This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.
This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- Matt 16:16-19: Peter's confession. We use these verses in the LDS Church as a proof text to show that the rock upon which the church will be built is revelation. Because that is probably not an obvious interpretation to the casual non-LDS reader the discussion generally stops there. However, revelation to whom and about what is a critical consideration. The typical Sunday school class member, when pressed, will respond that it is revelation to the prophets from Joseph Smith to the present president of the Church. That is correct and it is critical to the Church. It is, however, not the end of the discussion and is not sufficient for salvation. Equally as important as revelation to the prophet is revelation to the individual member. The prophet may have regular revelation which the member hears and studies but if the individual member does not personally rely on and partake of the rock of revelation by seeking and following the spirit, by gaining a personal testimony then the individual will gain no eternal benefit from revelation given to the prophet or from an academic understanding of the Savior or his gospel.
This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
Prompts for life application
This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
Prompts for further study
This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- Matt 16:18: Thou art Peter. See this blog post for discussion of the possible significance of this phrase.
- Matt 17:20. Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Faith to Move Mountains," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 82–85. President Hinckley tells of the rescue of the Willie and Martin handcart companies and other personal stories of faith and sacrifice. Speaking of the Church, he said: "In the on-working of this great cause, increased faith is what we most need. Without it, the work would stagnate. With it, no one can stop its progress."
- Matt 17:20. Craig A. Cardon, "Moving Closer to Him," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 94–96. After Elder Cardon relates a story in which his young son asks him to use the priesthood to move a mountain, he introduces his subject thus: "While the Lord truly taught those to whom He had given the priesthood that by faith mountains would move...my hope is to bring greater understanding to that aspect of the doctrine of the priesthood which moves individuals closer to God, affording them the opportunity to become like Him and live eternally in His presence."
Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.