Journal 51:1 | BYU Studies

Journal 51:1

Volume 51:1 (2012)
With volume 51, number 1, BYU Studies announces the change of its name to BYU Studies Quarterly . This new name distinguishes our journal from other departments at Brigham Young University. This issue contains a variety of articles: first is a documentary article on a newly released record kept in 1835 for the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church. Also related to the Joseph Smith Papers...Read more

The Record of the Twelve, 1835: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles' Call and 1835 Mission

In 2011, the Joseph Smith Papers Project of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made public a document created in 1835 by Orson Hyde and William E. McLellin. That document is presented in its entirety here with an introduction and editorial notes. Ronald Esplin and Sharon Nielsen, members of the editorial team of the Joseph Smith Papers, give historical context of the document: in... Read more

Pools of Living Water: No Longer a Thirsty Land?

St. George native Bruce Hafen tells how the settlers of this southern Utah town shaped and were shaped by the harsh terrain. His ancestors, who were among those Mormon pioneers who settled here, brought with them principles of faith, sacrifice, and hard work. It is crucial that today's people pass those principles to future generations through example and sharing family histories. Hafen compares... Read more

Stripping the Kitchen Floor

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Mormonism in the Methodist Marketplace: James Covel and the Historical Background of Doctrine and Covenants 39–40

Joseph Smith received two revelations in January 1831 (Doctrine and Covenants 39 and 40) directed to one "James Covill." Joseph and his scribes noted that Covill "had been a Baptist minister for about forty years." Historians discovered nothing about a Baptist minister named James Covill, but documents unearthed by the Joseph Smith Papers Project revealed that he was actually a Methodist minister... Read more

Anticipating the Year 2000: Howard Nielson, BYU, and Statistics

In the 1950s, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints considered creating BYU satellite campuses around the western United States and asked BYU President Ernest Wilkinson to recommend locations. At the same time, Stanford researcher Howard Nielson created a careful projection of future demand for wood in America that drew much attention. Wilkinson hired Nielson to create a... Read more

Eve, the apple was a pomegranate—

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A New Pneumatology: Comparing Joseph Smith's Doctrine of the Spirit with His Contemporaries and the Bible

While Joseph Smith's teachings on the Holy Ghost appear to fall within the mainstream of the enthusiastic outbursts of the Second Great Awakening (circa 1800–1840), a closer look shows that his restored doctrines made an abrupt and radical departure from the pneumatology of his day. Many historians interpret Joseph's claim to revelation as a creative response to the cultural and religious... Read more

The Medical Practice of Dr. Frederick G. Williams

Frederick Granger Williams (1787-1842) was a leader in the early days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but also served as a justice of the peace, scribe, editor, and medical practitioner. In the early nineteenth century, the medical profession was in its infancy, beginning a slow shift from barbaric practices (generally bleeding and calomel) to herbal treatments that were at... Read more

One Eternal Round

Hugh Nibley began serious research on One Eternal Round as early as 1988. When Nibley's long-time colleague Michael D. Rhodes took over the project following Nibley's death in 2005, he was faced with thirty boxes of research notes and drafts, 450 computer files, and as many as twenty versions of one chapter. Fortunately, Michael is familiar with most of Nibley's prodigious output, as well as the... Read more

Dispensation: Latter-day Fiction

In her preface to Dispensation, Angela Hallstrom writes that "immersing oneself in a completely foreign place or time is one of the fundamental pleasures of reading good literature," which is certainly the lesson I learned from reading Hemingway, Steinbeck, and countless other writers in my teenage years. Even today, I make a habit of reading books by authors of various backgrounds so that my... Read more

The Introduction of Mormonism to Finnish Society, 1840–1900

If one were to ask a returned missionary from Finland, or even a member of the Church in Finland, when missionary work began in that country, a likely response would be that it began in 1946, when Elder Ezra Taft Benson dedicated the land for missionary work. The date is well known, and a small monument commemorating the event has been erected in Larsmo, a small town on Finland's northwestern... Read more

Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries

A Restoration emphasis on baptism has distinguished the teaching and practice of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1829 to the present. In contrast to many Christian denominations, the Church does not condone infant baptism sprinkling, nor does it accept baptisms by other Christian groups that do not have the authority restored by John the Baptist to Joseph Smith and Oliver... Read more

Modern Mormonism: Myths and Realities

Robert L. Millet, professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, has added to his several books designed to encourage interfaith dialogue between Latter-day Saints and fellow Christians. Considering the current presidential campaign and growing media attention directed at Latter-day Saints, Modern Mormonism could not have been published in a more timely manner. Millet tackles those... Read more