Roger D. Launius

ROGER D. LAUNIUS is chair of the Division of Space History at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washing￾ton, D.C. Between 1990 and 2002, he served as chief historian of the Na￾tional Aeronautics and Space Administration. His works in the history of Mormonism include Joseph Smith III: Pragmatic Prophet (1988); Differing Vi￾sions: Dissenters in Mormon History, co-edited with Linda Thatcher (1994); Cultures in Conflict: A Documentary History of the Mormon War in Illinois, co-edited with John E. Hallwas (1995); and Kingdom on the Mississippi Revis￾ited: Nauvoo in Mormon History (1996), co-edited with John E. Hallwas.

Methods and Motives: Joseph Smith III’s Opposition to Polygamy, 1860-90

Articles/Essays – Volume 20, No. 4

Dialogue 20.4 (Winter 1987): 77–85
When Joseph Smith III preached his first sermon as a leader of the Reoganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at Amboy, Illinois, on 6 April 1860, he expressed his unqualifed aversion to the Mormon doctrine of plural marriage. 

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A Prophet’s Progress: The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith

Articles/Essays – Volume 22, No. 2

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An Ambivalent Rejection: Baptism for the Dead and the Reorganized Church Experience

Articles/Essays – Volume 23, No. 2

Dialogue 23.2 (1990): 61–83

Launius shares how the Reorganized Church has changed their stance on baptisms for the dead.

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The Papers of the Prophet: The Papers of Joseph Smith: Volume 1, Autobiographical and Historical Writings

Articles/Essays – Volume 23, No. 3

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Affidavits Revisited: Joseph Smith’s New York Reputation Reexamined by Rodger I. Anderson

Articles/Essays – Volume 24, No. 2

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Is There a New Mormon History?: The New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays on the Past edited by D. Michael Quinn

Articles/Essays – Volume 25, No. 4

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The “New Social History” and the “New Mormon History”: Reflections on Recent Trends

Articles/Essays – Volume 27, No. 1

Dialogue 27.1 (Spring 1994): 109–123
My own analysis of the state of Mormon history suggests that the field, while other factors have also been at work, suffers from some of the exclusiveness and intellectual imperialism that were nurtured during the glory days of the “New Mormon History ” in the 1970s.

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Coming of Age? The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the 1960s

Articles/Essays – Volume 28, No. 2

Dialogue 28.4 (Winter 1995): 31–55
In many respects the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints of the 1960s mirrored the general tumult, if not the details, of the larger American society.

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Pretender to the Throne? R.C. Evans and the Problem of Presidential Succession in the Reorganization

Articles/Essays – Volume 30, No. 2

Dialogue 30.2 (Summer 1997): 47–65
Born into a Canadian family living in St. Andrews, Ontario Province, on 20 October 1861 , Richard C. Evans rose to fame and power experienced by few other members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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The Reorganized Church, the Decade of Decision, and the Abilene Paradox

Articles/Essays – Volume 31, No. 1

Dialogue 31.1 (Spring 1998): 47–65
In this essay I intend to build on my earlier work on the Reorganized Church and the decade of decision it faces in the 1990s.

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Is Joseph Smith Relevant to the Community of Christ?

Articles/Essays – Volume 39, No. 4

Dialogue 39.4 (Winter 2006): 58–67
I spoke as a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints/Community of Christ. As a result, I had a decidedly different perspective on Joseph Smith than my co-panelists.

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