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No abstract available.
Adam-ondi-Ahman seems to have had reference at an early date to a general area rather than to a specific spot. If the Prophet Joseph Smith knew at that time (March 1832) of a specific location in Missouri to which the name also applied, he left us no written evidence of it. A second reference came some thirty-six months later, on 28 March 1835: the “valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman” is specified in a revelation to the Prophet as the place where Adam met with his posterity.
To help celebrate our 50th anniversary, Doris R. Dant has compiled a new book of personal essays titled Adventures of the Soul: The Best Creative Nonfiction from BYU Studies. Expect startling disclosures if you open this book, for these are personal essays—the reality show of literature. Sometimes with brutal candor, these essays trace gospel messages in the lives of the humble. A Xhosa black man with three teeth and a perfectly round head becomes the Savior of all races. A young mother recognizes her entire body belongs to her children—“take, eat!” A harmonica player is awakened and washed by irrigation water, the water of life. A returned missionary learns to see God’s mysterious hand in the life of a former foe. Miracles, love, pain, the substance of life—all can be found in these stories. “Adventures is a page-turner! When there is a point to be illustrated in a talk or a family home evening discussion, readers are likely to reach for this book.” — Karen Lynn Davidson author of Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and the Messages and coeditor of Eliza R. Snow: The Complete Poetry “The stories are compelling because we see ourselves in them and sometimes the author sounds just like us.” — Richard Neitzel Holzapfel Director, Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University “The essays in this volume will provoke reactions from tears to laughter and give readers a window into the richness of the Mormon experience in the modern world.” — Nathan B. Oman Assistant Professor at William and Mary Law School
In her fifty years as a public figure, Emmeline B. Wells edited the Woman’s Exponent, represented Latter-day Saint women in national women’s organizations, courageously defended her religion in the halls of Congress, and helped mitigate anti-Mormon sentiments, all before becoming Relief Society General President in 1910 at age eighty-two. Her mediating efforts won friends inside and outside LDS circles and earned her a sculpted bust placed in a niche in the Utah state Capitol. The simple inscription speaks volumes: “A Fine Soul Who Served Us.” “Emmeline Wells left indelible footprints not only in Utah—where she had a close working relationship with five church presidents—but on the national stage, including interviews with four U.S. Presidents, one in her own home. . . . Madsen broadens and deepens what she began in her award-winning dissertation [on Wells’s life and work] to provide the full, engaging story of this woman who both chronicled and made history. Wells encouraged and inspired the women of her day. With Madsen’s eloquent retelling, Emmeline’s accomplishments may now inspire those of our own age, too.” Ronald K. Esplin, Joseph Smith Papers general editor, president Mormon History Association (2006–2007)
This article illustrates the Nephite notions of priesthood and church in order to show that the Book of Mormon conception of priesthood is based on Judahite notions of kingly priesthood and ideas firmly rooted in the biblical law of Moses and the Sinai Covenant. This is the underlying idea behind Alma2’s discussion of Melchizedek in Alma 13. In this article, I first look at “priest” in the biblical record and tradition. I follow this with a discussion of Book of Mormon “priesthood” notions up to Alma1 and Alma2 (including the interaction with Nehor). Finally, I examine the conflict between Alma2 and the Nehorite people of Ammonihah, where Alma2 draws on a narrative expansion of the Melchizedek tradition in Genesis 14 to make his point about his priesthood order and its superiority to the order of Nehor.
No abstract available.
The Bible describes a bifurcated world in which God bids, commands, and teaches the people he has created to follow him in the way of righteousness, and in which the devil leads people into wickedness. This way of seeing things surfaces explicitly in various texts and is known among scholars as the Doctrine of the Two Ways. While the same teaching has been noticed in the Book of Mormon, there is as yet no study that examines the Book of Mormon presentations systematically to identify the ways in which they might follow any of the ancient versions of the Two Ways doctrine, or the ways in which these might feature original formulations. In this article, Noel Reynolds shows that the Book of Mormon writers did retain most elements of the earliest biblical teaching, but with enriched understandings and original formulations of the Doctrine of the Two Ways in their prophetic teachings. He documents twelve exemplary passages in the Book of Mormon that explicitly refer to two paths or ways and assesses the extent to which these follow or vary from each other or from Jewish and Christian models.
