Source Criticism and the Books of Moses and Abraham

Latter-day Saint (LDS) scripture is filled to the brim with biblical quotations, allusions, and echoes that tie back to earlier scriptural writings. The use and interpretation of scripture goes far back in the Jewish and Christian traditions,[1] and can sometimes be … Continue reading

Joseph Smith’s Seer Stone: A Historiographical Glimpse

The recently released images of Joseph Smith’s brown seer stone in the Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations and Translations, Volume 3: Printer’s Manuscript of the Book of Mormon and forthcoming article in the Ensign titled “Joseph the Seer” discussing Smith’s method … Continue reading

Church Unveils Joseph Smith Seer Stone in Drive toward Historical Transparency

At a press conference yesterday the LDS Church released photographs of the chocolate-colored, egg-shaped seer stone that Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Mormon. For decades the stone has resided in the restricted First Presidency vault, and visitors have rarely … Continue reading

Family Breakdown, the Welfare State, and the Family Proclamation: An Alternative History*

Laura Compton at Rational Faiths has an enlightening and informative post on the origins of the Family Proclamation. She effectively demonstrates that the controversy surrounding Baehr v. Lewin–the first major victory for same-sex marriage proponents–gave birth to the quasi-canonical document. … Continue reading

Too Much Monkey Business: Reconstructing Joseph Smith’s Polygamy for the Unsettled Latter-day Saint

Title: Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding Authors: Brian C. Hales and Laura H. Hales Publisher: Greg Kofford Books Genre: Religion Year Published: 2015 Number of Pages: 204 Binding: Paperback ISBN13: 978-1-58958-723-6 Price $19.95 Reviewed by: Cheryl L. Bruno … Continue reading

Race and the Mormon Struggle to Revise Whiteness

Mormonism’s nineteenth-century white Protestant critics often cast the Latter-day Saints as racially degenerate—a tragic decline into non-white barbarism. Anxious about the lack of obvious physical markers of this degeneracy, critics constructed fantasies of distinctive Mormon bodies: red, black, yellow, and … Continue reading