Thursday, May 29, 2008
To whom it may concern,
In light of the recent news activity regarding the FLDS Church and polygamy, the AUB is issuing a press release. The Apostolic United Brethren is a legally-recognized religion based in Utah, with members living primarily throughout the western United States as well as Mexico.
We are a Christian-based, Mormon religious group, that has our roots in the original Gospel restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith in the early 1800's. We regard ourselves as the original Mormons, and can trace our authority and doctrines back to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Although Plural Celestial marriage, or as others call it, ''Polygamy,'' is one of our basic tenets, we also hold dear many other beliefs that have the Bible and Jesus Christ at their core, and consider ourselves to be Bible-believing Christians. We recognize Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and acknowledge that without His atoning sacrifice, all would be lost.
In the same way that there are many Christian religions that differ in doctrines, beliefs, and tenets, so there are many Mormon religions that differ in doctrines, beliefs, and tenets. Although we have the fundamental beliefs of Mormonism at our core, and many call us 'fundamentalists,' we strongly differ in many beliefs from the FLDS Church that has been so much in the public eye as of late.
Because of this confusion, and because many ''tar us with the same brush'' so to speak, we have decided to provide a Press Release that is available for immediate publication.
Apostolic United Brethren
Dedicated to the Betterment of Mankind
2031 West 13730 South
Riverton, UT 84065
FOR IMMEDIATE ISSUE
In light of the current events surrounding the beliefs and practices of the many polygamous communities, the leadership of the Apostolic United Brethren would like to clarify to the public that:
1. We are, and always have been, wholly opposed to abuse and oppression of any kind, and we feel it our duty to promptly report any suspected abuse to the proper law enforcement authorities.
2. We do not encourage or permit 'child-bride' marriages or arranged marriages. Instead, it is a fundamental principle of our faith that it is the sacred privilege of all, male and female, when they are adequately mature, to choose whom they will marry. Forced, arranged, or assigned marriages are not a part of our belief or practice.
3. We try to encourage our people to take care of their own needs and to entirely avoid any reliance upon the government. Though there are some members of our faith who may have received government assistance, they are encouraged to become self-sustaining as soon as possible. Our teachings are to be honorable in all our financial dealings which includes full payment of all required taxes as well as avoiding debt.
4. Although we have not had any affiliation with the FLDS for nearly 60 years due to some of these very issues, we are nevertheless deeply concerned that Texas state agencies have violated God given and constitutional rights of the FLDS community at the YFZ ranch contrary to principles and freedoms that iconic America stands for. The investigation of alleged criminal activity should not lead to the unnecessary suffering of innocent babies, toddlers, and older children - there are better and more responsible ways to solve this problem.
In summary, we do not support abuse of any kind, and feel that the perpetrator, whether it be an individual, a group, or a government, ought to be held accountable for perpetrating abuse. We believe in being honest in our financial dealings and in providing for our own people. We are appreciative of this good country in which we are allowed to worship Almighty God and we willingly pay our taxes so that these and other freedoms may be enjoyed by all. We do not condone underage, assigned, or incestuous relationships. We abhor compulsion and oppression in all its forms and support those laws that seek to properly address these issues.
THE APOSTOLIC UNITED BRETHREN
The Texas State Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the removal of children from a polygamist religious group's ranch by child welfare authorities was unwarranted and that the children should be returned.
The court's ruling upheld a decision issued last week by the Third Court of Appeals in Austin finding that a state district court judge had not been justified in allowing the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to remove hundreds children from a ranch complex near Eldorado in April.
Read the rest of the article here
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Lincoln Cannon To Present in Second Life Conference on the Future of Religion
The Future of Religions/Religions of the Future is a two-day conference (4-5 June) examining how two of the 21st Century's driving forces, religion and technology, will continue to re-shape each other and, in the process, re-cast our understanding of "humanity" in the Third Millennium. Centered on, but not limited to, virtual worlds and social networking technologies, speakers and panelists will also examine changes precipitated by the biotechnology revolution, cognitive science, information technologies and robotics.
As part of the conference, Lincoln Cannon, president of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, will present on "Mormonism: A Religion of the Future" at 10:30AM Second Life time (Pacific Time) on Wednesday, 4 June. Here is an abstract for Lincoln's presentation:
"We should expect Mormonism to thrive amidst accelerating technological change in coming decades. Its relatively young and reproductive demographics, high cultural retention, emphasis on education, theological compatibility with science, moderate stances in bioethics, and persistent adoption of new technologies will be drivers. The views of Mormon Transhumanists may provide insight into the future of Mormonism."
The conference will be held in the central nexus of the Transhumanist island, Extropia:
For more information, see the announcement on the Extropia Core web site:
May 29, 2008
New York to Back Same-Sex Unions From Elsewhere
By JEREMY W. PETERS
ALBANY — Gov. David A. Paterson has directed all state agencies to begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, like Massachusetts, California and Canada.
In a directive issued on May 14, the governor's legal counsel, David Nocenti, instructed the agencies that gay couples married elsewhere "should be afforded the same recognition as any other legally performed union."
The revisions are most likely to involve as many as 1,300 statutes and regulations in New York governing everything from joint filing of income tax returns to transferring fishing licenses between spouses.
In a videotaped message given to gay community leaders at a dinner on May 17, Mr. Paterson described the move as "a strong step toward marriage equality." And people on both sides of the issue said it moved the state closer to fully legalizing same-sex unions in this state.
"Very shortly, there will be hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, and probably thousands and thousands and thousands of gay people who have their marriages recognized by the state," said Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, a Democrat who represents the Upper West Side and has pushed for legalization of gay unions.
Massachusetts and California are the only states that have legalized gay marriage, while others, including New Jersey and Vermont, allow civil unions. Forty-one states have laws limiting marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Legal experts said Mr. Paterson's decision would make New York the only state that did not itself allow gay marriage but fully recognized same-sex unions entered into elsewhere.
The directive is the strongest signal yet that Mr. Paterson, who developed strong ties to the gay community as a legislator, plans to push aggressively to legalize same-sex unions as governor. His predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, introduced a bill last year that would have legalized gay marriage, but even as he submitted it, doubted that it would pass. The Democratic-dominated Assembly passed the measure, but the Republican-led Senate has refused to call a vote on it.
Short of an act by the Legislature, the directive ordered by Mr. Paterson is the one of the strongest statements a state can make in favor of gay unions.
"Basically we've done everything we can do on marriage legislatively at this point," said Sean Patrick Maloney, a senior adviser to Mr. Paterson. "But there are tools in our tool kit on the executive side, and this is one."
Continuing the article here
CALIFORNIA MAJORITY BACKS GAY MARRIAGE
Field Poll director calls results a milestone
John Wildermuth, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
In a dramatic reversal of decades of public opinion, California voters agree by a slim majority that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, according to a Field Poll released today.
By 51-42 percent, registered voters said they believed same-sex marriage should be legal in California. Only 28 percent favored gay marriage in 1977, when the Field Poll first asked that question, said Mark DiCamillo, the poll's director.
"This is a milestone in California," he said. "You can't downplay the importance of a change in an issue we've been tracking for 30 years."
While opposition to same-sex marriage has been weakening for years in California, supporters have remained a minority. In March 2000, for example, voters overwhelmingly backed Proposition 22, a statute that said the state would recognize only the marriage of a man and a woman. A 2006 Field Poll showed that half the state's voters still disapproved of same-sex marriage.
But the state Supreme Court's decision this month to overturn Prop. 22 might have turned the tide, DiCamillo said.
"There's a certain validation when the state Supreme Court makes a ruling that you can't discriminate when it comes to marriage," he said. "That may have been enough to move some people who were on the fence about same-sex marriage."
Younger voters and those living in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and other Democratic urban strongholds were the most supportive of same-sex marriage, the poll found, while older voters and those living in the more conservative inland areas were more opposed.
The poll also provided a boost for groups planning to battle a measure to ban same-sex marriage that is expected to go on the ballot in November as a constitutional amendment. By 51-43 percent, registered voters oppose changing the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, according to the poll.
Results differ from other poll
A statewide Los Angeles Times/KTLA Poll released last week showed different results: 54 percent of registered voters said they would support the initiative that would change the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
"When we get results that we think are surprising, we double- and triple-check our numbers, and that's what we did here," said DiCamillo. "Everything in this poll is consistent internally."
It's not unusual for two polls to have conflicting numbers, said Steve Kinney, a veteran GOP pollster.
"It's all in the methodology, who you actually talked to and whether they accurately represented that state as a whole," he said. "But even if you have confidence in your numbers, you're always scared if you come up with something totally different. Are you wrong, or is the other guy?"
Support for same-sex marriage has been growing steadily in California, and the youngest voters are pushing the hardest. Among voters 18 to 29 years old, 68 percent back gay marriage, compared with only 36 percent of those 65 and older, the Field Poll found.
It's a "generational replacement, with older folks being replaced by younger voters very much in favor of same-sex marriage," DiCamillo said.
Those younger voters "have grown up with people who are out in their lives, whether it's politicians in the news or people they know," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, one of the groups opposed to the proposed initiative to ban same-sex marriage.
But the dramatic movement on the issue over the past few years hasn't been by accident, Kors said. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's dramatic - and later overturned - decision to issue marriage licenses to gay couples in 2004, the Legislature's passage of two bills to authorize same-sex marriage and other efforts have helped educate people about the issue and bring same-sex marriage into the California mainstream, he said.
"Legislators voted for same-sex marriage, and none of them were voted out of office," Kors said. "This (poll result) is what we'd expect, but it's also the first time we've seen a majority for same-sex marriage, and the Field Poll is as credible as it comes."
Supporters of the new initiative shrugged off the poll results, saying that it is a long time until the November election.
"The Supreme Court ruling only just happened," said Karen England, spokeswoman for the Capitol Resource Institute, one of the groups backing a ban on same-sex marriage, which is expected to be approved for the ballot in mid-June. "Once we have the measure on the ballot, the campaign can change everything."
England said plenty of voters calling her group are outraged that the Supreme Court overturned Prop. 22 after it passed with 61 percent of the vote. She also questioned the accuracy of pre-election polls, noting that support for Prop. 22 on election day was much stronger than was shown in polls taken days before the vote.
"People might say one thing to a pollster, but they make their own decision in the voting booth," she said.
How state splits on issue
The new Field Poll highlights the battleground for the fall campaign, showing the state splitting dramatically along regional, ideological and religious grounds.
The heavily Democratic urban areas strongly support same-sex marriage; 55 percent of Los Angeles County and an overwhelming 68 percent of the Bay Area are in favor. By contrast, only 38 percent of the Central Valley and 41 percent of Southern California outside of Los Angeles are in favor.
Same-sex marriage also digs a chasm between California's heavily populated coast and its inland areas; 55 percent of coastal voters back same-sex marriage compared with 40 percent in support inland.
The issue divides along liberal-conservative lines; 85 percent of strong liberals are in favor, and 85 percent of strong conservatives are opposed.
Protestants, who make up a third of the state's voters, oppose same-sex marriage 34 percent to 57 percent, while Catholics are split almost equally, 45 percent in favor to 48 percent opposed. Those with no religious preference back same-sex marriage 81 percent to 12 percent.
America will be watching the fall campaign over same-sex marriage, which will have national implications, said Kors of Equality California.
"It's going to be an intense and enormous undertaking, but we're confident we'll win," he said. "But we also know that the other side is out there working just as hard and feeling just as confident."
The poll is based on a telephone survey of 1,052 registered voters taken May 17-26. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
The law: The state Supreme Court this month overturned a ban on same-sex marriage approved by voters in 2000.
Weddings: Counties are preparing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples when the ruling takes effect in mid-June.
New initiative: A constitutional amendment declaring that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid" is likely to qualify for the November ballot.
Monday, May 26, 2008
By Carrie A. Moore
Published: May 24, 2008
SACRAMENTO — Researchers with the LDS Church's historical department say conflicting accounts and missing documents have vexed historians looking to determine exactly how the Mountain Meadows Massacre came about and who had prior knowledge of the plan to murder about 140 men, women and children in southern Utah.
Speaking at the annual conference of the Mormon History Association on Friday, a trio of researchers shared details about documents — and their historic interpretation — surrounding questions that remain and may never be answered definitively.
Brian Reeves told the audience in a packed conference room about documents relating to the massacre that have either been "lost, suppressed or destroyed." He began by noting that prior to the publication of Juanita Brooks' 1950 book on the massacre, she was "denied access to relevant documents by the (church's) First Presidency," which will be detailed in a book to be released this summer by LDS historians.
"Massacre at Mountain Meadows" is scheduled for release in July, according to researchers who helped examine and look for documents, some of which were known to exist at some point but have disappeared.
The appendix in Brooks' book contains the transcript of a deposition by Brigham Young during the second trial of John D. Lee, the only man ever convicted of participating in the massacre. Young said he received a letter from Isaac Haight, a stake president in southern Utah, a few days before the massacre, but that he did not have it at the time of the deposition. He told the questioner he had "made a diligent search for it but cannot find it," Reeves said.
Another document known to exist but which subsequently disappeared chronicled the testimony of William Dame, a southern Utah church leader who authorized the massacre in September 1857. He gave testimony regarding the events, which was recorded in full when two LDS apostles were in southern Utah in 1858 asking about the events. But the surviving record of testimony taken at the Dame hearing "contains only condensed minutes" of the testimony. "We don't know what became of his full account," Reeves said.
Another document known to exist was a roster that members of the ill-fated Fancher wagon train drew up while they were staying at Mountain Meadows, including an itemized list of their property. The immigrants were apparently "hoping it would reach California" in the event they did not, Reeves said.
The letter was found near a murdered man after the massacre and was at some point apparently destroyed, though an LDS leader in southern Utah, Jacob Hamblin, was "acquainted with the nature of its contents. He possessed the letter for a time," Reeves said.
Hamblin was in Salt Lake City at the time of the massacre and returned to his ranch near the massacre site 18 days after the murders to find two child survivors being cared for there by his wife. At Young's request, Hamblin wrote an account of his experiences that month, Reeves said..
"Two pages of that journal ended up missing. In 1969 it was given to the church archives. The pages preceding the missing ones tell of his journey to Salt Lake City before the massacre, noting that while there he was invited several times to the office of the First Presidency about "caching, probably caching of grain," Reeves said.
He said the LDS Church history library has another copy of Hamblin's journal from the time, made by clerks in June 1859, with the "two pages also removed from this volume. The missing section logically would have included his experiences in Salt Lake City and the things he learned about the massacre when he met LDS leaders in southern Utah on his way back home," Reeves said.
Images show someone intentionally removed pages from both the original and church's copy of Hamblin's journal. "We're still trying to sort out what happened," he said.
William R. Palmer, who Reeves said was a respected historian and church leader in Cedar City at the time, wrote the minutes of the Cedar City Stake from 1856 to 1859, but "irregularities in the minutes call into question their authenticity." He said problems with dates and alteration of the record occurred a year after the massacre, "likely made at the behest of stake president Isaac Haight or P.K. Smith, both of whom played prominent roles in the massacre."
Early in the record, Palmer signed his name to the minutes, but he "stopped signing the minutes attesting to their veracity during the time of the massacre and following," Reeves said.
John Higbee, who served as town marshal in the area at the time of the massacre and gave the signal to initiate the murders, authored a statement dubbed the "Bull Valley Snort" shortly after the killings, writing under a pseudonym.
When Brooks wrote her book on the massacre, she had access to a copy of his handwritten statement. Although the original "has gone missing," Reeves said, "a facsimile copy has been preserved."
Surviving documents relating to the massacre "form a massive web of conflicting information," he said. "Understanding the history of the sources themselves is a vital tool for arriving at some approximation of historical truth."
During the question and answer session that followed, church history department historian Richard Turley, one of three authors of the forthcoming book on the massacre, said the documents originally denied to Brooks when she wrote her book were available to authors of the new volume.
"We did use those documents at some point in the book, and at some time they will be accessible to you," he said.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
- Best book: People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture by Terryl L. Givens, Oxford University Press.
- Best first book: Religion, Politics, and Sugar: The Mormon Church, the Federal Government, and the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company, 1907-1921 by Matthew C. Godfrey, Utah State University Press; and Making Space on the Western Frontier: Mormons, Minors, and Southern Paiutes by W. Paul Reeve, University of Illinois Press.
- Best biography: Dave Rust: A Life in the Canyons by Frederick H. Swanson, University of Utah Press.
- Best documentary: In the President's Office: The Diaries of L. John Nuttal, 1879-1892, edited by Jedediah S. Rogers, Signature Books.
- Best international Mormon history: Anson Bowen Call: Bishop of Colonia Dublan by William G. Hartley, Lorna Call Alder, and H. Lane Johnson, published by L.C. Alder.
- Best article: "Death, The Great War, and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic as Context for Doctrine and Covenants 138," by George S. Tate, BYU Studies, Spring 2007.
- Awards of excellence: "The Mormon Hierarchy and the MX," by Jacob W. Olmstead, Journal of Mormon History, Fall 2007; and "Places That Can Be Easily Defended: A Case Study in the Economics of Abandonment During Utah's
- Black Hawk War," by W. Paul Reeve, Utah Historical Quarterly, Summer 2007.
- Student awards (graduate): "Holiness to the Lord: Delineating and Maintaining the Symbolic Boundaries of Zion," by Stanley Thayne, Brigham Young University; and "The Crisis of Mormon Christology: History, Progress, and Protestantism, 1880-1930," by Matthew Bowman, Georgetown University.
- Student award (undergraduate): "Return to Anti-Mormonism: Fred Dubois and the Reed Smoot Hearings," by John Brumbaugh, Brigham Young University
- Best dissertation: "Mormons, Polygamy and the American Body Politic: Contesting Citizenship, 1852-1890," by Christine Talbot, University of Michigan.
- Best theses: "A Peculiar Place for the Peculiar Institution: Slavery and Sovereignty in Early Territorial Utah," by Nathaniel R. Ricks, Brigham Young University; and "Police Work on the Mormon Trail, 1846-1847," by Jeremy S. Parkin, California State University, Long Beach.
Friday, May 23, 2008
The 2008 Utah State History Annual Conference will be held September 12, 2008 in the Salt Lake City Public Library. For further information call (801) 533-3520.
Appeals Court Rules Against Texas in Polygamy Case
By RALPH BLUMENTHAL
HOUSTON — A Texas appeals court ruled Thursday that state authorities and a lower court judge abused their authority by illegally seizing up to 468 children from their homes at a polygamist ranch in West Texas last month.
The rebuke threw the largest custody case in American history into turmoil, with some lawyers saying the children could soon be reunited with their families. Many of the mothers have been criss-crossing Texas visiting their children in foster homes.
According to the court, the state did not establish proper grounds to remove the children from their families, who belong to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or F.L.D.S. The F.L.D.S. broke off from the mainstream Mormon church after it had disavowed polygamy in 1890.
...The unanimous ruling by three judges of the Third Court of Appeals in Austin revoked the state's custody over a large group of the children and by extension almost certainly the rest, for what it called a lack of evidence that they were in immediate danger of sexual or physical abuse.
The appeals court said the record "does not reflect any reasonable effort on the part of the department to ascertain if some measure short of removal and/or separation would have eliminated the risk." It also said the evidence of danger to the children "was legally and factually insufficient" to justify their removal and it said the lower court "abused its discretion" in failing to return seized children to their families.
State agency officials, who have been criticized for their handling of the raid, said taking all the children in the church's compound were necessary because the culture of the sect led to illegal under-age marriage for girls and acceptance of that practice by boys, a pattern that the state said endangers both sexes.
