BCC Research Collaborative

It has occurred to some of us that a possible strength of the network of interested parties associated with Mormon-centric blogs is the possibility of collaborative research (a human answer to the popular distributed algorithm systems that discover ETs and fold proteins). The exceedingly useful responses to my snippets from Nauvoo newspapers are a case in point.

We therefore propose a weekly feature that would host a research question by a student/scholar of Mormonism (all terms defined broadly), with a small paragraph of background followed by the question for the week.

We know that academics can necessarily be territorial about their archival discoveries, but we worry that may be too twentieth-century and are generally eager to share. (We are, however, sensitive to priority of publication and would not encourage you to disseminate information that could scuttle professional publication of a particular argument.)

Sample questions (not meant to be answered currently or to be definitive):

  • Anyone found any other emblems of the sacrament used besides water, wine, and coconut milk?
  • Has anyone seen firsthand accounts of early Mormon wedding feasts (stipulated by an early regulation)?
  • What are the interesting accounts of Mormons wielding priesthood to command weather patterns or topographically significant structures?
  • How early is Jello mentioned in Mormon sources? Does it correlate with the home economics revolution that pushed jello into American households generally?

We are considering asking the questioner to write a brief bibliographic summary on the topic for eg BCC Papers or separate posting once the information is in.

We are eager to involve researchers of all affiliations. Questions should be submitted to email research at by common consent dot com (written this way to minimize spam–comment on this post if you do not understand the convention).


  1. This should be fun and quite useful.

  2. Mike Parker says:

    I believe in your fourth point you’re referring to Jell-O®. Let’s be precise here.

  3. Actually, I was thinking about Jello Biafra, the punk singer. I appreciate your recommendation of precision.

  4. Lonny Mower says:

    In doing some research on the Kirtland era, I came across a diary entry of a newly called missionary who was traveling to his area via steamship on a stormy Lake Erie. The individual indicates that other Elders, also on the boat, had tried to quiet the storm by invoking their Priesthood, but to noavail. The diarist then says that he went to the other side of the boat, out of site of the others, and invoked his Priesthood, and the storm subsided. He says that he was more powerful, as he had more faith and kept the commandments better. Later in his diary he reports that he healed a woman of breast cancer. He was one powerful dude!

  5. wonderful story, Lonny. eager to hear whether you have questions you want answered as well.