Joseph Smith Jr. has been a topic of conversation since his First Vision in 1820. Today, the discourse continues. Whether discussing the possibility of a Joseph Smith photograph or his relationship with Brigham Young, historians continue to learn new things about the first prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has had a presence in the islands of the Pacific Ocean since the time of Joseph Smith, but it was only during the decades following WWII that it experienced extensive growth in areas like Micronesia, the Philippeans, and eastern Asia. This includes the modern states of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and Palau, along with the U.S. territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands (all of which are referrenced as Micronesia and Guam in this interview). These countries have some of the highest per capita membership in the Church in the world. This interview with R. Devan Jensen discusses the history of the Church in Micronesia and Guam.
It might seem unlikely that we can know anything about the ancient owners of the Joseph Smith Papyri. However, the Book of Abraham scrolls included names and genealogies indicating that the owners were ancient Egyptian priests. In this interview, Kerry Muhlestein explains what we know about these ancient Egyptians—and how their circumstances may have made them uniquely aware of extra-biblical Abrahamic traditions.
The law of the gospel is one of five covenants made in Latter-day Saint temples. Interestingly, definitions used by church leaders have shifted since the days of Joseph Smith. For example, David O. McKay taught that it included scripture study, and Bruce R. McConkie referred to it as the “celestial law.” In this interview, independent scholar Samuel R. Weber explains the history of the law of the gospel, culminating in a definition included in the General Handbook.
The Community of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints share the same roots, including Restoration scriptures like the Book of Mormon. Yet these faith communities have over 170 years of divergent history and evolution, including how they approach the scriptures. This interview with Kat Goheen and Joshua Sears discusses scripture in the Community of Christ and in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Thomas Jefferson was a Christian in the sense that he believed in Jesus as a great moral teacher, but not as the Son of God. He even created a “Jefferson Bible” in which he reconstructed the book without references to miracles and divinity. In this interview, biographer Thomas S. Kidd places Jefferson’s beliefs and actions in the context of the Founding Fathers and the Bible.
The genealogy of Jesus in the New Testament includes several women with a hint of sexual scandal. When combined with the wicked men in the Savior’s ancestry, it teaches several subtle lessons—including how Matthew may have prepared his audience for the virgin birth. In this interview, Camille Fronk Olson explains what we can learn from the women in the lineage of Jesus.
Joseph F. Smith became the sixth president of the Church in 1901. However, his succession to the presidency took an unusual route. For example, Brigham Young Jr. was ordained an apostle before Joseph F.—and George Q. Cannon missed out on becoming prophet by only six months. In this interview, Dennis B. Horne discusses the life and prophet succession of Joseph F. Smith.
Margaret Barker is a world-renowned biblical scholar. She’s been quoted by the likes of N. T. Wright and given an award by the Queen of England. Interestingly, the Methodist preacher is also a favorite of many Latter-day Saint scholars. In this interview, Kevin Christensen tells the story of how Barker first encountered the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—and why so many of the faith’s scholars are drawn to her work.
The Come, Follow Me 2023 lessons are drawn from the New Testament. The Sunday School curriculum complements the Book of Mormon as a witness of Jesus Christ, and the title is taken from the Savior’s invitation in Matthew and Luke: “Come, follow me.” This article contains scriptural insights from Latter-day Saints and notable secular scholars, along with the Come, Follow Me 2023 schedule.
Joseph Smith‘s death in Carthage, Illinois was traumatic for the Latter-day Saints. His assassination was the culmination in a series of events that had consequences for the community of Saints—particularly those living in Nauvoo. In this interview, historian Spencer W. McBride discusses the events surrounding the Prophet’s death as shared in Road to Carthage: A Joseph Smith Papers Podcast.