Journal 38:4 | BYU Studies

Journal 38:4

Volume 38:4 (1999)
In this issue, BYU Professor of Anthropology Stephen D. Houston discusses the classic elements of the Maya Religion, such as covenants, community, and belief in individualized gods. Also, BYU statisticians and professors come together to quantitatively prove that the burden of tobacco-related cancers are significantly lower in Utah because of adherence to the teaching that "tobacco is not for the...Read more

Shaping the Stones: Lorenzo Snow's Letters to Priesthood Leaders of the London Conference, November 1842

On the afternoon of Sunday, July 23, 1837, in Preston's Vauxhall Chapel, Heber C. Kimball preached the first Latter-day Saint sermon to be delivered in England. Heber presided over England's first baptisms one week later, after which he and his six companions parted company to cover more territory. People flocked to hear the missionaries' message, and by the time Elder Kimball left England nine... Read more

After the Fall

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Bowels of Mercy

Although perhaps too earthy for squeamish readers, the idea of the "bowels of mercy" is found frequently in the scriptures, reflecting ancient views about human emotions and offering powerful insights about divine compassion. The scriptures often come to us like messages in a bottle, blown from distant times and places. They bring with them modes of expression that can sometimes be mysterious for... Read more

Haeremai: A Maori Welcome

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Classic Maya Religion: Beliefs and Practices of an Ancient American People

Though difficult to decipher, Maya religion permeated a complex ancient world with an overriding sense of the sacral nature of all things and reveals much about how those people lived and why they vanished. In the last five years, dramatic advances in deciphering ancient Maya writing have unveiled the Classic Maya as, above all, a people of faith. The Maya gloried in their closeness to the... Read more

Rediscovering Ancient Christianity

When materials purporting to be Christian in authorship or content are recovered from the past, one is faced with the difficulty of determining whether they formed an authentic part of early Christianity or were deviations from it. The resulting judgments concerning the value of such discoveries may be quite different to traditional Christians and members of the restored Church. Before evaluating... Read more

Tobacco-Related Cancers in Utah Compared to the United States: Quantifying the Benefits of the Word of Wisdom

In the LDS religion, adherence to the Word of Wisdom was based on faith for over a century before scientific evidence began to support its precepts in the area of tobacco. It was not until the 1950s that epidemiologic studies provided sufficient evidence to implicate tobacco as a risk factor for several chronic diseases. Although tobacco-smoking prevalence has since declined in the United States... Read more

The Shell in Silk

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Islands of Peace, of the Blessed

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When Children Sang

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Hoping to Establish a Presence: Parley P. Pratt's 1851 Mission to Chile

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Moses Thatcher and Mormon Beginnings in Mexico

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In a Time of Fall Plowing

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By Study and Also by Faith: The Faculty at Brigham Young University Responds

This article presents significant statistical information about BYU faculty attitudes toward faith and scholarship gathered in a 1998 survey conducted at selected religious universities by researchers at Baylor University. In 1968 a monumental book entitled The Academic Revolution appeared, culminating a ten-year sociological study of more than 150 colleges and universities in the United States... Read more

The Lord's University: Freedom and Authority at BYU

In recent years, the BYU community has wrestled with the question of the University's purpose and mission perhaps more than at any other time. Among the motivating factors for this recent introspection are the increasing profile of the Church and the University in the world, the growing diversity of BYU students and faculty, changes in society that draw Latter-day Saints ever farther from the... Read more

Joseph Smith Portraits: A Search for the Prophet's Likeness

After years of research and consideration of numerous images, Ephraim Hatch has produced a clearly written and well-illustrated book that attempts to answer the question What did Joseph Smith Jr. look like? Of the many portraits of the Prophet, only a few were created from life and most images of Joseph derive from these early likenesses. Hatch traces the sources of the early images and... Read more

Utah's Black Hawk War

In 1977, Utah State University professor S. George Ellsworth asked ten dozen scholars, members of the Mormon History Association, to list their choices for the top ten books written in the field of Utah and Mormon studies. The criterion he used in that survey was excellence in both scholarship and literary quality. Standard titles such as Great Basin Kingdom and The Mountain Meadows Massacre... Read more

Mormon Midwife, The 1846-1888 Diaries of Patty Bartlett Sessions

Mormon Midwife: The 1846—1888 Diaries of Patty Bartlett Sessions, the second volume in the Life Writings of Frontier Women series, is a fitting memorial for one of early Mormonism's remarkable women. This volume is also a monument to its editor, Donna Toland Smart, and the seven-year task of bringing Patty Sessions's life to light through her own words. Under the general editorship of Maureen... Read more

The History of Louisa Barnes Pratt: Being the Autobiography of a Mormon Missionary Widow and Pioneer

Louisa Barnes Pratt's History, published here as volume three in Maureen Ursenbach Beecher's series Life Writings of Frontier Women could have asked for no more qualified editor than S. George Ellsworth. Along with being a founding editor of the Western Historical Quarterly and editor of The Journals of Addison Pratt, Ellsworth has written and edited several books and articles on pioneer women,... Read more

Principles of Priesthood Leadership

The explosive growth of the LDS Church in recent years poses the major challenge to Church leaders at all levels to nurture capable, caring leaders in this dynamic environment who will be able to carry out the Church's worldwide mission. Stephen Nadauld, as a BYU management professor and a former General Authority, is well equipped to help church leaders learn how to deal successfully with their... Read more

Religion, Mental Health, and the Latter-day Saints

The role of religion in psychology and mental health has been a subject of much debate. Some studies assert that high religiosity can lead to good mental health, and others assert that it may be a cause of emotional disturbance. Daniel Judd has analyzed fifty-eight studies and found an overwhelming relationship between an individual religiosity and mental health. In Religion, Mental Health and... Read more

Sacred Places: New England and Eastern Canada

This handy travel book begins a six-volume series of guide books to early Latter-day Saint historic sites. Under the general editorship of BYU professor emeritus of Church history and doctrine Lamar C. Berrett, the intent of the Sacred Places series is to provide a tool for those who wish to visit the sites where the seminal events of the Restoration took place. "Sacred Places endeavors to bring... Read more

Henry William Bigler: Soldier, Gold Miner, Missionary, Chronicler, 1815-1900

The life of Henry William Bigler demonstrates how extraordinary an average life can be. M. Guy Bishop's Henry William Bigler: Soldier, Gold Miner, Missionary, Chronicler, 1815–1900 aims to provide a "microcosmic view of nineteenth-century Mormon society through the eyes of a lower-echelon member." Although Bigler is already known to historians of the West as the man who recorded the exact day... Read more

Volume 38 Index

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