Early Mormon History

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 […]

Lester Bush Looking Back 40 Years

Lester Bush gave the McMurrin Lecture at the University of Utah on Oct 8, 2015.  These are my notes from his lecture.  He discussed the changes over the last 40 years since he wrote his groundbreaking article Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine.  Paul Reeve introduced Bush.  (I tried to make this as readable as possible–some parts may […]

Mormon Pageant Season

This year my family has tried to attend several pageants (Manti Pageant, Hill Cumorah Pageant) but schedules haven’t worked out.  Last night, we attended the Clarkston Pageant.  Never heard of it?  Neither had my wife. Clarkston is definitely off the beaten path.  It is about 30 minutes northwest of Logan, Utah, just 10 miles or so […]

MHA 2015 in Review

The Annual Mormon History Association meetings came to Provo last night.  Last year it was in San Antonio, and next year it will be at Snowbird Resort in Utah.  Sometimes I like it better when it’s out of town, because I can attend all the sessions.  When I’m home, there’s just too much going on, […]

Posts Restored – Back to the Present

Many of you have noticed a blast from the past on my blog.  Back in Feb 2013, my host server crashed and I had to back up my blog and try to restore it.  I picked WordPress.com, thinking that was a good choice.  Well, it didn’t restore all my posts–I was missing about 150 of […]

Masonic Ceremony

I recently watched an interesting documentary, Secrets of the Freemasons.  Many of the early U.S. revolutionaries were freemasons; many masons helped plan the Boston Tea Party, although the Tea Party had non-masonic members as well.  (Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, John Hancock, in addition to George Washington were masons.)  Masons were influential in the founding of […]

Dan Vogel takes on Mormonism Unvailed

Mormon scholar Dan Vogel and Signature Books have teamed up to produce a scholarly update to the first anti-Mormon book ever written, Mormonism Unvailed.  The book is due to be released on April 20, and Tom Kimball was nice enough to send me a pre-release version to review.