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Help! The Mormon is once again outnumbered by evangelicals Jeff McCullough (Hello Saints!) & Steve Pynakker (Mormon Book Reviews)

Meet me! Camp Nauvoo! 6pm CT June 8!

We have a meet and greet today at 6pm. If you’re in the area, I’d love to meet you. Sorry for late notice!   https://media.blubrry.com/gospeltangents/p/content.blubrry.com/gospeltangents/CampNauvoo_1.mp3Podcast:

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Attempt on Gov Boggs Life

Following the Mormon expulsion from Missouri, someone made an attempt on Missouri Gov Boggs’ life.  Most people think it was Porter Rockwell. What does historian

Steve LeSueur tells about formation on Danites in Missouri.

Vigilantes & Danites? (Part 3 of 9)

Following the Kirtland Bank failure in Ohio, Joseph Smith fled Kirtland and came to Missouri. Then things started to fall apart there as well.  Historian

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Is LDS Art Getting Better? (Part 6 of 6)

Dr’s Richard and Claudia Bushman’s latest project involves promoting LDS artists.  I asked about how they got involved, and whether LDS art is getting more

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Exponent II

Dr. Claudia Bushman helped re-start a Mormon women’s publication called Exponent II. She was the first editor of Exponent II. She will talk about how

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Twin Relics of Barbarism (Part 1 of 7)

The Republican Party platform of 1856 was founded to eradicate the “twin relics of barbarism: slavery & polygamy.”  Why would they link the two together? 

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

David’s Angelic Ordination (Part 3 of 4)

We’re going to learn more about David’s angelic ordination in our next conversation with David & Kristine Ferriman, co-presidents of CJCCF. We’ll learn more about

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

The Final Battle (Part 7 of 11)

The Book of Mormon ends with a great battle with millions killed near a hill called Cumorah. Yet no bones were found near the Hill

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Lehi’s Atlantic Crossing? (Part 4 of 11)

https://media.blubrry.com/gospeltangents/p/content.blubrry.com/gospeltangents/632-Atlantic.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 14:48 — 13.7MB) | EmbedSubscribe: Google Podcasts | Email | RSS | More

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Get Peer Reviewed! (Part 10 of 10)

Polygamy skeptics complain that their work isn’t taken seriously.  I’m going to issue a challenge to them to get peer reviewed. GT:  Well, I think

Founding the House of Aaron (Part 1 of 5)

I’m excited to introduce you to the House of Aaron, located on the Utah-Nevada border that practices the Law of Consecration, and celebrates many Jewish

Mormon History Groups (Part 5 of 6)

Richie Steadman of The Cultural Hall Podcast asked me more about some Mormon groups. We’ll talk not just about some old Mormon groups, but discuss

BoM: Malay, Baja, New York (Part 2 of 6)

We’re continuing our series on Book of Mormon geography theories.  This time we’ll hit Malay, Baja, and New York geography theories. GT:  The next theory

Three Churches of Mormonism (Part 8 of 9)

The late Dr. John Pratt says there are 3 churches of Mormonism. He’ll talk about the purpose that each church fulfills. John:  The restoration branches.

*Comparing Mormons & Pentecostals (Part 8 of 8)

Dr. Christopher Thomas of the Pentecostal Theological Seminary discusses similarities and differences with Mormon Culture. We also learn about the structure of the various Pentecostal

*The Anachronism Gap? (Part 6 of 6)

Many critics point out that there are anachronisms in the Book of Mormon.  Native Americans didn’t use steel, there were not horses, elephants, etc, so

Wordprint Studies (Part 5 of 6)

Wordprint or stylometry studies try to identify the author of a text. Studies have tried to prove ancient as well as modern authorship. What does

Danites in Missouri (Part 5 of 8 )

The Danites were a Mormon vigilante group who tried to fight back against Missouri mobocracy.  Were they good guys or bad guys?  W.W. Phelps &

Mormon-Missouri War of 1838 (Part 4 of 8 )

The years 1836-1838 were some of the most tumultuous in Church history.  Events included the Kirtland Banking Crisis, the Fanny Alger affair, excommunication of high

Jailed Before Joined (Part 1 of 8)

W.W. Phelps is one of the best known leaders in early Mormon history that wasn’t an apostle.  Dr. Bruce Van Orden is the author of

Priests or Priestesses? (Part 6 of 9)

Given the mixed-gender makeup of the Quorum of the Anointed, if LDS women were granted priesthood office, would they be priests or priestesses?  Should they

Keys of the Priesthood (Part 4 of 9)

The Gospel Topics essay on women and priesthood references a 2014 talk by Elder Dallin Oaks.  Dr. Jonathan Stapley said this talk was groundbreaking by

When Joseph Met Lucy (Part 2 of 5)

Dating in the late 1700s wasn’t quite the same as today.  In our next conversation with Dr. Mark Staker, author of “Joseph & Lucy Smith’s

*The Chicago Experiment (Part 9 of 9)

What is the Chicago Experiment?  Back in the 1930s, LDS Church leaders sent employees to be trained in theology.  They came across some sticky theology

Future of Church History

Historians don’t usually talk about the future, because they are historians!  In our next episode with Dr. Casey Griffiths, he will talk about what he

CSI: Carthage Jail (Part 4 of 9)

Not many people know that Joseph Smith not only had a pistol in the Carthage Jail.  Did you know he fired at the mob?  Some

Mormon Interfaith Council (Part 1 of 9)

It seems like most lay members of the Church don’t hear much about the LDS Church working on interfaith councils.  Fewer know about Mormon schismatic

Malay Theory of Book of Mormon

Hey everyone, I’m working on a presentation on the various Book of Mormon geography theories, and will be presenting on May 10, 2021 at 7

Were Revivals in Palmyra in 1820?

