By December 21, 2014

All the most important links for the past 3 weeks. You know the drill: if we missed anything, let us know in the comments. If you have opinions on the news articles, let us know in the comments.

Podcasts and Interviews

Craig Harline discusses his book Way Below the Angels with Marginalia podcast.

Jana Reiss and Terryl Givens on Joseph Smith and the Theology of Polygamy on Interfaith Voices Radio.

Brent Metcalfe has a new Mormon Studies Podcast. I hope that he will weigh in on what constitutes “Mormon Studies” in an upcoming episode.

An interview with friend of JI, Russell Stevenson, on his new book: For the Cause of Righteousness (now available from Kofford).

Social Media

[Terrrible] Mormonized pop-song parodies on Youtube are analyzed in a Death&Taxes piece. Typical responses go like this, “Mormons get married wicked young. And they like white shirts.” The author also seems to know the Book of Mormon fairly well and know that there’s more than one kind of Mormon, so there’s that, anyway. Listen to/watch the videos at your own risk.

The British periodical The Metro highlighted the LDS Church’s Youtube Video and its campaign to #SharetheGift.


BYU can now (and apparently will) purchase Y Mountain from the Federal Government.

  • “We are very glad to see this bill pass and are grateful to all those who made it possible,” said [BYU President] Worthen in a statement. “Since 1906, when students shuttled lime, sand and rocks to build the Y, this landmark has stood as a welcoming symbol to all those who come to Utah Valley, whether it be for their studies, work or simply a visit.  We look forward to sharing the trail to the Y with our neighbors, friends and visitors.”

Apparently the beard advocates at BYU have caused those with beards to be heckled by their peers.

BYU Professor Kerry Muhlestein and his team discovered a large number of human remains from the second-seventh centuries while on a dig in Egypt. It appears the Egyptian government isn’t pleased with how the news has been reported or handled.

LDS Newsroom

The LDS Church has started sending e-mail newsletters to its members across the globe. [Insert Prince joke about partying like it’s 1999.]

A lovely video from the LDS Newsroom on the Centennial anniverary of the World War I Christmas Truce.


Paula Kelly Harline blogs about Joseph Smith and polygamous marriage for the Oxford University Press Blog. Her book, also from OUP, is available for sale here.

Jedediah Rogers’ new documentary history of the Council of Fifty was released this week, from Signature Books.

Amateur Mormon Historian on why he works on “minor historical puzzles” and Mormon History in general.

The psychologist who helped devise the CIA torture/interrogation program resigned from his calling as a Mormon bishop in 2012.

An article from the National Review analyzes “The Mormon Advantage.”

  • “Mormons do not convert by preaching. They do help ensure uniformity in what their church teaches by centralizing curriculum and materials, but these materials are used mostly to “preach to the converted.” Instead they focus on building social bonds, inviting the former stranger into a network of ever-growing belonging, before broaching theology or ideology.”

Rosalynde Welch wrote for Religion and Politics about the Mormon reaction to the events engulfing the nation in Ferguson, MO using the Book of Mormon.

  • For stunned St. Louisans on the figurative “morning after” our own upheaval, we would do well to remember that after the anguish and the confusion and grief, a period of prayerful silence is in order. Meaning and light will dawn, but it will take time and desire. Not all voices are clear the first time. Listen. Listen again, and then again. And keep your heart turned toward heaven.

The Deseret News refused to publish ads for books from Signature Books, although they accepted money for them. If anyone has seen a response from DN, let us know in the links.

Kristine Haglund wrote for Slate about “What the ‘Mormon Moment’ Actually Accomplished.”

Arthur C. Brooks wrote an op-ed for the NYT about how to be more virtuous and “moral elevation,” which he learned more about speaking at BYU and in Salt Lake City.

Database on the growth of LDS stakes and districts.

Peggy Fletcher Stack wrote about how “Black Mormons lament that race is [still a] Taboo Topic at Church.”

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. Thanks!

    Comment by wvs — December 23, 2014 @ 1:15 pm


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