Coming Event: Lecture on a new publication,
The Nature of the Original Language of the Book of Mormon

Presentation Announcement

We are pleased to announce the publication of another two volumes of the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project by Royal Skousen, with the assistance of Stanford Carmack. Drs. Skousen and Carmack will present a lecture on the publication on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, 7 p.m., at the Hinckley Center Assembly Hall, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Parking is available in the large lot east of the Hinckley Center (Lot 16) after 6 pm. See the announcement here.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It will also be videotaped and made available in the weeks following the event. The evening will be co-sponsored by BYU Studies and The Interpreter Foundation. Contact BYU Studies (801-422-6691), or email byustudies@byu.edu). The new volumes will be available for sale from BYU Studies in September.

Volume 4 of Royal Skousen’s Book of Mormon Critical Text project (Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, or ATV) continues to be available online on our website at https://interpreterfoundation.org/books/atv/.

Printed Journal Welcome to Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, the peer-reviewed journal of The Interpreter Foundation, a nonprofit, independent, educational organization focused on the scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Non-print versions of our journal are available free of charge, with our goal to increase understanding of scripture. Our latest papers can be found below.

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Name as Key-Word

On Sale Now:
Name as Key-Word: Collected Essays on Onomastic Wordplay and the Temple in Mormon Scripture

By Matthew L. Bowen

This hard-cover book is available directly from Eborn Books for $22.99. It is also available on Amazon and AmazonSmile for $24.95. (Prices may vary depending on vendor.)

Isaiah 56, Abraham, and the Temple

Abstract: In the days of the first Israelite temple, only certain individuals were allowed into the temple and sacrificial services; foreigners and eunuchs were excluded. However, in Isaiah 56:1–8, formerly excluded individuals are invited into the presence of God at the temple. This paper will explore how metaphorically connecting Isaiah’s words with Abraham, the eponymous father of the covenant faithful, may demonstrate that even the most unlikely candidates for the presence of God are like Abraham; they too will inherit the ancient covenants according to their faithfulness.

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Much More than a Plural Marriage Revelation

Abstract: Textual Studies of the Doctrine and Covenants: The Plural Marriage Revelation is a textual study of Section 132. It offers some interesting information as the author attempts to understand and place within context the revelation, which is, as the heading for this section in the scriptures reads, “relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant and the principle of plural marriage.” The book has its strengths but is also hampered by some weaknesses, as discussed in this review.

Review of William Victor Smith. Textual Studies of the Doctrine and Covenants: The Plural Marriage Revelation (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2018), 273 pp. $26.95.

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The Case of the Missing Commentary

Abstract:The first published commentary on Doctrine and Covenants Section 132 is a lengthy volume with much material that deals directly with the revelation as well as extended discussions that go well beyond Joseph Smith’s dictated text. Much of the included material has been previously published, although several new historical items are presented, including a detailed examination of the provenance of the revelation. An apparent weakness of the book involves key themes mentioned in the revelation but minimized or otherwise ignored in this extended commentary. Examples include the possible meanings of the “law” (v. 6), importance of sealing authority (vv. 7‒20), possible polyandry (v. 41), Emma’s offer (v. 51), and others.

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Race: Always Complicated, Never Simple

Abstract: The concept that race has evolved rather than remaining static is not well understood, both outside and within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In Religion of a Different Color, W. Paul Reeve shows how the concept of race evolved from painting Mormons as nonwhite in the 19th century to “too white” by the beginning of the 21st century.

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What is Mormon Transhumanism? And is it Mormon?

Abstract: Some sources have described Mormonism as the faith most friendly to the intellectual movement known as Transhumanism. This paper reviews an introductory paper by the past President of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. A syllogism that purports to show that Mormonism is compatible with — or even requires — Transhumanism is analyzed. The syllogism’s premises are shown to misunderstand or misrepresent LDS scripture and doctrine. The proffered Transhumanist conception of “human nature” and the perspective offered by LDS scripture are compared and found to be incompatible. Additional discrepancies between the Transhumanist article’s representation of LDS doctrine and the actual teachings of LDS scripture and leaders on doctrinal matters (the Premortal Council in Heaven, the relationship between substance dualism and LDS thought, and the possibility of engineering or controlling spiritual experiences) are examined. The article does not accurately reflect LDS teachings, and thus has not demonstrated that Transhumanism is congenial to LDS scripture or doctrine.1

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