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

“Believing Women” Includes Believing Joseph Smith’s Plural Wives

The recent news concerning Joseph L. Bishop, the former president of the Provo Missionary Training Center (1983–1986) who admitted to sexual misconduct with one sister missionary and is accused of attempted rape of another, has rightly outraged many. So “serious and deeply disturbing” are the allegations that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints … 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: “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