Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Two years ago today I started blogging! Although I was a bit hesitant to celebrate this since I spent much of last year in a painful daze. It kind of reminded me of this video:

All the jokes aside I can point to highlights which occurred due to this blog:

I've been blessed to preview/review multiple books. David West's Heroes of the Fallen was a joy to read. And if you look closely a part of my review posted on Amazon as well.

I have several books reviews from Oklahoma University Press. You can find those by clicking on the "book review" link on the side of the page. I'm also in the process of reviewing Brian Steed's Wars and Rumors of Wars.

I had a chance to review a fun game called "Character Match". It turns out my daughter loves all the funny looking shapes and letters. Finally, I had a chance to meet and interact with many great people. This allowed me to find out about the upcoming Claremont Conference among other things.

And of course, I have a place where I can publish my thoughts. Historian Mark Grimsley describe blogging as an "insurgent medium". I have tried to adopt his advice and establish my voice and name through nontraditional means.

So now I ask my readers, what has been your favorite memory or post from this blog?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Captain Moroni's Back Story

Michaela has an excellent post at the Scriptorium Blogorium. You can find it here.

I also want to add two items. 1. Alma 16:3 and Helaman 1:24 suggest that the Nephites needed time to raise their armies. This adds weight to Micheala's analysis. 2. The article Military Castes in The Book of Mormon suggests that Moroni would have been trained and capable to defend Nephite lands at an early age. This again strengthens her analysis.

I highly recommend this article.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I seemed to have reached a plateau in my writing. I come up with good ideas, I'm good at research, can write good term papers, but can't seem to break through into publishing. So I'm asking for any and all interested reviewers! You not only get to see topics previewed on this site more in depth, but you will also have the satisfaction of helping an up and coming scholar. The following is a list of papers I need reviewed.

The Narrow Strip of Wilderness in the Modern Age:
This is a for a conference on Mormon perspectives on war. While it is just a presentation and has lower standards than a publication this is still important. It is my academic "debut" for many Mormon circles. That may sound ironic since I've been blogging and writing for two years now, but its presentations and publications that really help you make a mark in the field. Plus, its possible that editors from Mormon publications will be there so, naturally, I want to make a good impression.

This paper examines military theory from Clausewitz and then looks at its practice in the American Civil War. I then examine the theory that underlined Nephite actions and then tried to examine Nephite military practice. Finally I applied this to the modern age and offered tentative lessons concerning American foreign policy and particularly the Bush Doctrine.

Bleached Bones Covered the Field:
This is a special paper for me. I started this the day before my personal life fell apart. So just completing it was badge of honor for me. But aside from its' personal importance the paper has a great deal to offer the field of Book of Mormon studies.

This is the only paper of which I know that approaches a study of the book from the East. Hugh Nibley has discussed this topic mostly in passing. John Sorenson has produced a bibliography which included pages of contact between Asia and the New World. And DNA often points to an Asiatic connection. So this paper examines the Jaredite civil war in Ether chapters 13-15 with the Chinese "War of the Eight Princes".

In addition to the unique avenue of approach this is one of the few English language studies of the Chinese civil war. Plus, Chinese military history is also relatively neglected. So this paper offers a truly unique approach to understanding The Book of Mormon. I simply need some help tightening the prose and arguments to get this published.

Notes on a Curious Verse:
This is a paper I wrote while on break from graduate school. As I've said before, I must be the only person that gets more work done during the holidays. This examines Alma 56:28 and its implications for Nephite military strategy, culture, and logistics. Again, this is one of the few papers that takes a "war and society" approach to military history in The Book of Mormon, but also only the second piece to examine military theory in it. (Hugh Nibley's Clausewitzean analysis is the other one).

No Sin By Strategem:
This was the first paper I wrote during graduate school and probably needs the most work. It examines the military career of Captain Moroni using the "principles of war".

So there you have it. I have many fun and important papers with which I would love to receive help. Let me know and thanks in advance!