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  Sunstone Magazine   
Issue No: 47
March 1985
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    Table of Contents
Page Link1 pdf2 Category Author Title
2 Letters to Editor Readers' Forum
8 Feature David John Buerger Speaking with Authority
14 Feature D. Michael Quinn Conscientious Objectors or Christian Soldiers?
24 Feature Christian Ryder Familyolatry
28 Feature Shane B. Inglesby Priesthood Prescription for Women
34 Feature Karla S. Gunnell Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go
38 Column Jay S. Bybee Law Of The Land: Solemn Promises under Seal
39 Column Marybeth Raynes Issues of Intimacy: A Mixed Religious Marriage
41 Column James N. Kimball J. Golden Nuggets: More Words of Wisdom
42 Column Jeffrey E. Keller Queries and Comments: When Does the Spirit Enter the Body?
44 Column Martha Sonntag Bradley Article Digest: Mormons and the Law
47 Poetry Blair Fox Before the Years She Spent Insane
48 News Huebener Group Lauded in Hamburg
50 News Church Asks for Feedback in Nationwide Survey
51 News Highly Educated Mormons are More Religious, Study Shows
52 News Gottlieb Addresses B. H. Roberts Society
53 News Changes Seen at Signature Books
54 News Gay Articles Provoke Differing Reactions
54 News Defamation Suit Dropped
55 News Church Backs Ban on Alcohol Ads
56 News D.C. Temple Spotlighted
56 News Calendar of Events
58 Review Marvin S. Hill Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery's 'Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith'
59 Review Edward A. Geary Levi Peterson's Canyons of Grace
62 Review Levi S. Peterson Gary Stewart's 'The Tenth Virgin'
63 Review Cathy Luchetti Hugh T. Kerr and John M. Mulder, eds., 'Conversions'
63 Review Peter Wild Samuel Epstein, et al., 'Hazardous Waste in America', and Mike Samuels & Hal Bennet's 'Well Body, Well Earth'
63 Review Cathy Luchetti Jackson W. Carroll, et al., 'Women of the Cloth '
64 Review John R. Sillito Karl-Heinze Schnibbe and Alan Keele's 'The Price'
64 Review Duane E. Jeffery Roland M. Frye, ed., 'Is God a Creationist? [The Religious Case against Creation-Science]'
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    Index of Keywords
Page Link1 Keyword Author Title
44   Agency Martha Sonntag Bradley Article Digest: Mormons and the Law
48   Agency Huebener Group Lauded in Hamburg
64   Agency John R. Sillito Karl-Heinze Schnibbe and Alan Keele's 'The Price'
56   Architecture D.C. Temple Spotlighted
56   Art D.C. Temple Spotlighted
8   Belief David John Buerger Speaking with Authority
38   Belief Jay S. Bybee Law Of The Land: Solemn Promises under Seal
39   Belief Marybeth Raynes Issues of Intimacy: A Mixed Religious Marriage
64   Bible Duane E. Jeffery Roland M. Frye, ed., 'Is God a Creationist? [The Religious Case against Creation-Science]'
58   Biography Marvin S. Hill Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery's 'Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith'
47   Blessing Blair Fox Before the Years She Spent Insane
52   Booknote Gottlieb Addresses B. H. Roberts Society
53   Booknote Changes Seen at Signature Books
58   Booknote Marvin S. Hill Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery's 'Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith'
63   Booknote Cathy Luchetti Hugh T. Kerr and John M. Mulder, eds., 'Conversions'
63   Christian principles Cathy Luchetti Hugh T. Kerr and John M. Mulder, eds., 'Conversions'
64   Christianity Duane E. Jeffery Roland M. Frye, ed., 'Is God a Creationist? [The Religious Case against Creation-Science]'
39   Church Activity Marybeth Raynes Issues of Intimacy: A Mixed Religious Marriage