After approximately 140 years, public and scholarly opinion are finally beginning to concede the possibility that writing did indeed exist among the ancient Americans. While I have been waiting for this shift to occur among those who don’t have the Mormons’ axe to grind, I have been collecting every available evidence to support my belief in the existence of such writing. My own findings and the findings of others not only establish the fact that writing did exist in ancient America, but they also indicate that metal plates were frequently used as a medium for this writing and that the writings themselves often denote Old World, specifically Hebrew, origins.
In most forms of Gnosticism secret oral tradition is often associated with accounts of the creation of the world, the experiences of Adam and Eve in the Garden, and the fall of man. It is usually in this creation setting or in a temple or on a mountaintop that Gnosticism places the revelation of the esoteric mysteries and the knowledge needed to thwart the archontic powers and return to God.
Gnosticism is primarily concerned with the questions, Who am I? Where am I from? and What is my destiny? That the answers to these questions are often associated with the creation, the Garden, and the fall of man is probably due to the Gnostic presupposition that the end of all things is to be found in their beginning. Of those documents which manifest this concern, the Nag Hammadi Apocalypse of Adam is perhaps the prime example.
A brief note in the History of the Church under the date of Sunday, 3 April 1836, records the appearance of the Lord, Moses, Elias, and Elijah to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. Subsequent writers have noted that this date corresponds to the Jewish Passover, during which the arrival of Elijah is traditionally awaited. A parenthetical note in the Missionary Training Manual: For Use in the Jewish Proselyting Program states the correlation of the two events emphatically. There we are informed that Elijah appeared in the Kirtland Temple “at about the same hour that the Jewish families in that time zone would have been preparing to begin their feast of the Passover.” These statements, although correct in their identification of the Jewish Passover with the ritual expectation of Elijah and in their connecting the time of the appearance of Elijah in the Kirtland Temple with the Passover season, warrant further elucidation and modest chronological correction.
As the century closes, subcultures are being swallowed up by a world culture of mass media and increased secularization. Like a great and abominable church, much of this culture is fundamentally opposed to the principles of the gospel. For twenty-five years, Arthur Henry King has critiqued this mass culture. But he does more. He teaches us to spiritually arm ourselves and our children to win the battle against the destructive forces encompassing us worldwide. King’s talks encourage a deeper commitment to a life of repentance and service and an empathy for the unconverted. They counsel us to turn away from the ugly, vulgar, violent entertainments of our time. Rather, we should seek happiness, not as a goal, but as an activity that includes learning from the best art, music, and literature. By attending to the minute particulars of texts and to the details of everyday living, we free ourselves from traditions that stunt our souls. We open our hearts and minds to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, our souls to the Atonement. Professor King persuasively argues that genuine education begins in homes where parents read the scriptures to and with their children. The language and morality of scripture then form the foundation for learning and judging every activity, art, and discipline. Arm the Children includes all the talks found in King’s Abundance of the Heart plus several previously unpublished talks that continue his jeremiad on behalf of us all.
Since 1998 the Brigham Young University Museum of Art has hosted the biennial Art, Belief, Meaning Symposium. The purpose of the symposium is to provide an opportunity for Latter-day Saint artists, critics, and commentators to contribute to the ongoing discussion about issues related to art and spirituality. Our goal is to articulate our interest in the making of art that not only is relevant and meaningful for our day, but which also bears witness and gives perspective to the realities that flow from the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. The symposium provides a welcome forum for discussion regarding issues that have always concerned serious religious artists: • What is the role of the artist in relation to the mission of the Church? • What is the place of self expression, belief, and inspiration in religious art? • Do artists have a “mission” through their work? • How does individual testimony find expression in the work of the artist? • Does religion create untenable tensions in the expression of the artist? • What is the relationship between idea and technique in religious art? • Can religious art find expression through contemporary art movements? This series provides an opportunity for like-minded believers, those with deep and often passionate interests in the arts, to come together, reason together, and benefit from each others’ points of view. Hopefully others who find themselves confronted by similar issues will benefit from a careful reading of these essays.
