Tuesday, January 01, 2008

BYU Studies Volume 46, no. 3

In this issue of BYU Studies, Bruce A. Chadwick and others present "A Survey of Dating and Marriage at BYU." In 2002, the authors conducted an extensive survey asking BYU undergraduates about their attitudes and practices in "hanging out," dating, and deciding to marry. The results provide evidence that BYU students do in fact act quite differently from their counterparts at other American universities, making BYU unique. Here find data about the surprising frequency of hanging out and dating and how BYU students overwhelmingly keep the law of chastity.

Also included in this issue, Julie K. Allen and David L. Paulsen present "The Reverend Dr. Peter Christian Kierkegaard¹s 'About and Against Mormonism' (1855)." This document publishes for the first time in English a polemical tract written by the brother of the famous philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. While most clergy mocked or slandered Mormonism in its early years, it is interesting to see that some engaged it seriously, even if not completely respectfully. Peter Christian argues against Mormonism, as he saw early LDS missionaries come to Denmark and convert many of his parishioners. A Mormon reply to the tract's points of doctrine is made in footnotes. An excellent introduction provides history and context of the tract.

A fascinating article by Max H Parkin examines the United Firm, a business Joseph Smith established to oversee Church properties and commercial interests in Ohio and Missouri. Parkin's article also addresses misunderstandings that have persisted in the Church because of pseudonyms that were inserted into certain sections of the Doctrine and Covenants, particularly section 104, which disbanded the United Firm and distributed its properties.

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