Saints and Bodhisattvas: Mortal Human Messianicity in Mormonism and Mahayana Buddhism

In a previous post I reviewed Jad Hatem’s Postponing Heaven, recently published in English by BYU’s Maxwell Institute. Hatem sets out to draw parallels between Mormonism, Mahayana Buddhism, and Islam by examining how each tradition expresses what Hatem terms “human … Continue reading

Review of Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume Four: April 1834–September 1835

Matthew C. Godfrey, Brenden W. Rensink, Alex D. Smith, Max H Parkin, and Alexander L. Baugh, eds. Documents, Volume 4: April 1834–September 1835. Vol. 4 of the Documents series of the Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Ronald K. Esplin, Matthew … Continue reading

Ronald W. Walker (1939-2016): A gifted and gracious historian

Along with many, I was saddened by the news of Ronald W. Walker’s passing. This tribute is brief look at the influence he has had on me as a budding student of history. In January, 2013, I had just completed … Continue reading

Eliza R. Snow wasn’t the only LDS leader sexually assaulted in Missouri

Last week historian Andrea Radke-Moss made headlines with the revelation that Missouri ruffians raped Eliza R. Snow during the 1838 Mormon War. Snow was a beloved “founding mother” of Mormonism and went on to become one of the longest-serving Relief … Continue reading

“They Call Me the Working Man”: Hints of a Mormon Theology of Work

Our fearless leader Christopher Smith recently shared an insightful bit from his forthcoming dissertation on his Facebook wall. The paragraph in part describes the use of Edenic imagery by Mormon settlers of the Salt Lake Valley and the need to restore the creation … Continue reading

In Memoriam: Big Tent Mormonism

The term “big tent Mormonism” has appeared frequently in online LDS discourse over the past 5 years, usually in the context of some good-natured navel-gazing on the part of liberal Mormons in regards to whether–or, to what extent–there is a … Continue reading

The Anointed Quorum and the church essay on women, temple and priesthood

Mormon feminist activism in recent years has sparked discussion about the role of women in the church and priesthood. The newly published essay “Joseph Smith’s Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women” by the LDS church discusses some of these concerns … Continue reading

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