Dr. Wesley Walters was one of the first people to question Joseph’s Smith’s account of the First Vision, saying there were no reports of revivals

*Apology to Dorie (Part 13 of 13)

There are many people who wondered how Mark Hofmann hid his secret life of forgeries from his own wife Dorie.  Brent Ashworth was among those. 

Emily Dickinson Forgery (Part 12 of 13)

The Emily Dickinson forgery was briefly touched on in the Netflix documentary.  It turns out that Brent Ashworth played a critical role in identifying that

Hofmann’s Court Mistake (Part 11 of 13)

Brent Ashworth tells about his testimony at the preliminary hearing to decide whether Mark Hofmann should be bound over for trial.  Was it effective testimony? 

Bonus: Ask Me Anything March 26

Now is your chance!  I will be available on Reddit for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) starting at 10 am on March 26, 2021.  Sign

Lucy Mack Smith Forgery (Part 4 of 13)

Brent Ashworth purchased a faith promoting letter from Mark Hofmann and then toured the state of Utah bearing testimony about this wonderful letter.  Problem was,

Black Lives Matter (Part 7 of 7)

If you think racism is no longer a problem, think again.  In our final conversation with Joseph Freeman, he outlines continued problems he has personally

Enduring Systemic Racism (Part 6 of 7)

While Joseph Freeman was the first person to break through the racial priesthood barrier in the LDS Church, he has experienced a lot of racism

Instant Celebrity (Part 4 of 7)

Following his ordination in June 1978, Joseph Freeman became an instant celebrity.  He was asked to be interviewed on prominent news networks and was a

Joseph’s Baptism (Part 3 of 7)

What does it feel like to be an adult convert to the LDS Church?  Joseph Freeman describes those vivid feelings as he rose up out

Meeting Mormons at PCC (Part 2 of 7)

Joseph Freeman was a Holiness preacher when the U.S. Army stationed him in Hawaii.  He made what turned out to be a life-changing decision to

Holiness Preacher Joins Army (Part 1 of 7)

February is #BlackHistoryMonth, and I’m excited to kick of the month with a race-barrier breaker!  Joseph Freeman was the first black man ordained following the

Getting to Know Darren Parry (Part 1 of 9)

I’m excited to have my first congressional candidate on the show, Darren Parry. We’ll talk about Darren’s unsuccessful bid to become congressman in Utah’s 1st

Church History Library (Part 5 of 5)

The Church History Library is one of the most state-of-the-art libraries in the world.  Historian Richard Turley shepherded the construction of the new building, where

Saints (Part 4 of 5)

It’s been about 100 years since the LDS Church published a history of the Church.  Richard Turley thought it was about time to update it

Hired After Hofmann (Part 1 of 5)

Richard Turley retired in 2020 after working in various roles for the LDS Church.  This will be a special treat, because I’m turning the microphone

How Americas were Populated (Part 8 of 8)

We’re concluding our conversation with Dr. Thomas Murphy.  Last time we talked about why modern Egyptians don’t match current Egyptians.  Dr. Murphy says a similar

Possible to Lose DNA? (Part 7 of 8)

According to the Gospel Topics essay, the reason why Middle Eastern DNA isn’t found among Native Americans is because the Nephite/Lamanite DNA was dwarfed by

Who Killed the Indians? (Part 6 of 8)

It is well-known that Europeans wiped out many Native Americans.  The Book of Mormon claims that darker skinned Lamanites killed the white-skinned Nephites.  Is it

Religious Fights over DNA (Part 2 of 8)

To say Dr. Thomas Murphy’s research about DNA and the Book of Mormon raises eyebrows among LDS Church leaders is an understatement.  Not only did

White Horse Prophecy

Many people have heard about the White Horse Prophecy, but few people understand the details.  Did you know it has been disavowed by LDS Leaders? 

Chad Daybell & Zombie Apocalypse

Chad Daybell has been in the news over the past year over the suspicious disappearance and deaths of his new wife Lori Vallow’s children and

Bo, Rowe, & Pontius: LDS Apocalypticists

We’re moving into modern day apocalypticism.  We’re going to talk about 3 main figures:  Bo Gritz, Julie Rowe, and John Pontius. Bo was former army

Apocalyptic World Wars (Part 4 of 7)

Wars bring death, and with it, apocalyptic thought.  In our next conversation with Dr. Christopher Blythe, we’ll talk about how World Wars 1 and 2

Mormon History of Apocalypse (Part 2 of 7)

Apocalyptism has been important to Latter-day Saint theology and is why we’re called Latter-day Saints.  In our next conversation with Dr. Christopher Blythe, we’ll get

Maxwell Institute: A Religious Thinktank

What is the Maxwell Institute exactly?   I’m excited to introduce Dr. Christopher Blythe of the Maxwell Institute.  We’ll get acquainted with him, learn more about

Race, Priesthood, & Randy Bott (Part 6 of 7)

During Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign for president BYU professor Randy Bott made headlines in a Washington Post article discussing racial teachings.  It turns out that

*Bear River Massacre (Part 9 of 9)

The Mountain Meadows Massacre killed around 100 immigrants from Arkansas in the Utah Territory.  But did you know that a massacre of 2-3 times more

Kingdom of the West (Part 8 of 9)

Historian Will Bagley has contributed to several volumes of western History called Kingdom of the West.  He’ll introduce us to the set. Will:  Let me

Trials of Lee/Forgery

John D. Lee was convicted in the second trial for his role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre.  Will describes what he believes was a deal

MMM Cover Up

It took 18 years to start the first trial of John D. Lee for the atrocities at Mountain Meadows.  Why did it take so long? 

