“The Development of the Concept of the Holy Ghost in Mormon Theology”, Line Upon Line: Essays in Mormon Doctrine

"The Development of the Concept of the Holy Ghost in Mormon Theology", by Vern G Swanson from Line Upon Line: Essays in Mormon TheologyLine Upon Line brings together for the first time in one book some of the most thoughtful and compelling essays on Mormon doctrine and theology that have appeared in recent years.

Among the contributors are Thomas G. Alexander, Peter C. Appleby, George Boyd, David John Buerger, Van Hale, Boyd Kirkland, Blake Ostler, Stephen L Richards, Kent E. Robson, Thaddeus E. Shoemaker, Vern G. Swanson (“The Development of the Concept of the Holy Ghost in Mormon Theology”), Dan Vogel, and Linda P. Wilcox.

For anyone who has assumed that Mormon doctrine appeared whole-cloth in a single revelation, Line Upon Line is an important primer. No issue, however central to Latter-day Saint theology, is exempt from gradual development over time. This includes the nature of God, the progression of the soul, free agency, the possibility of repentance and forgiveness through a divine sacrifice, the creation of the world, evolution of the species, and the nature and origin of evil.

In Line Upon Line, sixteen thoughtful, compelling essays offer reflective historical discussions of the development of Mormon doctrine from the statements of church leaders to the writings of LDS theologians to canonized scripture, rather than on the authors’ personal speculations. Noting the relative strengths and weaknesses of various theological or doctrinal teachings due to limited human understanding, the contributors suggest that differences of opinion can indicate the presence of genuine and sincere faith that God’s truth is nevertheless present in scriptural metaphor.

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