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Encyclopedia > Encyclopedia of Mormonism
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First of four volumes of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.
First of four volumes of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism is a well-known semi-official encyclopedia for topics relevant to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church; see also "Mormon"). Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... First volume of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism; to show aproximate size. ... First volume of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism; to show aproximate size. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest attraction in the citys Temple Square. ... Mormon is a term used to describe people who are adherents, practitioners, followers or constituents of Mormonism, and who are identified as the Latter Day Saint movement formally established in 1830. ...

Contents

Background

Published in 1992, the Encyclopedia contains nearly 1500 articles including several short un-attributed entries (the equivalent of Wikipedia stubs) in four volumes. The text is approximately one million words, and over 1850 pages including pictures, maps, charts, index, and appendices. The title for the Encyclopedia of Mormonism was chosen by Macmillan, the secular publisher which initiated the project. Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Macmillan is a global publishing firm founded in 1843 by Daniel and Alexander Macmillan, two brothers from the Isle of Arran, Scotland. ...


There were over 730 contributors from a wide variety of fields, most of whom had LDS and academic backgrounds. A large number were professors at Brigham Young University, the flagship LDS Church-owned university. Most individuals contributed only one article and few submitted more than three or four. Notable contributors include Mormon historians Leonard J. Arrington, and Thomas G. Alexander, former Salt Lake City mayor Ted Wilson, noted non-Mormon LDS historian Jan Shipps, authors Steven R. Covey, Gerald N. Lund, and Richard Eyre, respected scholar and apologist Hugh Nibley, and a few members of LDS hierarchy like Paul Evans, H. David Burton, and Jeffery R. Holland. Plato is credited with the inception of academia: the body of knowledge, its development and transmission across generations. ... A professor is a senior teacher and researcher, usually in a college or university. ... Brigham Young University Brigham Young University (BYU), located in Provo, Utah, is the flagship university of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church). ... Leonard J. Arrington (July 2, 1917 - February 11, 1999) was born in Twin Falls, Idaho. ... Thomas G. Alexander is an American historian and academic who acts as the Lemuel H. Redd Professor of Western History at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. ... The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Salt Lake Citys top tourist draw. ... This is a list of mayors of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Salt Lake City was incorporated on January 6, 1851. ... Ted Lewis Wilson was mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA from 1976 until July, 1985. ... Jan Shipps is a historian specializing in Mormon History, particularly in the latter half of the 20th century to the present. ... Stephen R. Covey on the cover of his audio book Beyond The 7 Habits Stephen R. Covey (born October 24, 1932 in Salt Lake City, Utah) is the author of the international best selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989. ... Gerald N. Lund serves in Europe as a General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ... Sir Richard Eyre, (born 28 March 1943), is a British film and theatre director. ... Hugh Winder Nibley (born March 27, 1910 in Portland, Oregon - February 24, 2005) was one of Mormonisms most celebrated scholars. ... Paul Evans may refer to any of the following people Paul Evans (basketball coach), an American college basketball coach Paul Evans (poet) British poet Paul Evans (b. ... Harold David Burton (b. ... Jeffrey Roy Holland (born December 3, 1940) was ordained an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on June 23, 1994, following the death of President Ezra Taft Benson, and sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 1, 1994. ...


The editor of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Daniel H. Ludlow, states that he strove to make the volume as professional as possible. Most of the articles are written by Ph.D.s in their respective fields. LDS General Authorities (the spiritual leaders of the church) wrote little of the Encyclopedia; indeed, most contributors from church hierarchy were only tapped to write articles on the publications or institutions they directly administered or led. For impartiality and perspective, several non-Mormons were asked to write important articles. For example, Jan Shipps wrote on the outsider's interpretation of Mormonism, and Richard P. Howard, historian of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now the Community of Christ), wrote on his branch of the Latter Day Saint movement. Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated Ph. ... In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a general authority is a member of a select body of approximately 100 men with administrative and ecclesiastical authority in the church. ... Jan Shipps is a historian specializing in Mormon History, particularly in the latter half of the 20th century to the present. ... It has been suggested that Community of Christ membership statistics be merged into this article or section. ... The Latter Day Saint movement is a religious movement that can be said to have been founded primarily by Joseph Smith, Jr. ...


Subjects addressed

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism includes lengthy articles on core LDS subjects like LDS Church history and doctrine, but the work also includes many topics that are only generally related to Mormonism. For example, articles on Constitutional law, Sports, Science, and Freedom discuss LDS perspectives and contributions to various fields. The early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is shared by the larger Latter Day Saint movement, which originated in upstate New York under the leadership of Joseph Smith, Jr. ... Doctrine, from Latin doctrina, (compare doctor), means a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system. ... Constitutional law is the study of foundational or basic laws of nation states and other political organizations. ... Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Ludlow also sought to make the encyclopedia accessible to non-Mormons. To this end an optional fifth volume was printed containing the "Standard Works," LDS scriptures that are heavily cited in the encyclopedia. The Standard Works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) consists of several books that constitute its open, scriptural canon, and include the following: The Holy Bible (King James version)* The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ The Doctrine and Covenants The Pearl... Many religions and spiritual movements hold certain written texts (or series of spoken legends not traditionally written down) to be sacred. ...


