Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pew Research: Views of Mormons and Mormonism

From section 2 of "Public Expresses Mixed Views of Islam, Mormonism
Benedict XVI Viewed Favorably But Faulted on Religious Outreach"

Released: September 25, 2007

Views of Mormons and Mormonism

Overall, a slim majority of the public (53%) expresses a favorable view of Mormons, while 27% view Mormons unfavorably. Among religious groups, solid majorities of white mainline Protestants (62%) and white non-Hispanic Catholics (59%) express favorable opinions of Mormons. But among white evangelical Protestants, just 46% have a positive impression of Mormons, while 39% have an unfavorable opinion.

There also are substantial educational differences in opinions about Mormons: 64% of college graduates express favorable opinions of Mormons, as do 56% of those with some college experience. But fewer than half of those with a high school education or less (45%) have a positive impression of Mormons.

About three-in-ten (31%) of those who express favorable opinions of Mormons cite personal experience as the biggest influence on their opinions, but a fairly large proportion of those with negative opinions of Mormons (23%) also point to their personal experiences as being most influential.

A slim majority of the public (52%) says that Mormonism is a Christian religion, while nearly one-in-three (31%) say that Mormonism is not a Christian religion. White evangelicals stand out for their view that the Mormon religion is not Christian: a 45% plurality says that Mormonism is not Christian, while 40% say it is. Among white evangelicals who attend services at least weekly, 52% believe that the Mormon religion is not Christian.

By contrast, large majorities of white mainline Protestants (62%) and white non-Hispanic Catholics (59%) say that Mormons are Christians. In addition, those with no formal religious affiliation also say that the Mormon religion is Christian by a wide margin (59%-25%).

Even though a slim majority of the public views Mormonism as a Christian religion, most Americans say it is very different from their own religion. Among non-Mormons who express a religious preference (most of whom are Christians themselves), more than six-in-ten (62%) say that Mormonism and their own religion are very different; just a quarter says that Mormonism and their own religion have a lot in common. The vast majority of white evangelical Protestants (67%) reject the idea that Mormonism and their own religion have a lot in common, as do smaller majorities of white mainline Protestants (56%) and white non-Hispanic Catholics (61%).

Mormonism in a Word

When asked to describe their impression of the Mormon religion in a single word, somewhat more offer a negative word than a positive one (27% vs. 23%); 19% give a neutral descriptor. The most common negative word expressed is "polygamy," including "bigamy" or some other reference to plural marriage (75 total responses), followed by "cult" (57 total mentions).

But while many people associate polygamy with Mormonism, nearly as many think of "family" or "family values" (74 total mentions). Other positive words commonly used to describe Mormonism include "dedicated" (34 mentions), "devout" or "devoted" (32 mentions), "good" (31 mentions), and "faith" or "faithful" (25 total mentions).

Familiarity with Mormonism and Mormons

Overall, the public's level of self-reported familiarity with Mormonism and Mormons is not much greater than its level of familiarity with Islam and Muslims. Roughly half (49%) say they know a great deal or some about the Mormon religion and its practices, while about as many people (48%) say that they know someone who is Mormon. (By comparison, 41% have at least some knowledge of Islam and 45% say they know a Muslim.)

As might be expected, people in the Western part of the United States have more contact and greater familiarity with Mormons than do people in other parts of the country. Fully 74% of those in the West say they know a Mormon, compared with fewer than half in other regions. In addition, 66% of Westerners say they know a great deal or some about the Mormon religion, also a much higher proportion than among residents of other regions. Among religious groups, white evangelical Protestants show somewhat greater familiarity with Mormons and Mormonism, compared with white mainline Protestants, white non-Hispanic Catholics, and the religiously unaffiliated.

Just as knowing a Muslim is associated with positive views of Muslims and Islam, having an acquaintance who is Mormon is linked with more positive opinions of Mormons and Mormonism. The large majority of those who know a Mormon (60%) express a favorable view of Mormons, compared with fewer than half (44%) of those who do not personally know a Mormon. And those who are acquainted with a Mormon are 11 points more likely than others to say that Mormonism and their own religion have a lot in common.

But compared with knowing someone who is Mormon, one's view of whether or not Mormonism is a Christian religion has a much greater impact on overall opinions of Mormons. Among non-Mormons who see Mormons as Christian, more than two-thirds (68%) express a favorable view of Mormons, twice as many as among those who say Mormonism is not a Christian religion (34%). Equally striking, fully 42% of those who believe the Mormon religion is not Christian say they would be less likely to vote for a Mormon for president; among those who believe Mormonism is a Christian religion, just 16% express reluctance about supporting a Mormon.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Diaries of L. John Nuttall

Diaries are LDS history cache     
Dennis Lythgoe
Deseret Morning News  
The entire article is available here

THE DIARIES OF L. JOHN NUTTALL, 1879-1892, edited by Jedediah Rogers, Signature Books, 512 pages, $125 (limited edition of 500 copies)

L. John Nuttal acted as a temple recorder to LDS Church President Brigham Young, then as private secretary to Presidents John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff.

In that unique role he traveled often with LDS Church presidents, attended hundreds of meetings, answered private correspondence and overheard many conversations, which he recorded in his diaries.

It's not surprising that the editor and the publisher consider Nuttal's diaries to be one of the most significant in 19th-century Mormon history. Hence, "The Diaries of L. John Nuttal."

Nuttal ... became heavily involved in financial decisions concerning church property, including Brigham Young's estate. ...

As a polygamist, Nuttal lived underground for at least six years, beginning in the 1880s. He was bothered by long absences from his family, including his 18 children... When President Woodruff suffered abdominal problems, Nuttal waited on him, shaved him, kept his journal and attended to some of his office duties.

Most of Nuttal's diaries and papers reside in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections of Brigham Young University, while his work regarding the First Presidency can be found in the LDS Church archives.

Nuttal was most often likely to write in his diaries about business dealings, political maneuvering and church-leadership decisions. The editor calls the 28 diaries "a rich cache," especially with regard to the activities and business of the church's First Presidency.

This is important because the papers of the First Presidency are still unavailable to researchers — and Nuttal was the only secretary to the presidency who kept a diary.

Nuttal portrays John Taylor as "strong-willed and demanding," but who also had a "warm and personable side" and displayed "kindheartedness, generosity and compassion."

Nuttal's diary is very important for understanding the atmosphere and discussions that led to the Manifesto issued by Woodruff, which banished the practice of polygamy in 1890.

    These diaries are fascinating to anyone with any familiarity to LDS history and a desire to know more.

