I’m excited to post our first podcast! I interviewed Margaret Young, a professor of English and Literature at BYU on the life of black Mormon Pioneer Jane Manning James. Listen to Margaret describe Jane’s conversion in Wilton, Connecticut, Jane’s travel by foot to Nauvoo, and her intimate relationship with every prophet from Joseph Smith through her death under President Wilford Woodruff. Especially interesting is Jane’s unusual sealing to the Prophet Joseph. It’s a truly inspiring tale, and I thank Margaret for sitting down with me to discuss Jane’s life. I hope you’ll come back when I post part 2 of our discussion with Margaret about her experiences dealing with race.
I will be interviewing Paul Reeve at the University of Utah on his book, Religion of a Different Color this afternoon. Do you have any questions I should ask him?
For a long time, I’ve wanted to put together resources for those looking for good information on Mormon history. As my New Years Resolution, I’m embarking on that goal now. I’m in the process of starting a podcast, with the idea of putting together documentary films to more fully explain topics in Mormon History.
With February being Black History Month, I thought it might be interesting to talk to Margaret Young on black Mormon pioneers. Margaret has done some wonderful work bringing to life the stories of Elijah Abel, Green Flake, Jane Manning James, and others, so I’ll try to highlight these stories over the coming weeks, months, and years. Of course, I won’t limit to black LDS history. Other topics I’m interesting in learning more about include the Mark Hoffman Bombings, the First Vision accounts, the Priesthood/temple ban, the evolution of priesthood, the succession crisis, the schism with RLDS and Strangite churches, and many other topics. I’d like to talk about what you’re interested too. What are your favorite Mormon history topics?
I’ve published these books under the name of Gospel Tangents. Back in college a couple of friends wondered if Adam had a belly button. (A belly button is essentially a scar from birth, and if Adam wasn’t born, would he have had a belly button?) Anyway, there was a joke that this was the type of stuff you’d talk about in the hall, a sort of Gospel Tangents class–stuff that was interesting, but not necessary for salvation. I’ve always remembered the joke, and that’s where the name came from.
So, I’m starting a podcast to talk about interesting Mormon History topics. I plan to keep my interviews relatively short, say 10-30 minutes, and will try to raise funds to put together some more professional documentaries in the future. Let me know what you are interested in! My first interview is with Margaret Young, and we will discuss the life of Jane Manning James, an early black Mormon pioneer who walked from Buffalo, New York, travelled to Nauvoo, and was good friends with Joseph and Emma Smith. Margaret will fill us in on some more details and I’m sure you will find it really interesting!
Who else would you like me to interview? What would you like to learn more about? Do you have any questions for me?