Author Archives: David J. Larsen

Review of W. T. Woodfin, The Embodied Icon: Liturgical Vestments and Sacramental Power in Byzantium

Review of Woodfin, Warren T. The Embodied Icon: Liturgical Vestments and Sacramental Power in Byzantium. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

The Embodied Icon is an essential study of the liturgical (and imperial) vestments that were used in the Byzantine Empire and by the Eastern Orthodox Church.  Woodfin lays out, in a clear and concise manner, the types, decoration, and function of sacred clothing, as well as how these served in liturgical settings and also in the balance of power in the empire.

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Review of Third Nephi: An Incomparable Scripture

Skinner, Andrew C. and Gaye Strathearn, eds. Third Nephi: An Incomparable Scripture. Salt Lake City; Provo: Neal A. Maxwell Institute; Deseret Book, 2012.

This volume represents the published proceedings of a conference by the same title sponsored by the Maxwell Institute’s Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies, held September 26-27, 2008.  The essays included “address issues in 3 Nephi from textual, literary, and theological perspectives” and are organized by topic as these subjects arise in the book of 3 Nephi itself.  There are fifteen papers presented, including the keynote address by John W. Welch, as well as a transcript of the panel discussion that was held at the end of the conference.  These studies emphasize the importance of the book of 3 Nephi to the Book of Mormon as a whole and to our understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The range of topics covered includes: identification of temple themes, exegesis of particular passages, intertextual studies, ritual studies, theological treatises, use of biblical passages, and a study on musical form in 3 Nephi.  There are a number of pieces that are of particular value to those interested in temple studies. Continue reading

Review of D. John Butler, Plain and Precious Things and The Goodness and the Mysteries

D. John Butler, Plain and Precious Things: The Temple Religion of the Book of Mormon’s Visionary Men (self-published, 2012).

Idem., The Goodness and the Mysteries: On the Path of the Book of Mormon’s Visionary Men (self-published, 2012).

D. John Butler has written two books in which he elaborates on what he calls the “temple religion” of scriptural figures such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, Lehi, and Nephi, whom he refers to as “visionary men” following the description of Lehi in 1 Nephi 2:11; 5:2-4.  Continue reading