Book Review: First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins

Review of Steven C. Harper, First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins (New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2019). 262 pp. + index. Print: $35.00. Ebook: $14.00.   Oh, how lovely was the morning!Radiant beamed the sun above.Bees were humming, sweet birds singing,Music ringing thru the grove,When within the shady woodlandJoseph sought the God of love. … 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

The Dawning of a Brighter Day

[Crossposted from the Interpreter Blog] Review of Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days: The Standard of Truth: 1815–1846 (Salt Lake City, UT: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2018). 586 pp., $5.75 print, $1.99 digital. Abstract: The new volume Saints: The Story of the Church of … Read more

Triple Book Review: New Mormon Theology Seminar Volumes

The Neal A. Maxwell Institute’s Mormon Theology Seminar continues to release interesting publications highlighting and exploring key Mormon scriptural texts. The latest wave of publications, three volumes dedicated to analyzing 1 Nephi 1, Jacob 7, and Genesis 2–3, adds to this growing list and gives readers helpful new resources for better understanding these passages. In … Read more

Book Review: The Council of Fifty: What the Records Reveal about Mormon History

The remarkable work of the Joseph Smith Papers Project has continued unabated since the publication of Journals, Volume 1: 1832–1839 in 2008. Last year the Church Historian’s Press, which publishes the volumes of the series, released Administrative Records, Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844–January 1846. This landmark occasion has finally brought to light a set … Read more

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

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 132 (the revelation … Read more

Book Review: Joseph Smith’s Seer Stones

Joseph Smith’s Seer Stones (2016) At a church conference on October 25–26, 1831, the topic of the translation of the Book of Mormon arose and Joseph Smith was pressed to furnish the details pertaining thereto. According to the minutes taken at the conference, “Br. Joseph Smith jr. said that it was not intended to tell … Read more

Book Review: “Let Your Hearts and Minds Expand: Reflections on Faith, Reason, Charity, and Beauty”

Click to enlarge  The Neal A. Maxwell Institute’s “Living Faith” series adds another volume alongside its already respectable roster of books with the publication of Let Your Hearts and Minds Expand: Reflections on Faith, Reason, Charity, and Beauty. The book is a collection of essays and poetry by Thomas F. Rogers, a Latter-day Saint playwright and … Read more

Book Review: “A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine & Church History”

When I was in junior high school I attended a performance of Annie Get Your Gun that was put on by a nearby high school. I vividly remember the number “Anything You Can Do” because the actress playing Annie Oakley broke or sprained her ankle in the middle of the performance (she badly misstepped during … Read more