According to the official style guide of The Church, “Mormon” implies an individual, not an institution. But while it can be a label for a person, “Latter-day Saint” remains the preference. "Mormons" the guide explains, is “acceptable."And acceptable it is. Swaths of Latter-day Saints have now deemed themselves “Mormons,” not only in speech but in their Facebooking. The words “I’m a Mormon” (or “ Soy Mormon,” or perhaps even “Ich bin ein Mormone,” but lets not get ahead of ourselves) are now … [Read more...]

Faith and History Conference: 2015

A reminder to our readers that the Fifth Biennial Faith & Knowledge Conference will be held at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on February 27 and 28, 2015. The submission deadline for proposals is November 7, 2014. Please note that, unlike previous years, the conference is now officially open to LDS graduate students and early career scholars in religious studies and related academic disciplines interested in the intersections of scholarship and religious faith. … [Read more...]

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...]


 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


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...]