Ed Firmage, Jr.

Ed Firmage, Jr., is a freelance photographer and adjunct instructor of humanities at Utah Valley University who lives in Salt Lake City. He holds a master’s in Ancient History and Mediterranean Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and studied in the PhD program of Near Eastern Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Posts by Ed Firmage, Jr.

Devout Unbelief, Part 4

In the Mormon temple ceremony, Joseph Smith put forward a bold vision of what it means to be human: Men and women are gods in the making. Properly schooled and empowered, they can become anything, or, rather, everything, they can imagine. Smith’s vision for society was no less radical: With his fellow saints, he would […]

Devout Unbelief, Part 3

When a fellow mathematician asked the uncommonly brilliant John Nash how he could believe he was being recruited by aliens, Nash replied, “Because the ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way that my mathematical ideas did. So I took them seriously.” How about Joseph Smith? Was he a crook, madman, […]

Devout Unbelief, Part 2

Why believe in the first place? How could an educated, otherwise skeptical person with a sense of humor believe in angels bearing golden plates? How could someone like Mormon genius, polymath, and liberal social critic Hugh Nibley, my intellectual mentor until I found unbelief in Berkeley, believe the story of Joseph Smith, and not just […]

Devout Unbelief, Part 1

Thirty-one years ago this month, I sat down one Saturday afternoon as a faithful Latter-day Saint to read the Book of Mormon. When I got up a few hours later, I was an unbeliever, and not just in Mormonism. That afternoon I became a born-again atheist. I am an atheist still. But that afternoon also […]