1562 search results for "A Mormon Image"

A Mormon Image: C.C.A. Christiansen

Since blogs seem to thrive on regular features, I have decided to start one here at T&S. Because my father is an art historian and a curator at the Museum of Church History and Art, I have always been interested in the images and art that Mormonism has produced. Thus, I will begin regularlly posting samples of it to this blog, along with a little bit of commentary. I begin with C.C.A. Christiansen

Mormon Images: Office Decor and the Place of Mormonism in American History

A few weels ago I finished my stint at the public trough and left the service of the federal courts. I know work for the law firm of Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood in Washington, DC. The identity of the firm is significant only because this is the firm (and office) where Rex E. Lee practiced law for many years. There is actually a three-foot tall bronze statute of Lee outside the office’s moot court room (named in Lee’s honor). As you might expect, the firm’s DC office hosts a sizable continent of LDS attorneys and their office decor reflects the the trajectory of Mormonism within American society.

Mormon Images

There is a strange schizophrenia about popular images of Mormons. On one hand, we get stereotyped as shinny, well-scrubbed, conservative, paragons of middle American virtues circa 1955. On the other hand, we get stereotyped as dangerous, homicidal, polygamist fanatics. As Gordon points out in his post the latter stereotype popped up recently in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, but that is hardly the only place one sees it. Remember that the religious bomber in the movie Contact was from Prowan, Utah. At the same time, Mormons pop up in Tom Clancy novels as shining examples of American decency. As I pointed out in an earlier post, this second stereotype also has a dark side in the eyes of some. For example, the English spy novelist John La Carre has dropped Mormon characters into his novels, where they serve as the personification of the naive and slightly frightening earnest true believers of the American national security state. It seems to me that the problem with all of these images is that at bottom they are not really about Mormons.

Atonement in the Book of Mormon

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is central to our faith and also central to the message of the Book of Mormon. What exactly, however, does the Book of Mormon say about the Atonement of Jesus Christ? In a recent interview at the Latter-day Saint history blog From the Desk, Nick Frederick discussed Atonement in the Book of Mormon. What follows here is a co-post to the full interview.

The Curious Role of the Book of Mormon Witnesses in Evangelical Debates about the Resurrection

While we Latter-day Saints have our apologists and reason-based arguments for faith and defenses against attacks on the faith, those are, by our own admission, to help create a place for faith or respond to criticisms that attack that faith, we are careful to formally base our religious epistemology in the numinous, personal spiritual experience.  In contrast, there is a line of thinking in some Christian circles that the resurrection’s eyewitness accounts are compelling enough to force any reasonable person to accept the reality of the resurrection based on sound historical evidence alone. I’ve heard these arguments a number of times from a number of sources, and while I (rather conventionally and boringly) ultimately don’t find them compelling from a historiographical point of view, they are interesting.  Where Mormonism comes into these debates is that a common skeptical rejoinder has become “well, if we are forced into believing in the resurrection because of these eyewitness accounts, what about the Book of Mormon witnesses?” And then the response often tends to devolve into distorting what the witnesses were or did, because ultimately the point is a good one. (One of the Protestants making this argument is renowned apologist William Lane Craig, and Stephen Smoot has already done a more thorough analysis of Craig’s views on the Church.) Protestants aren’t the only ones whose truth claims have eyewitnesses, and once you step outside of their theological world there are other examples of…

2024 Call For Library Research Fellows In Mormon Studies, University of Virginia

The University of Virginia’s Mormon Studies Program is pleased to announce the inaugural award of the Aileen H. and Hal M. Clyde Research Fellowship in Mormon Studies and Gender. For the year 2024, as many as two fellowships of $2,500 will be awarded for research in the Gregory A. Prince Collection related to Mormonism and gender, including women’s history, feminist studies, masculinity studies, or sexuality studies. Proposals will be reviewed beginning on January 15, 2024.

Mormonism in Mexico, Part 12: Bautista’s Lamanites

While efforts to gather converts from central Mexico failed and the mission in central Mexico closed, there would still be future successes. Among the earliest converts in the 20th century in Mexico, the Bautista family would go on to have an impact on the Church for years to come, including the development of an indigenous-affirming perspective on Lamanite identity.

Mormonism in Mexico, Part 5: Thanks to Plotino

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints post-WWII, the statement that a socialist and anarchist was largely responsible for initiating missionary work in the country that is home to the second-largest community of Latter-day Saints is unexpected. Yet, that is exactly what happened in Mexico thanks to Plotino Constantino Rhodakanaty and his associates.

An AI-generated Mormon Short Story: The Silent Prayer

In my last post I discussed the potential role of using AIs to generate ideas for Mormon fiction, concluding that the results were mixed but there were some gems in there. In this post I will take it one step further and use AI to generate an actual short story from one of the prompts that was generated in the last post. Because the size of the output is limited at this point this will be an example of “microfiction” which is rather short, but given its brevity the results aren’t bad. (There are experimental large language models that in theory should be able to produce a novel. I’m on the waiting list for one, and in the next year or so these will become more publicly available and we’ll see.) The first version of the story sounded like a 1990s Ensign article, so I had it rewrite it to “make it more subtle and less didactic. Convey the messages through actions without necessarily saying it out loud.” Besides these and a few other instructions, and choosing the prompt, this story is entirely the creation of AI.  “Write a short story based on the following prompt: The Silent Prayer: A deaf girl prays silently for a friend and is answered when a new family with a deaf daughter moves into her Mormon ward.” Title: “The Silent Prayer” In the bustling hub of Salt Lake City, nestled amidst tall skyscrapers and vibrant parks,…

Cowboy songs about Mormons?

Many people have said there’s a gigantic hole in Western US studies/histories. Outside of the realm of “Mormon Studies” very few scholars or historians want to touch Latter-day Saints (except for polemical reasons – Jon Krakauer and Sally Denton have tackled “Mormons”, but for polemical and intellectually suspect reasons). I’ve noticed this as well.  In a book I reviewed for the AML many years ago Class and Race in the Frontier Army, the only real mention of Utah was the Salt Lake Tribune objecting to a Black army officer on fairly racist grounds.  “Mormons” as such are barely acknowledged. Similarly, there are few Cowboy or Western songs about Mormons; “The Mormon Cowboy” is one happy exception.  However, I have recently discovered an artist that does fill this gap: Stan Bronson (a chance find – I bought a copy of his CD “Songs of Old San Juan” at Deseret Industries).