Author: Chad Nielsen

Chad’s three great intellectual passions in life are science, history/religious studies, and music. He has pursued a career in biotechnology, but maintains an active interest in both of his other passions on the side. Chad is a four-time winning contestant in the Arrington Writing Award competition held at Utah State University for his essays on Mormon history and has presented at the Logan Institute of Religion scholar’s forum and the annual meeting of the Society of Mormon Philosophy and Theology. He is a faithful Latter-day Saint who has served in a variety of music, teaching, and clerical callings at his church as well as in the music ministry of a Presbyterian church. Currently he is serving as a music missionary as a member of the Bells on Temple Square.

Documents and Dialogic Revelations

Joseph Smith began his ministry with a wealth of visions and revelations. Many among these were what have been called dialogic revelations–answers given by God to Joseph Smith in response to questions or specific situations. Written documents phrased as God…

First Vision Resources

We were left with a bit of a cliff hanger at the end of general conference this year—the promise of a unique general conference next April celebrating the 200th anniversary of the year Joseph Smith said he experienced the First…

Hot Drinks and Cold Soda

One aspect of the Word of Wisdom that has long been debated is whether or not all caffeinated drinks should be included under its umbrella. The original revelation specified that hot drinks should not be consumed, which was interpreted to…

Handcarts and History

In many ways, handcarts have come to symbolize the Mormon pioneer experience. There are a few reasons for this. With the tragic experiences of the Willie and Martin handcart companies of 1856, the handcart companies are among the easiest group…

Water Alone

In my last post, I discussed an argument in favor of needing to partake of both the bread and water during a sacrament service as opposed to it being permissible to only partake of the water. This post is essentially…

Bread and Water

In my previous two posts, I discussed questions relating to the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Another question my friend asked was: “If you miss the bread do you take the water? … Obviously the best answer for the first…

Frequency of the Sacrament

I mentioned in my previous post that the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper has been on my mind lately. One reason is that I recently had a friend ask me a couple of questions he was having trouble finding answers…

Why the Sacrament?

For Christians, the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was and is, in the words of one historian, “the central Christian ritual act.”[1] As Latter-day Saints, we participate in the breaking of bread and drinking of water on an almost weekly…

Updates on the New Hymnbook

It’s been nearly a year since the new core hymnbook was announced. While there have been a few rumors about the book (like a smaller size and getting rid of hymns with problematic copyrights), very little actual news has come…

Grace and Cooperative Salvation

Since at least the time of Augustine of Hippo and Pelagius, western Christianity has been embroiled in a debate about salvation and grace. The two extremes have been represented as salvation by grace alone and earning salvation by our own…

Saints, Volume 1: A Review

About a week ago, the first volume of the new official history of the Church was published. I finished reading through it this weekend, and I have to say that it is fantastic. The style of prose reads like a…