs on the origin of humans, which is an eternal, unmade intelligence, spirit or soul. He then describes the LDS and Early Christian beliefs that human potential is to become like God, and provides Early Christian quotes which mirror LDS thought.

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    February 10, 2024

    The Process by Which Joseph Smith Translated the Book of Mormon

    In this episode of Religion Today, Martin Tanner gives insights into how Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon.  He used the "Nephite Interpreters" later called the Urim and Thummim to translate the Book of Lehi, which comprised the 116 pages lost by Martin Harris, plus a few more pages.  Thereafter Joseph Smith used the seer stone, which was used to translate the entire Book of Mormon we now have. The lost pages ended just before our current Book of Mosiah begins. Joseph Smith was not a scribe.  He always described himself as a translator. If he simply read words or characters, in a seerstone or Nephite Interpreters, he would have been a scribe.  Translating took, effort as we read in D&C Section 9:7-8. 

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    February 3, 2024

    The Book of Mormon Description of Hill Cumorah

    We have a very good idea of where Book of Mormon events actually took place. How can there be two Hlll Cumorahs?  The same way there are many "Jefferson Avenues" and "State Streets".  The Book of Mormon text does not fit the small gravel hill by the Smith family farm where Moroni buried the plates.  It does fit the large, prominent hill in the "Tuxtla Mountains" in southern Veracruz, Mexico, east of Mexico City, almost to the Gulf of Mexico, and a little South. The Hill Shim/Cumorah is likely the Mayan hill "Shim" later called the hill "Cintepic" by the Aztecs. Cin=corn tepic=hill.  Mayan and Aztec legends say the corn grown by the base of the hill Shim grows from the blood of their ancestors where the Jeredites and Nephites were slaughtered. The waters of Ripliancum are probably the "Hueyapan River." the River Sidon is most likely the Grijalva river.  The City of Nephi is probably the Kaminaljuyu city ruins on the western edge of Guatamala City.

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    January 28, 2024

    Where Did the Events in the Book of Mormon Take Place? - Part 3

    In this Part 3 of three Religion Today shows on the evidence for where the Book of Mormon events actually took place, Martin Tanner, points out that no Native North American tribes or groups had a written language before Columbus.  Thus the Book of Mormon could not have been written by Native North Americans.  Many Mesoamerican tribes had a written language, making it most likely the Book of American came from Mesoamerica.  Cement cities are mentioned in Heleman 3:7. There are no Native American cement cities. El Mirador in southern Mexico, if a city that flourished from 550 BC, made almost entirely of ultra-high quality cement. Leprosy, weapons, volcanos and a sunken city in Mesoamerica are also discussed by Martin, as evidences which favor Mesoamerica, specifically the Yucatan Penninsula, as the place where Book of Mormon events happened.

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    January 21, 2024

    Where Did the Events in the Book of Mormon Take Place? - Part 2

    Joseph Smith at one point thought North American Native Americans were Lamanites. At another point, he thought Native Americans in Central America were Lamanites.  Other Church leaders have widely varying ideas about which tribes are decended from the Lamanites.  If there had been a revelation on that point, there would not be widely varying ideas.  What we do know is that the Book of Mormon says there is a cave with vast numbers of plates in the Hill Cumorah. There is no cave, and no plates, in the New York hill. The Hill Cumorah in Mesoamerica is many times larger, has many caves and has not been explored.  The Book of Mormon says Hill Cumorah was by many streams and fountains of water. This describes the Mesoamerican hill, but not the New York hill.  Over 1,100 years elapsed between the end of the Book of Mormon account and Columbus voyage to the Americas, enough time for inter-marriage between Lamanites of Mesoamerica and numerous North American Tribes. Columbus never touched foot on North America.  His voyages were all to Mesoamerica.

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    January 13, 2024

    Where Did the Events in the Book of Mormon Take Place?

