Journal 17:1 | BYU Studies

Journal 17:1

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The Book of Mormon and the American Revolution

The late Thomas O'Dea, a sympathetic but critical scholar, thought of the Book of Mormon that too many "American sentiments permeate the work." O'Dea purports to find evidence of nineteenth century American political culture in the Book of Mormon—for example, the prophecy of the American Revolution early in Nephi's narrative, and later, the switch from monarchy to government by elected Judges. On... Read more

The Four Political Faces of the Intellectual in Soviet Russia Today: A Personal Essay

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Joseph Knight's Recollection of Early Mormon History

Joseph Knight, Sr., was born 3 November 1772 at Oakham, Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1809 he moved to Bainbridge, Chenango County, New York and two years later to Colesville, Broome County, New York where he remained for nineteen years. He owned a farm, a gristmill and carding machine, and according to his son, Newel, "was not rich, yet possessed enough of this world's goods to secure to himself... Read more

The Paradox of Mormon Folklore

In the 130 years since the word "folklore" was coined, folklorists have been trying unsuccessfully to decide what the word means. I shall not solve the problem here. Yet if we are to do business with each other, we must come to some common understanding of terms. Briefly, I consider folklore to be the unofficial part of our culture. When a Sunday School teacher reads to his class from an approved... Read more

Hagoth and the Polynesian Tradition

In what amounts to an aside in the story of the Book of Mormon peoples, there is in the 63rd chapter of Alma a brief reference to a "curious man" named Hagoth. What we have here, is an account of a colonizing movement of men, women, and children who went out in ships presumably into the Pacific Ocean sometime between 53 and 57 B.C. And they were never heard of again. According to tacit Mormon... Read more

Missionaries to the Saints

Preaching the good word of repentance has characterized the Mormon missionary message since the Church was founded. Missionaries started traveling shortly after the publication of the Book of Mormon, and invited everyone to accept the restored gospel. In addition to the missionaries called to take the new message to non-Mormons, some missionaries were called to repeat the doctrinal teachings to... Read more

A Survey of Pre-1830 Historical Sources Relating to the Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon contains an interesting historical and religious record covering the period from before 2,000 B.C. to A.D. 400 Internal reconstruction of Book of Mormon geography shows that the specific events mentioned in the book probably took place in those parts of Mexico and Guatemala known as Mesoamerica; it was also in Mesoamerica that many of the great ancient American civilizations... Read more

A Dialogue Between Wilford Woodruff and Lyman Wight

Some fascinating sidelights to Mormon history are often revealed in correspondence between Latter-day Saint leaders and prominent non-Mormons. In this issue of "The Historian's Corner" we present a correspondence edited by Dr. Ronald G. Watt of the Church Historical Department which concerns Lyman Wight, a former apostle who led a colony to Texas after the death of Joseph Smith. Here we see Wight... Read more

George Catlin, Brigham Young, and the Plains Indians

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David Eccles: Pioneer Western Industrialist

Leonard J. Arrington's biography of David Eccles is the first book-length study of the pioneer western businessman who became Utah's first multimillionaire industrialist-financier. Eighteen chapters focus on Eccles' youth, marriages, family activities, religious experiences, and death. Some attention is also given to the reasons for Eccles' extraordinary success as a stimulator of economic... Read more

The Mormon Way

The most common reaction of LDS readers to The Mormon Way will probably be one of surprise. Few would expect to see a full-fledged coffee-table book on the subject of Mormon history and modern-day Mormon life. It seems even less likely that two non-Mormons, one of them black, would work on such a book. But author/photographers James A. Warner and Styne M. Slade, along with the editor of Prentice-... Read more

Brigham Young University: A School of Destiny

The prevailing assumption among educators who direct universities that are recognized as truly great is that a university must be a community of scholars whose predominant concern is free inquiry, the pursuit of truth, regardless of any by-products which may or may not bring desired social goals. The aims of Brigham Young University are somewhat different, according to Ernest L. Wilkinson, a... Read more