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March 20-21, 2020 — Benjamin E. Park Events Are Cancelled

To all of our Miller Eccles Study Group Texas friends:

In light of guidance from health professionals to reduce or eliminate social gatherings where possible in order to limit exposure to, and transmission of, the COVID-19 Virus (corona virus), we are indefinitely postponing all Miller Eccles Study Group Texas events.

We’ve been in touch with Dr. Park, and he is looking forward to rescheduling his presentations as soon as circumstances allow.  We’ll be back in touch when we are ready to resume our meetings.

In the meantime, we wish you all the best, and will add our prayers to yours that this pandemic crisis will soon be over.

Cris Baird and Adam Miller

March 20-21, 2020 — Benjamin E. Park

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas is thrilled to welcome fellow Texan and Sam Houston State University professor Benjamin E. Park as our March 2020 speaker.  He will talk about his just-published book Kingdom of Nauvoo: The Rise and Fall of a Religious Empire.

Publisher’s Weekly described the book as being “enjoyable and fastidiously researched”.  Kirkus called the book a “welcome contribution to American religious and political history.”  Russell Arben Fox at By Common Consent said “It’s a first-rate work of Mormon history–the best book about this era I’ve read since Richard Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling…”

The publisher describes the book this way: “A raucous, violent, character-driven story, Kingdom of Nauvoo raises many of the central questions of American history, and even serves as a parable for the American present. How far does religious freedom extend? Can religious and other minority groups survive in a democracy where the majority dictates the law of the land? The Mormons of Nauvoo, who initially believed in the promise of American democracy, would become its strongest critics. Throughout his absorbing chronicle, Park shows the many ways in which the Mormons were representative of their era, and in doing so elevates nineteenth century Mormon history into the American mainstream.”

We hope you’ll join us as we learn more about one of the most pivotal periods of time in Latter-day Saint history.

STUDY GROUP DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, March 20, 7 pm (McKinney)
Playful Corp.
300 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75069

Saturday, March 21, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE STUDY GROUP TOPIC:

“Kingdom of Nauvoo: The Rise and Fall of a Religious Empire on the American Frontier”

While Nauvoo may be a familiar story to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is largely unknown to the broader world. Kingdom of Nauvoo is the first attempt since Robert Flanders, over fifty years ago, to try and tell the compelling tale to those outside the faith as a way to better understand American history writ large. This presentation will examine how Nauvoo looks different when viewed from this larger context, and what lessons from the saga remain to be uncovered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SPEAKER:

Benjamin E. Park received his doctorate from Cambridge University and currently teaches American religious history at Sam Houston State University. His scholarly work has appeared in over a dozen academic journals, and his first book, American Nationalisms: Imagining Union in the Age of Revolutions, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018. He currently serves as co-editor, with Quincy Newell, of the Mormon Studies Review, as well as on the executive boards for the Mormon History Association and Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. W.W. Norton/Liveright just published his Kingdom of Nauvoo: The Rise and Fall of a Religious Empire on the American Frontier, and Wiley-Blackwell will publish his Companion to American Religious History in the fall.

February 7-8, 2020 — Center for Latter-day Saint Arts Dallas Festival

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas is thrilled to participate in “The Better Part: Women, Art, Faith” — the first-ever satellite festival of the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts, which will be held in Dallas on February 7 and 8, 2020.

Highlights of the festival include:

  • A keynote address by Sister Sharon Eubank, First Counselor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Relief Society.
  • An exhibition of New Testament artwork by Jorge Cocco Santangelo.
  • A group exhibition of artwork by Latter-day Saint women artists.
  • Presentations by Neylan McBaine, Jeannie S. and John W. (Jack) Welch, Heather Belnap, Richard Bushman and many others.
  • A chamber concert featuring works composed and performed by Latter-day Saints.

The full program is included below.

All events are free and open to the public.  All who are interested are invited to attend.

To register, click here, or go to http://www.centerforlatterdaysaintarts.org.

DATES:

Friday, February 7, 7 pm.
Keynote address by Sharon Eubank and opening of exhibitions.

Saturday, February 8, 9 am to 5 pm.
A day filled with presentations on the arts.

Saturday, February 8, 7 pm.
Chamber Concert

LOCATION:

All events will be held at:

Museum of Biblical Art
7500 Park Lane
Dallas, Texas 75225

October 18-19, 2019 — Richard Bushman and Glen Nelson

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Richard Bushman and Glen Nelson as our October 2019 speakers.  They spoke at study group meetings in McKinney and in Arlington on the topic: “What is the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts Up To?”

