April 12, 2013 Leave a comment
So I promised something on King Follett. Because of BCC persecution, I put it over there.
Stuff BOAP is doing
January 11, 2013 1 Comment
So, feeding a family of five in Nauvoo, 1844. How much would it cost you? Here is a very rough approximation, assuming you could buy this stuff at market prices, and assuming these were fairly uniform (both false economies).
Butcher: 2lbs per day at 10 cents per pound: $1.40
Barrel of flour, $5.00, lasts about 8 weeks: 0.63
Butter, 2lbs, 31.5 cents per pound: 0.63
Potatoes, .5 bushel: 0.50
Sugar, 4 lbs at 8 cents a pound: 0.32
Coffee and Tea (yes they did use it): 0.25
Milk, 2 cents per day: 0.14
Salt, pepper, vinegar, starch, soap, soda
yeast, cheese, eggs 0.40
Total for the week: abt. $4.27.
Most in Nauvoo had gardens and these would supplement vegetable intake, though mainly the poor ate vegetables. Many had milk cows so milk and butter came at the price of effort and feed stock.
In a city, other living expenses (clothes, housing and other similar expenses) might total about $6.00. So for the week, cost of living was roughly $10.00.
Let’s say you’re a day laborer. What percentage of wages went to retail food in a week: about 80%. By 1860 this was about 75%. By 1900, about 45%. By 1930, 15%. Food got cheaper.
December 5, 2012 1 Comment
The BYU Religious Studies Center has published the third volume in Peter Crawley’s A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church.
This volume covers the period from 1853-1857 and is the final volume in the series. The book covers those materials printed with one or more pages that bear on some Church matter. Articles in newspapers, maps, prints, banknotes and ephemeral pieces are not included.
These volumes are the most important contributions to early LDS print culture and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
$54.84 (free shipping).
Construction, dust jacket and size match the previous two volumes. Essentially for anyone interested in early Mormon imprints or Mormon history from 1830-1857.
September 7, 2012 Leave a comment
[Cross-posted at By Common Consent.]
James E. Talmage, a name that lives in legend among LDS missionaries for the last 60 years, was British born and converted to Mormonism in 1873. Talmage was a talented scholar from childhood. After emigrating to the US he ended up finishing four years at Lehigh in one year and went on to Johns Hopkins in 1883. Ph.D. at Illinois Weslayan even though he wasn’t in residence. At home in Provo, he was a city councilman and then judge. (Some of his court cases are a crackup.)
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July 15, 2012 2 Comments
The whole of science is based on answering yes to that question. But what about religion? At least from Augustine to Aquinas, people hoped the answer was yes. Of course they wouldn’t have used the same terminology.
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June 18, 2012 9 Comments
It’s summer. The crush of events at work and at home means I’ll be posting some items from the past for a while. I’m starting with one of most consistently popular things to ever appear here. So here you go, back from the archives:
Mormons end virtually every public sermon, testimony, lesson, prayer, etc. with these words. Why? A number of scriptural justifications could be offered. But I’m more interested in the sermon angle. After sitting through the Saturday conference sessions, I wondered when this tradition started in Utah Mormonism. It doesn’t seem to be shared by other Joseph Smith-based faith traditions, at least that I can see with a cursory review. It was not used regularly as a sermon tag line in Nauvoo. And believe me, I’ve looked at that. (But see Joseph’s blessing ending on April 13, 1843 for example.)
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May 21, 2012 4 Comments
Here’s an example for one of the funeral sermons.This particular sermon was published in full a comparatively large number of times. The more times in print the more complicated the variorum. In this particular case, one excerpt has appeared (just in recent years) over a hundred times in Church conferences and literature. That is rather unusual and somewhat odd, given the earth shaking stuff you *could* come up with. The stemma reveals the most influential editor: MS2. It is not always easy to identify the real editor of published Church documents and in the typesetting era often more than one set of hands dealt with a given text like this one. Complete texts of Joseph Smith’s sermons tend to be published by the Church at large during in a cycle very similar to this one. Aside from reprinting certain standard imprints like Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and a few independently published versions of the sermons, new “official” imprints stopped after 1952.
May 17, 2012 1 Comment
This one is now available in the leather format of vol. 1 and the volumes in the other series (except for Histories). At $165, it’s expensive, but if your tastes run that way, there are 394 numbered copies. Go for it here.
May 15, 2012 2 Comments
We have added a few items to the website:
First, a couple of what I would characterize as Joseph Smith tract sermons. These are Times and Seasons editorials. I’ve been rather suspicious of these items and I’m still not sure of their value as JS documents, but I’ve come to the grudging conclusion that the particular entries we’ve added are JS productions. We’ve had an April 1, 1842 up for years and I would say that I’m somewhat more leery of it than the ones we’ve recently added. My new proverb, Approval is not the same as Production, applies to the April 1 entry, but it clearly does contain ideas from JS, though not I think, his dictation. The new entries may be somewhat closer to the mark. Time will perhaps tell.
Tract sermons were big business in the antebellum period and I think these qualify. Anyway, have fun reading there. You will find these in the Parallel Joseph under 1842. They are new entries in May and June I believe.
We have added a few more items to the Early Saints compilation, the most notable being the Joseph C. Kingsbury diaries/memoirs. These are merely links to the diary images but the script is very readable and the Nauvoo period is fun, especially the polygamy bits.
There you have it. By the way, if you have any typescripts of journals for individuals that were contemporary Mormons of Joseph Smith, we want to put them up for reading. You can email us at boap (at) boap (dot) org.
April 6, 2012 1 Comment
[Cross posted at BCC.]
With the recent conference, many Church members saw what has become the pinnacle of Mormon Preaching: The General Conference Address. But is it really representative of the Mormon sermon? I say no. In my paltry experience, Mormon preaching is much more like classical Methodist homily than the considered rationalist stuff you might get from an Anglican pulpit. General Conference preaching is very carefully scripted. No off the reservation speculation, no fire and brimstone to speak of, no getting lost in the rhetorical moment allowed, much. (I think Church presidents have their leeway and there is descent evidence for that.)
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April 2, 2012 4 Comments
Sermons in antebellum America were both innovative and derivative. While disestablishment opened wider the doors of American Religious Culture to the radical, it also strengthened the radical establishment (by that I mean the unsettled Methodists and Baptists). Preachers naturally came in similar breadth and hence their sermons found all sorts of niches in which to settle.
We are dependent on the egos or concerns of the preachers themselves (for the most part) to see what they preached and where and when they did it. Read more of this post
March 29, 2012 5 Comments
[Reposted from 2010.]
In our priesthood meeting a few weeks back a part of the lesson involved inviting class members to offer brief accounts of “how we got them and what’s in ‘em” in regard to the Mormon scriptures. Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants went about as short and sweet as you might imagine, but no one volunteered anything about the Pearl of Great Price beyond the usual bit about its contents. (I don’t usually comment – unless someone points at me and asks. Its been a good policy)
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March 13, 2012 3 Comments
I put this one up a couple of years ago, but I want to revisit it in light of some current discussion on Mormonism and politics. Patrick Mason’s recent article in Church and State (summer 2011) 53:349-375, made me wonder again about our presentist impositions.
In a 1990 article, Gregory Schneider observed,
Early versions of republicanism conceived of liberty and rights as belonging to the people taken as a whole in opposition to the power and interests of rulers. Liberty was, first of all, public and political, not private and individual. Hence, there could be no legitimate opposition between individual liberties and the common good of the people in the republic. Those who place their private interests above the common good were diseased tissue in the body politic, and might be subjected to harsh remedies. Unity in the cause of the common good, then, sometimes required an oppressive conformity.