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

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

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

Finding God in Nature

Inside the Sacred Grove. While serving as a missionary in New England, I heard it all the time: “Oh, I don’t need organized religion. I can find God when I go in nature.” I would scoff to my companion after the encounter. “Really, you tree-hugging Vermonter hipster? You can find God in some trees?” Being … Read more

Resources on the First Vision

“One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Joseph Smith–––History 1:17) Joseph Smith’s First Vision has attracted considerable criticism over the years. For anyone who may have encountered criticisms of the First Vision and are looking for some good resources responding … Read more

Another Note on Joseph Smith’s Accounts of His First Vision

The First Vision by Joni Susanto. I must confess that I’ve never really been bothered by the fact that Joseph Smith left different accounts of his First Vision. Even as a teenager, when I first heard about the different accounts, I realized pretty quickly that most of the “contradictions” between the accounts were largely inconsequential, and … Read more