When you think of the word worship, do you think of such devotional acts as praying or partaking of the sacrament or performing temple rites or even just enjoying the beauty of God's creation?
Do you remember times when those moments felt flat, devoid of the influence of the divine? Do you also remember moments when the very air seemed charged with divinity, with connection between you and God?
What, then, makes the difference? Why do we sometimes struggle to connect with God through our worship? How do we connect—and how can we more consistently reach that level of connection?
"We assume that we are worshipping when we pray, go to church, take the sacrament, serve in the temple, sing hymns of praise, or care for others as Jesus would. But what makes a prayer different from simply reciting a list of things we need or items for which we are grateful? How is participating in an ordinance different from simply going through the motions of a traditional ritual? What makes feasting upon the word of the Lord different from simply reading the scriptures? And what makes singing or playing beautiful music an act of praise? Because our words and actions are all that appear above the surface, how can we add true depth to our devotion?"
You will find perceptive, thought-provoking answers to these questions and more in Worship: Adding Depth to Your Devotion.
Foreseen by prophets before Jesus’ birth, witnessed by many during his life, and read about by millions since, the miracles of Jesus are a distinguishing aspect of his mortal ministry.
Both then and now, these miracles are powerful witnesses that Jesus is the Christ, God’s anointed servant and the Savior of mankind. He performed many miracles ranging from feeding multitudes to giving sight to the blind and restoring life and health to the infirm.
But these miracles were more than just blessings to the individuals involved. Each one contains symbols that teach us about Jesus, his atonement, and the greater miracles that he can work in the lives of all of us.
In The Miracles of Jesus, author Eric D. Huntsman blends perceptive doctrinal insights with historical context, literary analysis, and specific personal application. His exploration of the meaning and symbolism of each of the Savior’s miracles shows us how they can bless us in the challenges we ourselves face today. Here, for example, he draws connections between the devils the Savior cast out and the demons we or loved ones may face in overcoming addiction or recovering from abuse. And we see in a new way how the promise inherent in Christ’s raising of Lazarus and the daughter of Jairus can comfort us at the death of someone we love.
Fine-art paintings and musical meditations enhance our experience by illustrating Jesus’ miracles and their power. Photographs of sites in the Holy Land where many of the miracles were performed give us a sense of place, reinforcing the fact that they really happened.
Through these inspirational means, we find that the miracles Jesus performed in New Testament times can become a springboard to the miracles that continue to occur in our own lives—transformations made possible through the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ
My study of the Passion Narratives, complete with biblical exposition, detail side bars, art, photographs of Holy Land sites, and musical suggestions.
"There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter," taught President Gordon B. Hinckley. "The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection."
With this deeper understanding given by a modern prophet, Latter-day Saints have an increased opportunity during the period from Palm Sunday to Easter morning to reflect upon the last days of our Lord's earthly ministry.
In God So Loved the World: The Final Days of the Savior's Life, author Eric D. Huntsman takes us on a scriptural journey through the last week of our Savior's mortal life, culminating in His atoning sacrifice and joyous resurrection. The author, by drawing on his wide knowledge of historical context, cultural background, and biblical insights, increases our understanding of these momentous events and helps us draw closer to the Savior. Full-color fine-art paintings, photographs, maps, music, and topics for personal reflection are included to enhance our commemoration of Easter week.
Brother Huntsman writes, "Each year has its rhythms with the passage of summer to fall, winter, and at last, again, spring. Holidays are part of that rhythm, helping us remember realities greater than mere seasons, and Easter, together with Christmas, can anchor each year securely in the promises of Jesus Christ."
This beautiful volume suggests meaningful ways for Latter-day Saints to refocus their Easter celebrations on the culminating events of the Savior's ministry. Whether used as a personal or family study guide or as a model for a devotional celebration of Easter week, God So Loved the World is a must-have addition to the library of every Latter-day Saint.