Bagley Critiques Turley (Part 4 of 9)

Following Will Bagley’s 2002 release of Blood of the Prophets, Richard Turley published Massacre at Mountain Meadows in 2008, as well as some collected legal

Ascension of Brigham Young (Part 5 of 7)

Denver Snuffer will tell us about how the Law of Adoption affected Brigham Young’s plan for succeeding Joseph Smith.  We’ll focus more on the sealing

Is Gay Contagious? (Part 4 of 4)

In our next conversation, we’ll talk about whether homosexuality, and heterosexuality, are contagious.  Is it possible to change one’s sexual attraction?  Dr. Taylor Petrey will

Exodus & Israelite Polytheism (Part 3 of 7)

Ancient Israelites believed in a pantheon of gods.  They weren’t monotheistic.  In our next conversation with biblical scholar Colby Townsend, we’ll learn more about the

Dating Old Testament (Part 2 of 7)

A lot of us have heard of biblical terms like Pentateuch, Torah, textual criticism, documentary hypothesis, but we probably don’t understand what they clearly mean. 

Theo-Democracy in Deseret (Part 6 of 8)

Following Joseph Smith’s death, Brigham Young tried to implement theo-democracy in the Territory of Deseret, which is now known as Utah.  In our next conversation

Electioneer Missionaries (Part 3 of 8)

More than 600 men and women were called to be electioneer missionaries on behalf of Joseph Smith’s campaign for president. It was the largest missionary

Rick on Hot Seat (Part 5 of 5)

There are many good and bad things in Mormon history.  Some people leave the Church over these issues.  John Larsen of the Sunstone Podcast puts

Intro to Gospel Tangents (Part 1 of 5)

John Larsen of the Sunstone podcast sat down in August 2019 to learn more about Rick Bennett of the Gospel Tangents podcast. John:  Gospel Tangents

Reconciling Joseph’s Magic & Masonry

There are some active Latter-day Saints who may be surprised to learn about Joseph Smith’s beliefs in magic as well as the connections between freemasonry

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Joseph’s Magical Masonry (Part 6 of 7)

Many people in the 19th century believed in magic.  We’re not talking parlor tricks.  We’re talking about real magic.  In our next conversation with Clair

Strang’s Mormon Missions (Part 2 of 6)

Following James Strang’s prophetic call, he sought to gather people to his movement.  Strang’s Mormon missions included trips to Kirtland, Ohio, home of the temple,

2nd Manifesto Polygamy (Part 5 of 8)

Since the 1890 Manifesto didn’t totally end polygamy, the LDS Church issued a 2nd Manifesto.  It turns out that still didn’t end the secret practice

Intro to Christ’s Church (Part 1 of 8)

I’m excited to introduce David Patrick and Benjamin Shaffer.  David is an apostle and Ben is a Seventy in Christ’s Church based in southern Utah. 

* Temple Lot Worship Services (Part 7 of 7)

In our final conversation with historian Jean Addams, we will talk about similarities and differences between LDS and Church of Christ (Temple Lot) worship services.

3 Church Reconciliation? (Part 6 of 7)

The Church of Christ based in Independence, Missouri has made several attempts to reconcile with other restoration churches.  We will talk about one breach with

Dispute Over the Temple Lot (Part 2 of 7)

Following Granville Hedrick’s return to Missouri, the RLDS Church eventually made their way to Independence as well.  But even though the Church of Christ had

An Excommunicated Believer (Part 3 of 8)

In September 1993, six scholars were disciplined by LDS Church leaders over their writings.  Dr. Margaret Toscano’s husband Paul was one of these, although Margaret

Critics & Apologists (Part 12 of 12)

Some people call Historian Don Bradley an apologist for his seemingly too rosy view of the Book of Mormon.  Some apologists think he is stretching

Dating Fanny Alger (Part 1 of 12)

Don Bradley is one of the funniest Mormon historians I know.  In our first conversation with Don, we’ll talk about my first memory of him,

*Impact of Protests on Apostles (Part 7 of 7)

If you’d like to check out this episode, please sign up for my newsletter.  It’s completely free.  Go to GospelTangents.com/newsletter  to find out how the apostles reacted

Civil Rights Investigation at BYU

Following the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal government tried to put pressure on the LDS Church to quit discriminating against blacks with regards

Finding Jacob Hawn (Part 5 of 7)

The story of Hawn’s Mill, Missouri is a tragedy.  You may have noticed I have been spelling the name H A W N, rather than

Trouble in Missouri 1833 (Part 1 of 7)

Joseph Smith had a revelation that Jackson County, Missouri was the promised land. It turns out that the Jackson Country residents weren’t on board with

Bonus Episode on Sunstone Podcast

I would always rather ask the questions than answer them, but I had a fun conversation with John Larsen of the Sunstone Podcast. We talk

Was Jane a Slave? (Part 1 of 5)

Dr. Quincy Newell is the first non-Mormon scholar we’ve had on Gospel Tangents.  Of course, I had to ask why she was interested in Mormon

Warsaw: Boom or Bust?

