News and Events

43rd Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium

The Sidney B. Sperry Symposium for 2014 is scheduled for Friday, October 24.

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Past News and Events

BYU Education Week

August 18, 2014 - August 22, 2014

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Ogden Utah Temple Open House and Rededication

The First Presidency has announced the dates for the open house, cultural celebration, and rededication of the extensively renovated Ogden Utah Temple.

August 1, 2014 - September 21, 2014

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Frozen Star Headlines Mormon Tabernacle Choir Pioneer Day Concert

Santino Fontana, the artist who brought magic to life as Prince Hans in Disney’s blockbuster film Frozen, will headline this summer’s Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s Pioneer Day concerts July 18-19, 2014. 

 

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Historical Pageants in Nauvoo Celebrate History of Latter-day Saints in the U.S. and England

A cast and crew of more than 1,100 volunteers are bringing early Church history in the U.S. and England to life in the Nauvoo Pageant and the British Pageant, July 8 through August 2 in Nauvoo, Illinois.

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An Evening with Three Latter-day Saint Artists

Three well-known Latter-day Saint contemporary artists will participate in a panel discussion at the Church History Museum as part of the 2014 Evenings at the Museum series on Thursday, June 26, at 7:00 p.m. 

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The Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Culture

This event will beheld from June 15 to July 26, 2014.

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2014 MHA 49th Annual Conference

2014 MHA Conference in San Antonio, Texas, June 5-8, 2014

The 49th annual conference of the Mormon History Association will be held in San Antonio, Texas, June 5-8, 2014. The theme emphasizes the interplay between Mormonism and broad national and international currents and forces. San Antonio, a cosmopolitan, historically Catholic borderlands city with a vibrant but contested multicultural history and a relatively small but expanding Mormon presence, is a good place to explore the immigration and impact of cosmopolitan viewpoints and ideas.

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M. Russell Ballard to Speak at May CES Devotional

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will address young adults—single and married—in a CES devotional broadcast on Sunday, May 4, 2014.

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Dead Sea Scrolls Come to Salt Lake

Exhibit until April 27

(This exhibit has already commenced and will continue until April 27, 2014) 

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"The LDS Intellectual Tradition: A Study on Three Lives"

Kathleen Flake, Richard L. Bushman Chair in Mormon Studies at University of Virginia, will be speaking on April 11, 2014 at 7 PM in the Salt Lake City Main Library Auditorium (210 E 400 S). For more information CLICK HERE.

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2014 BYU Easter Conference

BYU Religious Education and the Religious Studies Center will host BYU's annual Easter Conference at 7:00 p.m. on April 11, 2014 in the Joseph Smith Building (JSB) auditorium on the BYU campus. This year's conference will feature three speakers. The keynote will be Sister Elaine Dalton, former Young Women General President of the Church; Lloyd D. Newell, who is known to many as the voice of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Spoken Word and is a professor of Church History and Doctrine at BYU; and D. Kelly Ogden, distinguished author, speaker, and educator. Each speaker will talk about certain aspects concerning the Savior's life, his mission, the Atonement, and his influence in our lives today. There will also be musical presentations performed to enhance the evening. Attending the BYU Easter Conference is an ideal way to prepare to celebrate the Easter season. 

Admission is FREE, you are invited and encouraged to bring a date or a friend to enjoy it together.

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Church History Museum to Host New Exhibit on Womanhood

The Church History Museum is displaying a new art exhibit on womanhood through October 5, 2014. 

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2014 BYU Church History Symposium: "The World Wide Church: The Global Reach of Mormonism.​​"

The 2014 BYU Church History Symposium was held March 6 at the BYU Conference Center in Provo and on March 7 at the LDS Conference Center theater in Salt Lake City.

This conference explored the development, tensions, experiences, manifestations, and ramifications of Mormonism in its expansion beyond the boundaries of the United States and worldd wide. It will include analyses on the Church’s international presence in the 21st century as well as historical studies focused on a specific time period from centuries past. This symposium also tackled broad questions about Mormonism’s international growth as well as a narrow geographical/time-based focus.

MORE INFORMATION

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2014 BYU Church History Symposium

"The World Wide Church: The Global Reach of Mormonism.​"

March 6–7, 2014

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Philip Barlow: "Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion"

Dr. Barlow spoke February 22, 2014 at 7:30.

