Category: Mormon Thought

Doctrine – Theology – Philosophy

Archeology, Ceramics, and the Smith Family in Tunbridge

In addition to written records, people leave behind traces of their material lives that can tell us much about who they were.  In a recent interview with Kurt Manwaring, Mark Staker (a Master Curator for the Church History Department’s Historic…

Historical Mindset for Mormons, 101

While studying in a scientific field, two major ideas were drilled into me that have been fairly helpful in interpreting history.  First is the belief that nothing can ever truly be proved, only that things can be disproved.  If something…

“This is the light of Christ“

As one of Joseph Smith’s largest revelations, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 88 (or, as Joseph Smith called it, “the Olieve leaf which we have plucked from the tree of Paradise”) has a lot of different talking points.  As historian Richard…

“These two Priesthoods”

Words can be a bit slippery, particularly when we use them in different ways over time.  Take, for example, the use of the word “ordinance” in the Church.  In its most basic sense, an ordinance is an authoritative order; a…

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Joseph Smith’s presidential campaign has been an area of interest for several years now (particularly since the release of the Council of Fifty minutes), and Spencer W. McBride’s recently-published Joseph Smith for President: The Prophet, the Assassins, and the Fight…

“This is Elias”

In both the Vision studied recently (D&C 76) and the first revelation studied this week (D&C 77) there is a mysterious figure referenced as Elias.  Throughout the remainder of his ministry, Joseph Smith would use this name-title to refer to…

A Scriptural Prank

One day while I was serving my mission, my companion told me that he knew the name of the Holy Ghost.  I told him I was doubtful, but he insisted that it was Eden.  He opened his scriptures to Doctrine…

Saint, Senator, and Scoundrel

“The lack of any biography of Frank Cannon seemed a glaring gap in [Utah] annals. It was high time to tell his story.”  Val Holley recently stated this during an interview with Kurt Manwaring where they discussed Frank Cannon and…

Why Mormon Literature is Vital

Last night poet and author James Goldberg, current president of the Association for Mormon Letters (AML), gave a short but masterful Presidential address as part of the AML’s annual conference. His poetic style and urgent message is quite powerful, despite…

The American Apocalypse

The end of the world is a pretty dramatic scene.  Perhaps it is because of that drama that the idea has captured the imagination of human beings for thousands of years and continues to do so today.  It is not…