Thursday, June 25, 2009

Parley and Orson Pratt and Nineteenth-Century Mormon Thought

2009 Summer Seminar Symposium: Schedule


                      Parley and Orson Pratt and Nineteenth-Century Mormon Thought

                                    Public Symposium at Brigham Young University

                                    Sponsored by the Mormon Scholars Foundation

                                                               July 2, 2009

                                     B092 of the Joseph F. Smith Building at BYU

In the tradition of Richard Bushman's summer seminars on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism, eight graduate students, under the direction of Terryl Givens and Matthew Grow, have studied the writings of Orson and Parley Pratt and will be presenting their research at this symposium. The seminar has been hosted by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship.

10:00 Terryl Givens, University of Richmond, Introduction

10:10 Ryan Tobler, University of Chicago, "Parley Pratt and Evolving Views of the American Republic in Early Mormonism"

10:40 Jordan Watkins, University of Nevada-Las Vegas: "'All of One Species': Parley P. Pratt and the Evolution of Early Mormon Conceptions of Theosis"

11:10 Christopher Blythe, Utah State University: "Spiritual Gifts and Mormon Identity in the Nineteenth Century"

11:40 Loyd Ericson, Claremont Graduate School: "'The Great Grand Executor': The Development of the Holy Spirit in the Thought of Orson and Parley Pratt"
Intermission for Lunch

1:30 Musical Interlude: Songs of Parley P. Pratt, Liz and Katie Davis (descendants of Parley Pratt and accomplished cellist and fiddler with the folk musical group FiddleSticks)

1:45 Adriane Rodrigues, University of Minas Gerais: "Parley Pratt's 'Mighty Pen' and Satire"

2:15 Benjamin Park, University of Edinburgh: "'Here was an End of Mysticism': Divine Embodiment, Human Corporality, and the Pratt Brothers"

2:45 Joseph Spencer, San Jose State University: "'A Wellcome Messenger': The Development of Parley P. Pratt's Theology of Death"

3:15 Trevan Hatch, Baltimore Hebrew University: "Remembering the Chosen: The Gathering of the Jews and the Tribes of Israel in the Minds of Parley and Orson Pratt"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cheap approach to Mormon Studies

Kaimi Wenger at Times and Seasons posted an interesting article asking if someone had only $100 and wanted to get into Mormon studies, what books/ journals/ conferences/ resources would one recommend. He sought specific suggestions from several seasoned Mormon scholars. Others threw in their suggestions and I decided to (subjectively) tally up the results.

Armand Mauss captured the potency of such an undertaking saying "spend at least 20 hours a week in this enterprise, and in a year you will be more knowledgeable about LDS history and culture than 90% of the Saints and their leaders."

Under each Category, the number of recommendations is listed, followed by the recommended item.

Journal Recommenatons:
10 Dialogue
7 Sunstone
6 BYU Studies
5 Journal of Mormon History
2 Society of Mormon Philosophy and Theology
1 Journal of Book of Mormon Studies
1 John Whitmer Historical Association Journal
1 FARMS Review
1 Courage
1 International Journal of Mormon Studies

Specific Journal Article recommendations:
1 Sunstone: William A. Wilson: On Being Human: The Folklore of Mormon Missionaries
1 Sunstone: Thomas Alexander: The Reconstruction of Mormon Doctrine
1 Sunstone: Stan Roberts: Pastoring the Far Side: Making a Place for Believing Homosexuals
1 Sunstone: J. Bonner Ritchie: The Institutional Church and the Individual
1 Sunstone: Eugene England: Why the Church is as True as the Gospel
1 Sunstone: Arthur R. Bassett: Knowing, Doing, and Being: Vital Dimensions in the Mormon Religious Experience
1 BYU Studies: The Mormon Succession Crisis of 1844 by D. Michael Quinn
1 BYU Studies: The King Follet Sermon: A Newly Amalgamated Text by Stan Larson
1 Dialogue: Ostler, "The Book of Mormon as a Modern Expansion of an Ancient Source"

2 New Mormon Studies CD
2 & CD
1 LDS Library CD

3 Mormon History Association Conference (& mp3s)
3 Sunstone Symposium (& mp3s)
1 Claremont Mormon Studies Conferences
1 FAIR Conference
1 John Whitmer Historical Association Conference
1 Miller Eccles Study Group
1 UVU Mormon Studies Conference

