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Covenant making and personal revelation
General Authorities and religious educators provide thoughtful answers to intriguing gospel questions as they share their testimonies of the Savior. This collection of papers presented at a Brigham Young University symposium on the Savior invites us to learn more about the Being we worship. It sounds a clarion call of testimony—offered with clarity, vigor, and gratitude—in witness of the divine calling of our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus of Nazareth. ISBN 1-57008-856-X
One of Mormondom’s premier poets came from a stone tenement in the slums of Glasgow. Taking readers back to John’s early years, the book recreates early nineteenth-century Scotland, providing an analysis of the social milieu in which he existed, interspersed with autobiographical accounts of his own youthful experiences, including the death of his father, John’s apprenticeship to a weaver at age nine, and his efforts at self-education. As his story continues, we see his bright hopes become reality. Then the gospel found him. He embraced it fully and anxiously awaited the “call” to join the Saints in Zion. As well as telling the story, the author explores the poetry and prose of John Lyon, comparing and analyzing its merits and giving background information on the various writings. Appendices include his poetry and prose. ISBN 0-8849-4708-4
Joseph and Hyrum Smith exemplified leadership as they worked together in organizing and operating the Church, teaching, speaking, and building temples and towns. As leaders, they held firm to their convictions, roused the hearts and minds of men and women in varied walks of life, and left legacies sufficient to stamp them as two of the most remarkable and influential men of the nineteenth century. The stories and examples of their shared leadership illustrate how they honored agency, exerted righteous influence, grew through adversity, forged bonds of obligation and love, governed conflict, and organized through councils. Their examples in this book can help us transform our personal perspective of leadership, lead with an eternal focus, heal and bless others through our leadership, learn and grow by asking authentic questions, share leadership in the home, and lead in the governmental arena. By incorporating these principles in our lives, we can foster more satisfying relationships in our homes, our Church service, and our professional lives. The book concludes with a call for each of us to carry on their legacy, which transcends time and place. Their lives and teachings are filled with lessons and skills we can easily apply today. ISBN 978-0-8425-2754-5
The BYU 2012 Church History Symposium This book is a compilation of presentations from a BYU Church History Symposium. It features more than twenty messages about the life of Joseph F. Smith, including chapters by Elder M. Russell Ballard and Joseph Fielding McConkie. Elder Ballard, great-grandson of Joseph F. Smith, describes how the Lord prepared President Smith to lead the Church. Several scholars, historians, educators, and researchers highlight aspects of President Smith’s life, including his boyhood and adolescence, his family and personal relationships, his doctrinal contributions, Church government, and initiatives taken during his presidency in education, building construction, building the Laie Temple, creating the seminary program, and public outreach. ISBN 978-0-8425-2747-4
This volume celebrates the bicentennial of Joseph Smith’s 1820 First Vision of the Father and the Son, a founding event in the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. Contributors examine the various accounts of the vision, the religious excitement prevalent in the region, the question that prompted Joseph to enter the grove, the powers of darkness that assailed him, and the natural environment and ultimate preservation of the Sacred Grove. This volume brings together some of the finest presentations from a 2020 BYU Church History Symposium honoring the bicentennial of the First Vision. ISBN 978-1-9503-0408-0
The 34th Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium The 34th annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium held at Brigham Young University marks several significant anniversaries. One hundred eighty-five years before, in the spring of 1820, the Prophet Joseph Smith experienced the First Vision when our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ appeared to him in Palmyra, New York, ushering in the dispensation of the fulness of all times. The year also represented the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith, born December 23, 1805; the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Church, in April 1830; and the 170th anniversary of the calling of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, ordained in February 1835. The focus of this symposium was to help those in attendance discover that the Restoration is real. And 175 years later it continues to move forward at a quickened pace to fulfill its ultimate and prophesied purpose. ISBN 1-59038-489-X
The 34th Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium The 34th annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium held at Brigham Young University marks several significant anniversaries. One hundred eighty-five years before, in the spring of 1820, the Prophet Joseph Smith experienced the First Vision when our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ appeared to him in Palmyra, New York, ushering in the dispensation of the fulness of all times. The year also represented the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith, born December 23, 1805; the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Church, in April 1830; and the 170th anniversary of the calling of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, ordained in February 1835. The focus of this symposium was to help those in attendance discover that the Restoration is real. And 175 years later it continues to move forward at a quickened pace to fulfill its ultimate and prophesied purpose.
