Terryl L. Givens is a Neal A. Maxwell Institute Senior Research Fellow and Fiona Givens is a member of the Institute’s research staff. Together and individually they are the authors of many books about Latter-day Saint history and culture. Their latest book, All Things New, explores the roots and flawed inheritance of our religious vocabulary and suggests healthy ways of reformulating our language. Fiona and Terryl have co-authored three other books: The God Who Weeps, The Christ Who Heals, and The Crucible of Doubt. In this podcast they discuss examining our religious vocabulary and relearning pure doctrine.

Highlights

3:30 About writing a book together
4:30 Where it started: going back to the beginning and pulling together concepts from their other books; a celebratory hymn to the Restoration
6:00 Examination of our religious vocabulary and its Protestant roots; example of repentance
8:00 The idea of a wrathful God compared to the weeping God of Moses 7 and recuperating a theology of love
11:45 Trying to put words and concepts together that don’t fit together, creating a rift between us and God, making us feel less worthy and lovable
14:30 The Restoration is telling a different story; example of “the fall”
20:00 Precious doctrines are easily understood; reverting the vocabulary to a clearer definition empowers us and turns our focus outward to others
22:45 Misreading of the earth being consumed with fire
25:30 The tragedy of the tribalism of politics being mirrored in the church culture: the early Christians were diverse but renowned for loving each other
29:40 Guarding against creating idols and keeping Christ front and center; not taking religious texts completely factually
32:45 Dealing with discordance in scripture
37:00 Recognizing our woundedness and psychological traumas; returning to the love of God
41:30 The Book of Mormon as a bridge from the 19th century sensibilities to today
42:50 George Q. Cannon quote
44:20 God is our father, not our sovereign
45:20 Mormon was a general in a war of genocide and this influenced his voice
46:45 Christ healing a wounded world, changing hearts and minds; growth of our understanding of trauma and generational trauma
49:50 Paradigm shift from sin to woundedness
52:50 The rite of Atonement is a healing ritual; stuck on the concept of death rather than the miracle of healing
55:00 “No soul will be saved in isolation”: the community of Zion
56:45 The American church and the focus on the individual; spirituality compared to religion
58:20 Community-building and Zion-building; the baptismal covenants and the godhead
1:01:10 Slow paradigm shift transitioning to an ability to speak of our own woundedness; authenticity in bearing testimony
1:06:00 Going back to the Restoration church solidified a testimony of Christ
1:07:15 Traversing the field of voices brings a familiar voice

Links

All Things New: Rethinking Sin, Salvation, and Everything in Between, By Terryl and Fiona Givens
Read the TRANSCRIPT of this podcast
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