Missional and Attractional Mormonism

Along with many  other churches in recent years, the leaders and membership of the LDS Church have made a concerted effort to create a more vibrant presence in the social media world. #Sharegoodness, #BecauseofHim,  #DidYouThinkToPray, #LDSConf, Mormon Messages videos, now the Meet the Mormons film— these Twitter and Facebook campaigns, shareable media, and documentaries all have become part and parcel with “hastening the work of salvation,” to quote Elder Bednar’s August address. … [Read more...]

INTERNATIONAL MORMON STUDIES: MORE HELP WANTED!

 This is a report AND a call for input going forward from the directors of the International Mormon Studies Book Project, launched in February 2013 to encourage the expansion of Mormon studies research throughout the Mormon South (i.e. outside of North America). Part I: Report on IMS book placementsThe IMS Book Project organizers express our gratitude for the many generous individuals and institutions who have contributed to the cause of improving the quality and … [Read more...]

Primary Sources

The question that kept me awake one night last week was this: what are the primary sources for my personal LDS faith practice?Recently, I read a terrific BYU Women’s Conference talk that Francine Bennion gave in 1987[1]. Bennion argued that theology matters, that it informs the way we act and the decisions we make. Therefore, we have to be careful and intentional about crafting our own theologies. She gave examples of scriptural figures who behaved in ways that baffle us today (Jephthah, f … [Read more...]

And After The Fire, A Still Small Voice

fire

Elijah the Tishbite stood on Mount Horeb, where Moses had stood centuries earlier to receive the tablets of the law from the Lord. Looking out on the dry valley, he reflected on the fate of that law, and of the Lord’s people whose ancestors He had brought out of Egypt to worship at that mountain. They hadn’t gotten any closer to the “kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” that the Lord had wished for their fathers. Elijah spoke to the Lord about his despair, “for the children of Israel have fors … [Read more...]

Book Review: Confessing History

John Fea, Jay Green, and Eric Miller, eds. Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian’s Vocation. (South Bend: Notre Dame University Press, 2010).A few years ago I witnessed an attempted revival at a university in suburban Virginia. A tall, lean young man with a short haircut and three days’ stubble stalked back and forth next to a table in front of the library. He called us to Christ and asked us if we feared sin, and the two teenagers tending the piles of tracts s … [Read more...]

Happy Pioneer Day

The following are excerpts from a lecture on “Mormonism and the American West” that I will be delivering at the Chautauqua Institution this Thursday, July 24, as part of their week-long series on “The American West:  Religious Evolution and Innovations.”Happy Pioneer Day!  Today [July 24] is the day we celebrate the Mormon pioneers entering the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.  Pioneer Day is actually more of a cultural holiday than a religious one.  There are no special religious rites or rituals … [Read more...]

A few things you should read before you make up your mind about Hobby Lobby

I suppose this post is about a week and a half late, given the short attention span of online conversation. So if you find yourself wondering “Why on earth is this guy still talking about a Supreme Court decision from two whole weeks ago,” I totally understand—I, too, have trouble remembering anything that happened before Germany annihilated Brazil on Tuesday. That said, for the moment it's actually my full-time job to think about the Hobby Lobby decision, and if you’re still reading this post, … [Read more...]

The Problem with Automatically Changing Women’s Last Names and What to do if it Happens to You

When I got married in May, I had long since decided to keep the name I’ve had since birth. My name was already attached to higher degrees, as well as publications and teaching records. More importantly, my last name is an integral part of my identity that connects me to my family’s Quebecois roots.My husband supported my decision, but as many women have discovered before me, a number of family and friends objected. Some of my fellow Mormons objected to my decision on the grounds that the Chu … [Read more...]


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