50   Church Activity Church Asks for Feedback in Nationwide Survey
51   Church Activity Highly Educated Mormons are More Religious, Study Shows
52   Church Activity Gottlieb Addresses B. H. Roberts Society
54   Church Discipline Defamation Suit Dropped
50   Church Organization Church Asks for Feedback in Nationwide Survey
52   Church Organization Gottlieb Addresses B. H. Roberts Society
63   Communal Efforts Peter Wild Samuel Epstein, et al., 'Hazardous Waste in America', and Mike Samuels & Hal Bennet's 'Well Body, Well Earth'
24   Contemporary Mormonism Christian Ryder Familyolatry
39   Contemporary Mormonism Marybeth Raynes Issues of Intimacy: A Mixed Religious Marriage
42   Contemporary Mormonism Jeffrey E. Keller Queries and Comments: When Does the Spirit Enter the Body?
50   Contemporary Mormonism Church Asks for Feedback in Nationwide Survey
53   Contemporary Mormonism Changes Seen at Signature Books
54   Contemporary Mormonism Gay Articles Provoke Differing Reactions
62   Contemporary Mormonism Levi S. Peterson Gary Stewart's 'The Tenth Virgin'
44   Crime Martha Sonntag Bradley Article Digest: Mormons and the Law
62   Crime Levi S. Peterson Gary Stewart's 'The Tenth Virgin'
64   Crime John R. Sillito Karl-Heinze Schnibbe and Alan Keele's 'The Price'
53   Critical Scholarship Changes Seen at Signature Books
64   Critical Scholarship Duane E. Jeffery Roland M. Frye, ed., 'Is God a Creationist? [The Religious Case against Creation-Science]'
14   Discipleship D. Michael Quinn Conscientious Objectors or Christian Soldiers?
38   Discipleship Jay S. Bybee Law Of The Land: Solemn Promises under Seal
41   Discipleship James N. Kimball J. Golden Nuggets: More Words of Wisdom
41   Drugs James N. Kimball J. Golden Nuggets: More Words of Wisdom
54   Economics Defamation Suit Dropped
55   Economics Church Backs Ban on Alcohol Ads
58   Economics Marvin S. Hill Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery's 'Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith'
63   Economics Peter Wild Samuel Epstein, et al., 'Hazardous Waste in America', and Mike Samuels & Hal Bennet's 'Well Body, Well Earth'
51   Education Highly Educated Mormons are More Religious, Study Shows
28   Equality Shane B. Inglesby Priesthood Prescription for Women
64   Faith and Scholarship Duane E. Jeffery Roland M. Frye, ed., 'Is God a Creationist? [The Religious Case against Creation-Science]'
24   Family Christian Ryder Familyolatry
62   Fiction Levi S. Peterson Gary Stewart's 'The Tenth Virgin'
8   General Authorities David John Buerger Speaking with Authority
41   General Authorities James N. Kimball J. Golden Nuggets: More Words of Wisdom
64   Godhood Duane E. Jeffery Roland M. Frye, ed., 'Is God a Creationist? [The Religious Case against Creation-Science]'
41   Health James N. Kimball J. Golden Nuggets: More Words of Wisdom
47   Health Blair Fox Before the Years She Spent Insane
63   Health Peter Wild Samuel Epstein, et al., 'Hazardous Waste in America', and Mike Samuels & Hal Bennet's 'Well Body, Well Earth'
28   Hierarchy Shane B. Inglesby Priesthood Prescription for Women
63   Hierarchy Cathy Luchetti Jackson W. Carroll, et al., 'Women of the Cloth '
54   Homosexuality Gay Articles Provoke Differing Reactions
41   Honesty James N. Kimball J. Golden Nuggets: More Words of Wisdom
48   Honesty Huebener Group Lauded in Hamburg
64   Honesty John R. Sillito Karl-Heinze Schnibbe and Alan Keele's 'The Price'
41   Humor James N. Kimball J. Golden Nuggets: More Words of Wisdom
63   Jesus Christ Cathy Luchetti Hugh T. Kerr and John M. Mulder, eds., 'Conversions'
