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Vast Early America

What Did Thomas Jefferson Believe About Jesus and the Bible?

Thomas Jefferson was a Christian in the sense that he believed in Jesus as a great moral teacher, but not as the Son of God. He even created a “Jefferson Bible” in which he reconstructed the book without references to miracles and divinity. In this interview, biographer Thomas S. Kidd places Jefferson’s beliefs and actions in the context of the Founding Fathers and the Bible.

Categories
Ancient history New Testament

Was Jesus a Rabbi?

The Gospels repeatedly designate Jesus as a rabbi. For some, the term adds an extra layer of depth to the historical Jesus. But it’s not that simple for everyone. For example, calling Jesus a rabbi associates him with Judaism. It also reinforces his role as a historical figure. Both implications go against the grain of certain ideologies. In this interview, Mary Magdalene author Bruce Chilton explains more—and reflects on reactions to his book, Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography.

Categories
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.

Categories
American West Latter-day Saint History

Mountain Meadows Massacre: Was There a Cover Up?

There was a coverup in the aftermath of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. However, it didn’t involve Brigham Young and the institutional church. The tragic story of the massacre’s aftermath is now available in a new book published by Rick Turley and Barbara Jones Brown. In this interview, they explain the complicated responses in the decades following the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Categories
Devotional

AI Temples: What Do They Look Like?

Artificial intelligence has introduced the world to all kinds of novelties—including artistic designs of AI temples. The fad will pass, but the covenants made within temples won’t. That’s partly why a new book filled with images of AI temples also includes devotional essays. In this interview, author Jeffrey Thayne explains how the endowment revealed through Joseph Smith has application even in the imagination.

Categories
Joseph Smith Polygamy

In Sacred Loneliness: The Documents of Joseph Smith’s Wives

The plural wives of Joseph Smith are the focus of Todd Compton’s book, In Sacred Loneliness: The Documents. As a sequel to his 1997 volume, The Documents provides the primary sources Compton used in his book about Joseph Smith’s polygamous marriages. In this interview, Todd Compton discusses his new publication, shares thoughts about reactions to his research, and provides highlights from his book.

Categories
Joseph Smith Latter-day Saint History Theology

What Is the Relationship Between Freemasonry and the Temple Endowment?

The nature of Joseph Smith’s revelatory experiences has become a subject of intense academic focus. Some scholars have looked at what the Prophet meant by translation, while others have mused about the purpose of the gold plates. In this interview, Jeffrey Bradshaw talks about the relationship between Freemasonry and the Latter-day Saint temple endowment.

Categories
19th Century Latter-day Saint History

B. H. Roberts and Utah Politics in the Early 1900s

B H. Roberts is an important public figure in the history of the Church. As the author of numerous works about Latter-day Saint theology and history, including the Comprehensive History of the Church, his influence on Latter-day Saint thought is difficult to overestimate. In this interview, biographer John Sillito discusses the life and legacy of Elder Roberts.

Categories
Joseph Smith Latter-day Saint History Polygamy

The Remarkable Legacy of Emma Smith

Emma Hale Smith is sometimes viewed only as “Joseph Smith’s wife, Emma.” Stories are told of her wrestles with polygamy or her decision to remain in Nauvoo. There’s even a new argument that she may have possessed a Joseph Smith daguerreotype. But Emma is more than a story. In this interview, Jenny Reeder shares insights from her Emma Smith biography, First: The Life and Faith of Emma Smith.

Categories
Entertainment

Loretta Swit: Meet the Actress Who Played Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan on ‘MASH’

Loretta Swit touched the hearts of millions of fans with her portrayal of Hot Lips Houlihan on MASH. Nearly four decades after the series aired, the talented actress looks back on the hit television series. In this interview, Loretta Swit talks about how she became an actor and shares rare stories from the behind the scenes of MASH.

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