Status Update: I’m an individual…please don’t shun me

If you're keeping up with the latest debates in LDS pop culture, you've probably come across some discussion over the new site.  It's fantastically imagined and executed--an amazing leap away from the stogy PR of the past and a clear leap into the iFuture, if you will.  I've found the stories on it personally moving and uplifting in so many ways, especially those featuring women.  Here I'm told about mayors, dentists, non-profit humanitarians, journalists, artists, doctors, lawyers, an … [Read more...]

Not a smidge o’ pink here!

The LDS church, if you're new to its intricacies, has a series of programs set up for children and youth to participate in and advance through.  For the boys, this is Boy Scouts.  For the girls, this is Achievement Days for the 8-11 year-olds and Personal Progress for the teens.This year, a new Personal Progress book was released with a smattering of updates.  I believe that the awards were even upped a notch.  Whereas before, a young woman received a necklace medallion for completing various s … [Read more...]

Changing Racial Perceptions of the Japanese: LDS Rhetoric between 1901-1930 (Part II)

This is continued from my post on changing racial perceptions of the Chinese in LDS rhetoric at the turn of the 20th century.  Both sections here are adapted from research I conducted as a fellow during the Joseph Smith Seminar in 2007.In 1890 there were only four documented “persons of Japanese ancestry” in the entire territory of Utah.[1] Contrasted with the Chinese, Utahns had no contact whatsoever with a significant Japanese population. Subsequently, the Japanese were easily romanticized, e … [Read more...]

Changing Racial Perceptions of the Chinese: LDS Rhetoric between 1880-1901

Browsing through library databases and catalogues today, it is difficult to find even a handful of hits on Mormonism and Asian race. Even Armand Mauss’ recent sweeping study, All Abraham’s Children, notably omits any specific inquiry on the subject, though he meticulously dissects an LDS understanding of Blacks, Native Americans, and Jews.[1] Yes, some inferences may be made by delving into historical studies on missionary work in the Far East, but a comprehensive look into what it meant to be As … [Read more...]