Journal 49:1 | BYU Studies

Journal 49:1

Volume 49:1 (2010)
BYU Studies volume 49, no. 1, features articles on several topics: ancient Jewish ritual; how to restrict objectionable internet content using US Constitutional law; events in the history of the LDS Church Educational System; and a Missouri LDS newspaper. There are also book reviews, a film review, poetry, and an essay on the human brain. Jeffrey Bradshaw describes how a mural found in an ancient...Read more

The Ezekiel Mural at Dura Europos: A Witness of Ancient Jewish Mysteries?

One of the most stunning archaeological finds of the last century was the accidental discovery in 1920 of the ruins of Dura Europos, "a frontier town of very mixed population and traditions" located on a cliff ninety meters above the Euphrates River in what is now Syria. This Helenistic city had been abandoned following a Sassanian siege in AD 256–57 and was eventually buried by the shifting... Read more

The Misunderstood First Amendment and Our Lives Online

Certainly, we have always been warned about the harms of pornography. Jesus said, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matt. 5:27–28). But the prophets have become increasingly insistent in their warnings during the last... Read more

Sorting, In Evening Light

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

On Music Angels: God Only Knows

The trek from my office at the Air Force Academy history department to the faculty parking lot was long enough—about a ten-minute walk—sufficient time for some substantive thinking. One winter evening in about 1992, as I made the walk, my Comparative Revolutions course weighed on my mind. As I pondered how I might introduce the next day's discussion on causes of revolutions, I climbed into my... Read more

Joseph F. Merrill and the 1930–1931 LDS Church Education Crisis

In the early 1930s, the educational system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints found itself near the end of a major transformation. In the short span of only a dozen years, the Church had all but abandoned its network of loosely associated Church academies in favor of a system of less expensive released-time seminaries linked to public high schools throughout the Intermountain West... Read more

The Frontier Guardian: Exploring the Latter-day Saint Experience at the Missouri, 1849–1851

As the largest Mormon primary source from 1849 to 1851, the Frontier Guardian is crucial to understanding the Latter-day Saint experience at the Missouri River. Until now, historians have extracted only small sections of the paper, such as marriage announcements, obituaries, and advertisements, because of the Guardian 's size. Although it is only four volumes, the newspaper contains eighty-one... Read more

Twisted Thoughts and Elastic Molecules: Recent Developments in Neuroplasticity

During the twentieth century, many in the emerging fields of brain science operated under the assumption of absolute biological materialism—the idea that all reality in life can be reduced to our natural, physical dimension. For example, some neuroscientists sought to explain the deep mysteries of human consciousness not as any cosmic interconnection of spirit and matter but merely as a series of... Read more

Religion, Politics, and Sugar: The Mormon Church, the Federal Government, and the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company, 1907-1921

In our era, when justifiable attention is paid to economic and environmental developments in the Mountain West, Matthew C. Godfrey has written a book based on his PhD dissertation for the Department of History at Washington State University that offers close analysis of controversial church-state-industry struggles in the beet sugar industry in Utah and Idaho between 1890 and 1920. Having read... Read more

The Tree House

Douglas Thayer has always been a wonderful writer of male initiation stories, beginning notably with "The Red Tail Hawk," originally published in Dialogue and included as the first story in his 1989 collection Mr. Wahlquist in Yellowstone as "The Red-Tailed Hawk." In this story, Thayer explores the grim and beautiful process by which his unnamed teenaged protagonist comes to apprehend his own... Read more

The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary

There are Bibles aplenty in our world, hundreds if is any guide. In late 2009, Amazon listed over one thousand books on its Bible hit list that have not even been released yet. Over one thousand new books of the roughly 450,000 listed Bible hits portend heavy reading this year for those who try to keep up with things biblical. A beneficial search in this swim through the Amazon of... Read more

One Good Man, Christian Vuissa, director

I had high hopes but reserved expectations while driving to see Christian Vuissa's latest film One Good Man . Though LDS cinema seems to have cooled and matured somewhat in recent years, it is nonetheless a movement that has generally been hit-and-miss at best. One Good Man comes as a welcome transition to deeper, more complex filmmaking. The film is far from perfect—it includes its fair share of... Read more

A Different God? Mitt Romney, the Religious Right, and the Mormon Question

As can be expected from a book published by Greg Kofford, Craig L. Foster's A Different God? is well researched and engaging. This book begins by examining the rise of the religious right and the power it exerts on the current political landscape. Foster presents a good deal of information that most Latter-day Saints will not be well acquainted with, such as the difference between evangelical and... Read more

Proclamation to the People: Nineteenth-Century Mormonism and the Pacific Basin Frontier

Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp (Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and author of Religion and Society in Frontier California ) and Reid L. Neilson (Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Brigham Young University and author and editor of several books, including Taking the Gospel to the Japanese ) combine their expertise in this latest volume,... Read more

In God's Image and Likeness: Ancient and Modern Perspectives on the Book of Moses

Author Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, PhD in cognitive science and a senior research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), has written professionally on various topics in human and machine intelligence, has presented at meetings of the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR), and has published articles on Mormon themes appearing in 2009 and 2010. The... Read more

Understanding Same-Sex Attraction: Where to Turn and How to Help

Readers looking for a book that supports the idea of homosexuality being an innate part of one's identity will not be interested in Understanding Same-Sex Attraction: Where to Turn and How to Help. Instead, the authors of this book assert the unpopular opinion, backed by scientific research, that same-sex attraction can be lessened or eradicated in those who desire change and are willing to try... Read more

What's the Harm? Does Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Really Harm Individuals, Families or Society?

Written by nineteen interdisciplinary authors and edited by BYU professor of family law Lynn D. Wardle, What's the Harm ? responds to several questions concerning same-sex marriage: does legalizing same-sex marriage harm traditional families? Does it discourage responsible sexual behavior and procreation? How does it affect the meaning of marriage? Does it impair basic freedoms to citizens and... Read more

It Starts with a Song: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of Songwriting at BYU, produced by Ron Simpson

In the 1995 film Mr. Holland's Opus , a musician and composer tries to write one memorable piece of music to gain fame. He takes a job as a high school music teacher to pay the bills and over time discovers unexpected and even greater fulfillment during his thirty-year teaching career. Such a story has parallels to that of Brigham Young University's Ron Simpson, producer of this CD, general... Read more