Journal 36:1 | BYU Studies

Journal 36:1

Volume 36:1 (1996-97)
Eliza R. Snow's "O My Father" is one of the most beloved LDS hymns. Its influence and significance is the focus of the this issue of BYU Studies . Michael Hicks looks at "O My Father" from a musical perspective, tracing the music that has been used for Snow's poem. Dawn Pheysey looks at John Hafen's illustrations of "O My Father," visual depictions of the truths expressed in this poem. Lastly,...Read more

Conversation in Nauvoo about the Corporeality of God

Religion scholar Jacob Neusner looks at the corporeal nature of God through the lens of Mormonism and Judaism. He addresses anthropomorphism and incarnation, and concludes that the way to know God is through "our relationship with him, not through our act of the incarnation of God in heart and mind and soul." Neusner appreciates the powerful doctrine of God's corporeality taught by the Prophet... Read more

Cast on the Lord

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O My Father: The Musical Settings

“O My Father” began public life as a poem on the back page of an obscure newspaper. It is now a lilting, pastoral hymn instantly recognizable throughout the world, sung in dozens of languages by millions of people. The transformation was convoluted. Latter-day Saints always wanted to sing Eliza R. Snow’s poem. But as they sought for the best way to do so, they found a bewildering set of options,... Read more

Testimony in Art: John Hafen's Illustrations for "O My Father"

When artist John Hafen was a young man, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent him to the Julian Academy in Paris so that he could improve his skills and further the kingdom by painting murals for the Church. Towards the end of his life, Hafen used the artistic skills he had developed to create eight illustrations for the famous poem "O My Father" by Eliza R. Snow. His... Read more

Leaving Too Soon

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The Significance of "O My Father" in the Personal Journey of Eliza R. Snow

*This article is being offered free as a courtesy to as it was footnoted in two expanded Gospel Topics. ( Topic 1 , Topic 2 ) 'O My Father' is primarily a hymn of orientation. It speaks of place, habitation, sphere, wandering, residing, and dwelling. Eliza R. Snow's first-person declaration of her relationship to God through primeval past, earthly present, and eternal future becomes the... Read more

The "Hymn of the Pearl": An Ancient Counterpart to "O My Father"

One of the most endearing writings found in early Christianity is known as the "Hymn of the Pearl." This text has immediate appeal to readers of all levels and resonates a beautiful message of a soul's journey from a premortal home, through mortality, and back to heavenly parents. To this extent, the poem can be seen as an early Christian counterpart to the early Latter-day Saint hymn "O My... Read more

Changes in the Religious Devotion of Latter-day Saints throughout the Life Cycle

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Celebrating Cultural Identity: Pioneer Day in Nineteenth-Century Mormonism

For its first half century, Pioneer Day was no mere holiday. Its festivities served to memorialize and solidfy the Saints freedoms, fundamental values, social roles, and heritage. According to sociologist Thomas O'Dea, Pioneer Day is "the greatest Mormon holiday." In this article, author Steven L. Olsen studies the relationship between this community celebration and the Saints' cultural identity. Read more

ICU Nursery

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Family Land and Records Center in Nauvoo

Researchers seeking either data for demographic studies or facts about a specific person who lived in Iowa or Hancock county, Illinois, from 1839 to 1845 can consult the family land and records center. 1 Initially established to help visitors locate their ancestors, this research center in the LDS Nauvoo Visitors' Center contains numerous documents gathered by Nauvoo missionaries. Each record is... Read more

Hymn: Every Kindred, Tongue, and People

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Three Frontiers: Family, Land, and Society in the American West, 1850-1900

Any lingering notions that the settlement of the American West happened according to a fixed pattern will not survive a reading of Dean May's new book. By describing and comparing the founding and development of three mid-nineteenth-century settlements, all quite different, May presents a convincing portrait of frontier diversity. Only when the communities reached their third generation did the... Read more

The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow

If Eliza R. Snow kept journals during the years between 1849 and her death in 1887, as she rose to preeminence among Latter-day Saint women, they have yet to be unearthed. However, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow offers considerable consolation for that larger lack. This volume includes Eliza's Nauvoo journal extending from June 29, 1842, to April 14, 1844, and her diaries written from... Read more

Audacious Women: Early British Mormon Immigrants

Audacious Women is based on the lives of one hundred women "who were involved with Mormonism in the first fifty years of the British Mission, 1838–88." The book takes us from their English branches and villages, across the ocean, up the Mississippi, across the plains, and (as far as source documents allow) follows their lives in the new land. This new contribution to Mormon women's history is a... Read more

Church History in Black and White: George Edward Anderson's Photographic Mission to Latter-day Saint Historical Sites: 1907 Diary, 1907-8 Photographs

A photo essay on the birth of Mormonism, produced in 1907–8, is the crowning achievement of one of the LDS Church's most artistic photographers, George Edward Anderson, an obscure village photographer from Springville, Utah (1860–1928). Church History in Black and White brings together for the first time the words and pictures of the photographer's year-long odyssey to document Church historical... Read more

Spencer W. Kimball: Resolute Disciple, Prophet of God; Boyd K. Packer: A Watchman on the Tower

FRANCIS M. GIBBONS. Spencer W. Kimball: Resolute Disciple, Prophet of God. Deseret Book, 1995. LUCILE C. TATE. Boyd K. Packer: A Watchman on the Tower. Bookcraft , 1995. Boyd K. Packer and Spencer W. Kimball served together in the highest councils of the Church from 1970 to 1985, a remarkable period in Church history. These two recently published biographies by veteran biographers provide a new... Read more

Beyond the River

Jonathan Reeves is an LDS golden boy growing up in a small town in California. Athletic, cock-sure, and indifferent towards his schoolwork, he goes to the tutoring center only under threat of being cut from the track team. His tutor turns out to be Nancy Von Kleinsmid, a tall, brilliant, friendless girl, who badgers him, spurs him, challenges his every belief and intuition, and encourages his... Read more

The Legacy of Mormon Furniture: The Mormon Material Culture, Undergirded by Faith, Commitment, and Craftsmanship

Appreciation of Mormon material culture has come a long way. We now have a beautiful coffee-table book on Mormon furniture! This book tells the early Mormon story through the work of the LDS cabinetmakers and wood-carvers who crafted furniture from the 1840s through the late nineteenth century. The history is illustrated with photographs of chairs, tables, cupboards, and beds. This furniture... Read more

Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: Illinois

The bittersweet experience of the Church's brief sojourn in Nauvoo will always remain a romantic yet realistic construct in the minds of the Latter-day Saints. If any reader has ever wanted to travel to Nauvoo with a group of religious educators from BYU, to listen as they analyze and ponder some of their favorite images and reflections on the Nauvoo period, this volume is a fine surrogate. The... Read more

Nurturing Faith through the Book of Mormon: The 24th Annual Sperry Symposium

Seeds sown by Sidney B. Sperry during his forty years of teaching and research at Brigham Young University, are still bearing fruit. New generations of scholars, nourished by Dean Sperry's example, are casting their seeds on fresh fields, inviting us all to reap the harvest. All of the authors in this book "are recognized authorities on the Book of Mormon;" Ludlow, Elder Holland, Rasmussen,... Read more

Kingdom on the Mississippi Revisited: Nauvoo in Mormon History

This attractive paperback volume is the creation of two well-known scholars of the Nauvoo period. It constitutes a ready reference to a wide range of articles on Nauvoo in the 1840s. The fourteen essays appearing in this volume are all reprints. They originally appeared in a variety of publications that feature Mormon history, including such publications as the Journal of the Illinois State... Read more

All Tucked In

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