The Language of Grace & Joy (Doctrine & Covenants 93)

Monday, August 30, 2021



Channing: Hi friends! I’m Channing, and welcome to The Faithful Feminists podcast.

This is not just any Come Follow Me podcast - we do things a little differently here. We offer approachable feminist interpretations of the Come Follow Me manual for those who want to study and understand the scriptures in a framework of equality, social justice, and sisterhood. We’re here to show you all the really good ways faith and feminism work together to illuminate and deepen the gospel experience. 

We’ve saved you a seat on the soft chairs so join us today for a conversation about… Doctrine & Covenants section 93 for the dates August 23-29. We’re so glad you’re here!

If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, you’ll already notice that things are a little bit different today. Elise is on a much-needed vacation after her first week back to school, but before she left, she asked me to let you all know how much she loves you and is excited to be back next week. 

Before we get into this week’s section, I want to remind you all about the Soft-Chairs Workshop we are hosting in October! We are so excited to see you on Saturday, October 9th in South Jordan, Utah for a day full of feminism, scriptures, and loving community. Everyone is invited. We have planned powerful content we hope will equip all attendees with a foundational understanding of feminist interpretation, skills for examining sacred text through a feminist lens, and a greater confidence in reading and working with the scriptures. Join us for yummy food and an incredible community of like-minded women and allies. Find more information at the link in our bio on Instagram or on our website at

But as for today, for better or for worse, you have just me as your tour guide for section 93. So buckle up, get your binoculars out, and lets get ready for an adventure!

I appreciated RIC’s insight for this section, as it provides necessary context for understanding why this revelation came about. During a meeting for the school of the prophets, a man named David Patten felt inspired to sing a song in a foreign tongue. As he did so, someone wrote it down and interpreted it. RIC says, “The hymn was about Enoch’s vision as found in Joseph Smith’s revision of Genesis.1” Due to JS’s ongoing translation of the Bible, including Enoch’s vision, the church membership at large was experiencing excitement specifically around learning about the premortal life. RIC says, “On May 6, a few weeks after the school adjourned for the warm season, Joseph Smith received a revelation giving further details about a premortal existence. Now found in Doctrine and Covenants 93, the revelation departed from traditional Christian ideas about the nature of humankind, opening startling new vistas on our premortal past, our future potential, and our relationship to God.”

RIC continues, “Since the fifth century, Christian orthodoxy had imposed an almost impassable gulf between the Creator and His creations.5 Humankind, Christians came to believe, was created from nothing. God was not a craftsman who refashioned existing materials but wholly different and apart from His creation—mysterious and unknowable. The Bible’s parent-child description of God’s relationship to us was understood largely as a metaphor instead of a literal kinship. To suggest otherwise, in the estimation of most Christian thinkers, blasphemously lessened God or dangerously elevated humankind. The May 6 revelation was bold and new, yet also ancient and familiar. It declared that as Christ “was in the beginning with the father,” so “man was also in the begining with God.” It dismissed the long-held belief in creation out of nothing: “Intelligence or the Light of truth was not created or made neither indeed can be.”6

This passage is important because it highlights one of the main theological differences that provides a distinction between LDS theology and cosmology and that of other Christian traditions, this being the belief that humankind is literally the progeny of God.

Knowing some of the historical background of this section might help us as we dive into the text. This section is a little long. At 53 verses it might take you a few days to soak in, but its infinitely shorter than some of the other sections we’ve read so far this year. In this section we also come across some really beautiful verses and concepts - too many to cover in one episode, so I’ve chosen the ones I feel most drawn to. The themes I’ll cover today include caretaking of language as a creative force, the concept of growth through “grace by grace,” and the interconnectedness of Spirit and Body.

Approaching the text chronologically, one of the first concepts we interact with in the text is the Creation story told through the eyes of John the Baptist. Verses 7&8 read “And he bore record, saying: I saw his (Christ’s) glory, that he was in the beginning, before the world was; Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation.” Verse 9 continues, “The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of women and the light of women.” And finally, in verse 10, “The worlds were made by him; women were made by him; all things were made by him, and through him, and of him.”

