Some Latter-day Saints have touted the 1909 First Presidency statement as the definitive doctrinal repudiation of evolution for all time; Elder McConkie wanted it canonized and added to the 1978/82 scripture revisions, for example.
Imagine coming off your mission, and later getting called back, but as Mission President. Oh, and it’s only a few years later, so… you’re a 26 yr-old Mission President. Also, your mission territory includes “China, India, Burma, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, and the Pacific Islands.” That was the experience of Grant Heaton. Continue reading “Tales from the Archives: Mission President?!”
My dissertation involves a lot of President Joseph Fielding Smith, particularly the way he interpreted scripture, his influential assumptions, and conclusions. Continue reading “Joseph Fielding Smith on Scriptural interpretation and Scientific Conflict”
In June 1965, the LDS Sunday School presidency informally began a new series on science and religion, written by LDS scientists. Continue reading “Tales from the Archives 4: Science, Interpretation, and Bad Feeling in 1965”
I recently discovered an article about “the first real confrontation of Mormonism with science” during the Utah smallpox outbreak at the turn of the 19/20th century.
From 1934-5, the age of the earth, evolution, and scripture was hotly debated in the Deseret News. (See here for a little history and context.) Elders John Widtsoe and Joseph Fielding Smith wrote nothing themselves, but encouraged, solicited, and pushed articles reflecting their own views. On Widtsoe’s side was James E. Talmage’s son Sterling, who had received a PhD in geology. (JET had died the year before.) On Smith’s side, were several people, including Sidney Sperry, Major Howard S. Bennion, and Dudley J. Whitney, a Pentecostal farmer. Continue reading “Tales from the Archives 3: The 1934-5 Newspaper Proxy Wars and Writing Hot”
In 2007 General Conference, President Monson told the story of an unusual convert to Christianity. Continue reading “Tales from the Archives 2: Wait, what?”
Many people are aware that Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s book Mormon Doctrine was not universally received among Church leadership as a positive thing. That story has been told in a number of places, from a number of perspectives. This, however, was new to me, summarizing from this article and expanding from the McKay diaries, around Jan 14, 1960. Continue reading “Mark E. Petersen, Expertise, Interpretation, and McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine”
I will occasionally post things from the archives, with minimal explanation or point, sometimes. Here’s a fun one recently.
I was set to present a paper at the Mormon History Association this year (now pushed to next year), “Seventh-day Adventist Influence on LDS Creationism, from Joseph Fielding Smith to Ezra Taft Benson.”
Here’s an expanded teaser with some analysis of philosophical underpinnings.