Dialogue was able to attend and tweet about a recent conference at Utah State University called “New Perspectives on Joseph Smith and Translation.” Participants in the all-day conference included many friends of Dialogue including Richard Bushman, Terryl Givens, Jana Riess, Samuel Brown, Jared Hickman and Rosalynde Welch. The conference was conceived and hosted by Philip Barlow and the USU Dept. of History and Religious Studies, and was sponsored by the Faith Matters Foundation. Now the videos are being made available, with all the videos slated to be up by May 20. Visit faithmatters.org to see a produced, session-by-session video of the conference, with some additional graphic features and context added.
UPDATED WITH VIDEOS: Multicultural Mormonism Conference: Religious Cohesion in a New Era of Diversity
The 2017 Mormon Studies Conference is themed "Multicultural Mormonism: Religious Cohesion in a New Era of Diversity" and was held March 30 and 31st at Utah Valley University. Find videos of the presentations here. This conference explored multicultural and intercultural interactions within Mormonism, focusing on issues surrounding ethnicity, race, and class; and with an eye toward the future of Mormonism as a global religion. It included presentations by Gina Colvin, Ignacio Garcia, Janan Graham-Russell, Moroni Benally, Anapesi Ka'ili, Darron Smith, and more. Find the entire schedule and video links here.
Levi S. Peterson's “Kid Kirby” from the Dialogue Summer 2016 issue won a 2016 Association for Mormon Letters award for best short fiction. In honor of this award, Dialogue has released the article early so that everyone can read it. Find "Kid Kirby" here. From the AML website: "When asked what the purpose of literature is, the short story writer Issac Bashevis Singer responded succinctly that literature is to entertain and instruct. There’s no end to good short stories that meet one of these criterion, but a story that both entertains and instructs, a rarer specimen in the literary world, might be called a great story. Levi Peterson’s poignant and captivating 'Kid Kirby' is unequivocally a great story."
Christian Anderson, who has an article in the upcoming Spring Issue, takes a hard look at membership numbers after they were released in April 2017 conference. Here's a taste of his post "The Slowing of Church Growth." "Using the same methodology I used in (Dialogue Spr 2017; in press), making some reasonable assumptions about death rates and removals, the membership statistics suggest approximately 30,000 members were excommunicated or resigned in 2016, bringing the total for the last four years to just over 150,000. This value is based on several fudge-factors, and should only be taken as a rough order-or-magnitude guess. Randall Bowen at churchistrue.com used different fudge-factors (including assuming an increasing rate of removals of 110 year old lost members, and 9 year old children of record who had not been baptized) to arrive at an estimate of 20,000 defecting members in 2016 and about 95,000 over the last four years."
Over at By Common Consent, Kevin Barney discusses "some fairly random examples of instincts that may have seemed sound in the past but, I would argue, no longer serve the institution well" including one regarding Dialogue: "For decades now publishing in Dialogue or Sunstone has meant an automatic rejection for employment at BYU. But guess where responsible treatments of challenging issues are? Not the Ensign. Signaling that scholarly engagement with difficult issues will not be tolerated means that people who value their employment with the church won’t touch such issues, thus limiting the responsible resources available when troubled students run into these things. I realize to some the Dialogue ban seems like it’s a way of saving and preserving faith, but in my view it accomplishes exactly the opposite." Click in to read the full post and comments.
For Time and All Eternities. By Mette Ivie Harrison. Soho Press, 2017 Reviewed by Heather B. Moore For Time and All Eternities is the third installment of the Linda Wallheim mystery series. For Time works well as a standalone—in fact, I read the first book The Bishop’s Wife, but not the second book. I didn’t feel lost, which I appreciated. Linda Wallheim is the wife of an LDS Bishop, and although she and her husband have raised five children together, recent months in their marriage has been rocky. Linda is sympathetic to those who have struggled with a church policy change, and she finds that her sympathies have created a deep divide between her and her husband Kurt. Regardless, they continue to move through the motions of their marriage until the day that Linda’s son Kenneth comes to tell her he is marrying a young woman from a polygamist family. Linda and Kurt are shocked, but they agree to meet the young woman Naomi, who in turn, invites Linda and Kurt to meet her very large family--which includes Naomi’s father Stephen Carter, his five wives, and dozens of children.
Daniel Parkinson continues his research featured here in Dialogue on "Utah’s Escalating Suicide Crisis and LDS LGBTQ Despair." He pleads "Can we please admit there is a problem? The solution is staring us in the face. We have to educate families about the harm that this rejection is having on their LGBTQ children of all ages. I am grateful that the Utah legislature lifted the gag order in our public schools (no promo homo) that was preventing teachers and counselors from offering appropriate help to our LGBTQ students in the schools. This was one important step but we still need a broad solution throughout our communities. The most helpful information on how to prevent suicide among our LGBTQ youth can be found at the Family Acceptance Project. It is time to adopt and promote their recommendations. The LDS community is failing to extend its love to its LGBT children and neighbors, and for many of them the rejection is lethal."
Board member Patrick Mason discusses the role of Dialogue within Mormons Studies in this new podcast at LDS Perspectives. He explains "There are also really important institutions like the Mormon History Association, which is 50 years old, and Dialogue: A Dialogue of Mormon Thought also 50 years old. These institutions and periodicals where this scholarship is done. A lot of this is just people supporting with blood, sweat, and tears. These are the institutions that have built us to where we are now. And I think where we go from here is further insitutionalization."
Find the LDS Perspectives podcast here.
In the newest Dialogue podcast Matthew Garrrett, Professor of History at Bakersfield College and winner of the 2015 Juanita Brooks Prize in Mormon Studies, discusses his research on the Indian Student Placement Program sponsored by the Church and documented in his recent book, Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program, 1947-2000, published by The University of Utah Press. From the Miller Eccles website: Dr. Garrett traces his adventures as a Native American history scholar meandering into the world of Mormon Studies, with special attention paid to the various perspectives and conflicts of both his own personal academic journey as well as those of the LDS Indian program he studied. From 1970s era protests over colonization, to conflicting views of Indian participants and church administrators, Professor Garrett will survey some of the past disputes that ultimately led to internal acrimony that destabilized, eroded, and finally terminated the LDS Indian programs.
1 hour 38 minutes ago