Richard Bushman speaks to attendees of Miller Eccles Study Group Texas in McKinney on October 18, 2019.

Glen Nelson talks about The Center for Latter-day Saint Arts at a study group meeting in McKinney on October 18, 2019.

Richard Bushman visits with Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendees prior to the study group presentation in McKinney, Texas, on October 18, 2019.

Richard Bushman speaks to attendees of Miller Eccles Study Group Texas in Arlington, on October 19, 2019.

Glen Nelson speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on October 19, 2019.

October 18-19, 2019–Richard Bushman and Glen Nelson

We are thrilled to welcome Richard Bushman and Glen Nelson, the co-directors of the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts, as our October 2019 speakers.

Throughout the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, art has played an important part of our faith.  Within months of the Church’s official formation, the prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation calling for the selection of sacred hymns.  “For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, and the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.”  (D&C 25:11).

And in the late 1800’s, as construction on the Salt Lake City temple was nearing completion, the First Presidency sent five artists to Paris to study painting so that they could more beautifully decorate the sacred interior spaces of the “House of the Lord”.

President Spencer W. Kimball began a 1967 speech to the faculty and staff of Brigham Young University by saying: “In our world, there have risen brilliant stars in drama, music, literature, sculpture, painting, science, and all the graces.  For long years I have had a vision of members of the Church greatly increasing their already strong positions of excellence till the eyes of all the world will be upon us.”  Later in the same speech he said: “We are proud of the artistic heritage that the Church has brought to us from its earliest beginnings, but the full story of Mormonism has never yet been written nor painted nor sculpted nor spoken.  It remains for inspired hearts and talented fingers yet to reveal themselves.” (fn to Gospel Vision of the Arts speech).

Today, almost 180 years after the Lord’s instruction to prepare a hymnal for use by Church members, and more than 50 years after President Kimball’s call to Latter-day Saints to achieve the highest levels of artistic excellence, the full depth, breadth, and beauty of the artistic contributions of Latter-day Saints is still being revealed.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to meet Richard Bushman and Glen Nelson, the visionary founders of the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts, and to learn more about this unique organization that is devoted to exploring the artistic heritage of our people and revealing a fuller story of our faith.

Please join us!

DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, October 18, 7 pm (McKinney)
Playful Corp.
300 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75069

Saturday, October 19, 1 pm (Arlington) [[NOTE TIME CHANGE]]
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE TOPIC:

“What Is the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts Up To?”

Founded as the Mormon Arts Center in 2017, the New York City-based Center for Latter-day Saints has already held three successful summer festivals, published award-winning books, released twenty podcast episodes, created the “Come Follow Me (Art Companion)”, and has commenced work on a comprehensive catalog of music compositions by Latter-day Saint composers, along with several other significant objectives.  The two founders of the Center, Richard Bushman and Glen Nelson, will explain how it all began and what it hopes to accomplish.  They will also offer some answers to the question: “How can Latter-day Saints teach their children about our rich artistic tradition?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SPEAKERS:

Richard Bushman was born in Salt Lake City in 1931 and brought up in Portland, Oregon.  He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University and taught at Brigham Young University, Boston University, and the University of Delaware.  He retired as Gouverneur Morris Professor of History at Columbia University in 2001 and was visiting Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University from 2008 to 2011.  He is the author of a number of books including Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. He served as Co-General Editor of the Joseph Smith Papers until 2012, and in 1997 founded the Mormon Scholars Foundation which fosters the development of young LDS scholars.  He is now co-director of the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts in New York City.  With his wife Claudia Bushman, he is the father of six children and twenty grandchildren.  He has served as a Bishop and Stake President and currently is Patriarch of the New York Young Single Adult Stake.

As a librettist and poet, Glen Nelson has created texts and collaborated on four operas, and multiple cantatas, oratorios, art songs, and choral works with composers Murray Boren, Royce Twitchell, Lansing McLoskey, Daniel McDavitt, and Ethan Wickman. He is the author of twenty books, the most recent of which is Joseph Paul Vorst, which was the subject of a retrospective exhibition of the artist at the Church History Museum. As a ghostwriter, four of his books have been New York Times bestsellers. He founded Mormon Artists Group in 1999. He is the co-director of Center for Latter-day Saint Arts. In 2018, the Church History Museum acquired for their permanent collection the Glen and Marcia Nelson Collection of Mormon Art, which included 169 works by Latter-day Saint artists—paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, prints, textiles, artists’ books, and ephemera—dated from 1875 to 2017.

