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!

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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Joseph Smith Papers Newsletter: Number 1.

To have a look at the first newsletter for the JSPP, click through.

Documents 1 of JSP in Leather

A leather-bound collector’s edition of Documents Volume 1 of the Joseph Smith Papers series is almost ready to be released – it should be available beginning of July. They are expensive, but beautiful editions if you go in for that sort of thing.

If you are interested and aren’t on the mailing list, you can contact Stephanie Ogden at the Salt Lake City Deseret Book Store (801-328-8191).

Invitation: 36th Annual Meeting of the Association for Documentary Editing

Registration is now open for 36th Annual Meeting of the Association for Documentary Editing on July 24-26 in Louisville, Kentucky. The Local Arrangements Committee, headed this year by ADE Secretary Darrell Meadows, is organizing our visit to this historic city at the Falls of the Ohio that dates its origins to the period of the American Revolution and has seen so much history. Our meeting site will be the Seelbach Hilton, the grand and legendary Beaux Arts hotel that opened in 1905 and gave F. Scott Fitzgerald his inspiration for the setting of Tom and Daisy’s lavish wedding reception in The Great Gatsby. Take a look at the outstanding meeting program created by President-Elect John Lupton and the Program Committee (http://www.documentaryediting.org/wordpress/?page_id=94) and you will agree that this meeting is not to be missed. (A PDF copy of the Preliminary Program is attached for your convenience.)
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Lyman Butterfield Documentary Editing Award Nominations

The Lyman H. Butterfield Award committee—Gregg Lint, Ken Bowling, and Mary Hackett—solicits nominations for a recipient of the award in 2014. 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
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From BoAP Archives: Who is Iscah?

This originally appeared a few years ago at BCC. Since it’s Old Testament times in Sunday School, I thought this curiosity might be fun for you.

Abraham’s family life is the stuff of Jew, Gentile, and Mormon legend. But, I’m not going to break into that territory much. It’s too complex and I don’t have the mental space for it now. But, who is Iscah? The name appears once in the Hebrew Bible, just after the genealogy of Abram:
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