Mormon History Nerd News

ATTENTION MORMON HISTORY NERDS

The latest review of Natural Born Seer by Benjamin Park is delightfully honest in identifying the book’s intended audience: Mormon history nerds. “Who, after reading classics in the field, are ready to make a deeper dive into Joseph Smith’s life. This is the Mormon history book for the Mormon history nerds. And because of that–because it carries certain assumptions concerning its audience–it can dig deeper than other volumes.  For those anxious for a deeper look into Joseph Smith’s origins story, Natural Born Seer is an exceptionally useful resource.” You can read the rest of Park’s review on his blog. Early Mormonism and the Magic World View

SUNDAY SCHOOL: SIGNATURE BOOKS EDITION

Teaching Sunday School? Maybe you’ve noticed changes to the Doctrine & Covenants and Church History manuals. Updated lessons now reference controversial church history topics and provide resources for discussing them productively. This is great news, but if you really want to magnify your calling (or get yourself released and called to serve in the nursery), you’ll check out some of our excellent books that correlate perfectly with this year’s curriculum.

Lesson on the restored gospel? The sixteen essays in Line Upon Line discuss the gradual development of Mormon doctrine over time. Want to understand Joseph Smith a little better? Read a collection of his speeches and writings in The Essential Joseph Smith. Really want to wake up the people in the back of the room? Double-dog-dare you to bring up Early Mormonism and the Magic World View. Let us know how it goes.

CALL FOR PAPERS

A conference focusing on the academic study of the Book of Mormon will be held at Utah State University on October 13-14, 2017. Paper submissions are due May 15th. Organizers are hoping the conference encourages a more rigorous analysis of the Book of Mormon, as well as providing scholars with a place to exchange information and receive feedback on their work. Also, monetary awards will be given to the most outstanding papers. Because everyone knows religious studies is a guaranteed path to financial success.

CHURCH HISTORY LIBRARY REOPENS

After four months of remodeling, the Church History Library will reopen on February 21, 2017. Keith Erekson is the directory of the Library division for the church, and he wrote a fascinating blog post for the Juvenile Instructor on how the church decides what materials will be made available to the public and to researchers. Short version: You aren’t going to be accessing records of disciplinary action, church financial records, or your neighbor’s patriarchal blessing. But George Q. Cannon’s diaries? Joseph Smith Papers?  Relief Society documents? All available for full-text online searching. Hooray for the internet.

news updated by Steph Lauritzen