58   Joseph Smith Family Marvin S. Hill Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery's 'Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith'
38   Law Jay S. Bybee Law Of The Land: Solemn Promises under Seal
44   Law Martha Sonntag Bradley Article Digest: Mormons and the Law
54   Law Defamation Suit Dropped
55   Law Church Backs Ban on Alcohol Ads
63   Law Peter Wild Samuel Epstein, et al., 'Hazardous Waste in America', and Mike Samuels & Hal Bennet's 'Well Body, Well Earth'
8   LDS Doctrine David John Buerger Speaking with Authority
14   LDS Doctrine D. Michael Quinn Conscientious Objectors or Christian Soldiers?
42   LDS Doctrine Jeffrey E. Keller Queries and Comments: When Does the Spirit Enter the Body?
54   LDS Doctrine Gay Articles Provoke Differing Reactions
38   Legal History Jay S. Bybee Law Of The Land: Solemn Promises under Seal
44   Legal History Martha Sonntag Bradley Article Digest: Mormons and the Law
2   Letters Readers' Forum
59   Literature Edward A. Geary Levi Peterson's Canyons of Grace
24   Marriage Christian Ryder Familyolatry
28   Marriage Shane B. Inglesby Priesthood Prescription for Women
39   Marriage Marybeth Raynes Issues of Intimacy: A Mixed Religious Marriage
42   Marriage Jeffrey E. Keller Queries and Comments: When Does the Spirit Enter the Body?
47   Marriage Blair Fox Before the Years She Spent Insane
53   Media Changes Seen at Signature Books
56   Media D.C. Temple Spotlighted
34   Men Karla S. Gunnell Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go
39   Men Marybeth Raynes Issues of Intimacy: A Mixed Religious Marriage
50   Men Church Asks for Feedback in Nationwide Survey
24   Mormon Culture Christian Ryder Familyolatry
39   Mormon Culture Marybeth Raynes Issues of Intimacy: A Mixed Religious Marriage
44   Mormon Culture Martha Sonntag Bradley Article Digest: Mormons and the Law
50   Mormon Culture Church Asks for Feedback in Nationwide Survey
54   Mormon Culture Gay Articles Provoke Differing Reactions
59   Mormon Culture Edward A. Geary Levi Peterson's Canyons of Grace
44   Mormon History Martha Sonntag Bradley Article Digest: Mormons and the Law
52   Mormon History Gottlieb Addresses B. H. Roberts Society
58   Mormon History Marvin S. Hill Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery's 'Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith'
53   Mormon Studies Changes Seen at Signature Books
48   News Huebener Group Lauded in Hamburg
52   News Gottlieb Addresses B. H. Roberts Society
53   News Changes Seen at Signature Books
54   News Defamation Suit Dropped
55   News Church Backs Ban on Alcohol Ads
56   News Calendar of Events
56   News D.C. Temple Spotlighted
38   Ordinances Jay S. Bybee Law Of The Land: Solemn Promises under Seal
8   Other Religions David John Buerger Speaking with Authority
24   Parenting Christian Ryder Familyolatry
28   Parenting Shane B. Inglesby Priesthood Prescription for Women
34   Parenting Karla S. Gunnell Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go
42   Parenting Jeffrey E. Keller Queries and Comments: When Does the Spirit Enter the Body?
47   Poetry Blair Fox Before the Years She Spent Insane
48   Politics Huebener Group Lauded in Hamburg
54   Politics Defamation Suit Dropped
55   Politics Church Backs Ban on Alcohol Ads
58   Politics Marvin S. Hill Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery's 'Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith'
63   Politics Peter Wild Samuel Epstein, et al., 'Hazardous Waste in America', and Mike Samuels & Hal Bennet's 'Well Body, Well Earth'
64   Politics John R. Sillito Karl-Heinze Schnibbe and Alan Keele's 'The Price'
