New Feature: Mormon Studies Periodically

Times & Seasons is proud to announce an innovative partnership with BYU Studies, a leading venue for Mormon Studies scholarship and publishing. Every form has its forte: the pace and prestige of the scholarly journal allows it to develop in-depth, peer-reviewed content; the accessibility and openness of the blog allows for efficient distribution and ongoing discussion. Through this significant collaboration with BYU Studies, we hope to bring the premium content of the journal to the dynamic readership of Times & Seasons: we think everyone will benefit, most particularly our remarkably interested and interesting readers.

Here’s how it will work. BYU Studies has agreed to make available to T&S readers some of its premium content, otherwise unavailable online. With each installment of the “Mormon Studies Periodically” feature, the selected article will be available for T&S readers to view for two weeks. During that time, we request (and fervently hope to see!) discussion of the piece in the comments; we will post a number of related questions with each installment which we hope will elicit and guide comments, and we will invite the authors to participate with us in the discussion. We’re very pleased initially to launch this series in partnership with BYU Studies, and we expect that future installments will feature more of their premiere content as well as articles from other leading Mormon Studies periodicals.

This series will provide our readers with a caliber of peer-reviewed scholarship that’s unrivaled in the bloggernacle, but it will also command a slightly higher entry fee: reading an academic article requires more time and care than the average blog post. But we hope that the start-up cost will yield real dividends in the comment section: we’d like to see well-informed and thoughtful contributions, a sort of improvisatory open-forum round-table for informed lay readers. We specifically invite your responses to the posted questions, but you’re also welcome to pose your own questions to the article’s author, and we expect the conversation to follow its organic course. Enjoy!

16 comments for “New Feature: Mormon Studies Periodically

  1. Silus Grok
    June 6, 2005 at 5:55 pm


    I’m excited for the new feature… but think that you may have shot yourself in the foot burying the first installment in the announcement.

    Might I suggest you edit this post to be just an announcement, then post the first article as its own front page post?

  2. Rosalynde
    June 6, 2005 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks Silus–good advice! I’ve fixed it. You want a permanent job copy editing my posts? :)

  3. Kingsley
    June 6, 2005 at 6:18 pm

    The testimonies in my friends’ student ward yesterday seemed to bear out Givens’s thesis. The Book of Mormon was mentioned in the majority of them, including the bishop’s, but always as a sacred sign of the truthfulness of the Church, the prophethood of Joseph Smith, the reality of the invisible world, etc. I don’t think I heard the content of the Book of Mormon mentioned once, except when a gentle giant of a fellow brought up Nephi (but only to tell us that his realization of Nephi’s prophethood was the beginning of his testimony of the Book of Mormon as an authentic history, etc. — & thus of Joseph Smith’s prophethood as well).

  4. Morgan Davis
    June 6, 2005 at 6:18 pm

    I turned to the transcription first, wanting to read it for myself first. What strikes me right away is that this is a different voice. Not out of harmony with the revelations that came through Joseph, perhaps, but different in a way I am strugling to put into words. They carry authority, but not with quite the same richness. There is more of the Book of Mormon texture of language to them (“Behold ye shall go down and stand in the water….”) which seems slightly affected to me at least. Joseph Smith’s language is more straightforward and simple, which gives it greater power and distinguishes the style we find in the Book of Mormon from his more modern prose in the Doctrine and Covenants. If this is granted, it has, I think, some interesting implications for our understanding of how Joseph translated ancient scripture as opposed to dictating modern revelation.

    There is much more to look into here. This is just an initial impression and an attempt to show appreciation for a very exciting opportunity to engage with LDS scholarship in an innovative and dynamic way. Thanks very much!

  5. June 6, 2005 at 6:22 pm

    Excellent idea. I look forward to participating. Cheers!

  6. Ivan Wolfe
    June 6, 2005 at 7:50 pm

    This is great.

    ‘Nuff said!

  7. Mark B.
    June 7, 2005 at 9:49 am

    Congrats on working those connections, Rosalynde! (Seriously.) This should be a great addition to Times and Seasons.

  8. Mark Simmons
    June 7, 2005 at 11:28 am

    I’m glad to see you’re successful in pulling your clout with the editor-in-chief of BYU Studies. Could anyone else have done it?

  9. Silus Grok
    June 7, 2005 at 12:56 pm

    I dunno… I’m pretty expensive, Rosalynde.

    ; )

    I’m just glad that someone read my post. I swear… it feels like I walk around here with an invisibility cloak on… Maybe I’m just not combative enough. Or * shudders * I just need to improve the quality of my comments.

    /self-pity party

  10. Randy B.
    June 7, 2005 at 1:03 pm

    Silus Grok, I think many people who comment here feel the same, at least at times. Just the nature of a large blog with lots of comments. I always look forward to your thoughts. Keep them coming.

  11. June 7, 2005 at 2:03 pm

    This is a great idea and a great opportunity. I hope and plan to be a regular participant. As it will take more time for people to get into it, it would be nice if there were some way to make the current installment easily accessible on the sidebar, so it doesn’t get flushed out of people’s attention too soon.

  12. Naomi Frandsen
    June 7, 2005 at 2:11 pm

    Ditto. Is this sort of collaboration happening with any other scholarly journals? What is the liklihood that the authors of the articles will be reading/responding to our comments?

  13. Silus Grok
    June 7, 2005 at 2:53 pm

    ( Thanks, Randy B! )

  14. Silus Grok
    June 7, 2005 at 3:04 pm

    I’m interested in seeing how the posts degrade once the articles are off-line… will they degrade elegantly? How will people interact with the archived posts? Will they at all? Or is this a more ephemeral post than our others? I wonder if, at some point in the future, BYU Studies subscribers will have permanent access to all content via the web, and if our discussions here may be “monetized” for those subscribers.


  15. Rosalynde Welch
    June 7, 2005 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks everybody for your enthusiasm! We’ll see how things go. By its nature this kind of post will have a longer life-cycle–it’ll take a while for people to get the time to read the whole article, and the discussion will (hopefully) be fairly substantive and thus slower moving. If the discussion is still active and productive after two weeks, I’m sure BYU Studies will agree to leave the article accessible; generally, though, threads run their course in about a week, at most, and it’s rare to get a thriving revival of an archive post. BYU Studies quite naturally wants to limit access to their freshest content (although more and more past content is available on their website now), and we understand that. As for your question, Silus, about web access for BYU Studies, it’s my understanding that they’re currently working up an e-subscription program that would do just what you suggest: give paying subscribers access to all content online.

    That’s a great idea, Christian, about making the post more accessible after it moves off the front page: we’ll get it its own drop down on the sideroll under “Previous Posts.”

    Yes, Naomi, we’ve got things in the works with other journals–stay tuned! (And participate actively in the current thread so we can pitch a viable proposal!)

  16. June 7, 2005 at 4:02 pm

    Silus, the post introducing the first article has a link to the pdf, so you can download it and keep it forever. If BYU Studies should ever close access before you download the article, you could contact one of the participants in the discussion privately and they could get send you the article. (I assume single-instance person-to-person ad hoc exchanges like this wouldn’t violate fair use criteria.)

Comments are closed.