Journal 57:2 | BYU Studies

Journal 57:2

Volume 57:2 (2018)
In this issue, Jeffrey Chadwick uses historical, calendrical, archaeological, and scriptural evidence to construct a model that Lehi departed Jerusalem in 605 BC. Jennifer Champoux looks at paintings of women in the Gospels to see what message the paintings convey, specifically about Mary and Martha. David W. Smith explains the history of the council on the disposition of the tithes of the LDS...Read more

From the Editor

One of the most dramatic changes introduced recently into the everyday vocabulary of members of the Church has been the shift away from perceiving ourselves as teachers and moving toward reconceiving ourselves as ministers. Although true teaching has always been personal and focused on the one, the idea of teaching sometimes can be reduced to just the delivery of information, which can take on a... Read more

Dating the Departure of Lehi from Jerusalem

Dating the departure of Lehi from Jerusalem is problematic and has resulted in various proposed dates, most falling between 597 and 587 BC, which do not allow for 600 years to elapse between the departure and the birth of Christ in late 5 BC or early 4 BC. In this article, the author introduces a variety of evidence to show that Lehi's departure can be dated to sometime in late 605 BC. Much of... Read more

Photographs of the Interior of the Salt Lake Tabernacle, December 1905

In December 1905, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–day Saints celebrated the one hundredth birthday of its founder, Joseph Smith. A granite monument was erected at his birthplace in Sharon, Vermont, and gatherings of Saints were held in congregations in Utah and other western states. The Church at this time was under investigation and criticism from federal and local government and religious... Read more

Wise or Foolish: Women in Mormon Biblical Narrative Art

Images that are seen as officially endorsed by the LDS Church can affect the way members interpret scriptural stories or historical Church events. For example, LDS artwork often portrays biblical women as simplified, didactic figures. With particular focus on depictions of Mary and Martha, this essay examines the limited instances of groups of women in common LDS biblical narrative art to... Read more

The Rise and Fall of Portugal's Maritime Empire, a Cautionary Tale?

The pioneering role that Portugal played during the European Age of Discovery is little known in American, and Mormon, education. Portugal was a world leader in (1) maritime technology; (2) map making; (3) commercial trade and political treaties; and (4) the introduction of Christianity on five continents. These religious, economic, agricultural, linguistic, and cultural exchanges were recorded... Read more

The Development of the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes

The Council on the Disposition of the Tithes was established in 1838 and reestablished in 1943. An 1838 revelation to Joseph Smith in Missouri established the council by essentially codifying then–current practice; the revelation was re–revealed in 1918 with modifications; implementation of the revelation was delayed due to the death of the President of the Church; and in 1943, the council was... Read more

Mystery and Dance

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

Revelations and Translations, Volume 1: Manuscript Revelation Books and Volume 2: Published Revelations

While the two volumes of the Revelations and Translations series of the Joseph Smith Papers should intrigue anyone interested in Church history, those particularly interested in the textual history of the Doctrine and Covenants will find them an absolute treasure. Volume 1 consists of verbatim transcriptions of the manuscript books known as Revelation Book 1 and Revelation Book 2, which contain... Read more


If pressed, I would say Paco is probably closer to biography than it is to any other literary genre, but this hybrid work is so much more than the life story of a composer. The author, Nathan Thatcher, has penned an extraordinary text—equal parts biography, travelogue, composition catalog, music history, and coming–of–age narrative of a young scholar—that synthesizes a firehose of information... Read more

A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women's Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, a distinguished history professor emerita from Harvard University, has recently released a long–awaited and widely acclaimed work on women and plural marriage in early Mormonism, titled A House Full of Females . She has previously published four books related to Colonial and Revolutionary America, one of which, A Midwife's Tale , won both a Bancroft and a Pulitzer Prize... Read more

Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History

In 1972, Leonard J. Arrington was appointed Church Historian, the only non–General Authority to hold that position since 1842. Earlier, Elder Howard W. Hunter, adviser to the Historical Department and the previous Church Historian, had told him that the Church needed a professionally trained historian and some new histories. The Church was mature enough, Elder Hunter said, that its history should... Read more

The Trek East: Mormonism Meets Japan, 1901–1968

Shinji Takagi's extremely detailed and thoroughly researched book The Trek East makes a significant contribution to understanding early LDS Church history in Japan. Although the book covers a period that has been extensively described in previous scholarship, Takagi does not present another historical narrative of key events but rather provides a rigorous study of the social influences that... Read more

Out of Obscurity: Mormonism since 1945

Generally speaking, Latter–day Saint knowledge of Church history after 1847 is spotty at best. The reason for this deficit is that most Church members read little LDS history beyond what they get once every four years in Gospel Doctrine class, and, until recently, the curriculum covered little after the Saints' arrival in the Salt Lake Valley. Twentieth–century history, in particular, is largely... Read more

Settling the Valley, Proclaiming the Gospel: The General Epistles of the Mormon First Presidency

Reid L. Neilson and Nathan N. Waite have compiled these fourteen documents, most of which were originally published in the Deseret News , into one volume. Neilson is Assistant Church Historian for the LDS Church, and Waite is an associate editorial manager for the Joseph Smith Papers Project. Neilson and Waite succinctly state the purpose of their work: "to make these General Epistles more... Read more

Religion and Families: An Introduction

Religion and Families is a new book offered by two BYU professors: Loren D. Marks and David C. Dollahite, who both work in the School of Family Life. The work is meant to be used as an undergraduate textbook and is part of a series offered by Routledge, Textbooks in Family Studies, whose purpose is to "pair leading scholars with core topics in the field of family studies that are surprisingly... Read more