Role of the encyclopedia relative to the church

Although the LDS Church cooperated in the production of the book, particularly by setting aside Brigham Young University (BYU) resources, the Encyclopedia was meant to be independent and unofficial in the church. Ludlow highlights this in his concluding preface remarks: Brigham Young University Brigham Young University (BYU), located in Provo, Utah, is the flagship university of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church). ...

Lest the role of the Encyclopedia be given more weight than it deserves, the editors make it clear that those who have written and edited have only tried to explain their understanding of Church history, doctrines, and procedures; their statement and opinions remain their own. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism is a joint product of Brigham Young University and Macmillan Publishing Company, and its contents do not necessarily represent the official position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. – Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p. lxii.

In spite of these comments and the non-Mormon publisher, the Encyclopedia is referred to as an official or at least semi-official publication by many outsiders of the Church.[citation needed] This view has credence because LDS Church-owned BYU was contractual author of the work. Furthermore, six general authorities, though not credited editors, worked on the project including Dallin H. Oaks, Neal A. Maxwell, and Jeffrey R. Holland (president of BYU when the project began).[citation needed] Brigham Young University Brigham Young University (BYU), located in Provo, Utah, is the flagship university of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church). ... Dallin H. Oaks Dallin Harris Oaks (born August 12, 1932) is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ... Neal Ash Maxwell (July 6, 1926–July 21, 2004) was ordained an apostle by N. Eldon Tanner on July 23, 1981, following the calling of Gordon B. Hinckley as a third counselor in the First Presidency, and was sustained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of... Jeffrey R. Holland Jeffrey Roy Holland (born December 3, 1940) was ordained an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on June 23, 1994, following the death of President Ezra Taft Benson, and sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 1, 1994. ...


Views of the encyclopedia's contents

Content in the Encyclopedia is thought to express a faith-promoting view of the church.[citation needed] In addition to established LDS apologists like Hugh Nibley, many other LDS apologists contributed including John Gee, William Hamblin, Louis C. Midgley, Daniel C. Peterson, Noel B. Reynolds, Stephen D. Ricks, John L. Sorenson, Melvin J. Thorne, and John W. Welch. Mormon Apologetics directly answer, or attempt to answer, the claims of Anti-Mormons, the critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and Controversies regarding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ... Hugh Winder Nibley (born March 27, 1910 in Portland, Oregon - February 24, 2005) was one of Mormonisms most celebrated scholars. ...


Critics such as Sterling McMurrin and George D. Smith charge that the Encyclopedia of Mormonism glosses over difficult but important subjects to be faith-promoting. Although issues like Blacks and the priesthood are covered, some state that such articles do not dwell in sufficient detail on the controversies involved. The historical entries are likewise thought to skip over uncomfortable subjects. For example, the entry on revered pioneer-era Apostle Orson Pratt doesn't mention his famous doctrinal disagreements with Brigham Young[citation needed] even though it recounts at length on his life otherwise. Plural marriage is also thought to receive insufficient coverage.[citation needed] From 1830-1833, the Latter Day Saint movement had no policy whatever regarding race. ... This is the current Mormon collaboration of the month! Please help improve it to meet the ideal article standard. ... Orson Pratt Orson Pratt (September 19, 1811 – October 3, 1881) was a leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and an original member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. ... See also, Brigham Young University Brigham Young (June 1, 1801 – August 29, 1877) was the second prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...


No article of so-called Mormon historical revisionism is found in the Encyclopedia. It has been noted that after the Encyclopedia 's publication, several LDS scholars were excommunicated, including some members of the 1993 "September Six". [1] Some have criticized the Encyclopedia because it "does not offer revisionist explanations of the Book of Mormon."[2] One such claim was made by George D. Smith, who stated that the Encyclopedia “is not the promised comprehensive treatment of Book of Mormon scholarship; it is a statement of LDS orthodoxy.”[3] New Mormon History refers to a philosophy of reporting the history of Mormonism in a manner that is as functionally objective as possible. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... In September 1993, six noted Mormon intellectuals and feminists were expelled from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church). ...


However, the Encyclopedia was designed to serve as a general reference, not as a primer of LDS polemics. Thus, the Encyclopedia of Mormonism remains a useful resource as the first and only encyclopedia on its subject. Look up Polemic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Polemic is the art or practice of inciting disputation or causing controversy, for example in religious, philosophical, or political matters. ...


Notes

References

  • Ludlow, Daniel H (ed) (1992), Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Macmillan Publishing, ISBN 0-02-879602-0. Free on-line version here.
  • McMurrin, Sterling M (1993), "“Toward Intellectual Anarchy,” review of Encyclopedia of Mormonism", Dialogue 26(2).
  • Midgley, Louis (2004), "The Signature Books Saga", The FARMS Review 6(1) [link accessed 2007-03-08].
  • Smith, George D (November 1993), "Orthodoxy and Encyclopedia: The Book of Mormon in the Encyclopedia", Sunstone.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Encyclopedia of Mormonism - Definition, explanation (823 words)
The Encyclopedia of Mormonism is a well-known semi-official encyclopedia for topics relevant to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church; see also "Mormon").
The title for the Encyclopedia of Mormonism was chosen by Macmillan, the secular publisher which initiated the project.
However, the Encyclopedia was designed to serve as a general reference, not as a primer of LDS polemics.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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