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: A Journal of Mormon Thought and there would doubtless be great resistance to having to eat words, as happened when the revelation on priesthood was received. Before anyone embraces the critics of Adam-God too quickly, the accuracy of Charles W. Penrose, Joseph Fielding Smith, Bruce R. McConkie, and Mark E. Peter-sen, among others, should be contemplated as to historical and theological issues. Their blatant errors would suggest that we should not dismiss Adam-God as so much speculation. The real question is simply whether Brigham was right. He declared in no uncertain terms that Adam-God was doctrine and revelation and few things have been declared such so clearly. To reject his words would be to raise serious questions about prophetic reliability. I suggest that Brigham knew whereof he spoke and the rest of us need to catch up. (Name withheld) Earliest Pre-Existence Allusion? Unfortunately, all articles or essays must go to press even though most papers are never quite finished. In my paper on the idea of pre-existence (Dialogue, Spring 1982) I failed to include an extremely important source on the idea of pre-existence before the Nauvoo period, William W. Phelps's statement in a letter to the Latter-day Saint Messenger & Advocate 1 (June 1835): 130: We shall by and by learn that we were with God in another world, before the foundation of the world, and had our agency: that we came into this world and have our agency, in order that we may prepare ourselves for a kingdom of glory; become archangels, even the sons of God where the man is neither without the woman, nor the woman without the man in the Lord. This statement is significant for several reasons. First, it is the only statement with which I am acquainted which comments on the idea of "real" pre-existence before the Nauvoo period. Further, Phelps seems to be referring to the May 1833 revelation now known as D&C 93 when he says that "we were with God . . . before the foundation of the world." He also affirms that we had our agency in another world in the presence of God before this life. Second, Phelps seems to be referring to the idea of celestial marriage. Since Phelps was an intimate friend of Joseph Smith during this period it is probable that Phelps is commenting on some of Joseph's private teachings before the Nauvoo period. As historians, we should be cautious in affirming when Joseph Smith first learned some of his "more advanced" doctrines which reached full proportion only in the Nauvoo era. We never know what Joseph knew but kept to himself. Those who have asserted the Joseph's idea of pre-existence was spurred in early 1836 by Thomas Dick's Philosophy of a Future State are clearly in error. For, Joseph's idea of pre-existence appears to have been developing since early 1833 and had apparently reached a state of refinement before 1836. Blake Ostler Salt Lake City, Utah Vielen Dank Dialogue is a great source of information for me which shows me more about the American society the Church mainly is involved with. It's good to get a magazine which is not one-sided like the four major Church periodicals, which are actually good, but not enough for my widespread interests. (In Germany we nickname the Church News "Mormon Pravda" — we Europeans are pretty liberal.) Especially the volume 14, number 2 issue was interesting, because we don't get that information in Germany by official sources in such full details. I would like to encourage Dialogue to continue its efforts to clarify the complexities of Mormonism and it has got my support already. Mit Freundlichen Griissen geduldig verbleibend. Peter C. Nadig Duisburg, West Germany