Journal 46:3 | BYU Studies

Journal 46:3

Volume 46:3 (2007)
In this issue of BYU Studies , Bruce A. Chadwick and others present "A Survey of Dating and Marriage at BYU." In 2002, the authors conducted an extensive survey asking BYU undergraduates about their attitudes and practices in "hanging out," dating, and deciding to marry. The results provide evidence that BYU students do in fact act quite differently from their counterparts at other American...Read more

Joseph Smith and the United Firm: The Growth and Decline of the Church's First Master Plan of Business and Finance, Ohio and Missouri, 1832–1834

The United Firm was a business management company established by Joseph Smith (founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) that oversaw both the Church's economic pursuits, such as maintaining properties, and some spiritual matters, such as publishing revelations and planning the city of Zion. Its board of managers essentially fulfilled roles later taken on by Church leaders when... Read more

A Survey of Dating and Marriage at BYU

In 2001, Norval Glenn and Elizabeth Marquardt conducted a study in which they concluded that "dating" has all but dissapeared from American college campuses." Their collected data, from 1,000 young women who were attending 4-year colleges or universities, showed that one third of the women had only gone on one or two dates during their time at school. Dating had been replaced by "hooking up,"... Read more

O Lord, My God

Joseph Smith's dying words have always intrigued me. I like them, in part, for what they don't say. The expression lacks a verb and thus neither asks nor confesses nor praises nor questions. It is not a plea for extended life or safety. It is not the dying command of a captain to attack or take cover. We find no last instructions to the Saints or final declaration of love and loyalty. But rather... Read more

After Sorrow

Access the PDF Download to view the full content of this poem. Read more

Old Folsom Prison—East Gate

One approaches the east gate at Old Folsom in an old, blue school bus that ferries visitors from the modern check-in facility, past the faceless, gray concrete panels of New Folsom, and then turns left along the massive, hewn-granite walls that march down the hill to the east gate. The bus pauses periodically along this descent and inches over three speed bumps set in the asphalt for some obscure... Read more

The Reverend Dr. Peter Christian Kierkegaard's "About and Against Mormonism" (1855)

Born on July 6, 1805, the Danish Lutheran priest Peter Christian Kierkegaard, brother of philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, was an exact contemporary of Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both men devoted their lives to the refinement and advancement of their believes, albeit within very different sociohistorical contexts, and both had profound impacts... Read more

American Gospel: God, the Founding Father, and the Making of a Nation

Jon Meacham, managing editor of Newsweek, makes a notable contribution to the crucial national conversation about the roles of religion in American public and political discourse in his new book, American Gospel. Many religious Americans have come to believe that religion has been virtually banned from the public square. Some have turned to the Founding Fathers to find justification for overt... Read more

Define Universe and Give Two Examples: A Comparison of Scientific and Christian Belief

As one might deduce from its title, this is a very unusual book. In the first five hundred pages, the author includes three sections: (1) Perception of Reality, (2) Material-Universe Science, and (3) Total-Universe Christianity. Following these sections are approximately one hundred pages of appendices. After the first section's wordy and detailed account of the philosophies associated with... Read more

God Has Made Us a Kingdom: James Strang and the Midwest Mormons

Award-winning journalist Vickie Cleverley Speek was not looking for the Mormons during the summer of 1991. She was looking for basket-making materials, and the nearest shop was in Burlington, Wisconsin, at the corner of Highway 36 and Mormon Road. Surprised to find evidence of Mormons in Wisconsin, she took Mormon Road that day. It led to the community of Voree and to the beginning of a fifteen-... Read more

The Politics of American Religious Identity: The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle

This book's title does not do justice to its remarkable contents. BYU Studies readers will recognize Reed Smoot's name and understand his significance, but too many others, even those well informed about U.S. history, will do little better than to link Senator Smoot with a tariff. Kathleen Flake's excellent monograph illustrates the significance of religion in the Progressive Era and brilliantly... Read more

