Y Religion

By BYU Religious Education

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Category: Christianity

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Subscribers: 65
Reviews: 2

Rich Hall
 Feb 17, 2021
Continuing your high standard of excellence in podcasting. Thank you for each one, both intellectually stimulating and spiritually awakening. I love the BH Roberts quote in the last podcast.

R.L. Hall
 Apr 2, 2020
Thank you for these delightful podcasts. I have enjoyed each of them and look forward to many more. It's great to hear from scholars full of faith; converted in both mind and heart, serving with all their minds and hearts.


Each year, religion professors at Brigham Young University (BYU) produce hundreds of publications on subjects related to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This podcast brings this research into one place to enlighten the everyday seeker of truth. Interviewing the author, we discuss why the study was done, why it matters, and why the professor chooses to be both a scholar, and a disciple. This is Y Religion.

Episode Date
Episode 31: The Chamber of Father Whitmer (Michael MacKay)

The Prophet Joseph Smith once taught that “all priesthood is Melchizedek.”  Thus, the restoration of the priesthood can be understood as a series of heavenly events, including a relatively unknown experience with the Lord at Peter Whitmer Sr.’s farmhouse.  In this powerful episode, Dr. Michael Hubbard MacKay explains what happened “in the chamber of old Father Whitmer” (D&C 128:21) and why it matters to our understanding of priesthood.

May 01, 2021
Episode 30: Theology of the King James Language (Jan Martin)

One of the great debates of the 16th century took place between William Tyndale and Thomas More over Tyndale’s translation of the Bible into English. Both men knew how words had the power to shape theology.  Tyndale’s translation informed later English translations, including the King James Version.  But were Tyndale’s choices right? In this episode, Dr. Jan Martin shares her research on how the King James language in the Book of Mormon provides amazing insights into these theological translation debates.

Apr 15, 2021
Episode 29: Living the Parables of Jesus (Hank Smith)

If we seek to teach in the Savior’s way, a common approach the Lord used was parables.  In fact, Mark says that “without a parable spake he not unto them” (Mark 4:34).  Good parables are multi-layered, and the teacher often leaves them uninterpreted to cause listeners to reflect and draw meaning. In this episode, BYU Religion’s Hank Smith shares insights from his publication on the parables of Jesus, why the Lord utilized them to teach, and why we should seek to do the same today. 

Apr 01, 2021
Episode 28: God’s Voice to His Daughters in Doctrine and Covenants 25 (Carter Charles)

Doctrine and Covenants 25 is unique and powerful. It is one of the two modern revelations directed specifically toward a woman, Emma Smith.  It is also unique because of the progressive teachings it contains when studied in context, which makes it crucially relevant today. In this episode, Dr. Carter Charles analyzes the context and content of this important section, discussing how Emma Smith becomes a type for all sisters of the Church as “elect” ladies by virtue of their covenants.  

Mar 15, 2021
Episode 27: Teaching Children to Believe in Christ (Byran Korth)

The recent home-centered and Church supported plan that focuses on gospel teaching and learning in the family has re-emphasized that parents have the primary responsibility to teach the gospel to their children. In this episode BYU Religion’s Dr. Byran Korth discusses how family gospel teaching is an “echo of a celestial pattern.” Using scriptural examples such as Alma, he explains the doctrinal WHYS and practical HOWS of parents teaching children to believe in Christ.

Mar 01, 2021
Episode 26: The Eternal in the Temporal (Jordan Watkins)

In the summer of 1842, Joseph Smith was busy. He implemented the endowment, entered plural marriages, dealt with John C. Bennett’s fallout, and went into hiding from an attempted extradition.  BYU’s Jordan Watkins is an editor of the Joseph Smith Papers publication covering this pivotal time. In this episode, we learn learn about events from this demanding period of Joseph’s life, but also how those events gave rise to his revelations, showing the beauty of an eternal that encompasses the temporal.

Feb 15, 2021
Episode 25: Surprised by Christ (Daniel Becerra)

Because of Christ’s greatness, we must be careful to not put him in a box, confining our understanding through partial perspectives. Certainty can be counterproductive if it stifles our openness to learning more about Jesus.  In this episode, Dr. Daniel Becerra discusses the character of Christ and the Lord’s ministry in 3rd and 4th Nephi, helping us come to better know and follow the Savior, and perhaps even be a little surprised by what we find.

