Category: Gospel Topics Essays

The Faith Crisis: A Step in the Right Direction?

By Miguel Barker-Valdez Miguel Barker-Valdez is a proprietor of the Rational Faiths blog.     I have read online a number of people writing something to the effect of, “The Gospel Topics Essays are what led to my faith crisis.” What they had once seen as anti-Mormon literature is now being admitted as historical truth …

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The Essays’ Effect on the International Church

By Gina Colvin Gina Colvin is the host of the A Thoughtful Faith podcast and blogs at KiwiMormon. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand where she is a lecturer at the University of Canterbury.   The Gospel Topics Essays are making a huge splash in the United States, but it’s likely that they’ll barely make …

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Late But Welcome: “Race and Priesthood” Essay

By Armand Mauss Armand Mauss is the author of All Abraham’s Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage and The Angel and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle with Assimilation.   The “Race and the Priesthood,” Gospel Topics essay has been a long time in coming. Like the others recently posted on the Church website, …

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The Continuing Effects of the Priesthood Ban

By Mica McGriggs Mica McGriggs is a PhD candidate in counseling psychology at BYU. Her academic research is primarily in the area of multicultural sensitivity in psychology.   I don’t remember the first time I learned about the priesthood ban, but I do have several vivid memories of my encounters with the issue. At my …

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Keeping the Promises

By Russell Stevenson Russell Stevenson is the author of For the Cause of Righteousness: A Global History of Blacks and Mormonism, 1830–2013 which won the 2014 Best Book award from the Mormon History Association.   The story of the relationship between Mormonism and Africans is a story of promises—promises made and promises failed. Through the …

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Plural Marriage Among Early Latter-day Saints

By George D. Smith George D. Smith is the award-winning author of Nauvoo Polygamy “. . . but We Called It Celestial Marriage” (Signature Books, 2011).   On 22 October 2014, the LDS Church published its most frank essay on the 19th-century origins of Mormon plural marriage, practiced in secret among nearly 200 families in …

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The Book of Abraham Crisis: A History

by Christopher C. Smith Christopher C. Smith is a PhD candidate at Claremont Graduate University and is completing a dissertation on early Mormon views of Native Americans.   Stage 1, 1860–1861: Théodule Devéria   The first hints of difficulties with the Book of Abraham appeared in the late 1850s when French scholar Théodule Devéria wrote …

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