Issue 45, no. 1, features two articles about Joseph Smith and a cover to match. Artwork by Brian Kershisnik captures the essence of the community created by Joseph Smith’s teachings: people inspired by truth who help each other in unexpected ways.
‘Lightning Out of Heaven’: Joseph Smith and the Forging of Community, is the full text of Terryl Givens’s BYU devotional address given in November 2005. It describes how Joseph’s radical (for his time) conception of human nature and human relationships led men to greatness. Thomas Carlyle said, The great man was always as lightning out of Heaven; the rest of men waited for him like fuel and then they too would flame. Joseph Smith was such a man: his teachings not only attracted followers but galvanized them into a powerfully cohesive group.
In Are Christians Mormon? Reassessing Joseph Smith’s Theology in His Bicentennial, David Paulsen examines seven points of Joseph’s theology: (1) the presence of spiritual gifts and the reopening of the biblical canon; (2) God as a personal and passible being; (3) the Godhead as three distinct personages; (4) deification; (5) the divine feminine; (6) God as eternally self-surpassing; and (7) salvation for the dead. For each point he summarizes Joseph’s teachings, the traditional Christian view, and new Christian ideas.
In An Islander’s View of a Desert Kingdom: Jonathan Napela Recounts His 1869 Visit to Salt Lake City, Fred Woods shares a remarkable letter that Hawaiian convert Jonathan Napela wrote to Brigham Young.
The book of Moses (found in the Pearl of Great Price), which serves as a prologue to Genesis, has no counterpart in any of the extant Bible translations such as the Greek Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch, or the Aramaic Targums. But the Book of Jubilees does in fact begin with a prologue that has remarkable parallels to Moses 1. Read about them in A Prologue to Genesis: Moses 1 in Light of Jewish Traditions, by E. Douglas Clark.
In 1998, BYU Studies published a bibliography of LDS writings on the Old Testament. Now in 2006, David Seely updates that bibliography by adding over two hundred recent books and articles to aid your study of the Old Testament.