Christmas, President Thomas S. Monson has written, "is a glorious time of the year, simple in origin, deep in meaning, beautiful in tradition and custom, rich in memories, and charitable in spirit." Even still, it is easy to lose sight of the connections between the holiday we celebrate and its origins in the birth of the Savior of the world.
My study of the Infancy Narratives, complete with biblical exposition, detail side bars, art, photographs of Holy Land sites, and musical suggestions.
Author Eric D. Huntsman, in a companion volume to God So Loved the World, has provided yet another insightful look into the origin, meaning, and celebration of an aspect of the Savior's life. Beautiful illustrations, fine artwork, and photographs accompany the latest scholarship about the birth of Jesus Christ. Sidebar articles illuminate various aspects of our Christmas celebration, from the music that delights us to the symbols that have accumulated through the centuries to become familiar and welcome reminders of the season.
Throughout the book are suggestions for celebrating the Advent of Jesus Christ through the traditional four aspects of Advent: Hope, Love, Peace, and Joy. President Uchtdorf has remembered the Advent of his youth thus: "Advent was a time of anticipation and hope, and it brought a special feeling into our humble home as we prepared for something holy and beautiful. Each Sunday we lit one additional candle; by the fourth Sunday our expectations for the coming joyous events had reached their peak." The author also suggests an added "focus" of Advent for Latter-day Saints: Salvation, with scriptural support from the Book of Mormon. By celebrating the advent of our Lord and Savior, we can find in the old forms of Christmas the message that the Lord intended us to find: Salvation comes from and through the life of the Babe of Bethlehem, Jesus Christ.
An illustrated introduction and overview of the New Testament for Latter-day Saints.
"This feast of a reference book chronicles the life and ministry of the Lord and is the most informative and readable guide on the New Testament that I've ever read." — Richard H. Cracroft, BYU Magazine, Winter 2007.
This important reference for any home library is the perfect guide to New Testament culture, language, history, and teachings. Jesus Christ and the World of the New Testament is richly illustrated with hundreds of images, including original artwork, artifacts, maps, and timelines. Uncover the origins of the books of the New Testament and learn how stories of Christ's life and teachings were preserved after His death. Explore the relationships between Greek, Roman, and Jewish culture that explain much about how the gospel was shared and recorded. Examine scriptural issues that have been debated by scholars throughout the ages. Nearly 300 topics provide valuable context to understanding New Testament times, from the role of women and families, to portraits of key personalities, to controversial legends that have persisted to our day. This unique resource is sure to enrich New Testament studies as never before!
Articles and Other Publications
“Jesus on Jesus: John 5 and 7,” in Perspectives in Mormon Theology, Volume 1: Scriptural Theology. Edited by James E. Faulconer and Joseph M. Spencer. Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2015.
“The Petrine Kērygma and the Gospel according to Mark” pages 169–190 in The Ministry of Peter, the Chief Apostle: The 43rd Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium. Edited by Frank F. Judd Jr., Eric D. Huntsman, and Shon D. Hopkin. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2014.
“The Accounts of Peter’s Denial: Understanding the Texts and Motifs,” pages 127–49 in The Ministry of Peter, the Chief Apostle: The 43rd Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium. Edited by Frank F. Judd Jr., Eric D. Huntsman, and Shon D. Hopkin. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2014.
The Miracles of Jesus. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, August 2014.
“‘Follow Thou Me,’ Discipleship in the New Testament Gospels,” with Camille Fronk Olson, pages 16–36 in Continue Your Journey and Let Your Hearts Rejoice: Talks from the 2013 BYU Women's Conference. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013.
“The King James Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants,” pages 182–96 in The King James Bible and the Restoration. Edited by Kent P. Jackson. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011.
Good Tidings of Great Joy: An Advent Celebration of the Savior's Birth. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011.
"The King James Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants,” pages 182–96 in The King James Bible and the Restoration. Edited by Kent P. Jackson. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011.
God So Loved the World: The Final Days of the Savior's Life. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011
"Glad Tidings of Great Joy," Ensign (December 2010), 52-57.
