See my LDS Seasonal Materials blog, a resource to help individuals and families use the scriptures, traditional customs, art, and music to enrich their celebration of the holidays, focusing them more on the Lord Jesus Christ and his gospel.
Christmas and Easter Highlights
see my holiday blog for ideas for keeping the holiday focused on Jesus Christ
- Celebrating Christmas
- Ideas for an LDS, family-centered version of Advent
- Suggestions for daily December Christmas devotionals
- Preparing for a Christ-centered Christmas," LDS Living article
- Celebrating Advent: Keeping Jesus Christ the Focus of the Season," Deseret News article
- Glad Tidings of Great Joy' Celebrates the Advent of of the Birth of Christ All Month," Cricket and Seagull interview with Steven Kapp Perry
- Daily Christmas Devotionals about Jesus Christ, as printed in The Deseret News and taken from Good Tidings of Great Joy, 143-147
- Mormon Identities episode, Christmas in the Holy Land: Professor, speaker, and author Andy Skinner reviews the places and events of the first Christmas story in an interview done in Jerusalem.
- Mormon Identities episode, History of Christmas Music: Listen as Mormon Tabernacle Choir organist Richard Elliott and director Ryan Murphy tell us where some of the most beloved Christmas songs came from. Then hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform them in this episode, "The History of Christmas Music."
- Mormon Identities episode, Biblical Christmas: In this episode, Gaye Strathearn, associate professor of ancient scripture at BYU, and Alonzo Gaskill, associate professor of Church history and doctrine and author of The Nativity, join our host, Eric Huntsman, to discuss the biblical story of Christmas. They discuss the similarities and differences between the narratives of Mattew 1-2 and Luke 1-2 and end by focusing on the vital truths that these accounts share with each other and Book of Mormon prophecies of Jesus' birth. Listen to this episode and discover how the scriptural account is sometimes different than the scenes we imagine.
- Mormon Identities episode, Christmas with the Prophets: Join us for this interview with Laura F. Willis, author of Christmas with the Prophets. This interesting, richly illustrated holiday book examines the Christmas traditions and teachings of each President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sister Willis shares some of her favorite and inspiring stories about the prophets, focusing on how they each taught of the importance of our Savior's birth.
Holy Week and Easter
See the Preparing for Easter page on this blog, which has the following links up and running this year:
- A Working Chronology
- The Raising of Lazarus
- The Symbolism of Jesus as Anointed King and Priest: The Anointing in John
The Passion Week and the Resurrection
- Palm Sunday: The Triumphal Entry; the Cleansing of the Temple
- Monday: The Marcan Cleansing of the Temple; Teachings in the Temple
- Tuesday: More Teachings in the Temple; the Olivet Discourse
- Spy" Wednesday: The Anointing in Mark and Matthew; Judas agrees to betray Jesus
- Holy or "Maundy" Thursday: The Last Supper; Farewell Discourses; Gethsemane; Before the Jewish Authorities
- Good Friday: Jesus in the Hands of the Romans; the Crucifixion; the Burial
- Saturday: Jesus in the Spirit World
- Easter Sunday: The Resurrection
Here are links to some other Easter season resources:
- Preparing for Easter: Ideas for Celebrating. Brief article in LDS Living.
- God So Loved the World: A Visual and Audio Message of Easter Peace from Deseret Book
- Mormon Identities episode, Reflections on Gethsemane, Golgotha, and the Resurrection: Eric Huntsman further helps us prepare for the Easter season by interviewing Andrew Skinner, a professor of ancient scripture at BYU. He has studied a lot about places like Gethsemane, Golgotha, and the Garden Tomb. Listen as he expounds upon the sacredness of these holy places.'
- Mormon Identities episode, Music for the Easter Season: Eric Huntsman hosts Craig Jessop and Andrew Unsworth to talk about Easter music. Get some great ideas and listen to a few examples of music about Christ and the Resurrection. They discuss music written by Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as more current songs performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. This episode will help you focus your Easter season on the Savior.
- Mormon Identities episode, Preparing for Easter: Guest host Camille Fronk Olson interviews Eric Huntsman for a special holiday episode about the importance of Easter. Eric tells us why Easter is such a meaningful time for him. He always gives great ideas of how individuals, families, and wards can keep Christ at the center of the Easter holiday.
- A Visual Tour of Jerusalem During Holy Week! See the posts in our blog, Huntsmans in the Holy Land, that chronicle our experiences celebrating Easter in 2012. The first post, Holy Week in Jerusalem, introduces the series and has links to all the subsequent posts.
Good Tidings of Great Joy: Huntsman Family Video Christmas Card from Shepherds Field outside of Bethlehem
Announcements and Upcoming Events
September 12: “Sitting at the Feet of Jesus,” Time Out for Women, Denver
August 18-21 “Worship: Encountering and Being Transformed by God,” BYU Education Week
August 17 “LDS Christology and the Gospel of John,” BYU Education Week
August 5-11 Aspen Grove Family Camp
April 22: “Grateful for Grace: Appreciating the Saving and Transforming Power of Jesus Christ,” YSA 18th Stake Fireside
April 30: Womens Conference 2015 "Wells of Trust Fanning Flames of Faith"
May 8–9: “The Search for the ‘Real’ Jesus of Nazareth: The Jesus of Faith, History, and Revelation,” Miller-Eccles Study Group, Fullerton and La Cañada, California
September 24 Second John A. Widtsoe Symposium, “Religion in the Public Square,” 7:00-9:00, tutor Center Ballroom, USC, Los Angeles (with the following link:
October 9 “The Footsteps of Jesus: Remembering His Miracles,” Cruise Lady Learn Our Religion Series, 7:00, 9118 S Redwood, West Jordan
November 8: “Sitting at the Feet of Jesus,” Time Out for Women, St. George
November 14: “Sitting at the Feet of Jesus,” Time Out for Women, Portland