Journal 53:1 | BYU Studies

Journal 53:1

Volume 53:1 (2014)
Leading off this issue are three articles from a conference on Enoch and the temple that was cosponsored by BYU Studies in February 2013 at Utah State University and BYU. George Nickelsburg, a world-renowned biblical scholar, identifies much temple content in the book of 1 Enoch: Enoch's commissioning and ascension into the heavenly sanctuary. David Larsen discusses ancient sources regarding a...Read more

From the Editor

Editor in chief John W. Welch welcomes readers to BYU Studies Quarterly volume 53, no. 1. He explains that BYU Studies Quarterly is unique because it contains groundbreaking studies of all aspects of higher education that are of particular relevance to Latter-day Saints. Here readers can find the intellect engaged with revealed truth and scholarly pursuits enlightened by the hope of faith. In... Read more

The Temple According to 1 Enoch

During the Second Temple period (516 BCE to 70 CE), most Jews in Jerusalem worshipped at the Jerusalem temple. But a separate community at Qumran decried the lack of ritual purity in the activity at the Second Temple and saw their community as an ersatz for the temple. Literature at Qumran included 1 Enoch, a collection of five tractates composed in the Aramaic language between the fourth century... Read more

Enoch and the City of Zion: Can an Entire Community Ascend to Heaven?

One of the most significant additions to the Book of Genesis in Joseph Smith's inspired translation of the Bible is to the story of the prophet Enoch, who the biblical record briefly implies was taken up into heaven alive. In Joseph Smith's rendering of the story, however, not only Enoch, as an individual, ascends into heaven, but also his entire community. This article explores the notion of... Read more

The LDS Story of Enoch as the Culminating Episode of a Temple Text

The story of Enoch might be understood as the culminating episode in a temple text cycle woven through the Book of Moses in the LDS Pearl of Great Price. A "temple text" is a sacred text that uses ceremony and commandments to allow a person to stand ritually in the presence of God. The Book of Moses reflects elements of temple architecture, furnishings, and ritual in the story of the Creation and... Read more

Walking Out in All Weather

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Mitt Romney and "I Mormoni": A 2012 Analysis of Italy's Print Media

The author, a native of Italy, considers how the 2012 "Mormon Moment" (prompted primarily by Mitt Romney's campaign for the U.S. presidency) was covered by the Italian print and online media. He analyzes 344 articles, dated between January 1 and October 31, 2012, that use the words "Mormon," "Mormons," or "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," examining their portrayal of Mormonism... Read more

Pantoum for Trevin, Who Loves to Vacuum

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Teaching Correct Principles: The Experience of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Responding to Widespread Social Acceptance of Elective Abortion

LDS official policies and the teachings of General Authorities, beginning with Joseph Smith, have consistently decried elective abortion. Since the 1970s, social values in the United States have increasingly moved toward acceptance of elective abortion. Church leaders have consistently explained the underlying theological reasons for their policy that abortion should be illegal in most but not... Read more

Gender Distribution of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Worldwide

Analyzing disparities in LDS membership numbers between men and women, especially by age group and geographical location, produces a deeper understanding of Church growth, conversion, and member retention. While more females are on the records of the Church than men, the Church gender ratio is nearly even during the ages 15 to 24. Church records show a greater ratio of males to females in old age... Read more

Deconstruction, Abjection, and Meaning in Contemporary Art: World Trends and the BYU Museum of Art

Visit any contemporary art exhibition in the world. You might be shocked, but it is unlikely that you will be surprised. You will probably see something huge and imposing—in fact, almost everything will be BIG. There will be appropriated pop culture images and graffiti, found objects in installation, photographs of the artist (probably in serial), and definitely electronics—video and neon and... Read more

Joseph Smith's Polygamy

In this three-volume set, author Brian Hales presents an exhaustive study of plural marriage as practiced and introduced by Joseph Smith. This work is the product of five years of effort undertaken with the assistance of researcher Don Bradley. With nearly 1,500 pages of combined text, not counting the index, Hales's volumes are ambitious by any measure and are impressive for their sheer scope,... Read more