Elder M. Russell Ballard once said, Inspired art speaks in the language of eternity, teaching things to the heart that the eyes and ears can never understand. Students and scholars at Brigham Young University discuss art in our theology in this new publication entitled Art, Belief, Meaning. The articles in this volume come from the proceedings of the 2003 Art, Belief, and Meaning symposium. This volume starts by analyzing some of the challenges of being a Latter-day Saint artist. Examples include Pat Debenham’s “Seduction of Our Gifts” and Tanya Rizzuti’s “Imparting One to Another: The Role of Humility, Charity, and Consecration within an Artistic Community.” The next section deals with the aesthetics of art. Articles in this section like Grant L. Lunds’s “What Makes a Good Image? What Makes a Good Life?” and Bruce H. Smith’s “What Can You Do with an Eclair?” help us to understand what makes art beautiful. The last section looks at the role of postmodernism in art. Some articles include “Taking Off Our Shoes: On Seeing the Other Religiously” by Keith H. Lane, and Nancy Andruk’s “Accountability, Efficacy, and Postmodernism.”
This book reports on selected buildings and objects that bring to life important events that took place in the first two decades of the Restoration. As museum curators and historians worked to exhibit and tell the history of these objects, they sometimes found that stories told about them were incorrect. This collection’s aim is to tell a more accurate history about these treasured heirlooms. Since the beginning of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, members have kept records and honored their past. Documents and artifacts provide evidence of sacred events and connect the spiritual aspect of the Church to tangible objects. This book reports on selected buildings and objects that bring to life important events that took place in the first two decades of the Restoration. As museum curators and historians worked to exhibit and tell the history of these objects, they sometimes found that stories told about them were incorrect. This collection’s aim is to tell a more accurate history about these treasured heirlooms. Items discussed in this volume: The two Smith family homes in Palmyra-Manchester, New York The artifacts of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, including weapons, canes, Carthage Jail, and watches Eliza R. Snow’s watch, given to her by Joseph Smith The Nauvoo Temple bells The Relief Society Campanile on Temple Square Cannons and other artillery used in Nauvoo and Utah Odometers used on the pioneer trail Telling a better history of these physical objects helps preserve them for future generations. 504 pages Paperback
In 1947 the artist Han van Meegeren stood in the criminal court in Amsterdam and admitted he was guilty of forgery in what may be the greatest known art fraud. Forty years later, in 1987, Mark Hofmann confessed his guilt of forgery, fraud, and murder growing out of what may be the greatest known historical document fraud. The two cases show some striking similarities.These two men, the artist and the forger, turned their considerable talents to crime because of vanity, anger, and greed. They might have gone undetected, but the love of money held them captive. They risked again and again exposure and imprisonment, unable to quit while ahead. Their forgeries went undetected for years but ultimately came to light when police began investigating the men for much different crimes. As bizarre as the story of Mark Hofmann may seem, he was merely acting out a new production of an old play.
Reprinted in Studies of the Books of Moses and Abraham: Articles from BYU Studies. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book.
A review of a piece by Wallace Turner arguing against the authenticity of the Joesph Smith Papyri and the Book of Abraham, and a defense of the papyri and book themselves.
Undergirding Richard Bushman’s insightful paper is a profound recognition (and a reminder) that histories are the creations of authors, not photographs of the past. Every aspect of writing a history, from the selection of sources to the interpretation of those sources bears the imprint of the author. The profoundly precarious and contingent character of all reconstruction of the past led Roland Barthes to quip that biography is “a novel that dare not speak its name.” Clearly, this is an overstatement, but it does warn us away from an unhealthy critical complacency when engaging in studying written histories.