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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Newell, Linda King ; Newell, L. Jackson
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The "Lectures on Faith": A Case Study in Decanonization
The 'Lectures on Faith': A Case Study in Decanonization Richard S. Van Wagoner, Steven C. Walker, and Allen D. Roberts The "Lectures on Faith," seven 1834-35 lessons on theology and doctrine prepared for the "School of the Elders" in Kirtland, Ohio, were canonized in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants by official vote of the Church. In the preface of that volume, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams — then the First Presidency — specifically justified the inclusion of the Lectures: We deem it to be unnecessary to entertain you with a lengthy preface to the following volume, but merely to say, that it contains in short, the leading items of the religion which we have professed to believe. The first part of the book will be found to contain a series of Lectures as delivered before a theological class in this place, and in consequence of their embracing the important doctrine of salvation, we have arranged them into the following work. . . . We do not present this little volume with any other expectation than that we are to be called to answer to every principle advanced. Eighty-six years later, upon recommendation of a committee of apostles, the Lectures were deleted from the 1921 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. This action, though neither controversial nor particularly public, highlighted the problematic procedure of decanonization in a church characterized by an open canon.1 This paper is a composite of two presentations given at the 1982 Sunstone Theological Symposium. RICHARD S. VAN WAGONER, a clinical audiologist in Salt Lake City, lives in Lehi, Utah. He is co-author of A Book of Mormons (Midvale, Utah: Signature Books, 1982) and author of Mormon Polygamy: A History (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1986). STEVEN C. WALKER, associate professor of English at Brigham Young University, lives in Provo. He is co-author of A Book of Mormons. ALLEN D. ROBERTS, a Salt Lake City architect, is former co-editor/publisher of Sunstone, current editorial associate of Dialogue, and co-author, with Linda Sillitoe, of a forthcoming book on the Mark W. Hofmann bombing murders and forgeries. 1 The only other case of removing a canonized section involves the "Article on Marriage," Section 101 in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants. This section explained the Church position on marriage as "one man should have one wife, and one woman, but one husband,
Van Wagoner, Richard S. ; Walker, Steven C. ; Roberts, Allen D.