‘Mormon Land’ live: From Joseph Smith to gold plates to women’s rights and community, Bushmans discuss all things LDS

Special episode features eminent scholars Claudia and Richard Bushman.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Scholar Claudia Bushman and historian Richard Bushman speak during a live taping of the "Mormon Land" podcast at the University of Utah, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023.

In his new book, “Joseph Smith’s Gold Plates: A Cultural History,” historian Richard Bushman calls the Book of Mormon, the signature scripture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a “book about the importance of books.”

One could also say that this book, which church founder Joseph Smith said he translated, sprang from plates that were about the importance of plates.

In this special live episode, celebrating the more than 300 “Mormon Land” shows, we talk about the “important” role these plates played in the rise of a global religion with the author, who also wrote the highly acclaimed “Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling.”

Joining him is his wife, scholar Claudia Bushman, the founding editor of Exponent II who edited “Mormon Sisters: Women in Early Utah” and wrote “Contemporary Mormonism: Latter-day Saints in Modern America.”

Together, the Bushmans discuss their research on Mormonism, church founder Joseph Smith, the evolution of women’s rights, the threats to Latter-day Saint community, the challenges and opportunities facing the global faith, why they think art is vital in the church, and a range of other topics.

The audio recording of the podcast is free to listen to below or in your favorite podcast player. Supporters of “Mormon Land” on Patreon have exclusive access to the full video of the event, including the audience Q&A, as well as podcast transcripts and other religion stories. You can join them in supporting The Tribune’s religion coverage at Patreon.com.

Listen here: