My Great Grandpa Voted for Teddy Roosevelt
Unlike politicians today, Theodore Roosevelt told the American people what he thought. Here are a few of my favorite Theodore Roosevelt quotes:Read more
A Liberal Mormon View of Workers and Zion
By Warner Woodworth, BYU Professor Emeritus
Today’s currents of economic malaise have long been the concerns of who seek a healthy economy and social justice. The LDS standard works are filled with admonishments to empower the downtrodden and remember that “the labourer is worthy of his reward” (I Tim. 5:17). Recent battles such as the Occupy Wall Street movement, Mitt Romney’s denigration of the 47 percent, the uproar over inequality, and low minimum wages illustrate these issues. Other damages against workers include corporate downsizing, exorbitant CEO pay, decline of middle class jobs, offshore manufacturing, flat wage structures, high unemployment rates, and so forth.
Mormonism addresses each of these concerns. Our alliance with society’s have-nots should begin with appreciation of the fact that Jesus Himself was a blue-collar worker, a low-paid carpenter engaged in manual labor. In today’s vernacular, we would say he’d be a trade union member and card-carrying member of the Democratic Party. In other words, he would probably be a Liberal.Read more
Invitation to Understand
Marriner Eccles: A Mormon New Dealer
The financial crash of 2008 made historians and economists draw immediate comparisons to the Great Depression. A year after the crash, the reasons and complexities of why the crash occurred were easy to find. Documentaries, books, and an endless amount of media delved into the Great Recession. However, while there were tons of problems on “why” the crash occurred, there were very few books and analysis that explained how to fix the problems. Lately, historians and economists have gone back into the archives and libraries to find ways that America overcame the devastation of the 1930’s. One person keeps coming up in this search—Marriner Eccles, the American Federal Reserve Chairman from 1934 to 1948. The ideas that created the most peaceful and stable American economy from 1945-1980 were directly influenced by the philosophy and knowledge of Utah’s greatest public servant.
Would-be Saints: West Africa Before The 1978 Priesthood Revelation
As part of Black History Month, we are posting the text of a great article from the Journal of Mormon History by James B. Allen[ref]James B. Allen, a past president of the Mormon History Association, has been on the faculty of Brigham Young University since 1963, and currently holds the Lemuel H. Redd Chair in Western American History. He is also a former Assistant Church Historian and is the author or co-author of numerous books and articles, among them The Story of the Latter-day Saints, with Glen M. Leonard. He is married to Renee Jones; they have five children and twelve grandchildren. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Mormon History Association annual meeting, 13 May 1989, at Omaha, Nebraska. Sources from the Historical Department Archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (hereafter cited as LDS Church Archives) are copyright by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; courtesy of the Church Historical Department; used by permission.[/ref], which can be found here as a pdf.
Ezra Taft Benson and Politics
In most political discussions in the US church, if one starts to advocate the liberal policies which most liberals feel are abundant throughout our standard works, many of our conservative sisters and brothers will cite Ezra Taft Benson in 'denouncing' such views. While we have a great love for the service President Benson gave, especially while President of the church, we strongly disagree with his political opinions. We often hear that his opinions were not his opinions, but rather 'the truth' or 'doctrine.' In an effort to address the view that Ezra Taft Benson's political opinions were doctrine, we present this condensed (and admittedly cherry-picked) summary of the reactions and interactions of Elder Benson with his church leaders on the topic of politics.Read more
Martha Hughes Cannon
I've wanted to highlight the life of this amazing and trailblazing woman for some time now, but it's taken months to get to this point. As a result I'm just posting this as is and apologize if it is choppy and full of grammatical errors. I should note that much of this post is made up of direct quotes from this book. I would recommend it because I would like people to know more about this woman. She was part of the first wave of women to attain higher education (getting her MD in 1880 at University of Michigan, and a BS in Pharmacy in 1882 from the University of Pennsylvania, in addition to a degree in Chemistry and a diploma from the National School of Elocution and Oratory), she was the first ever woman to be a state senator, she was the first woman to be on the ballot for a US senate race, she was a mother to 3 kids, and she was a mormon. What follows is a summary of her life:Read more
Doctrine and Covenants - A Radical Agenda
Jimmy Jones on the Doctrine and Covenants (A Book of Revelations received by Joseph Smith):
One of the great challenges in Christianity, and especially Mormonism, lies in determining which scriptural passages represent unique advice to an individual and which represent broad principles to be applied to the faith as a whole. While most agree that portions discussing the atoning sacrifice of Christ illustrate an eternal, salvational principle, very few people would read the Doctrine and Covenants and claim that every individual has been asked to build a house for Joseph Smith. Many passages lie somewhere in between, however, and infuse the scriptures with ambiguity. When Alma told Corianton that forsaking his ministry and committing sexual transgression was second only to murder, does this reflect the eternal severity of premarital sex, or a father’s private counsel to his son? A complicating question is whether Alma referred to Corianton’s sin of fornication or of forsaking his ministry in favor of his own desire, walking after the lusts of his own heart; the accompanying passages about denying the Holy Ghost lead me to conclude the latter. This particular passage has no corroboration in the body of the scriptures, was given in private between two individuals rather than over a pulpit to a congregation, and the evidently eternal principles established in this tale (Alma 36-42) seem disconnected from this portion of the conversation. Yet the murder-like severity of premarital sex is frequently treated as unequivocal and universal.