Sunstone is a forum for examining and expressing the rich spiritual, intellectual, social, and artistic aspects of history and contemporary life across the Mormon movement. We maintain our publications and recordings on this website so that each new generation can explore and interrogate the past’s effect on Mormon communities and cultures. Please be aware that some presenters and historical figures included in this content may have troubling histories of prejudice, criminal activity, violence, and abuse—sexual or otherwise. To ensure the integrity of the historical record and to provide a way for our community to learn from the past, we will not remove problematic content or presenters from our archives.
Summer 2017. Boyd J. Petersen on why millennials are leaving the Church and why we need them back. Samuel R. Weber on why fragments of the Adam-God theory persist in the Church Educational System. New fiction by Heidi Naylor and Bradeigh Godfrey. Steph Lauritzen presents a brief overview of Leonard Arrington's life through quotes from his diaries. Jacob Baker, Jody England Hansen, and Derrick Clements give short reflections on "one thing" that could change church for the better.
Spring 2017. A variety of LDS perspectives on the new U.S. presidency, including articles from Tamarra Kemsley, Michael Austin, Carol Lynn Pearson, Lon Young, Eric Samuelsen, Seth L. Bryant, Boyd J. Petersen, and Rachel Mabey Whipple. Charles Elden Kingston on the life and excommunication of Charles William Kingston. Mark Thomas on how Black Elk is a prophet for our time. D. Jeff Burton proposes a distinction between a "crisis of belief" and a "crisis of faith." Stephen Carter reveals how to fix your Sunday school class using three easy tricks.
Winter 2016. Julie M. Smith on encountering various voices in scripture; Ian Harvey on reinterpreting the story of Adam and Eve; Philip G. McLemore on the five stages of spiritual growth; Michael Austin on how Mormons were portrayed in late 19th-century dime novels; John Hatch on outrage in the ex-Mormon community; award-winning fiction by Larry Menlove; Emily Belanger on the distinction between madness and faith; and D. Jeff Burton on the experiences of a missionary Borderlander.
Fall 2016. Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon on why ritual "makes sense;" Roger Terry on the implications of God's ability to speak through humans; Derrick Clements on what happens "after disbelief has gone;" Robert C. Hunker on how Christian neb-orthodoxy has crept into the Mormon Church; award-winning fiction by Heidi Naylor and Jennifer Quist, Tyler Chadwick on violence, peace, and Emma Lou Thayne's poetry; Deja Earley on depression, and D. Jeff Burton and Stephen Carter on building an LDS-compatible personal religious model.
Summer 2016. A special issue focusing on Mormon plural marriage. Includes John J. Hammond on polygamy's effect on the early Hawaiian Mission, Angela Pulley Hudson on William McCary's riffs on Mormon polygamy, a memoir of growing up in a polygamous household by Dorothy Allred Solomon, fiction by Eric Freeze, a survey of films about Mormon polygamy by Randy Astle, arguments for the legalization of polygamy by George R. Compton and Robyn Williams from My Five Wives, and poetry in the voices of Joseph Smith's plural wives by Marita Dachsel from her collection Glossolalia.
Spring 2016. This issue delves in to the November 2015 Handbook update that mandates a disciplinary hearing of same-sex married Church members and bars their children from saving ordinances: Michael Farnworth on how the new policy unconsciously perpetuates a cycle of abuse, Natasha Helfer Parker on how to support your LGBTQ loved one in the Church, and Dana Haight Cattani on her history of asking for change in Church policy. Ken Driggs on Warren Jeffs' continued hold over the FLDS community; a review of Patrick Q. Mason's Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt; Mark Thomas on how climate change could affect Church holdings in southern Florida; new fiction from Emily Belanger; and a personal essay from Lia Hadley.
Fall 2015. D. Michael Quinn writes about the events leading up to his publication of “LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890–1904;” Christy Crowe Hughes explores the "triangle of shame" in Mormon adoptions; Karen Rosenbaum presents new fiction; Patricia Karamesines writes about loving someone suffering with mental illness; Frances Menlove gives scriptural suggestions on healing the divide in the LDS Church; Dana Haight Cattani contrasts stories often told in church settings with the stories Jesus told; Hans Ehrbar urges us to become "chairlift missionaries."
