Emma’s Awareness: A Response to Brian Hales’ JMH Letter to the Editor

It has come to my attention that Brian Hales has commented on my article Keeping a Secret: Freemasonry, Polygamy, and the Nauvoo Relief Society, 1842-1844 which was published in the Fall 2013 issue of Journal of Mormon History. Brian’s comments … Continue reading

New Content at the Joseph Smith Papers website

The Church History Department has announced a major update to the Joseph Smith Papers website. Additions and enhancements include among other things, new finding aids, histories Joseph Smith assigned others to write, a letter to Emma Smith and a new … Continue reading

Gadianton Robbers and Spiritual Wives: John Whitmer on the Kirtland Church

The Joseph Smith Papers website recently posted an exciting addition to their collection: the John Whitmer history of the Church, which he kept from roughly 1831-1847.[1] Whitmer’s understanding of the events in Kirtland and Missouri may shed light on two … Continue reading

Video

“I am Spartacus!:” The Brother of Gideon and the Corporate Nature of Danite Identity

At a Sunday meeting in Far West in early June, 1838, John D. Lee heard Joseph Smith order “the brother of Gideon” to put a man out, for his presumption in not uncovering his head in the house of God.[1] Lee would later enter into an oath-bound organization, sworn to uphold the First Presidency in all of their actions, and to defend the Mormon Kingdom of God in its claim to the lands of many of the counties of Missouri. Today, we recognize this band as the “Danites,” in connection with a scripture from the Book of Daniel describing the Kingdom of God as a little stone which would roll forth to fill the whole earth. Other names by which the Danites were known included “the Big Fan,” “the Daughter of Zion,” and “the Brother of Gideon.”

My fellow WWE blogger Christopher Smith suggests the “Brother of Gideon” title applied exclusively to Danite leader Jared Carter. Apparently, Gideon Carter was in turn “the brother of Jared,” a delightful play on a Book of Mormon character. (Ether 3) But did the moniker apply to more than one man? Continue reading ““I am Spartacus!:” The Brother of Gideon and the Corporate Nature of Danite Identity” »

A Great New Book about an Ancient American One

John L. Sorenson.  Mormon’s Codex: An Ancient American Book.  Salt Lake City: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship and Deseret Book, 2013. 826 pp. Maps, tables, figures, foreword, preface, introduction, appendix, bibliography, index.  Hardback. $59.99. ISBN: 978-1-60907-399-2 Guest reviewed … Continue reading

Cowboy Apostle: The Diaries of Anthony W. Ivins, 1875-1932

Anthony Ivins served in the Quorum of Twelve and First Presidency for over 26 years

As part of a series of essays on controversial topics, the church recently published an article discussing plural marriages performed after the Manifesto. The article noted, “on an exceptional basis, some new plural marriages were performed between 1890 and 1904, … Continue reading