Why Didn’t We Do This By Common Consent?

Reactions to the recent church policy changes concerning the children of married homosexual couples (which you can read about here here here here here here here here here here here here here here here and here) have made it very clear that this is an issue of great concern to many members, independent of their orthodoxy in the faith. That is to say, this isn't something that divides cleanly along "active" and "inactive," or "believing" and "doubting" membership lines.What's more, it is very … [Read more...]

125 Years of the Manifesto – and an overlooked change in Mormon scripture

 “It seemed to me to be the awfulest moment in my life," - wrote B. H. Roberts - "my arm was like lead when the motion was put; I could not vote for it, and did not.”¹ But his abstention in the 6 October 1890 General Conference wasn't taken into account. Both the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Herald coverage stated that the vote to approve the Manifesto had been unanimous, even though many members didn't raise their arms to support the document: … [Read more...]

Thomas, Meet Francis: The Glory of the Outsider-Leader

I remember the day he was elected, feeling amazed that a non-European was finally going to be in charge. I'd been LDS for a long time by then, but the prospect of some new blood...an outsider of sorts, shaking things up in my church of origin...intrigued and excited me more than might be expected of a temple recommend-carrying Mormon. The past two and a half years since his accession have been the unfolding of what I consider to be a divinely-led series of reforms and refocusings, and with … [Read more...]

Call for Papers – Faith and Knowledge Conference

LDS graduate students and early career scholars are invited to participate in and attend the 2015 Faith and Knowledge conference on the intersections of religious faith and scholarship. Below is the Call for Papers; more information can also be found at faithandknowledge.org  THE FIFTH BIENNIAL FAITH AND KNOWLEDGE CONFERENCE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA FEBRUARY 27-28, 2015 The Faith and Knowledge Conference was established in 2006 to bring together LDS graduate … [Read more...]

There’s So Much to Do, Outside the Ivory Tower!

I am an independent scholar. Not independently wealthy unfortunately – I have to earn my bread – but I am one of the growing number of people with PhDs who, for a wide variety of reasons, are not pursuing a traditional career track of teaching and scholarship, but rather have day jobs that variously engage our talents – academic and otherwise – while we continue to engage in the life of the mind on our own terms.  I’ve only been on this path for a little over two years, since earning my PhD i … [Read more...]

Beyond Family: Women’s Leadership in the LDS Church

 A recent flurry of debate and discussion over the issue of women’s roles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has provoked exasperation and hurt on multiple fronts. Advocates for an expansion of women’s ecclesiastical authority and responsibility point to the underrepresentation of women in church leadership structures (here, and here). For instance, during the four main sessions of the church’s worldwide General Conference last weekend, only two out of twenty-eight sermon … [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...]