The Council of Fifty

The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History

The original duties of the Council of Fifty were to help elect Mormon founder Joseph Smith to the presidency of the United States, to scout locations for colonies in Texas and Oregon, and to form the political kingdom of God on earth. After Smith’s death, the council oversaw the exodus west and served as the initial governing body for the settlements until Utah became a territory. The council met off and on for another forty years and left behind a corpus of letters, minutes, diaries, and reminiscences on the topic. These documents are assembled together for the first time.

“A new high standard for a documents collection.”
—Gene A. Sessions, Professor of History, Weber State University


Lost Apostles

Forgotten Members of Mormonism's Original Quorum of Twelve
Before the LDS Church was organized, Joseph Smith received a revelation telling him that twelve men would be called as latter-day apostles. Their assignment would be to warn men and women that the end was near. Although the determination...

An Imperfect Book

What the Book of Mormon Tells Us About Itself
In his own personal quest for answers, “An Imperfect Book” becomes an accessible but thorough overview of major controversies surrounding the Book of Mormon involving authorship, use of idiom, anachronisms, contrived names, borrowed passages, and prophecies made and fulfilled...

Amazing Colossal Apostle

Robert M. Price
As children, we were told the stories of Paul as didactic tales meant to keep us reverent and obedient. As adults reading the New Testament, we catch glimpses of a very different kind of disciple—an ascetic hermit whom Tertullian...

Latest News

December 19th, 2014

Mormon News, December 15–19

Kerry Muhlestein, a BYU professor, author, and director of BYU’s Egypt Excavation Project, caused a flurry of excitement when he announced to the press that a graveyard with up to “one million” mummies was discovered in Egypt.


December 12th, 2014

Mormon News, December 8–12

A Swiss scholar speaking at the American Academy of Religion gathering in San Diego last month, found that the “I’m a Mormon” campaign of the LDS Church is heavy on racial and ethnic diversity, light on genuine differences.