Thanks to the pressures of grad school (including a time- and energy-consuming struggle to get my online work taken seriously as creative nonfiction), I haven't been able to draft the longer essays I'd like to do for Church History Thursdays. If I get authorization to use these blogs for a thesis project, I'll be able to write more consistently again--wish me luck!
For now, I'll leave some notes about things I'd like to discuss to at least give you some idea where we're headed:
1) I think Joseph Smith made mistakes that contributed to discontent over the Fall of the Kirtland Bank--and that we can learn something productive from recognizing both what mistakes he might have made and what positive long-term affects the Kirtland Bank experience had on the church in spite of its flawed execution.
2) You may have heard that Joseph Smith once got into a fist-fight with an Apostle--who also happened to be his brother. Could the human details of this story become part of our understanding of a dynamic restoration?
3) Missouri's "Mormon War," in which the Governor issued an order authorizing the extermination and/or forced removal of all Mormons from the state, figures prominently in LDS cultural memory. I'd like to speculate on what might have motivated Joseph Smith, Lyman Wight, and Thomas Marsh to take three separate courses before and during the war, each of them problematic. I'd also like to talk about how my rougher version of history can be spiritually instructive today.
Thank you for your patience thus far--hopefully it will be rewarded in the near future.