Sweetwater Revisited, Sour Notes, and the Ways of Learning
Religious Studies Center, BYU
This article was adapted from an address to the Mormon History Association Conference in Sacramento, California, in May, 2008. John C. Thomas, an institute teacher at BYU-Idaho, had his students critique an article by Chad Orton in BYU Studies (2006) about the rescue of a handcart company in 1856 (The Martin Handcart Company in the Sweetwater: Another Look), an account somewhat at odds with the traditional stories that were told about the incident. He then discusses the various responses of his students, and finally, tries to determine what would be the best approach to help students grow as learners and, ultimately, teachers of the truth.