Author Archives: Boyd Petersen

An Apolitical Discussion about Mormons and Politics and Literature

I recently had a long political discussion on Facebook. The person I was talking with, also a practicing Latter-day Saint, disagreed with me on pretty much every current issue. But my point in continuing the discussion was not to finally … Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Storytelling and Community | Tagged | 7 Comments

Independence Day

Here in Provo we know how to celebrate the Fourth of July. We have fireworks, a parade, family barbeques, a street fair, even hot air balloons. It’s a rollicking good time to be in the happiest of valleys! With such … Continue reading

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Words as Icons

After commanding them to “have no other gods before me,” the Ten Commandments next admonished the children of Israel to make no “graven image.” The seriousness of that commandment has created an ambiguous relationship between Western religions and visual images … Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Literary Views of Scripture | Tagged | 16 Comments

Mormon Literary Treatments of the War in Heaven

The LDS Church is unique in having a coherent scriptural account of the War in Heaven. Although the idea is found throughout Western religious thought, there is no coherent biblical narrative of the War. It is rooted in the biblical … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Language: A Song in Pure Language

Simply titled “Sang by the gift of Tongs and Translated,” the text was composed in February 1833 and is in the handwriting of Fredgrick G. Williams with revisions by Williams, Oliver Cowdery, W.W. Phelps, an unknown scribe, and Joseph Smith. Continue reading

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Thoughts on Language: Joseph Smith and Pure Language

By the end of November 1830, Joseph Smith had produced the verse in the Book of Moses that says Adam kept a book of remembrance “in the language of Adam” and that his children “were taught to read and write, … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Language: The Search for a Pure Language

A restoration of the Adamic language was a life-long quest for Joseph Smith. The idea of a pure Adamic language is first raised in his translation of the Book of Mormon, where the text implies that the Jaredites (who came … Continue reading

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The War in Heaven in Mormon Thought

The following comments are excerpted from a longer paper I read at the annual meeting of the Mormon History Association. The purpose of the paper is not to defend or deride any political positions, but to look at ways the … Continue reading

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Community Voices: 100 Years of Hugh Nibley

On March 27th, we celebrated the 100th birthday of Hugh Nibley. The Nibley family held a family reunion and we got to see most of the East Coast contingency that we usually see only at funerals, so it was a … Continue reading

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Mormon Studies through Mormon Literature, Drama, and Film

Today we are seeing Mormon Studies slowly emerge as a legitimate field of study in the academy. Endowed chairs have been established at Utah State and Claremont Universities with more on the horizon; courses on Mormonism and Mormon-themed scholarly conferences … Continue reading

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