Journal 57:1 | BYU Studies

Journal 57:1

Issue 57:1 Cover
One of the goals of Brigham Young University is to provide education for all members of the Church, wherever they may be, consistent with their circumstances. We have been called to rally our resources in this effort, and, at BYU Studies, we eagerly answer his call. This issue presents articles on Joseph Fielding Smith as a historian and theologian, the history of Mormon commemorative handcart...Read more

From the Editor

As we send this issue of BYU Studies Quarterly to press, I find myself reflecting on the influences of many people upon my life. Goodly parents and beloved family members always come at the top of my appreciation list. I recently met with many friends associated with BYU Studies and was filled with overwhelming thankfulness for the many editors, authors, advisors, administrators, readers, and... Read more

True and Faithful: Joseph Fielding Smith as Mormon Historian and Theologian

Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972) was not only an apostle and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he was a prolific writer of Church history and doctrine. Smith's historical approach tells the truth of the intellectual landscape he inhabited and thus holds historical value. The survey that follows is intended as a primer to Smith's written corpus for a new generation of... Read more

"Ye Are No More Strangers and Foreigners": Theological and Economic Perspectives on the LDS Church and Immigration

Immigration policy is a controversial topic in 2018. In response to refugee crises and legal situations that can break up families, the LDS Church announced its "I Was a Stranger" relief effort and released a statement encouraging solutions that strengthens families, keeps them together, and extends compassion to those seeking a better life. This article seeks to shed light on a correct... Read more

Photographs of the Dedication of Pioneer Square in Salt Lake City, July 25, 1898

In 1898, government officials in Salt Lake City decided to have a dedication ceremony for a city park on Pioneer Day. The park was the site of the first settlement of Mormon pioneers in 1847. The ceremony was held on July 25, 1898, and dignitaries such as leaders of churches and cities were invited to participate. This article presents photos of the event, specifically of Wilford Woodruff,... Read more

The Work of Their Hands

When the author did construction work as a young man, he was favorably impressed by the Latino work crews. After serving a Spanish-speaking mission to Los Angeles, he found himself once again working for the same company, but now he could understand the Latino workers. He again appreciated their good cheer and their work ethic. Eventually, he graduated with a degree in history, but his studies... Read more

Handcart Trekking: From Commemorative Reenactment to Modern Phenomenon

Youth groups in many LDS wards and stakes currently participate in a handcart trek. These events teach young people about Mormon pioneer history and strengthen their faith. While the widespread modern practice of treks can be credited somewhat to the 1997 pioneer trail reenactment, reenactments have their roots in Pioneer Day parades and reenactments and in activities begun in the 1960s, when... Read more

Approaching Completion: The Book of Mormon Critical Text Project: A Review of Royal Skousen's Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon and The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon: Grammatical Variation

When Royal Skousen published the first part of Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon in 2005, it seemed to herald the beginning of a new approach to Book of Mormon studies, one marked by an unprecedented level of detail, rigor, and professionalism. That series was completed in 2009 as volume 4 of Skousen's Critical Text Project, which aims, through linguistic study and analysis of... Read more

My Son's Guitar Class

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

A Plain and Precious Part Restored: An Essay Based on Matthew W. Bates's The Birth of the Trinity: Jesus, God, and Spirit in New Testament and Early Christian Interpretations of the Old Testament

A "prosopological exegesis," which Matthew Bates uses in his book The Birth of the Trinity , presupposes that ancient texts contain conversations between different persons. When understood in this manner, some Old Testament passages read like lines from a play, with different actors playing various parts. Bates argues that a prosopological reading of the Old Testament led early Christians to find... Read more

The Mormon Jesus: A Biography

Many scholars within Mormon studies and interested readers are well aware of John Turner's significant contribution to the history of Mormonism through his biography of Brigham Young (Harvard University Press, 2012), which received high praise. Turner's more recent work follows a similar style and performs equally well in exploring a topic of considerable interest within Mormon studies. In The... Read more

An Introduction to the Book of Abraham

John Gee's long-awaited work on the book of Abraham provides the reader with a plethora of information regarding an important and sacred work within the Mormon scriptural canon. From the offset, Gee emphasizes that his purpose is to "make reliable information about the book of Abraham accessible to the general reader" (ix), and he is largely successful in doing this. My treatment of Gee's work... Read more

The Memory of the Temple and the Making of the Rabbis

As John Lundquist already pointed out years ago, ancient temples served as "the central, organizing, unifying institution in ancient Near Eastern society." 1 For many of the monarchies that populated the ancient Near East and the empires that dominated later antiquity, the temple undergirded and supported the kingship in its political as well as religious roles. This system worked very well when... Read more

Emmeline B. Wells: An Intimate History

Carol Madsen's biography of Emmeline B. Wells published by the University of Utah Press in 2017 is aptly titled An Intimate Biography . Madsen depicts the private life of a scrappy thinker and doer, an editor, suffragist, club woman, and Relief Society leader. Emmeline Wells stood less than five feet tall and operated with limited financial resources as a single woman supporting herself during... Read more

Foundations of the Restoration: Fulfillment of the Covenant Purposes

This volume is a collection of fifteen papers presented at the forty-fifth annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium, held in October 2016. The title and subject matter of the symposium were drawn from the LDS Institute course titled "Foundations of the Restoration," which explores the events surrounding the founding of the Church and early Mormonism. The editors, Craig James Ostler, Michael Hubbard... Read more

Directions for Mormon Studies in the Twenty-First Century

At its heart, Directions for Mormon Studies in the Twenty-First Century is a celebration of religious studies in general and of Mormon studies in particular. The book presents twelve provocative essays written by scholars from multiple disciplines and various parts of the world. The essays are divided into five parts, each part focusing on either a topic or a methodology. Though the book does... Read more

Let Us Reason Together: Essays in Honor of the Life's Work of Robert L. Millet

Let Us Reason Together is a Festschrift honoring the work of Robert L. Millet, a renowned scholar and former dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University. The volume covers a variety of disciplines and subjects, representative of the breadth of Millet's corpus, which comprises over sixty publications on a variety of topics. Let Us Reason Together is likewise broad in its coverage,... Read more

At Sword's Point, Part 1: A Documentary History of the Utah War to 1858, and Part 2: A Documentary History of the Utah War, 1858–1859

Using six decades of research, historian William MacKinnon has created a masterful two-volume documentary history of the Utah War. In creating this helpful collection, he did not reprint documents that were overly long or readily available from other sources. The two volumes tell "the story of the Utah War's origins, prosecution, and impact" and highlight "a crucial crisis in the history of the... Read more

The Council of Fifty: What the Records Reveal about Mormon History

The announcement in September 2013 that the LDS Church would be publishing a transcript of the Council of Fifty minutes came as welcome news to the Mormon scholarly community. Previously considered confidential and kept in the First Presidency's vault, the record had been unavailable for reading and research for 160 years. This secrecy had two consequences: debate and speculation among the... Read more

At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women

At the Pulpit joins other notable recent books on Latter-day Saint women such as The First Fifty Years of Relief Society , The Witness of Women , the books in the Women of Faith series, and the long-running series of books from the BYU Women's Conference. Each of these seeks to bring the records of female Saints out of relative obscurity. Editors Jennifer Reeder and Kate Holbrook help move this... Read more