Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Dialogue: Vol 13 No 3
"We Can See No Advantage to a Continuation of the Discussion": The Roberts/Smith/Talmage Affair
"WE CAN SEE NO ADVANTAGE TO A CONTINUATION OF THE DISCUSSION: THE ROBERTS/SMITHITALMAGE AFFAIR Richard Sherlock In the mid-1920s B. H. Roberts, General Authority and President of the Eastern States Mission, began preliminary work on a book-length manuscript. By this time Roberts had already written extensively on church history and somewhat less on church doctrine, the latter consisting largely of essays and books explaining or expounding the works of Joseph Smith. This new book was a departure for Roberts, destined to become the most controversial element of his turbulent career as a church leader. After his return to Salt Lake in 1927, Roberts developed his notes into an imposing manuscript. Intended originally as a study course for Seventies throughout the Church, it almost immediately became a storm center of controversy.1 As a result, the book, viewed by Roberts as his most important contribution to the Church, remains unpublished to this day.2 The scope of The Truth, The Way, The Life is more sweeping than anything from a previous Mormon hand, with the possible exception of the works of Orson Pratt. Roberts did not just expound one or several gospel principles or ideas from Joseph Smith; rather, he undertook nothing less than a comprehensive, coherent account of the whole cosmic context of human existence—from the intelligence of God, through the organization of the universe, the creation of man and the development of life on earth, to the role of Christ. In this process he was sometimes pedantically recitative of simple gospel principles. More often than not, however, he was boldly speculative in an attempt to put the known pieces of the puzzle together into a unified account. Richard Sherlock is assistant professor of Human Values and Ethics at the Center for the Health Sciences, University of Tennessee. 63