My First Name is Not “Apologist”

Currently the issue of Joseph Smith and plural marriage is receiving a great deal of attention both in the media and on the blogosphere. As the author of a relevant trilogy, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: History and Theology, coauthor of the newly released Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding, co-webmaster of...

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Ancient Jewish Parallels and Mormon Scripture

In my research at the University of Utah I have mainly focused on Hebrew and Jewish studies, but have had the opportunity of taking a good sampling of courses on Mormon history, text, and practice as well. Both in and out of class I have read many studies that seek to understand Mormon scripture better in its own context, and in so...

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“Even Fifty Six Years, Should Wind Up the Scene”

In 1876, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published a revised edition of the Doctrine and Covenants which included, for the first time, section 130. This section includes the founding leader Joseph Smith’s prophecy that if Smith lived “until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man.”...

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Be ye therefore emotional

I was asked to do an “emotional kick off” for my relief society this week. I’d had my own emotional meltdown the night before giving my 20 minute workshop so I figured that made me a perfect candidate for teaching the concepts that I needed to use. And I felt a little bit like a hypocrite at the same time. So, as introverted as...

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Eyes that I might see

”That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.” Doctrine and Covenants 50:24 The Optic Nerves are the two most important cranial nerves in the body. They account for 40% of all the sensory neurons in the...

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There are Save but Two Churches Only

For as long as I can remember there has been a part of me that tenses up when I hear someone bear testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church. Even as a youth who never doubted the validity of the statement, hearing those words made me uncomfortable. What had I done in my life to merit...

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Scripture as Totem: Religion and the Importance of the Text

It is easily recognized that throughout the history of religious traditions texts have served an important role in the continued conceptualization and endurance of the individual faith traditions.[1] In the history of studies on religion, monographs, essays, articles, and books have mostly focused on attempting to interpret these...

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Joseph: The Keystone of Canonizable Revelation

By my count Joseph Smith has added 868 pages to the LDS canon by means of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. All other prophets since Joseph have accumulated a grand total of 13 pages by means of the Doctrine and Covenants and Official Declarations. Perhaps the drought of canonized...

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Biblical Inerrancy and the Book of Mormon

Biblical Inerrancy and the Book of Mormon: Creating a Platform for LDS/Evangelical Dialogue by Michelle G. Wiener Question: Is there room for the Book of Mormon within the theological framework of “biblical inerrancy”? Recently the following paragraph from my essay “Two Lampstands: Two Branches” featured in Rational Faiths made its...

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The King James Bible in the Book of Moses, Part I

With the recent publication of David Bokovoy’s Authoring the Old Testament: Genesis-Deuteronomy, many have wondered to what extent the Bible has had influence on the Book of Moses. The discussion has mainly revolved around the parts of the text that are obvious revisions of the Genesis creation chapters (Genesis 1, 2-3) that...

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