44   Polygamy Martha Sonntag Bradley Article Digest: Mormons and the Law
58   Polygamy Marvin S. Hill Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery's 'Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith'
62   Polygamy Levi S. Peterson Gary Stewart's 'The Tenth Virgin'
28   Priesthood Shane B. Inglesby Priesthood Prescription for Women
34   Priesthood Karla S. Gunnell Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go
58   Review Marvin S. Hill Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery's 'Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith'
59   Review Edward A. Geary Levi Peterson's Canyons of Grace
63   Review Cathy Luchetti Jackson W. Carroll, et al., 'Women of the Cloth '
63   Review Cathy Luchetti Hugh T. Kerr and John M. Mulder, eds., 'Conversions'
63   Review Peter Wild Samuel Epstein, et al., 'Hazardous Waste in America', and Mike Samuels & Hal Bennet's 'Well Body, Well Earth'
64   Review John R. Sillito Karl-Heinze Schnibbe and Alan Keele's 'The Price'
64   Review Duane E. Jeffery Roland M. Frye, ed., 'Is God a Creationist? [The Religious Case against Creation-Science]'
64   Scripture studies Duane E. Jeffery Roland M. Frye, ed., 'Is God a Creationist? [The Religious Case against Creation-Science]'
28   Sexism Shane B. Inglesby Priesthood Prescription for Women
50   Sexism Church Asks for Feedback in Nationwide Survey
63   Sexism Cathy Luchetti Jackson W. Carroll, et al., 'Women of the Cloth '
34   Sexuality Karla S. Gunnell Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go
54   Sexuality Gay Articles Provoke Differing Reactions
42   Sin Jeffrey E. Keller Queries and Comments: When Does the Spirit Enter the Body?
44   Sin Martha Sonntag Bradley Article Digest: Mormons and the Law
24   Sociology Christian Ryder Familyolatry
34   Sociology Karla S. Gunnell Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go
50   Sociology Church Asks for Feedback in Nationwide Survey
51   Sociology Highly Educated Mormons are More Religious, Study Shows
54   Sociology Gay Articles Provoke Differing Reactions
63   Sociology Cathy Luchetti Jackson W. Carroll, et al., 'Women of the Cloth '
51   Spirituality Highly Educated Mormons are More Religious, Study Shows
63   Spirituality Cathy Luchetti Jackson W. Carroll, et al., 'Women of the Cloth '
55   Standards Church Backs Ban on Alcohol Ads
56   Temples D.C. Temple Spotlighted
8   Theology David John Buerger Speaking with Authority
14   Theology D. Michael Quinn Conscientious Objectors or Christian Soldiers?
42   Theology Jeffrey E. Keller Queries and Comments: When Does the Spirit Enter the Body?
54   Theology Gay Articles Provoke Differing Reactions
63   Theology Cathy Luchetti Jackson W. Carroll, et al., 'Women of the Cloth '
64   Theology Duane E. Jeffery Roland M. Frye, ed., 'Is God a Creationist? [The Religious Case against Creation-Science]'
8   Tolerance David John Buerger Speaking with Authority
62   Violence Levi S. Peterson Gary Stewart's 'The Tenth Virgin'
64   Violence John R. Sillito Karl-Heinze Schnibbe and Alan Keele's 'The Price'
14   War and peace D. Michael Quinn Conscientious Objectors or Christian Soldiers?
48   War and peace Huebener Group Lauded in Hamburg
64   War and peace John R. Sillito Karl-Heinze Schnibbe and Alan Keele's 'The Price'
34   Women Karla S. Gunnell Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go
39   Women Marybeth Raynes Issues of Intimacy: A Mixed Religious Marriage
50   Women Church Asks for Feedback in Nationwide Survey
55   Word of Wisdom Church Backs Ban on Alcohol Ads
34   Youth Karla S. Gunnell Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go

