Old Timey Blessings

An ancestor, James Whitehead Taylor, converted to Mormonism in Britain during the initial Mormon mission in 1837. He stayed in Britain for well over a decade following that, acting as a missionary himself and finally emigrating to Utah in the 1850s. Taylor was a stalwart, though never a polygamist. After coming to Utah, he received a Patriarchal Blessing. Like so many at the time, it seems cut from the same cloth as those early revelations to the Whitmer boys: they all said basically the same thing (no, Whitehead Taylor’s blessing wasn’t a copy of the Whitmer revelations–but it was very like the others in that particular blessing book kept by the church historian’s office). The Historian was charged with keeping copies of the blessings and the church considered them official documents from the beginning. Joseph Smith Sr.’s earliest blessings were kept and preserved.
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Joseph F. Smith and Archibald Forbes: Critique and Praise.

Joseph F. Smith was a unique personality for a number of reasons. The object of Smith family envy/hope he rose to church leadership early in life. Largely self-educated, he took much of his religious learning from textual sources. Perhaps this hints at the reasons for his response to a visiting lecturer. And the contrasting response from fellow counselor, George Q. Cannon:
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John Goddard (1924-2013) RIP

John Goddard:

1. Adventurer

2. Documentarian

3. Philanthropist

4. Mormon
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Joseph Smith, Sermons, and Lived Religion

From the late colonial period to the time of Joseph Smith, important forces were at work that changed the nature of preaching. Most sermons in the late colonial period were read. Whether from small briefs carried into a pulpit, scribbled notes on a quarter sheet of foolscap, or carefully fleshed out thoughts in tempered script, preachers expanded from their notes or read word for word, but in general followed a written pre-planned text. There is a paper trail there.[1]

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Journal of Priddy Meeks

Early Mormon Priddy Meeks was a Lobelia Doctor and his reminiscences are filled with fascinating medical opinions and experiences as well as much of early Utah pioneer life. You can now find a copy at boap.org: The Journal of Priddy Meeks. Enjoy.

James Adams. Part 2. Aspects of the Sermon.

[Cross posted from By Common Consent.]

For part 1, see here.

The late summer and early fall of 1843 was not a healthy time in Nauvoo. Philadelphia had yellow fever in the summer (and it emptied the town) and Nauvoo had malaria. If you could survive a year, the general weakness would usually subside and you had a good chance of staying alive. But the eldery and the very young had a more guarded prognosis. Often, malaria teamed up with pneumonia or cholera or some other bug to take out even the robust. In James Adams’ case, cholera got the blame for his August 11 demise:
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James Adams, a Remarkable Mormon, and the Subject of a Remarkable Sermon. Part 1. Introduction.

[Crossposted from By Common Consent]

Joseph Smith was an intensely loyal family man and that attachment was mirrored in Church structure. Family members played important roles in the LDS hierarchy. His father was a member of the Church presidency for a period and also served as the first “patriarch.”[1] His brothers held prominent Church offices. He continued to mourn the loss of older brother Alvin, 20 years later. His wife led the women of the Church in the formal women’s organization, the Nauvoo Female Relief Society.[2]
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