The Presidential Advisor and Special Envoy to the Middle East, Dr. Alwi Shihab, visited BYU on October 10, 2006. His forum address was a historic occasion. It was unprecedented for a member of the Quorum of the Twelve to introduce a guest speaker—not with just a few words, but with a significant message. In "Building Bridges of Understanding: The Church and the World of Islam" and "Building Bridges of Harmony through Understanding," President Packer and Dr. Shihab emphasize that radical interpretations of religion threaten all—Christians, Muslims, and those of other faiths.
Some critics of the Smith family have suggested that their behavior at the deaths of Alvin and Joseph Sr. are indicative of mental instability. Not so, says Dr. Samuel Brown. In his insightful and thoroughly researched article "The 'Beautiful Death' in the Smith Family," he shows that their bereavement fits comfortably within the "Beautiful Death" culture of antebellum America.
Karl G. Maeser's influence upon Brigham Young University and its sponsoring church cannot be underestimated, but what, we might ask, created within this gifted teacher an insatiable curiosity about Mormonism at a time when missionaries were not even allowed into his country? The surprising answer, suggests A. LeGrand Richards in "Moritz Busch's Die Mormonen and the Conversion of Karl G. Maeser," is an anti-Mormon book written by a prestigious German journalist and editor.
In the early 1920s, an economic depression hit Utah. The Church was suddenly faced with an unfortunate decision: maintain the colleges and academies the Church already operated or pull completely out of academic instruction to make way for religious education and the growing seminary program. In "Charting the Future of Brigham Young University: Franklin S. Harris and the Changing Landscape of the Church's Educational Network, 1921-1926," Gordon Daines examines the ways in which BYU President Franklin S. Harris paved the way for Brigham Young University to remain the Church's institution of higher learning, while other LDS colleges and academies around the state were closed or sold.
In "Strangers in a Strange Land: Accessing the Experience of Latter-day Saint Expatriates Families," James Toronto discusses the pros and cons of living the LDS expatriate life. Complete with stories from his personal interviews, Toronto discusses the effect expatriate life has on family relationships, personal testimonies, and respecting cultural diversity.
"This was, frankly, the most fun I had ever had in the Church," writes Kendall Moss, referring to his experiences in Guinea, Africa. His article, "Alhamdulilah: The Apparently Accidental Establishment of the Church in Guinea," highlights several conditions that converged at just the right time so that a Church branch could be formed in that country.
Mark B. Nelson and Steven C. Harper bring to light recently discovered court documents of a trial that sent Martin Harris to jail.