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    Magazine Text

  Reader's Forum


            A Spokane, Washington, newspaper reported on May 7, 1928, the visit of Presiding Patriarch Hyrum C. Smith.  The title of the article was "SAINTS PUT LID ON WHISKERS: Presiding Patriarch Smith Tells that Joseph Used Razor.' In the body of the article, it quoted the Presiding Patriarch as saying, "Somehow or other when people hear the title "patriarch" they expect to meet an old man with white hair and long, white whiskers.... They also connect white beards with the term 'disciple.' That, however, is not the way I read the Scripture.  I do not believe the disciples selected by Jesus were either old or had whiskers.  In fact, the Bible records that Joseph shaved, and that Mark was a mere youth.  None of the disciples were more than forty years old.... I was ordained patriarch 16 years ago.  At that time it was suggested that, to lend dignity to the office, I let my beard grow.  I replied that I would follow the teachings of Joseph-and shave." The reporter went on to comment that the Presiding Patriarch, with hisshaven face, "has more the appearance of a young business man than a church dignitary."

            Hyrum G. Smith was my grandfather.  I presently have a beard and refer to Hyrum C. Smith's grandfather, John Smith, for a precedent.  I follow the teachings of Brigham, John, Heber (including several with that name)-and don't shave.  What greater illustration of how inconsequential it is one way or the other. E. Gary Smit, Costa Mesa, California


            Joseph Hepworth's recent article on dating the birth of Christ (SUNSTONE, 9:1) was a useful collection of information on this well-worn subject, but there were a couple of things missing.  First, he failed to point out that it is clear from 3 Nephi 2:6-7 that Mormon meant the 600 years from Lehi's departure from Jerusalem until the birth of Christ quite literally and not approximately.  Now whether the Nephite calendar was precise through all its thousand years of duration, or whether Mormon was correct (in view of the frequent disclaimers of infallibility) we cannot say.  We can only state positively that Mormon claims it was exactly 600 years from the departure until the sign of the birth of Christ was given.

            This prompts me to some speculation on the Nephite calendar.  I have always assumed, as I suppose most people have, that they simply utilized the Jewish lunar calendar with its present modifications to keep it in step with the solar year.  But what if they used a straight lunar calendar, letting the months cycle around the solar year the way the Moslem calendar still does? That would make six hundred years too few, rather than too many.  Even with months of 30 days each it would add up to 3,150 days in 600 years, or nearly 9 years! That is enough and to spare, even if we want to date the birth of Christ at 4 B.C. Sometimes it pays to examine our assumptions! Kathleen R. Snow


            In discussing the matter of grace, Donald Olsen has presented an insightful, if flawed, examination of the historical Christian view of God's relation to a corrupt humanity.  While exhaustively examining the selective scriptural basis for claiming that Christ's grace is sufficient to salvation, Olsen nevertheless fails to provide any reason why anyone-whether churched or secular-should believe that, relatively, human virtue is insignificant to God.

            Olsen tells us that grace is related to the claimed corruption of the human soul.  Without any discussion of what is entailed by this corruption (or even what it consists of), we can only conclude that we have been presented with a curiosity of language, a tautological truth: of course, if we are corrupted by Adam's fall, by which our natures are depraved, we may need some assistance to jump over a hidden abyss.  But Olsen asks us to treat as psychological fact that people are innately corrupt because parts of scripture say so.  This is just bland assertion.

            The uneasiness with legalisms -- the hollow formalities that Olsen should reject but does not clearly identify as such, instead confusing "works" with the Pharisaical  disposition-enjoys a rich history of abhorrence in the Christian ethos.  But the efforts of Sister Teresa, or Albert Schweitzer, or the unnumbered saints who labor to improve the human condition have not been shown by Olsen's analysis to have been anything but thoroughly moral and genuinely efficacious.  Instead of rejecting the hollow formalisms and ritual that many Mormons confuse with the religious attitude, Olsen only treats us to a well-worn, but now fashionable, recitation of the outline of the doctrine of grace, leaving the reader without any reason to adopt this view.

