Category Archives: faith again

Rethinking Revelation and the Mormon Racial Story

How does viewing Mormon whiteness as a contested variable in the nineteenth century change our understanding of the Mormon racial story? And of revelation? Paul Reeve’s presentation explores the possibilities.

Time: 

Friday, April 1, 2016, 7:30 pm

Location: 

Home of Elizabeth and Mark England
1194 S. 500 E., SLC, UT

Please come in the back door if you arrive late. 

Paul #2About Paul Reeve:

Paul Reeve is the author of Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness, published by Oxford University Press in 2015. He also wrote Making Space on the Western Frontier: Mormons, Miners, and Southern Paiutes, and co-edited with Ardis E. Parshall, Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia. With Michael Van Wagenen he co-edited Between Pulpit and Pew: The Supernatural World in Mormon History and Folklore. He is the Director of Graduate Studies in the History Department at the University of Utah where he teaches courses on Utah history, Mormon history, and the history of the U.S. West. He is the recipient of the University of Utah’s Early Career Teaching Award and of the College of Humanities Ramona W. Cannon Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities.

Details:

Drawing upon evidence from his new book, Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness, Paul Reeve suggests that Mormon whiteness in the nineteenth century was a contested variable, not an assumed fact. Situating the Mormon racial story within the broader context of a very fluid and illogical American racial history, Reeve will trace the evolution of Mormon whiteness over time and offer a new lens through which to view the evolving priesthood and temple bans within Mormonism. He argues that one way in which Mormons attempted to secure whiteness for themselves was in distance from their fellow black Mormons.

The discussion will include an exploration of ways to think through this history, prophetic infallibility, and what it means to be Mormon in the twenty-first century.

Read, listen, watch:


RadioWest: The Mormon Struggle for Whiteness

Maxwell Institute podcast:
Part 1: http://mi.byu.edu/mip-22-reeve-parshall-p1/
Part 2: http://mi.byu.edu/mip-23-mormonism-race-reeve-parshall-p2/

For those who are interested in how Paul navigates the space between his profession and faith, read his Mormon Scholars Testify post here:
http://mormonscholarstestify.org/2699/w-paul-reeve

Membership, Ministry, LGBTI Policy, and the Body of Christ

The church’s new policy has created a pastoral crisis for LGBTI church members, their families, loved ones, and allies. Suddenly, many feel faced with an either/or choice—to stay in a church where they may be treated as apostate, or retreat from, or leave church participation. Are there other options for responses to this policy? Can lay members minister to the needs of LGBTI members and their children in ways that help to offset some of the anxiety, stress or harms triggered by the policy?  Is the policy an opportunity for members to discuss related issues more deeply?

Maxine Hanks and Tom Christofferson will share some ideas and pose some questions to foster dialogue within the group.

 

 

Time: 

SUNDAY, March 6, 2016, 6:00 pm

Location: 

Home of Elizabeth and Mark England
1194 S. 500 E., SLC, UT

Please come in the back door if you arrive late. 

1624274_1522653481292243_1954226496_nAbout Maxine Hanks:

One of the “September Six” who were excommunicated in 1993, she returned to LDS Church membership in 2012. In those years of “non-membership” Maxine studied Christian liturgy and clergy formation, also serving in interfaith ministry and chaplaincy.

Maxine lectures and writes on Mormon studies and women’s studies in religion. Her work focuses on gender in Mormonism and in Christianity, and explores other themes in Mormon studies and religious studies. She was a visiting fellow at Harvard Divinity School, and a research fellow with the Utah Humanities Council. She has lectured at the University of Utah, and guest lectured at Utah Valley U., Salt Lake Community College, Weber State U., Harvard Divinity School, and Claremont Grad. U. Her first book, Women and Authority, excavated Mormon feminist history, theology, discourse, and women’s authority. Subsequent books include Mormon Faith in America, and Getting Together With Yesterday. Her essays appear in anthologies such as Religion in America (2005), Secrets of Mary Magdalene (2006), and Latter-day Dissent (2011), among others.

IMG_0413About Tom Christofferson:

Tom has had a thirty-five year career in investment management and banking in the US and Europe. He served in the Canada Montreal Mission of the LDS church, and later asked to be excommunicated as, at that time in the mid-1980s he could not see a way to be gay and Mormon. He and his former partner, Clarke, were together for nineteen years. Tom is currently an active member of the LDS church and serves as a gospel doctrine teacher in his Salt Lake City ward.

 

Read, listen, watch:

Mormon Matters: Are There Fresh and Productive Ways to View the New LGBT Policy?

