We have a new face! And I think I like it better than the old one. Go on, click on the link. All thanks to Tod Robbins and Kelly Edvalson. Hopefully this presages more changes ahead for other pages on the site. Also some new content. But don’t hold your breath for it. These things take time.

D&C 107. Part 13. Succession and Discipline.

One of the interesting issues raised by the history of Doctrine and Covenants section 107 is the question of a transgressing President of the Church. The November 11 revelation (second half of D&C 107) introduced a church court system (see parts 2 and 3 in the series). The two leading offices in the early church were the bishop and the president of the high priesthood. The revelation defined a way for each officer to be disciplined, should the need arise. This was to work by using each of the court systems attached to these officers to judge the other.
Read more of this post

Penultimate Bit: D&C 107. Part 12. Epilogue. Further Light and Knowledge.

How appropriate. Twelve Parts. Part 11 is here.
D&C 107 was a long time in the making and it contains many separate revelations woven together into the whole (and it didn’t finish the story: consider D&C 112 and 124). Witness: The Nov 11 revelation, itself perhaps two separate revelations, the vision of the Seventy, the vision of Adam, the esoterica of bishops, the “book of Enoch” and others. Its story is one worth telling, not only to understand the process of revelation, but to understand the way Latter-day Saints speak and how that speech and its understanding were effected by the processes of history. I apologize for being short on annotation, but hey, that’s what comments are for! I hope you had some fun reading in “long form.” (grin)
Read more of this post

Where is Zion? Rises Again!

Coming back for another round:

Blair Hodges’ recent interview with Richard Bushman brought to mind some old ponderings that I have resurrected for the book on Joseph’s sermons. The tandem evolution of concepts of Zion, consecration, temple, millennium and gathering find a discursive foundation in Joseph’s sermons.
Read more of this post

More Yet. D&C 107. Part 11. Ordination Practices.

[Part 10 is here.]
For the first 90 years or so of LDS church organization, priesthood ordination gradually developed into more or less the following pattern:

By authority of the Holy Priesthood and by the laying on of hands, I ordain you an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and confer upon you all the rights, powers keys and authority pertaining to this office and calling in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Read more of this post

Back Again. D&C 107. Part 10. Revisions of the November Revelation, continued

Continued from part 6. No just kidding. From part 9.
The second part of the November revelation/D&C 107 contains some interesting changes which also reflect otherwise unknown revelation(s).
Read more of this post

Summertime, etc. D&C 107. Part 9. Revisions of the Nov. 11, 1831 Revelation

Continued, naturally, from part 8.
When LDS D&C 107 was printed (as D&C 3) in late summer 1835, it contained both the April 1835 revelation (see part 8 ) and the November 11, 1831 revelation conjoined. However as we have seen, the terminology and priesthood architecture of the two revelations were not the same. Moreover, the November 11, 1831 revelation was heavily modified in D&C 107 to reflect at least some of the organizational development in the bishopric and President of the High Priesthood offices. But the terminological inconsistencies were not made coherent.
Read more of this post

Summertime and Recycling #10: D&C 107. Part 8

Continues Part 7
Joseph Smith founded two new priesthood offices early in 1835, the Twelve Apostles and the Seventy. While the apostleship had been presaged before the formal organization of the church (D&C 18) the first formal ordinations took place in February 1835. The apostles felt the need for some more detailed direction regarding their standing and duty in the church and asked Joseph Smith for such direction. Heber C. Kimball noted the experience in his journal as follows:
Read more of this post

What has been, will be and what will be, has been.

One of the things I’ve been doing while away from blogs for the last month or two (most of my posts have been automated) is reading church periodicals from a century or so back — it has to do with quotations from Joseph Smith’s sermons.
Read more of this post

Summertime and Recycling #9: D&C 107. Part 7. Interregnum Continued.

Continued from part 6.
The revelation of November 11 was accepted in Zion (Missouri) as an addition to the law of the church on July 3, 1832 (see Far West Record or in JSP parlance, Minute Book 2) but remained unpublished to the body of the church. The office of president of the high priesthood stood vacant until a January 25, 1832 conference at Amherst, Ohio when it was voted that Joseph Smith fill the office. Sidney Rigdon “ordained” Joseph at the time. Between that time and March 8, 1832, Joseph Smith became acquainted with the idea of having counselors, forming a presidency of the high priesthood. A revelation received on March 5 reads in part,
Read more of this post

Summertime and Recycling #8: D&C 107. Part 6. Interregnum.

