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From the Desk excerpts

Latter-day Saint biographies

Brigham Young

At times, he displayed an intense spiritual fire, whether that manifested itself in speaking in tongues or through his discourses. He could be also incredibly down to earth. He danced with the Saints in the Nauvoo Temple and at Winter Quarters.

John Turner on ‘Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet’

Henry B. Eyring

President Eyring told his son, “Your goal in giving counsel is to increase the likelihood that the listener will seek counsel directly from the Lord. That will mean giving less advice than either the listener or you might like at the time.”

Henry B. Eyring: Stories and Pictures from a Life of Faith

Truman G. Madsen

He once told a student that he spent at least 10 minutes a day studying the Prophet’s life and teachings. It became a daily habit of line upon line. He kept at it.

The Biography of Truman G. Madsen

Joseph Smith

First Vision

No one knows how many accounts of the First Vision Joseph Smith gave . . . What we know is that the historical record, as it stands today, includes four primary accounts by Joseph and/or his scribes and five secondary accounts by contemporaries who heard him tell the event.

Joseph Smith’s First Vision Holds a Key Lesson for Today’s Youth

Personality

He was a gregarious person who never lacked friends, but being the prophet and leader of the Church, I think he had moments where he felt like most people couldn’t understand what it was like to be him. I think that’s where his statement “No man knows my history” was coming from.

Know Brother Joseph: Q&A with the Editors

Translating

The hypothesis that the translation revelations began with a physical object accounts for Joseph’s initial attraction to certain texts. But what was the ongoing role of the plates, sitting covered on the table while Joseph dictated?

Richard Bushman on the Gold Plates

Polygamy

Joseph and Emma

Joseph and Emma apparently argued over the revelation for the next four days. It brought their marriage to the brink of divorce. Although they deeply loved each other, they couldn’t reconcile this revelation. Plural marriage was a difficult doctrine, and this painting attempts to represent some of the difficulties it caused.

Repicturing the Restoration with Anthony Sweat Artwork

Second Manifesto

“How could it be shown that polygamy now is absolutely forbidden by the Mormon church?” asked the reporter.

“The best evidence that we seriously and conscientiously are fighting polygamy,” Joseph [F. Smith] replied, “is shown by the fact that Mr. Taylor, formerly an apostle of the Church and a member of the governing council, has been excommunicated.”

See How the Church Changed in Remarkable ‘Saints 3’

Varied experiences

It is easy to stereotype polygamy as good or bad, or assume that either everyone loved it or everyone hated it all of the time. The reality was different for every individual.

Let’s Talk about Polygamy

Common resources