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2014 BYU Religious Education Student Symposium

Held annually in February on BYU campus, the Religious Education Student Symposium provided a forum for students to research, write, and present papers about religious subjects from a faithful perspective.

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The Dead Seas Scrolls and the Emergence of Early Christianity

Andrew Skinner, “The Dead Seas Scrolls and the Emergence of Early Christianity.”

The Richard L. Evans Professor of Religious Understanding, Professor of Ancient Scripture and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Brigham Young University.

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Egyptian Excavation Exhibit

Dr. Kerry Muhlestein, director of the BYU Egypt Excavation Project and associate professor in the Department of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University, will host an exhibit showcasing their various discoveries and findings. The exhibit will be in the commons area of the Joseph Smith Building (JSB), across from the JSB auditorium, on the BYU campus. The exhibit will be available to the public prior to the open house and will remain open up to five years.

For more information about the excavation project, read Dr. Muhlestein's article by CLICKING HERE.

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2014 Student Symposium Call for Papers

Sixteenth Annual BYU Religious Education Student Symposium

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2014 BYU Church History Symposium Call for Papers

CALL FOR PAPERS

2014 BYU CHURCH HISTORY SYMPOSIUM

"Mormonism as a Global Religion"

Scheduled for March 6–7, 2014

This conference will explore the development, tensions, experiences, manifestations, and ramifications of Mormonism in its expansion beyond the boundaries of the United States.

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A Witness of the Restoration

Baptist minister Dr. Lynn Ridenhour addresses BYU's Religious Education faculty and recounts his conversion to the Book of Mormon and the Latter-day Restoration. How did this phenomenon occur? What is his story? How did a Baptist minister find himself in the midst of Mormon professors at BYU? To learn more CLICK HERE.

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42nd Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium

The Sidney B. Sperry Symposium for 2013 is scheduled for Saturday, October 26.

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BYU Easter Conference a Huge Success!

Check it out.

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George O. Wood, CEO of the Assemblies of God, to Speak Monday, Sept 16

George O. Wood, chief executive officer of Assemblies of God, will speak Monday, September 16, at noon in the Varsity Theatre in the Wilkinson Student Center (WSC).

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Richard D. Land to Speak

Faith, Family, Religious Freedom, and America

Richard D. Land will speak Friday, September 6, at noon in room 3228 of the Wilkinson Student Center. 

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The 61st Annual Utah State History Conference

Annual Utah State History Conference

The Making of Place

The 61st Annual Utah State History Conference will be held September 6, 2013, at the historic Rio Grande Depot, and on September 7, 2013, at a day of sessions sponsored by Fort Douglas Military Museum. CLICK for more information.

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Annual FAIR Conference

Fifteenth Annual FAIR Mormon Conference
August 1–2, 2013

The FAIR Conference is an annual event that brings together a variety of people from a variety of areas. Each comes with a unique perspective on history, science, or theology, and all come with a desire to help discuss issues that are sometimes challenging to testimonies and faith.

The FAIR Conference is a great way to get informed. This year’s conference is geared toward providing information and answers needed to faithfully deal with criticisms leveled against the Church and gospel. For more information, CLICK HERE

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A Modern-Day Indiana Jones

Gath goes beyond Goliath

Proessor Jeffrey Chadwick of Brigham Young University, who supervises the excavation of Area F of Gath’s upper city, has recently found evidence that for some decades after Hazael’s destruction of the Philistine city, Gath became a ghost town.
     “We believe we have good evidence that the mud brick houses of Philistine Gath were knocked down by the earthquake mentioned in the Book of Amos,” says Chadwick, “We have evidence of two [destruction] events here. The first belongs to [Assyrian king] Sargon II, from some time between 720 and 712 BCE. Some houses were rebuilt immediately after that, and then destroyed with the rest of Judahite Gath by Sennacherib in 701.”

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RSC Book and New Exhibit at Museum to Feature President Packer's Art

​Before construction began on the Monte L. Bean Museum, the Packer family commissioned the Religious Studies Center (RSC) at BYU to publish a book featuring President Packer's lifelong work as an amateur artist. Most of the artwork that will be exhibited in the new wing of the Bean Museum is featured in the book, which is titled The Earth Shall Teach Thee: The Lifework of an Amateur Artist by Boyd K. Packer and should be available at the museum when it opens.

