I recently had the privilege to interview Matt Godfrey. Godfrey is the managing historian and general editor of the Joseph Smith Papers.
In February 2018, I had the privilege to interview Daniel C. Peterson for “10 questions.”
Peterson is the president of the Interpreter Foundation, a scholar of Islam, and the founding editor of the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship.
In January 2018, I had the privilege to interview two historians associated with the Joseph Smith Papers Project: Matthew J. Grow and R. Eric Smith. Both scholars served as editors for the 2017 publication, “The Council of Fifty: What the Records Reveal about Mormon History.”
The life of Parley P. Pratt is inextricably linked with the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Terryl L. Givens and Matthew J. Grow shed additional light on Pratt’s life and his influence on the early history of the LDS Church in their new biography, “Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism.” The contents of the book, along with a recent lecture by the authors at Benchmark Books in Salt Lake City, provide answers to many questions about Pratt, including the following:
The Council of Fifty minutes include a fascinating quote on “perfect revelation,” or whether a revelation requires perfect wording to be the word of God.
The Council of Fifty was an exclusive organization founded by Joseph Smith in 1844. The minutes of the council were published by the Church Historians Press in 2016 as part of the Joseph Smith Papers Project. The minutes include a wide variety of topics ranging from spiritual teachings to discussions about Indians to desires to form a new government.
The context for the quote is a series of discussions within the Council of Fifty about drafting a new constitution. The committee was somewhat paralyzed by fear of making a mistake and thus had difficulty getting started. One of the viewpoints shared was that of Brigham Young, who commented on Joseph Smith’s prophetic authority.
Included in his commentary is a fascinating quote about the word-for-word perfection of revelation. Continue reading “The Council of Fifty minutes on perfect revelation”