Education Week Feature | BYU Studies

Education Week Feature

"Understanding the Council of Fifty and Its Minutes"
July 24, 2017
Education Week Feature
"Understanding the Council of Fifty and Its Minutes"
Author BYU Studies Staff,

This year BYU Studies is again sponsoring classes at Campus Education Week, August 21–25, 2017, on BYU campus in Provo, Utah. Whether or not you are able to attend, we invite you to read the articles on which the presentations will be based.

Ronald K. Esplin's article "Understanding the Council of Fifty and Its Minutes," was published in BYU Studies 55, no. 3. Ronald Esplin will be giving his presentation "Introduction to the Council of Fifty and Its Records" on Aug. 22 at 1:50 in 2258–2260 CONF as part of the Best of BYU Studies series.

Article Summary:

Joseph Smith organized the Council of Fifty, a civic body of leading Mormon men as well as a few non-Mormons, in March 1844 in Nauvoo, Illinois. William Clayton took minutes of the Nauvoo meetings. Minutes of the Council of Fifty are now published in full by The Joseph Smith Papers project. These minutes preserve teachings and statements of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young on government and related topics and convey the intensity of feelings about the injustices the Saints had suffered in Missouri and Illinois. This council became Joseph Smith's forum of choice for managing his presidential campaign and his goal of finding a way that the Saints could safely exercise their religion.

Below is a list of BYU Studies authors who are presenting classes independently.

Jared W. Ludlow


  • "Testimony and the Four R's of the Holy Spirit (Youth)"—138–144 RB, Monday, Aug. 21, 1:50
  • "The Importance of Jerusalem in Religious History and in the Future"—3220–3224 WSC, Tue.–Fri., Aug. 22–25, 1:50
  • "The Apocrypha—What's in It and Where Did It Come From?"—3220–3224 WSC, Tue.–Fri., Aug. 22–25, 3:10

Works published in BYU Studies:

Kerry Muhlestein


  • "God's Unceasing, Relentless Love in the Old Testament"—Varsity, WSC, Monday, Aug. 21, 8:30
  • "God's Love in Old Testament History and Its Contrasts with Ancient and Modern False Gods"—Varsity, WSC, Monday, Aug. 21, 9:50
  • "Finding Old Testament Symbols That Move Us to the Atoning Power of Deliverance"—Varsity, WSC, Monday, Aug, 21, 11:10
  • "The Breathtaking Book of Abraham: How We Got It, Answers to Questions about It, and What We Can Learn"—Auditorium, JSB, Tue.–Fri., Aug. 22–25, 8:30
  • "Beholding Christ and His Prophets: A Virtual Tour of the Holy Land . . .Understanding Biblical Stories"—Auditorium, JSB, Tue.–Fri., Aug. 22–25, 8:30

Works published in BYU Studies:

For more information, please refer to the Education Week schedule, available online at:

This year, the BYU Studies sponsored series are:

The Best of BYU Studies: Ronald K. Esplin, Jeffrey N. Walker, Austin A. Robinson, Daniel W. Graham
2258–2260 CONF, Tue.–Fri., Aug. 22–25, 1:50
T: "Introduction to the Council of Fifty and Its Records" (Esplin)
W: "The Kirtland Safety Society: Its Rise, Fall, and Aftermath" (Walker)
Th: "Revisiting a Surgical Milestone: Russell M. Nelson and Tricuspid Valve Annuloplasty" (Robinson)
F: "Socrates' Mission" (Graham)

From the New Testament Commentary: Richard D. Draper, Julie M. Smith
1102 JKB, Tue.–Fri., Aug. 22–25, 3:10
"A More Excellent Way: Insights from Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians" (Draper)

2107 JKB, Tue.–Fri., Aug. 22–25, 3:10
"Hidden in Plain Sight: Treasures from the Gospel of Mark" (Smith)