    Have you wondered where the events in the Book of Mormon took place?  If you have, you're not alone.  If this first of a multi-part series, host Martin Tanner gives the earliest idea, the "land northward" is North America, the "land southward" is South America and the "narrow neck of land" is Central America. This idea is untenable according to the Book of Mormon text. Martin next describes the "Heartland" theory and "Mesoamerican" theories.  He suggests a few of the best scholarly books on this fascinating topic.

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    January 7, 2024

    Native Americans with Hebrew Ancestry, Horses, Elephants and Steel Swords in the Book of Mormon

    Is there any scientific evidence for horses, elephants and steel swords in the New World before Columbus, as mentioned in The Book of Mormon?  Is there any scientific evidence for Native Americans with Hebrew ancestry, as described in The Book of Mormon? In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explains why the answer is a resounding yes. The cutting edge scientific sources Martin cites are a Science magazine article on Native American DNA, archaeology authorized by the government of Israel, archaeology in Mesoamerica and North America coupled with carbon 14 testing. 

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    December 31, 2023

    Signs of the Times - What Must Still Happen Before the Second Coming

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes some of the events that have happened since 1830, which were prophecied to occur before the Second Coming of Jesus happens.  But his main focus is describing events which are prophecied to occur before the Second Coming, but which have not yet occurred, including, (1) The Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, (2) Water will flow from under the Jerusalem Temple, (3) two Jewish prophets (Revelation 11) will appear in Jerusalem, and, (4) the last great sign of the coming of the Son of Man, a comet or a planet, will be seen. 

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    December 24, 2023

    Gethsemane, The Atonement, How it Works

    In this Religion Today episode, using scriptures and statements of General Authorities, host Martin Tanner explains exactly how Jesus is our advocate with our Father in Heaven.  He explains how Jesus paid the price for our sins.  The only way for Jesus to be our advocate was and is for him to completely and totally understand us. That means Jesus understands all of our sins, faults, pain suffering, and also all of our good points. An advocate knows everything about his client, the person for whom he is advocating.  For Jesus loved the world so very much that he gave his life, and became our advocate, so that we would not perish, but have everlasting life.  Martin also brings up the current belief among most Latter-day Saints that Jesus atoned for all worlds, past, present and future.  Martin explains, however, that Brigham Young said each world has its own Savior, who is the son of the first parents of that world.

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    December 16, 2023

    Handel's Messiah

    Handel's "Messiah" like many masterpieces, was inspired and thus composed in a short period of time, just 24 days.  Handel's Messiah was written with few revisions on 259 pages. The text was written by a wealthy English gentleman, Charles Jennens.  The music was composed by Georg Frideric Handel, although German born, also an Englishman when the Messiah was comosed.  The Messiah debuted in Dublin, Ireland to an audience of about 700. Its popularity grew steadily, until now, it is perhaps the most beloved Christmas musical performance of all.  Its scriptural basis is impressive.  It contains 81 Bible verses from 14 books of the Bible.  Isaiah is quoted most, 21 times. Next, Psalms, is quoted 15 times. First Corinthians is quoted 10 times.  Many people are moved to tears when listening to Handel's Messiah, including Martin Tanner, the host of Religion Today.

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    December 9, 2023

    Book of Mormon Poetry Composed and Read by Judge Thomas Kay

    Book of Mormon poetry composed and read by Judge Thomas Kay, recently returned from a couples mission to the Phillippines, to act as legal counsel. 

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    December 2, 2023

    Brief Overview and Explanation of the Book of Revelation

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner explains that the Book of Revelation is "apocalyptic" literature from the meaning to uncover or reveal, hence the English title, the Book of "Revelation."  Tanner explains tha basic meaning behine each chapter, including the Mark of the Beast, the Second Coming, how the City of Zion is like a giant cube, 1,500 miles wide and 1,500 miles high - big enoug for any person who wants to go in.

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    November 25, 2023

    God Will Answer Your Heart Felt Prayers

    Through scriptures and examples, host Martin Tanner explains why he believes God always answers every heart-felt prayer, provided it meets a few often overlooked criteria.

