Early Mormon History

Doctrinal History of Vicarious Work

A friend asked me about the doctrinal history of why Mormons, and specifically Joseph Smith, came up with the doctrine of baptism of the dead, and vicarious ordinances.  He noted that in Elder Bednar’s 2011 General Conference talk, Bednar tied vicarious work not only with the visit of Elijah to Joseph Smith in the Kirtland […]

Does D&C 132 support Polyandry?

This past week, we’ve discussed polyandry–the idea that a woman can have multiple husbands.  (Polygyny is the concept where a husband can have multiple wives.  Polygamy encompasses both polygyny and polyandry.)  The reason this came up was due to a presentation I attended at the Mormon History Association meetings.  Many people have charged that Josephine’s mother […]

MHA 2016

I really enjoyed the Mormon History Association meetings at Snowbird, Utah this weekend.  I can’t tell you how much fun these meetings are for me.  The thing I hate most is when there are 2 sessions at teh same time that I want to attend.  It can be difficult to choose at times, but I […]

Sealed Servant?

This past weekend, I had occasion to attend an unusual sealing ceremony. One of my wife’s co-workers is in her 70s. Her husband passed away last year. Yesterday she was sealed to her dead husband. Her son served as proxy for her deceased husband. (Incidentally, she has been married and divorced to 2 other men […]

The Mormon Church & Blacks

February is Black History Month.  I recently finished Matthew Harris & Newel Bringhurst’s most recent book, The Mormon Church & Blacks:  A Documentary History.  The black priesthood ban has been a pet topic of mine; I have written nearly 60 posts on the topic over the past 8 years.

Reviewing Religion of a Different Color

I finally finished Paul Reeve’s book Religion of a Different Color.  Paul highlights the strange evolution of Mormons, once seen as not white enough, now seen as too white. From page 270, …as late as 2012 the perception persisted in some corners that Mormons were racist and that there were few or no black Mormons.  […]

The Idolatry of Following the Brethren

I sometimes feel LDS church members are guilty of idolatry.  Perhaps it is not completely the members fault; We have been told so much to “follow the brethren” that we have built them up as idols, and fail to “study it out in our minds, and ask God if it be right.”  Early church leaders […]