Blog Archives

Going Long: Of Clubs and Conduct

November 14, 2007 | 37 comments

John Varah Long was cited to appear before church officials in 1866 for, among other reasons, “belonging to the young men’s social club, and other conduct unbecoming a saint.” Is it possible that the social club, one cause of Long’s excommunication, was also a model for the church’s Mutual Improvement Associations? Read more »

When Words Fail

November 6, 2007 | 9 comments

In the summer of 1879, a meteor streaked across the sky above Utah, and people throughout the state tried to describe what they had seen and heard. Read more »

Going Long: Of Speculation and Dark Mormon Doings

November 2, 2007 | 44 comments

November is TV sweeps month, where networks and stations vie for audiences to set their advertising rates for the coming months. Read more »

Mutual Questions

October 28, 2007 | 25 comments

Before there were Young Men and Young Women, there were the Young Men’s and Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Associations. Before there were correlated lesson manuals and basketball and scouting and Young Womanhood awards and dancing-a-Book-of-Mormon’s-width-apart there were homemade programs. Read more »

Torn Between Two Lovers

October 10, 2007 | 24 comments
Torn Between Two Lovers

English manufacturers were not the only ones to make Mormons the butt of a joke to advertise their products. Read more »

Anaïse Guyot: The Girl They Left Behind

October 3, 2007 | 9 comments

Early missionaries carried the gospel to many corners of the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, baptizing converts in neighborhoods where there was no established branch to sustain them. Read more »

Relief in the Order

September 25, 2007 | 43 comments

The town of Kingston, Utah, was settled as a United Order community, whose inhabitants pooled their economic, spiritual, and social resources and attempted to live the law of consecration Read more »

Brigham ‘n’ Ethel 4Ever

September 13, 2007 | 45 comments

A woman — or, perhaps, a group of men and/or women — bent on a practical joke and signing her letter as “Ethel,” once wrote to Brigham Young from St. Louis to propose marriage. Read more »

“The most difficult of all the many subjects”

September 11, 2007 | 18 comments

That is what B.H. Roberts called it when he reached the point in his monumental Comprehensive History of the Church where he had to confront the Mountain Meadows massacre, which occurred 150 years ago today. Read more »

A French View of Mormonism, 1941

September 9, 2007 | 11 comments

I’ve referred a time or two to one of my heroes, Leon Fargier, the only Melchisedek Priesthood holder in France during World War II. Read more »

Of Perfect Organizations

September 5, 2007 | 30 comments

“No other organization is so perfect as the Mormon Church, except the German army.” Read more »

Last Blast of Summer Reading

September 1, 2007 | 11 comments

Hard to believe it’s the end of summer, especially with temps around here expected to top 100 again. Read more »

The Bell Tolls

August 29, 2007 | 7 comments

August 2007 has seen the passing of two fine Mormon historians Read more »


August 18, 2007 | 12 comments

Baseball cards and Pokemon cards are the modern descendants of the 18th and 19th century trade card Read more »

Roll Call: Non-U.S. Readers of T&S

August 13, 2007 | 44 comments

Comments expressing love for President Faust have been left by readers in India and the Netherlands Antilles. Read more »

James E. Faust, 1920-2007

August 10, 2007 | 70 comments

President James E. Faust, second counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley, has passed away at age 87. Read more »

Tickled by the Fringes

August 3, 2007 | 28 comments

For more than 200 years, my father’s family has lived in western New York, centered between Canandaigua and Palmyra. Whenever anyone publishes a description of Joseph Smith’s neighborhood and the neighbors who knew him or hired him or harassed him, I scour the writing for familiar names. Read more »

My Love Letter to Boy Scouts

July 28, 2007 | 83 comments

I heard today from a great-grandchild (one of 30) of the little girl in the story below Read more »

To the Mountains of Ephraim

July 24, 2007 | 42 comments

This is a talk I gave in Sacrament Meeting today. Read more »

The Opening Up of Africa

July 13, 2007 | 15 comments

An editorial by this title appeared in the Deseret News late in 1877. Read more »

“Corianton”: Genealogy of a Mormon Phenomenon

June 8, 2007 | 21 comments

This is the paper I read at the recent Mormon History Association meeting. I post it now in connection with T&S’s Mormon Writers Series commemoration of the 30th anniversary of President Spencer W. Kimball’s call for a renaissance in Mormon cultural arts Read more »

“New Pioneers … On the March!”

June 2, 2007 | 7 comments
“New Pioneers … On the March!”

What does today’s Deseret Morning News editorial have in common with my 1941 copper medal bearing the legend “Our Standard Bearer” over the likeness of President Heber J. Grant? Read more »

Les Arabes

May 18, 2007 | 21 comments

They weren’t like us. “Watch out for les Arabes,” I learned as a missionary in the south of France. Read more »

A flower? A hanky?

May 13, 2007 | 70 comments

So what was it? What did your ward pass out to its mothers/all women on Mother’s/Every-Woman-Over-18 Day? Read more »