So in these four verses, we encounter what seem to us to be basic foundational concepts that we learned in Primary, but a closer reading, especially of verse 10, is where we find the theology of the creation of humankind through God, rather than by God, which is an important distinction and one that is still hotly debated in wider Christian circles today. However, a concept that is even more intriguing to me is found in verse 8. “Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he (Christ) was the Word,” This is where I want to spend a little bit of time unpacking, because this concept informs so much of the work Elise and I do here on the podcast, and that is the study, honoring, and caretaking of language.

From this verse and from the Creation story found in Genesis, we find that the world was created and/or organized primarily through the use of language. Genesis 1:3 says “And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.” 1:6 says, “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 1:9 says, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear, and it was so.” It would seem from these verses that the act of speaking is a creative one, and that the use of language has the power to change and shape the world.

This concept is further corroborated in the words of John in the New Testament. John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Verse 3, “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” If we take the concept of language as a creative force that moves something from the conceptual realm into the physical, we find in John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” So, in light of the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:1, “In the mouth of two or three awitnesses shall every word be established,” I am confident in an interpretation of Section 93 verses 7-10 as a showcasing of the creative power of language.

Language deserves our attention and utmost care because it literally creates our reality. The words we speak give shape to concepts and ideas and makes them real. The letters and the lilt of our voices gives these ideas form, so they can walk into the world and influence it with their presence. Audre Lorde illustrates this concept beautifully in her essay, “Poetry is Not a Luxury.” She writes, “Poetry, or language, is illumination, for it is through language that we give name to those ideas which are --until the poem-- nameless and formless, about to be birthed, but already felt.” Lorde masterfully shows that it is the act of putting name and language to feeling and thought which “births” these concepts into the world, allowing them to be shared and built upon.

We see in the case of Genesis that God is a master linguist. God understands that “the Word” forms creation, creates form, gives “soma”, which is the greek word for body, life and physicality to the intellectual. God understands that The Word creates. This is why, I believe, the word of God always comes to pass. It is because language forms reality. The two are intimately tied together. Said differently, the fruit of linguistic creation is somatic action.

Because language carries such creative power, we have a responsibility to use and caretake language. This is at the heart of the work Elise and I do on the podcast. Scriptures are a form of The Word. We have thousands of years worth of evidence of their creative power. Look at the way the Word has shaped lives. The written stories of Abraham and Jacob having multiple wives has acted as historical evidence of and justification for polygamy. The words of Paul in 1 Timothy which say “Let the woman learn in asilence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to ateach, nor to busurp authority over the man, but to be in csilence.” How has this verse affected the way women are treated in the church? How might this verse influence the way women’s comments are viewed in a Gospel Doctrine class, or the way women who speak in General Conference are viewed? I am specifically thinking of Joy D. Jones’ talk in April 2020 in which, right in the middle of her talk, the audience is cut-scened to a group of primary children in a replica of the JS home in Palmyra being taught by President Russel M. Nelson, while Sister Jones takes a supporting role IN HER OWN TALK. How many women have sat silent in classes or turned down speaking or teaching callings because they have felt inadequate, less knowledgeable, or less qualified than their male counterparts? While in the church we pride ourselves on the equal opportunity of women to speak over the pulpit in church, we cannot truly claim that the words of Paul do not still influence the treatment of women in the body of Christ today.

There are also positive aspects of this creative action of language. Even just turning to the portion of the DC we have read so far this year, the language of Zion has inspired communitarian living among the Saints. They have traveled many miles and sacrificed much to live out the word of God accordingly. Turning back to the words of Audre Lorde, one of the reasons the LDS church as we know it exists today is because JS put language to feeling in his prayer which inspired the First Vision, and then put words to that experience that some would argue transcends language so that all might have a taste of the Divine he experienced.

Some, especially those who in their valid way seek to denounce the consequences of poor and abusive translations and interpretations, have argued that language is a lower form of communication, and that feeling alone is sufficient. In some cases this is true, and I am not arguing against transcendent experiences that defy description or arguing for the ignorance of emotion; but rather, I believe that caution must be used when advocating for abandonment of language, precisely because of its creative power.