What did the Prophet Joseph Smith look like? Questions about Joseph Smith’s appearance have circulated ever since his martyrdom. This book is a comprehensive study into what the Prophet looked like based on many years of research. Work was started in 1975 when the author obtained a Joseph Smith portrait and after further inquiry learned that there was substantial disagreement regarding the Prophet’s appearance. The author’s desire for an accurate understanding of Joseph Smith’s image has resulted in this book, which includes the knowledge and resources of many individuals. Nearly 150 images are found in this volume, with fascinating commentary on the Prophet and the significance of each illustration. This book is an attempt to sort those that are accurate representations from those that are not. ISBN 1-5700-8394-0
Ten prominent Church scholars presented at the symposium on the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. Their in-depth study of the Joseph Smith Translation and related scriptures clarifies the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and show how Joseph Smith restored many plain and precious truths to that holy book. This volume brings together those addresses, illuminating this inspired translation as perhaps no other book had done.
The future of scholarship concerning the Prophet and Seer Joseph Smith has never appeared brighter. Amid the publication of the Joseph Smith Papers, this book adds poignant context to his writings and revelations. Drawing from a lecture series held at Brigham Young University entitled “Joseph Smith’s Prophetic Ministry,” the leading scholars and educators on Joseph Smith shared their wealth of knowledge on his life and history. Dividing the years of his prolific life into chapters, the authors create a compelling chronological view of the Prophet’s ministry and teachings, as well as the historical perspective necessary to capture the depth of his influence. Emerging from this material is a clearer picture of Joseph’s remarkable, complex, and passionate personality, shedding light on his divine mission to restore the Lord’s kingdom on the earth. Recent research has not diminished him in the least but shows him standing taller than ever as the prophet of the Restoration, the great seer who set in place the Lord’s kingdom for the latter days. British author Charles Mackay published a small work in 1851, claiming that it was the first public history of “this new religion” founded in America by Joseph Smith, “one of the most remarkable persons who has appeared on the stage of the world in modern times.” Although Mackay was not the first to write a history of the Latter-day Saints, he was right in asserting that Joseph Smith was a most remarkable person. Like those New Testament Apostles who left their personal lives and ambitions to follow Jesus, Joseph Smith was a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Since the beginning of the Restoration, many individuals have collected the Prophet’s teachings and attempted to tell his story. Yet the task of reconstructing the life of Joseph Smith is fraught with difficulties, as it is with telling the story of anyone who lived in the past. This book includes presentations from the foremost educators and scholars on Joseph Smith and his life. These messages provide current and faithful perspectives and will give helpful context for the study of Joseph Smith’s teachings. Each presenter is either on the Religious Education faculty at BYU or is part of the team preparing the landmark Joseph Smith Papers series. These scholars look at Joseph Smith with fresh eyes, mining both old evidence and new discoveries to show who the Prophet was, what he accomplished, and why his life matters. As a result of these efforts, in some ways we may know more about the Prophet than did those who lived during his lifetime, given the intimate look we have into his personal diaries and letters. Two introductory chapters focus on his early life, 1805-19, and the early years of the Restoration, 1820-29. Each chapter thereafter focuses on a specific year of his ministry from 1830-1844, providing an overview of the major events in Church history and discussing a major doctrinal or historical topic related to that period. This exciting and thorough treatment will lift people’s understanding of the Prophet Joseph and the gospel to new heights. Contributors in this book include Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, Richard E. Bennett, Kent P. Jackson, Robert J. Woodford, Grant Underwood, Alexander L. Baugh, J. Spencer Fluhman, Steven C. Harper, Ronald K. Esplin, William G. Hartley, Ronald O. Barney, Andrew H. Hedges, and Robert L. Millet. ISBN 978-0-8425-2753-8
This book, which contains proceedings of the 1991 dedication of the Joseph Smith Memorial building at Brigham Young University as well as twenty-three papers from the 1992 Joseph Smith Symposium, is a fitting tribute to the mighty prophet and seer who stands as the head of the dispensation of the fulness of times. The variety and scope of the material presented here are indicative of the powerful example of Christian living and sacrifice and the wealth of gospel understanding that the Prophet left to the world. ISBN 0-8849-4876-5
Several approaches to interpreting Joseph Smith’s use of the so-called Jewish and Christian apocryphal literature have been employed both by critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (hereafter LDS), and by those professing faith in the Church and whose interests may be classified as apologetic. These approaches span the range of being probative of Joseph Smith’s restoration of lost texts and scripture and being dismissive of Mormonism generally, because its sacred religious texts are founded on flagrant plagiarism of apocryphal literature. Before one can answer the most important historical question at hand, how Joseph Smith used the Apocrypha and what relationship that body of literature had to early Mormon writings, it seems prudent to first of all establish some controls on the discussion. This is necessary because previous discussions have largely contented themselves with drawing out parallels between apocryphal writings and early Mormon publications without any discussion of whether or not Joseph Smith had access to the texts under discussion. Moreover, a wide variety of modern translations of ancient apocryphal texts are often employed when there is no possible way that someone living in the early nineteenth century could have known them. This is particularly important when citing phrases or words that Joseph Smith might have incorporated into the language of his revelations.