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    November 18, 2023

    Early Christian Church Leaders After the Apostles

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner introduces the most important early Christian Church leaders after the death of the apostles. A short summary of their life and major writings is given.  The early Church Fathers were Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, Papias of Hierapolis, Quadratus of Athens and Hermas, who wrote The Shepherd based on his five visions. This episode is a look into those who led the early Christian Church and influenced its doctrine. It also names scholarly books which include the writings of the Apostolic Fathers.

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    November 11, 2023

    Just Published, The Annotated Book of Mormon

    Host Martin Tanner interviews University of North Carolina, Asheville, Professor Grant Hardy, PhD, Yale, who's new "The Annotated Book of Mormon" was just published by Oxford University Press.  Prof. Hardy describes this exception edition of The Book of Mormon, which is about 900 pages in length.  With its extensive, scholarly annotations on every page, exceptional introductions to each individual book, lavish explanatory comments, thoughtful general essays, comprehensive list of Biblical quotations in the Book of Mormon, allusions, parallels and many other features, all expertly prepared, this is a must have volume for any serious student of the Book of Mormon, or any reader who wants to learn in more depth. 

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    November 5, 2023

    A Brief History of Israel and Palestime

    The State of Israel is named after Jacob, who's name was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:22-31).  What is Palestine?  Palestine was the new name given by the Roman emperor to Israel, after he put down the Bar Kokhba Rebellion in 132 AD.  He changed the name of Israel to "Philistinia" or "Palestine" as an ironic joke. Remember Goliath? He was a Philistine. Goliath was killed and later, the Bablyonians killed or assimilated all of the Philistines. The Philistines had been completely obliterated in 597 BC.  Thus "Palestine" is just another name for "Israel." The United Nations decided with 14 or so Islum countries, there ought to be one Jewish country, and it ought to be in the original location. So Israel, changed in name only to Palestine, had its name changed back to Israel, officially, in 1947.  The chant "Free Palestine" and the phrase "from the ocean to the river" mean to literally destroy Israel and kill each and every Jew.

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    October 28, 2023

    New Archaeological Discoveries

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes amazing archaeological discoveries relating to the Bible and Book of Mormon, including:  (1) Mid-fourth century AD Nag Hammadi texts with authentic saying of Jesus, many of which are not found in the Bible; (2) the Tel Dan "David" stela, dating to the ninth century BCE, referring to the "House of David" and to the "King of Israel" which is the earliest reference to both; (3) A Jewish inscription dating to circa 870 BCE referring to "Jehovah" his "wife Asherah" and the "Holy of Holies"; (4) The first century home of the Apostle Peter in Capernaum; (5) The siloam Pool where Jesus cured the blind man, as described in John 9:1-11; (5) The remains of King David's palace; (6) The siege tower of Babylon against Jerusalem, constructed by Nebuchadnezzar, in 597 BCE, right after Lehi, Nephi, Ishmael and their families, left Jerusalem as described in the Book of Mormon.

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    October 21, 2023

    The new "After Life" movie

    Martin Tanner interviews Stephen Gray, Director, and Tyler Friesen, Executive Producer, of the new film After Death in over 2,200 theaters on October 27th, on near-death experiences (NDEs). This full length feature film, of extraordinary quality, meticulously explores the NDEs of Howard Storm, PhD, MDiv, Mary Neal, MD, Dale Black, Don Piper, Steven Kang, Pam Reynolds and others. From Angel Studios, producers of The Chosen series about the life of Christ.

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    October 15, 2023

    Religion, Hamas, Israel and War

    In this episode of Religion Today, Martin Tanner explains why the war between Hamas and Israel is a religious war and why calls for a cease fire and restraint by Hamas and Israel will never result in peace.  Hamas is branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.  In other words, Hamas is an Islamic or Muslim organization.  The preamble to its charter says Israel has no right to exist, Israel and all Jews must be killed, exterminated.  Martin uses the background and statements of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to make his points. Ayaan Hirsi Ali's life story is extraordinary.