August 9-11, 2019–Thomas A.Wayment

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Thomas A. Wayment at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, August 9, 2019, and in Arlington on Saturday, August, 10, 2019, and at a fireside in Arlington on Sunday, August 11, 2019. His study group topic was “The Translator’s Art and the Legacy of the King James Bible”. His fireside topic was “Translating the New Testament for Latter-day Saints”.

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Thomas A. Wayment speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendees in McKinney, Texas, on August 9, 2019.

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Thomas A. Wayment speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendees in McKinney, Texas, on August 9, 2019.

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Thomas A. Wayment signs a copy of his book “The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-Day Saints” in McKinney, Texas, on August 9, 2019.

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Thomas A. Wayment (right) visits with Miller Eccles Study Group attendees after his presentation in McKinney, Texas, on August 9, 2019.

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Thomas A. Wayment speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas in Arlington, Texas, on August 10, 2019.

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Thomas A. Wayment talks about his book: “The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-Day Saints” at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on August 10, 2019.

August 9-11, 2019 — Thomas A. Wayment

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas is thrilled to welcome BYU professor Thomas A. Wayment as our August 2019 speaker.

In the introduction to his groundbreaking new book “The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-Day Saints,” which was co-published by BYU’s Religious Study Center and Deseret Book, Thom wrote:

“This translation is not an attempt to replace the King James Bible for Latter-day Saint readers, but it is an invitation to engage again the meaning of the text for a new and more diverse English readership. … This translation intentionally engages the possibility that the New Testament can be rendered into modern language in a way that will help a reader more fully understand the teachings of Jesus, his disciples, and his followers. … I hope this attempt to translate the Greek of the New Testament will not be seen as combative or even controversial.  Instead, I hope it can become a study tool, an aid to inviting readers into the text so that new meaning can be discovered, and new inspiration can be found.”

With the Church’s “Come, Follow Me” curriculum focused on the text of the New Testament this year, there is no better time than now to find out if Thom has been successful in accomplishing his goals.

We invite you to join us as we continue to seek new meaning and inspiration in the timeless text of the New Testament with Thomas A. Wayment.

STUDY GROUP DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, August 9, 7 pm (McKinney)
Playful Corp.
300 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75069

Saturday, August 10, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

FIRESIDE DATE AND LOCATION:

Sunday, August 11, 6 pm
Arlington Stake Center
3809 Curt Drive
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE STUDY GROUP TOPIC

“The Translator’s Art and the Legacy of the King James Bible”

In this presentation Thom will discuss the different translation events of the Restoration, and he will compare his translation process to that of the Book of Mormon, the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, and the King James Bible.  He will walk the audience through these various translation experiences in order to explain and clarify the similarities and differences. He will focus his attention on what it means to translate, and how the Restoration has promoted the concept of authority to translate and how it has also connected that endeavor to prophetic authority. In that context, he will discuss some of the difficulties and challenges he has faced in producing a new translation of the New Testament.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FIRESIDE TOPIC:

“Translating the New Testament for Latter-day Saints”

In this presentation, Thom will share some of the experiences that led him to translate the New Testament, the insights he gained while doing so, what went into producing the notes for “The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints,” and how he envisions this new translation working for Latter-day Saints as they seek inspiration in their study of the New Testament.

THE SPEAKER:

Thomas A. Wayment is a professor of classical studies at Brigham Young University, where he previously worked as a professor of ancient scripture and as publications director of the Religious Studies Center. He received his BA in Classics from the University of California at Riverside and his MA and PhD in New Testament studies from the Claremont Graduate School. Dr. Wayment’s research interests include papyrology, community formation, and Christianity at Oxyrhynchus.  He is the author of numerous articles for the Church’s “Religious Educator” magazine.

April 12-14, 2019 — Steve Harper

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Steven Harper at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, April 12, 2019, and in Arlington on Saturday, April 13, 2019, and at a fireside in Arlington on Sunday, April 14, 2019. His study group topic was “How Joseph Smith Remembered His First Vision: A Theory Based on the Accounts and the Psychology of Memory”. His fireside topic was “Why Latter-day Saints need Saints”.

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Steve Harper speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, Texas, on April 12, 2019.

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Steve Harper speaks to attendees of Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, Texas, on April 12, 2019.

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Steve Harper speaks with Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendees after his presentation in McKinney, Texas, on April 12, 2019.

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Steve Harper signs a copy of “Saints” at a Miller Eccles Study Group Texas meeting in McKinney, Texas, on April 12, 2019.

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Steve Harper speaks to attendees of Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on April 13, 2019.

April 12-14, 2019 — Steve Harper

© BYU PHOTO 2018
All Rights Reserved

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas is thrilled to welcome Steven C. Harper as our April 2019 speaker.

The accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision have been controversial from the beginning.  In the years immediately following his theophany, Joseph Smith told his story to multiple audiences on multiple occasions, and he published two accounts of the First Vision while he was still alive.  Several other documents and first-hand descriptions related to the First Vision have also been published.

The many accounts of the First Vision have created fertile ground for historical investigation, especially by critics who have been unwilling to accept the faith claims inherent in the Prophet Joseph’s story.  The criticisms have been so persistent that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decided in 2013 to publish an essay explaining how variances among the accounts can be reconciled.

Steven C. Harper is the leading historian of the First Vision, having published numerous articles on the topic, as well as two books: Joseph Smith’s First Vision (Deseret Book, 2012), and the forthcoming First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins (Oxford University Press, 2019).  His study group presentations on April 12 and 13 will include some of the research findings contained in his forthcoming book.

Steve was also the editor, managing historian, and one of the authors of, Saints, volume 1.  He will offer six reasons why Latter-day Saints need Saints at a devotional fireside in Arlington on April 14.

Please join us for these informative presentations.

STUDY GROUP DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, April 12, 7 pm (McKinney)
Playful Corp.
300 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75069

Saturday, April 13, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

FIRESIDE DATE AND LOCATION:

Sunday, April 14, 6 pm
Arlington Stake Center
3809 Curt Drive
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE STUDY GROUP TOPIC:

“How Joseph Smith Remembered His First Vision: A Theory Based on the Accounts and the Psychology of Memory”

To a nerdy historian like Steve Harper, the best thing about the Harry Potter stories is the pensieve, the magical bowl of memories in which an observer can sift through another person’s past. Steve’s talk will be the closest thing to looking in the pensieve at Joseph Smith’s memories of his first vision.  It has become common to account for variety in Joseph’s first vision accounts by saying he intended them for different audiences. However true that may be, it’s not the best explanation. Steve will provide a better one based on intimate knowledge of all the vision accounts in light of what we now know about the way memories form and get recalled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FIRESIDE TOPIC:

“Why Latter-day Saints need Saints

Are you one of the 340,000 people who has a print copy of Saints in one of fourteen languages? Are you one of the 834,000 people who have installed Saints in your Gospel Library app and read or listened to a combined 80 million chapters so far this year? Would you like to learn more about where Saints came from and hear six reasons why Latter-day Saints need Saints? Steve Harper was a general editor, the managing historian, and one of the writers. He’ll speak to us about what he learned along the way and what it feels like to lose your memory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SPEAKER:

Steven C. Harper is a professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University.  In 2012 Steve was appointed as the managing historian and a general editor of Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days.  He was named editor in chief of BYU Studies Quarterly in September 2018. He earned an MA in American history from Utah State University and a PhD in early American history from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  He began teaching courses in religion and history at BYU Hawaii in 2000 and joined the Religious Education faculty at BYU in 2002.  That year he also became a volume editor of The Joseph Smith Papers and the document editor for BYU Studies. He taught at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies in 2011–2012.  His first book was Promised Land (Lehigh University Press, 2006), a study of Lenape or Delaware Indians’ responses to a fraudulent 1737 land deal in colonial Pennsylvania.  He also authored Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants (Deseret Book, 2008), Joseph Smith’s First Vision (Deseret Book, 2012), and First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins (Oxford University Press, 2019), along with dozens of articles.

January 25-26, 2019 — Jonathan Stapley

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Jonathan Stapley at study group meetings in McKinney on January 25, 2019, and in Arlington, on January 26, 2019.  His topic was “Women, Liturgy, Authority” and was based on the findings contained in his 2018 book The Power of Godliness: Mormon Liturgy and Cosmology.

Jonathan Stapley speaks to attendees of Miller Eccles Study Group Texas on January 25, 2019, in McKinney, Texas.

Jonathan Stapley signs a copy of his book “The Power of Godliness: Mormon Liturgy and Cosmology” at the Miller Eccles Study Group Texas event in McKinney, Texas, on January 25, 2019.

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas participants visit with each other and enjoy refreshments after Jonathan Stapley’s presentation in McKinney, Texas, on January 25, 2019.

Cris Baird welcomes Miller Eccles Study Group attendees to Jonathan Stapley’s presentation in Arlington, Texas, on January 26, 2019.

Jonathan Stapley speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group attendees in Arlington, Texas, on January 26, 2019.