Learning from an Outside View of Mormonism

Three women laughing on a park bench

A university professor tells what helps non-LDS students of Mormonism to gain a more accurate and nuanced understanding of the faith. When Dr. Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp teaches her Mormon studies class at the University of North Carolina, she uses the study of Mormonism as a model that can be applied… Continue reading

A Historical Context for Race and the Priesthood

Priests blessing sacrament

The topic of race and the priesthood has tried the faith of Latter-day Saints and others. To understand this issue, discover the historical context. An article titled “Race and the Priesthood” in the Gospel Topics section of lds.org provides rich historical details and spiritual insight. The Church of Jesus Christ… Continue reading

Church Disciplinary Councils: Acts of Love

Christ comforts the woman taken in adultery

High-profile cases of Church discipline have recently made national headlines, leading some people to question the need for excommunication. Church disciplinary councils lovingly invite those who seriously transgress to repent and start over with the full blessings of the gospel. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve… Continue reading

Joseph Smith’s Example of Accepting the Lord’s Will

Pen laying on a piece of paper with old script writing

In a letter to his wife, Emma, the Prophet Joseph Smith shows his willingness to humbly submit to the will of the Lord. In 1832, Joseph Smith and other Church leaders traveled from Ohio to Missouri and back. They were delayed in Indiana for one month on their journey home because Newel… Continue reading

Joseph Smith’s Handwritten Account of the First Vision

portrait of Joseph Smith Jr.

Joseph Smith’s 1832 account of the First Vision preserves personal and intimate details that are not recorded elsewhere. The only known account in Joseph Smith’s own handwriting of his early spiritual experiences—including the First Vision—are included in his 1832 personal history. This unique history can be read on The Joseph… Continue reading

Extraordinary Beginnings: The Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book

Discover how the Relief Society was founded, how the organization’s name was decided, and how the early Church’s women became sisters. Within the large collection of documents called the Joseph Smith Papers, there is a precious treasure that is particularly significant to women of the Church: the Nauvoo Relief Society… Continue reading

Treasures from the Wentworth Letter

Discover the original document containing an account of the First Vision, the Standard of Truth, and the Articles of Faith. In 1842, John Wentworth, editor and owner of a newspaper, Chicago Democrat, asked Joseph Smith to write a summary and history of the early Church. Joseph took this opportunity to… Continue reading

A Trial of Faith: The Beginning of Plural Marriage in Nauvoo

Nauvoo temple

Joseph Smith’s Nauvoo journals include brief references to the revelation about plural marriage that tried his faith and the faith of the Saints. How can we make sense of plural marriage or explain it to others? One place to begin is the introduction to Joseph Smith’s Nauvoo journals found on… Continue reading