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    October 8, 2023

    How to Influence Others For Good

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner, provides ideas for influencing others for good with your words, through encouragement and language.

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    October 1, 2023

    Descriptions of Jesus by Those Who Have Actually Seen Him

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner shares a number of descriptions of Jesus appearance, traits, personality and other qualities from people who have actually seen Jesus.

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    September 23, 2023

    2023-09-24 Religion Today - Visions in Other Faiths - Apparitions of Mary in Catholicism and Visions of Emanuel Swedenborg

    Other faiths besides Mormonism have traditions of visions. In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner describes nine visions or apparitions of the Virgin Mary, acknowledged as genuine by the Catholic Church. Next, the visions of Emanuel Swedenborg are briefly described. Swedenborg, born in 1688, died in 1772, claimed to have visions of heaven and hell, and described them in ways similar to Joseph Smith.  Swedenborg said our purpose in this life was to be placed between heaven and hell where we would be enticed by both, thereby enabling us to freely choose either good or evil. This is similar to the LDS idea of "there must be opposition in all things" to accomplish our purpose in mortality.

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    September 16, 2023

    2023-09-17 Religion Today - Insights From Old Testament Quotes Found in the New Testament

    All of the ancient manuscripts of the New Testament are in Greek. Although people are surprised to hear this, except for the Dead Sea Scrolls, by far the oldest Old Testament manuscripts are also in Greek.  Why?  After Alexander the Great conquered most of the known world in about 300 BC, everyone spoke Greek, even the Jews. The Hebrew speaking Jews needed a new translation of their scriptures for the new Greek speaking generation of Jews.  That translation, the Septuagint, is the Old Testament from which the New Testament quotes.  Jesus quotes from the Greek Old Testament, and so does Mark, Luke, Paul, Peter, Jude and other New Testament writers.  In this edition of Religion Today, Martin Tanner explains how understanding the Greek Old Testament quotes in the New Testament, will greatly enhance your understanding of the New Testament.  

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    September 10, 2023

    2023-09-10 Religion Today - Prayer, its Purposes, Goals, and, Double-blind Studies that Demonstrate it Works

    Prayer works.  Peer reviewed, double-blind studied demonstrate prayer works. In this episode of Religion Today, Martin Tanner explains why some prayers are not answered because they seek to stop free agency. From scriptures what to pray for and what not to pray for, are explained.  The ultimate goal of prayer is described as becoming more like Jesus and Heavenly Father by understanding them and their will for each of us. How God can hear, understand and answer millions of prayers at the same time is described.

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    August 29, 2023

    2023-09-03 Religion Today - Jesus' Sermon on the Mountain

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner shares his own translation of Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" in modern, contemporary English and explains in additional detail, the meaning of its contents.

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    August 26, 2023

    2023-08-27 Religion Today - Don Bradley and His Book The Lost 116 Pages

    Martin Tanner interviews LDS scholar Don Bradley about his book "The Lost 116 Pages" which took a decade of research and pieces together some amazing facts, including: (1) Lucy Harris did not burn or destroy the lost 116 pages; (2) Laban was drunk during the Passover Festival when he was killed by Nephi: (3) combining the Book of Mormon we now have with the amount lost, Joseph Smith may have translated up to 900 pages; (4) the lost 116 pages were written on "Fools Cap" paper (named for the "dunce cap" water mark) which was twice the size of today's 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper; (5) the Lost 116 pages described how the Nephite Interpreters were acquired by the Nephites, etc.  Don Bradley's "The Lost 116 Pages" is a very readable, masterful, and scholarly look at the contents and history of the lost 116 pages.

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    August 19, 2023

    2023-08-20 Religion Today - Brigham Young Papers Project Interview with R. Esplin, G. Dirkmaat, B. Rogers

    Host Martin Tanner interviews Ron Esplin, Gerrit Dirkmaat and Brent Rogers on the new Brigham Young Papers project. Volume one of Brigham Young's diaries is now available in book stores. The BY Papers Project is massive in scope, many times larger than the JS Papers project.  Not all of it will be published. Most will be online. An example of the scope.  JS wrote and received a total of just over 600 letters.  BY wrote about 10,000 letters and received more than 30,000. JS lived 14 years after the Church was established.  BY was a member and leader for over 42 years.  The quality of scholarship and published copies is just as high for the BY Papers project as for the JS Papers project.