Jacob Hess: Thirty Questions Towards a More Productive LGBT-Conservative Dialogue

Jana Riess: Mormon lesbian told to divorce her wife or face excommunication hearing

Judy Dushku on the policy

Tribune stories:

http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/3463749-155/op-ed-as-lds-grapple-with-handbook

http://www.sltrib.com/news/lds/3446271-155/split-surfaces-in-lds-policy-on

http://www.sltrib.com/news/lds/3473487-155/suicide-fears-if-not-actual-suicides

http://www.sltrib.com/blogs/2301174-155/mormons-free-to-back-gay-marriage

http://www.sltrib.com/home/3147285-155/new-mormon-policy-on-gay-families

http://archive.sltrib.com/story.php?ref=/sltrib/news/52486958-78/mayne-gay-lds-ward.html.csp

http://archive.sltrib.com/story.php?ref=/sltrib/lifestyle/56677808-80/gay-argetsinger-mormon-church.html.csp

Some questions to consider:

  • How does the new policy affect you? loved ones? members?
  • Can we reframe the policy to empower members esp. LGBTIs?
  • How can members respond to the policy in effective ways?
  • Can members minister to each other, in ways that offset harms of the policy?
  • Who is the Church ? What is the body of Christ? How can LGBTIs belong?

Speaking Up and Out During the First Fifty Years of Relief Society

Explore with Kate Holbrook five rich but little-known case studies from the first fifty years of Relief Society for the initiative, resilience, and exciting material they contain.

 

Time: 

Friday, February 5, 2016, 7:30-9:30 pm

Location: 

Home of Elizabeth and Mark England
1194 S. 500 E., SLC, UT

Please come in the back door if you arrive late. 

 

SamanthaKellyPhotography-9042About Kate Holbrook:

Kate Holbrook is a leading voice in the study of Mormon women and Mormon foodways. She grew up at the feet of the Rocky Mountains and is happy to live there again, among the historic sites, cultural currents, and food environments where her scholarship has its roots. As a Specialist in Women’s History at the LDS Church History Department, she writes, studies, and interprets history full-time. Her major research interests are 1) the practice of everyday religion, how religious beliefs and affiliation impact the ways people eat, speak, and behave; and 2) the nuances and developments of LDS women’s relationship with their church institution.

Holbrook is a popular public speaker, presenting at diverse venues from large academic conferences to more intimate university and community groups to television and radio programs. She was voted Harvard College’s Teaching Fellow of the Year for her work in a course that enrolled nearly six hundred students, and she co-edited Global Values 101: A Short Course, based on that class. Her master’s degree, from Harvard Divinity School, is in the study of world religions and her PhD, from Boston University, is in the study of religion and society. Harvard University, Boston University, Brigham Young University, and the Roothbert Fellowship have all awarded her fellowships and grants for her academic work. She also received the first Eccles Fellowship in Mormon Studies at the University of Utah to examine the foodways of American religious groups.

She is currently revising the resulting dissertation, Radical Food: Nation of Islam and Latter-day Saint Culinary Ideals (1930–1980), for publication. She is also coeditor of two forthcoming books. The first, “A Book of Records: Selected Relief Society Documents, 1842–1892 (Church Historians Press, 2016), is a documentary history of the first 50 years of Relief Society, the women’s organization of the LDS Church. The second, Women and Mormonism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (University of Utah press, 2016) examines agency in the lives of LDS women through multiple disciplinary perspectives. Her published work also includes chapters in edited volumes for university presses such as Oxford and Columbia and various journal articles.

Description:

This will be a sneak preview of contents from the Church Historian’s Press next documentary history entitled The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History, which will be on shelves February 29. The volume is capacious and promises content for many lively thinking and discussing sessions ahead. One of the prominent refrains that runs throughout the book is Mormon women’s initiative and resilience during this period. Kate hopes that our discussion will also lead us to consider the ramifications of these stories for us today.

Read, listen, watch:

For those with access to it, watching the History of the Saints episode “The Origins of the Relief Society: “I Now Turn the Key to You” would be useful to watch in preparation for the evening’s discussion.

Mormonism at a Crossroads—Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

Explore with Robin Jensen the faith and fortitude of the early Saints as discovered through the Joseph Smith papers.
(Not what you learned in Sunday School.)

Emily Jensen will take us through the evolution of contemporary Saints traveling through troubled waters and arriving at a more generous and modern Zion.

 

Time: 

Friday, January 8, 2016, 7:30-9:30 pm

Location: 

Home of Elizabeth and Mark England
1194 S. 500 E., SLC, UT

Please come in the back door if you arrive late. 