3 Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Lyman Bushman
2 David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism by Gregory A Prince and Wm Robert Wright
2 Mormon Sisters: Women In Early Utah by Claudia Bushman
2 The Prophet Puzzle: Interpretive Essays on Joseph Smith (Essays on Mormonism Series) by Bryan Waterman
2 Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 1890-1930 by Thomas G. Alexander
2 Mormon Mavericks: Essays on Dissenters by John Sillito and Susan Staker
1 A Believing People
1 A Widow's Tale: The 1884-1896 Diary of Helen Mar Kimball Whitney
1 Added Upon: A Story
1 American Apocrypha: Essays on the Book of Mormon
1 Angel and the Beehive
1 By the Hand of Mormon
1 Contemporary Mormonism: Latter-day Saints in Modern America

1 Dialogues with Myself

1 Differing Visions
1 Early Mormonism and the Magic Word View
1 The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power

1 The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions
1 Emma Smith
1 Excavating Mormon Pasts: The New Historiography of the Last Half Century
1 Faithful History
1 Great Basin Kingdom
1 Indian Origins and the Book of Mormon
1 Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball
1 Massacre at Mountain Meadows
1 Maxwell Institute Apolegetic Materials
1 Mormon Enigma
1 Mormon History
1 Mormon Midwife: The 1846-1888 Diaries of Patty Sessions
1 Mormon Polygamy
1 Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition
1 Multiply and Replenish: Mormon Essays on Sex and Family
1 Nauvoo Polygamy
1 Neither Black nor White
1 New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays on the Past
1 No Man Knows My History
1 People of Paradox
1 Saints Without Halos
1 Sister Saints
1 Story of the Latter-day Saints
1 Tending the Garden: Essays on Mormon Literature
1 The Democratization of American Christianity
1 The Diaries of Charles Ora Card
1 The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-day Saints
1 The Mountain Meadows Massacre
1 Upon Line: Essays on Mormon Doctrine
1 Utahs Black Hawk War
1 Women and Authority

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cyperproceedings from the Salt Lake CESNUR conference

Mainstreaming and Marginalization of Religious Movements

londonAn International Conference organized by
CESNUR and  The J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
in association with ISAR, The Office of Mayor - Salt Lake City Corporation, and The Suitter Axland Foundation.

Salt Lake City, Utah, 11-13 June 2009


Papers on Mormonism
Other Papers

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dialogue Print Index

Announcing a new, print index of Dialogue's first 42 years

Dialogue IndexScholars and students of Mormon thought have been without an updated print index of Dialogue for decades. Fortunately, they go without no longer. We are pleased to announce the print version of Dialogue: A Complete Index. Editors Denis and Joseph Corcoran skillfully abridged James E. Crooks's exhaustive, bibliographic digitized index to form this new print volume. Because of the central place Dialogue has held in Mormon Studies for more than four decades, we're positive this index — a handy treasure-trove of all things Dialogue — will prove to be the convenient, go-to resource for Mormon scholars.

This volume is available in paperback and hardback and is a necessary tool for any researcher.

Parallel Doctrine & Covenants

The Parallel Doctrine and Covenants
The 1832-1833, 1833 and 1835 Editions
of Joseph Smith's Revelations
hardback. 246 pages. / 978-1-56085-205-6 / $50.00

This is the companion volume to The Parallel Book of Mormon. Curt Bench's thorough introduction traces the publishing history of the revelations, which first appeared in a serialized form in The Evening and the Morning Star beginning in 1832 in Independence, Missouri, and continued through 1833 in Kirtland, Ohio. The volume contains parallel columns comparing the text of the 1832-33 revelations to those printed in 1833 in Independence as A Book of Commandments. As readers may know, the largest number of changes occurred between 1833 and the revised versions published as the Doctrine and Covenants in 1835. Also of interest, and included in this volume, are four additional revelations published during Joseph Smith's lifetime and a handfull of unauthorized re-publications of various revelations in non-Mormon newspapers. This volume also coordinates the LDS and RLDS sections of the Doctrine and Covenants.

