Gadiantonism as a Counterfeit Temple Priesthood

A depiction of Cain slaying Abel by Gustave Doré. The Gadianton Robbers are infamous among readers of the Book of Mormon. The phrase “secret combination(s),” now synonymous among Latter-day Saints for conspiracy, was used by Mormon to describe them (Helaman 2:8; 3:23; 6:38). They are introduced in the book of Helaman during “the fortieth year of … Read more

Book Review: Embracing the Law: Reading Doctrine and Covenants 42

Click to enlarge Section 42 of the Doctrine and Covenants is arguably one of the more seminal sections of this book of restoration scripture, alongside other important sections including 20 (the Articles and Covenants of the Church), 76 (the Vision), 110 (Kirtland Temple theophanies), 119 (revelation on tithing), 121 (Joseph Smith’s Liberty Jail pleadings), and … Read more

On the Internet, Libraries, and Seeking

Pictured: techies at Google headquarters in ancient Alexandria polishing their search engine algorithms (ca. 56 BC). Steven C. Harper (who holds a PhD in early American history from Lehigh University) is a former professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University, a current editor at the Joseph Smith Papers Project, and a historian … Read more

As Far As It Is Translated Correctly: Translation, Interpretation, and Revelation

The first half of the eighth Article of Faith reads, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.” This simple statement captures the theological position on the Bible accepted by Latter-day Saints. Unlike their Protestant friends, Latter-day Saints reject the doctrine of sola scriptura and instead … Read more

“Whose Fruit was Desirable to Make One Happy”: The True Story of José Almerich

José Almerich (left) with my uncle Matthew Stevens (right) circa 1973–1976. This account was written by my mother Jill Stevens Smoot. The following transcription has standardized and corrected some grammar, spelling, and punctuation.  This is the true story of José Almerich. From 1973–1976 my father, Robert V. Stevens, along with his wife Sue Stevens and their … Read more