Journal 48:3 | BYU Studies

Journal 48:3

Volume 48:3 (2009)
This issue of BYU Studies features a special series of articles examining the recently published Book of Commandments and Revelations, the first volume of the Revelations and Translations series of The Joseph Smith Papers . The BCR contains the earliest surviving manuscript versions of many of Joseph Smith's revelations and the only prepublication manuscript copies of some of them. The BCR also...Read more

A Book of Commandments and Revelations: Editorial Introduction to This Special Feature

This short piece is the introduction to several articles in this issue of BYU Studies about the Book of Commandments and Revelations, a foundational document of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Book of Commandments was published in 2009 as part of The Joseph Smith Papers . Shortly after arrangements were finalized in May 2009 for the publication of the BCR, a plenary session... Read more

Introducing A Book of Commandments and Revelations, A Major New Documentary "Discovery"

This article is one of several in this issue of BYU Studies about the Book of Commandments and Revelations (BCR), a foundational document of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Book of Commandments and Revelations (BCR) is the manuscript collection of revelations Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer took to Missouri in November 1831 from which the Book of Commandments was to be... Read more

From Manuscript to Printed Page: An Analysis of the History of the Book of Commandments and Revelations

This article is one of several in this issue about the Book of Commandments and Revelations, a foundational document of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Book of Commandments and Revelations (BCR) is a surprisingly unpretentious document, judging by its physical condition. Instead of appearing regal and glorious as would befit its important contents, the Book of Commandments... Read more

Historical Headnotes and the Index of Contents in the Book of Commandments and Revelations

This article is one of several in this issue about the Book of Commandments and Revelations, a foundational document of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This article orients readers to two important features of the Book of Commandments and Revelations: its index of contents and its historical headnotes. John Whitmer began to compile "The Index of the contents of this Book" in the... Read more

Revelation, Text, and Revision: Insight from the Book of Commandments and Revelations

This article is one of several in this issue about the Book of Commandments and Revelations (BCR), a foundational document of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This article explores how the textual revisions preserved in the BCR shed important light on the process by which Joseph Smith received, recorded, and published his revelations. It has long been recognized that revelations... Read more

Response to the Book of Commandments and Revelations Presentations

This article is one of several in this issue about the Book of Commandments and Revelations, a foundational document of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this response to the four preceding papers, Ron Romig, the Archivist for the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or RLDS), focuses partly on the provenance of the eight... Read more

Spiritualized Recreation: LDS All-Church Athletic Tournaments, 1950–1971

Historian Jessie L. Embry recounts the creation, growth, and eventual demise of churchwide sports tournaments organized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She uses as a framework the words of Thomas O'Dea in his book The Mormons (1957). As the tournaments grew from the 1930s to the 1960s, centralized planning and organization was required. The games and tournaments served... Read more

Yellow Shirt Riddles

The essayist explores various issues surrounding her divorce as a young wife. The most intriguing is the pivotal argument she can't remember. Her brain has somehow blocked the memory of it, so she has to tell the story through the eyes of her ex-sister-in-law. Using images of falling off a snowy mountain, tying quilts, and breaking one of two identical pitchers, she tries to make sense of this... Read more

Eliza R. Snow's Poetry

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

Book of Mormon Stories that Steph Meyer Tells to Me: LDS Themes in the Twilight Saga and The Host

Publishing professionals call it a phenomenon. In 2008, Little, Brown sold 27.5 million copies of Stephenie Meyer's four vampire novels; the Twilight movie grossed $191 million in domestic box office sales; and Meyer's adult novel, The Host , sold an additional million copies. Publishers Weekly crowed, "A new queen has been crowned." USA Today reported that Meyer was the bestselling author in the... Read more

The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, Volume 1: 1832-1839

Several years ago, when I heard that the Joseph Smith Papers Project was approved for publication, I was delighted for at least two reasons. First, I considered Joseph Smith's papers to be the most valuable resource extant for researching early Latter-day Saint history. Making them available to all would enhance the accuracy of future scholarship. Second, it would be clear that the Church had... Read more

Leonard J. Arrington: A Historian's Life

Gary Topping, a professor at Salt Lake Community College, has previously published a number of books and articles on Utah environmental history and historians who have lived in Utah. In some ways, Topping's article on Robert Dwyer and his book on historians Bernard DeVoto, Juanita Brooks, Wallace Stegner, Dale Morgan, and Fawn Brodie can be considered precursors to this book. In other ways, this... Read more

Matters of the Mind: Latter-Day Saint Helps for Mental Health

Mental health continues to be difficult for many people to understand. We seem to grasp physical ailments; bruises and cuts and headaches are pains we all have experienced. More serious health troubles—diabetes, cancer, or the physical pain associated with a broken arm or surgery—are still in the realm of the tactile and thus are fairly easy to grasp conceptually, even by those who have not gone... Read more

Against the Grain: Christianity and Democracy, War and Peace

Deification has been a difficult theological concept for mankind to accept. St. Augustine's doctrine of original sin and the depravity of man helped spur on a deep skepticism to the idea that God's children could become anything like God, let alone progressing to the eventual state of gods or goddesses. Latter-day Saints have often been cautious about broaching the topic of deification around... Read more

Making Space on the Western Frontier: Mormons, Miners, and Southern Paiutes

University of Utah historian W. Paul Reeve has written an intriguing and engaging monograph examining the dynamic interchange between Mormons, miners, and Southern Paiutes along the Great Basin's southern rim. Broadly covering the last four decades of the nineteenth century, Reeves focuses his lens most closely on southwestern Utah and southeastern Nevada during the turbulent 1860s and 1870s when... Read more

Constantine's Bible: Politics and the Making of the New Testament

The canon of Christian scripture has received much scrutiny since the rise of historical criticism in post-Enlightenment Europe. Nineteenth-century discoveries of new apocryphal gospels and epistles also fueled academic debate over canonicity, which has reached an even higher pitch since 1945, with the discovery of a corpus of Gnostic Christian "scriptures" at Nag Hammadi, Egypt. More recently,... Read more

Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction

Combining history, theology, and contemporary observations, Richard L. Bushman has crafted an engaging introduction to Mormonism, aimed primarily at outsiders to Latter-day Saint traditions and related movements. Anticipating skeptical non-Mormon readers, Bushman centers his book on several fundamental questions, including "How can twenty-first-century Americans believe in a prophet who... Read more

Polygamy on the Pedernales: Lyman Wight's Mormon Villages in Antebellum Texas, 1845 to 1858

Polygamy on the Pedernales is about the Mormon settlements in Texas during the 1840s and 1850s, whose primary allegiance was to Lyman Wight. Christened the "Wild Ram of the Mountains" by the New York Sun , Wight was ordained an Apostle by Joseph Smith in 1841. Because he was "charismatic, intensely personal, and often domineering in his dealings with others," writes author Melvin C. Johnson, "the... Read more

Happy Valley

Producer and director Ron Williams began his film as an attempt to follow his ex-wife, Nancy, as she entered drug rehab. While filming, Nancy's daughter, MaCall Peterson, was involved in the accidental overdose and death of her friend Amelia Sorich and the subsequent attempt to hide the body. From this development, the filmmaker realized the scope of the movie had changed considerably. He began... Read more