A Review of the Annotated Edition of the Book of Mormon (Part 1)

Part 1 ⎜Part 2⎜Part 3A⎜Part 3b⎜Part 3C⎜Part 3D ⎜Part 3E ⎜Part 4⎜Part 5⎜Part 6⎜Part 7⎜Part 8⎜Postscript Introduction Review of David R. Hocking and Rodney L. Meldrum, eds., Annotated Edition of the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, Utah: Digital Legend Publishing, 2018). 583 pp. $69.95 (hardcover). Preface Readers of this blog know that I have not made my disapproval of … Read more

Top 20 Evils You’re Responsible For By Believing the Book of Mormon

John Hamer, a Community of Christ pastor and cartographer, recently went on John Dehlin’s podcast Mormon Stories and made the following observation: It’s not only that it’s academically impossible to justify arguing that the Book of Mormon is an ancient text, it’s actually an ongoing contribution to the injustice, the racism, imperialism, and genocide that … Read more

Retrograde Nelson

The ascendency of Russell M. Nelson to the presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on January 14, 2018 was met in some corners with fear and trembling. In a post at the popular blog By Common Consent that was eventually deleted, one blogger flatly declared that “President Nelson is particularly unfit … Read more

Fifty MORE Positives to Leaving the LDS Church

In the true spirit of the vapid, infantilizing, click-baity, intellectually-stifling Internet garbage of BuzzFeed, Zelph on the Shelf has a helpful list of “59 Positives to Leaving the LDS Church.” It’s a quality list as far as shallow, attention-seeking, desperate-to-be-cool Internet lists go. But I couldn’t help but notice that several more positives to leaving … Read more

What An Original Apostle Said About The Name of the Church

In a recent post I showed that President Russell M. Nelson’s recent General Conference talk on the correct name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not outside of the mainstream of Latter-day Saint discourse on this point. This morning while doing research on another topic I came across Elder Orson Hyde‘s … Read more

A “Mormon” By Any Other Name

During the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson delivered an address to the membership of the Church in which he stressed the importance of “The Correct Name of the Church.” These remarks came amidst much discussion surrounding an announcement President Nelson had made two months … Read more

Yes, Joseph Smith Really Did Use a Seer Stone in the Translation of the Book of Mormon

Last week I attended part of the 22nd International Book of Mormon Evidences Conference hosted by the FIRM Foundation. One of the presentations on Friday morning was delivered by James F. and L. Hannah Stoddard of the Joseph Smith Foundation. The title of the presentation was “Urim & Thummim or the Seer Stone & Hat?” … Read more

Book Review: “We’ll Sing and We’ll Shout: The Life and Times of W. W. Phelps”

Review of Bruce A. Van Orden. We’ll Sing and We’ll Shout: The Life and Times of W. W. Phelps. Provo and Salt Lake City, UT. Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University and Deseret Book. 2018. 509pp. + index. ‎$31.99.  William Wines Phelps (1792–1872) is without a doubt one of the most colorful and fascinating figures in … Read more

Seven Reasons Why Letter VII Is Not A Heartlander Silver Bullet

The so-called Heartland model for the geography of the Book of Mormon is built on a foundation of fraud. Fraudulent artifacts, fraudulent science, fraudulent theology, and fraudulent history secured in place by racist ethno-nationalism are the four cornerstones of Heartlanderism. (By Heartlanderism I do not mean general belief in a North American setting for the … Read more