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    August 12, 2023

    2023-08-13 Religion Today - Changes to the New Testament in the First 300 Years of Christianity

    Martin Tanner discusses the many changes to the New Testament during the first 300 years of Christianity, including removal of the beloved book "Shephard of Hermas" and the "Didache" or Testament of The Twelve Apostles" and others.

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    August 5, 2023

    2023-08-06 Religion Today - Brief Introduction to the New Testament, The Authors, Purposes and Dates of the Books

    A brief introduction to the New Testament.  Host Martin Tanner explains why it is most likely Paul's letters were written about 20 to 30 years after Jesus' resurrection. Then, the Gospels, probably Mark first, next Matthew, followed by Luke, and last, near the end of the first century, the Gospel of John, written to Greek speaking converts. According to early Christian tradition, the Book of James was written not by the Apostle James, but by Jesus' half brother. The Book of Jude was also written by another half brother of Jesus.

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    July 29, 2023

    2023-07-30 Religion Today - Angels in Jewish and Christian Tradition, in the Bible, and in the LDS Faith

    The word "angel" means messenger from God. In this episode of Religion Today host Martin Tanner gives information about the seven archangels in Judeo-Christian tradition, in the Old and New Testaments, in LDS scripture, and the idea that just as the Angel Raphael was believed to be the healing angel at the Pool of Bathesda, in Nauvoo, Raphael was believed to heal the sick and infirm in the baptismal fonts in the Nauvoo Temple. Guardian angels and the roll of angels in LDS tradition are also discussed.  

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    July 22, 2023

    2023-07-23 Religion Today - Why a News Paper Editorial Caused the death of Joseph Smith, About the Pioneer Trek West, and the Pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley

    In this episode of Religion Today, Martin Tanner discussed details about the death of Joseph Smith, including why newspaper editor Thomas Sharp was the one who was responsible.  Information about the "Vanguard Pioneer Wagon Train" and how three black Elders were among those in the Vanguard group is presented, along with the appearance of the Salt Lake Valley when the pioneers arrived.

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    July 15, 2023

    2023-07-16 Religion Today - The Hebrew meaning of the words Elohim, YHWH, Adam, Eve and the phrase, help mete, in Genesis

    Host Martin Tanner adds additional depth to your understanding of the words "Elohim" which is a plural derivative meaning "strength" or "power"; "YHWH" or "Jehovah" meaning the one who exists on his own power or who is self-existent; Adam which means "red man" or man made from red soil, the color red being derived from "blood" which another meaning of "Adam" who gives life as does life's blood in living animals. "Eve" which comes from Hebrew "breath" because only living things breath. "Help mete" often misunderstood means one who completes through having a different point of view or opinion.

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    July 9, 2023

    2023-07-09 Religion Today - God Inspired the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. was Founded on Christian Principles

    How could the U.S. Constitution be inspired, since it included the right to have guns and allowed slavery to continue. In this episode of Religion Today host Martin Tanner explains why a citizenry authorized to own guns actually inhibits crime. He also describes how the Founding Fathers were inspired by Isaiah 33:22 to create three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. How this Biblically inspired system creates a balance of power. Martin gives examples of how we know the U.S. Constitution was an inspired document much like the Mosaic law was inspired, but was not perfect. Yet it paved the way for the higher law Jesus brought. 

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    July 1, 2023

    2023-07-02 Religion Today - Independence Day, Freedom, Patriotism and God's Hand in Founding and Preserving the United States of America

    Independence Day, freedom, patriotism, agency, and God's influence in the founding of the USA.  With its flaws, the USA is the country that formed a new government based on freedom, see D&C 101:77-80, and abolished slavery at great cost. If you look for something, like racism, you will think you found it, even if it is not there. Racism has been illegal since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Anyone who sees institutional racism can find legal representation and end it.  There will always been racist individuals, but Martin Tanner challenges anyone to find a racist institution, corporation or system of government in the USA. May God bless the USA and help us preserve our freedoms.

