Early National Systems: Millennial Hope, I

Americans in antebellum America saw their nation as an engine for the bright future of biblical end times. Ranging from Henry Clay’s practical and even semi-realistic “American System”[1] to social engineering designed to hurry Christ’s return to earth, it was characteristic of the age that even non-believers saw the idea as a comfortable metaphor for the destiny of what they considered a political example to the world. Modern Americans seem far from such notions, but there are pockets of American society where those nineteenth-century ideas persuade and guide the minds of dedicated souls, Mormons among them.
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Review. Jeremiah’s Scribes: Creating Sermon Literature in Puritan New England

Jeremiah’s Scribes : Creating Sermon Literature in Puritan New England
Meredith Marie Neuman
University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia) 2013.
Hardcover: $64.00 (Amazon).
280 pages.

I have been meaning to write something on Meredith Neuman’s study of Puritan preaching for some time, first because I enjoyed her careful work on sermons and their impact in a community that valued preaching as the Christian prophetic voice. Second because I found it useful in my own work on preaching. Neuman’s approach reveals much of preaching as lived religion in early New England.
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High Resolution Scans Now Available for the Complete Jonathan Edwards Collection at Yale and Andover Newton Theological School

Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, completed a high-resolution scan of the entire Edwards Collections at both Yale University and Andover Newton Theological School. To view and use the scans, go to http://edwards.yale.edu/node/973.

Review: First Principles and Ordinances

First Principles and Ordinances: The Fourth Article of Faith in Light of the Temple
Samuel M. Brown
Provo, Utah: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2014.

Joseph Smith was born into the Second Great Awakening. Gravitating to Methodist preaching, he ranked it above his other experience. Visions and golden plates prompted a New Covenant, born in April 1830. At first the New Covenant looked for a place in the landscape of antebellum Protestant thought and doctrine but gradually that seeking turned to renewal and rethinking. Mormonism moved from the American individualism that played over the billions of pages of Protestant imprints and wrote a new way of seeing the ancient. It didn’t simply try to restore (unsuccessfully) the all things in common of Jerusalem’s Acts. It wrote a story of ritual and liturgy that made family of believers and eternal friends of family.
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Release of the Final Volume in the Journals Series, Joseph Smith Papers

[Cross-Posted as BCC]

Capturing Joseph Smith on paper has been a goal of Mormon church historians for almost two hundred years. First efforts involved scribal minutes of church meetings, recording revelations and commandments that fell from Smith’s lips, and keeping a history of the early church. Those early efforts went to writing a canonical faith promoting history, one that steered the internal dialogue of Mormonism for more than a century. The primary sources that supported that faithful dialogue were largely under wraps. Why would anyone be interested?
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Joseph Smith Papers Recent Content Bump

The Joseph Smith Papers has added significant new content on their web page.

Nearly one hundred and fifty more documents from 1841, including priesthood licenses and land deeds for Nauvoo, Illinois.

Documents from six legal cases in Ohio in which Joseph Smith was involved.

Earliest manuscript copy of the revelation on eternal marriage (now D&C 132).

Topic page for documents found in the current Pearl of Great Price of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

New and updated reference material, including source citations for eighteen biographical descriptions.

Early Priesthood Revelations Article

If you’re on Academia.edu, you can download my Dialogue article on early priesthood revelations (and maybe the link will work, and you can do it anyway!). It’s my first attempt to consider Mormon priesthood, and it’s a useful introduction to my forthcoming book at Greg Kofford Books on Doctrine and Covenants section 132.

Have fun! On Academia.edu, search under my name, William Smith, or Early Mormon Priesthood Revelations.

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