Summer 2015. A special issue exploring the Gospel Topics Essays. Includes Joanna Brooks on "Peace and Violence among 19th-century Latter-day Saints"; Jana Riess and Dan Wotherspoon on "Are Mormons Christian?"; Armand Mauss, Mica McGriggs on "Race and the Priesthood"; and Seth Bryant on "DNA and the Book of Mormon." Gina Colvin speculates on the effect of the Essays on the international church, Michael Barker shows the spiritual possibilities of faith crises; Lon Young presents new fiction; Dana Haight Cattani writes on what church meetings could learn from cancer support groups; and much more.
Spring 2015. A special issue focusing on the experience of singles in the LDS Church: comedian Elna Baker on how she told her parents she lost her virginity; Dialogue editor Kristine Haglund on the unique values of being single in the borderlands; Jeffery Ogden Johnson on prominent single men in 19th-century Mormonism; Tracy McKay-Lamb on being a single mother. Other features include Lynne Gorton Cropper on how cartoonists Calvin Grondahl and Pat Bagley changed Mormonism; Dana Haight Cattani on dealing with the approach of one's own death; and new fiction from Darin Cozzens. And much more.
Winter 2014. A groundbreaking article from Ted Lee on how the Proclamation on the Family makes theological and cultural space for transgendered people. Roger Terry on the phenomenon of the Mormon busy-ness ethic; freaky new fiction from Larry Menlove; Philip Barlow on questing and questioning in the Mormon Church; Natasha Helfer Parker on how spouses can constructively navigate a pornography disclosure; Heather Olson Beal reviews Women and the Priesthood, Marty Nabhan finds the humor in epistles between Gadianton and Kishkumen. And much more.
Fall 2014. The story of Sunstone from a personal perspective. Read the reflections of major players in Sunstone's history, from founder Scott Kenney to cooperative powerhouses Peggy Fletcher and Allen Roberts, from longest-serving editor Elbert Peck to current Mormon Matters host and long-time editor Dan Wotherspoon, from symposium guru Mary Ellen Robertson to current editor Stephen Carter. Complete with dozens of images and cartoons from Sunstone's past.
Summer 2014. A fascinating pair of articles from father U. Carlisle Hunsaker and son Robert C. Hunsaker exploring the tragic and aesthetic sense of life from a Mormon perspective; historian William D. Russell on how the Community of Christ has both successfully and unsuccessfully navigated large policy changes; new fiction that may or may not be about zombies, aliens, or werewolves from Steven Peck; Carol Lynn Pearson on why she chooses to stay in the Church; a poem from Teju Cole, an analysis of the mormonsandgays.com website by Robert A. Rees; and much more . . .
Spring 2014. Dana Haight Cattani makes a case for granting emeritus status to apostles; John T. Kesler explores the harmony between awareness practices and Mormonism; Edward Jones III presents new ways to envision Heavenly Mother in the world; Jacob Baker offers an apologue on the role of evil; D. Jeff Burton on whether recent general conference talks have made alternative approaches to Mormonism more acceptable; new fiction from Ryan McIlvain; Michael Farnworth interprets the LDS Church as a psychologically wounded parent; and much more . . .
Ken Driggs documents the last days of the FLDS Yearning for Zion Ranch in Texas, including coverage of FLDS leaders' trials; Edward Hogan recounts the strange case of James Madison Monroe's murder and how it affected Utah law; a new play from Matthew Greene chronicling the relationship of two boys--one Mormon, one not; James Harris on how the Lectures on Faith were ousted from the LDS scriptures; a new personal essay from Lisa Torcasso Downing on her brother's passing; and much more . . .
Boyd J. Petersen on how to disassemble and reassemble a testimony; powerful new fiction from Richard Dutcher; Devery S. Anderson on how Nauvoo polygamy affected the marriage of Jennetta and Willard Richards; Frances Menlove shows the political dimensions of Jesus's ministry; Steve Mayfield presents a montage of Mark Hofmann's mug shots from 1987–2012; Scot Denhalter explores the impermanence of memory through the recounting of a strange missionary experience; Charles Harrell, Gina Colvin, and Dan Wotherspoon analyze the 2013 edition of the LDS scriptures; Stephen Carter gives a new spin to gratitude; and much more . . .
