Listening too Carefully

Today in our Sunday meeting we were treated to two excellent talks, one by a recently returned missionary, the other from a high councilor (yes it was good). While I was inspired by both, I find I have developed a disease of sorts. I listen too carefully. This disease may have come upon me as a result of my work on the Joseph Smith sermons. I now *read* way too carefully (mostly because I have to compare published versions of a text – and reading for punctuation, capitalization, spelling, paragraphing, etc., etc., etc. is both irritating and unfortunately habitual). But also I find myself listening too carefully now.
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Lyman H. Butterfield Award Nominations

Butterfield Award:

The Lyman H. Butterfield Award committee—Helen Deese, Elizabeth Dow, and Jim Taylor—solicits nominations for a recipient of the award in 2011. This award is presented annually by the Association for Documentary Editing to an individual, editorial project, or institution for notable contributions in the areas of documentary publication, teaching, or service. A list of past recipients of this award can be seen at:

Nominations should be made by letter. Supporting letters from members of the Association are encouraged. All materials should reach the committee chair by 1 June 2011, sent either by e-mail or by post.

Send nominations to:

Helen Deese
403 Vick Court
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

or to

helendeese (at) comcast (dot) net

The Committee is responsible for selecting the recipient of the Lyman H. Butterfield Award, presented annually to an individual, project, or institution for recent contributions in the areas of documentary publication, teaching, and service. The award is granted in memoriam of Lyman Henry Butterfield, whose editing career included contributions to The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, the editing of the Adams Family Papers, and publishing The Letters of Benjamin Rush.

Charles Wesley and His Sermons: Newport’s Critical Edition

Charles Wesley (1707-1788) was a cofounder with his brother John of the Methodist movement within the Church of England. Historiographically playing second fiddle, he nevertheless exercised considerable influence within Methodism and over his brother during his life. However, Charles remained loyal to the Church while John moved in the direction of independence. Both brothers were ubiquitous preachers, giving thousands of sermons in churches, halls and often the open air. The Wesley’s heritage has been written about since their own era to ours and among that corpus exists critical editions of their sermons.
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Symposium: King James Bible and the Restoration

The BYU Religious Studies Center is sponsoring a symposium on the KJV to commemorate its 400th anniversary. Speakers will examine the role of the Bible in America in the days of Joseph Smith and the specific contributions of the KJV to the Book of Mormon, D&C and Joseph Smith’s teachings. Two venues:

BYU: Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium Wednesday and Thursday Feb. 23-24, 1-5pm.

Presenters: Daniel L. Belnap, Lincoln H. Blumell, Eric D. Huntsman, Kent P. Jackson, Robert L. Millet, Gaye Strathearn, John S. Tanner, Grant Underwood, Thomas A. Wayment, Fred E. Woods.

LDS Conference Center Auditorium: Friday Feb. 25 7-9pm.

Presenters: Daniel L. Belnap, Robert L. Millet, John S. Tanner.

D&C 10. Part 5. Verses 30-41.

This segment of the revelation continues the discussion of the manuscript thieves and their designs in using it. The role of Satan in the theft or at least in the plans for using the manuscript is fleshed out. There is some hint at the content of the lost manuscript and it appears that in some ways if must be inferior to the proposed alternate text. As usual, changes from the 1833 Book of Commandments and the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants are indicated in red. We discuss some aspects of these following the comparative text. While the text on the right is from the 1835 publication, we have inserted modern verse numbers in the 1835 text for easy reference.
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More on the April 8 Discourse

While looking at the manuscript history of the Church today, I saw some interesting examples of editing which I thought I would share. One comes from Joseph Smith’s address of April 8, 1844. The part I’m thinking of is this:

we calculate to give the Elders of Israel their washings and anointings, and attend to those last and more impressive ordinances; without which we cannot obtain celestial thrones; but there must be a holy place prepared for that purpose. There was a proclamation made during the time that the foundation of the temple was laid to that effect; and there are provisions made until the work is completed, so that men may receive their endowments

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The Gathering – The Scattering

During 1844, Joseph Smith was involved a wide array of enterprises. A campaign for president of the United States, the private practice of plural marriage, skirmishes with state and local political forces, managing a Nauvoo economy while attempting to transform it from a consumer-based system to a manufacturing system, building the temple and other projects, leading a changing religious organization, encouraging a diaspora of Mormonism to the West and the East and dealing with interstate political intrigues were only some of the matters on his plate.
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Shout out to Jim Tolley

While I was an LDS missionary I served for a few months in Vermont. During that time I met a great guy name of James Tolley. Jim was probably in his 30s at the time. I can still recall sitting in his living room, I think the Tolleys lived in or near Essex Junction, but I’m not completely sure. That may have been where he worked. He and his lovely wife were very kind to us and more frequently than we deserved had us up for dinner on Sundays. Jim introduced me to Orson Pratt and that alone made a difference in my life. Jim’s wife, I’m ashamed to say that I don’t recall her name (we wouldn’t have used her first name anyway – Sister Tolley), was a flight attendant (stewardess in those days) for one of the big airlines of the day, it may have been TWA. She was a stunning brunette. I only say that because as a young missionary, it was a little hard not to stare. Jim was an employee of IBM at the time, and a very sharp but modest guy. You never know of people’s private lives and thoughts, but I always thought of Jim as kind of the ideal to shoot for. I always hoped that he would get everything good in life.

In any case, Jim had the distinction of being one of the first two missionaries to serve in Palestine in modern times, having been called to the exotic “International Mission.” I saw pictures of Jim and the friends he made in the Middle East. The missionaries were under restrictions that made it impossible to baptize members there, for a number of reasons. Politically it may have been difficult, but the Church instituted the restrictions mostly because it seemed very difficult to establish a viable presence there perhaps. Jim talked about his frustrations in that regard, having people who took up the standard of Mormonism there, but who he could not confirm into the faith. I think Jim showed me some pictures from that experience that had appeared in the Church news in the 50s I think? I’ve been trying to locate the Jim I knew, but I haven’t found him. Jim and his wife had no children at the time and it may have been impossible, I don’t really know. But if you knew Jim, or perhaps know him, I’d like to get in touch with him again. He was a great guy and I would like to catch up. Brother and Sister Tolley, we loved you.