    Jedediah Rogers and Signature Press both deserve kudos for shepherding such a dynamic work to publication.

FLDS prophet found guilty

By John Dougherty and Kirk Johnson         

ST. GEORGE, Utah, Sept. 25 — The polygamist Warren S. Jeffs, hailed by his followers as a prophet but denounced by critics as a tyrannical cult leader, was convicted here on Tuesday of being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old church member.  

Mr. Jeffs, 51, faces up to life in prison.

The verdict, by an eight-member state jury here in Washington County, was a vindication of the prosecution's argument — which some experts had thought might be hard to accept — that orchestrating a marriage of a young girl under duress made Mr. Jeffs culpable even though he was not present when the rape occurred.

The girl at the center of the case, who is now 21, testified that she was pressed by Mr. Jeffs in early 2001 into a "celestial marriage" she did not want, to a cousin she did not like. The girl's cousin has not been charged.

Prosecutors said Mr. Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon sect with an estimated 10,000 members, knew that the marriage would lead to nonconsensual sex.

In the deeply isolated polygamist communities of Hildale, Utah, and adjacent Colorado City, Ariz., about an hour southeast of St. George, residents said the verdict would probably just harden the lines of resistance.

"They believe that polygamy is God's word, and they will still do under-age marriages," said Mr. Bistline, who has written a history of the sect.

Mr. Jeffs, whose sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 20, still faces state charges in Arizona related to performing under-age or incestuous marriages, and a federal indictment for flight to avoid prosecution. He was arrested in August 2006 near Las Vegas after four months on the F.B.I.'s Most Wanted List.

Mr. Jeffs's trial was not about polygamy or religion — at least on the surface. But the decades of bitter relations between the state of Utah, dominated by mainstream Mormons from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Mr. Jeffs's renegade sect was never far away.

The mainstream church renounced plural marriage in 1890. In response, some fundamentalist Mormons formed a sect, declaring that the teachings of Mormonism's founder, Joseph Smith, had been forsaken. Mr. Jeffs's lawyer told the jury the trial was really about that old conflict, and about the freedom of religion — a deeply resonant theme here.

[ the article continues at ]

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Early Patriarchal Blessings

To be released November 2007

Early Patriarchal Blessings of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
hardback. 500 Pages. / 1-56085-202-X / $70.00

Vilate Kimball wrote to her husband, Heber C. Kimball, then on a Church mission in England: "Father Smith has died since I last wrote. he ordai[ned] his son Hiram to be a Patriarch, and pronounced great blessing upon all his children before he died."

In the LDS Church, patriarchal blessings offer comfort to individuals and foretell possible future accomplishments. The blessings are pronounced in the form of a prayer by an ordained patriarch (an office in the church's lay priesthood). The Bible describes the Old Testament patriarch Jacob (Israel) blessing his twelve sons regarding their futures (see Gen. 49). In LDS procedure, drawing on Old Testament precedent, the patriarch rests his hands upon the individual's head, eyes shut while speaking without forethougth regarding what to say. In most cases, the blessing identifies the recipient's spiritual heritage and lineage as a member of one of the twelve tribes of Israel and thus heir to the blessings Israel bestowed upon his sons. The promises and counsel contained in one's patriarchal blessing—prophetic insight into the individual's life and future—are said to be contingent upon the person's worthiness. A patriarchal blessing is given only once in a person's lifetime.

Contained in this volume are 755 blessings from 1833 through 1845 delivered by the church's first oracles, Joseph Smith Sr., Joseph Smith Jr., Hyrum Smith, and William Smith. Prominent in these blessings is the promise that the reciepeints will live to witness the Second Coming, together with other period-specific expectations and doctrinally based beliefs. The compilation is an indispensible source of early Mormon intellectual history, as well as a valuable resource for historians, biographers, and genealogists.

H. Michael Marquardt H.Michael Maruardt is the author of Inventing Mormonism: Traditions and the Historical Record, The Joseph Smith Revelations: Text and Commentary, and The Rise of Mormonism: 1816-1844. His studies of Mormon history include monographs on Joseph Smith's diaries, the Joseph Smith Egyptian Papers, and the marriages of Sarah Ann Whitney. A retired civil servant, he is now the webmaster for the Mormon Origins site. He and his wife, Dorothy, live in Sandy, Utah, and have five children.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mormon Misc: John D. Lee Lead Scroll

Sunday, 23 September 2007


I will be discussing further investigation of a lead scroll found by a National Parks Department employee in January of 2002. It was found in the fort, built in 1874, at Lee's Ferry on the Colorado river. The scroll purports to be a declaration by John D. Lee that Brigham Young ordered the Mountain Meadows Massacre. There are many reasons, physical, historical, provenance, contextual and graphics, to suspect the scroll is a forgery.

Steve Mayfield will be joining me to discuss our recent expedition to Page, Arizona with forensic document expert, George Throckmorton to examine the scroll, the fort and Signature rock. We spent the day with the National Parks Ranger who found the scroll, now housed in the National Parks vault/archives at Page. We travelled with him to a number of sites and he discussed with us in great detail the history of the area, John D. Lee's involvement in the area, the history of the fort and the ferry and many other topics including the circumstances of his finding of the scroll and its history to the present.


5:00 - 7:00 pm MST


Van Hale

Radio Station:

KTKK 630 AM, Salt Lake City

Live Internet Streaming Audio

can be accessed at:

or mms://

Plan to increase positive LDS search results

Here is an article from a BYU site that was apparently removed after it was posted to a discussion group:

———–Start article

Create a Business Plan to Help LDS Church

"Our foundation needs help to create a business plan or fundraising. The project is to use the Internet to 1) drive down the enemies of the Church off prominent search pages, and 2) use the Internet as a missionary tool. The business plan will be placed in front of major potential donors. Here is an overview of the project and request. Thanks for your help."

Larry Barkdull, president
Latter-day Foundation for the Arts, Education and Humanity
lwb224 AT

The Latter-day Foundation for the Arts, Education and Humanity was formed in 1990 to help promote LDS arts and artists. Later, its purpose was expanded to assist with educational and humanitarian efforts. Recently, the foundation has become actively involved with Internet missionary initiatives to (1) drive down Church enemies from prominent search engine positions and (2) teach the gospel of Jesus Christ via the Internet. Our initiative is called "Flooding the Internet with Truth."


A recent "conservative" advice columnist on recommended premarital sex to a young virgin: "If you are sure you are in a long-term relationship, why not?"
A missionary in England reported his "golden" contact excitedly consulting the Internet about Mormons after the first discussion. The investigator found a mountain of anti-Mormon material and immediately cancelled all future appointments with the missionaries.


