Skip to main content
Home
Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Dialogue Podcasts

Book Review: Daredevils, by Shawn Vestal

3 days 19 hours ago
Lapsing into Daredevilry Shawn Vestal. Daredevils. New York: Penguin Press, 2016. 308 pp. Reviewed by Julie J. Nichols It’s a hard truth: you have to be damn smart to be a writer of good fiction. If you’re dumb, forget it. You have to hear words in your head—and who doesn’t? But you also have to know how to put them together in a sentence that’s not only grammatical but original in its context, truer than any other sentence could possibly be. Then you have to do that with paragraphs and chapters in the service of a whole whose shape knocks readers right out of unconsciousness, makes them alive, blasts their eyes open so they see the world new. Shawn Vestal is smart. He’s so smart he could write Daredevils, which is about three daredevil kids on the run, two of the daredevil bad guys they’re on the run from, and Evel Knievel, who was the quintessential iconic daredevil of the United States in the 1970s. He figures just enough in this story to be real. Or almost.
Andrew Hall

Book Review: Thomas F. Rogers. Let Your Hearts and Minds Expand: Re ections on Faith, Reason, Charity, and Beauty

3 days 19 hours ago
The Fruit of Knowledge Thomas F. Rogers. Let Your Hearts and Minds Expand: Reflections on Faith, Reason, Charity, and Beauty. Provo: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2016. 349 pp. Reviewed by Mahonri Stewart As a book of short, religious, and academic non-fiction, Thomas F. Rogers’s Let Your Hearts and Minds Expand is extremely valuable to the Mormon intellectual community; but as a reflection of a devoted disciple and a soulful artist, it goes beyond even that to be authentically moving. In a modern world where spirituality and religious belief is a place of tension and contention, Rogers has written from his place of the faithful agitator—pushing our culture’s boundaries where needed and then turning around to help the Mormon community reach inward and pull the wagons around shared principles.
Andrew Hall

Dialogue Podcast #36 w/Bryce Cook

5 days 14 hours ago
Part two of Bryce Cook's "What Do We Know of God’s Will for His LGBT Children? An Examination of the LDS Church’s Position on Homosexuality." Note that this is a recording of his version found on Mormon LGBT Questions although it is very similar to his Dialogue article. The recording has been split into two pieces for ease of listening.  Enjoy!
admin

Dialogue Podcast #35 w/Bryce Cook

5 days 18 hours ago
As a companion to Bryce Cook's Summer 2017 article "What Do We Know of God’s Will for His LGBT Children? An Examination of the LDS Church’s Position on Homosexuality" we bring you a recording of his article for Dialogue podcasts #35 and #36. Note that this is a recording of his version found on Mormon LGBT Questions although it is very similar to his Dialogue article. The recording is split into two pieces for ease of listening.  Enjoy!
admin

Book Review: Julie J. Nichols’s Pigs When They Straddle the Air: A Novel in Seven Stories.

6 days 16 hours ago
Asking the Questions Julie J. Nichols. Pigs When They Straddle the Air: A Novel in Seven Stories. Provo: Zarahemla Books, 2016. 148 pp. Reviewed by Emily Shelton Poole In her full-length debut, Pigs When They Straddle the Air: A Novel in Seven Stories, Julie J. Nichols presents the interconnected lives of various women living in Salt Lake City over a span of thirty years, mostly during the 1970s and 1980s. Each of the seven stories focuses on a different main character until their lives become so entangled that the narratives converge in tragedy, heartache, and eventual healing. Some of these stories appeared previously in other publications, including Dialogue. Nichols wrote the stories as part of her dissertation for a PhD in English from the University of Utah. Two of the stories were controversial enough that Nichols lost her position as a creative writing instructor at Brigham Young University. I speculated, briefly, about which stories could have brought about Nichols’s dismissal from BYU—was it the lesbian teaching Primary or the woman calling on Heavenly Mother to bless a nearly-drowned child? The reference to abortifacient herbs? Or the faith healing without the official exercise of the priesthood? Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Each one touches, to some degree, on the fringy edges of Mormonism, and while the stories are ction and easy to dismiss in an academic way, the existence of actual people on those fringes is a far different matter to consider. In their first iterations, she says, they were unrelated, but many explored “the difficulties of being an educated, unorthodox woman in Utah Mormon culture.”
Andrew Hall

Book Review: Julie Berry’s The Passion of Dolssa and Jeff Zentner’s The Serpent King

6 days 17 hours ago
Exploring the Unfamiliar Realm of Religion in Young Adult Literature Julie Berry. The Passion of Dolssa. New York: Viking Books for Young Readers, 2016. 496 pp. Jeff Zentner. The Serpent King. New York: Crown Books for Young Readers, 2016. 384 pp. Reviewed by Jon Ostenson Modern young adult literature traces its roots to 1967, when S. E. Hinton’s book The Outsiders was published and subsequently devoured by young readers who were desperate for literature that spoke to them and reflected the realities they saw daily. In the ensuing years, young adult literature has bravely explored controversial topics like class struggle, mental illnesses, drug abuse, and sexuality, all in the name of allowing teen readers a chance to explore the “real” world. One element of teens’ lives, however, that has often been overlooked in the literature is religion and spirituality. Despite the results of the recent National Study of Youth and Religion showing that nearly forty percent of teens report actively participating in organized religion, religious characters and explorations of spirituality are rarely treated in young adult literature. The two titles I review here, The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry and The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner, counter this trend, presenting characters who wrestle with issues of faith and belief as they navigate the challenges of their world.
Andrew Hall

Book Review: Jack Harrell. Writing Ourselves: Essays on Creativity, Craft, and Mormonism.