Language is always going to be limited. We are all familiar with the frustration of not being able to find the right word, or the phenomenon of the perfect word existing in a language which is foreign to us, or even the baggage that is tied to certain words which have been poorly or overly used in the past. But language is an incredible, timeless tool that allows us to transcend the limitations of individual feeling, individual concept, individual sphere and move us into relationship and community. Language, when shared, is power shared, because when two or more beings experience the creative power of The Word together, it is amplified. If God is the Word and the Word is God, that means that two beings attempting to find their way through the text, through a situation, through the world by use of language, it means the Word, or God, is among them. This is an exciting possible interpretation of Matthew 18:20, “20 For where two or three are agathered btogether in my cname, there am I in the dmidst of them.” Language brings us together. Language forms community and connection. In the words of Audre Lorde, “We can train ourselves to respect our feelings and to transpose them into a language so they can be shared.”

Another positive example of the creative power of language is found in the New Testament. In most accounts of Christ’s healing miracles, all that was required for healing were the words of Christ. “Take up thy bed and walk.” or, “Thy faith has made thee whole.” These are incredible examples of the somatic, or embodied consequences of masterfully spoken language. I am intrigued specifically by these examples, and, thinking aloud here, I have often wondered if there is a hidden power within Christ’s masterful and purposeful use of language. Perhaps there is something to be learned about the power of God on earth by the study of language. In fact, in thinking about all the time we have spent this year in the Doctrine and Covenants reading and talking about “priesthood” and “Priesthood power,” I wonder if we have been missing another possible interpretation for “God’s power on earth”  as word, language.

I like this interpretation. It reminds me that my words have power, and that in my speaking them, I can influence and shape the world around me. Me, as a woman, holding the power of God on the tip of my tongue? Now thats a radical and scripturally supported interpretation of God’s power on earth.

This kind of power is vast, deep, and ancient, and deserves care. Think of all the implications of the power of language. For example, did you know that using someone’s correct pronouns is a powerful method of suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth? This is an excellent example of caretaking of language. It can be difficult to use new pronouns, especially if you are accustomed to using their old or “dead” pronouns or name. But by using a person’s chosen pronouns, you are using the creative power of language to give shape and form to that person’s being in the world. You are literally giving that person life through the use of their name. I know. Blowing your mind, right?

This is also why careful use of language is important. This is why broad and general use of language, while done purposefully, is not always responsible. For example, when speaking of “unity,” it is most unhelpful and ultimately irresponsible to neglect the naming of that which prevents us from achieving unity, for without language or name, ideas and concepts have no physical form. They cannot be seen. This is why, when speaking of racial identities, the claim that “I don’t see color,” is harmful, because the erasure of what is already physically present in the world through the neglect of language actually negates the validity of color and makes it impossible to see the way skin color shapes a person’s experience in the world for better or worse. Returning again to the concept of “unity,” it is not enough to say “let us be one,” without first naming, then condemning, and finally removing the barriers which block us from each other. 

Using the creative power of language to form obscurities around uncomfortable topics ultimately moves us further away from God, because God, who is a God of order, clarity, and truth, is all about explicit names. In fact, returning to Genesis 1, we see in the same chapter I quoted earlier that naming is a primary function of language. When God spoke light into being, in verse 5 God “called the light Day and the darkness they called Night.” When God divided the waters from the waters, in verse 8 “God called the firmament Heaven,” and in verse 10 “God called the dry land Earth.” We see in these verses that only by being given a specific identity to be known by can the elements and intelligences around and within us take “soma;” body, shape, form. Name is the essence by which we are known: it is the power of creative language distilled. 

If we are to use the power of God responsibly, we must recognize that being intentional, purposeful, and careful with the words we have is one way to recognize our individual worth, magnify our divine nature, and perform good works with integrity and virtue. This caretaking of language is at the heart of what we do on the podcast. We study and examine language all the time with the intent of finding interpretation and use of language that is explicit, liberating, loving, and honors the intent of the original Word: Life. We attempt to clarify and fix poor or limited interpretations to bring them back in line with Love and Life, and denounce them when redemption is impossible. We encourage by example the reclamation of this creative power of God through language by women, who have historically been barred or banned from its usage by limitations on access, education, and recognition. We celebrate this use of power by communities of people who have had it stolen from them and abused and twisted into weapons to be used against them. Language is power. When shared, it is amplified. The Word is what brings us together, encircles us about in the arms of Love like a hen gathers her chicks under her wing.

This is an example of what we call a “close reading” on the podcast. A close reading takes a small handful of verses, sometimes only one verse or even one word, and expands on the concepts presented to bring them to full color and life by drawing on supporting and correlating texts and examples. This is one way to interpret the text and can produce an incredibly in-depth study that transcends the limitations of one source. Close readings, when accessible, provide powerful insights and potentially new information that deepen our understanding of The Word. 