At present, the Internet has few conservative, moral voices that are willing to combat immorality and anti-Mormon sentiments. The LDS Church tracks about 6,500 anti-LDS Web sites in the English language , whose content dominates search results. Thousands more dominate search engine positions in other languages. Potential converts are abandoning the missionaries once they consult the Internet for more information. (Emphasis added.) Only vast quantities of positive material, correctly optimized, can resolve this problem. We cannot drive the enemies of the Church off the Internet, but we can displace their prominent positions. Moreover, millions of people are not Christians, but need Christ introduced to them. Much of the present information about Christ on the Internet is either embarrassing or inaccurate. Finally, as the world grows increasingly more dangerous, middle- and upper-class people are retreating to gated communities, places that are difficult for missionaries to enter. How can we reach these people? Through their computers.

We need a network of conservative information that:
• Points readers to moral, Christian principles
• Offers clear-cut information on LDS members and their doctrines
• Scientifically presents material in a way that displaces immoral and anti-LDS material on search engines.


During the last three years, we have worked with Church departments and potential content providers to identify the problem and construct a solution strategy. We work closely with the More Good Foundation to gather information about in-danger keyword searches, which tells us where content needs to be placed, and how it should be optimized and published. We have created two initial Web sites, and we are in the process of creating a network of gospel-oriented sites.

Projected results

We took random samples of mainstay Christian and LDS terms and researched their monthly searches. The resulting audience was enormous—over 4 million. We can apply the same tools and science that professional e-commerce sites incorporate to make money and use them to defend the Church and teach the gospel. We believe we can reach millions of people. Our call to action is (1) ask for a free copy of the Book of Mormon, (2) order free Church materials (DVDs, pamphlets, etc.), and (3) request the missionaries.

We interviewed former mission presidents about convert-to-missionary contact ratios. The results were these: basically 30,000 companionships will each contact about 100 people per month or 3 million people. Of that number, 25,000 people are baptized each month—less than 1% of the number contacted. Our goal is to publish vast amounts of positive content and place it strategically where millions of monthly searches—"contacts"—can occur. An interesting mathematical exercise (using industry standards for Internet readership "captures" as compared to convert-to-missionary contact ratios) suggests that the Internet can greatly increase positive awareness of the Church and become an incredible missionary tool.

——End article

Plates of Laban

A modern rendition of the story of the plates of Laban:

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Online: Freeman Nickerson's Death of the Prophets Joseph...

Historic Reprint, Now Online

Death of the Prophets Joseph And Hyram Smith,
Who Were Murdered While In Prison At Carthage, Ill.

On The 27th Day Of June, A.D. 1844.
Compiled And Printed For Our Venerable Brother In Christ,



Account of the Death of the Mormon Prophet and
Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Two official reports from Governor Ford.
A Report from J. W. Woods Attorney at Law.
A few sketches from the Faith and Doctrine of the Latter Day Saints.


Every Sunday, Seats Free, At The Following Places

Boston--Suffolk Hall, opposite Boylston Market, Washington Street.
Lowell--No. 20 Merrimack Street.
Salem--Concert Hall.
New Bradford--South Water Street.

Minot's Building Spring Lane, corner Devonshire Street.


Table of Contents:

To the Reader
Awful Assassination
Govenor Ford to the People of the State of Illinois.
To the People of Warsaw, In Hancock County.
Statement of Facts
Faith and Doctrine of the Latter Day Saints.

An Evening with Joseph and Emma

- When
- October 5, 2007
- Doors open at 6:30 pm
- Show starts at 7:30 pm
- Where
- Show Barn, Thanksgiving Point, Lehi UT
- Admission
- General Admission seating, $12.50 per person
- Summary -
- You are invited to share a special evening with Joseph and Emma Smith, who have come to share the story of their lives with you. Experience the sweetness and power of their relationship as they draw you into a magical journey of love, trials, perseverance, and faith. Laugh with them. Cry with them. Discovery the depth of each character as the evening unfolds to reveal their ultimate purpose together.
- Susan Easton Black says this ninety-minute Broadways-style show "...transported me to a different era, an era in which youthful Joseph first met Emma Hale and fell in love. I's well worth your evening.
- For tickets, call 801.325.SEAT,, or visit the Thanksgiving Point Box Office.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture

In People of Paradox , Terryl Givens traces the rise and development
of Mormon culture from the days of Joseph Smith in upstate New York,
through Brigham Young's founding of the Territory of Deseret on the
shores of Great Salt Lake, to the spread of the Latter-Day Saints
around the globe.

Throughout the last century and a half, Givens notes, distinctive
traditions have emerged among the Latter-Day Saints, shaped by dynamic
tensions--or paradoxes--that give Mormon cultural expression much of
its vitality. Here is a religion shaped by a rigid authoritarian
hierarchy and radical individualism; by prophetic certainty and a
celebration of learning and intellectual investigation; by existence
in exile and a yearning for integration and acceptance by the larger
world. Givens divides Mormon history into two periods, separated by
the renunciation of polygamy in 1890. In each, he explores the life of
the mind, the emphasis on education, the importance of architecture
and urban planning (so apparent in Salt Lake City and Mormon temples
around the world), and Mormon accomplishments in music and dance,
theater, film, literature, and the visual arts. He situates such
cultural practices in the context of the society of the larger nation
and, in more recent years, the world. Today, he observes, only
fourteen percent of Mormon believers live in the United States.

Mormonism has never been more prominent in public life. But there is a
rich inner life beneath the public surface, one deftly captured in
this sympathetic, nuanced account by a leading authority on Mormon
history and thought.

432 pages; ISBN13: 978-0-19-516711-5ISBN10: 0-19-516711-2

About the Author

Terryl L. Givens is Professor of Literature and Religion and James A.
Bostwick Chair of English, University of Richmond. His books on
Mormonism and American religious culture include The Latter-Day Saint
Experience in America, By the Hand of Mormon , and Viper on the

Romney’s New Radio Ad on Gay Marriage

Romney's New Radio Ad on Gay Marriage

By Michael Luo

Mitt Romney is counting on his outspokenness on culture war issues to
win him crucial support among Christian conservatives who are wary of
his Mormon faith.

He is up with a new radio ad in Iowa
trumpeting his role in fighting gay unions in Massachusetts and his
support for a federal marriage amendment banning them. The state is
now ground zero for the battle over same-sex marriage after a judge
overturned the state's ban on the practice.