The Parallel Doctrine and Covenants

The Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, Element 4:1

The Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology

Element 4:1 (Spring 2008) Contents

"Got Compassion? A Critique of Blake Ostler's Theory of Atonement"
Deidre Green

"The Shadow of the Cathedral: Exposition of Mormon Theology"
Jacob T. Baker

"Ritual as a Process of Deification"
Michael Ing

"Toward a Mormon Metaphysics: Scripture, Process Theology, and the Mechanics of Faith"
Andrew Miles

"A Theology of Possibilities: Mormon Doctrine and Open Folk Beliefs"
Dennis C. Wendt

The Family and Human Relationships in History, Literature, Art, and Philosophy

Call for Papers

The Family and Human Relationships in History, Literature, Art, and Philosophy
May 21-22, 2010, Claremont, CA
A conference sponsored by Mormon Scholars in the Humanities

Every story, it is said, is a family story. Yet in stressing the freedom and self-sufficiency of the individual, modern culture de-emphasizes the degree to which people are born in dependency, of specific parents, and develop in and through relationships with others, most closely in the family. By considering the family, family history, and human relationships, we invite inquiry into changes in the culture of the family over time, inquiries into family memory, depictions of the family and the individual in art and literature, and philosophical investigations of the role of family, friends, and mentors in personal development. Some questions to consider:

* How do models and philosophies of the family and relationships illuminate depictions of the family in history, literature, and the arts, and vice versa?
* How has the notion of genealogy shaped different forms of representation in the arts and in sacred literature, as well as philosophies of history, morality, and ethics?
* To what degree is our identity a gift of others, and to what degree is it an individual accomplishment and responsibility? Do degrees of autonomy and dependence differ from era to era, culture to culture, and even from individual to individual?
* In what sense is the family the basic unit of society? What do the humanities teach us about the family as a social institution or about the roles and responsibilities within a family? About successes and failures of the family?
* If one goal of personal development is a certain kind of maturity in the intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and moral realms, what are the processes by which individuals achieve it? Do these types of development have necessary social dimensions? In light of possible family and social aspects of self-development and freedom, in what ways are individuals also responsible for others, and for themselves?
* How do LDS history, values, and doctrine pertaining to the family and to the notion of genealogy influence the work of the Mormon scholar in the humanities? How do they challenge or support the fundamental assumptions of humanities scholarship today?

Creative submissions relevant to the conference theme in story, verse, drama, or visual form are also invited.

We encourage LDS scholars in all fields of the humanities, arts, and history to propose papers or complete panels in response to the topic. Panel proposals should include a general title, presenters' names and contact information, and paper abstracts.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Church History Library

Excerpts of LDS artifacts showcased in state-of-the-art care by Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune

The LDS Church unveiled its state-of-the-art Church History Library in downtown Salt Lake City on Thursday, showing off its climate-controlled storage units, computerized conservation techniques and priceless artifacts.

Marlin Jensen, LDS Church Historian and member of the church's First Quorum of Seventy,  showcased a handful of historic items. They included an 1835 LDS hymnal, a scrapbook of the late church president, Ezra Taft Benson's post-World War II humanitarian efforts in Europe, a new Spanish translation of the King James version of the Bible, and a one-of-a kind 1852 Book of Mormon, translated into French on one side of the page and German on the other.

For Mormons, preserving history is a sacred mandate and this new building suggests the church's willingness to be open about its past "is in a period of expansion," Jensen said.

Mormons in every era and nation have recorded their experiences in journals, letters, business agreements, minutes of church meetings and photos. The massive collection includes 600,000 photos alone, as well as 270,000 books, pamphlets, magazines and newspapers, 240,000 collections of original, unpublished records, journals, diaries, correspondence and minutes. There are 23,000 audio-visual items, 4,000 oral histories and millions of digitized pages. Until now, the collection was housed in the east wing of the 26-story Church Office Building on North Temple.

It took just 19 days to physically move the collection to the new building at 15 East North Temple, but it took hundreds of volunteers a year and a half to tag and categorize each piece slated for the move.

The new building features 12 preservation vaults, protected by high security. Of those, 10 are maintained at 55 degree Fahrenheit, with 35 percent humidity and two are kept at minus 4 degrees Farenheit for extra sensitivity.

"For every 18 degrees down you go, the document has a longer life," said Steven L. Olsen, managing director of Church History Department.

There is also a conservation lab, with a darkroom where conservators turn acetate negatives into useable photographs, and a document cleaning room where they clean historical records and apply age-slowing chemical treatments.

