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.
Jesus Christ stressed the importance of Isaiah’s writings when He appeared in the Americas after His resurrection. As recorded in 3 Nephi, the Savior said: “A commandment I give unto you, that ye ought to search these things . . . for great are the words of Isaiah.” In this interview, Ann Madsen explains how Isaiah has helped her become a better disciple, and discusses his teachings about Jehovah and the temple.
Section 131 of the Doctrine and Covenants states that “in the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees.” Modern Latter-day Saints often view “celestial glory” as synonymous with “Celestial Kingdom.” However, the historical record suggests several potential problems with this interpretation—meaning that the current reading of D&C 131:1–4 may be an open question. In this interview, Bryan Buchanan expounds on Shannon Flynn’s research on the subject.
The prophet Brigham Young spent two years studying the Book of Mormon before he accepted it as the word of God. He said that he “wished time sufficient to prove all things for myself.” Today, scholars seek historical confirmation of the scripture’s origins to complement their own divine witnesses. In this interview, Stephen D. Ricks discusses evidence that names in the Book of Mormon have ancient origins.
Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code introduced a new generation to the idea that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married. A decade later, a forgery of “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” capitalized on the issue’s sensational nature. In this interview, historian Christopher Blythe expounds on his BYU Studies Quarterly article about open questions and says that Latter-day Saints have been comfortable with different answers to this quandary at different times.
Many believe that the Lord gave the Law of Tithing as a lesser commandment after pioneer Latter-day Saints failed to live the Law of Consecration. However, early church history reveals a different story. In this interview, historian Steven C. Harper explains that tithing is part of consecration—and that living both laws is a necessary prerequisite to building Zion.
The Old Testament reveals not only God, but also the historical and literature cultures of His people. The Bible’s books range from the story of Genesis to the writings of Isaiah to the controversial Song of Solomon. Robert D. Miller II provides a brief introduction to the Bible for those interested in learning more about its origin and context.