Reflections on Hugh Nibley by Family and Friends — Part 1

A few years before Dr. Hugh Nibley’s death, a few of his closest friends and family (via Sunstone) organized a “roast” for (or of) him. Unfortunately, the actual day of the planned roast, Dr. Nibley literally passed out and was unable to attend — but his wife, children and friends carried on with it.

This is part 1 — but I hope you can stay until the end. There is lots of very good stuff in here.

Looking for “Friends of Sunstone”

As we begin a new chapter in Sunstone’s evolution, we are looking to gather together a team of international supporters who not only share our vision (discussed below), but are willing to “put their shoulders to the wheel” (so to speak) to make it a reality.

If any of you are interested in joining us at the ground floor, please subscribe to our “Friends of Sunstone” mailing list today. As it currently stands, this email list will serve as a newsletter, where we will: 1) notify subscribers of new events, projects, ideas and initiatives, 2) solicit feedback, and 3) send out occasional requests for help or support. We may ask for your help in writing an article, finding a good person to interview for a particular story — or we may want to let you know of an upcoming event, opportunity, or project. I should also note that responses to this email list will go directly to me, so you will not be spammed by replies to this list. Also, your email will be kept private from everyone but myself.

Finally, for those unsure or even fearful of Sunstone’s goals/vision/reputation, here is some text that we (as a leadership team) have put together to keep us on the “straight and narrow”:

Sunstone Motto: Faith Seeking Understanding

Vision Statement: Sunstone is an independent forum for open, thoughtful, and constructive discussion of all things Mormon.

Vision Pillars: Our 4 primary goals at Sunstone over the next 5 years are to:

  • Enhance our position as a primary source for Mormon-related current events, contemporary issues, scholarship, and art.
  • Bring Mormon Studies to mainstream Latter-Day Saints in fun, interesting and accessible ways.
  • Remain a gathering place and information hub for the Mormon Studies community.
  • Become more of a resource for Latter-day Saints seeking additional support in their faith journey.

If any of you would like to join us in this new push to further enhance Sunstone’s position as a place that celebrates Mormonism, and provides independent and constructive forums for open discussion and support for Mormon spiritual development, please do join us. We’d love your support, and feel certain that this will be a very enjoyable ride.

P.S. If you’re not currently a magazine subscriber, that’s not a terrible place to start. 😉

Bloggernacle Get-Together at Sunstone — Friday, August 10th

Hey folks!

For those who didn’t get the memo, Sunstone, Kristine Haglund, Spock With a Beard and Mormon Stories are hosting a get-together at the upcoming Sunstone symposium:

Location: Sheraton Hotel in Downtown SLC
Date: Friday, August 10
Time: From 9:30 pm until midnight or so

I’d love to meet some of our long-time listeners there, so please consider coming! If you can come, please RSVP here or over at the link provided above.

See ya’ll soon!!!!

Executive Director of Sunstone

As some of you may have read, I was recently nominated and approved as “Executive Director of the Sunstone Education Foundation” by its Board of Directors.

I hope to write more about Sunstone in the coming weeks and months, but in the mean time, I wanted to let you know, at a super high level, our vision and hopes for Sunstone:

Sunstone Motto: Faith Seeking Understanding

Our Vision Statement (in draft form): Sunstone is an independent forum for open, thoughtful, and constructive discussion of all things Mormon.

Our direction for Sunstone over the next several years will be to help continue and extend its long tradition of being:

  • A primary source for Mormon-related current events, contemporary issues, scholarship, and art.
  • A resource to bring Mormon Studies to Latter-Day Saints in fun, interesting and accessible ways.
  • A gathering place and information hub for the Mormon Studies community.
  • A resource for Latter-day Saints seeking additional support in their faith journey.

We need lots of help and support to make this vision a reality. If any of you would like to join in our efforts, two great ways to support Sunstone today include:

Please contact me if you are interested in finding a way to support.

More exciting news ahead, so please stay tuned!!!

065: Women in the LDS Church Part 9 – Margaret Toscano on the Church, Priesthood and Mother God


To listen to the audio, click below:

063: Women in the LDS Church Part 7 – Margaret Toscano’s Journey into Mormon Studies and Feminism

Margaret Merrill Toscano is one of the most prominent and controversial feminists in the LDS church. In this episode Margaret discusses her journey into both Mormon Studies and Mormon Feminism.


If you would like to express your gratitude to Margaret for doing this interview, please email your comments to me, and I will pass them on.

