Joseph Smith Theology

What did Joseph Smith Teach About Christ?

Joseph Smith taught many truths about Jesus Christ that stemmed from his First Vision and other revelatory experiences. For example, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has said that Joseph’s depiction of a weeping Jesus in the Book of Moses reveals more about the true nature of Christ than any theological treatise. In this interview, historian Keith Erekson draws on the Joseph Smith Papers to explain what the Prophet taught about the Savior.

Book of Abraham Pearl of Great Price

Abrahamic Legends in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism

Latter-day Saints have a unique scriptural canon because it includes accounts of Abraham in the Old Testament—and the Book of Abraham. But there are also many other extrabiblical traditions. For example, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all have unique legends about the Old Testament patriarch. In this interview, BYU’s John Gee explains that the Book of Abraham could be the genesis for later stories found outside the Bible.

Book of Mormon Latter-day Saint History

Let’s Talk About the Translation of the Book of Mormon

Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the “gift and power of God.” However, it’s unclear precisely what that means. In this interview, Michael Hubbard MacKay breaks down what we know from the historical record, including Joseph’s work with seer stones, his insistence on using the term translation, and the peculiar purposes of the gold plates during the translation process.

Come Follow Me Cornerstone Joseph Smith

Highlights From the Latest Joseph Smith Research

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.

Brigham Young Cornerstone

What Do Historians Think About Brigham Young?

Brigham Young is one of the most well-known figures in the history of the American West. The first man to become President of the Church after the death of Joseph Smith, Young left behind a legacy in which he was known both as a “Lion of the Lord” and “Brother Brigham”—two distinct aspects of his personality. This article breaks down some of the most important historical research about Brigham Young’s wives, church presidency, teachings, and more.

Book of Abraham Joseph Smith Pearl of Great Price

How Did Joseph Smith Translate the Book of Abraham?

Joseph Smith began his translation of the Book of Abraham in 1835. However, he left no record of the process, making it impossible to know the precise mechanics. We do know that the translation likely included a mix of secular learning and divine revelation. And we know that he revised his initial translation, even incorporating Hebrew after studying the Biblical language. In this interview, Stephen O. Smoot discusses the complexity of the Prophet’s translation and marvels at the inspired final product.

Joseph Smith

What Do Forensics Say About the Purported Joseph Smith Photo?

Media outlets caused a stir when they announced that the first-known photo of Joseph Smith had been discovered in 2022. The daguerreotype had a stronger provenance than any earlier candidate, but it still lacked hard data prior to 1992, making it difficult to objectively authenticate. In this interview, Curtis G. Weber explains that his amateur forensic analysis may support claims that the man in the the Smith-Larsen daguerreotype could be Joseph Smith.

Latter-day Saint History

Wilford Woodruff and the Development of Temple Doctrine

Wilford Woodruff was witness to temple-related events throughout the nineteenth century. He participated in ordinances in the Kirtland Temple and was among the first to experience the endowment in the Red Brick Store with Joseph Smith. He also dedicated the Salt Lake Temple and kept records that provide a glimpse into the development of temples in the Church. In this interview, Jennifer Mackley discusses some of Wilford Woodruff’s experiences with Latter-day Saint temples.

20th Century Come Follow Me Devotional

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 Henry B. Eyring sometimes wondered if Bruce R. McConkie quotes originated with the apostle—or the scriptures. In this interview, Dennis B. Horne explains who we still feel his influence today.

Devotional Intellectualism Joseph Smith Latter-day Saint History Theology

Who Was Truman G. Madsen?

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.