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    June 24, 2023

    2023-06-25 Religion Today - Are the Words Jesus, Messiah, Baptism and Bible in the Book of Mormon Anachronistic

    Host Martin Tanner explains why the words "Jesus" "Messiah" "Baptism" and "Bible" are not anachronisms and are perfectly fine translations of the ancient words on the Golden Plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. A translation is rendering a word or phrase and its their meaning in one language, into a word or phrase in another language, which carries the same meaning, as much as possible. Since Christians believe "Jesus" was the God of the Old Testament, the word "Bible" properly conveys the idea of authoritative religious writings, even pre-Christian ones, and "Baptism" properly conveys the pre-Christian idea of ritual cleansing of sin by immersion in water, these are all proper words to find in the pre-Christian parts of Book of Mormon.

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    June 17, 2023

    2023-06-18 Religion Today - Baptism for the Dead, in Early Christianity, the Bible, Scholarship, its Origins in the LDS Faith, and as Practiced Now (NDE invitation)

    In this episode of Religion Today, host Martin Tanner first describes baptism for the dead as practiced in Early Christianity.  He provides references to vicarious ordinances in the Apocrypha, 2 Maccabees 12:39-46 and the meaning of 1 Corinthians 15:29 in the LDS Faith, and among modern scholars. He describes how Joseph Smith's revealed the ordinance of baptism for the dead in an 1840 funeral sermon, as a comfort to a widow in the audience, who's un-baptized son had recently died. Martin describes how the practice is different in a few details from when first practiced. He concludes with some of the many examples of notable, famous and infamous persons for whom baptism for the dead has been performed.

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    June 11, 2023

    2023-06-11 Religion Today - Are There Two Cumorah's and More Evidences BoM Events Happened in Central America - Invitation to Hear a Marvelous Near-death Experience

    In this Religion Today episode, host Martin Tanner, points out that no LDS Church leader, including Joseph Smith, has ever claimed revelation on where the events in the Book of Mormon happened.  But the text of the Book of Mormon provides inspired details enabling us to make to strong inferences they happened in Central America.  Are there two Cumorah's? How could Moroni get the plates from Hill Cumorah in Mesoamerica to the hill by the Smith Family's farm in New York? These and other questions are answered.

    * ALL LISTENERS ARE INVITED TO HEAR A NON-LATTER-DAY SAINT, EMILIE SPEAR, FROM COLORADO SHARE HER NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE IN WHICH SHE SAW JESUS, WITH DETAILS CONFIRMING LDS BELIEFS."  DETAILS FOR THIS FREE EVENT ON FRIDAY, JUNE 23rd, IN SLC, ARE IN THIS EPISODE.

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    June 4, 2023

    2023-06-04 Religion Today - Evidences that Book of Mormon Events Happened in Central America, Which are Not Found in North America

    Where did the events in the Book of Mormon occur?  North America? Mesoamerica? What does the evidence say? Although the LDS Church has taken no official position on where Book of Mormon events happened, it is important to carefully read Book of Mormon passages which help narrow the possible locations. The Book of Mormon describes Jesus healing those with leprosy. Leprosy was found only in Mesoamerica before Columbus, not in North America. The BoM describes cement cities, found only in Mesoamerica, not in North America. In the final battle between the Nephites and Lamanites, 240,000 died. During BoM times the largest population center in all of North America, the Cahokia, in present day Illinois, had less than 10,000 inhabitants. 2018 LiDAR scans conducted by the National Geographic Society, demonstrated that between 15 and 20 million people lived on the Yucatan Peninsula during BoM times, easily large enough to support a final battle in the BoM in which 240,000 died. These and many other evidences strongly suggest BoM events happened in Mesoamerica, not North America.

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    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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