062: Women in the LDS Church Part 6 – Margaret Merrill Toscano: The Early Years

Margaret Merrill Toscano is one of the most prominent and controversial feminists in the LDS church. In this episode we discuss her early years growing up in Arizona as a faithful but questioning Latter-Day Saint, including her time at BYU as a student.

If you would like to express your gratitude to Margaret for doing this interview, please email your comments to me, and I will pass them on.


For the audio, click here.

Sunstone Workshop: “Staying in the Church After Becoming Disaffected”

From the workshop….

  • The essay.
  • The audio recording of my August 2007 Sunstone Workshop entitled, “How to stay…”
  • The PowerPoint file from that presentation
  • The audio and video files from that presentation
  • The PDF from my October 2007 Sunstone Workshop entitled, “How to stay…”

=========

For those interested, I’m hosting a 3.5 hour workshop on “Staying in the Church After Becoming Disaffected” at the Sunstone Symposium this August. I don’t pretend to be an authority or anything, but I do know that many people who get hit hard w/ church history or culture come to the unfortunate conclusion that leaving the church is their only option — and that this can often hurt all parties involved (the church included). And so I’m hoping to share a thing or two I’ve learned over the past 2 years, as I’ve personally counseled over 200 people in this situation. This session is intended to be both for those who are struggling, and/or for their loved ones trying to cope with the situation.

I’d LOVE to meet some of you there!!!

Date: August 8, 2007
Time: 2:00 – 5:30 pm
Location: SALT LAKE SHERATON CITY CENTRE HOTEL, 150 WEST 500 SOUTH, SALT LAKE CITY
Cost: $25 (all proceeds go to Sunstone)
How to Register: To pre-register, fill out and send in the registration form included with this program, visit WWW.SUNSTONEONLINE.COM, or call the Sunstone office, (801) 355-5926.

Abstract: Thousands of people leave the LDS church each year. However, many who have left or are considering leaving feel a great deal of ambivalence towards this decision, since

A Chance to Contribute in Print to the Conversation about Women in the LDS Church

Followers of Mormon Women Studies Everywhere,

As some of you may be aware, Sunstone magazine published this month an essay written by Margaret Toscano entitled: ARE BOYS MORE IMPORTANT THAN GIRLS? The Continuing Conflict of Gender Difference and Equality in Mormonism. Please check it out if you have not yet had the chance.

After brainstorming with Dan Wotherspoon, Sunstone’s editor, we thought it might be valuable to invite LDS women more broadly to submit some articles or personal essays to Sunstone magazine, with the intent of dedicating the entire next issue of Sunstone magazine to the topic of “Women in the LDS Church — a 21st Century Update.” (not an official title, of course)
What we’re looking for is the following:

Blake Ostler and My Buddy Paul Join us on Mormon Matters

Blake Ostler and my good buddy Paul join us today on Mormon Matters. The topics for discussion are the LDS church’s position on financial non-disclosure and a recent LDS church press release entitled “Approaching Mormon History.”

It’s a fun one, so check it out if you get a moment.

Also, music for this episode has been graciously provided by Clayton Pixton and Skye Pixton. If you like their stuff, please consider supporting these young, talented LDS artists.

Seeking Conservative LDS Panelist(s) for Mormon Matters Podcast

While we’ve had some wonderfully bright and articulate conservative or traditional LDS panelists so far on Mormon Matters podcast (John Fowles, Rosalynde Welch, Julianne Hatton), various somewhat random complexities have made it such that they are finding it hard to appear with regularity.

Consequently, Mormon Matters is seeking 1 or 2 additional somewhat conservative or traditionalist LDS panelists to appear weekly on the podcast. Criteria include:

* You must consider yourself as a somewhat conservative or traditional LDS member (at least theologically)
* You must be somewhat thoughtful, witty and/or articulate (based on feedback from family or friends). 🙂
* You must be able to appear on the show at least twice per month
* We usually record Saturday nights between 8 and 10 Utah time

If any of you are interested, please contact us at: mormonmatters@gmail.com

Thanks!

Approaching Mormon History: A Recent LDS Church Press Release

The LDS Church just released a press release called “Approaching Mormon History.

It’s definitely an interesting read. My buddy was most concerned with this part:

“It is often asked, for example, how the Church can reconcile the authenticity of the Book of Mormon with the absence of archeological proof. This difficulty is inherent in all religious history and illustrates how spiritual matters are best verified by spiritual means…At a time when many religions are pressured to treat their sacred histories as myths, the Latter-day Saints on the contrary embrace their history as a literal expression of their faith.”

“Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, also interviewed by Helen Whitney, similarly expressed the need to take Church history literally. Articulating the difficulty of finding middle ground between myth and reality, President Hinckley said of the foundational story of Mormonism that “it’s either true or false. If it’s false, we’re engaged in a great fraud. If it’s true, it’s the most important thing in the world.”

Does this mean that there is no room in the church for those who do not take all church history and scripture as literally as it has been presented to us?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

061: A Review of the First 5 Episodes on Mormon Women by 2 Brilliant Mormon Women (Part 2)

In part 2 of a 2-part conversation with 2 brilliant Mormon women (Taryn Nelson-Seawright and Rosalynde Welch), they review episodes 3-5 of the recent Mormon Stories series on Women in the LDS Church. This includes a discussion about the 3 part interview with Dr. Claudia Bushman.

This episode was originally recorded as part of the Mormon Matters podcast, but has been included here as well for continuity.

To hear more of (and to purchase!!!) the wonderful music included in the podcast, please check out: claytonpixton.com and skyepixton.com

060: A Review of the First 5 Episodes on Mormon Women by 2 Brilliant Mormon Women (Part 1)

In part 1 of a 2-part conversation with 2 brilliant Mormon women (Taryn Nelson-Seawright and Rosalynde Welch), they review the first 2 episodes of the recent Mormon Stories series on Women in the LDS Church. This includes a discussion of my introduction on the topic, the 3 waves of Feminism in the USA.

This episode was originally recorded as part of the Mormon Matters podcast, but has been included here as well for continuity.

To hear more of (and to purchase!!!) the wonderful music included in the podcast, please check out: claytonpixton.com and skyepixton.com

Salt Lake Tribune “Day in the Life of a Polygamous Mormon Family” Screencast

This is really cool (from an “understanding them” perspective).

It’s from the Salt Lake Tribune, and it’s a “Day in the Life of a Polygamous Family” multimedia screencast.  For those interested, there appears to be an entire SLTrib blog dedicated to modern Mormon polygamy.

Check it out if you feel so inclined.

(Thanks to David for the head’s up)

059: Women and the LDS Church Part 5 — 19th and Early 20th Century Mormon Women Part 2 (with Dr. Claudia Bushman)

In our final hour with Dr. Claudia Bushman, she discusses early 20th Century Mormon women, again through writings from this era. Dr. Bushman also shares her perspective on the present and future of Mormonism, and provides some encouragement to the discouraged. In her summary, she asks our sisters to consider remaining engaged in the LDS church, even as times get tough. There is hope — and perhaps more writing, meaningful projects and steely determination are key ingredients.If you happen enjoy/appreciate Claudia’s interviews, please do email me so I can pass the word along. I’m quite sure Dr. Bushman will appreciate hearing from you.

I’ve Applied a Fix: Please Help Me Test

I’ve applied a fix: please help me test.

  • If you’re using iTunes, please delete your subscription to Mormon Stories, and re-subscribe and see if you can download files completely
  • Otherwise, try to listen however you listen, and let me know if you have any troubles.

If you have troubles, please let me know how you tried to listen (what you clicked on), and what browser you are using.

Thanks!

058: Women and the LDS Church Part 4 — 19th and Early 20th Century Mormon Women (with Dr. Claudia Bushman)

In this episode, Dr. Claudia Bushman joins us again to discuss 19th and Early 20th Century Mormon women, through the writings of 10 women of this era.

If you happen enjoy/appreciate Claudia’s interviews, please do email me so I can let her know. I’m sure she will appreciate hearing from some of you.

“Seer” — A Video Short by Lucas Dimick

Several months back, a listener named Lucas Dimick shared with me a short video he made. In his own words:

“i am a practicing mormon and occasional visitor to ‘mormon stories’. i am a graduate student in the film, video, new media department at the
art institute of chicago. last semester i made a 7 minute animation that sort of has a mormon / mormon-esqe theme to it.”

Please check it out, and let us/Lucas know what you think.

Mormon Matters #3 is Up: ” The Mountain Meadows Massacre “

With the church’s recent press release, the soon-to-be released “September Dawn” movie, and the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, this was a great discussion featuring J. Nelson-Seawright, John Hamer and the ever wonderful Ann Porter.

Check it out if you get a minute. It’s heavy stuff…but fascinating, and definitely worth the listen.