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LDS Life Science Research Symposium (July 18 to 20)

Conference to be held July 18-20, 2013 at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City. For more information: CLICK HERE.

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New Dean Appointed to Head BYU Religious Education

Brent L. Top was appointed dean of Religious Education. Dr. Top was serving as the chair of the Department of Church History and Doctrine.

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UPDATE: BYU Professor and Alum Again Help Discover New Mosaic in Israel

BYU Professor Excavates Significant Biblical Mosaic in Galilee

In May and June, 2013, Brigham Young University professor Matthew Grey supervised the excavation of an ancient synagogue in which a stunning pair of mosaics were discovered. The floor mosaics decorated the eastern aisle of the Late Roman (fifth century) synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Lower Galilee. One of the mosaics found shows Samson carrying the gate of Gaza on his shoulders (Judges 16:3). Adjacent to Samson are riders with horses, apparently representing Philistines. Read more . . .

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BYU Devotional Featured D. Kelly Ogden

D. Kelly Ogden was the Featured Speaker at BYU Devotional

June 25, 2013 at 11:05 at the de Jong Concert Hall - GO HERE TO LISTEN

 

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LDS Holistic Living 2013 Conference

LDS Holistic Living 2013 Conference

June 21-22, 2013, South Jordan, UT

For more Information: CLICK HERE

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Book of Mormon Classes Undergo Changes

Reprinted from an article by Jason Brown in The Universe, July 1, 2013. 

Returned missionaries and non-returned missionaries will no longer have to be in separate sections for Book of Mormon classes. At least for now.

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Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Culture (6/3 to 7/12)

Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Culture,  June 3-July 12

The Neal A Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University, with support from the Mormon Scholars Foundation and the Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley Institution, will sponsor a summer seminar for graduate students and junior faculty on “Workings of the Spirit and Works of the Priesthood: Gifts and Ordinances in LDS Thought and Practice."

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48th Annual Mormon History Association (MHA) Conference

48th Annual MHA Conference - "The Crowded landscape of the Mormon West"

June 6, 2013

Davis Conference Center, Layton, Utah

For more information, CLICK HERE.

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UVU Annual Mormon Studies Conference

Annual Mormon Studies Conference

UVU's Religious Studies Program has been sponsoring its annual Mormon Studies conference since March, 2001. These conferences bring together scholars, practitioners, and other presenters to explore a variety of topics and themes in Mormon culture, theology, history, literature, etc. Our program also offers a variety of other lectures, symposia, and conferences. 

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2013 Easter Conference

BYU's annual Easter Conference at 7:00 p.m. on Good Friday, March 29, 2013, in the Joseph Smith Building (JSB) Auditorium

BYU Religious Education and the Religious Studies Center will host BYU's annual Easter Conference at 7:00 p.m. on Good Friday, March 29, 2013, in the Joseph Smith Building (JSB) auditorium. Elder John M. Madsen will be the keynote speaker. Brad Wilcox and Brent L. Top will also speak. They will speak about the Savior, his life, his mission, the Atonement, and his influence in our lives today. Attending the BYU Easter Conference is an ideal way to prepare to celebrate the Easter season.

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2013 BYU Church History Symposium

The title of this year's symposium is "Approaching Antiquity: Joseph Smith's Study of the Ancient World." Tthe conference will begin at 9:00 a.m., on March 7, with the keynote speaker, Richard L. Bushman in the Herold B. Lee Library auditorium, located on the BYU Campus in Provo. The symposium will continue in the auditorium until 4:30. At 7:00 p.m. the plenary session, to be held in the JSB auditorium (BYU), will feature remarks by Elder Steven E. Snow, the Church historian and recorder and a plenary address by David F. Holland, professor of history at UNLV. More information. . .

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National Advancement Council Meeting

National Advancement Council Meeting at Hinckley Center

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After Fifty-Three Years, Cowan Set to Retire

During an interview with ABC 4 News, Richard Cowan talked about the challenges he faced when he was first hired at BYU in 1961: “I knew that I was on trial. It was obvious the powers that be had never dealt with a blind professor.” In another quote, Cowan said, “My future as a blind teacher was definitely in question.” Yet, despite the challenges, he rose to the occasion and has now been teaching at BYU for 53 years. He has taught some 40,000 students and has been an inspiration to all those who know him. Read more . . .