            The only difference, in action or motivation, between Jesus' sacrifice and the actions of the best among us, acting in the care of the weak and afflicted, is a matter of scope.  The World War II concentration camp doctor who decided to accompany his infant charges to the gas chambers, carrying two in his arms, rather than experiment on other children, differs only from Christ's sacrifice and love because the circumstances of that mortal doctor did not permit him any greater sacrifice for innocence than he did.  The doctor's love and refusal to harm others is praiseworthy and certainly no "dirty linen" to God.

            The grace of Jesus Christ, understood within the context of Mormonism's insistence upon the inviolate, uncreated, and eternal status of the individual soul, might be properly understood as the love and compassion of Jesus for his brothers and sisters.  Christ's sacrifice was chosen out of respect for the intrinsic worth of each person, and was offered as a simile of our moral obligation to clothe the naked, feed the starving, care for the afflicted, and comfort the dying.  The Savior's act thus indicated a belief that human efforts might have genuine effect in the service of God and humanity.

            Judgment implies, if not requires, that choice is the central issue.  If choice is made hollow by unearned grace, then how can God insist on the judgment? Jesus wept over the children in the Book of Mormon [3 Ne. 17:14-25] because of their innocence and goodness, not their corruption, and because of the greatness that humanity is capable of achieving, but so seldom does.  When thinking of the woman who cradled the frightened child, whom she was unable to free from the path of an oncoming train, facing her death in order not to leave a soul alone in fear, it is hard to imagine how such care and compassion was not the result of a free and good soul, uncorrupted and not in need of grace.

            Now, perhaps Olsen is discouraged by the experience of the twentieth century.  But just at the moment when we need the encouragement accompanying the belief that we are not unavoidably tied to misery and degradation, Olsen and his scriptures only offer us the nihilism and hopelessness that attend the theology of grace.  The love of Christ, and the efforts and achievements of the genuine saints among us, require us to believe that grace is as unrelated to the improvement of the human condition as it is out of place in the Mormon metaphysic. Mark S. Gustavso

Salt Lake City, Utah


            Okay, so they turned my picture to the wall, they cut off my buttons, they broke my sword, and then they delivered me unto the buffetings of Satan for a thousand years.

            Why? And who are "they"? Well, "they" are a multitude of secret societies to which Mormon footnote freaks belong.  They say if three Mormons meet, they hold a meeting.  If four meet, they form an organization.  We're not supposed to have secret societies, but we've got 'em by the dozen.

            How do I know? Because in all innocence I asked them for copies of their membership roster, the reason being that as the Taylor Trust I'm publishing "The John Taylor Papers" in two volumes, and alerting LDS historians, scholars, students, history buffs-footnote freaks in general-of the fact by a directmail campaign.  And I've been told in no uncertain terms that the roster can't be had.

            I say in all innocence, because while I don't belong to any organization of footnote freaks, I do belong to the professional author's union, the Writers Guild of America, and to the California Writers Club, where information about membership isn't secret.  The California Writers, in fact, publish a yearly roster, sent to every member, and if as a result I get nefarious junk mail, who cares?

            Also, I was following counsel by our inspired leadership at Salt Lake, who exhort us to follow their leadership, do as they do.  Well do I remember a full-color poop sheet of four pages which as a home teacher I received copies with instructions to deliver to my families, and also give the sales pitch.  The pitch was for a book by a General Authority, and we were exhorted to urge everyone, Mormon, Jew, or Gentile, to buy this book, for it should be in every possible home.

            In studying the fine print, I saw no suggestion that royalties would be donated to the Church.  Nor was there any explanation regarding who stood the cost of publication of sufficient copies to supply every home teacher in the United States. (I don't have information about the rest of the world.)

