Volume 48, number 1
In BYU Studies 48, no. 1, Morris Thurston writes about Joseph Smith's most famous legal case: he was tried as an accessory to the attempted murder of former Missouri Governor Lilburn W. Boggs. Joseph's trial caused quite a sensation in Springfield, Illinois, and newspapers far and wide gave the case headline status.
Another article discusses missionary work in early Victorian England. Author Ron Bartholomew looks at one county, Buckinghamshire.
Another piece of this issue discusses the hymn writing of early Church scribe Frederick G. Williams, written by his descendant, Fred Williams.
Also in this issue are photos of mission life in exotic Tonga in the 1930s, by Colleen Whitley, and a discussion of Mormon film on the Internet, by film critic Randy Astle.
Volume 48, number 2
In BYU Studies 48, no. 2, theologians David L. Paulsen and Clark H. Pinnock discuss the nature of God and the philosophical problems of evil.
Brian Cannon tells how Benjamin Cluff Jr., BYU's almost-forgotten third president, made a significant impact on the university by expanding the faculty, raising academic standards, and helping the academy transition from a secondary school to a degree-conferring institution.
Travis Anderson suggests in "Artistry and Aesthetics in Contemporary Mormon and Iranian Film" that if we Latter-day Saints were to judge our own movies against standout Iranian films, with reference either to their artistic quality or to their spiritual profundity, many of us would no doubt begin to wonder if the best "Mormon" feature films aren't being made today by Muslims in Iran.
From 1866 to 1869, Eliza R. Snow corresponded about polygamy and health with a prominent physician in the eastern U.S. These letters are published here for the first time, with commentary by Jill Mulvay Derr and Matthew Grow.
Volume 48, number 3
BYU Studies 48, no. 3, features a special series of articles examining the recently published Book of Commandments and Revelations, the first volume of the Revelations and Translations series of the Joseph Smith Papers. The BCR contains the earliest surviving manuscript versions of many of Joseph Smith's revelations and the only prepublication manuscript copies of some of them. The BCR also contains seven revelations never published as part of the scriptural canon of the Church. These articles, written by members of the Joseph Smith Papers editorial team, flesh out the importance of the BCR in more detail than is found in the printed edition itself. Jessie L. Embry looks at twentieth-century LDS history through the lens of church sports in "'Spiritualized Recreation': LDS All-Church Athletic Tournaments, 1950–1971."
Jill Mulvay Derr and Karen Lynn Davidson, editors of Eliza R. Snow: The Complete Poetry, share a handful of Snow's more than five hundred poems along with historical context and insightful commentary. Even though book reviewers always mention the fact that publishing phenomenon Stephenie Meyer is a "Mormon housewife turned novelist," Jana Riess finds it intriguing that they miss most of the LDS themes in her novels. In "Book of Mormon Stories That Steph Meyer Tells to Me," Riess explores the theological underpinnings of Meyer's popular fiction.
Volume 48, number 4
BYU Studies 48, no. 4, is a special issue featuring papers presented in a 2008–9 lecture series on Thomas L. Kane, sponsored by BYU's Harold B. Lee Library. A son of a prominent Philadelphia judge, Kane came from a family that was well connected to the political and aristocratic powers of east coast America. In 1846, the governor commissioned Kane as a lieutenant colonel in the state militia, and he carried this title until he became a brigadier general during the Civil War.
Although not a member of any organized religion, Kane honorably defended the Mormons on the national stage for nearly four decades and throughout his life remained a confidant of Brigham Young and other Latter-day Saint leaders. As one of the most influential friends of the Mormons, Kane holds an unprecedented place in their history.
This richly illustrated volume examines the relationship Thomas L. Kane and his wife, Elizabeth W. Kane, had with the Mormons from social, political, and religious perspectives.