The landscape of Mormonism has changed dramatically since the first volume of Why I Stay was published. The horizon now looks and feels both urgent and complex, causing many who never before wondered—why they, or should they—stay in the church.
Friday, May 5, 2017, 7:30-9:30 pm
Home of Elizabeth and Mark England
1194 S. 500 E., SLC, UT
Please come in the back door if you arrive late.
In spite of denials to the contrary, Mormonism is currently in the throes of a faith crisis. It is safe to say that many more Latter-day Saints than at any other time in the modern Church have left, are in the process of leaving or are contemplating leaving—or at least struggling with that question. While there has been no comprehensive scientific study of the Mormon faith crisis to date, informal studies, reports and signs suggest that it is both real and growing. Jana Riess’s new study, The Next Mormons gives important insights into where Mormonism is at present in terms of faith crisis issues.
This presentation is based on Bob’s forthcoming second volume of Why I Stay: The Challenges of Discipleship for Contemporary Mormons. It includes material from some of the essays in that volume, including Bob’s personal essay, “Walking One Another Home.”
Bob has taught at the University of Wisconsin, UCLA, UC Santa Cruz and at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania, where he was also a Fulbright Professor of American Studies (1995-96). Currently he teaches Mormon Studies at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and at the University of California, Berkeley. He was recently appointed Director of Mormon Studies at GTU. Bob blogs on LGBT issues at www.nomorestrangers: LGBTMormonForum.
Bob is well known in the LDS community for his explorations of other LDS-related issues, from the Book of Mormon to a broad array of subjects relating to Mormon culture and religion. The former editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Bob continues to make significant contributions to Mormon scholarship in such journals and presses as Dialogue, Sunstone , The Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Brigham Young University Press, Signature Books, and other venues.
Bob Rees is currently completing the second volume of Why I Stay: The Challenges of Discipleship for Contemporary Mormons, a collection of poetry, a musical on the American Dream, and various articles and essays on Mormon religion and culture.
Bob is the author or co-author of a number of publications relating to LGBT issues, including: Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Latter-day Saint Families with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Children, (co-authored with Dr. Caitlin Ryan of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University); “A Failure of Love,” in Michelle Beaver, The Gay-Mormon Decade: Changing a Church from Within (2013); “Forward” to Carol Lynn Pearson’s No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons around Our Gay Loved Ones (2007); A Guide for Latter-day Saint Families Dealing with Homosexual Attraction (2002); The Persistence of Same-Sex Attraction in Latter-day Saints Who Undergo Counseling or Change Therapy (2004); “Requiem for a Gay Mormon” (2007); “’In a Dark Time the Eye Begins to See’: Personal Reflections on Homosexuality among the Mormons at the Beginning of a New Millennium,” (Dialogue 33:3 [Fall 2000]) (winner of the Lowell Bennion Award); No More Strangers and Foreigners: A Mormon Christian Response to Homosexuality (1998), trans. Into Spanish by Hugo Olaiz, “El Amor y la Imaginación Cristiana.”
For the past twenty years Bob has been active in humanitarian and interfaith work. Currently he serves on the Advisory Board of S.A.F.E. (Save African Families Enterprise), a non-profit organization providing antiviral drugs to HIV-positive pregnant women in Zimbabwe. He is a founding member and Vice-President of the Liahona Children’s Foundation, an organization that provides nutrition and education to children in the developing world.
Worthwhile writings by Bob:
Bob’s essays and poetry are mindful and soulful. You will be grateful and enlightened by them.
Forgiving The Church
Repairing the Church
The Goodness of the Church
Somewhere Near Palmyra
Some additional essays
A podcast interview