Seattle Area, Winter 2011, Adult Religion Class: Doctrine and Covenants

By: J. Stapley - December 03, 2010

Well, it looks like I will be teaching a once-a-week class on the Doctrine and Covenants (starting with Section 78) for the folks that live across the lake from Seattle. I’m looking forward to it. I will update this post with information and class notes as we move forward.

Bibliography (updated as we go along)

Doctrine and Covenants 78-84
Doctrine and Covenants 85-88
Doctrine and Covenants 89-93
Doctrine and Covenants 94-98
Doctrine and Covenants 99-102
Doctrine and Covenants 103-107
Doctrine and Covenants 108-110, 137
Mid-winter Break
Doctrine and Covenants 134, 111-112
Doctrine and Covenants 113-120
Doctrine and Covenants 121-123
Doctrine and Covenants 124-126
Doctrine and Covenants 127-128
Spring Break
Doctrine and Covenants 129-130 and maybe 133
Doctrine and Covenants 131-132
Doctrine and Covenants 135
Doctrine and Covenants 136
Doctrine and Covenants, Official Declaration 1 – Sorry, no notes, but this Wilford Woodruff sermon is worth reading (here is the link to the entire volume on Google Books).
Doctrine and Covenants 138
Doctrine and Covenants, Official Declaration 2 – This week there will be no notes. Much of the discussion will be based on Edward L. Kimball’s writing on the topic. In 2005 he published a biography of his father with Deseret Book entitled, Lengthen Your Stride. With this volume was a CD-ROM, which included an expanded draft of the book. The chapter on the Revelation from this draft was edited and published as “Spencer W. Kimball and the Revelation on Priesthood,” BYU Studies 47, no. 2 (2008): 5-85 (link a PDF copy).

Doctrine and Covenants: Revelation Dates and Edition Correspondence
Doctrine and Covenants: Section Frequency by Year

Mormonism’s Last Colonizer

By: J. Stapley - October 23, 2008

This week, Utah State University Press released a biography of William H. Smart. Smart was a missionary in Turkey, later the Eastern States Mission President from 1899-1900 and a Stake President in Utah. He was integral in the post-reservation settlement of the Uintah Basin. To be frank, I have only skimmed through the biography; more interested was I in the CD-ROM that came with the book – over 2,500 8.5×11 typescript pages of his diaries and letters. (more…)

“knowledge, and power, by revelation”

By: J. Stapley - October 13, 2008

A month ago I came home from teaching seminary and I was met by my wife. She told me to sit down. (more…)

A Textual History of the KFD, Part II

By: J. Stapley - June 05, 2008

This post is a direct continuation of Part I and follows without introduction.

The “History of Joseph Smith History” (HJS) version of the KFD or the “Manuscript History of the Church” from which it was prepared, is the textual foundation for all subsequent popular accounts of the sermon. As noted, the HJS was prepared by the Church Historians and as the recent LDS Priesthood/RS lesson manual points out, the leaders of the Church felt very confident in the production. (1) It was reprinted in four other nineteenth-century publications (2); however, aspects of the sermon’s teaching led to several controversies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (more…)

A Textual History of the KFD, Part I: Sources to the “History of Joseph Smith”

By: J. Stapley - June 03, 2008

Part II of the series is available here. EDITORIAL NOTE: This post contains links to various transcripts of the “King Follett Discourse” which I have prepared. I prepared them quickly, so it is best to check against the originals for any meaningful analysis.

