We are happy to announce that BYU Studies Quarterly, volume 56, number 2, is now available. Subscribers to both print and digital versions can access all the articles on our website.
The cover of this issue features a unique stained glass window from an LDS meetinghouse in La Canada, California. It portrays Jesus Christ knocking on a door, with a kind expression that sends a message of invitation to all. The window also shows the sticks of Judah and Joseph, a dove of peace, gold keys, two hands gripping one another, and the all-seeing eye of God, all symbols of peace, authority, and covenants. These gospel-grounded principles are realized in the pages of BYU Studies Quarterly. First, Gregory Steven Dundas digs deep into the topic of kingship and democracy in the Book of Mormon and suggests that the change from kingship to a weaker government of "judges" contributed to the ultimate disintegration of the Nephites. Michael J. Call also looks at the Book of Mormon, showing how Abish and others function as model readers, exhibiting the traits and competencies that the Book of Mormon authors expected the future reader of their text to bring to their reading. Dana M. Pike asks if Latter-day Saints have correctly understood the meaning of "the breath of life" as it appears in ancient texts. Christopher Blythe places an early LDS convert's vision in the context of the Saints learning about baptism for the dead. Poet Lance Larsen presents extracts from his journal, with an introduction by Casualene Meyer. These extracts give a glimpse into "the inner life, a perspective that clarifies the creative process." A personal essay and several book reviews round out this issue.