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

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

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

“Faith in the Past: Church History in an Information Age”

J. Spencer Fluhman, associate professor of history at Brigham Young University. Professor J. Spencer Fluhman delivered an excellent devotional talk at the LDS Business College some time ago (I recall encountering this article for the first time back in 2014, when I believe it was delivered) that is worth reposting here. (Hat tip to Dan Peterson … 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

“Joseph Smith: Seer, Translator, Revelator, and Prophet”

Professor Alexander L. Baugh is a professor of Church History at Brigham Young University. He is the author of numerous articles on early Church history and wrote the magnificent dissertation A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense of Northern Missouri, one of the definitive works on the 1838 Mormon War. You can read the … Read more