Mr. Romney's campaign strategists are always on the lookout for key
differentiators with other candidates, and they clearly believe this
one is a winning one for him. Christian conservative leaders
appreciate that Mr. Romney has demonstrated a willingness to be a
culture warrior, sounding off more on the issues than even former
Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, who does not have
to work to prove his evangelical credentials.

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

BYU Studies: Volume 46, no. 2

Randy Astle's history of Mormon cinema covers over a hundred years and
divides LDS involvement in film into five distinct "waves." This
monumental article offers a unique perspective on LDS history—through
the lens of the camera.

Early anti-Mormon films drew on the sinister, predatory image of the
vampire in portraying Mormon missionaries. James V. D'Arc compares
Trapped by the Mormons with Bram Stoker's popular novel Dracula.

Mormon film has come into its own to a large degree because of its
engagement with certain paradoxes in Mormon culture. Terryl L. Givens
shows how artistic culture is the exploration of "tensions, rather
than the glib assertion or imposition of a fragile harmony."

Travis T. Anderson observes that the word "wholesome" is used in a
strange sort of way by Latter-day Saints when referring to art,
literature, or film. Although the word properly means something
nutritious or edifying, to many Mormons it has come to refer to
something without objectionable content. Anderson suggests that by
focusing on the negative in works of art, literature, or film, we can
miss the good they usually contain.

Behind the recent Mormon cinematic movement is the business side of
making and marketing movies. Eric Samuelsen looks at various business
models that have been used by LDS filmmakers and explores the
economics of Mormon cinema.

The Mountain Meadows Massacre in Public Discourse

"Horrible Massacre of Emigrants!!": The Mountain Meadows Massacre in
Public Discourse is an electronic archive of newspaper accounts,
reports from the government investigation, early Massacre histories in
works of Western Americana, and Apostate and Anti-Mormon publications.
Works of fiction, drama, and film also will be included. The focus of
the archive is on the public portrayals the event and its aftermath,
rather than the details of the massacre.

Within the collection, digital tools have created visualizations of
textual elements that may suggest their significance. A timeline
illustrates the spread of news about the Mountain Meadows Massacre and
its aftermath. Browsing and search functions make the archive
accessible from multiple points.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ground / Adam / Eve

Today's Relief Society/Priesthood lesson suggested  Gen 2:18-25 (text included at bottom) where Adam is looking for a help meet, so God creates the animals  from the ground and has Adam name each animal.  After this is all done, Adam was not able to find a help meet (seemingly from the animals).  So God puts Adam to sleep and takes a rib from him and forms a woman, which Adam calls "Woman."

There were some interesting things in here that I had not put together before.  In Hebrew, note that:
  1. "ground" and "earth" is Hebrew ''adamah".  In particular it is a reddish, clay-like earth
  2. Hebrew "Adam" is of course "Adam"
  3. But "Man"  also comes from the Hebrew "Adam."  so "Man" and "Adam" are from the same word.  Some translators say that "earth creature" would be the best translation for Hebrew "Adam" because he is a creat/ure from the earth.
  4. "Ish" is "Man" at the end of this section, which stands out from the surrounding chapters
  5. "Woman is "isshah"
So note that Adam came from the Adamah
And Isshah came from Ish/Adam.

You have this relationship:

Isshah is made from a small portion of Ish.  Ish/Adam is made from a  portion of Adamah.  The Adamah will torment Adam/Ish and Issah, and they will return to the Adamah when they die.  This makes an interesting interplay from ground to man to woman who obtain sustenance from the ground, and eventually return back to ground.  There may be more relationships on this.  If you think of any, let me know.

A land south-east of Israel is called Edom, which is basically the same word as Adam in Hebrew (ancient Hebrew didn't have explicit vowels, but is written with only the consonants).  It is a land of reddish clay famous for it's pottery - hence it's name Edom.

Also of interest is that other Canaanite myths talk of the creation of man.  They say that a god  Kinglu was slain and another god  Anu mixed the blood of the Kinglu with the dirt, creating a reddish clay, which he formed into mankind.  Because of the god's blood, mankind came to life.  They were created to serve the gods, because the lesser gods had become unruly and would not serve the gods very well.  They hoped that man would do a better job.

I'm getting a head of the story here, but it turns out that man was so noisy, the gods could not sleep, so they devised a great flood to wipe out humans.  The story goes on from here about one who is saved from the flood, etc...

A couple of other notes:  Verse 23 is a poem, possibly from an older text.  And  notice verse 24.  It seems out of place and may be a later addition inserted into the text providing explanation.

  18 ¶ And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
  19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
  20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
  21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
  22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
  23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
  24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
  25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

DVD: Blacks in the Scriptures

"Since the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830, there have been many works attempting to answer the many questions regarding Blacks in the eyes of God. This is the first of such projects in the history of the LDS Church to be based primarily upon the scriptures. Darius Gray and Marvin Perkins are active members in full faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have utilized the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price to bring you this collection of scriptures and history.

"The attempt of this work is to bring light where there is darkness, to replace fiction with truth. We truly believe that by bringing to light the word of the Lord on these issues that many souls will feel unrestricted by the doctrines of men and come unto Christ, and that man might have the tools, the words of God, to help lift his brother and himself. The pure intention of this presentation is to help those who desire to know the words of the Most High concerning all men. In the process, many of the myths and traditions of today and generations past may be dispelled.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Church emphasizes they did not apologize for Mountain Meadows

Mormon Church Regrets 1857 Massacre


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A ranking Mormon church official expressed "profound regret" Tuesday for the massacre of 120 California-bound pioneers moving through Utah on a wagon train on the 150th anniversary of the ambush.

A group that advocates for descendants of those killed said the remarks were the closest the church has ever come to acknowledging it was responsible. But church leaders declined to categorize the remarks as an apology.

Church Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve, the second tier of leadership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, addressed a memorial service at Mountain Meadows, the massacre site 35 miles northwest of St. George, Utah.

"We express profound regret for the massacre carried out in this valley 150 years ago today, and for the undue and untold suffering experienced by the victims then and by their relatives to the present time," Eyring said.

On Sept. 11, 1857, the Arkansas emigrants were tricked into laying down their arms with a promise of safe passage and then shot at close range, stabbed or beaten to death for reasons still not fully understood. The massacre occurred in a climate of war hysteria as Utah Mormons prepared for an invasion by federal troops sent to deal with a defiant Mormon theocracy under church president Brigham Young.

"He seemed to genuinely regret what happened — and that's more than we have gotten in the past," Patty Norris, president of the group Mountain Meadows Massacre Descendants. "This is as close as we've ever gotten to an apology, so for the time being, we'll take it."

