Panel MYSTICISM, REVELATION AND LEADERSHIP IN MORMON HISTORY: TWO CASE STUDIES
Paper 1 J. DUNHAM LAMANITE: EARLY MORMON LEADER, MYSTIC, AND INDIAN AMBASSADOR
Presenter: CHRISTOPHER C. SMITH is a PhD student in religions in North america at Claremont Graduate University. He’s writing a dissertation on Mormons and American Indians in the “age of Removal,” which roughly coincided with the lifetime of Joseph Smith.
Abstract: Although Jonathan Dunham was a prominent Mormon leader who left a wealth of journals and papers, he’s largely ignored by modern Mormon historians. When he’s remembered at all, it’s for his role in early Mormon violence (as a Danite, Nauvoo police captain, and Major General of the Nauvoo Legion). yet violence was only one part of Dunham’s life and legacy. His papers reveal him as a mystic, entrepreneur, highly successful evangelist, and great champion of the Indian mission. Dunham’s self-identification as “Lamanite,” though he had no Native american heritage, also provides insight into early Mormon racial theology.
Paper 2 THE LAWLESS WOMEN REVELATION:
Presenter: CLAIR BARRUS manages several church history sites including Today-in-Mormon-History.Blogspot.com. He blogs at Worlds Without End and has presented papers at Sunstone, the Mormon History association, and the BYU Mormon Media Studies Symposium.
Abstract: The day after Brigham young publicly announced the ban on blacks receiving the priesthood, his first counselor Heber C. Kimball received a revelation stating that Kimball had fulfilled “the law of lawless women” and that he was now “free from such Spirrits” [sic]. This paper will take a close look at Kimball’s cryptic revelation, how it was modified, who the lawless women were, what that law was, and the parallels between the “lawless women revelation” and Brigham young’s views on blacks, reproduction, and priesthood authority.