New Content at Joseph Smith Papers

The JSP has announced some new content at their web site. All annotation for Documents Vol. 5 is now up. In addition, Robin Jensen, Associate Managing Historian of the Papers has a new article on the Book of Abraham complementing the recent Revelations and Translation series volume on the Book of Abraham.

Conference Notice: John Whitmer Historical Association 2019 Annual Conference

Joseph Smith Papers new web content

Plus notes on the pivotal volume 6.

https://mailchi.mp/ldschurch/new-documents-available-online?e=e07d0d0a1f

Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Vol. 6 Editors Talk about the volume.

Lead editor, Mark Ashurst-McGee, gives an overview of the period for the volume.

Documents 6 is an especially important volume in the Documents series, covering the period where the Saints exit Kirtland and establish Far West, Missouri. There is an explosion of revelation during this 1838–1839 period and of course, the Mormon–Missouri War is represented in the volume, along with Danites, Hawn’s Mill, Crooked River, Liberty Jail, and the exodus to Commerce, Illinois. Take a look as the editors give more details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjLTIocks0c&feature=em-subs_digest

Presiding Bishopric, IV.

With the revelations of November 1 and 11, 1831 helping to define the role of the bishop,[1] you can see that the road was being paved for more bishops in the Church. As temporal ministers, it was only a matter of time before more were called as Church population increased (when Partridge was called there were about 150 members in Ohio). At first, two population centers developed: Zion (Missouri) and Kirtland (Ohio). Bishop Partridge was a leading voice in governance in Zion. At the end of 1831, another bishop, Newel Kimball Whitney, was called for the Kirtland area (by that time Ohio membership numbered about 1,500) and among other things to work in tandem with Partridge in the United Firm (UF — the Church “corporation” if you will). Partridge, Whitney and their counselors formed an important financial administrative body in the firm. Whitney was relatively well off and his business operations in Kirtland became the heart of the firm there.[2]
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Early National Systems: Millennial Hope, II. William Miller.

Joseph Smith seems wedged in the creases of nineteenth-century Protestant worldviews in any number of ways. From Election to Scripture, to Millennial aspiration, he separated, combined, and “synergized” a vibrant world that respected a deep tie between science, such as it was, and a fractured system of religious beliefs that overlay a diverse and growing marketplace of ideas and economies. Smith interacted, mostly at a distance, with the lights of his day and one of those was William Miller. Shaken from a Deistic picture of God’s interaction with the world by what he, as a eighteen-year-old captain in the war of 1812, saw as divine intervention, Miller began a religious journey of devotion and disappointment. That journey turned out to be a microcosm that portended the larger society’s gradual descent from optimism to a grudging acceptance of lesser purpose.
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Early National Systems: Millennial Hope, I

Many Americans in antebellum times saw their nation as an engine for the bright future of biblical end times. Ranging from Henry Clay’s practical and even semi-realistic “American System”[1] to social engineering designed to hurry Christ’s return to earth, it was characteristic of the age that even non-believers saw the idea as a comfortable metaphor for the destiny of what they considered a political example to the world. Modern Americans seem far from such notions, but there are pockets of American society where those nineteenth-century ideas persuade and guide the minds of dedicated souls, Mormons among them.
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Joseph Smith Papers Project News.

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

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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Collector’s Edition of Joseph Smith Papers, Documents 2, Now Available

If you are into nice leather bound copies of JSP volumes, volume 2 of the Documents series is now available in numbered leather bound format. These are nice volumes, I own a couple of them. Documents volume 2 is priced at $165.00, and is available at Deseret Book, contact Heather Graves (hgraves@deseretbook.com).

Wilford Woodruff: The Way Home. Part 5–Brigham.

July 24th 1844 I Called at the Prophets office but no one at home. I then took steem Boat for Albany and found on board Elders O. Hyde and O Pratt and sister Sayers. I was truly pleased to meet with these friends. We rode to Albany and Troy. 166 mile. We there took rail cars for Buffaloo. At Schenactady we Joined Elders B Young H. C. Kimball and L. Wight making six of our quorum to accompany each other home. We rode all night.

25th We continued our Journey all day in the cars. Arived at Buffalo in the evening being 365 miles from Troy in 24 hours. Expenses of travelling and sundry articles from Westfield to Detroit $32.20.
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Wilford Woodruff: The Way Home. Part 3–Coming to Grips

July 18th 1844 Elders O. Hyde H. C. Kimball and O. Pratt arived in the City also President B. Young. We met together. Had some Council. I wrote a letter to the Prophet, advising the Elders who have families in Nauvoo to go immediately to them & for all the authorities of the Church to assemble at Nauvoo for a council, by order of the quorum of the Twelve Wilford Woodruff Clerk B. Young President After which Elder O. Hyde and myself accompanied Sister Voice to take tea with a sister who was attending to a house near the state house fronting the Common.

We walked all over the house & took a view of the furniture. It could not have Cost much less than one hundred thousand dollars to have furnished it.
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Priesthood Article in Dialogue

My article on “Early Mormon Priesthood Revelations” is out in the winter 2013 issue of Dialogue. I think they are doing some free access right now, so get on over there!

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Old Timey Blessings

An ancestor, James Whitehead Taylor, converted to Mormonism in Britain during the initial Mormon mission in 1837. He stayed in Britain for well over a decade following that, acting as a missionary himself and finally emigrating to Utah in the 1850s. Taylor was a stalwart, though never a polygamist. After coming to Utah, he received a Patriarchal Blessing. Like so many at the time, it seems cut from the same cloth as those early revelations to the Whitmer boys: they all said basically the same thing (no, Whitehead Taylor’s blessing wasn’t a copy of the Whitmer revelations–but it was very like the others in that particular blessing book kept by the church historian’s office). The Historian was charged with keeping copies of the blessings and the church considered them official documents from the beginning. Joseph Smith Sr.’s earliest blessings were kept and preserved.
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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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