Joseph Smith delivered the “King Follett Discourse” (KFD) on April 7, 1844. It was his last General Conference. Joseph had lost several close associates to apostasy and Navuoo was tense. Joseph defied his critics, and with the KFD, Joseph showed his hand, pledging as proof that he was not “a fallen prophet,” details of his ultimate theology. The critics had a field-day with the content and Joseph made his rebuttal on June 16, in what is commonly called the “Sermon in the Grove.” The KFD is perhaps the most famous of all Joseph’s sermons, but the text of the most common printings has followed and interesting and, at times, strained route. This post is the first of a two part series reviewing the history of this text. (more…)

The end of an era

By: J. Stapley - May 25, 2008

I am a chemist by training, but Mormon history has always been open to dilettants (for good and ill). Still, as I ran headlong into the ocean of Mormon historiography, without the mentorship of many I would have been churned and released, to lie recovering on the sand. Without question, the measure that I am able to swim through the vast primary sources and previous works today can mostly be traced back to the kind aid of Justin. I know of no individual with his bibliographic breadth, keen insight and editorial skill.

As he moves on to other endeavors, I wish him well, and thank him.

Research update on Mormon healing

By: J. Stapley - April 19, 2008

As some know, Kris and I have worked together for the past couple of years doing research on Mormon healing. Our earliest work has focused on the liturgical aspects of Mormon healing, but we intend to eventually get to medical science as well. We recently found out that our paper, “‘They Shall Be Made Whole’: A History of Baptism for Health,” has been accepted by the Journal of Mormon History. We also just finished up our next paper, “The Forms and the Power: The Development of Mormon Ritual Healing to 1847” and are looking forward to seeing what the editors say about it. I think they are both exciting papers, but now it is on to the next thing. (more…)

Two latest in Signature’s Significant Diary Series

By: J. Stapley - March 11, 2008

John P. Hatch, ed., Danish Apostle: The Diaries of Anthon H. Lund (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 2005), 882 pages, clothbound.

Jedediah S. Rogers, ed., In the President’s Office: The Diaries of L. John Nuttall 1879-1892 (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 2007), 511 pages, clothbound. (more…)

A Lady’s Life among the Mormons

By: J. Stapley - January 01, 2008

One of the most invaluable publication series in Mormon Studies is Utah State University Press’s Life Writings of Frontier Women, with Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, Series Editor. I have the full quiver of volumes and several have been integral in my research in Mormon liturgical history. This year, perhaps in a bid to balance the various narratives, USU Press is printing Exposé of Polygamy: A Lady’s Life among the Mormons. (more…)

Elder Ballard’s Advice–Start a Blog

By: Steve H - December 15, 2007

I haven’t written for a while, and now I feel remiss. Today was graduation day at BYUH, and the visiting apostle, Elder Ballard, told us all to have more of an online presence. (more…)

Thanksgiving among the Mormons

By: J. Stapley - November 21, 2007

Perhaps as we celebrate our feasts we will give thanks for our co-religionists who sacrificed much more than we currently do for Zion’s sake. Besides reading Justin’s excellent post, the following are a few journal entries of our religious progenitors: (more…)


By: J. Stapley - November 14, 2007

I am typically an man. I have the free two-day shipping and I love their used and new options. This year, however, we received a couple of gift certificates to Barnes & Noble. I recently decided to use them. (more…)

Review: The Diaries of Charles Ora Card: The Utah Years, 1871-1886

By: J. Stapley - October 20, 2007

Donald G. Godfrey and Kenneth W. Godfrey, The Diaries of Charles Ora Card: The Utah Years, 1871-1886 (Provo: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2006), 604 pgs. (more…)

Now Online: Young Women’s Journal

By: J. Stapley - October 02, 2007

The Harold B. Lee Library Digital Collections has been slowly amassing one of the most important digital archives in Mormon Studies. I just noticed that they have added the Young Women’s Journal. (more…)

Maui pioneers

By: J. Stapley - August 30, 2007

In 1852, years before the handcart pioneers walked west and just one year after the first baptism in Hawaii, the Saints erected their first chapel. It still stands. (more…)

The death of Hosea

By: J. Stapley - August 15, 2007

Hosea Stout was in charge of police at Nauvoo and Winter Quarters. His diary, edited by Juanita Brooks, is a great treasure, though very rare on the used book market. He wrote mostly of the activities relating to his work, but on occasion we see personality that reflects the devastation of the pioneer trek. Hosea left Nauvoo with six children and within a year and a half lost them all. Especially poignant is the death of his namesake: (more…)

