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

What You’ll Read About in the New Institute Manual on Early Church History

Some time ago I blogged about a new seminary manual on the Doctrine and Covenants released by the Church. The manual is significant because it includes discussions of sensitive topics related to Church history, such as the multiple accounts of the First Vision, the Mountain Meadows Massacre and the Utah War, the history of plural … Read more

10 Commandments for Balancing the Life of the Mind and Spirt on Campus

Sound advice. The Latter-day Saint historian and theologian Philip Barlow has what he calls his “Ten Commandments for LDS students attempting to balance faith and learning while at college.” They are: 1. “Seek truth, seek good, and bind them together” 2. “Do not disparage the intellect” 3. “Understand that reason is not the only avenue … Read more

Jackets and Assumptions

Pictured: yours truly wearing his beloved jacket, in the presence of one D. Vader and one S. Trooper. Last week I visited my family in Idaho. The evening I arrived, my parents and I went out to dinner to celebrate our reunion and to catch up on things. Everything went great. The next morning I … Read more

A Note on Apologetics

One of the first exercises I was given when I began learning Greek was to practice my pronunciation by reading aloud the opening lines of Plato’s Apology of Socrates. How you, O Athenians, have been affected by my accusers, I cannot tell; but I know that they almost made me forget who I was—so persuasively … Read more

A Nice Thought From Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan (1972–). There are those who will call [No god but God] an apology [for Islam], but that is hardly a bad thing. An apology is a defense, and there is no higher calling than to defend one’s faith, especially from ignorance and hate, and thus help shape the story of that faith. (Reza … Read more

“The Problem With History Classes”

Michael Conway, writing for The Atlantic, has some excellent observations on “[s]ingle-perspective narratives” in historiography, which he claims “do students a gross disservice.” Conway, using the recent controversy over the movie Selma‘s portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson and other films on historical figures as his catalyst, explains the perils of boiling down history into reductionistic … Read more