SALT LAKE CITY — February 16, 2019

Sunstone Education Foundation Welcomes Three New Board Members

The Sunstone Education Foundation is excited to welcome Bob Ahlander, Blaire Ostler, and Karin Peter to its board of directors.

Bob Ahlander earned a BA from Brigham Young University in Spanish and anthropology. He is co-founder of BYU’s premiere a cappella group Vocal Point. Bob has spent most of his career in entertainment, including five years as head of Deseret Book Company’s music division. He also served for four years as bishop of an LDS family ward. He is currently Director of Events for a fashion company in Southern California.

Blaire Ostler is a philosopher and leading voice at the intersection of queer, Mormon, and transhumanist thought. She is a board member for the Mormon Transhumanist Association.

Karin Peter is president of the Fifth Quorum of Seventy and serves on the Council of Presidents of Seventy for Community of Christ.

Each of these new members bring essential qualifications and experience to help Sunstone pursue its mission of providing an open forum for public discussion of Mormon experience, scholarship, issues, and art.

Sunstone also wishes to honor outgoing board members Holly Alden and Jim Murphy.

Holly Alden did much to strengthen the relationship between Sunstone and the LGBTQIA community. She also helped to improve Sunstone’s conferences and physical facilities.

Jim Murphy, past executive director of Sunstone, greatly improved Sunstone’s efficiency and organization as a non-profit. He also spearheaded many new initiatives relating to Sunstone’s Salt Lake Summer Symposium.



SALT LAKE CITY — October 11, 2018

The Sunstone Education Foundation is pleased to announce that Cristina Rosetti has been hired as Sunstone’s news office manager and archivist.

Rosetti comes to Sunstone as a promising religious studies scholar with a background in archival practices. She has an M.A. in religious studies from the University of California Riverside, and is currently working on a Ph.D. in religious studies. She is under contract to write a book on Mormon fundamentalist leader Joseph White Musser for the University of Illinois Press.

As Rosetti takes over the office, Grace Pool will take on more duties related to Sunstone’s worldwide conferences, the largest of which is held in Salt Lake City each summer. Pool’s new duties will free up executive director Lindsay Hansen Park to focus more on strategic planning and fundraising for the foundation.

“Being Catholic, Cristina brings an essential ‘outsider’ perspective to Sunstone,” says Park. “But at the same time, her knowledge of Mormonism is deeper than most people’s.”

“With Cristina’s addition to the staff, we’re going to see even more robust offerings from Sunstone in the years to come,” says Bill McGee, chair of the Sunstone board of directors.



SALT LAKE CITY — April 26, 2017

Dear Sunstone Family,

On April 24th, the Sunstone Board received a letter of resignation from Jim Murphy, which we have formally accepted. We want to express our gratitude to Jim for his years of service to the Sunstone organization as its Executive Director.

Jim stepped into this role from his seat on the Board of Directors to help guide the Sunstone organization through a period of both transition and growth. We have experienced Jim’s warmth and kindness during his tenure, and appreciate the administrative skills he brought to the role. Jim leads with integrity and compassion.

The Sunstone Board has now voted unanimously to promote Lindsay Hansen Park to the position of Interim Executive Director, effective immediately. Jim has graciously offered to work closely with Lindsay to ensure a seamless leadership transition.

Lindsay has been a catalyst for the transformation of Sunstone over the past few years, both in widening our audience and expanding the scope and scale of our message. She has earned the respect of leaders and participants across the Mormon spectrum. Lindsay’s efforts have paved the way for Sunstone to more effectively fulfill its mission of creating opportunities for examining and expressing the rich spiritual, intellectual, social, and artistic life of the entire Mormon community.

Please join us in extending our gratitude to Jim, and congratulations to Lindsay in this new role. We are confident the next phase of Sunstone’s mission is in good hands.


