085.2: Living Righteously in a Wicked World; OT Lesson 8 (Study Notes)

Living Righteously in a Wicked World

The episode continues by wrestling with fundamental issues. We dig deeper into the nature of scripture, the question of what is right and wrong, and explore how we can live well even in the midst of opposition. I think this will prove one of the best episodes of Engaging Gospel doctrine because it provides so many resources and ideas on how to live authentically and well.

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Class Member ReadingGenesis 13141819

Additional ReadingGenesis 12Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:25-4019:9-15

Other Reading: Abraham 1-2; Genesis 12-25

JenniferJustin, and Hannah continue their valuable discussion.

You can access the Assigned Reading here (or PDF)

You can access the Lesson Notes here (or PDF)


Lesson Part 2

0:00        Overview

1:48        Other Character Vignettes

12:15     Homosexuality in the Bible

Study Notes

21:05     Living in a “Wicked” World

Discussion Part 2

28:01     Sins of Sodom

Discussion Part 3

42:32     Sin, Wickedness, and Righteousness

52:00     Moral Relativism

1:03:40  Talking Homosexuality, and Other Things



Living Righteously

TED talk on using peer/social pressure to encourage good decisions 

Dan Ariely on factors that influence our decisions 

Introduction to the Handbook of Sociology of Morality 

A longer article on the same topic 

A dense but interesting article on how culture/environment motivates and justifies our decisions

Soul Searching, book about the influence of religious activity on teenagers 

Why People Do Good Things (The Good Show), RadioLab

Academic article on resilience in the face of adversity 

A Wicked World?  (I wasn’t able to find a good source on the current cultural dangers, which genuinely are real)

A post about dealing with the narrative of Sodom and Gomorrah in a sensitive way

Is the world getting worse? Mormon Matters

Is the world getting worse? FeministMormonHousewives

TED talk on the abundant future 

How the world is getting better, BigThink

Why things aren’t getting worse, Patheos

Social Media, Political Change, and Human Rights 


Thanks to James Estrada for some wicked fast editing, and to Steven Nelson for the beautiful bumper music.

Latest Comments

  1. Ignacio M. Garcia says:


    I fully accept that you have a particular approach to the scriptures which I don’t always agree with but I respect your right to have it, but I am a bit bothered that you only bring people on your program that agree with you, or seem to feel like they have to follow your lead. I can’t say that I have listened to all your podcasts since you started but in the last year in which I have, I don’t remember anyone pushing back seriously on anything you’ve said, even when you’ve gone out on a limb saying things that go along with your views but have no foundation in scripture or evidence. You have a “view” of God and then argue that we should read the scriptures according to that view. That God wouldn’t do this or that because it seems immoral to you. that is fine but it would be more helpful if you got people who might have a different view of God and then see where the conversation leads. We listen to learn but not necessarily to agree with what you say and sometimes the lessons are only about how you see the scriptures. Sometimes these podcasts turn into a feast of affirmation of a particular point of view. I don’t mind a liberal view as I consider myself liberal in many of my perceptions of the scriptures but I also understand that no one’s mortal philosophy gets it all right, that is why I search and listen to a number of points of view so that I can then take that to my study and reflect on it and pray to get my personal thoughts on the ideas discussed. For the most part I love your podcasts but sometimes they seem more an attempt to convince us of your personal views than an actual discussion of the scriptures. So let’s get a bit more diverse and get some real discussions going.


    • Jared Anderson says:

      Thanks for your comment Ignacio. I sincerely appreciate it, and thanks for listening! I actually work extremely hard to invite people with a broad range of views. In fact, I even try to think through what range is possible and then see if I can represent them. By all means, please join the podcast and be the change you suggest.


  2. Jennifer says:

    So I kind of wondered, what were the women of Sodom and Gomorrah like? The story emphasized how every last man came to rape the strangers, but doesn’t say anything about the women. Do we assume that they were as wicked as the men, or do we assume that only the men matter and women can be wiped out with them whether they were wicked or not? When Abraham challenges God about it, he doesn’t specify the gender of the people he is talking about, so I guess we can go with the first assumption. Or maybe all the women had left already because living in a city full of rapists didn’t agree with them.They were probably just busy doing other kinds of wickedness.


  3. Cathy says:

    When Hannah talked about starving in Sunday School, I yelled AMEN. Thank you, Jared, for seeing the hunger and providing food. I found your podcast more than a year ago, and I’ve been a faithful listener ever since. You have helped me appreciate and act upon terms like “push back,” “challenge and be challenged by, ” and “down the rabbit hole.”


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