Week In Review for October 1–4

Signature Books logoIn the News

The Salt Lake Tribune did another story on David Bokovoy’s class at the University of Utah examining the Book of Mormon as literature. Although Bokovoy states he is taking a neutral view on the book’s historicity, the class examines the Book of Mormon in the context of 19th century America, in part by looking at parallel documents that tell similar stories, such as the 1805 Madoc poem. This may be the future of Book of Mormon academic studies.

The LDS church issued a statement after a tenth missionary died while serving. Despite the attention given after these deaths, research overwhelmingly shows serving a mission is safe. So safe, in fact, that similar age-rates of death are significantly higher than those of LDS missionaries. But the larger number of missionaries since reducing the age of service and some tragic accidents have recently put more attention on missionary safety.

In the Blogs

Joanna Brooks entered the ordain women discussion with a blog post that garnered hundreds of comments and over 1000 Facebook “shares.” The post discusses the ahistorical justification for denying women the priesthood and some of the cultural reasons why women have been excluded.

David Howlett of the Community of Christ wrote a blog post explaining why LDS women will not receive the priesthood. Howlett makes a strong argument that the cultural barriers are too great to be broken down, and that while progress may be made, women will not be ordained to the all-male priesthood.

In Books

Chris Henrichsen at Patheos gave The Challenge of Honesty a very positive review and recommendation. The book is getting some exceptional notices.

The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents Vol. I, is being released shortly after a truck crash and subsequent fire destroyed the initial shipment. It promises to include some exciting materials for researchers.