Every year, about 6,000 new items are donated to the church, including an annual history of every LDS congregation in the world.

Leonard Arrington [was] the church's first professional historian who gave researchers unfettered access to the church's primary source materials, some of which had never been seen before. Arrington influenced a whole generation of Mormon historians and his team produced scores of credible, thoughtful scholarship.

The library limits access to documents it deems "sacred," (referring to temple rituals), "private," (legal or medical information) and "confidential," (referring to personal confessions, callings or ways the church ran its business), but most of the journals of LDS apostles and other leaders are completely open, Jensen said. "If people want access, it is almost always available."

Also, the library puts no restrictions on which researchers can use its documents.

"People might use the materials to criticize the church, but that's the risk we have to take," Jensen said. "We have a history and a people and things that all of us regret, but we don't have anything to hide."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

KBYU will not loose "PBS" designation

Excerpts of PBS Blesses Old Religious Shows, But Bans the New by Paul Farhi, Washington Post
The Public Broadcasting Service agreed yesterday to ban its member stations from airing new religious TV programs, but permitted the handful of stations that already carry "sectarian" shows to continue doing so.

The vote by PBS's board was a compromise from a proposed ban on all religious programming. Such a ban would have forced a few stations around the country to give up their PBS affiliation if they continued to broadcast local church services and religious lectures.

Until now, PBS stations have been required to present programming that is noncommercial, nonpartisan and nonsectarian. But the definition of "nonsectarian" programming was always loosely interpreted, and the rule had never been strictly enforced. PBS began reviewing the definition and application of those rules last year in light of the transition to digital TV and with many stations streaming programs over their Web sites. The definition doesn't cover journalistic programs about religion or discussion programs that don't favor a particular religious point of view.

The vote at PBS's headquarters in Arlington was good news for five PBS member stations that carry religious programs. Among them are KBYU in Salt Lake City, which is operated by an affiliate of the Mormon Church; KMBH in Harlingen, Tex., operated by the local Catholic diocese; and WLAE in New Orleans, operated by a Catholic lay organization.

Time Magazine: The Storm Over the Mormons,9171,1904146,00.html

Monday, Jun. 22, 2009
The Storm Over the Mormons

Last November, Jay Pimentel began hearing that people in his neighborhood were receiving letters about him. Pimentel lives in Alameda, Calif., a small, liberal-leaning community hanging off Oakland into the San Francisco Bay. Pimentel, who is a Mormon, had supported Proposition 8, the ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage. And that made him a target. "Dear Neighbor," the letter began, "Our neighbors, Colleen and Jay Pimentel" — and it gave their address — "contributed $1,500.00 to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign. NEIGHBORS SHOULD BE AWARE OF THEIR NEIGHBORS' CHOICES." The note accused the Pimentels of "obsessing about same-sex marriage." It listed a variety of local causes that recipients should support — "unlike the Pimentels."

Article continued here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Evangelicals urge softer approach to converting Mormons

Excerpts of Evangelicals urge gentler approach to Mormons by Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune

Saving Mormon souls from the perceived falsehoods of their faith typically has included dubbing the church a "cult" and providing a point-by-point comparison with traditional Christianity, while caricaturing Latter-day Saint believers and practices.

Such tactics may fill the pews and energize the Evangelicals, but to John Morehead and Ken Mulholland, they are not the best tools for ministering to Mormons.

"We need to provide something constructive and Christ-centered that takes into account a true understanding of the journey they've have been on," Morehead says.

To that end, Morehead and Mulholland have produced a 14-minute trailer for a full-length multimedia effort called "Transitions: The Mormon Migration from Religion to Relationship."

It mirrors the personal approach seen in "Mormon Messages," made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and circulated on YouTube, featuring individual converts, telling the story of their faith and how they came to join the church.

The "Transitions" trailer is the first major project of a new think tank, the Western Institute for Intercultural Studies, Mulholland and Morehead created in Utah to "equip individuals, congregations and Christian academics to communicate the Christian faith to adherents of new religious movements with understanding and sensitivity."

"God has been so gracious in pouring out a new kind of grace into our hearts into really love these people," Mary Golding says in the trailer. "Not just love them so they get converted, but to love them enough to walk with them to get them through the process, to say you are not an accomplishment, a project to us. You are an individual that Jesus loves."

For more information about the Western Institute for Intercultural Studies, go to

Petition request is requesting participation in a petition for reconciliation among gay members of the church and the church leadership.  Concern about the the trials of gay Mormons are illustrated as followed:
  • "Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens and young adults have one of the highest rates of suicide attempts — and some other health and mental health problems, including substance abuse. A new study suggests that parental acceptance, and even neutrality, with regard to a child's sexual orientation could have a big impact in reducing this rate." -NPR, All Things Considered, December 29, 2008
  • "I implore the students at BYU to re-assess their homophobic feelings," wrote Stuart Mathis in The Daily Universe shortly before committing suicide. "Seek to understand first before you make comments. We have the same needs as you. We desire to love and be loved. We desire to live our lives with happiness. We are not a threat to you or your families."
  • "Utah's overall suicide rate is the 10th highest in the nation. Unfortunately, it is the leading cause of death for Utah males ages 15 to 19, who die at a rate nearly double the national average. It is the leading cause of death for adolescent males in Utah." Voices of Hope Discussion Guide
  • "Thank you, Carol Lynn Pearson, for reminding us that the task of any religion is to teach us whom we're required to love, not whom we're entitled to hate." - Rabbi Harold Kushner
  • Forgiving the Church and Loving the Saints: Spiritual Evolution and the Kingdom of God. -Robert A. Rees

About the site:

We are an organization of LDS members, former members and others who believe in the equal value of every soul regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or worldly condition.

We believe that kindness and compassion towards those with differences are the benchmarks of Christian practice and life.  We desire to help create an atmosphere in which all members of the Church will feel an unconditional welcome and feel valued for the unique gifts they bring to the LDS community.  We assert that without the inclusion of gays and lesbians in our congregations, we are substantially diminished as a people.  It is our hope that all members will feel loved and valued and feel a generous and compassionate welcome in our midst, as beloved children of God.

Our community has grown as we have come to know and form strong bonds with many gays and lesbians, as well as gay and lesbian Church members and former members.  These bonds have been strengthened as a result of our associations during California's Proposition 8 campaign, which banned Gay Marriage in this State.  We have been amazed by the stories of our gay brothers and lesbian sisters, impressed by their courage and perseverance and awed by their ability to transcend what they have experienced as rejection and personal attack.  We desire to do our small part to support them and show our deep appreciation and admiration for them as our brothers and sisters. 

We are not Anti-Mormon and are not affiliated with or sympathetic to any Anti-Mormon groups or agendas.  We simply want to affirm our love and devotion to the Christian principles upon which this Church was founded.

We want to thank all who support this effort. Together, we can make a difference.

More information can be found at

Oquirrh Mountain Temple struck by lightening

(The Associated Press) The Moroni statue on top of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appears after having been struck by lightning in South Jordan, Utah, Sunday.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Church News Twitter feed hacked

Excerpts of Hackers seize Church News Twitter account by Lynn Arave, Deseret News
Hackers hijacked the Church News Twitter account last weekend, and Twitter staffers took down the site early Thursday because the infiltrators had gained total control over the Web site.

"We tried to get it back," he said, but he soon realized that the hacker had even been able to change the password and lock him out.

Craine said the hacker posted some anti-Mormon material on the site earlier this week. "It caused the Deseret News and the LDS Church concern," said Tim Conde, an attorney with Stoel Rives who represented the Deseret News in talks with Twitter officials.

The Church News had operated a site on Twitter for about two months.

More from MHA

Excerpts of  The Things You See and Hear at MHA from Signature Books
 Some highlights from this year's Mormon History Association meetings in Springfield, Illinois. On a session devoted to polygamy, Don Bradley showed from newly discovered documents at LDS Church Archives that two of Joseph Smith's plural wives, Melissa Lott and Eliza Snow, believed Fanny Alger was among the founding prophet's wives. Eliza was living with the Smiths in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1835 when Emma kicked Fanny out of the house. Historians are divided on whether Fanny was a wife or mistress.
George Smith spoke on the popularity of John Milton's treatise on polygamy, which attained wide circulation in America in 1825, and Brian Hales advanced the hypothesis that Joseph Smith only had sex with his wives who were otherwise unencumbered, not with his polyandrous wives. In the q & a, Larry Foster suggested that "proxy husbands" would be a better term (used by Brigham Young) for arrangements based on sex, rather than "polyandrous wives"—to which we might also suggest the term "Foster Husbands."

