BYU Studies Quarterly will soon publish a special issue “on the thoughtful integration of evolution and faith.”
Author: Julie M. Smith
I live in Austin, Texas, with my husband, Derrick, an electrical engineer. We have three boys: Simon ('98), Nathan ('01), and Truman ('04). We are a homeschooling family and I also teach at the LDS Institute here in Austin. I have a BA in English from UT Austin and an MA in Biblical Studies (Theology) from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, where I specialized in the study of women in the New Testament. I wrote my thesis on Mark 14:3-9, which I explored from literary and feminist perspectives to determine how the story teaches the audience about Jesus's identity. I wrote a book, Search, Ponder, and Pray: A Guide to the Gospels. It contains 4,000 questions (no answers) designed to get the LDS reader to really think about the scriptures and to introduce the major findings of biblical studies to the general reader. I like to read, buy books, and go out for ethnic food.
Book Review: That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon’s Perspective On Faith and Family
When I was in college, in the early 90s, a friend commented that she wished that gays were better treated in church. Another friend asked what that might look like. She responded that she hoped we’d come to a point where someone could say to a ward member, “Please stop trying to set me up with your daughter—I’m gay,” and that that person would still be welcomed in the ward.
Last week at General Conference, President Burton delivered a talk titled “Certain Women.”
Rocky Mountain Retreat
I’ll be speaking at the Rocky Mountain Retreat this June. Here’s the description of my presentation:
Guest Post: Before We Make Up Our Minds
Charlie Fuller has a BS in Sociology and an MPA from BYU and works as a management analyst in the public sector. She and her husband live in Utah County. Before we make up our minds about whether or not to allow Middle Eastern refugees into Utah, we need to take a long hard look at the blood-soaked history of these desert-dwelling religious extremists.
Sometimes History Should Rhyme
This is the immigration record of my great-grandmother, entering Ellis Island from Italy in 1935.
Call for Papers: Faith and Knowledge
SIXTH BIENNIAL FAITH AND KNOWLEDGE CONFERENCE HARVARD DIVINITY SCHOOL CAMBRIDGE, MA FEBRUARY 24-25, 2017
Guest Post: Elder Bednar in Rwanda
Kirsten M. Christensen is Associate Professor of German at Pacific Lutheran University, where she directs the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program.
Book Review: Our Heavenly Family, Our Earthly Families
Our Heavenly Family, Our Earthly Families by McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding with artwork by Caitlin Connolly (link)
BYU New Testament Commentary Conference
4th Annual BYU New Testament Commentary Conference: New Mormon Ideas about Mark and Hebrews
A Reaction to the New Leonard Arrington Book
This is not a book review. This is my personal reaction to the book. And, in short, it depressed me. (This doesn’t mean I didn’t love the book and wasn’t fascinated by it; I did and I was. You should definitely read it.)
The Gospels and Rape Culture
Despite the fact that the term rape culture–and the increasing attention devoted to it–are recent developments, that does not mean that the stories of the life of Jesus have nothing to say about the topic. In fact, there is quite a bit of material in the gospels which is relevant to the current discussion.
Keeping Our Boys Safe
As you are probably well aware, BYU is reviewing its policies related to sexual assault victims and Honor Code violations. One proposal which seems to have a good bit of currency–especially since it appears to be the norm at other schools, including SVU, which have similar Honor Codes–is an “amnesty” for offenses which might have been committed in the context of the sexual assault. The motive here is to remove the disincentive for victims not to report assaults–or for assailants to assault Honor Code scofflaws because they are well aware that their victim is less likely to report the assault in that case.
20th Century LDS Thought on Sexual Assault: Some Context
The Salt Lake Tribune recently published an article called “How outdated Mormon teachings may be aiding and abetting ‘rape culture.’” While I am also concerned about ways in which Mormon culture may encourage rape culture (see here and here and here), I want to push back against one portion of the article.
Venting, Capping, and Sympathizing
Two items came across my news feed yesterday:
Teacher Development Developments
I stumbled upon this manual, a new teacher development guide released by the church. It is quite similar to previous iterations of the church’s teacher materials, with two significant differences:
The Best Kept Secret in the Church
This pamphlet contains advice about adjusting to missionary life. And while I am sure it would be particularly helpful for missionaries, it covers things everyone needs to know. It is humane and gentle, based in gospel principles, and reflects sound thinking about mental health.
Guest Post: Returning Early with Honor
This guest post was written by Lauren Baldwin, based on the paper she presented at the recent Association for Mormon Letters conference. Lauren is a professional writing student at BYU-I. After the 2012 mission age change, she was part of the first group of nineteen-year-old sister missionaries to serve in the Kentucky Louisville Mission. She works in technical communication and sometimes writes creative non-fiction on rainy days.
He Has Been Raised
I’ve been studying the Gospel of Mark on and off for my entire adult life.
By Study and Faith, Part I
Elder Ballard recently spoke to seminary and institute teachers in what I expect will be regarded as a landmark address.