Brad Kramer represents a rising generation of young, thoughtful, faithful Latter-day Saint scholars. In this two part episode, Brad briefly discusses his own faith/intellectual journey within the LDS church, and then offers a parent/child, developmental framework for approaching a more mature LDS faith. Brad also briefly discusses a new approach to LDS apologetics, often dubbed “pastoral apologetics.”
Brad is married to Tracey von Bose-Kramer, and is the father of five children. Brad holds a B.A. in Russian from Brigham Young University, a B.A. in History from the University of Utah, an M.A. in American History from the University of Utah, and is a hair away from obtaining his Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan, with an emphasis on religion, religious language, and secrecy.
Dr. Ralph C. Hancock is a professor of political science at Brigham Young University. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. from BYU and a Ph.D. from Harvard University, and teaches classes on American and French political history as well as the history of political thought. He is currently serving as president of the John Adams Center for the Study of Faith, Philosophy and Public Affairs at BYU, and within Mormonism is perhaps best known as a critic of Mormon liberalism and feminism. You can read Dr. Hancock’s writings here, and responses to some of his writings here, here, here and here. In today’s four-part interview, we discuss:
Part 1: Early years and the formation of his philosophical positions
Part 2: His critique of Mormon liberalism
Part 3: His critique of Mormon feminism
Part 4: On Mormon apologetics, LGBT issues and his final testimony
Bill Reel is currently serving as Bishop of the Sandusky ward of the Cleveland Ohio Stake. In this interview we begin by discussing Bishop Reel’s conversion to the church AFTER reading Fawn Brodie’s “No Man Knows my History”, and his avid pursuit of Mormon apologetics after his baptism. We also discuss in depth his calling as bishop – including his job to counsel youth and women on sexual matters, masturbation, and homosexuality. Since Bishop Reel is a listener of the podcast, we discuss his perception and frustration of an increasing trend towards negativity on Mormon Stories. We also discuss the future direction of Mormon Stories, and Bishop Reel offers his advice for members in doubt.
In our 5-part conversation with Brant Gardner about his new book entitled “The Gift and Power: Translating the Book of Mormon,” we discuss most of the major issues with the Book of Mormon including: Joseph Smith’s use of folk magic, the Book of Mormon translation process (including the peep stone in the hat), Book of Mormon anachronisms, DNA and race. This interview attempts to address many of the issues discussed in our interviews with Grant Palmer and Dr. Michael Coe.
Brant A. Gardner earned his M.S. in anthropology (specializing in Mesoamerican ethnohistory) from the State University of New York at Albany. He is the author of the six-volume Second Witness: Analytical and Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon. He has presented papers at the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR), the Book of Mormon Archaeological Symposium, and Sunstone. His other published works include chapters in Estudios de Cultura Nahuatl and Symbol and Meaning beyond the Closed Community: Essays in Mesoamerican Ideas, and articles in the FARMS Review, Sunstone, and Meridian Magazine. Brant and his wife, Valerie, have four children and eleven grandchildren.