The Sunstone Education Foundation Board of Directors: Bill McGee (chair), Michael Stevens, Robin Linkhart, Andrew Spriggs, Chelsea Shields, Holly Alden, Kim McCall, Kaimipono Wenger



SALT LAKE CITY — August 31, 2016

Recently an anonymous individual or group sent a packet to many people and organizations involved with Sunstone and Mormon studies noting that Wikipedia articles were quoted from but not cited in two recent Sunstone articles: “An Overview of Mormon Fundamentalist Groups” and “Does ‘Mormon’ Still Equal Polygamy?” This was an editorial oversight. The main author had informed us that portions of the articles included material from Wikipedia, but we neglected to cite them appropriately. We deeply regret these lapses; it is our standard that credit be given where it is due. We will print corrections in the next issue of Sunstone so that they can be a matter of record. We appreciate being made aware of these mistakes. In the future, anyone who has questions, comments, or concerns regarding any aspect of the work being done by the Sunstone Education Foundation is invited to contact our office directly: 801-355-5926.

For more information, contact Sunstone Executive Director Jim Murphy:


The 2014 #Sunstone Symposium has made the news several times over! Check out the great coverage:

Fox 13: Ordain Women members discuss impact of Kate Kelly’s excommunication

The Daily Beast: Mormon Reformers Behind the ‘Zion Curtain’ Refused to Be Silenced

The Salt Lake Tribune: Mormon Feminists Discuss Tone and the Patriarchy

City Weekly: Mormons Talk Guns, Faith and White Privilege


On June 11, 2014 the New York Times broke a story about church disciplinary councils for two “activists,” Kate Kelly of Ordain Women and John Dehlin of Mormon Stories (also a former Executive Director of Sunstone).  Kate Kelly received a letter  from the bishop of her congregation in Virginia informing her that a disciplinary hearing had been set for June 22, 2014 to discuss the possibility of church discipline.  John Dehlin received his letter from a local church leader in Logan, Utah, on Monday, giving him until June 18 to resign from the faith or face an excommunication hearing.

This is the first high-profile example of excommunication proceedings since 1993 and the famed, “September Six.” That year the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disciplined six Mormon writers, scholars and feminists.

Sunstone provided a critical forum for open discussion of the events of September 1993 and the ripples through the Mormon community afterward. Below is collection of SUNSTONE magazine articles and Sunstone Symposium audio recordings discussing the September Six, other high profile excommunications, and the effects of excommunication in the larger LDS community:

This is Sunstone’s original report of the September Six proceedings and the follow-up piece.

Sunstone Editor Elbert Peck wrote an editorial on the events here.


Looking Back-

Here are the reflections of the six 10 years after the events:

Lynne K. Whitesides’, “The Dance of Love.”

Paul Toscano’s,  “An Interview With Myself.

Maxine Hanks’, “Exile and Return.”

D. Michael Quinn’s,Apologia Pro Mea Via.”

Lavina Fielding Anderson’s, “A Decade on Thin Edge.”


 Audio on the Events:


  • While LDS beliefs often focus on eternal unity, when differences of belief arise in LDS families, estrangement is too often the result, especially when the differing beliefs involve controversial issues such as apostasy, excommunication, inactivity, joining another faith, and sexual orientation. This panel consists of counseling professionals who deal regularly with estrangement issues, and with those who have experienced belief-related estrangement in their own lives.  
  • When Beliefs Lead To Estrangement panel with Carolyn Campbell, Ardean Watts, Morgan Smith, Julian Hatch, Duane Jennings, Dennis Higley, Rauni Higley, Alex Nibley, Marybeth Raynes


  • December 2009 marks the 30th anniversary of Sonia Johnson’s excommunication. Many younger Mormon women know little about the 1970s battle over the ERA. Some have picked up negative associations about Sonia Johnson and Mormons for ERA from parents or others who felt that speaking out publicly against the LDS Church was inappropriate. We’ll review Sonia’s outspoken support of the ERA, how it led to her excommunication, and explore whether she had lasting influence on women in the Church—or on the Church itself. We’ll also discuss whether there are differences between Mormon feminists today and 1970s activists and whether Church rhetoric about women has shifted in the 30 years since Sonia made headlines.
  • Sonia Johnson: Mormon Feminist Role Model or Cautionary Tale? with Kay Gaisford, Nadine R. Hansen







Sunstone Magazine got a shout out in The Guardian this month!  Click out the article here, titled:  Neil LaBute: Better for me not to be a Mormon than a bad Mormon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *