Friday, February 01, 2013

"Revelations in Context" at

Inline image 1Those with an interest in church history have had to deal with incomplete, uncontextualized and often inaccurate historical information published in church curricula.  Now, a major step has occurred to correct this situation.

Excerpts of Revelations in Context: The Unveiling by Ardis Parshall,
... [without good contextual background to the revelations, understanding can be difficult] ... What are you supposed to do as a Gospel Doctrine teacher? No wonder we pick out verses here and there and do proof-texting! How else can we teach from this scripture? What a muddle! ...

A new resource for understanding the Doctrine and Covenants is going online. "Revelations in Context," a series of articles addressing the background of each section of the Doctrine and Covenants, is being published by the Church
here: Revelations in Context.

Written by ... professional historians who are also faithful members of the Church – drawing on the formidable resources of the Joseph Smith Papers project – illustrated by photographs from the Church History Library – linked to images of the original (or earliest extant) written revelations – footnoted to suit even the giddiest lover of footnotes – Revelations in Context explains what was going on at the time and and in the place when a revelation was given.

These essays identify the people involved, and tell of religious and civil history, about social customs, and the state of science and technology, and the geography related to the revelations, and whatever else is helpful to our understanding. They are long enough to be thorough, yet brief enough to be practical. The writing is authoritative yet accessible to all.

And, wonder of wonders, they are, or very shortly will be, linked to the Gospel Doctrine lesson manuals online, so that teachers and class members alike can be easily directed to these resources we have so long wished for. ...
The essays for the next several months' Gospel Doctrine lessons are posted, and I understand the remaining essays are in progress and will be posted well in advance of their appearance in the Sunday School year.

... [let's] acknowledge how far we have come as a Church in the past few years in understanding, trusting, and disseminating our history for the benefit of all the Saints.