“A Valuable LDS Resource for Learning from the Apocrypha,” etc.

“A Valuable LDS Resource for Learning from the Apocrypha,” etc. September 21, 2018


The corrected Skousen flyer
The revised and corrected flyer for Tuesday night’s event on the Provo, Utah, campus of Brigham Young University


From some of my unpublished notes — Lucy Mack Smith on the ancient breastplate that was recovered in conjunction with the plates from which the Book of Mormon was eventually translated:


It was wrapped in a thin muslin handkerchief, so thin that I could see the glistening metal, and ascertain its proportions without any difficulty.

It was concave on one side and convex on the other, and extended from the neck downwards, as far as the centre of the stomach of a man of extraordinary size. It had four straps of the same material, for the purpose of fastening it to the breast, two of which ran back to go over the shoulders, and the other two were designed to fasten to the hips. They were just the width of two of my fingers, (for I measured them,) and they had holes in the ends of them, to be convenient in fastening.[1]

[1] Lucy’s Book, 390. She estimates that the breastplate “was worth at least five hundred dollars”—presumably in terms of either 1827 currency (1827 or 1828 being the year of the event) or 1844-1845 currency (those being the years in which she dictated her account. So, in terms of today’s prices, she was guessing that the value of the breastplate was at least $12,607.30 in contemporary American money.  If, however, she was thinking of the dollar as it stood in 1844, a translation into today’s prices would put the value of the breastplate at minimally $16,809.73.  Assuming that her estimate is at least roughly accurate, that her account not pure fabrication, and that the object wasn’t authentically ancient, this raises the question, very acutely, of how Joseph Smith was able to procure such an object and what happened to it afterwards.




Please note the image above.  I posted a previous version of the flyer on which I had not noticed that, while the date for the presentation by Drs. Royal Skousen and Stanford Carmack was correct, the day of the presentation was wrong.  The event will occur next Tuesday evening.  That’s Tuesday, not Wednesday.




New this week, in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture — two reviews of Jared W. Ludlow, Exploring the Apocrypha from a Latter-day Saint Perspective (Springville, Utah: CFI, 2018):


“A Valuable LDS Resource for Learning from the Apocrypha”


“An Inviting Exploration”




In other news related to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:


“Stunning Video Takes You on a Tour of the New Chile Temple Set to Open Next Month”


“Two Words that Finally Helped Me Grasp the Genius of the New Ministering Program”


“M. Wells Jakeman’s response to Dee F. Green on Book of Mormon Archaeology”


“Why Church leaders support medical marijuana but not Prop. 2”


“On its 2 year anniversary, see how the Philadelphia temple was centuries in the making”




In conjunction with the forthcoming film Jane and Emma — to which I’m very much looking forward —


“Watch the new music video that reimagines ‘I am a Child of God'”


I like it very much.




In other religion-related news:


“Pope Francis Favorability Down Sharply in U.S.”


“In coverage of Hurricane Florence, faith-based disaster relief is, again, an important part of the story”



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