By May 25, 2018
A few days ago I posted on what it’s like to attend the Mormon History Association annual conference. Today I’m going to write about why I attend and what it has been like for me in my particular situation. We anticipate a few other posts like this from different perspectives.
There are multiple reasons why someone might attend MHA and I’ll describe a few below but I think the main reason boils down to this: MHA goers are interesting people who know cool stuff. You are an interesting person who knows cool stuff. If we all hang out and talk about the cool stuff we have a good time and learn more cool stuff. If we do this often enough eventually we’ll all be so cool and interesting and together that we’ll need to wear sunglasses.
By May 23, 2018
Last week commenter acw wrote: “As one who hasn’t ever attended but has considered it,, could you also post some kind of MHA for newbies guide? Like why and how to come/participate, etc.” Below I provide a general description of what to expect and how to attend. In a subsequent post I’ll talk about the whys and hows of my experience at MHA as an avocational historian. We’re hoping to get together a few other what-it’s-like posts from different perspectives.
By May 11, 2018
On Tuesday the Church Newsroom announced a “Plan for Worldwide Initiative for Children and Youth” that will change, among other things, Personal Progress and the Church’s relationship to Scouting. Yesterday I wrote about mentions of the Personal Progress program in General Conference. Today I look at mentions of the Eagle Scout award.
[Edit: Due to a very embarrassing error on my part, I only searched from 1940 to the present. There were two mentions of Eagle Scouts before 1950: In 1924 then-President Heber J Grant quoted approvingly a letter published in the Improvement Era that enthused at some length about Mormon scouting and included the line “There are more boys of advanced rank and a greater percentage of Eagle scouts than in any other section of America” (1924 April, p 155). In 1923 Apostle Richard R Lyman said, in a talk on training young people, “You cannot know what real scouting is until you have at least one Eagle Scout in your troop” (1923 April, p 157).]
By May 10, 2018
On Tuesday the Church Newsroom announced a “Plan for Worldwide Initiative for Children and Youth”. On the associated FAQ page it says that, among others, the “Personal Progress” program “may be affected by this change” beginning in 2020. In a preliminary effort to better understand the context for these potential changes, I looked at what has been said about Personal Progress in General Conference (or, at least, has been published in the Conference Report editions of the Ensign).
By December 5, 2016
Three years ago I wrote about prehistoric reptiles in a mural in the Manti Temple: ?Things I Did Not Know: Dinosaurs in the Manti Temple?. This past summer I went back and, this time, noticed some prehistoric mammals.
I was not able to find images of the particular murals , so… with the usual caveats about memory and eye-witnesses of a mural I saw in from across the room in July while doing something else, the animals I saw were:
- Deinotherium (looks like an elephant with downward curving tusks),
- Megacerops (looks like a rhinoceros with forked horn),
- Xiphodon (looks like a camel)
There was also a goat in the same panel, but I didn?t notice anything to distinguish it from a present-day male Alpine ibex (Capra ibex).
The murals in question were painted by Carl Christian Anton Christensen (1831-1912; usually CCA Christensen) in 1886-1887 and depict facets of creation up to, but not including, humans. Below I have included images from Louis Figuier?s La Terre avant le déluge (1863, French; 1872, English), which seems, upon casual inspection, to be a candidate for one of Christensen?s sources. . (Hat-tip again to Mina for pointing out Figuier when I posted about Mesozoic Reptiles.)
By July 18, 2016
Click here for part one, two, three, four, five, and six of this year?s summer book club.
This week?s chapters address Emma?s experiences in Nauvoo after the population of Nauvoo became thoroughly non-Mormon (Ch 19: ?Change in Nauvoo,? 1850-1860) and as her sons (and Joseph Smith, the prophet?s sons) became established as adults and potentially key figures within Mormonism (Ch 20: ?Emma?s Sons, Lewis?s Son,? 1860-1870).
By June 23, 2015
A few weeks ago Ben P, Catherine P, and I visited the Iosepa (pronounced, I think: ee-oh-SEP-ah, but, in practice usually closer to: yo-SEP-uh) Cemetery, near Dugway, Utah. Below I’m posting some of the pictures from the trip, mostly without commentary.
By June 9, 2015
Below I summarize (700 words) my 2015 MHA paper (3,000 words), ?The Origin and Persistence of Mormon Horns.? Note that I?ve blogged about Mormon horns before and almost all the images I used in the presentation have appeared in prior blog posts, so I?ve omitted them here.
By May 28, 2015
Since I lead a very exciting life, foot/endnotes are something I think about fairly frequently: How many? How long? How detailed? Foot or end? To excerpt or merely to cite? And so on. In an attempt to clarify my thinking, I have sketched a few thoughts, rants, and peeves.
By May 26, 2015
This is the third installment of the first annual JI Summer Book Club. This year we are reading Richard Bushman?s landmark biography of Mormonism?s founder, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005). JI bloggers will be covering small chunks of the book in successive weeks through the summer, with new posts appearing Monday mornings. We invite anyone and everyone interested to read along and to use the comment sections on each post to share your own reflections and questions.