1365: The LDS Gospel Topics Essays – A History by Dr. Matt Harris
December 8, 2020
Join me now as I interview historian Dr. Matt Harris about his new book entitled “The LDS Gospel Topics Series: A Scholarly Engagement” published by Signature Books. In this episode we will provide an overview of the book, and discuss the events that led to the release of the essays by the LDS Church.
Timecodes (for YouTube video):
02:48 Overview of Matt’s book about the GTEs
06:43 Events that lead to the release of the Essays
20:22 Elder Marlin Jensen telling answers to questions are underway. Further events
30:34 Rise of the internet & Journal of discourses available.
37:58 A few shoutouts. Other people playing into the story
43:02 What do you say, what do you not say?
44:53 Timeline of publishing the research
51:54 Transparency& Church leaders trying to walk back on comments that get leaked.
57:15 “Uber-theme” in research – the feeling of being deceived
1:01:28 Going back to the timeline. Mixed responses after the research is presented to LDS headquarters
1:09:15 Uchtdorf gets involved. Confirms research results.
1:19:02 Martin asking why Uchtdorf said what he said. “We’re aware.”
1:27:50 How the essays got created. ‘Soft rollout.’
1:36:10 Who are the scholars writing the first drafts? Focusing on essays
1:40:58 No attribution and no date. Revisions
1:46:58 Knowledge about the essays in church management and members
1:54:30 Church between a rock and a hard place when publishing. Their strategy
2:03:12 “Who wants to talk about polygamy?”
2:07:40 Addressing social issues today and provide a place to talk about them
2:09:36 Too little too late. Freefall in large parts of the world
2:15:52 Chosen release strategy might be very wise after all
2:20:24 Are there essays that are higher quality than others? The polygamy essay
2:25:06 Facts about marriage in the region at the time
2:34:05 1890 Revelation. Mitt Romney.
2:39:12 Were the essay gaslighting? Were they candid?
2:44:18 Overarching questions about the Essays
2:51:30 Issues like LGBTQ, sexuality. Striking at the core of the plan of salvation
2:59:10 A little about mormon “revelation” related to the 2015 decision
3:03:59 Unpublished or to be published essays? Other plans?
3:06:12 Matt’s book by Signature books
3:08:52 Closing words