Tag: Mormon

Untold

Today is a good day to point out that the documentary Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons will be playing in the next few weeks at film festivals in Dallas and San Diego. And possibly more places, depending…

Mormon Church and Utah Politics

Wilfried noted this article, which says, Before each general [Utah legislative] session, GOP and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate sit down separately with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints special affairs committee, a group made up…

Mistrust and Verify

A reader asks me to expand on a recent comment regarding historians and histories of Mormonism. I do so realizing that it may wrongly be interpreted as personal; my purpose is to illustrate the causes for my earlier evaluation and…

Dear Brandon Sanderson

A few months ago, Kaimi asked you a few questions about your experience as a Mormon author. You not only responded, but your answers were interesting and thoughtful. In fact, your answers suggested that you might just be the kind…

The Silent Core of Mormonism

Mormon theology and practice centers ultimately on the temple, and yet the temple is a subject on which Mormons are especially secretive and reticent. Therein lies one of the central ironies and challenges facing any Mormon trying to really explain…

“This Thing Was Not Done in a Corner”

I was delighted when Noah Feldman accepted my invitation to give the keynote address at Princeton’s Mormonism and American Politics conference because I knew he’d offer a thoughtful and sophisticated outsider’s perspective on these issues. His latest NYT piece, a…

Essential Differences

I recently read The Essential Difference: The Truth About the Male and Female Brain (Basic Books, 2003) by Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of psychiatry at Cambridge University. Anyone interested in the source and nature of gender differences (i.e., everyone) will find…

An unfortunate typo

All of this to-do about Jesus and Satan being brothers is unfortunate, really. As far as I can tell, it’s all a misunderstanding based on a simple typo. Mormons don’t really think that Jesus and Satan are brothers. We think…

An Al Smith Moment?

Here is my argument: Let us suppose that Mitt Romney does not become the next president. What will this mean for the Mormons? There about 5.7 million Latter-day Saints in America, which in a nation of more than 300 million…

The 6th Day of Christmas

On the sweetness of Mormon life. Some child behind me started yelling during a really good talk about charity. Because of the talk, perhaps, I remembered not to turn around and gawk. Later I peeked behind me and saw a…

Latino/a and Mormon

America, as they say, is browning. Latino/as recently surpassed African Americans as the largest minority group in the United States, and the Church is experiencing that browning along with the rest of the nation. “According to Church statisticians, the future…

I was born in Sharon, Vermont

Yesterday was Joseph Smith’s birthday. I wonder sometimes how important it is to us in the 21st century that he was born in Vermont, given that the narratives we use to discuss Joseph usually skip his birthplace altogether and fast…

Religious Pragmatism

Oliver Wendell Holmes famously wrote, “The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.” [1] In various writings, he expanded that claim, contrasting a natural law approach to justifying legal and ethical rules of conduct with…

Zion v. Babylon: Life in the Enclave

In his recent (and excellent) book, Making Space on the Western Frontier: Mormons, Miners, and Southern Paiutes, Paul Reeve examines the contact and interactions between the three groups mentioned in his title in southern Utah/eastern Nevada during the last four…

Prayer and parascripture

‘Parascripture’ was the term Hugh Nibley used to refer to popular statements of religious sentiment that weren’t actually found in scripture, and that can sometimes be the vehicle for foreign ideas to find a home in a Mormon setting. An…

The Haun’s Mill Massacre in Mormon Memory

In April 2005, I spent two weeks on assignment for the Joseph Smith Papers Project in Missouri and Illinois, visiting court houses and archives searching for documents pertaining to early Mormon history. On the second evening of my stay in northwestern Missouri, I drove down a lonely dirt road to a desolate place that had significant meaning for me as a Latter-day Saint. When I arrived, I found only a small creek surrounded by trees, grass, mud, and a small plaque that identified the site of the Haun’s Mill Massacre…

HIHO

That stands for “Historian In, Historian Out”–Times and Seasons bids farewell to one historian, Paul Reeve, and welcomes another, David Grua.

Iza

The mission president called. Would I, as his counselor, conduct a baptismal interview? A case he wouldn’t have the zone leaders handle, a woman with a troubled past. Most likely involving a chastity issue.