            Well, the General Authority didn't have his picture turned to the wall, his buttons cut off, his sword broken, nor was he consigned to the buffetings of Satan.  But I know why not.  While in basic training in the World War II Army, I asked, "Why should I buck for promotion?" And the officer in charge of indoctrination said, "Rank hath its privilege." Samuel W. Taylor

Redwood City, California

 Readers Forum


            It completely baffles me how writers of letters to SUNSTONE can take pages to ponder simple concepts.  E. K. Hunt's conclusion (vol. 8, no. 6, p. 5) that "either men, women, and children were killed by Mormons or they weren't" and that "either Juanita Brooks in her classic account of the massacre is fundamentally misinformed and/or misrepresenting the facts or my seminary teacher and the Mormon history he showed me were misinformed and/or misrepresenting the facts" should indicate to him that somewhere in all that there ought to be a message.

            When one considers that practically every facet of Mormon literature (such as the Millennial Star, Ensign, histories of the Church, etc.) is crammed with attempts to justify or cover up the eccentricities of the Church and its history, he should not be too surprised to find out that, indeed, all is NOT well in Zion.  A study of even the Haun's Mill (supposed) massacre will show that it, too, is nothing more than Mormon-leader fabrication, based almost entirely on the obviously false testimony of Joseph Young.

            Even Juanita Brooks is proved guilty of omitting the Church- leader-damning FORGED LETTERS (supposedly by Eleanor McLean, Pratt's twelfth wife, and others) found in the appendix of Reva Stanley's The Archer of Paradise, a biography of Parley P. Pratt by his great, great granddaughter.  The letters appeared in the Deseret News just prior to the arrival of the ill-fated Arkansas train.  That a scholar of the ability of Juanita Brooks would overlook such essential evidence as these letters appears highly suspect of either literary cowardice on her part or pressure upon her by Church leaders, none of which is honest.  Since no one besides McClean himself was present at Pratt's murder, the letters show the warped premeditation of Brigham Young in condemning the rich wagon train from Arkansas to death as vengeance for Pratt's death by a man from California.  The Church never has and never can supply a suitable justification for this atrocity; and its very existence dooms the Church to acknowledge that its leaders wre murderers and, hence, that the Church is founded upon falsity. (If you fail to print this letter, you acknowledge, also, that you are as guilty as Brooks of omission of the truth.)

            J. Clair Batty's puzzle over the need for the Atonement (same issue, p. 11) would be solved if he would refer to the second article of faith which states, "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression."

            It appears that the Mormon god DOES NOT practice what the Mormon leaders preach.

            But then the third article of faith confuses the matter further, stating that "all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel." It seems that Christ went through all that suffering to have ONLY THOSE SAVED who were obedient.  Batty is not the only one who seems confused. Grant N. Mildenhal

American Fork, Utah


            Moyne Oviatt's article in (SUNSTONE, Vol. 9 no. 1) was of particular interest to me, not only because of its thrust regarding the value of contemplation and heeding the inner light but also because some of my ancestors were Quakers.  Because of my ancestry, I am surely not alone among Mormons in this interest.  Both President Grant and President Kimball had Quaker ancestors.  American history shows that the Quakers have made a contribution which is all out of proportion to their numbers.  Their role in the antislavery movement, for example, was seminal and courageous. (Some of my Quaker relatives were active in this movement long before it became safe or popular.) Quakers also had a major hand in many reforms (social, economic, and political) which have made America what it is.  For instance, they promoted the "one price system" whereby all customers were charged the same thing (in preference to the old system of haggling where the strong or belligerent usually prevailed). The impetus for this reform was motiated by the radical-at-the-time notion that people should have equal opportunity even if (or perhaps especially if) they are not inherently equal, i.e., equally endowed.  Quakers have been pioneer reformers in connection with treatment of prisoners and the mentally ill.  Their witness against war and oppression is well known.  Many of the activities discussed here are described and evaluated in more detail in Gerald Jonas' excellent book On Doing Good.  His treatment of the Quakers' dealings with American Indians is especially interesting in that their approach was so similar to that of Mormonism.