Church leaders were adamant that the statement should not be construed as an apology. "We don't use the word 'apology.' We used 'profound regret,'" church spokesman Mark Tuttle told The Associated Press.

Eyring cited research by church historians that put the responsibility on local leaders and others acting under their direction. He said that Brigham Young tried to convey an order of protection for the wagon train, but that the message didn't arrive in time by horseback.

"He did point out church leaders were involved in the massacre — certainly people involved in the church. That's probably as far as he could go with it, and it's the first time the church admitted that, " Norris said.

The only person ever held accountable for the massacre was Mormon convert John D. Lee, a major in the Iron County Militia who was tried, convicted and executed at Mountain Meadows 20 years after the slaughter. A bitter Lee considered himself a scapegoat for the church.

Warren Jeffs goes on trial

Sect leader goes on trial over child rape charges

A SELF-PROCLAIMED prophet of a polygamous Mormon clan in an isolated
desert enclave on the Utah and Arizona border went on trial yesterday,
accused of arranging a marriage between an unwilling 14-year-old girl
and her cousin.

Warren Jeffs, 51, has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of being
an accomplice to rape, which carry a maximum life sentence. He has
been in prison since August 2006 after 15 months as a fugitive on the
FBI's most-wanted list.

The Jeffs trial is the long-awaited crux in authorities' efforts to
control the 7,500-strong enclave of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) in the twin towns of Hildale, Utah,
and Colorado City, Arizona - a dusty, red-rock area 100 miles
north-west of the Grand Canyon.

Read the rest of the article here:

Return Missionary Calendar

Beefcake calendar exposes Mormon missionaries

Ryan Gabrielson, Tribune

Chad Hardy wants the public to know that underneath their short-sleeved white dress shirts and muted ties, Mormon missionaries are the same as everyone else.

Well, so long as everyone else has rock-hard pecs and abs that coil into a six-pack.

Mormons Exposed, Hardy's Las Vegas-based company, is publishing a 2008 calendar of recent missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Each month of "Men on a Mission" tells the story of a recent missionary, along with a picture of him shirtless and flexing. A second picture shows him dressed as he was while on his mission.

October's spread features Matthew Webster, a 22-year-old former Mountain View High School student.

The models took off their shirts to counter stereotypes that Mormons are prudes, Hardy said. Or that they're polygamists, or even, he said, that they're a "satanic cult."

Hardy, who finished his mission a decade ago, also hopes to show the LDS faithful a different view of its members.

"The prejudice that lives between religions also lives within religions," he said. "This is going to divide the Mormons right down the middle."

The church has no comment on the calendar.

"This is a private concern. The church doesn't have an official position," said Don Evans, the church's Arizona spokesman. "For us, there's no story here. There's some young guys showing their muscles."

Mormon missions pair men between the ages of 19 and 25 and send them to locations around the world for two years to proselytize.

The work includes 12-hour days of walking and bicycling to speak with people about their faith. Missionaries must follow a litany of rules that forbids many activities and requires they dress conservatively.

Hardy's mission took him to Carlsbad, Calif., in 1996 where some people he approached were afraid of him. "The Mormons have a very aggressive approach to expanding their religion" that leaves some wary of missionaries, he said.

Hardy wouldn't say whether he remains with the LDS church.

Webster didn't face discrimination on his mission in Japan. Most people treated him as a welcome novelty.

After returning in 2005, Webster moved near Salt Lake City with his parents and attends community college with plans to transfer either to the University of Utah or Arizona State University.

Hardy contacted Webster online through MySpace, which allows people to provide personal information, including their religion.

"I guess he thought I had a pretty face," Webster said.

Hardy and Fred Brodsky, the calendar's co-founder, sent girls to recruit potential models at school dances and scoured MySpace profiles. They held auditions in Salt Lake City.

Webster said he has always been skinny and, like most redheads, he has pale skin. Hardy challenged him to add muscle before the shoot two months later.

Every morning, Webster ran. He cut calories and spent hours lifting weights.

Mormons Exposed photographed 12 former missionaries, all in their 20s and all white.

Hardy said he wanted a diverse calendar, but had too few options.

"They had to be Mormon. They had to be OK with the whole project. They had to be a returned missionary. It's not like we had a huge selection of men to choose from," he said.

Each model signed a contract that pays him $500 for the photo shoot and additional amounts for any interviews or appearances he does promoting the calendar.

Before making the offer, Hardy said he warned candidates that the calendar would likely draw criticism from the church, their families and friends

Webster's parents support his modeling. Some of his friends have told him it was wrong to be photographed so provocatively.

"I don't see this as negative in any way at all. I don't see this as going against the church," Webster said.

Hardy said he designed the calendar to be controversial, but the images are tasteful

"It is so PG-rated, it's hilarious," Hardy said. "The gay community, when they buy this calendar, it will be the tamest calendar they'll ever own. They're in pants; they're not in their underwear or showing any pubic hair."

And religious art is filled with bare-chested men.

"You see more flesh in the Book of Mormon than you do in our calendar," he said.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jedediah Rogers to speak on John Nuttall

September 28, 2007: Jedediah Rogers to speak on John Nuttall

At long last the diaries of L. John Nuttall are available. The editor, Jedediah S. Rogers, has performed an enormous service by carefully transcribing and anotating them. Nuttall was notably the personal secretary to LDS church presidents in hiding, John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff. Jed will explain all this at Benchmark Books on Friday, September 28. The event will kick off at 5:30 p.m. at the bookstore located at 3269 South Main Street in Salt Lake City. As many of you know, Benchmark Books is located on the second floor of the building just north of McDonalds on the northeast corner of 3300 South and Main Street. The environment is always friendly. If you have not visited them before, Benchmark Books is a fun and interesting bookstore. Jed will begin speaking around 6:30 and will be available to sign books and answer questions. This volume, In The President's Office: The Diaries of L. John Nuttall, 1879-1892, is the eleventh installment in the Significant Diaries Series. Other volumes will also be available that night.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Church issues apology for massacre

Church issues apology for massacre

By Carrie A. Moore
Deseret Morning News
Published: September 11, 2007
CEDAR CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a long-awaited apology today for the massacre of an immigrant wagon train by local church members 150 years ago in southwestern Utah.

Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve read the church's statement on assignment from the church's governing First Presidency during a memorial ceremony at the grave site of some of the massacre victims at Mountain Meadows, about 35 miles northwest of St. George. The statement also places blame for the Sept. 11, 1857, massacre on the local church leaders at the time and church members who followed their orders to murder some 120 unarmed men, women and children.