Michael J. Stevens documents the prevalence of passive-aggression in Mormonsim and offers more constructive methods of conflict resolution; Adam Fisher and Mary Fisher present strategies for couples where one spouse has experienced a change in religious beliefs; Jacob Bender on how Mormon rhetoric fuels alarm installation sales culture in the American West; a new play from Jenifer Nii about 19th-century women's suffrage and the relationship between two very different polygamous wives; experimental fiction with an Eastern bent from James Goldberg; an interview with Fiona Givens; Michael Farnworth on how to change a dysfunctional family system; and much more . . .
A special issue focusing on Mormon artistic expression. David Mason on why Mormonism can maintain its power even after religion is no longer needed to teach morals; Parker Blount on the commonalities between Grimm's fairy tales and Book of Mormon stories; Jack Harrell on the unique tools Mormons have for making artistic meaning; new fiction from Courtney Miller Santo, Josh Allen, Heidi Naylor, Brett Wilcox, and Larry Menlove. And much more . . .
From rock concerts to opera to sacrament meeting, Eric Samuelsen takes us on a rollicking, insightful journey through his spiritual life. Alan Barnett on learning to love the Provo and Ogden temples. Philip G. McLemore on the aspects of Mormon culture that hinder spiritual transformation. Jacob Baker analyses the theodicy in Alma 14. A roundtable discussion on abuse and forgiveness. Robert A. Rees on Jon McNaughton's political art. And much more . . .
A special issue on earth stewardship. Steven L. Peck on reverencing creation. James Goldberg on how Mormonism may be the world's greenest religion. Mark Thomas on the Church's progress toward sustainability. H. Parker Blount on the emerging paradigm in Mormonism. A roundtable discussion on confronting racism in the Church. And much more.
A special issue on motherhood—both mortal and heavenly. Includes articles on miscarriage, home birth, midwifery, co-parenting, stepmothering, parenting as a survivor of childhood abuse, women in scripture, and Heavenly Mother. Includes articles from Janice Allred, Tresa Edmunds, and Margaret Toscano.
Joseph Geisner on general conference talks that never made it to print. Paul Toscano arguing that pleasure is as essential to salvation as is pain. Jen Smyers on how the LDS Church's history and teachings should inform immigration policy. Mathew Schmalz taking a Freudian look at Mormon humor. Stephen McIntyre on the Church's use of copyright. And much more.
Tributes to Marion D. Hanks and Chieko N. Okazaki. D. Michael Quinn on early Mormonism's culture of violence. Gary James Bergera on Ernest Wilkinson's attempts to track BYU faculty member's tithing payments. New fiction from Levi Peterson. A prayer from Sara Burlingame. Mormons talk about sex. Ideas toward the possibility of excellent Mormon video games. And our usual buffet of shorter reflections ...
Eric Samuelsen’s new play: Borderlands. Phyllis Barber on writing confessional memoirs in Mormonism. Christopher C. Smith on Orson Scott Card. Award-winning fiction from Jack Harrell. Bob Mesle wondering what success should mean to a Christian. Reflections on the 400th anniversary of the KJV. Nephi's Facebook. And much more …
A survey of debates over the Book of Mormon’s translation by Don Bradley. Kevin Cantera on Utah County’s Dream Mine. Fiction from Helen Walker Jones. Charlotte Hansen on Eugene England’s crusade for academic freedom at BYU. Tributes to Linda Sillitoe. Interviews with authors Brady Udall and Johnny Townsend. Contrasting reviews of Doug Thayer’s novel "The Tree House." And our usual buffet of columns and shorter pieces.
The world’s first collection of Mormon-penned comics, this award-winning issue features work from artists such as Sal Velluto, Noah Van Sciver, Emily Muto, Jake Parker, Howard Tayler, Sam Rodriguez, Galen Smith, and Adam Kofford. The issue also includes articles about famous Mormon comic artists, a survey of portrayals of Mormonism in comics from around the world, and a look into the Warholian Mormonism of Mike Allred’s Madman comics.