Event: Salt Lake Symposium 2004

AMERICAN TRINITY

“Instead of waiting for Him to return, I am going in search of the Nephite God, the Savior of the world. Jesus.” This is Zed speaking, short for “Zedekiah,” one of three Nephite apostles who Christ promised could minister to the earth’s inhabitants continuously until the second coming. In this monologue, we learn that after …

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WHY WE STAY

As part of its mission to host respectful discussions of all perspectives and topics related to Mormonism, Sunstone occasionally invites participants who have left Mormonism to speak and share their stories. This session features the stories of those who have chosen the opposite tack, highlighting the struggles of those who have chosen to remain active, …

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REAL GODDESSES HAVE CURVES (AND IDENTITIES)

This panel invites Mormon women to talk about how they find meaning and inspiration in images of divine female power drawn from other religions and traditions. What do we learn about ourselves as women and as agents of the divine by studying the stories or representations of goddesses such as Shakti, Kali, Rhiannon, Venus, Athena, …

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A PRETTY MORMON CHILDHOOD

Fourteen years ago, in An American Childhood, Annie Dillard channeled her adolescence selves to vividly capture growing up in Pittsburgh in the 1950s. Ten years later, David Sedaris dissected his eclectic North Carolina childhood in his highly irreverent Me Talk Pretty One Day. Schizophrenically inspired by both authors, this essay is a series of humorous …

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TO WHOM SHALL WE GO?: HISTORICAL PATTERNS OF RESTORATION BELIEVERS WITH SERIOUS DOUBTS

Patterns of religious doubt, disbelief, and disaffiliation can be as diverse and interesting as patterns of religious inquiry, faith, and conversion. Both patterns can be temporary, decades-long, or lifelong. Both involve the mind, the spirit, and the emotions. Drawing on decades of research in Mormon/LDS/RLDS documents, this paper discusses patterns of doubt and resolution involving …

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NOAH’S FLOOD: MODERN SCHOLARSHIP AND MORMON TRADITION

The story of Noah’s Flood has long been a matter of contention in discussions of science and religion. Though it has been discounted as baseless folklore by scientists and other scholars, recent years have seen a provocative case being made for a real event ca. 5600 Bc upon which the Noachian account may conceivably be …

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RELIEF SOCIETY IN THE REAL WORLD

Relief Society has the lofty mission of strengthening LDS women and serving people in need, in the spirit of the declaration, “Charity Never Faileth.” An inspiring vision, especially when illustrated by romantic paintings of pioneer women in beautiful antique dresses! But turning that vision into reality, here and now, can be frustrating. How do we …

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Doing Things That Change Us

Unlike Christianity, many religions downplay belief and instead emphasize behavior, so that what one believes is of little consequence compared to what one does. As Karen Armstrong stresses, religions such as Judaism and Buddhism are not about accepting a body of doctrine but Holly Welker, Phyllis Barber, H. Parker Blount, Jana Reiss, John Dewey Remy

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THE BEST IDEA IN MORMONISM

Thought experiment: Imagine Mormonism without any concern for the concept of being “the one and only true church,” without any worries about how this or that doctrine might “play” in the mission field or among those with whom the Church is forging coalitions to cooperate on moral issues. That imaginary position is the starting point …

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