"We express profound regret for the massacre carried out in this valley 150 years ago today, and for the undue and untold suffering experienced by the victims then and by their relatives to the present time," Elder Eyring said.

"A separate expression of regret is owed the Paiute people who have unjustly borne for too long the principal blame for what occurred during the massacre," he said. "Although the extent of their involvement is disputed, it is believed they would not have participated without the direction and stimulus provided by local church leaders and members."

Seventeen children survived the massacre that culminated a four-day standoff between local Mormons and a train of Arkansas immigrants making their way to California.

Elder Eyring said that research by church historians, who are writing a book about the massacre that is to be published next year, found that church President Brigham Young's message "conveying the will and intent ... not to interfere with the immigrants arrived too late."

The research also found that the "responsibility for the massacre lies with the local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the regions near Mountain Meadows ... and with members of the church acting under their direction."

Several hundred descendants of the victims have traveled across the country to attend today's ceremony. Many of them had sought an apology from the church since the dedication eight years ago of a monument marking the burial site of some of the victims.

Some have also petitioned the church to transfer to the federal government ownership of the monument and surrounding lands the church has purchased to preserve the site that church President Gordon B. Hinckley has described as sacred ground.

In addressing the proposed land transfer, Elder Eyring said, "The church has worked with descendant groups ... to maintain the monument and surrounding property and continues to improve and preserve these premises to make them attractive and accessible to all who visit. We are committed to do so in the future."


Monday, September 10, 2007

Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons

Watch the trailer here:

Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons is a documentary about
African American Latter-day Saints, now in post-production. The
project is headed by Margaret Young and Darius Gray, authors of
several award-winning books and articles about Black Mormons, and by
Danor Gerald, a promising new filmmaker.

Few people, Mormon and non-Mormon, are aware that there has been an
African American presence in the LDS Church from its earliest days,
that the vanguard company of Mormon pioneers included three "colored
servants" who were baptized Mormons, and whose descendants remained
active in the Church for several generations. This documentary talks
about that little-known legacy, and confronts the hard issues which
surfaced in the most turbulent years of the Civil Rights Movement,

when the Church restricted its priesthood from those of African
descent. It discusses how that restriction was lifted and what the
lives and challenges of the modern Black Mormon pioneers are. Besides
never-released footage shot in 1968 and many rare archival
photographs, the documentary includes interviews with renowned
scholars, historians, Black Mormons, with Martin Luther King III, and
with Dr. Cecil "Chip" Murray, retired pastor of the First AME Church
of Los Angeles, which was founded by a former slave of Mormon

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Church to participate in Mountain Meadows 150 year commemorative memorial service

Church Historian Elder Marlin K. Jensen will participate in a community memorial service to honor the 120 men, women and children who lost their lives in the Mountain Meadows Massacre 150 years ago.  Elder Jensen will be officially representing the leadership of the Church.

He, along with descendants of the victims' families and representatives of the Paiute Indian tribe, will gather at the Mountain Meadows grave site outside of Cedar City, Utah, on Tuesday for the service.

Claremont Graduate University announces appointment to Mormon studies chair

Nate Oman has posted this at Times and Seasons:

Professor Richard Bushman has been appointed as the Howard W. Hunter
Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies. Professor Bushman was Governor
Morris Professor of History at Columbia University, where he is
currently emeritus. He has taught at Boston University, Harvard,
Brown, University of Delaware and Brigham Young University. Over the
course of his career he has published 11 books, receiving a Bancroft
and Phi Alpha Theta prizes as well as the Evans biography awards. His
scholarship ranges over the social and cultural history of early
America, the political history of colonial New England, American
religious history and the history of the Mormon Church. The list of
fellowships that he has received is extensive; among them are a
Guggenheim Fellowship, Huntington Fellowship, National Humanities
Center Fellowship and National Endowment for Humanities Fellowship.
For the academic year 2007-2008 will hold a Huntington Library
fellowship and be in residence in Pasadena. He will come to Claremont
in the Fall of 2008.

"Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith" - Sources Used

From the appendix "Sources Used in This Book"
There are a variety of sources from which the teachings of the Prophet
Joseph Smith are drawn, including the History of the Church. The
following material is provided to help you understand these sources.

Sources of the Prophet's Teachings

The teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith included in this book are
drawn from the following types of sources.

Sermons. This book quotes extensively from the discourses given by the
Prophet Joseph Smith. The way in which these sermons were recorded is
very different from the way sermons were recorded for later Presidents
of the Church. Church Presidents who came after Joseph Smith used
scribes to record in shorthand their addresses to Church members. When
electronic recording devices, such as tape recorders and motion
picture film, became available, these were used to record the precise
words delivered by Church leaders.

During the lifetime of Joseph Smith, however, shorthand was not in
widespread use. Therefore, the sermons he delivered were recorded
imprecisely in longhand, generally by scribes, Church leaders, and
other Church members. Almost all of Joseph Smith's addresses were
given extemporaneously, without prepared texts, so the notes taken by
those who listened to him constitute the only record of the
discourses. While some lengthy reports of his addresses exist, most
are summarizations of the messages delivered by the Prophet.
Unfortunately, there is no record for many of the discourses given by
Joseph Smith. Of the more than 250 sermons he is known to have
delivered, reports or notes taken by scribes or others cover only
about 50 of the sermons given.

Articles. Some of the Prophet's teachings in this book are drawn from
articles that Joseph Smith designed for publication in Church
periodicals, including the Evening and Morning Star, Latter Day
Saints' Messenger and Advocate, Elders' Journal, and Times and
Seasons.1 Joseph Smith wrote or dictated some material for
publication. Also, he frequently directed a scribe, another member of
the First Presidency, or another trusted individual to write an
article regarding specific matters he wished addressed. The Prophet
would then endorse the text, having approved it as representing his
thinking, and publish it under his name. For example, this book quotes
from several editorials published in the Times and Seasons in 1842.
During an eight-month period of that year, from February to October,
Joseph Smith served as the editor of this periodical and frequently
published articles signed "Ed." Though others helped to write many of
these articles, the Prophet approved them and published them in his

Letters. This book quotes from many letters written or dictated by
Joseph Smith. This book also quotes from letters approved and signed
by Joseph Smith that were partially or completely prepared by others
under his direction.