Following the acquittal of the murderers of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, what happened to the town of Warsaw, Illinois.  Was it a boom-town, a bust,

Kangaroo Court at Carthage (Part 5 of 7)

We’re continuing our conversation with Brian Stutzman, and we’ll talk about the trial of Joseph and Hyrum Smith’s murders.  Was justice served or was it

The Warsaw-Nauvoo Rivalry (Part 2 of 7)

There was a real economic rivalry between the cities of Warsaw and Nauvoo, Illinois.  Is that the reason Thomas Sharp hated Mormons?  Brian Stutzman will

Why Mormons Leave (Part 5 of 6)

Why do Mormons leave the LDS Church?  Dr. Jana Riess and Dr. Ben Knoll have put together the largest random sample of ex-Mormons and tell

Lost Book of Abraham? (Part 8 of 9)

The papyrus fragments believed to contain the Book of Abraham were lost for decades in the Great Chicago Fire.  What happened to them?  Are some

How we got Book of Abraham (part 7 of 9)

When a travelling Egyptian exhibit passed through Kirtland, Ohio in the 1830s, Joseph Smith encouraged followers to purchase some mummies and Egyptian scrolls. Did these

First Vision Conflicts (Part 6 of 9)

Joseph Smith gave multiple accounts of his First Vision experience.  Some people find the differing accounts problematic, while others don’t think they are a big

1835 First Vision (Part 5 of 9)

There are several First Vision accounts, and we’re going to tackle the 1835 account in our next episode. What distinguishes it from the 1832 account,

Methodist Visions (Part 3 of 9)

The number of prophets who have claimed to have seen God is very small:  Moses, and Joseph Smith.  The First Vision is known as one

Revelatory Whiplash (Part 3 of 4)

(Updated-Fixed mp3-link) When the Nov 2015 policy was announced, many LDS Church members were hurt to learn that children of gay parents couldn’t be baptized,

Hawley Leaves LDS for RLDS

In our final conversation with historian Mel Johnson, we will discuss early Mormon pioneer John Pierce Hawley’s conversion to the RLDS Church.  Find out how

Brigham Knew About MMM?

There is dispute among historians about Brigham Young’s knowledge about the Mountain Meadows Massacre.  Is it true Brigham knew in Sept 1857?  Did John D.

Hawley’s Opposition to MMM

John Pierce Hawley rode with the Fancher-Baker party through Utah for a short time. Mel: On the way back, the Hawleys end up riding along

Ordain Women Leadership (Part 4 of 5)

Kate Kelly was the founder of Ordain Women until her excommunication.  What happened next?  Bryndis Roberts discusses the aftermath, and the new structure of Ordain

From Baptist to Mormon (Part 1 of 5)

I am excited to introduce Bryndis Roberts.  We will talk about her conversion from the Baptist Church to the LDS Church.  She definitely gave her

Calling the Original Apostles (Part 4 of 4)

Michael Marquardt discusses early missionary accounts. The final installment of our conversation with Michael is only available to newsletter subscribers.  Sign up at gospeltangents.com/newsletter to

Who Bears Responsibility for MMM?

In our final conversation with Barbara Jones Brown, we’ll talk about who was most culpable for the massacre.  Was it John D. Lee, Brigham Young,

After the Killing (Part 5 of 6)

The day after approximately 100 immigrants from Arkansas were killed, Mormon leaders in Iron County got together to discuss how to explain the deaths.  Barbara

Cattle Rustling Turns Deadly (Part 4 of 6)

What precipitated the Mountain Meadows Massacre?  In my conversation with Barbara Jones Brown, I learned something very interesting. It turns out that Mormons were stealing

Hoover on MLK & ETB

If you’d like to check out this episode, please sign up for my newsletter.  It’s completely free.  Go to GospelTangents.com/newsletter  to find out what J. Edgar

Did Pres. McKay Support Evolution?

President McKay was an educator before he was called to be an apostle and future church president.  Was he more open to evolution than other

Misreading Genesis (Part 5 of 8)

The Book of Genesis describes the creation of the earth in 7 days.  Can that be interpreted through a scientific viewpoint?  Ben Spackman will answer

Did Man Evolve from Apes? (Part 3 of 8)

Many people like to say that man evolved from Apes.  We’ll talk about that assumption, and I’ll ask Ben Spackman his opinions on the evolution

Para-Church Mormon Groups (Part 7 of 8)

Not all groups in Steve Shields book should be considered denominations.  In our next conversation, we’ll talk about some of these subgroups with official endorsement

Fundamentalists and Cutlerites (Part 5 of 8)

In this episode, Steve Shields and I discuss some of the larger and smaller Mormon groups: fundamentalists and Cutlerites. Many of these fundamentalists practice polygamy.