Feb 02, 2021
Episode 24: Joseph Smith’s Growing Understanding of the Eternal Family (Michael Goodman & Devan Jensen)

We can sometimes think that Joseph Smith’s understanding of key Restoration doctrines came fully formed from the start.  But the reality is that many concepts were revealed more slowly, here a little and there a little.  Beginning with the tragic death of Joseph’s brother Alvin up through temple ordinances in Nauvoo, BYU religion’s Michael Goodman and Devan Jensen discuss how the Prophet grew in his understanding of doctrines related to the eternal family, and how God works with all of us line upon line.

Jan 15, 2021
Episode 23: Repicturing the Restoration (Anthony Sweat)

While existing artwork that portrays the Restoration is rich and beautiful, until now many key events in early Latter-day Saint history have not been depicted.  In this episode, Anthony Sweat discusses his work to paint and write about 25 of these events, including 19th century female healing blessings, the early ordination of Black men like Q. Walker Lewis, the first baptism for the dead, and many others, illustrating why expanding our visual imagery can expand our understanding of the Restoration.

Jan 01, 2021
Episode 22: The Life of Paul (Nick Frederick)

One of the primary figures in establishing the trajectory of early Christian theology was Paul. Or should we still call him Saul? Was he an apostle (missionary) or Apostle (quorum)? Is the conversion narrative of rebel to saint an accurate representation of his zealous soul? In this episode, Dr. Nick Frederick challenges some of our existing assumptions about Paul while inviting us to better understand why his life and teachings are essential to Christianity, both anciently and today.

Dec 15, 2020
Episode 21: The Influence of Rose Marie Reid (Andrew Reed)

You may not know about Rose Marie Reid. After this episode, you’ll know why you should. In the 1950s she not only revolutionized women’s swimwear and established a multi-million dollar industry, but she also counseled with apostles about how to improve missionary work and establish relationships between Jewish and Latter-day Saint faiths, influencing interfaith dialogue today. Dr. Andrew Reed discusses the impact of this remarkable woman who built a family, built a business, and built the Kingdom of God

Dec 01, 2020
Episode 20: The Greek Texts of the New Testament (Lincoln Blumell)

While most of us encounter the text of the New Testament in English as it was interpreted by the King James translators, it was originally written in Greek. In this insightful episode, Dr. Lincoln Blumell takes us into the Greek world of the New Testament and its historical texts and times. He gives listeners some fascinating insights to passages and ideas from the New Testament, showing why a little contextual knowledge can have big doctrinal implications.

Nov 16, 2020
Episode 19: Book of Mormon Theology (Joseph Spencer)

The Book of Mormon is often read chronologically, historically, or doctrinally.  But have you ever considered studying it theologically? That’s what a group of scholars at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute at BYU are doing, with wonderful results.  In this episode, one of the authors and editors of The Book of Mormon: Brief Theological Introductions series, Dr. Joseph Spencer, discusses what theology is and why it can be a powerful approach to studying scripture.

Nov 02, 2020
Episode 18: Joseph Smith for President (Derek Sainsbury)

From the early days of the Restoration, Latter-day Saints learned firsthand that politics could impact the practice of their faith. Frustrated with politicians, in 1844 Joseph Smith launched his own U.S. Presidency campaign. Many don’t know that Joseph ran for President, or why. In this episode, Dr. Derek Sainsbury shares insights from his groundbreaking publication on Joseph Smith’s campaign, helping us understand why appropriate participation in politics is often related to building the kingdom of God.

Oct 15, 2020
Episode 17: The Missouri “Danites” (Alex Baugh)

In the summer of 1838, Missouri Latter-day Saints drew a line. Following several years of persecution, they chose to take up arms to defend themselves and their religious liberties. An oath-bound paramilitary society, known as the “Danites,” formed to warn out undesirable people from their community and defend the Church and its leaders. In this episode, Alex Baugh shares insights from his research that gives valuable context to why the Danites organized, and lessons learned from their actions.

