A new year is often a timely moment to pause and consider the direction we are heading and how that direction has been guided by past actions and decisions. At the Religious Educator, we are often presented with opportunities to consider our direction, both where we’ve been and where we’re going. Being a submission-driven venue, we hope to offer articles and discussions of important topics by leading scholars and thinkers. An interesting feature of this edition of the journal is the large number of submissions discussing Book of Mormon topics, which appears to reflect a larger trend in that direction among Latter-day Saint scholars.
If there is a theme to this issue of the journal, it would be teaching the concepts and doctrines of the Book of Mormon. An article on the topic of the visual depictions of the plan of salvation grapples with the way we have portrayed the plan and how that shapes what is said. The authors offer a new visual model, one that emphasizes different truths while attempting to stay true of the plan of salvation as taught in scripture. Professor Jared Ludlow engages a previous publication on the topic of 2 Nephi 25:23 by Professor Joseph Spencer. Professor Nick Frederick engages the idea of what the Book of Mormon teaches about scripture, specifically looking internally to the text for cues about scriptural intent and sacredness of religious texts. Professors Dan Sharp and Matthew Bowen tackle a thorny textual problem regarding Ether 4:1 and whether that verse should read King Benjamin or King Mosiah. They offer a compelling solution.
Readers will also find two important reviews, one on Documents: Volume 4 of The Joseph Smith Papers and a review of Joseph Spencer’s book, An Other Testament: On Typology. I hope that these reviews will help religious educators make an informed decision about whether these resources will be helpful for their own teaching and study. We hope that our direction will be obvious as we seek to inform teachers, to promote the best practices, and to engage the minds of a new generation of student-disciples.
Thomas A. Wayment