A new purported photograph of Joseph Smith seems to pop up every few years. However, all of the candidates have been ruled out—until now. While not the slam dunk some media outlets would have you believe, the Smith/Larsen daguerreotype makes a stronger case than we’ve seen before. In this interview, Lachlan Mackay walks through some of the historical details.
Brigham Young is one of the most well-known figures in the history of the American West. But there are scores of lesser-known facts from his life that range from coining the term “pony express” to getting a bad rap in the Journal of Discourses. Similarly, many popular stories about Brigham Young fall into the realm of myth. For example, you won’t find his hearse at Disneyland—and he didn’t miraculously leave room in the Salt Lake Temple for elevators.
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 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.
Latter-day Saints and mainstream Christians differ in how they understand the natures of God and of Jesus Christ. For instance, the Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon doesn’t always align with the Savior in the Bible. But those differences might not be as extreme as is often assumed. In this interview, BYU’s Jason Combs discusses efforts by early Christians to understand the nature of Jesus Christ as both human and divine.
The account of Mary Magdalene in the Bible is only the beginning of her story, according to fictional accounts like The Davinci Code. But legend has a way of overshadowing history. In the case of Mary Magdalene, asking only if she was married to Jesus overlooks her contributions. In this interview, biographer Bruce Chilton tells the story of Jesus’ most pivotal female follower.
Emmeline B. Wells rubbed shoulders with Susan B. Anthony, presided over the general Relief Society, and weathered the ups and downs of pioneer life. Not surprisingly, the Emmeline B. Wells diaries provide rich insights into the lives of nineteenth-century Latter-day Saint women and church leaders. In this interview, biographer Carol Cornwall Madsen tells the story of the prominent Utah pioneer woman.
Herod the Great is perhaps best known for the massacre of the innocents portrayed in the Gospel of Matthew. Interestingly, many scholars believe that Herod claimed to be a messiah, and Ehud Netzer’s discovery of King Herod’s tomb at Herodium led to additional evidence. In this interview, biblical archaeologist and Masada expert Jodi Magness expounds on her related article in the Journal of Ancient Judaism.