Line upon Line
Essays on Mormon Doctrine
Essays on Mormonism Series No. 1
Edited by Gary James Bergera
Paperback / 198 pages / 0-941214-69-9 /
Among the contributors are Thomas G. Alexander, Peter C. Appleby, George Boyd, David John Buerger, Van Hale, Boyd Kirkland, Blake Ostler, Stephen L Richards, Kent E. Robson, Thaddeus E. Shoemaker, Vern Swanson, Dan Vogel, and Linda P. Wilcox.
For anyone who has assumed that Mormon doctrine appeared whole-cloth in a single revelation, Line Upon Line is an important primer. No issue, however central to Latter-day Saint theology, is exempt from gradual development over time. This includes the nature of God, the progression of the soul, free agency, the possibility of repentance and forgiveness through a divine sacrifice, the creation of the world, evolution of the species, and the nature and origin of evil.
In Line Upon Line, sixteen thoughtful, compelling essays offer reflective historical discussions of the development of Mormon doctrine from the statements of church leaders to the writings of LDS theologians to canonized scripture, rather than on the authors’ personal speculations. Noting the relative strengths and weaknesses of various theological or doctrinal teachings due to limited human understanding, the contributors suggest that differences of opinion can indicate the presence of genuine and sincere faith that God’s truth is nevertheless present in scriptural metaphor.
Gary James Bergera is managing director of the Smith-Pettit Foundation in Salt Lake City, former managing director of Signature Books, and former managing editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. He is co-author of Brigham Young University: A House of Faith, editor of Line Upon Line: Essays on Mormon Doctrine, The Autobiography of B. H. Roberts, Statements of the LDS First Presidency, and companion volumes of Joseph Smith’s Quorum of the Anointed, 1842-1845, and The Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845-1846 (also co-editor) and On Desert Trails with Everett Ruess, and a contributing author in The Prophet Puzzle: Interpretive Essays on Joseph Smith, Religion, Feminism, and Freedom of Conscience: A Mormon/Humanist Dialogue, and The Search for Harmony: Essays on Science and Mormonism. He is also the recipient of a Best Article Award from the Mormon History Association.