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Whitmer Cast

Whitmer Cast

Author: Whitmer Cast

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In reflection of our annual conference, Whitmer Cast will bring you a cornucopia of podcast hosts, essays, and historians to share the joy of restoration history with a broader audience. As the first historian of the early restoration movement, John Whitmer chronicled the beginnings of Joseph Smith’s Church of Christ (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) from its inception. Whitmer Cast, produced by the John Whitmer Historical Association, is proud to continue John Whitmer’s legacy in highlighting the fascinating field of Mormon restoration and Community of Christ Studies.
25 Episodes
In this episode, we bring you an interview with Dr. Kyle Walker about his new book, Sister to the Prophet: The Life of Katharine Smith Salisbury, published by the BYU Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book.  In this new book, he tells the story of Joseph Smith’s younger sister.
In this episode, host Jason R. Smith interviews Dr. Matthew L. Harris about his new book, Second-Class Saints: Black Mormons and the Struggle for Racial Equality, published by Oxford University Press. In this groundbreaking work, Harris tells the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 126 year priesthood and temple ban against those of African ancestry which ended in June 1978. Harris is a professor of history at Colorado State University-Pueblo. His particular focus is in religion and the law, church and state, American Religions, civil rights, legal history, and Mormon Studies. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Watchman on the Tower: Ezra Taft Benson and the Making of the Mormon Right.
Special crossover episode with Latter Day Digest in which host Gene Judson interviews Paul DeBarthe and Michael S. Riggs, co-authors of the recent book, Hawn’s Mills Hamlet: A Phase III Archaeological Investigation. Click here to buy the book: Click here to visit Latter Day Digest:
In this episode, host Jason R. Smith interviews Adam Stokes, an elder and apostle in the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, Assured Way of the Lord. We discuss the history of his church and Adam tells us about his church·s unique take on scripture and theology.
Host Jason R. Smith interviews Dr. David Howlett about the history and importance of the Kirtland Temple. David also shares some of his research on religious pilgrimage. David is a visiting assistant professor of religion at Smith College and is currently the President of the Mormon History Association. He is the author of Kirtland Temple: the Biography of a Shared Mormon Sacred Space.
Katherine Hill interviews historians Nancy Ross and David Howlett about women's ordination movements in Community of Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Community of Christ women participated in feminist groups and networks before the passing of CofC D&C 156 in 1984. For Latter-day Saint feminists, the topic of women's ordination has become less taboo in recent years as the organization Ordain Women did public actions in the mid-2010s. While still not ordaining women, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been changing its language in talking about priesthood and made changes in women participating in the life of the church. Nancy and David talk about how these two ordination movements compare to each other and how they do or do not interact with larger social trends.
Jason R. Smith interviews author Ronald V. Huggins and biography star Sandra Tanner about Lighthouse: Jerald & Sandra Tanner, Despised and Loved Critics of Mormonism (2022, Signature Books). Jason asks Ron about the genesis of the book, challenges and opportunities of writing about the Tanners, interesting details left out of the book after editing, and what makes the Tanners different from other critics of Mormonism. Sandra gives her perspective about opening her life for a biography, her faith journey, early connections with Pauline Hancock and her church based on the Bible and Book of Mormon, and what makes Utah Lighthouse Ministry special. Mormon history over the past 60 years cannot be understood without the contributions of Jerald and Sandra Tanner and their quest for truth.
Casey Paul Griffiths, Conference Chair, and Scott Esplin, Board Member, preview the 50th Anniversary Conference happening September 15-18, 2022. The hosts discuss: the two keynote speakers for the conference, the interfaith panel for the forthcoming book Restoration(s): Scholars in Dialogue from Community of Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the special events celebrating 50 years of JWHA, conference sessions, the Life of John Whitmer bus tour, and the Sunday morning hymnfest. Conference registration closes September 7, 2022. You can learn more about the 2022 JWHA Conference here.
