20th Century 21st Century Latter-day Saint History

The Past, Present, and Future of BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly has been published since 1959. Over the last 60 years, the journal has undergone name changes, made discoveries, and published scholarship informed by the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. In this interview, Brad Wilcox and Tim Morrison break down their analysis of BYU Studies Quarterly content, including thoughts by Editor-in-Chief Steven C. Harper on the future of the publication.

19th Century 20th Century Ancient history Latter-day Saint History

What Did It Mean to “Shake Off the Dust of Thy Feet”?

The Prophet Joseph Smith revealed a form of ritual cursing similar to the New Testament practice of shaking off the dust of one’s feet. It was primarily practiced by missionaries in the wake of rejection and persecution. The ritual was rarely reported to have resulted in immediate effect, and it was commonly seen as a designation of destruction at the Second Coming. In this interview, author Samuel Weber says that the practice was basically extinct by the early 1900s.

19th Century 20th Century 21st Century Joseph Smith Latter-day Saint History

What’s in the Relief Society General Board Minutes?

The Church History Department and Relief Society General Presidency recently published Relief Society general board minutes covering the years 1842–2007. The minutes include notes from the first meeting of the Nauvoo Relief Society, preparations for World War II, and the impact of global events. Anne Berryhill explains that the Relief Society minutes also contain accounts of prominent Latter-day Saints such as Emma Smith, Eliza Snow, and Zina D. H. Young.

20th Century Biography Latter-day Saint History Latter-day Saints

The Many Legacies of Bruce R. McConkie

Bruce R. McConkie served as an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1972 to 1985. The gospel scholar authored numerous books, including the controversial Mormon Doctrine and expansive Messiah series. He knew the standard works so well that President Henry B. Eyring sometimes wondered, “Is he quoting the scriptures, or are those his own words?”

20th Century 21st Century Biography General Authorities Latter-day Saint History

M. Russell Ballard: The Entrepreneur Who Became An Apostle

M. Russell Ballard, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has lived a life of entrepreneurship, leadership, and prominence—even if he considers himself ordinary. In this interview, biographer Dr. Susan Easton Black says that the real theme of his life has not been innovation or business, but devotion to Jesus Christ.

19th Century 20th Century Latter-day Saint History Polygamy

See How the Church Changed in Remarkable ‘Saints 3’

Saints 3 is the third volume in the new official history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Scott Hales (General Editor and lead writer) and Jed Woodworth (General Editor and lead historian) discuss the Saints book and tease Saints Volume 4.

19th Century 20th Century Latter-day Saint History

How to Dispel Latter-Day Myths

Historian Keith Erekson’s latest book teaches Latter-day Saints how to separate fact from fiction when it comes to faith-promoting stories. For example, he give readers the tools needed to assess the accuracy of a purported photograph of Joseph Smith—or identify the myth about Brigham Young miraculously leaving space in the Salt Lake Temple for future elevators. In this interview, he explains some of the basics (and shares some fascinating stories).