“By his grace ye may be perfect in Christ”: Some LDS thoughts on Grace and Commandments

July 30, 2009

Martin Luther dismissed the Sermon on the Mount as “the devil’s masterpiece” (ein Meister Stuck des Teuffels, German spelling as in original) (“Das heißt ein Meister Stuck des Teufels”, D. Martin Luthers Werke (Weimar, 1906), vol. 6, pg. 10). Luther called the Sermon on the Mount “the devil’s masterpiece” because, as he surmised in the essay, “the devil so masterfully distorts and perverts (verdrehet und verkeret) Christ’s true meaning through his Apostle [Matthew] especially in the fifth chapter”. (See the discussion of this, which includes the above quote, in John W. Welch, The Sermon on the Mount in the Light of the Temple, pg. 36 (London: Ashgate, 2009)). Martin Luther appears to have believed that Christ’s teachings in the Sermon on the Mount (as recorded by Matthew) weren’t compatible with what he (Luther) wanted the Gospel to mean, based on his own selection and elevation of a few verses from Paul over the rest of the corpus of scripture. Read the rest of this entry »


A Pioneer Day Reflection on Americana at the Salt Lake Tabernacle

July 24, 2009

On July 3 my oldest daughter and I were fortunate enough to attend our Uncle Jim’s organ concert in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. We were in Salt Lake City for a family funeral but the Fourth of July atmosphere and its expression in the organ concert lifted our spirits as we enjoyed a fantastic performance of a variety of celebrations of America in music in what is, for us, a special place. Read the rest of this entry »


Our Dead IV

July 13, 2009

Part III, Part II ½, Part II, Part I.

Handgrip Oulton CemetaryMy great-great-great grandfather Alfred Parker Balls lived the early part of his life in a Dickensian nightmare. We celebrated Memorial Day this year in his old haunts in the Lowestoft area, England’s most easterly point, where he experienced a combination of Great Expectations, Hard Times, and Bleak House during his childhood. Read the rest of this entry »


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