We are due for a little change.

Peculiar People is relaunching with a renewed emphasis on examining the world through a Mormon lens. We are not always sure what that means, but excited about the possibilities anyway.

When Matt Bowman and Ben Park first launched Peculiar People, the world was getting to know our religion during the so-called Mormon Moment. But now that introductions have been made, and the spotlight shifted from Mitt Romney to a more eclectic representation of Mormondom, it is time to dive in a little deeper and explore the wide array of lifestyles and perspectives within this vast community. Matt and Ben have passed the torch onto us, and we’ve decided to shake things up a bit.

While we are not abandoning academic approaches to Mormon history and American life altogether, we are trying to introduce and promote a broader range of perspectives from Latter-Day Saints from around the world, as well as a few non-Mormons. We’ll write about religion, politics, history, art, movies, books, music — anything, really.

Our new approach aims to give voices to as many different Mormons as we can find, from traditional believers to liberal secularists, from LGBT members working within their faith to enthusiastically engaged non-Mormons. We want to explore whatever matters to all of these different people, whether it pertains to their faith or not.

We want to facilitate a discussion that centers around our shared experience, an idea that we take very seriously. Whether it’s in the comments, on Twitter, Facebook or any other venue, our writers want to engage in civil discussion and explain their own personal experiences with Mormonism.

Hopefully we will shine a little light on what ties all together, Mormon or not, while also illuminating the differences we can all learn from. We are, after all, a peculiar people.

JJ Feinauer
Cody Ray Shafer
August, 2015

For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
Deuteronomy 14:2 (KJV)

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
– 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)

There are still those who regard us as a peculiar people. Let us accept that as a compliment and go forth showing by the virtue of our lives the strength and goodness of the wonderful thing in which we believe.
Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, April 1997