Moving on in section 93, we soon encounter the concept of spiritual growth through increments, “grace by grace.” Verse 19 reads “I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness.” Verse 20 continues, saying, “For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and you shall receive grace for grace.” These scriptures come on the coattails of the words of John stating that Christ received “a fulness of the glory of the Father; and he received all power, both in heaven and on earth,” and are used to illustrate how Christ achieved this fulness of glory. One possible interpretation of this phrasing could be that this was achieved little by little, step by step; but again, paying careful attention to the language used, it is explicitly said that the fulness of God’s glory was received “grace by grace.” We come across language that better matches the concept of step by step or little by little in later chapters with wording such as “line upon line and precept upon precept,” but if we assume the use of the word “grace” here was done with care and intention, it might shift our understanding a little bit.

The Cambridge dictionary defines grace as “The Christian belief of the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.” My emphasis on the word unmerited is purposeful, as this is what hints to us a reframing of these verses, moving away from the understanding that the fulness of God is an achievement of our own making, as if we can step up the stairs of growth faster, or gain the lines and precepts quicker or gain a larger amount of them than others around us. But the essential concept of grace is void of merit. It is at its very heart a blessing undeserved. 

So what are we to do with this interpretation of the fulness of God being gifted by God “grace by grace” rather than earned, especially as we move further into the chapter and come to verse 27? This verse reads “No man receiveth a fulness unless he keepeth his commandments.” Verse 28 continues, saying “He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.” These verses explicitly state that the keeping of the commandments is an essential pre-qualification to receiving the fulness of God. I’ve actually heard that a lot in my life in the church, phrasing like “qualify yourself for the blessings of God.” I’ve talked before on the podcast how sometimes we think of God like a vending machine. Its as if we believe sometimes that we can put in righteousness or keeping the commandments like one puts in a dollar bill, and then metaphorically press A-1 for whatever blessing we want to fall from the shelves. We believe that it is our efforts that entitle us for the blessing, or at the very least validate the request.

The Cambridge dictionary defines the verb “qualify” as meaning to “be entitled to a particular benefit or privilege by fulfilling a necessary condition.” What strikes me about this wording again though is the use of grace. Grace by grace is what the text says. Remembering grace is undeserved, what might it look like to hold these two concepts together, with merit, or the concept of qualification of the fulness of the glory of God through the keeping of commandments on one hand, and the concept of grace on the other? 

One interpretation that fits well with my experiences in life is the understanding that there have been certain blessings I have received that I have worked hard for, sacrificed for, begged and prayed for that came in unexpected and unprompted moments that to me, felt very gracious. Those blessings felt undeserved because they were even bigger, even better, even more holy than I anticipated. But the blessings were received as such because I had prepared adequately to receive them. Some of my most important understandings in my relationship with god have happened in meditation. I’m hopeful that using different language besides “grace” and “qualification,” which can sometimes come with a lot of baggage, to describe this concept is helpful in understanding and provides some clarity.

There are steps to preparation in meditation, like stillness, openness, mindfulness, presence, humility. That head and heart space has been timelessly effective for me in connecting with God, and yet the moments that feel most transcendent, most powerful, most impactful are few and far between. I don’t experience pure connection with God every time I meditate. I am not guaranteed transcendence every time I sit down and close my eyes. In fact, it usually happens less than 10% of the time. And yet, because I am putting myself in a physical attitude and a mental space of being open and teachable, it is easier and more likely that I have those powerful experiences because I have laid a foundation for it. 

As I share this, I hope you can see some of the back and forth between the concept of qualification and the concept of Grace. Both are required. But based on my experiences, I will always lean a little more to the side of Grace, because I have learned that I cannot demand God to do much of anything, and in truth, I do not want to. I am reminded of a phrase that Elise says sometimes. “God is always more than we expect God to be.” That has been my experience. I have learned that if I only ever experience the God I earn, the God I qualify for, I will never really see, hear, or feel God. It is the grace that surprises, the grace that inspires, the grace that moves me inward and outward like the breath of life on the adventure of a new discovery of love every day.

