Study the Word
One of the underlying themes of this issue is the encouragement received to study and ponder the word of God: “You have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right” (Doctrine and Covenants 9:7–8). These words of encouragement were given to Oliver Cowdery when he had hoped to be involved in the translation process. As Oliver had hoped to bring ancient things to light in translating the Book of Mormon, we too hope to make historical truths relevant for this day and age.
This issue asks the reader to focus on various questions and to ponder and probe them for new insights. Particularly, there is a call to study the history of the Relief Society and to understand its nineteenth-century beginnings in light of current circumstances. There is also a call to study the Book of Mormon, to study the fifth principle of the gospel, and to learn to incorporate quality questions into teaching. I hope that these and other articles in this edition will be found rewarding. As I read them, I was moved with the interest of each author to find meaning in older sources and ancient texts and then to translate those experiences into the modern world.
Finally, in this volume I have offered a brief review of one of the publications of the Joseph Smith Papers Project. The larger Joseph Smith Papers Project has already generated nine print volumes with many more to come. This review was written for the gospel student and teacher and not for the academic community. Specifically, I have tried to identify ways that these invaluable resources can be used in studying and teaching, and to call attention to the ways in which these volumes will impact the understanding of Church history, the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the beginnings of the Restoration.
Thomas A. Wayment