This week, the summer 2013 issue of Journal of Mormon History was uploaded to the journal’s USU website. I’m pleased to say that it is a very solid issue with several provocative articles from up-and-coming scholars. You can see the full table of contents at the site, and everything is worth reading, but allow me to highlight four articles I particularly enjoyed (which also happen to be the first four in the issue):
1. Lee Wiles, “Monogamy Underground: The Burial of Mormon Plural Marriage in the Graves of Joseph and Emma Smith.” This fun, important, and smart articles examines the narratives Mormons told of their founding prophet’s marriages, and offers yet another sophisticated take on the changing perceptions within LDS memory. Along with Steve Taysom’s article along the same lines, we can easily see this dynamic tradition of interpreting the past in a way that embodies the present.
2. Christine Elyse Blythe, “William Smith’s Patriarchal Blessings and Contested Authority in the Post-Martyrdom Church.” I’m biased, since I research both the succession as well as patriarchal blessings, but this fills an important niche within both fields. Christine uses the robust body of patriarchal blessings given by William Smith during a short period of 1845 in order to examine the mercurial figure’s relationship to and position within a church in transition.
3. J.B. Haws, “When Mormonism Mattered Less in Presidential Politics: George Romney’s 1968 Window of Possibilities.” Marketing 101: when you have a book about to come out, make sure to public an article that provocatively teases out some your important ideas, whetting their appetite for the larger text. Everytime I hear or read JB, I come away impressed, and this article is no exceptions. Make sure to look forward to his book later this fall.
4. J. David Pulsipher, “‘Prepared to Abide the Penalty’: Latter-day Saints and Civil Disobedience.” Along with Patrick Mason, David Pulsipher is doing some of the most important, creative, and imaginative work within Mormonism’s intellectual tradition. Looking at perceptions of peace, judgement, liberty, and law, Pulsipher persuasively demonstrates the multivocal dimensions of the LDS Church’s legal thought throughout history.
Besides these, there are two other excellent articles, including from kingpin Bill MacKinnon, as well as a handful of book reviews. If you haven’t subscribed to the journal, repent now so you can move on in your merry reading ways.