Truman Madsen is perhaps best known for his Joseph Smith lectures. The BYU professor thought of the Prophet as a window through which he could see Jesus Christ. But his contributions extend far beyond lectures given at Brigham Young University. Those who knew him best, like his wife, Ann Madsen, say there was much more to Truman G. Madsen than meets the eye.
There’s a unique tension between faith and intellect. For example, believers sometimes struggle with nuanced terms such as certainty and doubt. And it can be hard to know when intellect supplements faith—versus when it supplants faith. In this interview, Terryl Givens shares quotes from Joseph Smith, and expounds on the relationship between intellect and belief.
Faith and science are often seen as conflicting approaches in the search for truth—including within the Latter-day Saint community. For example, Joseph Fielding Smith and B. H. Roberts disagreed about whether science or scripture should take priority in the debate over evolution (see the story in Saints 3). In this interview. Dr. Jamie L. Jensen explains that faith and science are symbiotic pathways to truth.
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that faith is the first principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And yet many people struggle to understand their own beliefs. Furthermore, the importance of belief seems to be on the decline, as evidenced by the rise of those leaving organized religion. In this interview, Terryl Givens, and his son, Nathaniel, explain that admitting “belief is hard” could be a step toward accessing the power of faith—and balancing faith and intellect.
Biographer Kristine Haglund describes the context behind the correspondence of Elder Bruce R. McConkie and Eugene England. Her new book, Eugene England: A Mormon Liberal, is the second installment in the Introductions to Mormon Thought series (University of Illinois Press, 2021).
Terryl Givens is the second scholar to publish a book about the life of Eugene England this year. His biography, Stretching the Heavens: The Life of Eugene England and the Crisis of Modern Mormonism complements Kristine Haglund’s intellectual history that includes an account of the correspondence between Eugene England and Bruce R. McConkie.
Casey Paul Griffiths is the author of Truth Seeker: The Life of Joseph F. Merrill, Scientist, Educator, and Apostle (BYU Religious Studies Center, 2021). His contribution stands alongside apostolic histories such recent biographies of Henry B. Eyring and Dallin H. Oaks.