The best job in all of Mormondom

By Roger Terry

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Nov. 4 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

The LDS theology of matter

Creating Christian vocabulary in a non-Christian land

LDS prisoners at the Davao Penal Colony No. 502, 1944

The medical practice of Dr. Frederick G. Williams

Rediscovering Provo’s first tabernacle with ground-penetrating radar

Comparing BYU with other religious universities

The LDS Church in Italy

This partial list is chronological and does not include any of the articles edited by my colleagues that I then read as a second editor (two sets of eyes being better than one). It also does not include a longer list of articles that were submitted but, for one reason or another, were not accepted for publication.

I think you get the idea when I say it has been quite an education.

Not every topic should interest every reader. To be honest, not all of them interested me. But I learned something from each of them. Still, BYU Studies Quarterly covers a wide range of topics — from mathematics to music and from history to humanities, all of which is written by experts in the various disciplines but written for a college-educated reader.

The nice thing about the journal is that every issue is different. Each issue also includes essays, historical documents, poetry and reviews of books and other media. And 51 years of BYU Studies content is free online. The most recent three years are reserved for subscribers (but are available to anyone for a download fee).

Which of all these articles is my personal favorite? I suppose it’s a tie. Based on the importance of the article, I would have to vote for Ed Kimball’s history of his father’s revelation on priesthood in 1978. But for sheer enjoyment, the 152-page history of Mormon cinema by Randy Astle was a delightful, incredible piece of work. It was like looking at more than 100 years of Mormon history through the lens of a camera. And in this case, I’m pretty sure the book is better than the movie!

Roger Terry is the editorial director at BYU Studies, which publishes a quarterly Mormon studies journal and books on LDS topics.

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