Journals. The Prophet's journals are a rich source of his teachings.
Though his journals are extensive, he actually wrote in them himself
infrequently. Instead, he directed that his journals be kept by
scribes, under his supervision, allowing him to focus on the pressing
responsibilities of his calling. Just prior to his martyrdom he
stated, "For the last three years I have a record of all my acts and
proceedings, for I have kept several good, faithful, and efficient
clerks in constant employ: they have accompanied me everywhere, and
carefully kept my history, and they have written down what I have
done, where I have been, and what I have said."2 The Prophet's scribes
recorded journal entries in third person and in first person, as if
Joseph Smith himself were writing.

Remembrances of others. This book quotes from the recollections of
those who heard the Prophet speak and later recorded his words in
their journals and other writings. After the Prophet's death, Church
leaders and historians made great efforts to collect and preserve such
writings and to record previously unwritten recollections about the
Prophet. Such sources have been used only when the person actually
heard the words that he or she recorded.

Scriptures. This book quotes from Joseph Smith's teachings and
writings that were later canonized as scripture in the Doctrine and
Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Such canonized writings include
instructions he gave on doctrinal subjects, visions he recorded, and
letters and other documents he wrote. This book quotes from these
canonized teachings and writings when they provide insight into
doctrines presented in this book.

History of the Church

Many of the Prophet Joseph Smith's sermons and writings included in
this book are quoted from the History of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, which is referred to in this book as the History of
the Church.3 The first six volumes of the History of the Church
present the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
from its beginnings until the death of Joseph Smith. This history
primarily describes events and experiences connected with the life and
ministry of Joseph Smith. It is one of the most important sources of
historical information about the Prophet's life and teachings and
about the development of the early Church.

Joseph Smith began preparing the history that ultimately became the
History of the Church in the spring of 1838 to counter false reports
being published in newspapers and elsewhere. The completion of his
history was a subject of great concern to him. In 1843 he said, "There
are but few subjects that I have felt a greater anxiety about than my
history, which has been a very difficult task."4

The History of the Church is based on the Prophet's recollections,
journals, and other personal records. It presents a daily narrative of
the Prophet's activities and significant events in Church history. It
also includes reports of the Prophet's discourses, copies of
revelations he received, articles from Church periodicals, minutes of
conferences, and other documents.

Joseph Smith remained involved in preparing and reviewing his history
until his death. However, he directed that most of the work be done by
others, under his supervision. Reasons for this include his lifelong
preference for speaking or dictating his thoughts, rather than writing
them down, and the constant demands of his ministry. The Prophet's
history for July 5, 1839, records, "I was dictating history, I say
dictating, for I seldom use the pen myself."5

By June 1844 the history was written through August 5, 1838. In
Carthage Jail, shortly before he died, the Prophet charged Elder
Willard Richards, his chief scribe at that time, to continue the plan
of compiling the history.6 Elder Richards and other men who had been
close to the Prophet continued the history as directed until Elder
Richards's death in 1854. Then the work of compiling the history was
done or directed primarily by Elder George A. Smith, a cousin and
close friend of the Prophet, who was ordained an Apostle in 1839 and
became Church Historian in 1854. Many others who worked in the Church
Historian's Office also assisted with the compilation.

One important task of the compilers of the History of the Church was
editing and preparing original documents for inclusion in the history.
Their work involved making light editorial revisions to almost all
original documents included in the History of the Church. The
compilers corrected misspelled words and standardized punctuation,
capitalization, and grammar. Additionally, in some cases, the
compilers of the history made other changes to original documents.
These changes can be divided into three categories:

1. Combining accounts. Many of Joseph Smith's discourses were recorded
by more than one observer. In some instances, the compilers of the
History of the Church combined two or more accounts of the same
discourse into a single version.

2. Changing accounts from third person to first person. Many accounts
of the Prophet's teachings and activities were recorded in third
person. These accounts were written primarily by his scribes, but some
accounts were taken from the writings of others who knew the Prophet
and from newspaper articles. As the compilers of the History of the
Church worked, they wrote the history in the first person, as if the
Prophet were writing. This required that some third-person accounts be
changed into first-person accounts.

3. Adding or changing words or phrases. Many of the original notes
taken of the Prophet's sermons are brief, incomplete, and
disconnected. In some of these instances, Church historians
reconstructed the Prophet's sermons based on the available records,
drawing also upon their memories and experiences with the Prophet.
This work sometimes involved adding or changing words or phrases to
fill in gaps and clarify meaning.

All of the compiling and writing of the History of the Church was done
under apostolic supervision and review. The history was read to
members of the First Presidency, including President Brigham Young,
and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, some of whom had been
intimately acquainted with the Prophet and had heard the original
addresses. These leaders approved the manuscript for publication as
the history of the Church for the period of time it covers.

In August 1856 the history was completed through the time of Joseph
Smith's death. The history was published in serial form in Church
periodicals in the 19th century as the "History of Joseph Smith."7
Later, the history was edited by Elder B. H. Roberts, a member of the
Presidency of the Seventy, and was published between 1902 and 1912 in
six volumes. It was titled History of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints.

The men who compiled the history attested to the accuracy of the work.
Elder George A. Smith said: "The greatest care has been taken to
convey the ideas in the Prophet's style as near as possible; and in no
case has the sentiment been varied that I know of, as I heard the most
of his discourses myself, was on the most intimate terms with him,
have retained a most vivid recollection of his teachings, and was well
acquainted with his principles and motives."8

Elder George A. Smith and Elder Wilford Woodruff declared: "The
History of Joseph Smith is now before the world, and we are satisfied
that a history more correct in its details than this, was never
published. To have it strictly correct, the greatest possible pains
have been taken by the historians and clerks engaged in the work. They
were eye and ear witnesses of nearly all the transactions recorded in
this history, most of which were reported as they transpired, and,
where they were not personally present, they have had access to those
who were. Moreover, since the death of the Prophet Joseph, the History
has been carefully revised under the strict inspection of President
Brigham Young, and approved of by him.

"We, therefore, hereby bear our testimony to all the world, unto whom
these words shall come, that the History of Joseph Smith is true, and
is one of the most authentic histories ever written."9

In this book, the Prophet Joseph Smith's discourses and writings are
quoted from the History of the Church unless the original discourse or
writing was not included in it. When this book quotes from the History
of the Church, the endnotes include information about the original
discourse or writing, including the names of those who recorded the
Prophet's sermons. The endnotes also indicate when the compilers of
the History of the Church drew upon their memories and experiences
with Joseph Smith to change words or add words or phrases to the
original report. Such additions or changes are noted only when they
affect the meaning of the quotation. Minor editing changes are not

The book titled Joseph Smith--History, as recorded in the Pearl of
Great Price, is an excerpt from the first five chapters of the first
volume of the History of the Church.


