052: J. Bonner Ritchie—On Organizations, Individuals, and Pillars of Thoughtful Faith
February 16, 2007
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A few weeks ago, a very close friend of mine named Russell mailed me a CD full of his favorite Sunstone Symposium MP3s. While several of struck me as profound, one presentation in particular was groundbreaking, and almost breathtaking to me.
It was a presentation delivered in a 1992 “Pillars of my Faith” session by J. Bonner Ritchie — a former BYU Professor of Organizational Behavior. Brother Ritchie obtained his PhD from UC Berkeley, and served for many years both in the church, and on the Sunstone board of directors (where he continues serving to this day). As an expert in both organizations and conflict resolution, Brother Ritchie even served as a mediator between the Palestinians and the Israelis during the 1970s, including at least one meeting (and perhaps several) with Yasser Arafat himself.
In this presentation, brother Ritchie thoughtfully discusses the nature of both organizations and individuals — and how there must needs be a natural, and even healthy tension between the two. He discusses the importance of paradox in a mature and faithful world view — and provides invaluable tips on how to healthily remain a member of the church — in spite, or even because of the inevitable challenges that will continue to arise.
To me, this presentation represents some of the finest thinking and feeling — along with hope — that will ever be offered to struggling and thinking Mormons, who wish to remain members of the church.
I truly hope you enjoy this presentation. Thanks again for listening.