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2013 Student Symposium

Brigham Young University Religious Education presents its 15th Annual Student Symposium. See schedule, speakers, and other information.

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2013 BYU Church History Symposium

The title of the 2013 symposium was "Approaching Antiquity: Joseph Smith's Study of the Ancient World." The keynote speaker, Richard L. Bushman, spoke in the Herold B. Lee Library auditorium, where it was standing room only. In the evening, the plenary session, which was held in the JSB auditorium (BYU), was given by David F. Holland, professor of history at UNLV. Elder Steven E. Snow, the Church historian and recorder, conducted the meeting and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland introduced David Holland. More information. . .

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2012 Student Symposium Book

Photos from this event are now online! Go to the Student Symposium 2012 Gallery.

The 2012 Student Symposium book will be available in December 2012.

 

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A Lifetime of Service: Elder C. Max Caldwell

Elder Caldwell, you’ve served as a BYU professor, an author, a mission president, a regional representative, a General Authority, and a temple sealer. What do you think has been your greatest contribution?

In my estimation, the Lord has blessed me far more than I ever either expected or felt that I deserved. The greatest contribution of my service opportunities has been my personal spiritual growth and increase of faith and opportunity to feel closer to the Lord and enjoy an outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord in every case. If there is one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that the Lord runs his Church. If we let him and don’t get in the way, we can get his work done just fine. We need to make sure we’re in harmony with what he wants done, through his Holy Spirit—that influences both what we do and who we become.

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Exploring the First Vision

New book published by the Religious Studies Center that examines the First Vision in depth. This volume explores some of the seminal articles that discuss Joseph Smith’s First Vision, which were written by the foremost experts who have studied it for half a century. The book includes articles by and interviews with James B. Allen, Richard L. Anderson, Milton V. Backman Jr., Richard L. Bushman, Steven C. Harper, Dean C. Jessee, Larry C. Porter, and John W. Welch.

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BYU Religious Education Faculty Updates

Religious Education faculty have made some impressive contributions to published works recently. 

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2012 Sidney B. Sperry Symposium

The Forty-first Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium will be held on Friday and Saturday, October 26th and 27th, 2012 in the JSB Auditorium.

In March 1829, a full year prior to the official organization of the Church, the Lord declared to the Prophet Joseph Smith—then engaged in the process of translating the Book of Mormon—“This generation shall have my word through you” (D&C 5:10). Two months later, Joseph’s brother, Hyrum, traveled to Harmony, Pennsylvania, to see if he could assist with this work. During this visit, Joseph received a revelation for his brother, which instructed him, “Wait a little longer, until you shall have my word, my rock, my church, and my gospel” (D&C 11:16). In the succeeding years, Joseph indeed received numerous revelations that fulfilled each of the promises the Lord had given Hyrum; many of these are included in the Doctrine and Covenants, “a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations” through which the Lord invites all to come unto him.

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Acquiring a Celestial Character

 “May our influence upon our students, be it great or small, contribute not to the inflation of their egos, but to the exaltation of their souls. May our vision of the human always be seen in the context of the divine.” David H. Yarn Jr.

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Virtual Tours of Church History Sites

BYU professors, Craig James Ostler and John P. Livingstone, have continued to produce videos and publications in their monumental Hallowed Ground, Sacred Journeys project. Now they are producing videos on early Church history sites in New York and New England.

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Mormon Yankees

BYU Professor Fred E. Woods' book, Mormon Yankees, tells the inspiring story of full-time missionaries who used basketball in Australia during the mid–twentieth century (1937–61) to build bridges of understanding with the Australians and help bring the Church out of obscurity.

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From the Sands of Egypt

For over two decades, BYU has been excavating in an area of Egypt known as the Fayoum.  Our excavation of this pyramid has allowed us to perform a sophisticated analysis of its dimensions and construction techniques. We have discovered some startling parallels that, when fully researched, will alter the way the world thinks about pyramids.

