My Pilgrimage to Zion

Although my graduate work was in Medieval European history, I’ve also always had a fascination with my own family history, which, by extension, includes Mormon history. Since we got together ten years ago, my partner Mike and I have done a lot of research in Mormon history. We also do a lot of Mormon history tourism.

We’d been to Kirtland, to Nauvoo, to Salt Lake City and to more obscure locations like Voree (Strangite HQ), St. George and Manti, but we first visited Zion on April 6, 2003. And by “Zion,” I mean the real Zion: Jackson County, Missouri and the city of Independence. Continue reading “My Pilgrimage to Zion”

Jr High Polygamy

One of the more unfortunate periods of my life was the three years we lived in Utah. We moved to Orem, Utah, when I was just starting sixth grade. So I was what, nearly 12? An awkward time in life anyhow, but moving to Orem certainly made things worse in a major way. I was totally unprepared for the impact of Mormonism day in, day out, and for being surrounded by Mormon culture all the time. My parents, at that point, were converts of less than a decade, and had also never been around so many Mormons – and I think it is amazing that they stuck with the church during, and after, those three years. They both went through Mormon-related hell in many ways. Not that I noticed it that much at the time – I was a new teenager and was therefore appropriately self-absorbed. Continue reading “Jr High Polygamy”

Why Mormons Need the Supreme Court

I guess it should be self-evident that a marginal religious minority requires protection against the whims of the majority but a participant of the Mormon Stories Yahoo group reminded me of how frustratingly egocentric Deseret Mormons can be. Here is my reply to a Supreme Court basher:

Thank you for laying out a view about judicial review that is quite popular among Deseret Mormons. An exploration of the logical implications reveals that this view does not reflect the interests of most Mormons and has to be rejected on principle because it threatens the freedom of religious minorities such as ourselves. Continue reading “Why Mormons Need the Supreme Court”

Had a Weird Moment

by La

I was putting my near-toddler son to bed, but I was at my sister’s house, so I layed him on my niece’s bed. He likes to go to bed with his bottle and classical music. My niece only had 1 CD in her stereo, and thank goodness it happened to be soft, instrumental music. But here’s the thing: the music was the instrumental version of the Young Women songs.

Continue reading “Had a Weird Moment”

Mormon Art

So what the heck is Mormon art, anyway? Putting aside the much larger question of what is art (but using the term broadly to cover all creative expression), we might instructively ask: What is a Mormon? Do we count only members of the mainstream organization, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Do we draw the line at active members only? What about people who are active members but non-believers? Because there are plenty of those. Feminists? Intellectuals? Democrats? If you decide to let the term Mormon refer to anyone who self-identifies as a Mormon, the circle becomes much, much wider. You get not only members of the mainstream organization, but you get members of the multitude of splinter organizations (there are probably far more than you think), and you must include the ever-growing ex/post-Mormon community, many of whom still self-identify as Mormons. Even when you consider art created by active, church-going, temple-recommend holding Mormons, you have to ask: does the art have to actually be about Mormons or Mormonism directly to be considered Mormon art? Can someone who has been steeped in Mormon culture ever produce anything other than Mormon art? Should art that’s about Mormons, even when created by non-Mormons, be considered Mormon art?

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Polygamy’s Latter Day Toll–a dialogue

More polygamy stuff.

In my comments, Elder T. Wanker asked some specific questions concerning polygamy and the impact it has on Mormon women today. Once again, I add the disclaimer that I cannot speak for every woman, only myself. And we know how much baggage concerning sexuality and Mormonism I still tote; with that in mind, I’ll post his questions and attempt to address them as best I can. I do this not only because he’s my favorite contrarian, but because the questions are insightful enough to spawn a whole other post. Thanks, TW. Continue reading “Polygamy’s Latter Day Toll–a dialogue”

Babies or the Priesthood?

Feminist Mormon Housewives has assembled an excellent series of posts on the occasion of women’s history month. I am particularly impressed by Carol Lynn Pearson’s A Walk in Pink Moccasins, which reverses the gender roles in a general authority’s conference speech. Leveraging the golden rule, Pearson claims the theological high ground by pointing out that Mormon men would not want to be treated like Mormon women. Continue reading “Babies or the Priesthood?”