Oct 01, 2020
Episode 16: Harmonizing the First Vision Accounts (Kerry Muhlestein)

Most Latter-day Saints are familiar with the First Vision account in Joseph Smith-History. Many, however, are not as familiar with the numerous other contemporary sources of the event. In this episode, Dr. Kerry Muhlestein discusses powerful insights from his publication, I Saw the Lord, harmonizing nine historical accounts of the First Vision.  When we study the available accounts collectively, fascinating new perspectives can be gained from this foundational event that otherwise may be missed.

Sep 15, 2020
Episode 15: The Moses of Czechoslovakia (Mary Jane Woodger)

In 1939, Adolf Hitler’s army invaded Czechoslovakia. Although the Church was fragile in the area, the saints were strengthened by a man who is known today as the Moses of the Czech Republic. In this episode, Professor Mary Jane Woodger shares insights from her book, Mission President or Spy, The True Story of Wallace F. Toronto, the Czech Mission, and World War II, showing how faith can survive in challenging circumstances through the influence of fearless and faithful saints.

Sep 01, 2020
Episode 14: The Development of Temple Worship (Richard Bennett)

Just recently, prophets have made notable changes to temple practices of the Church. This, however, is not a new phenomenon.  In this powerful episode, Professor Richard Bennett discusses his decades of research on how temple practices of the Church have divinely developed, the pivotal people and events that precipitated these events, and why temple work has always been and will be at the very soul of the Restoration.

Aug 15, 2020
Episode 13: Wildlife & The Word of Wisdom (Andrew Hedges)

The Latter-day Saint dietary revelation known as the Word of Wisdom is a well-known tenant of our faith.  It teaches to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea.  There is also, however, counsel on animal wildlife. We may think we understand what the Word of Wisdom is teaching here, but perhaps it’s worth a closer look. In this episode, Dr. Andrew Hedges shares his fascinating research contextualizing and applying the terms “fowls of the air” and “wild animals” in the revelatory text.

Aug 01, 2020
Episode 12: Atonement Models & Alma 42 (Mark Ellison)

How do finite minds grasp something infinite, like the Atonement of Jesus Christ? To help, we often use mortal analogies. In Alma 42, Alma utilizes a legalistic model of Atonement to teach his errant son, Corianton. In this episode, Professor Mark Ellison discusses why Alma may have used this approach, explaining it as one among many scriptural models to more richly understand and apply the Atonement of the Lord. 

Jul 15, 2020
Episode 11: The Gospels in Glass (Tyler Griffin)

The Rome Temple Visitor’s Center features a masterful 20-foot-wide by 7-foot-tall stained-glass window that symbolically depicts the life, parables, and miracles of Jesus in one cohesive scene. Three BYU Religion professors acted as scholarly consultants for the project and published a book describing each event the window portrays. In this episode, one of those authors, Dr. Tyler Griffin, gives fascinating insights and applicable lessons from this marvelous art glass window.

Jul 01, 2020
Episode 10: Saints at War (Ken Alford)

In all dispensations, peace-loving saints have been compelled to go to war. Professor Ken Alford from BYU Religious Education has documented the inspiring stories of many Latter-day Saint service members who have fought in the ongoing war on terror in his book Saints at War: The Gulf War, Afghanistan, and Iraq. These fascinating true stories help show the tender mercies of the Lord upon those saints who fight for freedom, and why their sacrifices deserve our honor, respect, and gratitude.  

Jun 15, 2020
Episode 9: Healing at Carthage Jail (Scott Esplin)

Carthage Jail, where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed, is visited by thousands of people annually as Church missionaries guide them through the building, reviewing the heartrending event. How did the Church acquire this tragic site—and why? In this episode, BYU professor and Nauvoo historian Dr. Scott Esplin shares his fascinating research on this history, discussing why visiting and memorializing sites where tragedy and suffering have occurred, such as Carthage Jail, can lead to understanding and healing.