Religion and Film: An Introduction

Melanie J. Wright's Religion and Film would seem, on the surface, the perfect text for anyone with an interest in religion and the cinema, especially given that some critics, as she notes, link the rise of film to a decline in religious authority. Whatever the truth of that assertion, religion has learned to live with the new art form. Wright asserts, "Religion has not been displaced by a new... Read more

The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity

The headline of an article announcing the May 2007 visit of Pope Benedict XVI to South America reads, "Pope to Visit 'Pentecostalized' Brazil." To anyone familiar with worldwide Catholicism, the suggestion that Brazil, the most Catholic country in the world, is "pentecostalized," is an eye-opener. The article, however, is correct. Brazil, along with much of the Southern Hemisphere, is... Read more

Prayer: A History

When Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, Latter-day Saints believe, they built an altar and offered sacrifice to the Lord (see Moses 5:4–5). In other words, they prayed. This may have been the first time that humans truly prayed, at least according to the biblical tradition. Before that, man and woman walked and talked with God in the cool of the evening garden. As mortality settled... Read more

The American Discovery of Europe

Jack D. Forbes, a scholar with Native American ancestry, has a long publishing history treating neglected topics that involve Native Americans (whom he calls simply "Americans"). In The American Discovery of Europe, Forbes weaves facts from recondite sources into a surprising story of Amerindian voyagers who reached Europe before conventional history opens with Columbus's first voyage. He also... Read more

A Twenty-Something's Guide to Spirituality: Questions You Hesitate to Ask, Answers You Rarely Hear

A Twenty-Something's Guide to Spirituality is a collection of ten essays by various Latter-day Saint authors ranging from the late Elder Neal A. Maxwell to Truman G. Madsen, emeritus professor of philosophy at Brigham Young University. The subtitle, "Questions You Hesitate to Ask, Answers You Rarely Hear," is a bit of a misnomer. The questions are actually asked over and over again by many adults... Read more

The Family in the New Millennium: World Voices Supporting the "Natural" Clan (3 Volumes)

The 2004 Doha International Conference for the Family yielded this collection of papers presented at venues around the world. If for no other reason, these volumes are valuable as proof that the family is a concern that unifies nations regardless of politics, religion, culture, and economic standing. And that proof gives hope to those of us who might otherwise despair at the rapid onslaught of... Read more

Critical Issues in American Religious History: A Reader

In eight hundred pages filled with sixteen generally chronological chapters, each including several historical documents and various essays written by recognized authorities, this volume ambitiously attempts to comprehensively cover critical issues in American religious history from its colonization to 1980. But even such coverage is necessarily selective. From my LDS perspective, I noticed right... Read more

Nineteenth-Century Saints at War

Robert C. Freeman, director of the Saints at War project at Brigham Young University, and colleague Dennis A. Wright have published two previous volumes that focus on the experiences of Latter-day Saints during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. This present publication focuses on the nineteenth-century wartime experiences of Latter-day Saints. Nineteenth-Century Saints at War is... Read more

Nauvoo: Mormon City on the Mississippi River

Although only forty-four pages, Raymond Bial's well-written children's history Nauvoo: Mormon City on the Mississippi River is much more than a history of Nauvoo. Bial, who is also an accomplished photographer, has illustrated the book with his own lavish photographs that capture the essence of "the city beautiful" and its surroundings. Bial does not limit his history to a discussion of Nauvoo;... Read more

Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant

This volume's twelve articles analyze the Book of Abraham, contributing significantly to needed research on this scripture. Most of the articles were presented at a FARMS conference in 1999 and are published now for the first time. Here serious scholarly study of the Book of Abraham is made accessible to nonspecialists. Topics covered include the historicity of the Book of Abraham, meanings and... Read more

The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of the Teachings of Jesus and How They Have Been Corrupted

Obery Hendricks Jr. is a professor of biblical interpretation at the New York Theological Seminary and an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. As a young man, Hendricks withdrew himself from Christian religions; his discovery of what he calls the "revolutionary Jesus" brought him back. This book analyzes Jesus' teachings in light of the social, economic, and political... Read more