Here we go.
It's a new year, with new directions and a new Sunday School manual.
This year we're taking on the New Testament — my favorite of the four-year cycle.
I'm looking forward to it.
So, to help kick things off, let me make a leap (go get your Nikes).
I once mentioned that a psychologist claimed you could tell a lot a about person by asking the name of their favorite Beatle.
George was the spacey one — all exotic philosophy and sitars.
John was the edgy one — pushing the frontiers, writing provocative points of view.
Paul was the poetic one — marveling at love and other wonders of life.
And Ringo was, well, Ringo.
I don't know if what that psychologist said is true about the Beatles.
But I do think you can learn a lot about a person by asking about their favorite scriptures, especially asking them to name their favorite Gospel in the New Testament.
In traditional Christian scholarship, each Gospel has its own symbol and own approach.
Matthew's symbol is the lion. Matthew emphasizes the role of Jesus as the Lion of Judah, the King of the Jews. In his Gospel, Jesus is Deity made flesh, the Ruler of the nations.
The symbol for Mark is a man. Mark writes about the journeys and daily happenings in the life of Jesus. He follows Jesus as he interacts with the people.
Luke is represented by the ox — not because his Gospel is dumb or strong, but because it is peaceful. Luke writes about relationships and emotional moments. Some call Luke the "Woman's Gospel."
And finally, there's John the eagle. The Gospel of John sees things from a high perch. It is filled with perspective and insight. Events in the life of Jesus are recast in John to show their eternal significance.
I think all four have their place, of course. They harmonize together like, I don't know, like the Beatles, I guess. Each has a part to play.
But I have to confess, I have a special spot for the Gospel of Mark. I like the earthy descriptions of Mark. Sometimes, I can almost see the dust on the sandals of the apostles. I also like the way Mark begins about half the verses in his Gospel with the word "And." It's as if he can't wait to get the word out. He's excited to spread the "Good News."
OK. That's my version.
Now for yours.
When I asked readers to send along the names of their favorite Christmas carols in December, I was moved and lifted by the personal stories and reasons that came along with the titles. It was like getting a basket of loaves and fishes every day. And being a rather selfish soul, and always hungry, I've decided to ask you to do the same with your favorite Gospel — or you can give a reason why you have more than one favorite or have none at all.
Just send your thoughts to the e-mail at the bottom of this column.
I'll put as many of the responses as I can in my Mormon Times column two weeks from now.
And happy New (Testament) Year.