An ever-renewing narrative of community formed by difference
Grant Wacker recommends the best recently published books in his field.
According to some Mormon traditions, God and Jesus have made babies—God with the Heavenly Mother, and Jesus with one of his wives.
One cold afternoon in 1975 in a small rented bedroom in Antwerp, the young Mormon missionary Craig Harline (Elder Harline in Mormon parlance) had a faith crisis—though it is not quite right to call it that.
Jane Elizabeth Manning James, a black Mormon pioneer, was known to some Latter-day Saints historians in the latter part of the 20th century but was hardly a household name. Linda King Newell and Valerie Tippets Avery wrote the first well-researched article about Jane in LDS Church publication The Ensign. Subsequent Mormon authors focused on the early years of Jane’s life, particularly on founder Joseph Smith accepting her and her family into his home.
The musical The Book of Mormon portrays two naïve Mormon missionaries in Uganda proclaiming that “in 1978, God changed his mind about black people.” The joke isn’t mere whimsy; the LDS Church is widely perceived as racist. The irony is that had the church followed its initial trajectory, by now it likely would have become the most racially integrated and progressive church in America.
The great newish online journal Religion & Politics alerted me to the fact that today is the anniversary of JFK's speech to the Houston ministers.
Romney's faith, like Obama's, is distinctly American yet often misunderstood. And campaigns are rarely an occasion to increase understanding.