"... With attractive edifices on Brattle Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in many other cities and suburbs, and with a reputation for conservatism in both personal ethics and social policy, Mormons sometimes appear to have become another white middle-class denomination with obvious Yankee origins. Yet they remain a people apart, bound to a very distinctive tradition that was brought into the world by a most unusual man..."
A poem written during my mission, reflecting on the existential questions raised in the shift away from actively identifying as "Mormon" as directed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A letter sent to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland following his BYU Annual Conference address, "The Second Half of the Second Century", delivered on August 23rd, 2021. With some slight alterations, I have made the personal decision to share it here as well. The expressed views represent only my own.
Who are the "Lamanites" of our time? Who do we as individuals, as communities, as faith traditions and institutions relegate to that of the "Other"? Whose voices have we excluded from our records and histories? Whose voices aren't present in scripture? These are all questions which Samuel the Lamanite should cause us to pause and consider.
A measured homage to the founding prophet of Mormonism, the circumstances of his extralegal execution, and the lessons we might glean from his downfall today.
Philip was told to depart to the desert because Ethiopian lives matter to Christ. He was told to depart because the lives of eunuchs matter to Christ. He was told to depart because all those who exist along the margins matter to Christ.
An ancient parable adapted to the contemporary intersections of identity, faith, ministering, and charity in the context of Mormonism.
Rather than a paradigm of absolute demolition and historical dishonoring, we should instead embrace a paradigm of renovation and earthquake-proofing as observable in the case of the Salt Lake Temple. Such earthquake-proofing may not be possible from the guiding framework of Radical Orthodoxy. The Restoration deserves greater boldness and confidence. Joseph Smith is among our best examples in this regard.