Volume 45, number 2, features two articles about Joseph Smith. Terryl Givens's BYU devotional address given in November 2005, describes how Joseph's radical (for his time) conception of human nature and human relationships led men to greatness. David Paulsen examines seven points of Joseph's theology, summarizing Joseph's teachings, the traditional Christian view, and new Christian ideas.
In 1897, President Wilford Woodruff made an audio recording mentioning Joseph Smith giving a charge to the Twelve Apostles. In volume 45, number 2, Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Steven C. Harper describe the recording technology of 1897, the circumstances that produced President Woodruff's recording, and the message it contains. Six BYU scholars discuss the Gospel of Judas. Corbin Volluz traces the historical development and use of the phrase "elder brother" as applied to Jesus Christ.
Volume 45, number 3 shares Chad Orton's thorough research on rescuers from the Salt Lake Valley carrying members of the Martin Company across the freezing Sweetwater River and its aftereffects on the men involved. Three BYU engineering professors and one of their graduate students combined conventional historical research with a modern engineering analysis to explain how Joseph Smith and his followers drained a disease-infested swamp to make Nauvoo, Illinois, habitable. Renowned scholar Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame, offers an intriguing look at what the Catholic Church was saying about the Mormons in an article that appeared in a notable Italian journal in May 1860.
The Presidential Advisor and Special Envoy to the Middle East, Dr. Alwi Shihab, visited BYU on October 10, 2006. This special guest speaker was introduced by President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In Volume 45, number 4, President Packer and Dr. Shihab emphasize that radical interpretations of religion threaten all--Christians, Muslims, and those of other faiths. Dr. Samuel Brown's insightful and thoroughly researched article shows that the Smith family's bereavement at the deaths of Alvin and Joseph Sr. fits comfortably within the "beautiful death" culture of antebellum America.