Book Review: Exploring the Apocrypha by Jared Ludlow

Book Review: Exploring the Apocrypha from a Latter-day Saint Perspective, by Jared W. Ludlow

While making his translation of the Bible, Joseph Smith asked the Lord whether he should include the Apocrypha in his translation.  The Lord responded that there were many good and true things in the Apocrypha, but also many interpolations of men, and so Joseph was not to translate it (D&C 91). Instead, the Lord said that a person guided by the Spirit could gain much value out of reading the Apocrypha.

In Exploring the Apocrypha, Ludlow discusses the history of the Apocrypha and gives an overview of each of the books. Continue reading

Book Review: Saints, Slaves & Blacks 2nd Ed

Book Review: Saints, Slaves & Blacks – The Changing Place of Black People Within Mormonism, 2nd Edition, by Newell G. Bringhurst

Saints, Slaves, and Blacks: The Changing Place of Black People Within Mormonism, 2nd ed.

I joined the LDS Church at the age of 16 in 1975 in Western Montana. For me, the Civil Rights protests were important, but were as far away as the struggle in Vietnam. I didn’t know any black people, and knew few of other minority races. To me, they were just people like I was. The Civil War was not big history for us, because Montana wasn’t involved in slavery nor abolitionism. Our history was about cowboys and Indians, vigilantes, and mountain men.

June 8, 1978, I was waiting for a LDS friend of mine to pick me up to see a movie, when he told me about the announcement on the priesthood revelation. Continue reading

And another Announcement!

Not an April Fool’s Day joke.

Home and Visiting teaching are no longer.

Priesthood, RS and YW will now do Ministering.

No prepared lessons from the Ensign. No visiting in every home. Visits done will include and be supplemented by phone, email, etc. No visit number reporting every month. The Church cares that we minister and care for others, not so much in how we do it.

The Church will email more details out to every member they have an email address for.

Also, details will soon be available at


Priesthood Announcement

In PH meeting, Pres Nelson, and Elders Christofferson  and Rasband are announcing a big priesthood quorum change.

The high priest quorum now consists of active stake presidencies, high councils, bishoprics and patriarchs. The stake president is president of this quorum.

All other brethren will be in one Elders/Melchizedek PH Quorum. Stake presidents will call new presidencies as soon as it is convenient.

This will bless the members by strengthening one another with their experience, talents and skills.

No more PEC meetings. All will work within the Ward Council. Where needed, a bishop can call a special meeting with only those needed, to handle sensitive issues.


Book Review: The Plural Marriage Revelation, by W. V. Smith

Book Review: Textual Studies of the Doctrine and Covenants – The Plural Marriage Revelation, by William Victor Smith

Textual Studies of the Doctrine and Covenants: The Plural Marriage Revelation

Over the last few decades, several quality books on the history of polygamy have been published. So what makes this one different?  Unlike most polygamy books,“The Plural Marriage Revelation” only touches very lightly on the practice of plural marriage in the lives of individuals, while focusing on the revelation in Doctrine and Covenants section 132 and its development as scripture over the course of the LDS Church’s history.

Joseph Smith sought to develop a special people that could build heaven on earth. Why wait until the next life to experience heaven, when it could be enjoyed in this life? However, various efforts failed. The great spiritual awakening at the Kirtland Temple, with washings, anointings, and great angelic visitations was soon followed by apostasy and expulsion of the faithful Saints from the city.

Similarly, Independence Missouri promised a Zion as bright, bold and beautiful as Enoch’s city. However, contention between the old settlers and Mormons led to Joseph’s imprisonment and the extermination order that caused the church to again flee for safety from its enemies.

In Nauvoo, Joseph would try again to build a new hope for heaven. This time, it would be one focused on sealing family and dynasties together, in order to have them ready for the anticipated Millennial reign of Christ. Continue reading