Come and See: Steve Peck Discusses His New Book at Writ & Vision

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Steven Peck – Author Signing and Panel

Please join us Thursday, April 13th, at 7 pm as we welcome acclaimed novelist, scientist, and poet Steven Peck to discuss is new book SCIENCE THE KEY TO THEOLOGY.

Professor Peck will be joined by Zina Petersen and Steve Evans for a panel discussion on the book, as well as on science and religion and other boring subjects.

SCIENCE THE KEY TO THEOLOGY is the inaugural title from the newly announced BCC Press, a non-profit Mormon publisher.

Read more about BCC Press here:

Announcing BCC Press

Come join us for this exciting discussion and to get signed copies of this groundbreaking new book.

The event is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served.

Writ & Vision
274 Center St.
Provo, Utah 84601

A New Mormon Oriented Press: BCC Press

Steve Evans and the crew at the By Common Consent blog began discussing the idea of a new outlet for Mormon literature some time ago. Plans fell into place as the bloggers realized that the group housed people with the tools to make such an enterprise work. It’s a volunteer army over there and a nonprofit effort. Proceeds go to maintain press expenses (someone has to buy the paper) and to authors. How the model works over time is to be determined but the enthusiasm and the talent pool is there. See the web page.

Where does BCC Press live within the somewhat limited Mormon publishing industry? I think that remains to be seen. Will it found a new journal? Publish scientific research? Unlikely. But what about promising fiction authors? Or innovative theological work? That seems to be fair game. The press wants to help shape Mormon thought and that means engaging fine authors with important projects. Certain kinds of devotional literature seem in play. Considering what BCC Press is not may be helpful in defining its place. It is not an academic press, though literature of academic quality may be in view. It is not Deseret Book, though books on personal faith journeys seem part of the charter. In essence, the field is open as wide as the expertise of its volunteer workforce. For more information, see here.

Newsroom: Is the World Getting Worse?

From the LDS Public Relations arm, led by former Assistant Church Historian and Recorder, Richard E. Turley:

Hope is realistic about the bad, but it chooses to deposit its money in the bank of the good. Pope Francis touched on this in his January 2017 address to communicators around the world, where he encouraged journalists to lift their sights higher than the smog of constant bad news.

“We have to break the vicious circle of anxiety and stem the spiral of fear resulting from a constant focus on ‘bad news,’” he said. “I ask everyone to offer the people of our time storylines that are at heart ‘good news.’”[1]

The Newsroom notes work toward this end:

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Joseph Smith Papers New Online Content

Click the link for some interesting new items from the JSPP.

Happy Birthday Relief Society!

The Nauvoo Female Relief Society had its founding meeting 175 years ago today. This necessary-to-complete-restoration organization has had a marked effect on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A comprehensive history of Relief Society still waits to be written but a number of important volumes are recently in the wind from the Church Historian’s Press and Alfred A. Knopf. Not in any order of importance, see

1. Jill Mulvay Derr, Carol Cornwall Madsen, Kate Holbrook, and Matthew J. Grow, eds., The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History (Salt Lake City: The Church Historian’s Press, 2016).

2. Jennifer Reeder and Kate Holbrook, eds., At the Pulpit: 185 years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women (Salt Lake City: The Church Historian’s Press, 2017).

3. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2017).

May I also recommend you pursue the Relief Society meeting minutes of April 28, 1842 here. You’ll see two documents in parallel, the original minutes, and an edited version by church historian George A. Smith, put together 16 years later. The contrast is remarkably revealing if somewhat disappointing. The sisters did not give up however. They read and reread Joseph Smith’s commission from the original in the succeeding decades. It became a powerful totem for women in their spiritual service and leadership.

Yay Relief Society. Can’t wait for 200.

Early National Systems. Slavery and Its American Social Constructs: part 1.

Industrialization of the North–Cotton

The Jeffersonian ideal of the independent tiller of the soil (“Agrarian Republicanism”), not cramped in diseased, polluted cities but exercising economic self-sufficiency and ruling with the patriarchal hand all under his purview. That patriarchal hand meant that the income that might be generated by wife and children, belonged to him, as did the associated laboring bodies. That ideal was most prominently subverted by the Lowell, Massachusetts textile industry. The Textile mills in Lowell were an important innovation in American enterprise on two fronts. The most interesting here was the matter of labor.
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The Lord’s Prayer, Nineteenth-Century Update

I suspect that most Latter-day Saints do not know that Joseph Smith revealed a Lord’s Prayer for the New Dispensation. No, not in the Inspired Version (or Joseph Smith Translation, revision) of the Bible. This was a revelation, almost certainly connected to that biblical revision work, but separate from it, a New Prayer for the Last Times, much like the original prayer was a prayer for the last times. To catch the vision here, I’ll take the Mathean prayer and place it in parallel with this new prayer, that was dictated on October 30, 1831. The context of the prayer is important, and it serves as a kind of preface for foundational revelations of November 1831 that defined church polity and established a form of government that carried on through modern manifestations of Mormonism.
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