She Shall Be an Ensign: Ardis Parshall

By now the bloggernacle is clued in on this project to write the history of Mormonism through the eyes of women who lived it. The standard histories of Mormon things have largely focused on male leaders like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. We’ve heard far less from the rank and file and even there the women who shared the load have been neglected. This project promises great things. I believe in it, in the richness it promises for Mormon history and the way Mormons and others think about its progress since 1830. If you feel you have a stake in this gentle revolution, and I think we all do, I encourage you to contribute to the project. To learn more, go to
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/864268008/she-shall-be-an-ensign. And check out the facebook page for the project: https://www.facebook.com/SheShallBeanEnsign

Joseph Smith Papers Project News.

The Joseph Smith Papers Project has news. Previous print volumes online and more.

Hyrum on Prophets

Hiram said before the High councel that no prophet ever did trangress but was directed by the impulse of the spirit involuntarily Also He said that a man shall take his brothers wife and raise up seed unto him as it was in israel must be again established

A youthful Franklin D. Richards (in a few years, Apostle Richards) recorded a number of sermons in Nauvoo. Hyrum Smith was the occasional object of Richards’s jottings. Richards didn’t take his little notebook to sermon events, rather, he wrote down what he heard either from notes, or memory. No notes are in evidence, but that was often the case for early sermon reporters. An excellent example is John Quincy Adams. Adams reported Sunday sermons in his journal after the fact, and often he was not friendly about it, in great contrast to Hyrum who was evidently as loyal as concrete. The remark has obvious references to Joseph, who was far from perfect—a man of sometimes towering temper and odd claims on subjects ranging from politics to anthropology to medicine (and of course, polygamy).

The point of the post is really that Richards’s youthful ardor for the cause meant that he often left little on the floor. He didn’t give all the details perhaps, but he is useful in a number ways. One of those ways is as an illustration of how sermon events were (and are) remembered for the most part. They were almost never perfect transcriptions (even in Utah when shorthand methods grew into use). But they are revealing with respect to reception and the way recorders assimilated, processed, and saw meaning in their own thought-worlds. You can see more of Richards’s reports of Joseph Smith sermons in particular by going over to the Parallel Joseph at BoAp.org and searching on “Scriptural Items,” the name Richards attached to his little record book. Have fun!

C19, J19 and the Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists

The University of Pennsylvania Press is a place where you can lose your soul. They publish journals like the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, the Journal of the Early Republic, Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft, The Jewish Quarterly Review, Early American Studies, The Eighteenth Century, Hispanic Review, and . . .  J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists.
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Joseph Smith Papers Website Redesign

Check out the new format. Changes coming: better search functions and a coming quarterly release of documents. Remember, the printed volumes are scheduled to appear online two years after the volumes appear as hard copy. For a description, see here.

Print Culture and Orality in Early Mormonism

Working through the Funeral Sermon book, trying to put together a real draft, I’m attempting once again to write an introduction (presently designated as Preface). I’ve written large chunks that have been (and no doubt others that will eventually be) discarded. This post is stuff on the chopping block, but it has some important features that deserve some discussion I think. So I am dumping it on you all. No doubt it is terribly boring stuff, but that’s the nature of the beast. What follows was just an initial draft, so I don’t claim a serious stake in it.

[Cross posted at By Common Consent.]
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Church History Library: Foundations of Faith Exhibit

If you live within a reasonable distance of the Church History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, take some time to visit the “Treasures from the Collection” exhibit there. If not, you can get a feel for the documents and objects here.

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