Katherine Pollock interviews Casey Paul Griffiths regarding his new book Truth Seeker: The Life of Joseph F. Merrill, Scientist, Educator, Apostle. Joseph F. Merrill (1868 - 1952) lived during the transitional period of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into the American mainstream. Griffiths discusses Merrill’s early life in a polygamous family, his contributions to the University of Utah as an administrator, his time as Church Commissioner of Education helping to grow the seminary and institute programs, and his time as an Apostle. You can find Casey Paul Griffith’s newest book here:
Katherine Pollock interviews BYU scholar Joseph Spencer on several of his publications, including a chapter comparing Community of Christ and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints editions of the Book of Mormon and his newest book A Word in Season: Isaiah’s Reception in the Book of Mormon (University of Illinois Press).
A session from our 50th Anniversary meeting entitled “Gnostic Mormonism: The History and Scriptures of Three Gnostic Branches of the Latter Day Saint Movement,” presented by Mike LeCheminant.  In this session, Mike discusses the Scriptures and beliefs of three lesser known branches of the Smith-Rigdon Movement.
Host Jason R. Smith talks with historian Joseph Johnstun about Nauvoo, the death and tomb of Joseph Smith, as well as his thoughts about the recent purchase of historic properties in Kirtland and Nauvoo by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A session from our 2019 annual meeting entitled “Discerning God’s Presence: Experiential Claims and Restorationist Movements in the Burned-Over District,” presented by Ann Taves. 
This new book contains reflections from two groups of scholars who both trace their beginnings to the early Saints who built the Kirtland Temple. They come from the two largest branches of the Restoration Movement, Community of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have often found themselves on the opposite sides of many issues. They may both be part of the same original family, but, like many families, regretfully divided with contention and bad feelings.  The conversation between the scholars from both movements began tentatively in 2016. We both carried many misunderstandings and misconceptions into our first conversations. Over time we gradually grew to respect each other, and even became comfortable enough to engage in some good-natured teasing in our fellowship together. This book is filled with honest, frank conversations but also collegiality and friendship.  This dialogue is about bringing together informed scholars from the two churches working together, with goodwill, to accurately understand each other. Featuring Sherry Morain, Lachlan Mackay, Scott Esplin, Katherine Hill, David Howlett, Maclane Heward, Matthew Frizzell, Taunalyn Ford, Richard Moore, Alonzo Gaskill, and Casey Paul Griffiths
Host Jason R. Smith talks with Cheryl L. Bruno and Dr. Nicholas S. Literski, two of the authors of the book Method Infinite: Freemasonry and the Mormon Restoration.   They discuss their book and talk about research methods and motivations.
Jason Smith talks with Bill Russell, one of the founders of the John Whitmer Historical Association, about his career studying the Restoration Movement -particularly about his research into RLDS fundamentalist groups.
Magen Edvalson interviews Christine Blythe and Christopher James Blythe about their shared interest in Mormon folklore as well as the Blythes new podcast, Angels and Seerstones.  Christine is the Executive Director of the Mormon History Association and Chris is an Assistant Professor of English at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT.
Host Makoto Hunter interviews Dr. Benjamin E. Park, Associate Professor of History at Sam Houston University, about his upcoming book American Zion: A New History of Mormonism (forthcoming from Liveright).  Park discusses the spread of Mormonism from its very American beginnings as well as its impact on American history and culture.
Host Jason R. Smith interviews Community of Christ World Church Historian David J. Howlett about his recent article "The RLDS Church, Global Denominations, and Globalization: Why the Study of Denominations Still Matters" from the Journal of Mormon History (2022), his contribution to the World Religions and Spirituality Project website, and much more. 
Paul DeBarthe shares his expertise and life experiences with host Jason Smith. Special focus is given to Paul’s work with I Dig Nauvoo, a nonprofit archaeological group dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of the history of Nauvoo, Illinois. Paul also discusses his upcoming book with Michael Riggs about the 2001-2005 archaeological work at Hawn’s Mill. Finally, he focuses on the weekly educational lectures of the Book of Mormon Perspective series in this informative podcast.