Mormon Studies News: Impossible Resolutions Edition
MORMONIEST PLACE ON EARTH
Plans to develop Deseret—the church-owned cattle and citrus ranch in Florida— into a massive city and planned community leaves environmentalists and civil engineers concerned about water shortages and habitat preservation. In a two-part story on the church’s property holdings, the Guardian’s Claire Provost investigates the LDS Church and its role in urban development throughout the country. According to Provost, “The ranch’s plans are the largest yet. Indeed, they are thought to be the largest-ever proposed in the state, and this land lies in an area that’s been called Florida’s ‘last frontier’.” Raise your hand if you’d rather just go to Disneyworld.
NATURAL BORN SEER IS GOOD. GO READ IT.
An interesting review of Natural Born Seer by Dennis Clark for the Association of Mormon Letters. “This book is a wonderful resource for the early life of Joseph Smith, Jr. It introduced me to many sources for the history of the Restoration … previously unknown to me, and equally interesting. I cannot praise the book too highly.” Clark had lots of great things to say about Van Wagoner’s work, but also introduced a fascinating discussion on citations and sourcing. You can read the full review on AML’s blog, Dawning of a Brighter Day, if lengthy discussions on primary source analysis are your thing. (Of course they are your thing, you’re reading this.)
MORMONS AND THE MUSLIM BAN
The Juvenile Instructor posted a timely blog on Mormon history and its connection to President Trump’s recent executive order targeting Muslim immigrants. The post goes beyond a discussion of the 1879 Evarts Circular (a document urging foreign governments to limit Mormon emigration), to include additional legislation by the federal government that also impacted Mormons. Understanding the history of religious stereotypes used against Mormons should help members “recognize the stereotypes currently being imposed upon both Middle-Eastern and Muslim immigrants… To buy into that stereotyping is to imagine immigration legislation only as a defensive reaction to protect a victimized America and to ignore the agency that legislation has in creating monolithic (and inaccurate) stereotypes.”
IMPOSSIBLE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
We are one month into the new year. How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Maybe this excerpt from our upcoming book, Confessions of a Mormon Historian: The Diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1999, will inspire you. Here are Arrington’s resolutions for 1972:
Cutting down on the buying of books? Oh Leonard, why even try?
–news updated by Steph Lauritzen