Was Jesus Born in December? (Part 1)

Dr. Jeffrey Chadwick, New Testament scholar at BYU has done a lot of research to identify when Jesus was born. He thinks Jesus was born

Results of Faith Crisis Research (Part 4)

Kurt Francom recently interviewed David Ostler on his podcast about faith crisis research Ostler has done regarding reasons why people quit coming to church.  Is

President Nelson said calling when people say "Mormon Church" it is a victory for Satan. Is it bad to refer to ourselves as LDS or Mormon? Kurt Francom answers.

Is it Bad to be called LDS or Mormon?

I’m excited to introduce Kurt Francom of the Leading Saints podcast. He recently changed the name of his podcast due to President Nelson’s admonition to

“You May Be in Danger” (Part 5)

We’re continuing our conversation with Dorie Olds.  Following the 2 bombs that went off in 1985, I asked her if she was worried for her

Was Dorie Blamed for the Bombing? (Part 4)

Is it true Dorie blamed for the bombings?  By whom?  It’s a really interesting story! Dorie:  [Mark’s parents] are telling me, “This is all your fault.

“Be Grateful for Adversity” (Part 3)

What has Dorie Olds learned from being married to Mark Hofmann?  I was amazed and impressed to hear her say, “Be grateful for adversity.”  Wow. 

Gaslighted by Mark (Part 2)

What was it like to be married to Mark Hofmann? Were there deceptions while they were married? What was it like to be gaslighted by

Hofmann’s Anthon Forgery (Part 1)

I’m really excited to introduce Dorie Olds.  You may know her more famous ex-husband, Mark Hofmann, the famous forger/murderer.  In this first episode we’ll talk

Feminist Favorites (Part 5)

In our final conversation with Sara Hanks and Dr. Nancy Ross, I’ll ask them what their feminist favorite essays were. Check out our conversation, as

Must Women Be Ordained? (Part 4)

Early Mormon women blessed by laying on of hands.  If the practice returned, would that be good enough for the Ordain Women movement, or do

The F-Word: Feminism (Part 3)

Lisa Butterworth wrote a post titled the F-Word: Feminism.  Is feminism dangerous?  Many faithful Latter-day Saints may be concerned that Mormon feminism is a road

Feminist Successes & Setbacks (part 1)

Dr. Nancy Ross and Sara Hanks, co-authors of “Where We Must Stand” discuss their experiences blogging at Feminist Mormon Housewives, and putting together a book

Modern Mormon Pentecostals

The Bickertonite movement continues many of the ecstatic religious experiences of the Kirtland Era.  Dr. Daniel Stone will tell us more about speaking in tongues. 

Reuniting the Bickerton Break (Part 8)

Following a bitter schism, Dr. Daniel Stone tells how the two Bickertonite factions reunited.  It was interesting to find out how the LDS Church reacted

Ousting a Prophet (Part 7)

William Bickerton eventually lost control of the church he started.  How did his apostles oust the prophet. Are there parallels with LDS Church succession? Dr.

False Prophecies are Possible! (Part 6)

Can a prophet make mistakes, even in prophecy and revelation?  William Bickerton, a prophet in the Church of Jesus Christ said yes, prophets make mistakes. 

Biblical Support to Ordain Women (Part 4)

[paypal-donation] In our next conversation with Dr. Daniel Stone, we will discuss the similarities and differences between Bickertonite and Brighamite priesthood.  I was surprised to

Bickerton’s Prophetic Vision (Part 3)

Following the collapse of Sidney Rigdon’s church, people looked to William Bickerton to lead the flock.  Dr. Daniel Stone tells us more details about William

Sidney Rigdon’s Church Falls Apart (Part 2)

Sidney Rigdon was a major impact on William Bickerton.  Dr. Daniel Stone talks about how Bickerton lost faith in Rigdon. Daniel:  William Bickerton really had progressed,

Daniel Stone on Forgotten Prophet

I’m excited to introduce Dr. Daniel Stone.  He has written the first biography of William Bickerton, Forgotten Latter Day Prophet.   William Bickerton was the prophet

Buying the Spalding Conspiracy

Mark Hofmann tried to create evidence of the Spalding Conspiracy.  There has long been a theory that Book of Mormon was plagiarized from a manuscript

Mormons & the FBI (Part 3)

Mormons & the FBI – I’ve often heard that the FBI likes to hire Mormons.  Is that true? Steve Mayfied talks about being interviewed to

Smith & Strang Translation Process (Part 7)

We’re continuing our discussion of the Succession Crisis. Strang was known to translate the Voree Plates. How does that compare to Book of Mormon translation process

LDS Succession Crisis (Part 6)

Dr. Michael Quinn is one of the foremost experts on the LDS Succession Crisis.  He says there were seven legitimate succession claims following the death

Quinn on Hofmann (Part 5)

Michael Quinn has been a very prominent Mormon historian since at least the 1980s.  I asked Michael if he had met Mark Hofmann, the bomber

Sandra’s View on the Hofmann Trial (Part 6)

[paypal-donation] In our final conversation with Sandra Tanner, we’ll talk about the Hofmann trial/plea bargain. Would she have plea-bargained? What did prosecutors tell her? Sandra:  I

Oliver Cowdery Forgery (Part 3)

[paypal-donation] We’re going to talk about an Oliver Cowdery forgery, unrelated to the Hofmann forgeries, and find out how Jerald Tanner concluded this Cowdery document

Why Hofmann Killed his Best Friends (Part 5)

[paypal-donation] Mark Hofmann was a successful document dealer in the 1980s.  Why did he kill?  Document Examiner George Throckmorton gives his insights into the Hofmann

Who was the Third Bomb Intended for?

Mark Hofmann’s first two bombs killed Steve Christensen and Kathy Sheets.  In this next episode, we will talk about the third bomb.  Who was it

Women, Healers in LDS Temples

In the 19th and early 20th century, there are many examples Mormon women healers.  These women used to lay hands on the sick.  By what

Introduction to the Power of Godliness

Welcome to Gospel Tangents, the best source for Mormon history, science, and theology.  I’d like to introduce Dr. Jonathan Stapley.  He has written a new

I need your help!

I need your help!  I am thinking about creating several courses on Mormon history, science, or theology, and I would like people to tell me

Nephi’s Sea Trials & the Magi

Growing up in Jerusalem, Nephi likely had little experience in sailing.  How did he learn how to sail?  In our next conversation with George Potter,

Found! Nephi’s Harbor

At the end of the Frankincense Trail, Nephi built a ship.  But where did he build this ship?  Where is Nephi’s Harbor?  George Potter makes

From the Desert to the Land Bountiful

In our next episode, we’ll continue along the Frankincense Trail and get to the Land Bountiful.  George Potter has some interesting insights into why Laman

Found! The Real Mount Sinai!

Christians and Jews have long searched for the real Mount Sinai.  But is it the location discovered by Helena, the mother of Constantine in the

Breaking Sealings: Who has the Power?

In a previous conversation with Dr. Bill Smith, we talked about how polygamous sealings were considered nearly permanent.  There are cases in which those can

Is Polygamy a Ticket to Heaven?

Some Protestants, such as Born-Again Christians, believe that one can be saved in heaven—assured salvation.  Did early Mormons believe in something similar?  Was polygamy a

Was Oliver Cowdery a Polygamist?

Oliver Cowdery has been accused of practicing polygamy before he was authorized to do so.  In our next conversation with Dr. Bill Smith we’ll address

LDS Literacy of Biblical Polygamy

According to the Bible, King David and Solomon had hundreds of wives and concubines, yet the Book of Mormons condemns this practice.  How does this

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

Role of Women in 4 American Religions

March is Women’s History Month.  Two of Four religions founded in America were founded by Women.  In this episode, Dr. Newell Bringhurst will discuss how

Bringhurst’s Approach to Controversy

We’re continuing our discussions with Dr. Newell Bringhurst.  We’ve talked about the controversial topics of blacks and the priesthood, as well as Fawn Brodie, and

Bringhurst on Bushman-Brodie

Who has written the best biography of Joseph Smith?  The two most prominent authors are Fawn Brodie and Richard Bushman.  Dr. Newell Bringhurst weighs in

Walker Lewis: Faithful Black Elder

We’re winding down our Black History Month conversations with Dr. Newell Bringhurst.  In our next conversation, we’ll talk about Walker Lewis, a black elder in

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

A Personal Note

Sorry I didn’t get a video this week. My dad died and so I’ve been dealing with funeral arrangements. I just wanted to post a

LDS Church in Africa #BlackHistoryMonth

It’s Black History Month at Gospel Tangents.  This is our final conversation with Russell Stevenson and we’ll talk the LDS Church in Africa.  Did you

Early Life of Elijah Ables #BlackHistoryMonth

February is #BlackHistoryMonth and we’re starting off with Russell Stevenson, a Ph.D. candidate at Michigan State University in African-American studies.  He has written a biography

Start of RLDS Church & Mormon Schisms Tour

[paypal-donation] We’re about ready to finish our conversation with John Hamer and Lachlan MacKay of the Community of Christ and do a Mormon Schisms Tour! 

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Comparing LDS and RLDS Temple Worship

[paypal-donation] In our next conversation, we’ll talk about differences in temple worship between the LDS Church and the RLDS Church.  (Note:  The Community of Christ

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Looking back at 2017: Top 20 Moments

[paypal-donation] Happy New Year. I’m your host of Gospel Tangents, Rick Bennett.  We’re counting down the Top 20 Moments that were most surprising moments in

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Bonus: Mormon News Report talks to me!

[paypal-donation] I was lucky to be interviewed by Brandt Malone and Brian Whitney of the Mormon News Report.  Here’s where they asked me the questions,

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Year-end Special/Survey

Since it’s the end of the year I wanted to ask a special favor.  We’re going to do a year-end special survey of all the

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

The Hübener Story You Didn’t Know

[paypal-donation] Many of you are probably familiar with the story of Helmuth Hübener.  He was the young German teenager that was executed by Adolf Hitler

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Rival Mission Presidents in Germany

The Mormon Church is very well known for having a very well-organized institution. It wasn’t always the case though. It turns out that J. Reuben

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

German Police Monitored LDS Church

[paypal-donation] Today, December 11, marks the 76th anniversary since Germany declared war on the United States.  I’m sure that was a sobering time.  Dr. David

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Naturalistic Explanation for Word of Wisdom?