Another interesting session was sponsored by members of the Joseph Smith Papers staff whose expertise is in the law. One of the presenters, Jeffrey N. Walker, defended Joseph Smith's use of Habeas Corpus in disregarding arrest warrants issued by the state. Another presenter, Joseph I. Bentley, asserted that it was legal and right for the Nauvoo City Council to destroy the Nauvoo Expositor—that other cities had smashed presses deemed a nuisance, that the Bill of Rights did not apply to cities, and that this act prevented the inciting of a riot. (Not mentioned was the fact that when the city called up a posse to destroy the press, the citizens who began the looting and mahem went on to burn down the editors' houses; if the point had been to prevent a riot, it ironically produced one.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Author of Fascinating Womanhood dies

Excerpts of Helen Berry Andelin, LDS mom and author of 'Fascinating Womanhood,' championed a woman's domestic role by Ben Fulton, The Salt Lake Tribune
Helen Berry Andelin, founder of the Fascinating Womanhood seminars based on her 1963 book of the same name, died June 7 in Pierce City, Mo.

Teaching that women should embrace their roles as mothers and domestic caretakers in order to fortify their marriages, Andelin rose to prominence in the late 1960s and 1970s when rising sentiments of feminism and the women's rights movement prompted a national debate.

A Mormon mother of eight, Andelin prayed, fasted and read The Bible and The Book of Mormon in hopes that God would reveal to her the elements of a strong marriage, said Julie Neuffer, a history instructor at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. Soon after, Andelin, who was raised in Mesa, Ariz., before attending Brigham Young University and the University of Utah in the late 1930s, wrote her book.

"She really felt that if she could save marriages she could save families and save America," said Neuffer, who hopes to turn her academic dissertation on Andelin's work into a biography. "Hers was a religious patriotic movement. You can find a lot of Andelin's philosophy in Doctor Laura Schlessinger, Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus , and The Rules . They don't quote Andelin, but she was the beginning of an entire movement. That movement is still going strong."

Brian Andelin said his mother's book emphasizing traditional gender roles was not a reaction to the women's movement. Instead, it written as a caring message to women who wanted to learn how to salvage their marriages. He remembers his mother selling 5,000 books out of the family garage, followed by half a million more in sales, before Fascinating Womanhood was published by Bantam. The publishing company released an updated edition in 2007.

"My mother was a sweet, guileless woman who got up every morning at 4 a.m. to work hard," Brian Andelin said. "Some of the young girls in my family say, 'I don't like that book,' and she stirred controversy, but her message was the spiritual view on the difference between men and women."

In 1970s, Andelin appeared on television and was interviewed by Phil Donahue, Larry King and Barbara Walters. Comic Roseanne Barr, who grew up in Salt Lake City when many women were talking about the concepts of Fascinating Womanhood , borrowed from the book when she adopted the moniker of "domestic goddess" in her stand-up routine. Andelin once received a call from Barr saying she didn't mean any offense by adopting the title, Neuffer said.

Andelin was married to Aubrey Andelin, who died in 1999. In addition to eight children, she is survived by 61 grandchildren and 101 great-grandchildren.

Mormon Zombie Movie

The Book of Zombie

A small, sleepy Utah town gets an undead wake-up call when all of the
townspeople of Mormon faith suddenly transform into flesh-eating
ghouls!  Now, a group of "non-believers" unaffected by the mysterious
epidemic must band together to survive the night and answer the
burning question: How do you kill a Mormon zombie?

Details can be read at

Trailer (gore alert):

Monday, June 08, 2009

Deseret Book pulling Twilight from shelves a "PR Disaster" in Italy

Excerpts of The big news in Italy: 'Twilight' author is LDS by Peggy Fletcher Stack of The Salt Lake Tribune.  Introvigne will present his findings at the CESNUR conference in Salt Lake later this week.
The fact that Twilight author Stephenie Meyer is a Mormon was much bigger news than either the forthcoming LDS temple in Rome or the HBO drama "Big Love."

The book and its Mormon connection was "the best thing that happened to the LDS Church in decades, perhaps together with the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics," [Introvigne ] writes. Nearly three-fourth of the stories that mentioned Meyer is a Mormon "had a positive view of the LDS Church as an island of safety where family values were still taken seriously, as represented by Meyer's novels."