Robin

 About Emily and Robin Jensen:

Emily W. Jensen writes, edits, and mothers five children, often simultaneously. For five years Emily covered the online world of Mormonism for the Deseret News and currently webedits Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. She loves to ski the Utah powder, ride horseback through Utah sagebrush, sail Utah lakes, and indulge in dark chocolate on less adventurous days. Find her work at the http://deseretnews.com, http:// dialoguejournal.com, and http://bycommonconsent.com.

Robin Jensen is a scholar on the Joseph Smith papers and is co-editor of three volumes of the Revelations and Translations series of that project, the third of which was just released in early August. He loves to study old documents. Find his work at the josephsmithpapers.org.

Description:

Mormonism is at a crossroads, having been under the microscopic lens of the media for the past five years, even as Mormons young and old grapple with the openness and accessibility of the information age. Both the institutional church and its lay members are working to better define their faith for outsiders as well as within. So what does the idea of Zion mean to modern-day Latter-day Saints? Emily will describe how the work of pulling together many diverse people into one collective book during a time of media scrutiny and upheavals in contemporary Mormonism modeled a community of people dedicated to a kind, open-hearted, open-minded Zion.  Robin will discuss approaches to early Mormon history, and what it’s documents can tell us about a people we think we’ve learned about in Sunday School but whose faith and fortitude were much more nuanced, and in many ways more powerful, than we give them credit.

Read, listen, watch:

abookofmormons.com

Dialogue Facebook page for the type of conversations that have been happening the past few months for Emily

http://mi.byu.edu/mip-32-jensen/  Interview with Robin at the Maxwell Institute

Invite:

Feel free to invite others who might benefit from this evening.

Be Ready to Share Your Hope

baby jesus3 [Converted]

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:
and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

1 Peter 3:15

Friday, December 4, Potluck dinner at 6:00 pm
Music and sharing at 7:30 pm
At Mark & Elizabeth England’s: 1194 S. 500 E., SLC, UT

Please join us for a delightful evening of sharing food, song
and reasons for your hope in Christ.

While we are greatly blessed, many others are struggling. Below are some of the remarkable organizations that we have had represented at our
Faith Again and Think Again groups the past several years. Feel confident in contributing to these worthy causes:

Liahona Children’s Foundation

Interweave Solutions

Fahodie for Friends

New Light

LDS Earth Stewardship

Fern Foundation

FarBetween

 

We look forward to enjoying your love, light, and thoughts one last time this year. Blessings to you and yours.

Circles Of Empathy – Helping Straight and Lgbtq/Ssa Mormons Manage Sexual, Gender, and Religious Conflicts

Circles of Empathy is a small-group discussion practice that helps straight and LGBTQI/SSA Mormons engage in the critical and challenging conversations about the conflict between the teachings of the LDS Church and their feelings about homosexuality or homosexual loved ones. We’ll dialogue about how to implement the Circles of Empathy practice in our own hearts, homes, and communities. Through this practice, we can find hope of achieving peace with all the things we care about most, such as: our basic humanity, our relationship to family, our identity and potential as a child of God, how we treat others and how they treat us, and what it means to be a disciple of Christ.

 

Time:

Thursday, November 19, 7:30-9:30 pm

Location: 

Home of Elizabeth and Mark England
1194 S. 500 E., SLC, UT

Please come in the back door if you arrive late. 

10666100_10153265747790380_7587970837584365698_nAbout Kendall:

Kendall Wilcox grew up in an LDS home, served a mission for the LDS church in Barcelona, Spain, and graduated from Brigham Young University. Over the years, Kendall has produced hundreds of hours of Emmy Award-winning nonfiction television programming for the Discovery Channel, BYU Television, and PBS and has taught courses in documentary production at BYU. Kendall has enjoyed his church service over the years in callings ranging from Ward Clerk to Elder’s Quorum and Sunday School President but his favorite callings have been Sunday School Teacher and Home-Teacher. Since 2010, Kendall has been producing a documentary called Far Between that portrays what it means to be LGBTQI/SSA and Mormon. In 2011, Kendall founded the Empathy First Initiative which is dedicated to cultivating habits of empathy for addressing divisive social issues. In 2012, Kendall stepped in to help Erika Munson found Mormons Building Bridges. Since 2013, Kendall has developed and grown Circles of Empathy, which is a small-group discussion practice that helps straight and LGBTQI/SSA Mormons engage in the critical and challenging conversations about the conflict between the teachings of the LDS Church and their feelings about homosexuality or homosexual loved ones. Kendall continues to gather and curate stories of what it means to be LGBT and Mormon in various venues including the ongoing partnership with the Utah Pride Center called Utah LGBTQ Stories and the upcoming documentary The Kitchen Case: Utah’s Battle Over Same Sex Marriage.

