I recently had the privilege to interview Benjamin E. Park. He is an assistant professor of history at Sam Houston University and is working as a visiting fellow with the Maxwell Institute. Park is the author of “American Nationalisms: Imagining Union in the Age of Revolutions, 1783-1833,” and is researching the political culture of Navuoo, Illinois, in the 1840s.
In January 2018, I had the privilege to interview two historians associated with the Joseph Smith Papers Project: Matthew J. Grow and R. Eric Smith. Both scholars served as editors for the 2017 publication, “The Council of Fifty: What the Records Reveal about Mormon History.”
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”
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.
“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”