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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.
10 Episodes
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.
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.
Jason R. Smith interviews Steven L. Shields about his latest book Divergent Paths of the Restoration: An Encyclopedia of the Smith-Rigdon Movement, 5th Edition (2021, Signature Books). Jason asks Steve about his experience writing the Divergent Paths of the Restoration encyclopedias over the last 40 years and making friends with people in different expressions of the Restoration. With around 500 entries in the 5th edition, Jason asks important questions to Steve about the methods he used to accomplish such a large, diverse project as well as the challenges. Steve's encyclopedia points to the rich diversity of denominations, movements, and people that trace their spiritual heritage to Joseph Smith Jr. You can find Steven L. Shields' book here.
Katherine Pollock interviews Kyle Beshears about his doctoral dissertation "Wingfield Watson and His Struggle to Preserve the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite) After the Death of Its Founder". James J. Strang was one of several leaders who claimed succession to Joseph Smith after Smith's death in 1844 and gathered converts in Voree, Wisconsin and on Beaver Island. After Strang was assassinated in 1856, the Stangite community started to fall apart. Beshears's research details the life and work of the Stangite leader Wingfield Watson who preserved James J. Strang's teachings and Strangite documents for the remnant Strangite community.  You can find Kyle's dissertation here: 
Jill Brim interviews Melvin C. Johnson detailing Lyman Wight’s fierce commitment to protecting the early frontier saints as he served in the Adam-ondi-Ahman stake presidency and as an apostle. Wight’s unique calling to the Wisconsin pineries would lead to his letter to Joseph Smith, proposing that representatives be sent to Texas, scouting possible areas for church relocation. Lyman Wight later took a group from the pineries to the Texas Hill Country where he constructed the first temple west of the Mississippi River in Zodiac, Texas.
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:
Colby Townsend interviews Mark Staker regarding his new book, Joseph and Lucy Smith’s Tunbridge Farm published by JWHA. Staker discusses his process of archaeological discovery around the farm, what he gleaned in surveying this priceless plot of land. Artifacts uncovered inform much about the day-to-day life of the early Smith family and the surrounding area. You can find Mark Staker’s newest book here: Website:
An introduction to the Whitmer Cast. What you can expect every episode. Introduction to our hosts. Who we are. Brief History of John Whitmer Historical Association. Website:
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