..."The way that the courts have ignored the legal rights of these mothers is ridiculous," Julie Balovich, also of RioGrande, added. "It was about time a court stood up and said that what has been happening to these families is wrong."
The state made its case in an earlier court hearing. "There is a culture of young girls being pregnant by old men," said Angie Voss, an investigator with Child Protective Services, who participated in the raid and interviewed girls at the ranch. Ms. Voss testified that she had found evidence that "more than 20 girls, some of whom are now adults, have conceived or given birth under the age of 16 or 17."
Read the entire article here.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The celebration will be held on Sunday, June 8, at 7 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
Elder Sheldon F. Child of the Seventy will be the speaker for this event, with several Church members also giving inspirational messages. A multicultural choir will be performing under the direction of Mack Wilberg. During the celebration, the Church will present a short video commemorating the momentous revelation. The video will include interviews with several Genesis members as well as other African-American Latter-day Saints.
Tickets are required for this event and are free of charge. To learn more, including how to get tickets, click here.
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|4.||Brigham Young : images of a Mormon prophet||Young, Brigham, 1801-1877; Young, Brigham, 1801-1877--Portraits;||Occasional papers of the Religious Studies Center ; v. 8|
|5.||California saints : a 150-year legacy in the Golden State||Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--California--History; Mormon Church--California--History; Mormons--California--History;||Occasional papers of the Religious Studies Center ; v. 4|
|6.||Church history in black and white : George Edward Anderson's photographic mission to Latter-day Saint historical sites : 1907 diary, 1907-8 photographs||Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--History--Pictorial works; Mormon Church--History--Pictorial works; Anderson, George Edward,--1860-1928--Diaries; Mormons--United States--Diaries; Photography--United States;||Occasional papers of the Religious Studies Center ; v. 3|
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|8.||Excavations at Seila, Egypt||Seila (Egypt)--Antiquities; Excavations (Archaeology)--Egypt--Seila; Geology--Egypt--Fayum Region; Geology--Mediterranean Region;||Occasional papers of the Religious Studies Center ; v. 1|
|9.||From Jerusalem to Zarahemla : literary and historical studies of the Book of Mormon||Book of Mormon--Criticism, interpretation, etc.||Religious Studies Center specialized monograph series ; v. 13|
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|13.||Joseph Smith portraits : a search for the prophet's likeness||Smith, Joseph, 1805-1844--Portraits; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--Presidents--Portraits;||Occasional papers of the Religious Studies Center ; v. 6|
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|20.||Peter and the Popes||Papacy--History; Peter, the Apostle, Saint; Popes||Religious Studies Center specialized monograph series ; v. 5|
|21.||Places of worship : 150 years of Latter-day Saint architecture||Mormon architecture--History; Mormon church buildings--Design and construction--History;||Occasional papers of the Religious Studies Center; v. 13|
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|24.||Regional studies in Latter-day Saint church history : Europe||Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--Europe--History; Europe--Church history;||Regional studies in LDS Church history ; v. 4|
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|34.||The Book of Mormon and the message of the Four Gospels||Book of Mormon--Criticism, interpretation, etc.; Bible. N.T. Gospels--Criticism, interpretation, etc.;||Occasional papers of the Religious Studies Center ; v. 10|
|35.||The glory of God is intelligence : four lectures on the role of intellect in Judaism||Judaism--History--Post-exilic period, 586 B.C.-210 A.D.; Jewish learning and scholarship;||Religious studies monograph series ; v. 3|
|36.||Things of redeeming worth : scriptural messages and world judgments||Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--Doctrines; Church and the world; Christian life--Mormon authors;||Religious Studies Center specialized monograph series ; v. 16|
|37.||View of the Hebrews||Indians--Origin; Lost tribes of Israel; Jews--Restoration;||Published in Religious Studies Center specialized monograph series; v. 8|
|38.||Welsh Mormon writings from 1844 to 1862 : a historical bibliography||Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--Bibliography; Mormons--Bibliography; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints--Bibliography; Welsh imprints--Bibliography;||Religious Studies Center specialized monograph series ; v. 4|