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Jun 01, 2020
Episode 8: The Spirit of Sacred Sites (Craig Ostler)

You may or may not be able to visit foundational Church history sites like the Sacred Grove or Nauvoo, but thanks to Professor Craig Ostler and others at BYU you can go on a professionally guided video tour. For the last 20 years Dr. Ostler has worked to produce a series of 100 peer-reviewed videos of Church History locations called Hallowed Ground and Sacred Journeys.  In this episode, get ready to go on an auditory Church history tour as Dr. Ostler gives insights from places like Palmyra, Mendon, Kirtland, Nauvoo, and Salt Lake City.  What he shares helps us understand why there is power in experiencing the spirit of sacred sites.

Click here to watch BYU Virtual Tours videos discussed in this episode.

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May 15, 2020
Episode 7: Youth Suicidality and the Church (Justin Dyer)

It’s not uncommon to hear popular narratives that link depression and suicide with the Church.  Are those claims accurate? Dr. Justin Dyer finds the research suggests a different narrative. In this episode, professor Dyer shares his important studies about Latter-day Saint youth suicide, depression, LGBTQ members, and religiosity that can help us act in more informed and compassionate ways.

Click here and here and here to read a few of professor Dyer's articles on the subject. 

Remember to "subscribe" to the Y Religion podcast to get automatic downloads of new episodes, and also to leave us a rating (it helps others find us). Thanks!

May 01, 2020
Episode 6: Becoming Beloved Disciples (Eric Huntsman)

Although we all come from different backgrounds and situations, we all are coming unto the same Savior.  In this episode, Professor Eric Huntsman discusses insights from his book publication, Becoming the Beloved Disciple, about a purposeful theme in the gospel of John that highlights people in varied circumstances, and what we can learn from each of them about becoming beloved disciples of Christ.  

Apr 15, 2020
Episode 5: Women Expounding Scripture (Amy Easton-Flake)

The Lord told Emma Smith to “expound scriptures” by the Spirit, saying this was his “voice unto all.” So how did women of the Church in the 19th century use the scriptures, in particular the Bible, in their teaching, exhorting, and writing? In this episode, Dr. Amy Easton-Flake discusses her research publications about how early Latter-day Saint women used scripture to understand their divine roles and change their society, and why modern Latter-day Saint women should do the same.

Click here and here to read Professor Easton-Flake's articles on the subject. 

Remember to "subscribe" to the Y Religion podcast to get automatic downloads of new episodes, and also to leave us a rating (it helps others find us). Thanks!

Apr 01, 2020
Episode 4: Remembering the First Vision (Steven Harper)

Joseph Smith’s First Vision is often the first story we tell in the narrative of the Restoration.  But that was not always the case.  It took about 50 years for the First Vision to become solidified as a foundational story of the Church. In this episode, BYU professor Steven Harper discusses his landmark research publication about how the First Vision was remembered and interpreted by Joseph Smith, and why thoughtfully doing the same today is essential for Latter-day Saints. 

Click here to get Professor Harper’s book, or here or to read a published essay on the subject.

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Mar 16, 2020
Episode 3: Dreams as Revelation (Craig Manscill)

It’s not uncommon to have vivid dreams. Sometimes we may even feel like our dreams have a divine message. How do we differentiate when our dreams are random, and when they are revelatory? In this episode, Dr. Craig Manscill discusses examples and principles of dreams as revelation, and why he and his co-authors researched this important religious subject.

Click here to read Professor Manscill, Woodger, and Alford's publication.

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Mar 01, 2020
Episode 2: Women and Priesthood (Barbara Morgan Gardner)

Questions about Latter-day Saint women and priesthood have been swirling for years. In this episode, Dr. Barbara Morgan Gardner shares her research that provides insights into why Latter-day Saint women have priesthood, and why understanding differences between ecclesiastical, familial, and covenantal priesthood can help us grasp the divine power and authority available to us all.

Click here and here to read Professor Gardner's publications on this subject.

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Feb 01, 2020
Episode 1: The Atoning Crucifixion (John Hilton III)

It’s not uncommon for Latter-day Saints to say that Christ atoned in the Garden of Gethsemane, but not on the cross.  In this episode, Dr. John Hilton III explores why this typical answer doesn’t align with LDS scriptural teachings on the crucifixion, why it should, and why the cross can be a symbol of a living, and a loving Savior.  

Click here to read Professor Hilton's article on this subject.

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Feb 01, 2020