Dancing in America during the 1800s was a controversial activity: Generally some opposed dancing as a “vain amusement” leading to serious sin, while others viewed dancing as an “elegant and amiable accomplishment.” In this context, Larry V. Shumway questions why LDS leaders endorsed dancing so highly during this time period. This issue also features the life and art of Effie Marquess Carmack who through her trials, managed to create beautiful paintings, some of which are displayed in this issue. Geologist Bart Kowallis studies volcanic activity as an explanation for the destruction recorded in 3 Nephi. Two talks by Clyn Barrus, former director of BYU’s School of Music, are provided in this issue of BYU Studies. They iterate the power of music in conveying emotions that sometimes cannot be conveyed otherwise.