Vision Statement

Pratt Observatory

Photo of Orson Pratt’s Observatory

Based on the example of Orson Pratt’s observatory, which was built on the Salt Lake City temple block, we aspire to model the LDS ideal of incorporating reason and learning into the life of faith.

Historical research has uncovered a wealth of new information about the LDS past. Scholars inside and outside the Mormon faith tradition have contributed to a veritable flood of books, articles, and web sites. The LDS church has spearheaded many of these efforts, producing world class scholarship on the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Joseph Smith’s teachings and ministry, and the Book of Mormon’s production. The sheer volume of scholarship, along with its unprecedented accessibility through the internet, have advanced our understanding and shifted paradigms.

Coming from a background of deep exposure in and writing about LDS history and doctrine, TOG speakers are committed members of the church who believe developments in LDS historiography need to be welcomed and incorporated into LDS self-understanding. In one-day conferences devoted to questions raised by new historical developments, they engage in frank and open discussion with attendees, sharing their insights and experience of how new developments have strengthened rather than weakened their belief in the inspired mission of Joseph Smith and the core teachings of the gospel he restored.