[paypal-donation] We’re continuing our conversation about revelation in the LDS Church.  One of Mormonism’s most important and well-known revelations deals with the Word of Wisdom,

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Polygamy & 2002 Olympics

[paypal-donation] This is our last conversation with Anne Wilde.  I’ve really enjoyed talking with her and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Ervil LeBaron: Polygamist, Assassin

[paypal-donation] We’re continuing our discussion with polygamy expert Anne Wilde. We’ll talk about the infamous Ervil LeBaron: a polygamist and an assassin.  He was responsible of

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

FLDS-Centennial Park Rivalry

[paypal-donation] We’re continuing our conversation with Anne Wilde.  She’s a modern-day polygamy expert.  In this next conversation we’ll talk about the FLDS Church.  Many of

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

How Do Polygamists Feel About Gay Marriage?

[paypal-donation] Fundamentalist Mormons are known for promoting an alternative marriage practice in polygamy.  Of course there are gay marriage advocates who support that as well. 

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Did Woodruff Marry After the 1890 Manifesto?

In 1890 Wilford Woodruff issued what’s known as the Manifesto, Official Declaration One in the Doctrine & Covenants, prohibiting polygamy. What many Mormons don’t know

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Christmas Party Plea Deal

[paypal-donation] This is our last conversation with Shannon Flynn.  In this episode we’ll talk about Mark Hofmann’s lawyer, Ron Yengich.  Ron has defended some of

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Mark Hofmann’s Unusual Prison Visitors

[paypal-donation] Shannon Flynn is one of the few people that have visited Mark Hofmann in prison.  He’ll tell about his experiences meeting with Mark as

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Would Mark Hofmann Kill Again?

[paypal-donation] Sadly, October 15 marks 32 years since Kathy Sheets and Steven Christensen were killed.  Shannon asks, and answers an important question. Shannon:  People have

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Should Hofmann Ever Be Released From Prison?

[paypal-donation] Shannon Flynn describes Mark Hofmann’s physical condition in prison.  It’s pretty interesting to hear both his bomb injuries, as well as his injuries from

Shannon describes what it was like to be falsely accused of murder.

Shannon Flynn Jailed for Hofmann’s Crimes

[paypal-donation] In 1985 Shannon Flynn was arrested and jailed for being friends with Mark Hofmann.  We’ll listen to his conversation about his experiences in jail

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Mark’s Million-Dollar Con

[paypal-donation] In LDS circles, Mark Hofmann is most well-known for the Salamander Letter, a forgery that threatened the founding stories of the LDS Church.  What

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Hofmann’s Teenage Forgeries

[paypal-donation] Shannon Flynn worked closely with Mark Hofmann and knows him better than most other people.  In this conversation, we’ll talk about Hofmann’s Teenage Forgeries.

Transcripts 50% off!

Get a transcript of our interviews for 50% off! Offer ends Sept 15! See http://amzn.to/2gODg4H  

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Was Joseph Smith Irish?

How do you figure out Joseph Smith’s DNA profile?  It turns out that Dr. Ugo Perego was actually doing a  lot of genealogy work in

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

DNA 101 with Dr. Ugo Perego

[paypal-donation] I’m excited to introduce Dr. Ugo Perego all the way from Italy.  This is going to be the first of several conversations where we’re

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

What are Remnant Beliefs about Temples?

[paypal-donation] Joseph Smith built temples in Kirtland and Nauvoo.  The LDS Church has more than 100 temples in operation now, worldwide.  In our last conversation

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Joseph was a Monogamist!

We’re continuing our discussion with Jim Vun Cannon, a counselor in the First Presidency of the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It’s

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Women Will Never Get Priesthood!

[paypal-donation] 1984 was a pivotal year in the RLDS Church.  It was the year a revelation was canonized allowing women to receive the priesthood.  However,

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Jim Tackles DNA & Book of Mormon

[paypal-donation] We’re continuing our discussion with Jim Vun Cannon, a counselor in the First Presidency of the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Found! A Literal Descendant of Aaron!

[paypal-donation] I’m excited to announce an interview with a counselor in the First Presidency!  His name is Jim Vun Cannon, and he is a member

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Best Reasons for the Baja Theory

[paypal-donation] This is our last conversation with David Rosenvall.  In our last few episodes we’ve tried to poke holes in David’s theory of the Baja

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Solved! DNA & Book of Mormon

Or has it been?  In this episode we’re going to talk about the thorniest of all topics when it comes to DNA & Book of

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Baja vs Meso: Who Wins?

We’re continuing our conversation with David Rosenvall.  He’s the guy who came up with the idea that the Book of Mormon lands may have occurred

Did Emma Deny Joseph Practiced Polygamy?

[paypal-donation] The RLDS Church was founded on the claim that Joseph Smith never practiced polygamy.  Even on her death bed, Emma Smith made the startling

Contest for Free Book!

We have teamed up with Benchmark Books for a contest to give away a free book.  It’s the Parallel Doctrine and Covenants which compares the

Polygamy & the Temple Lot Case

The Temple Lot Case is one of the most important sources for polygamy documents.  The RLDS Church wanted ownership of the temple lot in Independence,

Joseph Smith’s Teen Brides

One of the Gospel Topics essays on polygamy produced by the church indicates that Joseph Smith married young women, one of “who[m] was sealed to Joseph

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Evolution of Temple Work Available!

Here’s a copy of my interview about the evolution of temple work with Dr. Richard Bennett you can get on your Kindle!  See http://amzn.to/2sK5o0y

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Darron Smith Interview Now Available!