1 week 2 days ago
Faith, Family, and Art Jack Harrell. Writing Ourselves: Essays on Creativity, Craft, and Mormonism. Draper, Utah: Greg Kofford Books, 2016. 156 pp. Paperback: $18.95. ISBN: 978-1-58958-754-0. Reviewed by Jennifer Quist The back cover of Jack Harrell’s new collection Writing Ourselves: Essays on Creativity, Craft, and Mormonism describes the book as a continuation of “a conversation as old as Mormonism itself.” It’s a fraught phrase, bringing to mind the image of an academic, artistic, and social in-group that has been conversing among themselves for a very long time. It isn’t the in-group’s fault that the conversation happens in the absence of non-members and newcomers to the Church, neither is it their fault that it goes on without writers, readers, and scholars unconnected to the American Mormon heartland. None of this is the in-group’s fault, but perhaps all of it is their problem. Many in the in-group strive to, in Harrell’s words,“giv[e] the church and its religion a human and literary face” (99). However, we can’t understand what our own faces look like without relying on the re ections and perceptions of people and objects outside ourselves. Perhaps Jack Harrell, as a previous outsider to not just the Mormon literary world but the Mormon world altogether, is especially well-suited to put himself forward to articulate what Mormon letters are and what they ought to be and become.
Andrew Hall

Book Review: Just Saying, by Stanton Harris Hall

1 week 2 days ago
Just Saying Stanton Harris Hall. Just Seeing. Self-published, 2016. 109 pp. Reviewed by Mary Lythgoe Bradford Stan Hall was one of Dialogue’s most enthusiastic volunteers back in the ’70s when I was its editor. We published some of his poetry then and were sorry when he moved back to his home turf in the Northwest. I was therefore happy to see that he had continued to hone his poetic gift in his privately published collection Just Seeing. The quality of this work causes me to hope that it will be read beyond his family circle, extending even into a second volume, perhaps entitled Just Saying. Hall is a poet on whom nothing is lost—whose gimlet eye misses little in nature or in human nature. His ne brush strokes recall the Japanese masters of the haiku. He is adept at sketching the place where nature meets its creator as it dreams of “taking the soul in hand / and twisting / like lime or sassafras / release the dry corona-white spirit / from the body’s moist darkness / the spirit freed / the child reunited” (50).
Andrew Hall

Dialogue Podcast #34 w/Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

3 weeks 1 day ago
In the newest Dialogue podcast Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and Harvard University professor, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, discusses her new book A House Full of Females – Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835 -1870.  From the Miller Eccles website: In January 1870, three or four thousand Latter-day Saint women gathered in the old tabernacle in Salt Lake City to protest federal anti-polygamy legislation pending in Congress.  To the astonishment of outsiders, the Utah Territorial Legislature soon granted women the vote, an action that eventually brought them into the most radical wing of the national women’s rights movements. Then, as now, observers asked how women could simultaneously support a national campaign for political and economic rights while defending marital practices that to most people seemed relentlessly patriarchal.
admin

Arrington Mormon History Lecture

4 weeks ago
Walter B. Rudolph, retired general manager of Classical 89, KBYU-FM will be the featured guest for Utah State University’s 2017 Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture on Thursday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m., at the Logan LDS Tabernacle. He will discuss “Opera and its Voices in Utah” and it will include a performance by American tenor Stanford Olsen. The lecture is free and open to all. The annual lecture honorsArrington, whose papers were donated to Utah State University’s Special Collections and Archives, a division in USU’s University Libraries. Part of the gift agreement was to offer an annual lecture on some facet of Mormon history.
admin

Commentary: Putting our shoulders to the wheel to end racism and white supremacy in Mormonism

1 month ago
The Salt Lake Tribune printed this important "Commentary: Putting our shoulders to the wheel to end racism and white supremacy in Mormonism." Here is an excerpt: As Mormons, we raise our voices to decry as wholly immoral the forces of white supremacy, racism, and neo-Nazism that are becoming more visible and emboldened in the United States. We raise our voices to denounce as an affront to our faith the abuse of LDS scriptures, doctrines, and images of apostles and prophets to advance white supremacy and racism. White supremacists have comfortably used LDS scriptures and quotes from apostles — even the image of Joseph Smith — to support their cause on social media, seemingly without fear of being held accountable...

hose of us who grew up in the LDS Church Young Women’s program pledged every week to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places.

