In this issue of BYU Studies, you'll find a variety of articles, essays, poetry, and reviews related to Latter-day Saint history and culture.
First, Edward L. Kimball presents a marvelous account of the 1978 revelation granting the priesthood to worthy men of all races. Beginning with a brief history of the priesthood ban, the article then traces President Spencer W. Kimball's personal support of the Church's longtime position until, at the death of President Harold B. Lee, it suddenly became his problem. The subsequent process by which President Kimball became convinced that the time for change had come, and how he involved his counselors and the Twelve in preparing for the divine manifestation that followed, is one of the finest examples of leadership in Church history.
In an essay written thirty years after the revelation on priesthood, Marcus H. Martins, the first black missionary called after the revelation, reflects on what the change in priesthood policy has meant in his own life and in the Church.
One important area in the study of Joseph Smith's New Translation of the New Testament remains largely untouched—the markings the Prophet made when he transitioned from dictation of the entire New Testament to merely marking an already printed Bible. Some of these notations were made in pen and some in pencil; the two sets of markings also use different systems of notation. The authors explain these pen and pencil markings, discuss the editorial procedures Smith followed after he and his scribes completed their initial pass of the New Testament, and examine some clues about the preparation of the manuscripts for publication.
Long before Friberg and Teichert, artists created narrative images of the Book of Mormon. The first published illustrations were made for The Story of the Book of Mormon, (1888), a text used in Church education. The Book of Mormon text was simplified by George Reynolds, and the illustrators were William Armitage, George Ottinger, John Held Sr., and William Morris. In his article "'A Picturesque and Dramatic History': George Reynolds's Story of the Book of Mormon," Noel A. Carmack discusses the artists' lives and the fine art that influenced them. The article contains twenty-three illustrations, fourteen of which are reproduced from The Story of the Book of Mormon.
Elliott Oring, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at California State University, Los Angeles, reviews Eric Elaison's J. Golden Kimball Stories and Richard Cracroft reviews Douglas Thayer's Hooligan, a Mormon Boyhood. Enjoy a dozen reviews on a wide range of subjects, from books and movies to art exhibits.