BYU Studies volume 49, no. 4, features six articles, leading off with Jeffrey Chadwick's article exploring the date of birth of Jesus Christ. He uses historical and scriptural evidence to propose that Christ was born in December 5 B.C.
Next in the issue is an excerpt from a forthcoming book of the best speeches of Robert K. Thomas (1918-1998). This speech describes how we can successfully accomplish great work with genuine faith and creativity. Then, George Handley describes a poetics of the Restoration: a way of seeing the humanities as a key to furthering our understanding of truth and expanding our views of God and humankind.
Casey Griffiths examines the conflict between religious faith and religious scholarship through the experience of eleven LDS scholars who studied at the University of Chicago School of Divinity in the 1930s. Boyd Edwards and Farrell Edwards use statistical admissibility tests to counter claims that chiasmus appears without the intention of the author in many writings. They verify that certain passages in the Old Testament and in the Book of Mormon show deliberate chiasmus, while Strangite scripture, the Doctrine and Covenants, nursery rhymes, Dr. Seuss, and other works are not intentionally chiastic. Hal Robert Boyd and Susan Easton Black present a never-before-published letter written to Joseph Smith by a visitor to Nauvoo in 1844. The letter's author, Robert McCorkle, had a very favorable impression of Nauvoo, and he wrote his comments and questions in verse. Susan Easton Black writes about an LDS newspaper printed in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1854 to 1855. The content of the paper included articles defending polygamy, news from the Salt Lake Valley, local Church news, advice on immigration to Utah, missionary news, marriage and death notices, and more.
An essay by David Milo Kirkham describes his interactions with animals and suggests that the human stewardship over animals should be more nuanced and thoughtful than always protecting animals or always dominating them. Finally, this issue also includes poetry and book reviews.