Here’s what’s happening so far: D&C 107 is a compilation of revelations. There are two major parts in the compilation, one from November 1831 and another from April 1835. In D&C 107 these are arranged in reverse chronological order. So, we’ve spent some time looking at the last part of D&C 107 (which came first!). Later we will look at the April 1835 segment which is of a rather different character than the 1831 segment. As these two revelations were combined in the 1835 D&C, still other revelations and regulations were interleaved in these texts to form what we now know as D&C 107. But for now we consider what happened in between these two major components. You really should read the previous parts to understand (and believe) what I’m going to say here.

Between the ca 1831 texts of the November 11 revelation and the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants text (section 3 of that first edition, 107 of the present edition) there were several developments. One was the important revelation of September 22, 23, 1832. (LDS D&C 84) In this revelation we see the beginnings of a taxonomy of priesthood, more nuanced than previous classifications but not yet mature.
Read more of this post

Summertime and Recycling #7. D&C 107. Part 5.

Continuing part 4.
Here we give the “second” revelation of November 11, 1831 in comparison with the KRB text. The KRB text is in the hand of Frederick G. Williams and it suggests more strongly that indeed the November 11 revelation is two revelations. Observe that the text never uses the word “quorum.” My use of the word in reference to these texts is only to provide context. The word would not appear in Joseph’s revelations until the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants. Moreover, during his lifetime, it would be used in a much looser way than LDS use it now.
Read more of this post

Summertime and Recycling #6. D&C 107. Part 4.

After the revelation of November 11 was dictated by Joseph Smith (see parts 1, 2, and 3), it did circulate to some degree and was to be a part of the proposed Book of Commandments (but didn’t make it – see JSP, Revelations and Translations vol.2 for argument that the revelation was set to appear in the BC and would have done so if the printing had not been disrupted).
Read more of this post

ADE Annual Meeting

Interested parties, take note. Mormon presence here, folks. Note the deadline for applications for the “Digital Documentary Editions” workshop is 15 July. (Workshop runs from noon Tues. 18 Oct, to noon, Thur. 20 Oct.)

Association for Documentary Editing
2011 Annual Meeting
Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City Marriott Hotel
October 20-22, 2011

Here’s the prelim. program: (Note the presentation on Hoffmann by ACH Turley.)
Read more of this post

A Review Note on David F. Holland: Sacred Borders

David F. Holland
Sacred Borders
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (February 2, 2011)
ISBN-10: 9780199753611
ISBN-13: 978-0199753611

David Holland’s recent work through Oxford is an examination of New England’s flirtation with the Bible and its status among Protestants of various constitutions. Is the Bible the last word on canon, if so, which bible? Can you “tear off the back cover” so to speak, and tack more on? Is the Bible a revelation or a historic collection of revelations/histories? Is it the end of revelation or merely an example of it?

Holland looks at these questions and others asked by Christians of various sorts as well as other figures from the Early Republic. Puritans, Shakers, Evangelicals, Transcendentalists and other liberals, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, Catholics and deists all get their turn.

It is in few words, a fine book. An excellent treatment of an important subject which will surprise you at various turns. You get to know wonderful figures like Ann Hutchinson and Jemima Wilkinson, Rebecca Jackson and Orestes Brownson.

The book keeps its focus, which is an admittedly narrow one, yet it drills down to the very meaning of faith in early America and allows the reader to see across a fabulous landscape of interpretation and opinion. For anyone interested in religion in the antebellum period, this book is a necessary brick in the wall of your education.

The cost? It’s not cheap. $63 from Amazon. I really don’t see what Oxford is playing at here. You’re not paying for expensive pictures or multicolor illustrations. But if you’ve got a dog in this race, pony up! (har) Either that or grab it at your local library. I’d let you borrow mine, but I’m on my second read.

Sacred Borders: open your wallet and curb the trips to Wendy’s for a while. Your brain will be glad and so will your heart.

P.S. See Sam Brown’s more extensive review here.