Pioneers and inter-library loan

By: J. Stapley - July 23, 2007

I am entering my 3rd and final week with two rare Mormon diaries. This is my first municipal inter-library loan experience. I just finished volume one of Juanita Brooks’ two-volume On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964). It is fitting that I would receive and read it now. (more…)

On the Road with Richard Bushman

By: J. Stapley - June 29, 2007

As Bushman wrapped up his biography of Joseph Smith during the summer of 2005, Glen Nelson, who publishes a variety of Mormon Cultural projects, asked him to keep a diary of the events surrounding the roll-out of the book for publication. The fruit of those diaries was an unbound limited edition that sports a handmade cherry-wood slip case. Kofford Books received permission to publish a paperback edition which is available as of this week on Amazon. I picked up a copy at MHA a month ago. (more…)

Accustomed to service

By: J NS - June 25, 2007

I was surprised to be called Friday to see if I might be able to substitute in Primary for the 11-12 year olds on Sunday. It seems that the teacher is not entirely dependable and would I be a back up? I was given the information on the Church site to get the lesson materials and began to prepare. This is not a remarkable occurrence. I am sure it happens thousands of times each week in the church. The surprise is that I haven’t had a calling in the church for months. (more…)

The cost of diaspora

By: J. Stapley - May 30, 2007

My parents left Utah as part of the great migration to the west coast. When I was young, leaving and finding a place in the world was simply part of life. It is what we do. We are progressive and brave. While others stayed in the cradle of Deseret, we expanded and capitalized on gentile opportunity. I was proud of what we did. I still am; but as I have gotten older, I have realized the price we pay for it. (more…)

Media Dork

By: J. Stapley - May 10, 2007

Ardis’s recent post at T&S on home libraries, got me thinking about a new piece of software that I am testing out. I’m not sure why I like the idea of cataloging books so much, but I have to admit that the fun of doing it has made me consider ponying up the $40 or whatever to purchase the software once the free trial is over. (more…)

Google Books: Mormon Studies goodness

By: J. Stapley - April 03, 2007

Things have been a bit slow going here as most of my free time is going towards MHA prep. However, I thought it would be nice to share the good news about Google Books for Mormon Studies. Google has gone though major libraries and digitized their books. Publishers have also digitized their collections and they are available in various states of accessibility though Google’s website. This is an incredible resource. (more…)

Salty language

By: J NS - March 12, 2007

I grew up hearing cussing /swearing. I heard it all the time. It wasn’t hard core language that fell on my young ears, just the D word, H word and S word having to do with manure and the oft used A word that referred to one’s posterior and the kicking thereof. (more…)

Brigham on spirit

By: J. Stapley - February 14, 2007

Due to the explicit discourse of Joseph Smith, most frequently called the King Follet Discourse, many Latter-day saints believe that the spirit and mind of man is eternal and can never be created or destroyed. While he had preached this concept five years earlier, there was a significant diversity of thought post-martyrdom on the topic. Perhaps the two most identifiable ideologies were those of Orson Pratt (see here) and Brigham Young. This post will deal with Brigham’s thoughts on spirit creation from the perspective of a unique aspect of his thought: spirit destruction. (more…)

Its a Jungle Out There (or wild monkeys in the halls at church)

By: Craig - January 25, 2007

Years ago, my wife confided to me that Sundays are definitely not a day of rest. To be perfectly fair, I conceded the point. I was serving in a Bishopric and “got” to escape the struggle of getting small children ready for church, loading them into the car, and then sitting with said children alone while your spouse quietly and serenely smiled down upon your antics from the stand. We talked about this and agreed that my responsibility to my children didn’t end because I was on the stand. Many are the sacrament meetings that I have a small squirrly in the chair next to me in an attempt at discipline or reward for good behavior (my son would have gladly submitted to a public thrashing rather than sit in front of people, my daughter was just the opposite). The ward members didn’t seem to mind. (more…)

Next Page »