Front Matter

Editor’s Note

Discus​sing Difficult Topics

Welcome to our first issue of the Religious Educator of 2016. This issue features a recent devotional talk given to students and faculty at Brigham Young University by Elder Ronald A. Rasband, recently called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. We are delighted to share with you Elder Rasband’s thoughts on the topic of religious freedom and fairness for all.

This year we are launching a new series of interviews entitled “Discussing Difficult Topics” that will be loosely tied to the gospel topics essays published through (see The new series will not be a commentary on the essays, nor will it seek to fill out historical details associated with the essays. Rather, the new series will seek to help teachers find ways to approach these difficult topics in the classroom and in teaching settings. We have contacted experienced teachers and scholars and have asked them to articulate ways they have discussed these materials in the classroom, share questions that are typical when teaching these topics, and identify ways to help students find meaning as this new wealth of information is becoming available. This first in this series highlights the topic of plural marriage (see We anticipate that this series will last for the next several years as we discuss some of the other gospel topics essays currently available.

This issue also presents what will hopefully be a continuous series on global Latter-day Saint pioneers. We would like to encourage submissions on the topic of Latter-day Saint pioneers from across the globe. The first of these, authored by Fred E. Woods and Jean G. Huysmans, offers an interesting and detailed account of the service of John Volker in the Netherlands. We hope other such publications will treat the topic of Latter-day Saints from around the globe.

We feel that there are many gems in this issue of the Religious Educator, and we hope you enjoy reading these articles as much as we have enjoyed working with these insightful and articulate authors.

Thomas A. Wayment




Religious Educator VOLUME 17 NUMBER 1 2016

Religious Freedom and Fairness for All

Elder Ronald A. Rasband

Discussing Difficult Topics: Plural Marriage

Andrew H. Hedges, Rachel Cope, Gerrit J. Dirkmaat, and Thomas A. Wayment

The Educational Legacy of Karl G. Maeser

A. LeGrand Richards

Two Case Studies on the Development of the Concept of Religion: The New Testament and the Book of Mormon

Kerry M. Hull

The Book, The Words of the Book: What the Book of Mormon says about Its Own Coming Forth

Joseph M. Spencer

Reading and Receiving: An Interpretation of Moroni’s Promise(s)

Greg Wilkinson

“That My Family Should Partake”

Mark D. Ogletree

Helping Students Study the Scriptures

John Hilton III

The Consecrated Service of Elder John W. F. Volker: The Netherlands Mission

Fred E. Woods and Jean G. Huysmans

The Adolescent Brain and the Atonement, Part 1: The Dilemma

Mark H. Butler, Genevieve L. Smith, and Brittany Jensen