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This volume is about Latter-day Saints learning from Jews and the Jewish experience. This book is unique. It is not a traditional interfaith dialogue where the goal is to learn from each other. Rather, Latter-day Saints seek to give Jews the microphone, so to speak, and let them talk about themselves on their own terms. Only then do Latter-day Saint respond, and not with the goal of establishing areas of agreement or disagreement but as an opportunity to learn from Jews. This book turns to the wisdom of Jews and Judaism to inform, inspire, and enhance the lived religious experience of Latter-day Saints.

The Learning of the Jews brings together fifteen scholars, seven Jewish and eight Latter-day Saint, with a combined academic experience of over four hundred years. The volume is structured around seven major topics, two chapters on each topic. A Jewish scholar first discusses the topic broadly vis-à-vis Judaism, followed by a response from a Latter-day Saint scholar. The seven topics include scripture, authority, prayer, women and modernity, remembrance, particularity, and humor. The intention is that the reader will not only learn a great deal about Judaism and the Jewish experience while reading this volume but also use what they learn to enhance their own cultural and religious experience.

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Is Polygamy Funny?

By Holly Miller @ BCC

Look at Great-Great-Grandpa in his jailbird stripes!” The large photo was taken down from the mantelpiece and passed around to the cousins with a chuckle. 

Did you kids know that your grandfather was in the state penitentiary (haha)?” Everybody seemed to get a kick out of the photo of grandpa in jail.

Many generational Latter-day Saints from Canada, the US, and Mexico have polygamists in their family tree. If this describes you, what is your family’s attitude about your ancestors? What are the pros and cons of how your family tells their story? Perhaps my list of pros and cons will clarify or challenge the narrative you received.

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The Lord’s Supper – Prayer Memorization and Open Communion

By J. Stapley @ BCC

Memory is tricky thing. I’m a Gen Xer, and in my memory the chapels in which I grew up attending had to pull out microphone trays with the prayers typed out on cards that were taped onto it. As I turned sixteen, like the other priests, I knelt, pulled out the tray, and read the words carefully, hoping not to be asked by the Bishop to repeat it because I screwed up. It hasn’t always been that way, however. There was a period when church leaders actively encouraged priests to memorize and not read the prayers. 

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Available through Greg Kofford BooksAmazon, and Deseret Book

Recap of 2021 FAIR Conference

By Trevor Holyoak @ FAIR

As always, there was a wide range of topics. This year they included subjects such as polygamy, Book of Mormon authorship, LGBT issues, women and the priesthood, the Wilford Woodruff papers, and how to discern between truth and fiction. Carl Trueman, author of The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution, gave an excellent presentation to his first Latter-day Saint audience. You can view the full list of presentations in the conference program here.

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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
Copyright © 2021 Greg Kofford Books, All rights reserved.

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