“Learn How to Live and How to Die”

This is a reboot from way back—In honor of my friend, Quentin Bates—Godspeed old boy

Much of Joseph Smith’s preaching about death was meant to compel his listeners to faith. Over the years of my own life I have seen death. Even if you don’t experience death as it was in the early 19th century, if you live long enough, you will see it impact your life.

I have buried a son, a brother, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and unrelated friends. Looking at death as inevitable has become a routine matter. But what is it for us survivors? It is first and foremost, loss. Whatever theology one subscribes to, or to no theology at all, this is the universal fact. The dead don’t come back. You don’t find him or her sleeping in their bed the next morning after the funeral.

They are gone.
Read more of this post

James Adams. Part 3. Conference. Textual Landmarks.

[Cross posted from By Common Consent]

Part 1 is here, part 2, here.

As you watch General Conference this weekend, appreciate it for some of the textual certainties. And you never know what you may hear.
Read more of this post

The Return of Lorenzo Barnes: Don’t Leave My Bones Far From Home

In the spirit of rehashing old ground (former posts), I offer you the following on Lorenzo Barnes. Barnes was an Ohio period convert to Mormonism and a perennial missionary for the Church from that time until his death in late 1842 while in missionary service in England. Barnes’ was in some sense a kind of ordinary Mormon, not one who found place among central Church leadership. Barnes’ personal life is largely unknown, but a budding romance caught the eye of several, including Wilford Woodruff who kept track Barnes’ lost love in order to reminisce.

As far as this post is concerned, Lorenzo Barnes is in the spotlight because Joseph Smith offered memorial remarks in his behalf when the news of Barnes’ death reach Nauvoo and hence Barnes gets a chapter in our book. The sermon drives Lorenzo’s history — after his death! Take a look at our first post about Lorenzo:

Lorenzo Barnes

Printing Joseph Smith’s Sermons – Redux In Two Parts

Going back in time again to last year. The process of generating imprints of Joseph Smith’s sermons is a complex one and to me, fascinating for several reasons. The source critical issues are important and I do address them in the book, but the point of this (repeat) post is the process of getting them into print. In any case, I hope you find the issues as interesting as I do. Still working on chapter 6. It turned out to be more complex than I imagined. Enjoy!

Parallel Joseph History

Printing the Sermons of Joseph Smith

Praise to the Man

On the 166th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s death.
William Wines Phelps’ pean to Joseph Smith:

August, 1844.
Read more of this post

Joseph Smith’s “David Doctrine” and King Follett I.

As a preacher, Joseph Smith could be adventurous in his interpretations of scripture. In many cases, these interpretations have been impressed on the spiritual engrams of Mormonism.

But in his “first” King Follett funeral sermon Joseph does a very curious thing: he exchanges homiletic objects.
Read more of this post

Maturity. The Evolution of Man.

This evening I was sitting in a small recording studio, listening to a friend’s daughter deliver a vocal recital. During the (very skilled and moving) performance, I began to look around the room a bit, seeing other friends, relatives and siblings of the performer and some who I did not know. That, and the music inspired in me a rather melancholy feeling about evolution. Not the kind that is associated with Darwin however.
Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30 other followers