Front Matter

2014 BYU Religious Education Student Symposium

Published by the Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

© 2014 by Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Printed by Brigham Young University Print Services

Any uses of this material beyond those allowed by the exemptions in US copyright law, such as section 107, “Fair Use,” and section 108, “Library Copying,” require the written permission of the publisher, Religious Studies Center, 185 HGB, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602. The views expressed herein are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of Brigham Young University or the Religious Studies Center.

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Church History

“Is There No Blessing for Me?” Black Women and the Priesthood/Temple Ban

Chrisse Edmunds

The Evolution of Sacred Space: The Changing Environment of the Endowment

Bridger Talbot

In Hollywood, but Not of Hollywood: Cecil B. DeMille, Paul Schrader, and the Evolving Spiritual Aesthetic of the Institutional Films of the LDS Church

Mark T. Lewis


Applied Doctrine

Prospering in the Land: The Covenant Blessings of Obedience

Michael B. Smith

Heavenly Father: Our Perfect Parental Model

Andrea Tate

On Establishing Peace in the Land

Ben Walters

“The Soul’s Own Speech”: Why God Gave Us Music in Addition to Prayer

Matt Armstrong

Our Many Covenant Names

Braden Hancock


Scriptural Analysis

Exploring and Explaining the Intertextual Relationship between King Benjamin and Abinadi

Adam Anderson

Narrative Art in the Noah Story

Jared Pfost

Psalm 82: A Latter-day Saint Reading

Stephen O. Smoot

Nephi and the Brass Plates as a Type of Christ

Nathan Usevitch

Symbols of the Savior: Unnamed Women in the Book of Mormon

Louisa Jo Sieber



The Religious Education Student Symposium is an annual opportunity to highlight and share thoughtful student thinking, research, and writing. Since its beginning in 1999, the Student Symposium has involved hundreds of students and touched thousands of lives.

This year’s publication includes excellent work from students who represent a wide variety of academic majors and disciplines. These essays were honored during an awards banquet in February 2014.

We appreciate the generous endowments from Religious Education donors who fund this event, and we are grateful for their kind and continuing support. We also express gratitude for the support of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarships, BYU Studies, the Mormon History Association, the Religious Studies Center, and the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation.

We also wish to thank the Religious Education Faculty Support staff for the many months of administrative and logistical support they provide to make the actual symposium a success, and we express our appreciation to the Religious Studies Center for their outstanding work in reviewing, editing, and publishing this book.

To all of the students who presented during the 2014 Student Symposium and especially to the students whose work is presented here: thank you and congratulations!

2014 Religious Education Student Symposium Committee

Mark D. Ogletree, Chair

David F. Boone

Jeffrey R. Chadwick

J. B. Haws

Mauro Properzi

Mark A. Wright

Patty A. Smith