Pioneer Prophet in Paperback

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My co-blogger Thomas Kidd mentioned in his most recent post that he has learned “how much authors need to work on publicity.” So here goes — next week, Harvard University Press is releasing the paperback edition of my Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet. What was a tremendous value is now an outright bargain! One can start [Read More...]

A Time to Mourn

Yazidi Temple in the Sinjar Mountains

There are so many things that compete for our attention. Gaza, Ukraine, and Ebola, deservedly so. Celebrity cheating rumors, royal baby rumors, not as important as wars and rumors of wars. Perhaps as it need be, most of us are consumed with our own jobs, our own families, and our own churches. For a short [Read More...]

Mormons Are (Different) Christians, Not Cultists

The idea that Mormonism is a cult is beyond absurd, unless by cult one simply means a religion that one does not like. In recent days, observant reporters noticed that after Billy Graham’s recent meeting with Republican candidate Mitt Romney, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed “Mormons” from a list of non-Christian cults. The included [Read More...]

God and the Presidential Debates (Part II)

I am a presidential debate junkie. Predictable as they are in parts, they’re also the best political theater that American politics has to offer. No one expected Mitt Romney to clean Barack Obama’s clock in the first debate. I didn’t expect Mitt Romney to clean his own clock in the second half of last night’s [Read More...]

Albert Mohler Interview with John Turner on Brigham Young

Fascinating podcast interview here by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler, with the Anxious Bench’s John Turner on his new biography of Brigham Young. [Read more...]

The Latter-Day Saints and Race

The Anxious Bench’s John Turner has a New York Times editorial this weekend titled “Why Race Is Still a Problem for Mormons.” (Turner is the author of a new biography from Harvard University Press titled Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet.) In the Times piece, Turner calls on Mormons to confront directly their church’s historic policies with regard to race, [Read More...]

Brigham Young and Mitt Romney, Beer and History

How could a Washington Post article discussing President Obama’s campaign beer-drinking not mention the LDS Word of Wisdom? Obviously, Romney’s faith — as well as his wealth — dooms any attempt to convince voters he is an “everyman.” Obama as everyman? If drinking beer at state fairs and small-town diners is all that matters, I [Read More...]

Luther, Cranach, and Me

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I became a historian through the Bible and the Reformation. For starters, at a certain point in my youth, reading the historical books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Joshua through Esther) and the Gospels plus Acts was my way of making church services pass by more quickly. The narratives about the past were usually considerably [Read More...]

New York Times on Mormon History

The New York Times has an excellent piece on the “growing cadre of young scholars of Mormonism,” including my friends Patrick Mason (Claremont Graduate University) and the Anxious Bench’s own John Turner (George Mason University). As the article points out, John’s new biography of Brigham Young will be published this fall by Harvard University Press. From [Read More...]


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