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Critiquing the Gospel Topics Essays

Between 2013-2015, the LDS Church published a series of essays dealing with sensitive topics in the LDS Church.  They are known as the Gospel Topics Essays.  Dr. Newell Bringhurst and Dr. Matt Harris have produced an anthology that will be released later this summer critiquing these Gospel Topics Essays.  In our final conversation, Dr. Newell Bringhurst will tell us more about the work that he’s been putting together on these essays.

Newell:  We go through all 13 Gospel Topics Essays.  It’s composed of 13 chapters.  I probably should pull out my notes so I can remember the name of all the contributors.  We start with the Book of Mormon and look at the historicity of the Book of Mormon, critiquing that essay, critiquing the essay on DNA and the authenticity of the Book of Mormon and of course the different accounts.  We critique the essay that was written on the various accounts of the First Vision, the historicity and authenticity of the Book of Abraham which is another very controversial topic.

We look at peace and violence along the Mormon frontier.  John Turner who did the biography on Brigham Young did the essay on that for us.  He is kind of a marquis figure.  He really did an outstanding job in looking at the whole issue of violence and how it involved the saints.  Although I think one of the strongest essays in there is Gary Bergera who presented at [Sunstone.]  He presented on Joseph Smith and his involvement with polygamy.  Of course, he has a much different spin on whether Joseph had sex with those other women.  {chuckles}

We’ll talk about the other authors as well!  Check out our conversation, and don’t forget to hear our other episodes on polygamy, blacks, and women in religion!  (A transcript of the entire interview will be available soon!)

5 thoughts on “Critiquing the Gospel Topics Essays

  1. I have been trying to locate the book discussed on your program, but have not been successful. Do you know if it’s available? The book is Critiquing the Gospel Topic Essays? Thank you any help you can give me.

  2. I’ll have to ask Matt Harris, but I don’t think they have a publication date yet. To my knowledge, it has not been published yet.

  3. Can you tell me if the book contemplated by Dr. Newell Bringhurst and Dr. Matt Harris has been published yet? How can I get more information?

  4. It has not been published yet. Every time I ask about it, the publication date is still up in the air. I’m not sure why, but hopefully in 2020.

  5. I spoke with someone at Signature Books and they estimate the book will come out 2nd half of 2020.

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