The latter-day restoration of the gospel included the restoration of much significant truth to the Bible. It brought about the restoration of biblical history that had been lost and the restoration of biblical texts that had been changed or omitted or were in need of clarification. More important, it included the restoration of biblical doctrine that had been either removed, distorted, or simply misinterpreted by a world that did not enjoy the fulness of the gospel.
Shortly after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint was organized, the Prophet Joseph Smith was instructed by the Lord to undertake a careful reading of the Bible to revise and make corrections in accordance with the inspiration that he would receive. The result was a work of profound significance for the Church that included the revelation of many important truths and the restoration of many of the “precious things” that the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi had foretold would be taken from the Bible (1 Ne. 13:23–29). In June 1830 the first revealed addition to the Bible was set to writing. Over the next three years, the Prophet made changes, additions, and corrections as were given him by divine inspiration while he filled his calling to provide a more correct translation for the Church. Collectively, these are called the Joseph Smith Translation (JST), a name first applied in the 1970s, or the New Translation, as Joseph Smith and others in his day referred to it.
This book discusses the origins of Joseph Smith’s seer stones and explores how Joseph used them throughout his life in a way that goes beyond translating the Book of Mormon. It also traces the provenance of the seer stones once they leave his possession. The authors also examine how the Book of Mormon itself provides a storyline about the history of seer stones, which also helped Joseph Smith learn about his own prophetic gifts. Finally, this book explores how Joseph Smith took his own experiences with seer stones and created a theology of seer stones that became closely linked with his unique doctrines of exaltation. ISBN 978-1-9443-9405-9
The complete text of the Bible revision made by Joseph Smith, the Latter-day Saint prophet and founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, presented with modern punctuation and spelling and with the original chapter and verse divisions created by Joseph Smith and his scribes. The Prophet labored on the Bible project from June 1830 until July 1833. In his lifetime, he and his contemporaries referred to this work as the New Translation. Since the late 1970s it has most often been called the Joseph Smith Translation. The New Translation makes significant contributions to Latter-day Saint beliefs, particularly in the early chapters of Genesis. Key topics in which the Old and New Testament revisions are the source of significant Latter-day Saint beliefs include the nature of God, the universal impact of God’s work, the plan of salvation, the character and motives of Satan, the fall of Adam and Eve, the antiquity of Christianity, the creation of an ideal community called Zion, the purpose of the law of Moses, and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This volume is published in parallel columns with the corresponding verses of the King James Bible. ISBN 978-1-9503-0421-9
How did a young newlywed couple experience the pioneer trek west? In The Journey West, award-winning author Richard E. Bennett has compiled the first combined husband-and-wife account of the pioneer trek. The six journals rank among the great exodus journals. They were written by Horace K. Whitney, son of Newel K. and Elizabeth Whitney, with reminiscences and insights from Helen Mar Kimball Whitney, daughter of Heber C. and Vilate Kimball. One of Helen’s greatest contributions was to share a woman’s perspective and complement her husband’s perspectives in so many faith-building ways. The book has been richly illustrated and annotated to provide historical context. It is a remarkable story, with few parallels in the church history, of a young newlywed couple heading west with the exodus. It is a story of triumph over trials. ISBN 978-1-9443-9434-9