Then, on April 22 it was reported that the LDS chain Deseret Book was pulling the Twilight series off the shelf. That news generated 343 stores in one month.

"Many of these do not mention that Meyer is a Mormon, and present the move as just another instance of bigotry by conservative American religion against popular books or music," Introvigne says. "It was a PR disaster for the LDS Church. Despite the limited time in the survey since it happened, it has generated no positive comments at all, and a record 98.54 percent of negative stories about the church."

"I analyzed 1,000 Italian articles on Romney and found that 473 articles (or 47.3%) mentioned that Romney's religion has something to do with polygamy," Introvigne said, "although 115 (11.5% of the total, and 24.3% of those discussing polygamy in connection with Romney) did some homework and explained that Romney's church is not actually polygamist."

Stories about the proposed Rome temple, announced by LDS President Thomas S. Monson on October 6, 2008, were handled by religion reporters and generated the highest number of fact-based, neutral stories, Introvigne writes. Despite a sustained effort by LDS Church officials in Italy, however, the announcement "generated twice as many negative stories as positive."

Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in Salt Lake

The Deseret News reports that the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) will convene June 24-28 at the Salt Palace Convention Center for their annual General Assembly.

In anticipation of the event, the Rev. Tom Goldsmith of the First Unitarian Church wrote to congregants in his monthly newsletter that "for five days, downtown will feel a little like Boston and the shot of liberal religion will be an adrenaline rush as though Ralph Waldo Emerson himself were taking a stroll around Temple Square."

Friday, June 05, 2009

Wilford C. Wood honored for preserving church history artifacts and sites

Excerpts of President Monson honors Wood for preserving LDS Church history by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

Wilford C. Wood had a magificent obsession for historical sites and artifacts.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Thomas S. Monson joined the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation and the LDS Church History Department Thursday in honoring Wood and his family for their role in preserving church history sites and artifacts.

Wood, who died in 1968, was a pioneer in researching and purchasing important Mormon historical sites, such as the Nauvoo Temple block, Joseph Smith Jr. home in Harmony, Pa., and Liberty Jail in Missouri. He also acquired priceless artifacts, such as a full set of uncut and unbound sheets from the 1830 Book of Mormon and the original clay casts of the death masks of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.

"I first became acquainted with Wilford C. Wood when I was the assistant general manager of what was then called the Deseret News Press," President Monson said. He worked with Wood, starting in the late 1950s, on volumes one and two of "Joseph Smith Begins His Work." The books contained reprints of the first edition of the Book of Mormon and other early LDS documents.

Wood had to push harder to make the first purchase of property that had been part of the Nauvoo Temple block. In 1937, the LDS Church had authorized Wood to pay $1,000 for the property — but the bank selling the property was hoping for more.

President Monson said Wood received an impression to say, "Are you going to make us pay an exorbitant price for the blood of a martyred prophet when you know that this property rightfully belongs to the Mormon people?"

The property was purchased for $900.

Over the years, Wood acquired many church sites, some on behalf of the church, some with his own money. Many of the properties eventually were sold to the church at or below his costs.

[mormon-chronicles] BYU YouTube ban reconsidered

Excerpts of  BYU YouTube ban reconsidered  By Emily Stone

Following the release of a new video channel by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU is reconsidering the school's ban on YouTube.

The Church's "Mormon Channel" on the home page offers photos, audio feeds and videos — including a link to the official church YouTube channel "Mormon Message."

BYU limited access to some Internet sites, including YouTube, in fall 2006 in an effort to be more consistent with its mission statement. The offensive material that can be found on YouTube qualifies it to be blocked from campus.

Dale Cressman, a professor in the Department of Communications, said the department would make extensive use of YouTube.

"The ban has been a frustration and an unintended impediment to better learning," said Cressman. "Without the on campus ban, our students' learning portfolios could include online examples of their video work. This would greatly enhance our ability to assess student learning. In addition, there have been many, many times when I wanted to share with my students either a historical piece of video or a contemporary item and have been hindered."

Jenkins said if the ban is lifted, the university would expect students to continue to be prudent and careful about what they view on and off campus.

