The Parallel Joseph-A History?

Years ago, I can’t remember when we started to do it exactly, but we began to collect Joseph Smith’s sermon reports. Of course, Andrew Ehat and Lyndon Cook had published reports of Nauvoo sermons in the groundbreaking (1980) Words of Joseph Smith -WJS. This was an effort that could be classified as part of the New Mormon History in a way, although it was not analytical per se. It was reprinted 10 years later. It is a work that does not resonate with average Mormons, partly because it brings to the forefront some of the uncertainty that exists regarding what Joseph said. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith has been rather a standby since its 1938 publication and has basically remained fixed since then, except for Richard Galbraith’s Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1993. I think that was a big seller for Deseret Book. Just reading the title, one might think that it merely extracted those teachings of JS which were “scriptural” somehow, or that it sought to supply scriptures implicitly referenced by JS in his speeches or “writings.” But it was neither of those. It was an attempt to match LDS scripture passages with TPJS passages as the author saw links. I do not know if it is still in the D-Book arsenal. Meanwhile, there were some privately published “parallelized” versions of some of JS sermons, some possibly extracted from Ehat and Cook, I don’t know.
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Ontological Revelation

Paul Tillich drew a distinction between “ontological” reason and “technical” reason. Not being too picky here about what he meant, I’ve been wondering if one can make a distinction in revelation, particularly I’m thinking of Joseph Smith’s revelations and “near revelations.”[1]
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Jonathan Grimshaw and Honorable Doubts, Part 2

See part 1 of this post here.

The Grimshaws arrived in Salt Lake City sometime near the latter part of August, 1851. Little money existed in the valley. Early American barter schemes prevailed. Wilford Woodruff’s store ran on credit, but the credit was for exchanged goods mostly. Land was “sold” on a consecration basis and Grimshaw obtained his lot by this means. He had cash, a rather unusual thing and it was a coveted situation. Thievery was not unusual during this period, but it wasn’t for profit, it was for survival, mostly. Woodruff’s store was robbed of a bag of flour, a fact he advertised in the church newspaper, asking that if the thief had needed something to eat, then please give him back the bag. The bag showed up a day or so later draped over a fence I think. Read more of this post

Free will and foreknowledge

Joseph Smith (JS) seemed comfortable postulating both that mankind generally, with exceptions, have free choice (at least internal moral choice) and that God has perfect foreknowledge. Although perhaps the latter can be (and has been) debated in some sense. Of course there are more complex shades of meaning here. Read more of this post

A Note on One Eternal Round

I was talking to an editor for Nibley’s last book “One Eternal Round.” The book has been both a chore and full of interesting choices. Hugh left about 20 drafts for each chapter it seems, meaning 20 very different write ups for each chapter, roughly. So you could kind of pick and choose which to take, but of course try to form a cohesive whole. Read more of this post

Jonathan Grimshaw and Honorable Doubts, Part I.

In tracking how JS’s sermon-texts have been treated over the last 170 odd years, more than one mysterious personality surfaces.  One of these was Jonathan Grimshaw.   Grimshaw was an English convert to Mormonism who had tried more than one religion prior to his contact with the Mormons. Read more of this post Blogs!

Welcome to the blog.  We’re using it for now to post things about the new book:

The Funeral Sermons of Joseph Smith: A Critical Edition.  That’s the tentative title but will undoubtedly be changed at some point.