Details:

For many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, conflicts between the teachings of the LDS Church and their own feelings about homosexuality and/or transgender identity can be painfully disorienting. Managing these conflicts internally can be difficult enough, but facing conversations about these conflicts with loved ones or ecclesiastical leaders can be even more daunting.Circles of Empathy are small discussion groups that help participants sort through their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs while practicing empathy and healthy interpersonal boundaries. They constitute a practice, or a way of approaching the religious, sexual, and gender conflicts through self-reflection, open-ended conversation, and empathetic support. Each time you meet, just follow the simple process and adhere to the guidelines explained on this website. No special training is required. Many current and former Mormons have found the Circles of Empathy practice helpful, particularly when they can’t access therapeutic support (do to lack of money, trust issues, time, distance, etc). The Eight Fundamental Questions at the heart of the practice, arose out of the over 300 interviews for the Far Between documentary. After processing the interviews to reveal the patterns of behavior and thought, the eight fundamental questions revealed themselves as the most salient and pivotal to understanding how and why we choose to live our lives given the similar set of circumstances (i.e.: same-sex attracted and Mormon or living an LGBT person and having faith in the LDS Church).

Read, listen, watch:

Explore the Circles of Empathy website and come prepared with thoughts and questions about how to implement the Circles practice in their own life.

Twelve circumstances that contributed to the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith

Explore twelve factors that led to the martyrdom of this remarkable individual, including social, economic, and political aspects. How Dr. Parkin dissects this pivotal event is a valuable template for teaching our history through the lense of multiple groups and sources, thereby providing a richer, and accurate understanding of Mormon events.

 

Time: 

Friday, November 6, 2015, 7:30-9:30 pm

Location: 

Home of Elizabeth and Mark England
1194 S. 500 E., SLC, UT

Please come in the back door if you arrive late. 

IMG_9060

About Dr. Max Parkin:

Max Parkin earned a PhD in Philosophy of Religion and Church History at BYU and has taught 40 years at Institute of Religion at University of Utah. He is a past editor of the Journal of Mormon History as well as an editor and historian for the Joseph Smith Papers Project, specifically for the Missouri and Ohio period.

Dr. Parkin has published in a variety of professional and LDS Church journals, including BYU Studies, Mormon Encyclopedia, Encyclop[edia of History of Mormonism, Ensign Magazine, Mapping Mormonism, Dialogue, etc. In addition, he authored the book Conflict at Kirtland and co-authored Sacred Places–Missouri.

A former Bishop, his most important work has been husband to Yvonne Hobberstad and father of their 5 children.

Read, listen, watch:

For those interested in preparatory reading, Dr. Parkin suggests Glen Leonard’s Nauvoo; Richard Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling, the Nauvoo chapters; Joseph Smith and World Government by Hyrum Andrus; Klaus Hanson’s Quest for Empire on the Council of Fifty.

Invite:

Feel free to invite others who might benefit from this evening.

Navigating Mormon Faith Crisis

01 Book Cover_FINALc

 

“Faith crisis” is becoming a common term for many in the Mormon Church. But what if we understood faith crisis as part of the natural cycle of spiritual growth; a breaking open to make room for new life and new faith? Join Thomas McConkie in a soul-expanding exploration, where the latest research in developmental psychology meets the Mormon doctrine of eternal progression.

 

Come join us in the Faith Again community for McConkie’s 
debut presentation on his new book, Navigating Mormon Faith Crisis. At this event he will share:

  • a basic framework of adult development 
  • how different stages of development relate to Mormon faith and worship
  • very practical insights and practices to support different 
kinds of Latter-day Saints (active and inactive) in authentically engaging their tradition.

Whether you know someone in faith transition or that someone is you, you’re sure to walk away from this night with an enhanced perspective on faith and ongoing progression.

Time: 

Friday, October 2, 2015, 7:30-9:30 pm

Location: 

Home of Elizabeth and Mark England
1194 S. 500 E., SLC, UT

Please come in the back door if you arrive late. 

Thomas McConkie_HRThomas is the author of the recent work, Navigating Mormon Faith Crisis, a fresh look at the evolution of the human spirit. He currently serves as Faculty at Pacific Integral where he researches adult development and supports individuals and collectives in activating their growth through embodied practice.
 He has been practicing mindfulness and other meditative techniques for over 16 years and studying their effects on human potential. 
He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and loves to walk barefoot 9-months out of the year.

Read, listen, watch:

Nothing this time. Thomas wants you to simply come open, receptive, and awake. You will be able to be one of the very first to purchase his book and have it signed though. Below is its cover:

Invite:

Feel free to invite others who might benefit from this evening.

Whose at the Table? A discussion on progress, intersectional inclusion, and equity in the LDS Church

Recently the LDS church announced that women will be included in important leadership and training meetings. What does this mean for the Body of the Church as it expands globally, while seeking to strengthen its roots in the Intermountain West?

 

Time:

Thursday, September 10, 7:30-9:30 pm

Location: 

Home of Elizabeth and Mark England
1194 S. 500 E., SLC, UT

Please come in the back door if you arrive late. 

20140302_130747-194x300Lindsay Hansen-Park is a women’s rights activist, a feminist blogger, and an advocate against gender violence. She co-founded Utah For Congo to raise awareness for post rape survivors and is currently heavily involved in the Mormon Feminist movement. Lindsay is the Assistant Director for the Sunstone Education Foundation and the founder of the Feminist Mormon Housewives Podcast including the acclaimed Year of Polygamy series. She blogs for FeministMormonHousewives.org about women’s issues. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, the Los Angeles Times and many other Utah publications. She and her family live in Stansbury Park, Utah where she raises three beautiful kiddos, gardens, and rages against the machine.

 

Read, listen, watch:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865634860/In-a-significant-move-women-to-join-key-leading-LDS-Church-councils.html?pg=all

http://www.academia.edu/8601573/Gender_race_religion_faith_Rethinking_intersectionality_in_German_feminisms

http://socialdifference.columbia.edu/files/socialdiff/projects/Article__Mapping_the_Margins_by_Kimblere_Crenshaw.pdf

https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/2015-theology-from-the-margins-conference-keynote-speech-by-fatimah-salleh/

An evening with Bob Rees

We have the immense good fortune to spend an evening with Bob again. Bring your questions, although knowing Bob, he may want to throw one of his essays out on the table for discussion too. He will have just finished giving numerous presentations at Sunstone just a few days prior and is kind enough to extend his stay an extra day just for us. If you haven’t had the chance to interact with Bob then this is a great opportunity. If you already have, then I need say no more.

 

Time:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 7:30-9:30 pm

Location: 

Home of Elizabeth and Mark England
1194 S. 500 E., SLC, UT

Please come in the back door if you arrive late. 

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 11.21.11 PMBerkeley Professor of Mormon Studies; Former Bishop; Former editor of Dialogue; Ally of gays and forever families; Ally of starving LDS children; Ally of mothers with AIDS; Ally of his beloved but imperfect church.

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 blogs on LGBT issues at www.nomorestrangers:LGBTMormonForum.

Bob’s views on homosexuality evolved rapidly in the 1980s when he was called as bishop of the Los Angeles Singles Ward. “I could no longer reconcile what I had been taught about homosexuality by my church and culture with my experience with those to whom I had been called to be a spiritual guide and pastor,” Bob later confessed. “What I discovered was that most if not all of these gay and lesbian Mormons had accepted the idea that they were terribly flawed in the eyes of their family, their church, their culture and God, and that unless they could find some way out of the labyrinth in which they found themselves, they had little hope of happiness in this world or the next.” Near the end of his term as bishop, Bob gave a major address in sacrament meeting titled “No More Strangers and Foreigners: A Mormon Christian Response to Homosexuality.” Later published, this was the first in a number of important publications in which Bob challenged the LDS community to treat LGBT people with love and respect, to seek for greater understanding and compassion, and to “turn our hearts with greater love and acceptance toward all those whom we consider strangers.”

Bob is the author or co-author of a number of publications relating to LGBT issues, including “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.”

More recently, Bob co-authored (with Dr. Caitlin Ryan of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University) Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Latter-day Saint Families with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Children—hailed by many as the best resource for LDS parents and leaders with LGBT children and young people in their families and congregations. In addition to his writings on LGBT people and the Church, 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.

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. Currently he serves on the Board of the Marin Interfaith Council and as the Ward Mission Leader in the San Rafael II Ward.

Bob’s essays and poetry are mindful and soulful. You will be grateful, enlightened, and lifted if you read them.

Forgiving The Church

Heisenberg

Repairing the Church

Somewhere Near Palmyra

The Goodness of the Church

Some additional essays