Thursday, May 31, 2012

Selected chronology of George Albert Smith: Early Life

George Albert Smith*
Included are items related George Albert Smith's family life as a child and early adulthood before before becoming an apostle at age 33.  Most of this material comes from the diary of his father - John Henry Smith - who became an apostle when George Albert was ten. Events from John Henry's life that may have impacted his family, as well as a few major events in church history as seen through his eyes are included. Additional sources are used to supplement the material from his diaries.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Brigham Young's James Jesse Strang Revelation

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 J. James Strang
Two months after Joseph Smith's death,  James Jesse Strang claimed that days before Joseph Smith's murder, Joseph had appointed Strang his successor. 

Strang made claims similar to Smith, including translating plates with a Urim and Thummim and receiving angelic visitations.  Even though Strang was a relative newcomer to Mormonism  (baptized February 25th, 1844 by Joseph Smith) his charismatic claims made him a viable contender with Brigham Young to succeed Joseph Smith.  As Mormons began taking Strang’s claims seriously, Young provided a revelation to a questioning bishop and delivered "an entire blowing up" of Strangism in the Nauvoo temple.  The following provides background to Brigham Young’s James J. Strang Revelation.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Index for Joseph Smith Papers: Journals vol 2

Joseph Smith Papers: Journals
volumes 1 and 2 of 3 planned volumes
The index for the Joseph Smith Papers: Journals, Volume 2: December 1841–April 1843 is available in print form or PDF. To order a free print copy, click here, or to download a copy, click here.

Journals, Volume 2: December 1841–April 1843, is the second of three planned volumes in the Journals series, and begins in December 1841.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mormon Stories vs Mormon Apologists

Another event has occurred that may be another mark the church's ongoing shift away from retrenchment towards a stance more accommodating of open intellectual inquery. John Dehlin's successful Mormon Stories Foundation provides a community and forum for Mormons to openly explore unorthodox issues that can challenge belief. Apologists associated with the Maxwell Institute of BYU (formerly FARMS) have defended traditional, correlated views of the church in a variety of methods including identifying and exposing persons or groups they perceive as enemies of the church. This past week, the two groups clashed.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Michael Marquardt papers

Historian Michael Marquardt has posted the contents of his extensive collection housed at the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah. It consists of 419 boxes containing over 4,000 items including correspondence, clippings, diary copies, scholarly articles, and miscellaneous research on topics in Mormon history and theology.

Monday, May 07, 2012

First Nauvoo temple marriage and a revelation on dancing

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Brigham Young received more
than one revelations on dancing
Mormon-Church-History has finished detailing the year 1845 and has begun posting day-by-day details of 1846. The following looks at January 1, 1846.
On the first day of 1846, Brigham Young performed the first marriage sealing of a man and woman for "time and all eternity" in the Nauvoo Temple, and issued a revelation regarding the new practice of dancing "unto the Lord" in the temple.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Church growth rate overstated

Excerpts of Change lowers Mormonism's growth rate by Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune (see here for related story and here for a discussion on LDS demographics)
Only 40% of Mormons in the U.S. attend  church  regularly, says researcher.

If you suspected the newly released U.S. Religion Census overstated the LDS Church's growth rate, you were right. That's because, this time around, the Utah-based faith changed the way it reported its membership to the researchers.

Vigil planned after another gay Mormon suicide

Excerpts of  Vigil Planned in Wake of Suicide by 17-Year-Old by Joanna Brooks, Religion Dispatches
In the wake of another gay Mormon suicide, more than three hundred people are expected to attend a May 1 community speak-out and vigil against bullying and suicide.  Sources are reporting seventeen year-old Jack Denton Reese ended his life on Sunday, April 22. 

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Mormonism leading way in U.S. religious growth

[Note, the story below is based on inconsistent numbers.  See here for an update, or here for a discussion on growth rates]. Excerpts of Mormonism leading way in U.S. religious growth by Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune

LDS Church is fastest-growth Christian faith in 30 states, report shows.

The Utah-based faith is leading the way — Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota and other states far outside the West's traditional "Mormon corridor."