We stand now, in our time, on this issue, and in the places where we live, and we say that there is nothing of God in racism, white supremacy, or neo-Nazism.

admin

2017 Eugene England Memorial Personal Essay Contest

2 months ago
In the spirit of Gene’s writings, entries should relate to Latter-day Saint experience, theology, or worldview. Essays will be judged by noted Mormon authors and professors of literature. Winners will be notified by email and announced in our Winter issue and on Dialogue’s website. After the announcement, all other entrants will be free to submit their essays elsewhere. Prizes: First place, $300; second place, $200; and third place $100
admin

Book Review: Eric Freeze. Invisible Men: Stories.

2 months 4 weeks ago
Invisible Men / Invincible Women Eric Freeze. Invisible Men: Stories. San Francisco: Outpost 19, 2016. 150 pp. Paperback: $16.00. Reviewed by Lisa Rumsey Harris Dialogue. Winter 2016 The gaze of the girl on the cover of Eric Freeze’s short story collection arrested me—stopped me. Her eyes, full of hostility, told me that if I opened the book, I would be intruding. Her bright knee-length plaid skirt, reminiscent of schoolgirl uniforms, belied the knowledge behind her glare. If it wasn’t for her posture, her arms embracing something, I wouldn’t have noticed the titular Invisible Man next to her on the cover. Her warning wasn’t wrong. I felt like an intruder as I began to read. I could only take it in small doses—read, then turn the ideas over and over in my mind, like rubbing a smooth stone between my fingers.
Andrew Hall

Book Review: Ashley Mae Hoiland. One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly: The Art of Seeking God.

2 months 4 weeks ago
Speaking for Herself Ashley Mae Hoiland. One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly: The Art of Seeking God. Provo: Neal A. Maxwell Institute, 2016. 212 pp. Paperback: $11.92. Reviewed by Glen Nelson. Dialogue, Winter 2016 One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly: The Art of Seeking God is a collection of short missives—poems, essays, and autobiographical sketches— grouped loosely and thematically into thirteen sections and an epilogue. Ashley Mae Hoiland is the author/illustrator of three self-published children’s books, a contributor to a collection of essays, Fresh Courage Take: New Directions by Mormon Women (Signature Books, 2015), a blogger (under the name ashmae) for By Common Consent, and the creator of a collection of sixty (trading or ash) cards of notable women in history, We Brave Women (Kickstarter, 2015).
Andrew Hall

Book Review: Patrick Madden. Sublime Physick: Essays.

3 months ago
A Candid and Dazzling Conversation Patrick Madden. Sublime Physick: Essays. University of Nebraska Press, 2016. 244 pp. Hardcover: $24.95. Reviewed by Joe Plicka Dialogue, Winter 2016 Patrick Madden’s second book of collected essays, following 2010’s Quotidiana (which won an award from the Association for Mormon Letters and was a nalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award), bears the mark of a writer hitting his stride. All the usual adjectives apply: the essays are at times witty, profound, charming, moving, playful (even cheeky), and wise. As anyone who has hung around a creative writing classroom knows by now, personal essays are grounded in a carefully curated friendship between reader and writer, a dialogue, an intimacy—a formulation probably most plainly expressed (recently) by Phillip Lopate in the introduction to his seminal anthology The Art of the Personal Essay. It is this quality of friendship, of candid and dazzling conversation, that engages and entices me as a reader throughout Sublime Physick’s dozen entries
Andrew Hall

Book Review: Three frontier-era novels republished and annotated

3 months ago
Old Words, New Work: Reclamation and Remembrance John Russell. The Mormoness; Or, The Trials of Mary Maverick: A Narrative of Real Events. Edited and annotated by Michael Austin and Ardis E. Parshall. The Mormon Image in Literature. Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2016 [1853]. 114 pp. Paperback: $12.95. Alfreda Eva Bell. Boadicea; The Mormon Wife: Life-Scenes in Utah. Edited and annotated by Michael Austin and Ardis E. Parshall. The Mormon Image in Literature. Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2016 [1855]. 151 pp. Paperback: $15.95. Nephi Anderson. Dorian: A Peculiar Edition with Annotated Text & Scholarship. Edited by Eric W. Jepson. Annotated by Mason Allred, Jacob Bender, Scott Hales, Blair Dee Hodges, Eric W. Jepson, Sarah C. Reed, and A. Arwen Taylor. El Cerrito, Calif.: Peculiar Pages, 2015 [1921]. 316 pp. Paperback: $21.99. Reviewed by Jenny Webb Dialogue, Winter 2016 The continual rising interest in all things Mormon, whether they be historical, cultural, social, doctrinal, or even theological, has led to a number of interesting publication projects. The texts gathered in this review represent a particular focus within this broader interest: the recovery and re-examination of the various historical forms of the “Mormon novel.”
Andrew Hall
Checked
3 hours 42 minutes ago
Dialogue Podcasts
Subscribe to Dialogue Podcasts feed