I’ve just published a Kindle version of the Darron Smith interview.  Get your copy for your Kindle!  See http://amzn.to/2szgchJ I hope to have print version available

Salamander Letter & Other Forgeries

Curt Bench (owner of Benchmark Books in Salt Lake City) knew Mark Hofmann very well, having purchased many artifacts and documents from him.    Hofmann’s

Overcoming “Nice” Racism

We’ll finish our discussion with Dr. Darron Smith of the University of Memphis today and finish off by talking about how to overcome racial discrimination.

BYU Protests

Last summer BYU made a big public push to get into the Big 12 Conference.  Joining the Big 12 would mean a lot more money

How do Minorities fare at BYU?

The largest non-white minority at BYU are Polynesians. It seems like BYU has made much progress with regards to race, hiring the first Tongan football coach

True & False Rape Allegations at BYU

Last summer BYU came under scrutiny for how it handles rape allegations.  On the one hand you have some young women who reported that after

Comparing BYU’s Black Graduation Rates

Many college athletes, especially black athletes, are unprepared for college.  In this episode, we’ll talk to Dr Darron Smith of the University of Memphis to

The Student-Athlete Business

College athletics are supposed to be for amateurs, but these games literally make millions for their schools.  BYU receives approximately $5 million per year just

Racial Portrayals of Christian Athletes

I had a wonderful conversation with Dr. Darron Smith of the University of Memphis a few weeks ago.  He’s recently written a book When Race, Religion,

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Selling LDS Temples!!!!

This next episode is full of surprises!  I’ve got 2 sample quotes below!  Mormons know that the Kirtland Temple is currently owned by the Community

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Early LDS Temples Open to the Public

Modern LDS Temples are opened to the general public only prior to dedication.  Following the dedication, only Mormons who meet certain standards of conduct are

3 New Paperbacks!

If you’re interested in “real” books, I’ve got 3 new titles on paperback.  (I’m testing the waters on paperback.)  These are available at Amazon, and

Origins of Baptism for the Dead

Baptism for the dead is one of the most unique things Mormons do in all of Christianity.  What were the events that led Joseph to

Elijah’s Visit & the Sealing Keys

The vision of Elijah is one of the most important Church history events in all of the Doctrine & Covenants.  It’s the vision where Elijah

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

The Reclamation of Revelation

In today’s conversation we’ll talk to BYU Church History Professor Dr. Richard Bennett.  We’ll talk about the vision of Elijah.  Did you know it took

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Did the Kirtland Temple Sparkle?

I’d like to thank everyone who listens to our podcast on your phone or iPod, or however you listen to us.  For those of you

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Kirtland Temple University?

Mormons often refer to the temple as the “University of the Lord.”  In Doctrine and Covenants 88:119, it says the temple is to be a

Extermination Order - Battle of Crooked River/Extermination Order (Part 6 of 9) - Mormon History Podcast

Kirtland Era Polygamy

This is not your typical polygamy conversation.  How did polygamy get started in the LDS Church?  Dr. Mark Staker has a very interesting theory:  he

Paul Reeve’s Role in Race Essay

It’s time to conclude #BlackHistoryMonth, and here’s my latest conversation with Dr. Paul Reeve!  In recent years the LDS Church has published a series of

Becoming a Fanboy of Orson Pratt

With the last-lasting priesthood and temple ban that ended in 1978, Mormons have a poor record with regards to race relations.  I talked about reasons

The Black Mormon Scandals

In March 1847, Brigham Young was quoted as being favorably aware of Q. Walker Lewis, a black Elder in the LDS Church in Boston.  But

Questions for Mark

I just set up an interview with Mark Staker at the Church History Library. He’s an expert on Kirtland. We’ll be talking about Black Pete

How Did Joseph Smith deal with Muslims?

It’s #BlackHistoryMonth and we’ve been discussing #BlackMormonHistory, but of course there are other marginalized groups, and I wanted to share a few quotes from my

We’re finally on iTunes!

I just received word from Apple that we’re on iTunes now!  If you haven’t already, check out our first podcast:  http://apple.co/2ktxfgv Please subscribe and give

What’s your favorite Mormon History Topic?

Hi everyone! I wanted to ask what is everyone’s favorite history topic and why?  Personally, I enjoy the controversial stuff, Mountain Meadows Massacre, polygamy, Haun’s

Questions for Paul

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

Coming Soon: Gospel Tangents Podcast

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

We’re #2!!!

Wow, we’re #2 in the God’s Word category for the Book of Mormon for Kids!!!! #2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Bibles > Translations > God’s Word #4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children’s eBooks > Religions > Christianity

LDS Scriptures for Kids

Ok, our newest book, LDS Scriptures for Kids should be out later today.  It is a Triple combination: Book of Mormon, D&C, and Pearl of

Ranked High on Google!

I just typed “Book of Mormon for Kids” on Google, and was pleased that our book was the #4 link.  Then I typed “Doctrine and

D&C for Kids available at Amazon!

Get your copy of the Doctrine and Covenants for Kids at Amazon.  It’s the first kids version of the Doctrine and Covenants, and it’s only

D&C is Next!

Ok, now that we’ve got our feet wet with the Book of Mormon for Kids, Brandon and Jessica have their sights on the Doctrine &

Why Gospel Tangents?

One day I was in the hall at church talking to some friends.  One of my friends came up and said, “is this the Gospel

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