Mormon News September 26-30

In the News


Good news for Mormon Historians. On September 27 the LDS Church made a significant monetary contribution to Utah State’s Religious Studies program, where Phil Barlow is the Leonard Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture. The church contribution will allow for continued growth in the study of Mormon faith from a secular perspective. Church Historian Elder Steven E. Snow spoke at the event, along with USU President Stan L. Albrecht. Former Church Historian Leonard Arrington, for whom the Chair is named, spent his religious and academic career pursuing intellectual transparency in the study of church history, occasionally clashing with church leadership in his endeavors.  Perhaps the church’s donation represents a renewed devotion to academic inquiry in religious studies.


Supporters of the Ordain Women movement will gather on October 2 to request meetings with General Authorities and General Officers of the church to discuss female ordination to the LDS priesthood. Demonstrators will stand in front of the Church Office Building holding purple umbrellas, symbolizing the need for both men and women to carry their own umbrellas —or priesthood power— in their spiritual lives. The umbrella symbolism stems from a metaphor employed by the church stating that women do not require Priesthood power since all members under the umbrella of the church enjoy priesthood blessings, regardless of gender.

In other celebratory News


We’re deeply proud of Signature Books author Dan Vogel, who received the Best Documentary History Book Award from the John Whitmer Historical Association on September 23. His eight volume masterpiece, History of Joseph Smith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, painstakingly identifies and transcribes all the source material found in the original History of the Church completed under Brigham Young. Vogel also included transcripts of previously unpublished sources to allow historians to complete their analysis of a document integral to understanding Mormon history. We wish we could take credit for Vogel’s brilliance but will simply settle for publishing his award-winning work.

In Events

Salt Lake City is hosting the annual Communal Studies Association Conference October 6-8. The CSA is an interdisciplinary association which studies people and organizations living in communal or intentional communities. This year’s conference theme focuses on “Anticipating the End Times: Millennialism, Apocalypticism, and Utopianism in Intentional Communities.” Due to Mormonism’s relationship with both communalism, as seen in the Law of Consecration and Stewardship practiced in Missouri, and the Order of Enoch organized by Brigham Young, the association deemed Utah a perfect location to discuss communalism both in Mormonism and the American West. The CSA rarely meets in the United States, indicating that Utah’s peculiar history with communal and utopian ideals continues to fascinate academics.


-news updated by Steph Lauritzen