Sacred Borders: Continuing Revelation and Canonical Restraint in Early America

From the earliest centuries of Christianity, the issue of the scriptural canon has been a vexed one. Jewish rabbis met at the Council of Jamniah to establish the Hebrew canon, but not until the Council of Florence in 1440 did the Roman Catholic Church designate the twenty-seven books of the New Testament as canonical. Even then, the authority of the Apocrypha remained contested, and when Martin... Read more

In God's Image and Likeness: Ancient and Modern Perspectives on the Book of Moses; In God's Image and Likeness: Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel

In God's Image and Likeness is an incredibly ambitious undertaking, containing literally volumes within volumes—a cosmic scope that befits its Book of Moses and "JST Genesis" subject matter. Volume 1 covers the visions of Moses, the Creation, the Fall, and Adam the patriarch, as well as an extensive section of excursus that covers nearly everything imaginable related to these topics. Volume 2... Read more

The Ten Lost Tribes: A World History

The Ten Lost Tribes: A World History is an ambitious treatment by Zvi Ben-Dor Benite, an associate professor of history and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at New York University. The subject is a departure from the focus of his book The Dao of Muhammad: A Cultural History of Muslims in Late China, but the story of the Ten Lost Tribes is intriguing, and the assembled tales of how people... Read more

Mormon Yankees: Giants on and off the Court

Mormon Yankees: Giants On and Off the Court describes an almost twenty-five-year period (1938–61) during which basketball-playing Church missionaries had a profound effect upon the Australian Latter-day Saint community, as well as on Australian basketball. Prolific author Fred Woods skillfully develops his thesis that the use of basketball as a proselyting tool brought both the Church and... Read more

Significant Textual Changes in the Book of Mormon: The First Printed Edition Compared to the Manuscripts and to the Subsequent Major LDS English Printed Editions

On July 11, 2013, I was surprised to get an email from a Community of Christ colleague informing me that the Smith-Pettit Foundation was publishing John S. Dinger's Significant Textual Changes in the Book of Mormon: The First Printed Edition Compared to the Manuscripts and to the Subsequent Major LDS English Printed Editions and that there was to be a book signing on July 18, 2013, at Benchmark... Read more

Peculiar Portrayals: Mormons on the Page, Stage, and Screen

With Peculiar Portrayals, Mark T. Decker and Michael Austin have assembled a fine collection of scholarly essays analyzing recent novels, plays, television programs, and films depicting Mormons and Mormon culture. It is an outstanding group of original papers, and I recommend it very highly. The collection begins with Cristine Hutchison-Jones's "Center and Periphery: Mormons and American Culture... Read more

City of Joseph: A Historical Musical of Nauvoo

The spectacle of outdoor theatre with a cast of hundreds, pyrotechnics, and special effects is hard to reimagine on an indoor stage. City of Joseph: A Historical Musical of Nauvoo was an immense production performed every summer from 1976 to 2004, with its final performances in the shadow of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple, and the scaled-down version I attended at BYU's Pardoe Theatre was certainly... Read more

The Object

Ordinary Kentucky man Todd Walker, self-proclaimed "discoverer," "protector," "guardian," and "witness" of the eponymous Object, and the focus of this fascinating documentary, is convinced that he has found the Urim and Thummim of the Old Testament. Todd and his two brothers-in-law, Dave Jones and Dale Bloomfield, had stopped by the local Goodwill during a particularly trying day at their tiling... Read more

The Mormon Quest for Glory: The Religious World of the Latter-day Saints

The Mormon Quest for Glory is a look into the Latter-day Saint religion and culture, as examined by anthropologist and professor Melvyn Hammarberg. Hammarberg initially began his twenty-five years of study of Latter-day Saints when working on an undergraduate paper about Joseph Smith Jr., eventually taking a closer look at the Church during a graduate program that focused on American civilization... Read more