Gospel Tangents - About Gospel Tangents Podcast: The Best Source for Mormon History, Science, & Theology - Mormon History Podcast

Gospel Tangents Podcast is the BEST source for Mormon History, Science, and Theology.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Gospel Tangents

The name “Gospel Tangents” came from a fun conversation in college I had when we were talking about whether Adam had a belly button class.  In LDS Sunday School, the two main classes were “Gospel Principles” and “Gospel Doctrine.”  We joked that “Gospel Tangents” was where we could talk about all the “fun stuff” in LDS history.

Back in 2011, I wanted to help my kids learn more about the Book of Mormon, so I had the kids draw pictures of Book of Mormon stories.  My oldest son, Brandon, said, “Let’s sell it!”  I put it up on Amazon, thinking nobody would buy it, but to my surprise, people did!

Then in 2017, I decided to launch the podcast, to dive deeper into Mormon history.  I also want to learn about my Mormon cousins, including RLDS, Bickertonites, Strangites, and all matter of -ites, especially Brighamites!

Look, I can’t limit this to one person. This is like asking me my favorite ice cream!  It’s much too hard to pick.  I probably hit it off best with Dr. Matt Harris from Colorado State-Pueblo and Dr. Paul Reeve from the University of Utah.  Both are experts on the race ban.  Reeve specializes in the 19th century ban, while Harris focuses more 20th century.  Reeve helped author the Gospel Topics essay on Race & Priesthood, and Harris critiqued the essay.

I’ve also really enjoyed discussing the Hofmann forgeries & bombings with Shannon Flynn (Mark’s friend/co-worker), Dorie Olds (Mark’s ex-wife), George Throckmorton (forensic expert discovered Mark’s forgeries), Sandra Tanner (husband Jerald first suspected forgeries), Brent Ashworth (on Mark’s hit list), and Curt Bench (called Mark to warn him about for a bomber!)

I’ve also enjoyed getting to know my restoration cousins: Daniel Stone (Bickertonite), Bill Shepard (Strangite), Mel Johson (expert on Wightites), John Pratt (Brazil Group), Matthew Gill (UK prophet), Benjamin Shaffer/David Patrick (Christ’s Church), with more to come!

That’s to say nothing of Seventy and Church Historian Elder Snow, Dan Vogel, Steven Harper, Sandra Tanner, Chris Thomas, Sally Gordon, Richard Bushman, Will Bagley, Richard Turley, Thomas Wayment, and I’m probably leaving too many off.

Of course, and it drives me crazy.  Audio problems are my biggest nightmare. (Usually it’s me forgetting to put a microphone on myself.) Sometimes the camera cuts out.  One time I canceled a colonoscopy (after I’d already done the prep) because I had a big-name historian scheduled the same day, and the big-name cancelled on me.  Yes, that was a crappy day!

Right here of course!  You can also watch the interviews on my YouTube channel at https://YouTube.com/GospelTangents

Absolutely!  I’ve often spoken to Restoration groups about Book of Mormon geography theories, faith crisis, and our restoration cousins.  I’d love to speak on a 5th Sunday, fireside, or any restoration group about any of the topics below.

Here is a list I came up with this off the top of my head. It’s hard to limit to just 10.  I’ve read all or part of these books. I assume the person who asked wanted mostly LDS history, not the broader Mormon movement. I’d have a different list for that. I tried to hit all the major periods in Mormon history. I’ve got some more Honorable mentions. Biographies would also be a good category.  These are listed mostly chronologically. All but Ben Park and Leonard Arrington have been on my podcast, and I need to get Ben on!

1. Rough Stone Rolling – Richard Bushman (Joseph Smith NY history)    

2. Hearken O Ye People – Mark Staker (Kirtland)  

3. 1838 Mormon War in Missouri – Stephen LeSueur (Missouri Period)

4. Kingdom of Nauvoo – Ben Park (Nauvoo Period)

5. Great Basin Kingdom – Leonard Arrington (1850-70s Utah)  

6.  Blood of the Prophets – Will Bagley (Mountain Meadows Massacre)  

7.  The Mormon Question – Sarah Barringer Gordon (Polygamy) 

8.  Religion of a Different Color – Paul Reeve (Race)

9.  David O McKay & Rise of Modern Mormonism – Greg Prince (Modern Mormonism) 

10.  Gospel Topics Essays – Matt Harris/Newell Bringhurst


Honorable mention (Vogel & Turley have been on)

Making of a Prophet – Dan Vogel (JS) 

Massacre at Mountain Meadows – Richard Turley

Salamander– Linda Sillitoe/Allen Roberts (Hofmann murders)

Carthage Conspiracy – Marvin Hill/Dallin Oaks (Martyrdom of JS)

More Wives Than One – Kathryn Daynes (Utah polygamy)

Establishing Zion – Eugene Campbell (1850-70s Utah) 

What topics does Gospel Tangents cover?

To be honest, it’s a lot.  Rick has interviewed over 100 people over the years with interesting viewpoints and information on a huge variety of topics.  Here are some of them:

People in LDS History

What People Are Saying About Gospel Tangents