Journal 52:2 | BYU Studies

Journal 52:2

52:2 Cover
In this issue, Richard Bennett explores why Wilford Woodruff was willing to end plural marriage after defending it for so long: Bennett sees the rise of temple sealing ordinances as a major cause. Next, Samuel Brown studies adoption theology—how spirits are saved, or adopted into the family of God, and progress through eternity. Then Robert Schwartz uses game theory, specifically the strategy of...Read more

Which Is the Wisest Course?: The Transformation in Mormon Temple Consciousness, 1870–1898

From the 1870s to 1890, the first Latter-day Saint temples in Utah were completed and temple work was fully underway, and at the same time the Church was being legally compelled to abandon polygamy. In 1890, Wilford Woodruff faced disenfranchisement of the Church and the loss of the temples. He was prepared to defend polygamy, but upon revelation from God changed his course and issued the... Read more

Late States of Being

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Believing Adoption

Adoption theology is concerned with salvation and entry into the family of God. Early Latter-day Saint (Mormon) adoption theology taught by Joseph Smith came to include priesthood, baptism for the dead, temple rites, and more. The author concludes that this doctrine informs important questions, including: Are spirits born? What is the nature of salvation? What is the shape of the heaven family (... Read more

A Tribute to High School English

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Game Theory, the Prisoner's Dilemma, and the Book of Mormon

Game theory has been applied to a number of disciplines, including economics, law, politics, sociology, and Bible studies, but this article is the first serious attempt to apply it to the Book of Mormon narrative. One particularly important model in game theory is known as the Prisoner's Dilemma, which emphasizes the possibility and benefits of cooperation in the face of conflict. The Book of... Read more

My Vocation as a Scholar: An Idea of the University

This lecture was given on March 21, 2013, as part of the Brigham Young University Faculty Center's "My Journey as a Scholar of Faith" series. John R. Rosenberg, dean of the College of Humanities at BYU, uses architectural features of the Joseph F. Smith Building (JFSB), home of his college, to illustrate certain aspects of scholarship and faith. The arches surrounding the courtyard represent a... Read more

Integrating BYU's Education in Zion Gallery into Campus Life

After years of preparation, the Education in Zion Gallery at Brigham Young University opened in 2008. The gallery highlights the long tradition of education in the LDS faith, tells of the sacrifices that went into Brigham Young Academy and later Brigham Young University, and inspires students to seek an education of the whole soul—intellectually, spiritually, and physically—through integrating... Read more

The Symbolism of the Beehive in Latter-day Saint Tradition

This photo essay presents Brinkerhoff's inspiring photos of beehives in significant Mormon places. For early Mormons, the beehive symbolized the kingdom of God and was used as an architectural feature, in publications and discourse, on gravestones, on money, and more. Beehives used on temple doors and entryways symbolize entering the kingdom of God. The beehive on financial items symbolizes the... Read more

Self-Interest, Ethical Egoism, and the Restored Gospel

The gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in the Latter-day Saint Church may be seen as advocating a legitimate focus on our own interest. Thus some people have argued that the gospel is the same as ethical egoism, which is that people ought to act only in their long-term interest. This article examines the relationship between the gospel and ethical egoism and concludes that they are not equal, for... Read more

The New Mormon Ecumenicism: Thoughts on Mormonism at the Crossroads of Philosophy and Theology: Essays in Honor of David L. Paulsen

There is no doubt that a "Mormon Moment" swept through the publishing industry in the wake of Mitt Romney's presidential ambitions. If a lasting and productive time of reflection on Mormonism's relationship to traditional and creedal Christianity comes from this moment, David Paulsen will deserve much of the credit. I have to admit my biases about his writings up front. While working on a book... Read more

Tiki and Temple: The Mormon Mission in New Zealand, 1854–1958

Writing Church history is an art form that has developed significantly in the last twenty years. Historical facts recited without reference to the spirit of revelation that guides the work of God in the last days can be spiritually sterile. However, a fearful focus on how certain materials might affect the faith of readers can damage the color and texture of any historiographical account. Often,... Read more

Historical Context of the Doctrine and Covenants and Other Modern Scriptures, volume 1

Kurt Elieson's Historical Context of the Doctrine and Covenants and Other Modern Scriptures is a nice self-published surprise. Elieson, a Texas attorney, saw a hole in the corpus of Doctrine and Covenants commentaries and study guides, and he aimed to fill it. He has succeeded on several fronts. …Elieson has woven together in one helpful book an up-to-date and remarkably thorough collection of... Read more

Pansy's History: The Autobiography of Margaret E. P. Gordon, 1866–1966

Margaret Gordon's memoir, composed over several decades, is notable for the author's clear voice and independent spirit, as well as her detailed accounts of frontier life, financial and family hardships, church service, and transcontinental travel. This book will provide new sources of study for historians of frontier life in northern Utah and Alberta and especially of the experience of Mormon... Read more