Unbridling Mormon Illustration: “From the Dust” – 2 of 2

In yesterday's post, I discussed the relationship  between Mormon illustration and historical accuracy, specifying that I'd prefer to see a efflorescence of approaches in the Mormon illustrative tradition. To exhibit the analytical richness artistic diversity can encourage, I present From the Dust, a graphic novel project based on the Book of Mormon. There’s a major difference, however, from all previous illustrations of the Book of Mormon: in From the Dust there are no hu … [Read more...]

Mormon Illustration and the Burden of History – 1 of 2

In his book Miracles, C.S. Lewis dwells for a peculiarly long time on the Ascension of Christ. Namely, he muses on the how onlookers perceived and today’s Christians imagine the event.Why the sustained attention to this aspect of this moment? For one, Lewis is bound to the Neo-Platonic Christian theology that divorces the spiritual from the material, and sets the former above the latter on the scale of truth and value; however, he faces an account wherein Christ’s Ascension is not a strictly … [Read more...]

Review: The Mormon Jesus

Perhaps my devotional life’s greatest flaw is that I forget about Jesus. Intellectually, of course, I know that I cannot ignore the Savior when speaking about theology, but much of the time my musings tend to amble away toward questions of divine-human ontology, creation, exaltation, and eternal family relationships instead.Therefore, I was curious what John Turner would have to say in his The Mormon Jesus, published by Harvard University Press last month. Through his Brigham Young: Pioneer P … [Read more...]

Ammon, before Trump

On social media I passed along a quip that, while Donald Trump is applying to be president with no political experience, listing for even menial entry-level positions include years of experience as prerequisites.Several minutes later, someone I know--a young, high school-educated, lower-class, white male--privately messaged me the following: Give it a rest, loser. Trump’s going to be President and you can’t stop him. ^^ He will send my RACIST co-workers [context note: they are non-white] bac … [Read more...]

Familiar with All and Free with Our Substance

This past year I read (or returned to) a handful of both fiction and nonfiction portraits of poverty. Part of the motivation for this reading was the significance of economic inequality as a contemporary political issue (see #feelthebern), but the primary motivation was religious. I have found it very hard to read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the Doctrine and Covenants and ignore the claims these texts make about God’s desire that the poor receive attention. This desire is clearly present i … [Read more...]

How I choose to see the revisions

I write this as a heterosexual person, one who is not directly affected by the new strictures in the Church Handbook of Instructions (CHI). For that reason, this is all very easy for me to say. I do not blame those who are 'closer to' this situation if their reaction is different from mine. I do not blame those who will leave. However, let's get one thing straight from the beginning: those who made this decision did not relish it. The Brethren do not look for ways to kick people out of the … [Read more...]

The 5 Best References to Mormonism in the History of Television

So that Quantico show debuted a little while back. It's a show about FBI agents and stuff that critics seem to generally like, but Mormons are generally nervous about. Apparently there's a steamy hot Mormon hunk in the first episode who doesn't really make it to the second episode and there was a lot of anxiety over this because I guess his temple garments were visible in one scene (but less visible than originally intended, or something?).  Also, from what I gather the Mormon dude turns out to b … [Read more...]

A Review and a Farewell: Of Manuscripts and Seer Stones

I've been, as Mormons say, "less active" here at the blog for the past few months. A number of changes have forced me to contribute less---among them graduation ("Doctor Spencer," now!) and a move to Utah. And I'll now actually be signing off from the blog entirely. I'd like to make one last contribution before doing so, and that in form of a review. A few days ago, I had the opportunity to attend the press conference held in connection with the release of the newest volumes of the Joseph Smith … [Read more...]