“The Roman World outside of Judea,” pages 97–116 in The Life and Teachings of the New Testament Apostles: From the Day of Pentecost to the Apocalypse. Edited by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Thomas A. Wayment. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010.
“The Impact of Gentile Conversions in the Greco-Roman World,” pages 80–96 in The Life and Teachings of the New Testament Apostles: From the Day of Pentecost to the Apocalypse. Edited by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Thomas A. Wayment. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010.
“Imperial Cult and the Beasts of Revelation,” with Cecilia M. Peek, pages 221–249 in The Life and Teachings of the New Testament Apostles: From the Day of Pentecost to the Apocalypse. Edited by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Thomas A. Wayment. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010.
“The Six Antitheses: Attaining the Purpose of the Law,” pages 93–109 in The Sermon on the Mount in Latter-day Scripture. Edited by Gaye Strathearn, Thomas A. Wayment, and Daniel L. Belnap. The 39th Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010.
“Livia Before Octavian,” Ancient Society 39 (2009), 121–169.
“And the Word Was Made Flesh: An LDS Exegesis of the Blood and Water Imagery in John,” Studies in the Bible and Antiquity 1 (2009), 51–65.
"Reflections on the Savior's Last Week," Ensign (April 2009), 52-60.
"Your Faith Should Not Stand in the Wisdom of Men. Greek Philosophy, Corinthian Behavior, and the Teachings of Paul," pages 67-97 in The New Testament Brought to Light: Latter-day Saint Insights into Acts through Revelation. Edited by Ray L. Huntington, David M. Whitchurch, and Frank F. Judd, Jr. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, 2009.
Review of Karen Armstrong, The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions. BYU Studies 47.2 (2008), 142-47.
"The Lamb of God: Unique Aspects of the Passion Narrative in John," pages 49-70 in Behold the Lamb of God: The Fourth Annual BYU Religious Education Easter Conference. Edited by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, Frank F. Judd, Jr., and Thomas A. Wayment. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, 2008.
Jesus Christ and the World of the New Testament: An Illustrated Reference for Latter-day Saints, with Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Thomas A. Wayment. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, September 2006.
"The Occasional Nature, Composition, and Structure of the Pauline Epistles," Pages 190-207 in How The New Testament Came to Be. Edited by Kent P. Jackson et al. The 35th Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006.
"The Bread of Life Sermon" in From the Transfiguration through the Triumphal Entry, edited by Richard N. Holzapfel and Thomas A. Wayment. The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, vol. 2. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, March 2006. Presentation at the 2006 Easter Conference, BYU.; revised, pages 87-112 in Celebrating Easter. Edited by Thomas A. Wayment and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel. Provo: Religious Studies Center, 2006.
"Teaching through Exegesis: Helping Students Ask Questions of the Text," Religious Educator 6.1 (Winter 2005).
"Galilee and the Call of the Apostles," in From Bethlehem to the Sermon on the Mount, edited by Richard N. Holzapfel and Thomas A. Wayment. The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, vol. 1. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2005.
"Mary Magdalene: Biblical Enigma," Original presentation: February 25, 2004 as part of the Museum of Art lecture series Mystery, Metaphor, and Meaning: LDS Perspectives on The Da Vinci Code; Revised presentation: May 26, 2004, KBYU Studios; electronically published by Meridian Magazine, June 14-15, 2004.
"Christ Before the Romans," in From the Last Supper Through the Resurrection: The Savior's Final Hours, edited by Richard N. Holzapfel and Thomas A. Wayment. The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, vol. 3. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003.
"Levels of Meaning: The Ara Pacis Augustae and the Teaching of Roman History," Interdisciplinary Humanities 15.1 (Spring 1998), 62-76.
"The Reliability of Josephus: Can He Be Trusted?," Masada and the World of the New Testament. BYU Studies 36.3 (1996-7) 392-402.
"And They Cast Lots: Divination, Democracy, and Josephus," Masada and the World of the New Testament. BYU Studies 36.3 (1996-7) 365-377.