In January 2018, I had the privilege to interview Jeff Probst, host of the CBS reality television show, Survivor. He was gracious enough to inaugurate the entertainment portion of the “10 questions” interview series.
The Council of Fifty was a secret organization founded by the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1844. The previously inaccessible records — or minutes — kept by the group remained a source of much speculation until they were made public in 2016. A new book titled “The Council of Fifty: What the Records Reveal about Mormon History” contains 15 essays about various topics of interest from the minutes of the council.
Among the many insights shared in the book are five fascinating facts about the Council of Fifty minutes. Continue reading “Five fascinating facts about the Council of Fifty”
The life of Parley P. Pratt is inextricably linked with the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Terryl L. Givens and Matthew J. Grow shed additional light on Pratt’s life and his influence on the early history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their new biography, “Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism.” The contents of the book, along with a recent lecture by the authors at Benchmark Books in Salt Lake City, provide answers to many questions about Pratt, including the following:
Each year, Clayton Christensen finishes his class at Harvard Business School by giving a lecture on the lessons he has learned during his life. In 2010, he was asked to give a summary of those lessons to the entire student body. Christensen’s lessons were soon being referred to in academic journals and news outlets around the world – and for good reason.
*Updated: Feb. 2, 2018
In January 2018, I had the privilege to interview John Gee, author of “An Introduction to the Book of Abraham.”
Gee is perhaps today’s most well-known Mormon Egyptologist and has been gracious enough to sit down for an interview to share his thoughts and experiences about the intersections of faith and scholarship.
In January 2018, I had the privilege to interview Dr. Gabriele Boccaccini, director of the Enoch Seminar.
Even in the midst of a personal tragedy, Boccaccini was kind enough to give thoughtful consideration to a number of questions about his work and motives.
While working on a review of a book about Joseph Smith and seer stones, my daughter came home from church and told me they had talked about seer stones in Sunday School. “The teacher said we should believe Joseph Smith was a prophet,” she said, “even though he made mistakes like using seer stones.”
The comment provided a good opportunity to discuss how seer stones were not a mistake, but rather Continue reading “10 questions and answers about Joseph Smith and seer stones”
After receiving interview responses from R. Eric Smith and Matthew J. Grow for an upcoming “10 questions,” it occurred to me I may have forgotten an important question.
Experts are often asked the same questions over and over. Yet are there questions they wish someone would ask?
As it relates to the Council of Fifty minutes, I asked R. Eric Smith this very question in an addendum to the “10 questions” interview.
Shorto is noted for his work in narrative history. He is the author of six books, a contributor to the New Yorker, and is currently contemplating a historical work – about the present.
“The Council of Fifty: What the Records Reveal About Mormon History,” is a timely book published by BYU’s Religious Studies Center. While the minutes of the council were published in their totality via the Joseph Smith Papers in 2016, they still remain somewhat inaccessible to general readers. “The Council of Fifty” contains 15 essays by leading scholars about relevant topics of interest. Continue reading “Book Review – The Council of Fifty: What the records reveal about Mormon history”