Journal 43:4 | BYU Studies

Journal 43:4

Volume 43:4 (2004)
Richard Mouw, a prominent Protestant scholar, adds to the discussion between Evangelicals and Mormons by looking at our different ways of viewing America (is America a Zion or a Babylon?). Kent Bessey explains infinity in a way that helps us understand God's mysteries. Scott Faulring examines "The Articles of the Church of Christ," written by Oliver Cowdery in 1829, which was the earliest...Read more

What Does God Think about America? Some Challenges for Evangelicals and Mormons

I visited an Evangelical church once in my younger years where the sermon of the day featured a straightforward exposition of the teachings associated with dispensationalist premillennialism. The signs of the times are clear, the preacher said. Wars and rumors of wars. Earthquakes and famine. Widespread lawlessness. The prophetic clock is ticking. God's plan for the future of the earth centers on... Read more

To Journey Beyond Infinity

The notion of infinity has fascinated philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians for millennia. Its enigmatic nature seemed to thwart all attempts to unlock its secrets. Scriptural allusions to the infinite evoke a similar sense of mystery. Few have been as intrigued by the concept of infinity—or as tenacious in trying to understand it—as the German mathematician Georg Cantor. Between 1874 and... Read more

To Depict Infinity: The Artwork of Wulf Barsch

Wulf Barsch studied art in Hamburg and Hanover, Germany, and is now Professor of Visual Arts at BYU. Although Barsch gives order to his painting through mathematical precision and "sacred geometry"—divine proportions, circles, squares, parabolas, and the like—his brush stroke is loose, spontaneous, and very modern. The synthesis between the ancient Greek emphasis on proportion and his modern... Read more

Every Book . . . Has Been Read Through: The Brooklyn Saints and Harper's Family Library

On February 4, 1846, two groups of Latter-day Saints in the United States began their emigration out of the United States. The main body of the Church was leaving from Nauvoo, Illinois, under the leadership of Brigham Young, going overland to the West. The same day, also under instruction from Brigham Young, Samuel Brannan led a group from New York aboard the ship Brooklyn , going by sea around... Read more

An Examination of the 1829 "Articles of the Church of Christ" in Relation to Section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants

The 1829 "Articles of the Church of Christ" is a little-known antecedent to section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants. This article explores Joseph Smith's and Oliver Cowdery's involvement in bringing forth these two documents that were important in laying the foundation for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Section 20 was originally labeled the "Articles and Covenants." It was the... Read more

Joseph Smith and the Missouri Court of Inquiry: Austin A. King's Quest for Hostages

On November 1, 1838, the Mormon settlement at Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri, was surrounded by state militia troops commanded by Generals Samuel D. Lucas and Robert Wilson. Mormon leaders Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Parley P. Pratt, Lyman Wight, George Robinson, and Amasa Lyman were taken prisoner, and a court-martial was promptly conducted. General Lucas pronounced a sentence... Read more

Falling Leaves

I remember a day in the fall of 2001. I had just finished teaching my Honors 200 class at BYU and was walking north across campus. There was a crisp chill in the air; I noticed some leaves on the ground which hadn't yet been sucked up by the grounds crew. Normally I would have been enjoying my favorite season, but my heart was heavy. I had stayed after class to talk to Andy about his paper. There... Read more

By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture That Launched a World Religion

The publication of Terryl Givens's By the Hand of Mormon by Oxford University Press represents a breakthrough in the history of Mormon scholarship. Like its impressive predecessor, The Viper on the Hearth, it offers a sympathetic approach to Mormonism that--with the distinct exception of the books on Mormon history issued by such presses as the University of Illinois, Alfred A. Knopf, and the... Read more

By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture That Launched a World Religion

Ambitious in concept and scope, Terryl L. Givens's By the Hand of Mormon is a unique study of the Book of Mormon, the founding scripture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Unlike many academic treatments of the Book of Mormon, Givens's study seeks neither to defend nor to challenge the truth-claims inherent in the Mormon scripture and the story of its coming forth. It examines,... Read more

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

On the face of it, Jon Krakauer's latest piece of investigative journalism is a gripping and gruesome story of the men behind the 1984 murders of Brenda and Erica Lafferty in American Fork, Utah. Dan and Ron Lafferty, members of an upstanding Latter-day Saint family in Utah, had become involved in the world of Mormon fundamentalism. It was through their participation within this network of... Read more

Enduring Ties: Poems of Family Relationships

A seasoned poetry editor of a national magazine with a circulation of 500,000 admitted he didn't much care for poetry anthologies. It wasn't the poems he minded (thank goodness), so much as the sometimes awkward umbrellas under which the poems were forced to gather. "Not another anthology," one can imagine him groaning. A visit to almost any bookstore will reveal a plethora (he might say "glut")... Read more

A Widow's Tale: The 1884-1896 Diary of Helen Mar Kimball Whitney

"I feel very feeble," wrote Helen Mar Kimball Whitney on November 23, 1884, the day after her husband, Horace K. Whitney, passed away. "There has been nothing left undone that love & friendship could administer," she added the following day, nearly two weeks after beginning the journal that she would keep for the next twelve years. The thirteen consecutive diaries, housed at Utah State... Read more