New Joseph Smith Papers volume offers unprecedented access to Book of Abraham materials

Robin Jensen is a co-editor for the latest volume of the Joseph Smith Papers, “Revelations and Translations, Vol. 4: Book of Abraham and Related Manuscripts.” In this interview, he answers questions about the new publication and explains why it is a landmark volume. Continue reading “New Joseph Smith Papers volume offers unprecedented access to Book of Abraham materials”

‘Saints’ editor discusses new history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is publishing a new official history in four volumes. The first volume, “Saints: The Standard of Truth: 1815-1846” is being released today.

Matt Grow, Director of the Church’s Publications Division and volume editor for “Saints” joins FromtheDesk.org for an exclusive interview.  Continue reading “‘Saints’ editor discusses new history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”

Five questions and answers about Parley P. Pratt

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:

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10 questions and answers about Joseph Smith and seer stones

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”

10 questions with S. Kent Brown

In December 2017 / January 2018, I had the privilege to interview S. Kent Brown, an emeritus professor of ancient studies at BYU.

My contact with Brown stemmed from an interview with Philip Jenkins wherein he mentioned scholars at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship who were studying the same time period as he covered in his book, Crucible of Faith. After contacting the Maxwell Institute I was eventually put in touch with Brown, who has done some work on the period of 250 BCE to 50  CE, including the publication of The Lost 500 Years: What Happened Between the Old and New Testaments.

Continue reading “10 questions with S. Kent Brown”

Nicholas J. Frederick comments on Joseph Smith’s seer stones

In early 2017, I published a short Q&A for the Deseret News on Joseph Smith and seer stones. The article was intended for a general audience and based upon a book by Michael Hubbard Mackay and Nicholas J. FederickJoseph Smith’s Seer Stones.

Seer stone, Photo Source: josephsmithpapers.org

The book is rather short, but not necessary entirely conducive to concise and understandable descriptions of common questions about the topic. In an effort to secure quotes about popular questions that could easily fit within the narrative tone of the article, I contacted the authors for an interview.

Frederick consulted with Mackay and responded to the three questions I posed on November 05, 2016.

Continue reading “Nicholas J. Frederick comments on Joseph Smith’s seer stones”