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Monday, April 30, 2012

Lost manuscript of apostle turned apostate, William E. McLellin

Unless they are academic, book reviews aren't my cup of tea. Popular reviews require so much in terms of substance, yet offer so little in terms of total words. And I'm always afraid I'll read the book and be so worried about not hurting the author's feelings that I'll misrepresent the contents (I sent a book back once when I realized proceeding with the review would be a choice between being disingenuous and wounding the feelings of the author). Interestingly, I have no trouble criticizing public policy and its proponents, but there is something about a book that seems to involve more of the heart than policy. Academic reviews accept, indeed, invite criticism; authors expect it and wise writers use reviews to further evaluate their own positions. Popular reviews are different to me and I struggle to criticize the authors or their writing. Accordingly, I choose my reviews carefully.

Soap box aside, this article is not a review, but rather a quick intro to a new book - or rather a new publication of a very old manuscript with a fascinating history. Once the story was completed, the editor suggested he would have liked to know more about the history of the book, a sentiment I agree with. My historical instincts got the best of me though as I tried to provide some substance of the man who was William E. McLellin in a few short words. I included a hyperlink online for those interested in the history more than the man, but realized afterward it would have been a greater benefit to the readers to have emphasized the history of the book rather than the author. My belated apologies.

For those interested, a history of how the manuscript was found is located in an article from another writer here.

Would Romney lose a contested convention?

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I'm a little late in getting some links up. This is an article from back when Santorum was still in the race and Gingrich was planning (more abundantly) for a contested convention. Would Romney win or lose a contested convention?

Read my take in this article at

Utah party leaders Jim Dabakis and Thomas Wright comment on Mitt Romney's Mormon faith in light of Super Tuesday results

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I participated in a panel discussion with the Deseret Morning News on Super Tuesday. In preparation for the event, I interviewed several relevant political figures, including the leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties in Utah.

At the suggestion of one of the staff, I compiled some of my notes for an article. I've since been interested to see it was picked up by various national outlets, something I planned on in my taglines, but perhaps didn't expect. The article can be viewed here.

Also, I utilized the phrase "Mormon Moment" in the article. This was based on my understanding the Olympics and the last two presidential elections have created a new period of Mormon presence in the press. However, an interesting article appeared in the Washington Post suggesting the word "moment" be taken literally and the 180-year history of the church be taken in context. I highly recommend the post and include a link here.