Put Your Mormon Where Your Mouth Is: Gender, Sexuality, and The Second Great Commandment

During Conference in October 2007, at the end of General Relief Society President Julie Beck’s now-famous talk, “Mothers Who Know,” I made a derisive sound from my perch on the living room couch. Once again, began a commentator’s voice inside my head, a talk for Mormon women that focuses largely on domestic roles: “nurturing,” “homemaking,” “cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home,” and “Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world.”My mother, who … [Read more...]

Conferences at the Crossroads of Mormonism

When April comes to Independence, Missouri, Latter Day Saints will go to conference. Community of Christ members will go to conference. Latter-day Saints will go to conference. Remnant saints will go to conference. Church of Christ (Temple Lot) members will go to conference. Saints who are first-generation Americans from Samoa will go to conference. Saints who have flown from Nigeria to Missouri will go to conference. And saints from dozens of other nations will go to conference. Members of the … [Read more...]

Benediction

However improbably, on Thursday Pope Benedict XVI will retire.  Much has been said and will be said about what this means for the Catholic Church, in terms of having a pope living within shouting distance of his living predecessor.  Benedict promises that his retirement will be a quiet one, dedicated to prayer and writing.  He is not giving up his calling as a consecrated servant of God, but admitting that at age 85 he no longer possesses the “strength of mind and body” to lead the church on a da … [Read more...]

On the Discourse of Dichotomy

Despite the fact that social scientists have yet to discover a single human society that is devoid of what we modern folk usually refer to as religion, it remains a highly contested category. Or, perhaps better, because of the ubiquity of religion, it’s a perspicuously polyvalent term that includes a massive variety of diverse expressions, and is thus notoriously difficult to pin down with precision. Still, however else one might understand the meaning and significance of religious ways of being … [Read more...]

“It’s like Methodism, only more”: Mormon Conversion and Narratives of the Great Apostasy

A couple of weeks ago in Sunday School, a middle-aged woman shared her conversion story to Mormonism. Born and raised a Methodist, she noted that she always felt like something was lacking. When she discovered Mormonism, she explained, "it was like Methodism, only more."I smiled to myself as she said this, recognizing in her own conversion narrative a common refrain that dominates the autobiographical writings of her 19th century predecessors. Among the first generation of converts to … [Read more...]

A Queer(er) Mormonism

Just when we thought the Romneys' exeunt might take the spotlights off, the Church thrust itself right back into center stage last week with MormonsandGays.org. Headlines in news publications asked if this site signified an eventual change in the church's policy, and members pondered the significance of an active and obvious--if chaste-- LGBTQ community within the body of the church itself.Some of the headlines are a little overblown: after all, very little here is different from what we … [Read more...]

Mormon Supplemental Worship

I've long held an interest in Mormons who supplement their weekly worship in Latter-day Saint congregations with occasional (or in some cases, very regular) attendance and participation in some other tradition's meetings. That interest was initially sparked by my study of ungathered Latter-day Saint converts in the American South around the turn of the 20th century who, left to make of their new religion what they could in the absence of ordained priesthood and regular church meetings, continued … [Read more...]

The Elusive “Separate but Equal”

For better or worse, Mormonism is committed to a theology that enshrines sexual difference. Through temple ceremonies, divine models of parentage, canonical creation accounts, and statements culminating in the virtually canonical “Proclamation on the Family,” sexual differentiation is part of mankind’s eternal identity, development, and exaltation.While many statements by LDS leaders, past and present, point to a form of sex polarity, to borrow the model from scholar and nun Sister Prudence A … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X