Joseph Smith, Responses to
Missionaries Topics in BYU Studies
Following closely on the heels of a recent double-sized issue on Mormons and film, the latest issue of BYU Studies contains a landmark study by historian Max H Parkin entitled "Joseph Smith and the United Firm: The Growth and Decline of the Church's First Master Plan of Business and Finance, Ohio and Missouri, 1832—1834." Never before have the historical documents been so thoroughly and masterfully marshaled to give readers a heightened appreciation for the importance of the "United Firm" in the early Church. Along with all else that Joseph Smith was revealing and directing during these years, the consecrated legacy of how he organized, operated, and motivated this multifaceted operation deserves to be recognized in its own right.
Another lengthy article in this issue presents a first-ever translation into English of a pamphlet written in 1855 by Peter Kierkegaard (Soren Kierkegaard's brother) entitled "About and Against Mormonism." Introduced and analyzed by Professors David Paulsen and Julie K. Allen, this historical document gives readers an inside look at the preaching of early Mormon missionaries in Denmark and at the somewhat sophisticated rebuttals that were tossed back at them. This Protestant response to Mormonism, together with the very different 1860 Catholic response by Cardinal Reisach (translated from the Italian and published in BYU Studies last year with an introduction by Mark Noll), are key documents in the intellectual history of the Church in Europe in its first decade on the continent.
On the lighter side, this issue also contains a survey on dating and marriage at BYU, two award-winning personal essays, and eight book reviews addressing a variety of contemporary academic issues.
To obtain a copy of this issue, visit the BYU Studies Web site (byustudies.byu.edu).