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The Future of Women at Church: A Conversation with Neylan McBaine

By FaithMatters

Neylan McBaine’s book “Women at Church” started a lot of conversations and challenged many of our assumptions around how women can participate and lead in their wards and stakes. Seven years later, we thought it might be interesting to explore with Neylan how far we have come and where that future might lead.

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Available through Greg Kofford Books and Amazon

Joseph Smith as a Book of Mormon Storyteller

By Brian C. Hales @ Interpreter Foundation

For nearly 200 years, skeptics have promoted different naturalistic explanations to describe how Joseph Smith generated all the words of the Book of Mormon. The more popular theories include plagiarism (e.g. of the Solomon Spaulding manuscript), collaboration (with Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, etc.), mental illness (bipolar, dissociative, or narcissistic personality disorders) and automatic writing, also called “spirit writing, “trance writing,” or “channeling.” A fifth and currently the most popular theory posits that Joseph Smith possessed all the intellectual abilities needed to complete the task. A variation on this last explanation proposes that he used the methods of professional storytellers. For millennia, bards and minstrels have entertained their audiences with tales that extended over many hours and over several days. This article explores their techniques to assess whether Joseph Smith might have adopted such methodologies during the three-month dictation of the Book of Mormon. 

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Curt Bench—Mentor and Friend

By Dan Wotherspoon @ Latter-day Faith Podcast

In this episode, Latter-day Faith host Dan Wotherspoon reflects on the life of his wonderful friend, mentor, sounding board, and wise soul Curt Bench who passed away recently. In sharing about Curt and the pivotal role he played in Dan's life, his hope is that we each will take time to consider the people who have made a genuine difference in our lives, especially those who found joy in who we are and have helped us come to understand ourselves more deeply and perhaps point us toward our genuine spiritual gifts. Dan also reflects on the importance of finding more of those kinds of people in our lives. Sometimes they will fall into our orbit naturally, but we also shouldn't hesitate to actively try to develop friendships that might be transformative for us.

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Available through Greg Kofford BooksAmazon, and Deseret Book

On Peace and Getting Along

By Michael Austin @ BCC

Divisiveness is in the news again at the BYU, and, it seems, we must all pick a side. On the one side, we have same-sex marriage, commandeered commencement speeches, disobedience, sin, and disunity. On the other side we have institutional dignity, unequivocal love, loyalty, swords beaten into plowshares, and peace. Easy choice, right? Who wouldn’t want peace? That is, after all, what all disciples of Christ should work for.

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Upcoming Events

Sep 10 Joseph Smith Papers Conference [Digital]
Sep 20–24 Utah State Historical Society Annual Conference [Digital]
Oct 22–23 John Whitmer Historical Association 48th Annual Conference [Digital]

Mar 11–12 Church History Symposoum, Provo and SLC, UT
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