This is why I am transfixed by the language and concept of receiving the fulness of God grace by grace in this section. Rather than receiving the God I qualify for, I am promised something even better. I see God surprise by surprise. I learn the shape of God’s face loving touch by loving touch. I experience God undeserved blessing by undeserved blessing falling like summer rain in the middle of a drought. This is the frustrating, paradoxical beauty of the promise of receiving God grace by Grace. If I step away from trying to provide an answer or an easy lens to read these verses from, I also find I am entranced by the idea that we are presented with somewhat of a contradiction in the text; one in which we must qualify for an undeserved blessing. The more I dig to try to find an answer, the more I learn how many answers there really are, and how many beautiful, wonderful ways God knows my heart; the more I sense God playing with language in the text to enchant me deeper and deeper into seeking; the more I find God saying, welcome. Isn’t it wonderful to try? Isn’t the exploration fun? This is the part of scriptural interpretation I find most compelling and most rewarding, because again, the God of surprises shows up where I least expect them to: in the pages of a book of scripture which frustrates and enrages me.

Finally, the last concept we come across before the revelation launches into very specific and personalized commandments for those present at the time is found in verses 33 and 34. Those read, “For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; and when separated, man cannot experience a fulness of joy.” I am excited to dive in to these verses because of the way they illustrate the interconnectedness of body and spirit.

A concept I have been working with for some time is the concept of body-escapism and body-denial. This was originally informed by the work of Rosemary Radford Ruether in her book Gaia and God, in which she describes the way Christian theology in general values logic, thought, and spirit as higher or better than the body, and how the body is seen as a kind of “dead weight” to the soul, something which is meaningless and ultimately intended to be joyfully left behind after death. Rather than this attitude being one born out of sacred text, this approach to the splitting of body and mind/spirit actually originates in early Greek philosophy, specifically Plato. Platonic thought is the foundation for the belief that the soul is eternal and immortal and had a pre-existence before its arrival into the body and would continue to exist in a disembodied state after death. Hebrew thought, on the other hand, believed that the soul or spirit is what Ruether calls the “animating” presence in the body. A good way to describe this is using an object lesson I was taught once in Primary.

The teacher placed a rubber glove on the table, which functioned as a symbol for the physical body. The teacher explained that without something to give the body life, the glove lay still and motionless on the table. Using their hand as a symbol of the soul or spirit, they placed their hand inside the glove, symbolizing the partnership between body and soul, and the glove “came to life.” It was clear from this example that the source of life in the body was not the body itself but something outside of it - the soul. This is an effective symbol for the concept of the soul viewed as the “animating” presence of the body. 

Hebrew thought continued to build on the foundation of the soul as the life-force in the body and further claimed that all future life, or life after death, happens with the resurrection of the body and a permanent fusion of body and spirit. Different traditions of Christianity attempt to fuse these two approaches in many varieties and combinations, but the current (“current” meaning “most popular and heavily taught over the last average 1000 years) approach in Western Christianity relies on heavy emphasis of the Platonic body/soul split. Ruether argues that this split “reinforces a view of the essential human as a transcendent, disembodied, immortal soul that can kick aside the physical world of bodily life, as its destiny is not an integral part of this bodily world.”

The consequences of this insistence on transcending the body and the earth have real, tangible consequences, especially when examined through the lens of ecofeminism. But today I want to stay with the body, and rather than finding something to critique in section 93, I find myself celebrating verses 33 and 34 as a purposeful deviation from the popular Christian demonization of the body.

These verses assert that the body and the soul are inextricably connected, and not only that, but that the fusion of this connection is joy. I appreciate this approach to the body because it grounds our theology in the lived and real present. It ties us, through the elements, to the earth and into a relationship to the here and now. A word that comes close to capturing this idea is the word immanence, which is defined as “the state of being present as a natural and permanent part of something.”

What I appreciate about this theological approach is that it pushes back on the body/spirit split and moves us close to integration, which can be another word for wholeness. Immanence is an attitude of conscious preservation and intentional presence. Mormonism, when the aspects of our doctrine which recognize the divinity of both the body and spirit are fully appreciated, presents a compelling approach with unique potential for the balance between immanence and transcendence.

When looking at these theologies theoretically, it is easy to celebrate the implications of a joyful embodied experience. But without a closer look at the lived experience of different bodies, this examination of immanence is incomplete.