1. The Evening and Morning Star was published in Independence,
Missouri, from 1832 to 1833, and in Kirtland, Ohio, from 1833 to 1834.
The Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate was published in
Kirtland from 1834 to 1837. The Elders' Journal was published in
Kirtland in 1837, and in Far West, Missouri, in 1838. The Times and
Seasons was published in Nauvoo, Illinois, from 1839 to 1846.

2. History of the Church, 6:409; from a discourse given by Joseph
Smith on May 26, 1844, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Thomas

3. The History of the Church has been referred to as the Documentary
History of the Church.

4. History of the Church, 6:66; from "History of the Church"
(manuscript), book E-1, p. 1768, Church Archives, The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.

5. History of the Church, 4:1; from "History of the Church"
(manuscript), book C-1, p. 963, Church Archives.

6. See letter from George A. Smith to Wilford Woodruff, Apr. 21, 1856,
Salt Lake City, Utah; in Historical Record Book, 1843-74, p. 219,
Church Archives.

7. The "History of Joseph Smith" was published in the Times and
Seasons from Mar. 15, 1842, to Feb. 15, 1846. It was continued in the
Deseret News from Nov. 15, 1851, to Jan. 20, 1858. It was reprinted in
the Millennial Star from June 1842 to May 1845; and from Apr. 15,
1852, to May 2, 1863.

8. Letter from George A. Smith to Wilford Woodruff, Apr. 21, 1856,
Salt Lake City, Utah; in Historical Record Book, 1843-74, p. 218,
Church Archives.

9. George A. Smith and Wilford Woodruff, Deseret News, Jan. 20, 1858,
p. 363; paragraph divisions altered.

"Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith" - contents

Contents to the new 2008/09 Priesthood/Relief Society Manual

Title    Page
Introduction    vii
Historical Summary    xiv

The Life and Ministry of Joseph Smith    1
1    The First Vision: The Father and the Son Appear to Joseph Smith    27
2    God the Eternal Father    37
3    Jesus Christ, the Divine Redeemer of the World    45
4    The Book of Mormon: Keystone of Our Religion    57
5    Repentance    69
6    The Mission of John the Baptist    79
7    Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost    89
8    The Everlasting Priesthood    101
9    Gifts of the Spirit    115
10    Prayer and Personal Revelation    125
11    The Organization and Destiny of the True and Living Church    135
12    Proclaim Glad Tidings to All the World    149
13    Obedience: "When the Lord Commands, Do It"    159
14    Words of Hope and Consolation at the Time of Death    171
15    Establishing the Cause of Zion    183
16    Revelation and the Living Prophet    193
17    The Great Plan of Salvation    207
18    Beyond the Veil: Life in the Eternities    217
19    Stand Fast through the Storms of Life    227
20    A Heart Full of Love and Faith: The Prophet's Letters to His Family    239
21    The Second Coming and the Millennium    249
22    Gaining Knowledge of Eternal Truths    261
23    "How Good and How Pleasant It Is . . . to Dwell Together in Unity"    271
24    Leading in the Lord's Way    281
25    Truths from the Savior's Parables in Matthew 13    293
26    Elijah and the Restoration of the Sealing Keys    307
27    Beware the Bitter Fruits of Apostasy    315
28    Missionary Service: A Holy Calling, a Glorious Work    327
29    Living with Others in Peace and Harmony    339
30    Valiant in the Cause of Christ    349
31    "God Shall Be with You Forever and Ever": The Prophet in Liberty Jail    359
32    Responding to Persecution with Faith and Courage    369
33    The Spiritual Gifts of Healing, Tongues, Prophecy, and Discerning of Spirits    379
34    The Power of Forgiving    391
35    Redemption for the Dead    401
36    Receiving the Ordinances and Blessings of the Temple    413
37    Charity, the Pure Love of Christ    423
38    The Wentworth Letter    435
39    Relief Society: Divine Organization of Women    449
40    How Glorious Are Faithful, Just, and True Friends    459
41    Becoming Saviors on Mount Zion    469
42    Family: The Sweetest Union for Time and for Eternity    479
43    "He Was a Prophet of God": Contemporaries of Joseph Smith Testify of His Prophetic Mission    493
44    The Restoration of All Things: The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times    507
45    Joseph Smith's Feelings about His Prophetic Mission    517
46    The Martyrdom: The Prophet Seals His Testimony with His Blood    529
47    "Praise to the Man": Latter-day Prophets Bear Witness of the Prophet Joseph Smith    541

Appendix: Sources Used in This Book    558
List of Visuals    565
Index    568

Free Sunstone Symposium MP3s

Sunstone has announced that all pre-2005 mp3 recorded sessions of their symposia are now available to be downloaded  FREE of charge.

This is an excellent resource and worth browsing through their extensive collection.  Symposium sessions go back as far as 1980.  A search aid allows selection of presentations by author, year, location or over 150 categories.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Local Sunstone Communities

New Local Sunstone Community Coming to a City Near You!
By: admin - September 3, 2007

Sunstone Folks,

Based on requests from many of you, we are starting up a few local, city-based Sunstone communities. The idea is:

  • Provide the means for Sunstone-type folks within a specific region to communicate via email, and maybe even get together occasionally (or regularly) in the city where you live.
  • This will involve, at minimum, an email group for folks to communicate. This email list will be confidential, moderated by a local Sunstone person and myself, and will require approval for membership.
  • We don't envision these lists to be used for doctrinal/theological/historical discussions (ie No Spam!!!) — but rather for things like, "Who is interested in a play group?" "Who wants to get together next weekend?" "Let's start a book club!" "Let's organize a super sweet Sunstone symposium this year! Who can we bring to speak?" , etc.
  • Once this gets going, we are looking to potentially provide the content for a monthly "house party" where Sunstone-type folks can get together and listen to, watch, and discuss interesting Mormon-related content (we would supply the content).
  • Each of these local communities will become (if they aren't already) the nucleus for future regional Sunstone Symposiums that we wish to have in said city.

The cities/areas we have set up for starters include: Salt Lake City, Utah Valley, Ogden, Cache Valley, BYU, University of Utah , Los Angeles/Orange County Area, San Diego, San Francisco/Bay Area, Sacramento, Chicago, Washington DC, New York City, Boston, Phoenix, Houston, Seattle, Portland (OR), Las Vegas, Raleigh N.C., Atlanta, Kansas City, Alaska, Montreal and the UK.

If you are interested in joining any of these communities, please do sign up! We would LOVE to have folks vounteer to help run/moderate these lists.

Also, if you would like to have a new Sunstone community set up in your area, please let us know! We're more than happy to oblidge.