Without Death We Cannot Mourn, Without Mourning We Cannot Be Saved: On Mormonism’s Confrontation with Its Haunted, Invisible Body

In this paper I will argue that Jesus’s historical context provided a framework for what he meant about those who were “the least of these” within his community, but who “the least of these” are within modern communities will differ according to modern contexts and concerns. I will argue for a specific interpretation and what this might mean for moral obligations regarding “the least of these,” and how Mormonism’s natural universalism has become obscured by other concerns, hiding “the least of these” from us while in plain sight, making its body invisible to itself. I argue that a proper understanding of mourning as individual confrontation with death and the collective building of solidarity is the only long-term, redemptive solution the moral obligations we have toward those in a community who qualify as “the least of these,” and that the collective salvation or damnation of a community hinges on how these are seen and responded to.

Jacob Baker