LDS History, Faith, and Culture

A collection of RadioWest conversations about LDS history, faith, and culture.

TLC

 

The TLC network aired a controversial reality show Sunday night featuring three LDS Utah couples in mixed-orientation marriages. That's when the husband or wife is attracted to members of the same sex but wants to be in a heterosexual relationship. While some critics say gay people in mixed-orientation marriages are denying their true identity to be accepted by their faith, people in the relationships say they're living the lifestyle of their choice. We'll hear from both sides on Monday.

Women at Church

Jan 7, 2015

Wednesday, our guest is blogger and columnist Neylan McBaine. As Mormon feminists made headlines in a quest to gain access to the all-male priesthood, media including RadioWest turned to McBaine as a voice for moderate and faithful LDS women. Now, she’s written a book that explores ways to improve the role of women while respecting the structure of the Church. As one blogger put it, it’s left McBaine “taking crap from all sides.” We’ll ask how she answers critics who say change is unnecessary and those who argue her ideas don’t go far enough.

It may not be breaking news that LDS church founder Joseph Smith practiced polygamy. And yet, many were shocked when the church released an essay last month acknowledging the ages, number, and marital status of Smith’s wives, including a 14-year-old girl. Thursday, we’re examining how Mormons have reacted to the essay. We'll examine how common conception of Smith's plural marriages contrasts with reality, and we'll ask whether Smith's actions compromise the infallibility of the church's prophets.

 Late last month, the LDS Church published a video to explain a Mormon practice that has been a curiosity for outsiders: the Temple Garment. It’s underclothing worn by faithful members and is considered a sacred symbol of their religious commitment. Wednesday, our guest is religion scholar Colleen McDannell. We’re talking about the temple garment: its history, the way Mormons have incorporated it into their daily lives and how these and objects of various faiths connect the believer to the divine.

Thursday, our guests are political scientists David Campbell and Quin Monson, co-authors of a new book that explains Mormons’ place in the American political landscape. Some facts they outline won’t come as a shock, like that Mormons are primarily conservative. But there are surprises in the research. For instance, there are more Republican LDS Church members than ever before, and the numbers seem to be growing. We’ll talk about what makes Mormons tick politically, how America responds, and what it teaches us about faith and politics.

Mike Renlund vis CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1wCf73j

 A study released last week declared Utah the “worst state for women.” According to the business media website 24/7 Wall St., women in Utah earn significantly lower wages than their male counterparts, hold relatively few management positions in business, and make up a very small percentage of our state legislature. Tuesday, we’re assembling a panelist of female guests to discuss whether the study accurately reflects life on the ground for Utah’s women, and we hope to hear from our listeners, too.

The Crucible of Doubt

Sep 11, 2014

Thursday, Doug is joined by Mormon scholars Terryl and Fiona Givens. Their latest book is an exploration of faith and doubt in religious life. It’s a conversation we’ve had throughout the summer, as Mormon feminists and progressive Mormons faced disciplinary action for publicly challenging theology. For the Givens, who have an orthodox perspective, there’s nothing wrong with doubt. They say the problem comes when those questions are based on flawed assumptions. Their book is called “The Crucible of Doubt.”

Gage Skidmore via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1kENcg4

Over the weekend, rancher Cliven Bundy told a political gathering in St. George that God instructed him to “disarm” federal law enforcement agents when they tried to confiscate his cattle in April. We’re talking with Bundy on Wednesday about his controversial actions and about how his Mormon faith and heritage inform his political views. The journalist Scott Carrier will also join us to examine where Bundy and his self-styled freedom-fighter compatriots fit on the spectrum of political dissent.

The LDS Church yesterday released its latest essay on contentious issues within the faith. The article concerns Joseph Smith’s claims to have translated a book of scripture from Egyptian papyri. Some Mormons believe the Book of Abraham is a literal translation, while others say modern translations of the papyri don’t jibe with Smith’s rendition. The new essay makes room for both sides. Thursday, we’re talking about the essay and the questions it raises about belief and the difficulty of literalness.

Ordain Women

Earlier this week, Mormon feminist Kate Kelly was excommunicated from the LDS Church. Leaders in her former Virginia ward said her ongoing effort to secure women's ordination to the all-male priesthood constituted "conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church." Wednesday, we're asking what her excommunication means, not just for Kelly personally, but for all women and activists in the LDS Church. Kelly will join Doug. He'll also talk to Mormon commentator Neylan McBaine and historian Amanda Hendrix-Komoto.

Pages