The Church History Library Goes Viral!

See for yourself.

Book sale. 30% off.

I know you’ve all be waiting to buy my book on D&C 132 because you believe there will be some kind of excellent holiday deal. Well, you’re correct. If you order the book on December 1 or December 6, you’ll get 30% off. You have to buy it from http://www.gregkofford.com to get the deal. If you feel like giving it to your friends (or perhaps even enemies) too, you can pull off free shipping. Here’s the link:
https://gregkofford.com/…/p…/textual-studies-plural-marriage

Remember, the deal is only good on those two days. If you’re interested in an ebook instead, stay tuned for a sale on December 12.

New Joseph Smith Papers Bulletin

Latest from the Joseph Smith Papers here:

https://mailchi.mp/ldschurch/book-of-abraham-volume-now-available?e=e07d0d0a1f

Book of Abraham Manuscripts. Revelations and Translations Vol. 4 of the Joseph Smith Papers on the shelf.

[Cross-posted at By Common Consent]

A permanent identical “I” is a fiction—we are not what we believe ourselves to be—the truth is very different from what we are inclined to believe —-Derek Parfit [1]

The Book of Abraham has been both a puzzle and a sort of definition of ultimate reality. At least one such definition. The text of the book arises out of a milieu where many believed that Egypt like the Hebrew language (what many at the time thought of as a near descendant of the tongue of Eden) held answers to ultimate mysteries of self and time and being. Even though few Americans at least had any real notion of what things like hieroglyphics meant. When Michael Chandler brought his traveling mummy show to Kirtland, Ohio, Joseph Smith and a number of his friends saw deep value hidden in the artifacts and purchased them for a handsome sum even though they were already submerged in an expensive and daunting temple building project. In fits and starts through the last half of the year 1835 they (Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, William Phelps, and Warren Parrish) worked to construct some kind of logic that made sense of ancient writings found in the collection. These scrolls date from roughly the period of the book of Daniel (ca. 200 BCE) to the time of Christ (that is, the second temple period).
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A Short History of D&C 132

I composed this short reception/textual history of D&C 132 when my book Textual Studies in the Doctrine and Covenants: The Plural Marriage Revelation. was published. I thought it might be useful for readers here.

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Papers of Jonathan Edwards flyer

JEC Call for Support

Textual Studies of the Doctrine and Covenants: Plural Marriage Rev (D&C132) -podcast at Gospel Tangents

The other day I had a chance to sit down with Rick Bennett who operates the Gospel Tangents podcast. We talked about my new book on Doctrine and Covenants section 132. Rick’s a great interviewer and I hope I came across ok. Rick said that the episode may be out soon, so watch for that. I’ve done a couple of other interviews and there are a few more coming up. You can find Gospel Tangents here.
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Here’s a short Interview I did about the D&C 132 book.

Click and listen if you will: https://gregkofford.com/blogs/news/q-a-with-william-v-smith-for-em-textual-studies-of-the-doctrine-and-covenants-the-plural-marriage-revelation-em

Jonathan Edwards Center Reception

Those of you within striking distance of New Haven may be interested.

The Jonathan Edwards Center has been given larger, newly renovated spaces by Yale Divinity School, and we invite you to a reception to help us celebrate and officially to open our new home. Please join us on February 22, 2018, 4:00-6:00 p.m., in the lower level of the northeast wing of the Divinity School. Attendees can enjoy refreshments, tour the facilities, meet our staff and research fellows, and view a special exhibit of original Edwards artifacts kindly provided by Rev. Robert Rafford of Middlebury, Connecticut. Door prizes include copies of Edwards volumes signed by the editors.

Please RSVP by February 15 to 2034325341.

Textual Studies of the Doctrine and Covenants: The Plural Marriage Revelation

My book on Doctrine and Covenants section 132 will arrive, February 27, 2018 from Greg Kofford Books. I’m looking forward to it at least. Here’s the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/textualstudies132/

Or @TextualStudies132

Here’s the cover.

Women of Faith Vol 4 Meet the editors and authors.

Jonathan Edwards Center Upcoming Lecture

The Jonathan Edwards Center presents a lecture by Prof. Michal Choinski Jagiellonian University Krakow, Poland “A Preacher in the Hands of Statisticians: A Stylometric Analysis of Jonathan Edwards” Jonathan Edwards Dining Room Yale Divinity School Tuesday, Sept. 26 12:00-1:15 p.m. This presentation focuses on ways in which stylometry can contribute to the study of Edwards’s corpus, particularly sermons. An intoduction to the quantitative method of text analysis is followed by the outcomes of three stylometric experiments: on typology in Edwards’s writings; on the sentiment-analysis of the word “God”; and on evidences of Edwards’s sometime editor Thomas Foxcroft. Prof. Choinski is author of The Rhetoric of the Revival: The Language of the Great Awakening Preachers (2016) and co-editor of Cognitive Linguistics in Action: From Theory to Application and Back (2010).

Presiding Bishopric, VI.

Final Installment

Summarizing and expanding a bit here. Responsibility profiles for the PB have varied. In the 1970s they became more deeply connected with the Church’s youth organizations. Eventually that role was withdrawn and they now function in supervising Church business matters including real estate, commercial corporate interests, humanitarian operations, etc. though at present the Presiding Bishop sits on the Church PEC, hence he is a discussion partner in youth issues.[1] Read more of this post

Presiding Bishopric, V. The First Presiding Bishops.

The First Presiding Bishop, Newell K. Whitney

After the death of Joseph Smith in June 1844, it became clear that the Latter-day Saints would leave Illinois. The majority of Nauvoo Saints went west with the apostles, and they needed assistance in dealing with those who required food, transportation, and shelter. In the lay over region called Winter Quarters, near present day Omaha, Nebraska, the need was great enough in 1846 that small wards of roughly 500 persons were created with a bishop for each.[1] As Utah was established a similar pattern developed but the office became richer yet.

Church leaders finally appointed a Presiding Bishop in 1847, Newell K. Whitney. Whitney was one of the first bishops in the church, but this was a new assignment. As Presiding Bishop, Whitney served without counselors until his death in 1850. At the same time, Whitney presided over a corps of other bishops that developed over time: “traveling bishops,” who moved among various communities, stake bishops who operated within the boundaries of one stake, general bishops, who supervised various stakes, regional bishops, who moved among the Mormon communities, regulating the work of “located” bishops in those communities and collecting donations-in-kind for redistribution.

When Whitney died in 1850, Edward Hunter became his successor:[2]
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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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