Faith Matters
Faith Matters
27 Dec 2020
56. The Most American Religion - McKay Coppins with Terryl Givens
Play • 47 mins

In this latest installment of Conversations with Terryl Givens, Terryl is joined by McKay Coppins, a highly respected young political commentator and writer, widely known for his back-and-forths with Donald Trump over the past several years. 

Coppins recently published a truly remarkable piece in The Atlantic titled “The Most American Religion” which is both a retrospective on the place of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in American consciousness and a look forward to the third century of the Church and its place in American culture. As part of writing the piece, Coppins was granted a rare face-to-face sit down with Pres. Russell M. Nelson to discuss a wide range of topics.

We think you’ll enjoy this conversation between two very insightful Latter-day Saint thinkers.

Latter-day Saint Perspectives
Latter-day Saint Perspectives
Laura Harris Hales
Episode 127: The Kinderhook Plates with Mark Ashurst-McGee
The Interview: In this episode of the Latter-day Saint Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews Mark Ashurst-McGee, co-author of a new in-depth study of the Kinderhook plates saga. It is well-known that Joseph Smith claimed to have translated the Book of Mormon by “the gift and power of God” from a set of golden plates that he found in a stone box buried in a hill near his home. Lesser known is his later translation from a collection of brass plates disinterred from an Indian burial mound near Kinderhook, Illinois, located about seventy miles downstream from Nauvoo. The History of the Church records that Joseph Smith “translated a portion” of these plates and declared that they contained “the history of the person with whom they were found,” who was “a descendant of Ham.” That official narrative dominated the legacy of this second set of plates for over a century. Nevertheless, controversy always swirled around the affair. This recital is a strange episode in early Mormon history, but the history of the interpretation of the story is even more peculiar. Years after the event, two of the men who were present when locals discovered the plates claimed that they made the plates with help from the village blacksmith, inscribed them with characters, planted them in the mound, and then led an unsuspecting group of curious locals to “discover” them as part of a hoax. Rejecting this contention, considering the revelation of a supposed hoax to be the real hoax, Latter-day Saints used the Kinderhook plates for decades as supporting evidence for the validity of the golden plates and their translation into the Book of Mormon. In the late nineteenth century, several publications promoted the testimony of one of the scammers as evidence of the Kinderhook forgery. Critics of Mormonism used this revelation to attack Joseph Smith’s legitimacy as a prophet and an inspired translator. Soon detractors distilled the anti-Mormon argument into a pithy slogan: “Only a bogus prophet translates bogus plates.” In light of the slur, Latter-day Saints doubled down, insisting that the forgery claims were lies, the plates were genuine, and they supported the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith’s prophetic claims. Despite these confident declarations, Latter-day Saint contentions later proved erroneous. Rigorous scientific testing in 1980 demonstrated conclusively that the plates were modern forgeries rather than pre-Columbian creations. Many wondered how these new findings spoke to Joseph Smith’s purported rendering. Latter-day Saint historian Stanley Kimball problematized any simple resolution to the mystery when he examined the drama further by turning to the contested statement of Joseph Smith regarding the translation. At about the same time scientific evidence confirmed the fraudulent origin of the plates, Church historians discovered the actual source of Joseph Smith’s declaration on the translation as found in the History of the Church. As it turns out, Joseph Smith never wrote that he had translated from the Kinderhook plates. Instead, researchers learned that early Latter-day Saint chroniclers extracted this information from the diary of Joseph Smith’s private secretary, William Clayton. In an article in the Ensign, the official magazine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Stanley Kimball revealed the modern fabrication of the Kinderhook plates, but at the same time he revealed the true source of the words attributed to Joseph Smith and argued that William Clayton was wrong when he wrote about Joseph Smith translating from the plates. In this new study, Don Bradley and Mark Ashurst-McGee provide analysis of Clayton’s relationship with Joseph Smith, his diary-keeping practices, and the broader context of the entire journal entry that served as the basis for the statements inserted in the History of the Church. They argue that Clayton knew very well what he was writing about and that Smith did, in fact,
1 hr 2 mins
Listen, Learn & Love Hosted by Richard Ostler
Listen, Learn & Love Hosted by Richard Ostler
Richard Ostler
Episode 375: Sam & Autumn Duke, Hope & Healing in the Gospel after Losing Parents
My friends Sam and Autumn Duke, married parents of 3, share growing up with families affected by addiction, mental illness, and suicide. Autumn’s father Klair died in 2003 from alcoholism and addiction. Sam’s mother Jeannie died of suicide in 2019 after 2 decades of severe depression. Sam and Autumn love their parents deeply. They discuss how the Gospel of Jesus Christ helps them to see their parents the way our Heavenly Parents see them. They share their thoughts on the divine worth of every person, and the love, compassion, and hope they have for their parents and families. They speak directly to suicide and the impact it has had on their lives. If you are suicidal please call the suicide prevention hotline 1-800-273-8255. If you prefer not to call you can also text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor. I became aware of Autumn with her wonderful post: You can also follow her on Instagram where she shares similar thoughts: @autumnduke If you feel that you or your family is imperfect and aren’t sure you fit the mold for LDS families, please listen to Sam and Autumn. They have great insights on how to help us all come together as the same human family with the healing and unity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The two conference talks referenced in the podcast are from Elder Gay and Elder James R. Rasband Thank you for being on the podcast Sam and Autumn. You two are awesome. Thanks for your great work to bring us together and create more understanding.
1 hr 9 mins
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