Several short pieces in this issue were written in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of BYU Studies. Another short piece by Doris Dant looks at the way pioneers crafted furniture to make the graining match beautifully. And another article, by Jed L. Woodworth, looks at the financial difficulties experienced by the small, yet divinely commissioned Brigham Young Academy. Eric Eliason asserts that conversion stories are often overlooked, but are some of the most important stories in all of folklore. Richard Dilworth Rust, in his article, compares Joseph Smith and Herman Melville as deep thinkers of their time.