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Nineteenth-Century Women

"Accounts of female religiosity are not appendages to American history; they are American history." 

I decided I wanted to become well educated and that I would educate other women. I thus came to understand, rather early on, that education creates a myriad of choices that empower women as well as men to make a difference in and beyond their professions. In graduate school I realized I could do this, in part, by including women in the historical narrative. My focus on women and conversion, then, stems from my commitment to including women in the historical narrative. Read more.

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RSC Book Tells the Stories of the Civil War Saints

NOTE:  The editor of Civil War Saints, Kenneth L. Alford, was interviewed about this book on KSL Radio (Salt Lake City) during the weekly one-hour show "People of Faith" with reporter Carole Mikita. The entire program is available online at: http://pandora.bonnint.net/audio/people_of_faith.rss (select the November 18, 2012 program).

           This book takes a fresh and updated look at many of the relationships that existed between Latter-day Saints, Utah Territory, and the Civil War. This volume becomes available on the 150th anniversary of Utah’s initial involvement in the Civil War.

           Civil War Saints provides readers a short overview of the Civil War itself. It explores the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and the Mormons that stretched over several decades. It discusses Utah Territory’s only military contribution to the Civil War, the Nauvoo Legion’s service in Utah during the war, the 1862 establishment of Camp Douglas, LDS emigration during the Civil War, and how American newspapers (both North and South) viewed Mormonism. Finally, the book examines the impact of the war’s aftermath on Latter-day Saints.

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Religious Education Sponsors Interfaith Lecture Series

This past summer, BYU Religious Education sponsored an interfaith lecture series as part of the degree program master of arts in religious studies with an emphasis in military chaplaincy.

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The Hyrum Smith Papers

The papers consist of two diaries (from 1831 to 1835), a record book, an account book, thirty-nine letters, and fifteen discourses that Hyrum gave over the course of his ministry.

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President Packer's Beautiful Artwork Published

What most people don’t know about President Packer is that throughout his life he had a pastime of painting and carving. This hobby has been used to beautify his home, teach his children, and provide needed relaxation. He has created what some describe as masterpieces. Read more . . .

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Camille Fronk Olson on Improving Citizenship, Scholarship, and Teaching

In this interview, Camille Fronk Olson, who is the department chair, discusses how to improve citizenship, scholarship, and teaching in the Department of Ancient Scripture at BYU.

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Religion and Politics

In this year's presidential race a number of media voices seem to be seeking clarity, asking important questions about the Church—what we stand for, what we believe, and where they can find more accurate information. Read the interview with J. B. Haws.

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Making the Book of Mormon the Keystone of Religious Education

An excerpt from the Historian's Corner of the Review Magazine. The Lord and his prophets have repeatedly emphasized the centrality of the Book of Mormon in Latter-day Saint religious education. 

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The Book of Abraham, the Bible, and Arabic Papyri

During the last few years, new research has emerged concerning the Book of Abraham, the Bible, and heretofore rather unknown BYU Arabic papyri.

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My Dear Sister: Letters of Joseph F. Smith

In 1997, Carole Call King was cleaning out a closet when she discovered a box labeled “Letters from Joseph F. Smith.”  In the box there were about one hundred original letters written by Joseph F. to his sister, Martha Ann. The RSC plans to publish them in a book, some day. 

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2012 BYU Church History Symposium

For 2012 the LDS Church History Library and BYU Church History and Doctrine joined the BYU Religious Studies Center in sponsoring the BYU Church History Symposium, which has become the premier symposium for scholarship on Church history.

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New Director at the Religious Studies Center

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dana M. Pike, professor of ancient scripture as the new publications director of the Religious Studies Center, effective Spring Term 2012.

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New Products to Better Understand Church History

The Religious Studies Center at BYU announces two new products that will help users in their continual pursuit to comprehend and appreciate Church history

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The RSC and Deseret Book Release Under the Gun

The RSC releases a new book filled with gripping and fascinating stories of members of the LDS Church in West Germany and Austria during World War II.

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The Religious Studies Center (RSC) Releases New Book, The Voice of My Servants

The Prophets and Apostles in this dispensation have authored a large collection of essays, articles, and addresses expounding God’s truths to his children. In this book, they specifically address issues related to gospel teaching, learning, and scripture.

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