Missionary Work in the Pre-Correlation Age, My Grandfather’s “Mormon Doctrine,” and Mormonism’s (Un)Systematic Theology

My grandfather's 3-volume "Mormon Doctrine."

My grandfather took a train to Toronto, Canada, to start his LDS mission in 1948. After a very brief stay at the mission home, he was off with his new companion to find converts. The Church was very small at the time in the area. Big cities like Toronto and Oshawa had branches, but most small towns lacked a single member and the missionaries were left to travel long distances, usually once every few weeks, to neighboring villages in order to gather with missionaries and have a makeshift … [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...]

Why LDS Women Will Not Be Ordained to the Priesthood

Over the last year, a small but growing movement within the LDS church has emerged to promote women’s ordination. After the launch of the savvy and visually appealing site ordainwomen.org last March, countless Mormon bloggers have weighed in on the questions of the theology behind women’s ordination. Perhaps predictably, these arguments have ranged from the “women have always had priesthood in temples so they should have it in public” argument to the “women occupy a divinely sanctioned separate s … [Read more...]

Hidden Cameras

“My mom is watching me,” my son’s six year-old friend Jared confided. Jared and my son had spent the entire playdate at the playground climbing and chasing without a single quarrel and I had just complimented Jared on his courteous behavior. “She has hidden cameras.”We had only recently arrived in Hong Kong and Jared’s mother Naomi had been one of the first people to reach out to our family. The ingenuity and authority implied by this “hidden camera” technique was one more piece of evidence c … [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...]

Latter Day Conversions: Divided Families and Reconciled Relationships

As a twenty-year old leader in my college youth group, I was asked one day to call a friend who had been active in our youth group but lately had been meeting with the Mormon youth group on campus. Her parents were quite concerned, as she also had begun meeting with two LDS missionaries who were set on baptizing her. And, she was romantically interested in an LDS boy. "Not good...not good at all," I mumbled to myself.Now, you should know that my youth group was affiliated with a church that … [Read more...]


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