In thinking of my own experiences, I recognize times when I feel the limitations of my body acutely. As someone who suffers from OCD, one of the most debilitating mental illnesses in the DSM-5, there are times I feel my body is a burden. There are times I hope to transcend it and leave the crippling limitations behind me so I can experience freedom. This reminds me that while I find hope and power in the idea of a fully embodied experience, I recognize that there are challenges to achieving a complete or whole experience, and that some of those challenges are not shared by everyone.

For example, a typical human body will experience certain universal types of challenges to experiencing wholeness, like illness and aging. But when we move from a universal understanding of bodies, we see instantly that not all bodies are made identically, and are certainly not treated identically. But the question that arrives on the coattails of the acknowledgement of the variety and inequality of varied presentation of bodies is this: what if our understanding of immanence and transcendence are flawed or lacking, and this influences our approach to both? Allow me to explain.

A person that is born with disability will experience unique challenges in an ableist society. But what if this is true because society has created disability and made it a block to wholeness, rather than integrating a person’s unique bodily existence into a collective wholeness? The same question can be asked for neurodivergent individuals as well.

Going with another example, a person that is born Black will experience unique challenges in Western societies. But what if this is true only because the Black experience has been made difficult, rather than difficulty being inherent in Blackness? Societies which honor and revere Blackness as part of the wholeness of a person will automatically be conducive to immanence.

Finding again another example, a person who is born queer will experience unique challenges in Western societies. But what if this is true only because queerness has been made difficult for them, rather than their queerness being inherently difficult? Societies which honor queerness as a valid presentation of embodied joy provide a smoother pathway to presence and immanence than those which claim queerness to be its own stumbling block.

While I don’t pretend to know all there is to know about the Black experience, or the disabled or nuerodivergent experience, or the queer experience, I hope that these act as entry points to a deeper examination of our understanding of what might be blocking an experience of embodied joy. Some questions I have about understanding immanence are, Am I trying to preach or achieve embodied joy in a world purposefully built to undermine it? What are the limitations of my current world experience which block myself and others from wholeness? Can I approach embodied joy through a balance of working to transcend the immediate physical circumstances and landscape in order to create a world that is more conducive to immanence?

What if transcendence and immanence are inseparably tied to one another, just like body and spirit? What if transcendence, the hope in a better world, a new reality, the act of dreaming and working toward something bright and beautiful, is like the inhale, the breath in which prepares us for the work of letting go, the exhale of immanence, of seeing and accepting things as they are, of rest, of finding the hidden beauty ever present in the world in the here and now? What if God is in the inhale and the exhale, in the transcending and the immanent, and even in the moments between?

What if, instead of pitting growth and acceptance against one another as one pits mind against body, an integration occurred? What if this integration is the meaning of embodiment? And again, what if the fusing element is the joy of wholeness?

Taking this interpretation further, what if this means that our individual joy and the joy of others is inextricably entwined? I cannot experience wholeness if I deny others their own. This then births the recognition that effective transcendence requires liberation, not only for myself, but for all, in order to birth the fulness of immanence. Said differently, joyful communal embodiment is a beautiful and scripturally supported envisioning of Zion. It is not only a possible result of the process of transcendent immanence, but it is one that has been encouraged throughout time and through sacred texts.

Friends, if you have made it this far in the episode, I applaud you! We dove deep today into section 93 and covered some big topics! We discussed The Word, the creative power of language, and the responsibility of caretaking language; we talked about Grace and qualification, what to do when the text presents contradictions, and the grandeur of a surprising God; and finally, we explored the historical and philosophical development of the theology regarding the relationship between body and spirit, its possible correlation with the concepts of  transcendence and immanence, and the implications of the fusion of the two to create a bright and beautiful future for us all.

Elise always brings a relatable and down-to-earth energy to the conversations we have on the podcast, and I have missed her easiness and talent for breaking big topics down into digestible pieces on this episode. I need her, we need her; because can you imagine if every episode of TFF was like this one? We would all fall asleep before we got halfway through. But I am grateful to have been able to share some of these more in-depth perspectives with you, and I hope that in doing so, you have found an entry point for exploring this week’s reading which resonates with you and calls you deeper. My hope for all our listeners is that you leave this episode with an excitement to explore the text and see what treasures it holds for you. 

We love you so much. See you next week! Bye.

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