Burning Bosom

Theology, History, Culture, Politics & Life from a LDS (Mormon) Perspective

Archive for the ‘Mormon History’ Category

Reflections On My First Sunstone Symposium

Posted by Shawn L on March 17, 2008

sunstone1.jpgThis weekend, I (along with my co-blogger, Andrew) attended my first Sunstone Symposium this past weekend in Claremont, California.  You’ll note from its title that this post does not aspire to be a comprehensive report of the weekend’s events.   But, in hopes of disabusing people of the same sorts of prejudices I held for so long (as explained below), let me share with you a few thoughts about my experience.   

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Mormon Culture, Mormon History, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 46 Comments »

The Unfinished Restoration: A Global Vision

Posted by Andrew on March 5, 2008

GlobeMormons tend to think of the Restoration as a discrete series of events that began with the First Vision and concluded with the Martyrdom. Because we tend to view the Restoration as something that has already occurred, we don’t seem to talk much about whether there is something more we can and should be doing to complete it. However, there is an aspect of the Restoration that is unfinished, and which seems to be largely overlooked.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Apologetics, Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, Mormon History, Restoration, Scripture, Theology | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

What Else Did God Say To Joseph?

Posted by Shawn L on February 16, 2008

jsmith2.jpg The topic of last Sunday’s Elders Quorum lesson was the First Vision. The teacher, who I like and who generally does a good job, was leading a paint-by-numbers sort of discussion (Q: “What do we learn from The First Vision”; A: “God has a body”). As usual for this topic, the lesson had its share of omissions (no mention of the other accounts) and historical missteps (“No one else in 1820 believed that God and Christ were separate beings”). All in all, it was a fairly typical meeting and, to be honest, I was zoning out.

But then, quite unexpectedly, the lesson took a decidedly more interesting turn. The instructor focused on one seemingly minor detail of Joseph’s account that, despite having read it dozens of times, came as a surprise to me: “He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time.” (JS-H 1:20) I had totally forgotten about Joseph’s private conversation with God. Of course, the notion of God forbidding his prophets from writing down something he has told or shown them is not new. But what makes this 15-word passage (which is not mentioned again in the History) particularly interesting is that Joseph never was shy about sharing what he felt had been revealed to him. Furthermore, as far as I know, he never revealed what “other things” God had told him during that experience.

The teacher then posed a question, which I now present for your consideration: what unwritten things do you think God said to Joseph at that moment?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Joseph Smith, Mormon History | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

“Our False Traditions and Foolish Notions”

Posted by Andrew on January 24, 2008

When it comes to the question of why we need “continual revelation,” one explanation I have heard (and given) most often is that our world circumstances are constantly changing, and therefore God needs to give us up-to-date revelation to help us adapt and adjust to our present-day situation. Good examples of these types of revelations are our “mini-temples” and additional quorums of the Seventy, which were designed to cope with new demands created by unprecedented Church growth.

Another common explanation for continual revelation is that we cannot understand greater truths until we first understand simple truths. “Milk before meat.” “Line upon line, precept upon precept.” It’s the same concept as why students start with simple addition and subtraction, then multiplication and division, etc. In other words, what’s keeping us from further light and knowledge is that we haven’t yet mastered the spiritual truths we’ve already received.

However, Brigham Young provided another interesting explanation for why we grow “line upon line,” and it might surprise you: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Apologetics, Faith, Mormon Culture, Mormon History | Tagged: , | 16 Comments »

The Sources and Potential Results of Today’s Anti-Mormon Bigotry

Posted by Andrew on January 7, 2008

Last weekend, New York Times Magazine featured an article entitled “What Is It About Mormonism?”, which provides an in-depth examination of the sources of bigotry against Mormonism, both historically and today as highlighted by the reaction in some quarters to Mitt Romney’s candidacy.  The article was brought to my attention by esteemed reader Chris H., who had the following insightful comments to share: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Mormon History, Politics | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Indians on the Mormon Trail: A Historian’s Dilemma

Posted by Andrew on December 18, 2007

Submitted by: Andrew

I’ve been reading some historical accounts written by several Mormon pioneers who were in the Rowley handcart company with some of my ancestors, and I’ve been shocked by how differently these pioneers described the same experiences. The great disparity in these historical accounts gives me a new appreciation of the difficult, if not impossible, task that faces historians: to determine what really happened hundreds of years ago.

One particularly interesting disparity in the Rowley handcart company journals is how they describe the Indians. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Mormon History | 7 Comments »

The Sands of Time: What Place Does History Have in Our Testimonies?

Posted by Andrew on December 18, 2007

Submitted by: Andrew

This past weekend, two good friends of mine have told me that they are either leaving the Church or have effectively left it already. Generally speaking, the concerns that my friends say have driven them out of the Church relate to Church history. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Faith, Mormon History | 2 Comments »