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

BYU Studies Volume 48, no. 1

BYU Studies  Volume 48, no. 1

Morris Thurston writes about Joseph Smith's most famous legal case: he
was tried as an accessory to the attempted murder of former Missouri
Governor Lilburn W. Boggs. Joseph's trial caused quite a sensation in
Springfield, Illinois, and newspapers far and wide gave the case
headline status.

Another article discusses missionary work in early Victorian England:
the story of explosive baptism rates in parts of England in the 1840s
is well known; what was the story in other parts of England? How did
missionary work proceed there? Author Ron Bartholomew looks at one
county, Buckinghamshire.

Another piece of this issue discusses the hymn writing of early Church
scribe Frederick G. Williams, written by his descendant, Fred

Also in this issue are photos of mission life in exotic Tonga in the
1930s, by Colleen Whitley, and a discussion of Mormon film on the
Internet, by film critic Randy Astle.

Skull not victim of Mountain Meadows Massacre

Excerpts of Skull not victim of massacre, By David Holsted

The skull, which had been found in a box marked "Mountain Meadows" in an Idaho pawn shop in February, had what was thought to be a bullet hole in it. There was speculation that the skull was that of a victim of the Mountain Meadows massacre, a September 1857 event in which about 120 men, women and children, mostly emigrants from Arkansas, were killed in Utah.

According to Phil Bolinger and Jake Fancher, it has been determined that the skull is that of a Vietnamese female. Bolinger and Fancher are both members of the Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation, and they learned of the skull's true identity this past weekend while at Mountain Meadows for a memorial service.

A call to state archaeologist Dr. Kenneth Reid in Boise, Idaho, confirmed that the skull was that of a Vietnamese woman.

Bolinger, who is the president of the MMMF, reported that he and other members of the descendant organizations were able to participate in a 21-gun salute over the grave of the victims. Bolinger and other members of the descendant organizations, dressed in 1857-era military uniforms, filled in. It was a very moving experience, Bolinger said.

Bolinger also said the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for the first time opened up its archives to the descendant organizations, revealing some previously unknown facts about the massacre. As an example, Bolinger said, he learned of a Mormon women's auxiliary group that prayed for their husbands while they were out on their killing mission.

Mormon officials also took the visitors for the first time to a newly acquired piece of land where some of the older children and women from the wagon train were buried. The church recently acquired an additional 600 acres to serve as a buffer between the site and the surrounding land. The paper work has been submitted to have the site named a National Historical Landmark. Bolinger thought it was just a matter of time now before the site gained national protection.

In September, the descendant organizations, along with Mormon officials, will gather at the old lodge in Carrollton to observe the 150th anniversary of the return of the Mountain Meadows survivors, all young children, to Arkansas.

Read the entire article here.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

New Hampshire becomes 6th state to authorize Same-Sex Marriage

New Hampshire Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

BOSTON — The New Hampshire legislature approved revisions to a same-sex marriage bill on Wednesday, and Gov. John Lynch promptly signed the legislation, making the state the sixth to let gay couples wed.

The bill had been through several permutations to satisfy Mr. Lynch and certain legislators that it would not force religious organizations that oppose same-sex marriage to participate in ceremonies celebrating it. Some groups had feared they could be sued for refusing to allow same-sex weddings on their property.

Mr. Lynch, who previously supported civil unions but not marriage for same-sex couples, said in a statement that he had heard "compelling arguments that a separate system is not an equal system."

"Today," he said, "we are standing up for the liberties of same-sex couples by making clear that they will receive the same rights, responsibilities — and respect — under New Hampshire law."

The law will take effect on Jan. 1. As originally cast, the legislation exempted members of the clergy from having to perform same-sex weddings. Then Mr. Lynch, a centrist Democrat, said he would veto the bill unless the legislature added language also exempting religious groups and their employees from having to participate in such ceremonies.

Mr. Lynch also ordered that the bill protect members of religious groups from having to provide same-sex couples with religious counseling, housing designated for married people and other services relating to "the promotion of marriage."

But the House rejected that language last month by a two-vote margin, and legislative leaders appointed a committee to negotiate a compromise.

The committee last week recommended changes further emphasizing the rights of religious groups not to participate. They include a preamble to the bill that states, "Each religious organization, association, or society has exclusive control over its own religious doctrine, policy, teachings and beliefs regarding who may marry within their faith."