            In spite of my admiration for the Quaker way I would like to point out a few areas where it seems to me less practical and efficacious than the Mormon way.  First, style of meetings: I have been to only two Quaker meetings in my life-one was the silent type and the other a sort of testimony meeting.  I must say that I enjoyed the latter much more than the former.  Could I not learn to like the silent type of meeting? Probably not.  My feeling is that we learn from others to the degree that they share their thoughts and feelings with us.  We can gain something from partaking of fellow worshippers' spirits in silence-but not as much.  We can certainly not be uplifted by silence as effectively as we can by the singing of hymns.  To rule out music (as in some Quaker meetings) is to rule out one of the most uplifting and wholesome influences of all.  The testimony meeting I attended was pretty much like a Mormon testimony meeting.  It was inspiring because the people were themselves, and they spoke from the heart. There were also hymns.

            Perhaps it will be claimed that sermons and hymns are crutches that strong, inwardly directed people do not (or should not) need.  Perhaps so, but this is an elitist argument which begs the question of what sort of worship service is best suited to the mass of humanity.  God's church should, logically, appeal to more than just the strong and the inwardly directed.

            Paul said he sought to be all things to all men.  Maybe this is impossible, but it seems worth trying to have something in every worship service that appeals to everyone.  In our Mormon sacrament meetings we have talks (few are really sermons), hymn singing,  special musical numbers, and the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.  By having the sacrament every week, we provide a time for contemplation that should be of high quality even if it is not a long time.  Members are supposed to think of the Savior and what He has done for them.  They are also supposed to have a "broken heart and contrite spirit" in recognition of their sins and shortcomings.  This is in effect a chance to repent and start over.  Every Sunday can be a new beginning thanks to the ordinance of the sacrament.  What a blessing!

            Because they deny the need for all ordinances, the Quakers deny themselves the blessings that come from ordinances.  We are told quite plainly in D&C 84:19-21: "And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.  Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.  And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh."

            In reality, of course, the Quakers are no worse off than other Christians in that they all "have a form of godliness but they deny the power thereof." So, whether ordinances are practiced or not, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men without the priesthood.  The point is that Mormons are tremendously blessed to have the priesthood and its ordinances.  No amount of contemplation and soul-searching by Quakers, Hindus, or anyone else can make up for the basic deficiency from which all of these man-made religious organizations suffer.  Hence, the Quaker way may teach us the value of contemplation and the inner light, but we can go a lot further with the priesthood and its ordinances (and especially with the gift of the Holy Ghost) than they (or other Christians, Hindus, etc.) can go without the priesthood or proper ordinances and with only the Spirit or Light of Christ to enlighten them.  This is not to denigrate the Spirit or Light of Christ but merely to recognize that it is culturally conditioned (asits individual manifestation as a conscience must be) and is therefore not the undeviating and sure Spirit of Truth which the Holy Ghost is. (See John 16:13; 2 Pet. 1:19-21.)

            Although not treated in Ms.  Oviatt's fine article, I feel another aspect of the Quaker way is in error.  While I both admire and deplore the Quaker stand on war and self-defense, I deplore it more than I admire it.  I respect the Quakers for their radical stand against war as a means of settling national differences because I hate war almost as much as they do.  However, I say "almost" because I believe that defensive war is justified by God.

            The Book of Mormon makes this abundantly clear.  There is perhaps no book on the face of the earth which sets forth in greater clarity the circumstances which do and do not justify war (unless it might be D&C 98). The Book of Mormon does this not in abstract theory but in terms of real life dilemmas and tribulations.  We are told how Ammon's Lamanite converts foreswore hatred and war because of the great harm it had done them in the past.  However, when their protectors, the Nephites, were about to be overrun by unconverted Lamanites and apostate Nephites the Ammonites were tempted to take up arms again in defense of their liberty.  They were prevented from doing this only by the solemnity of their oaths and by the fact that 2,000 of their sons who had not taken the oath were mustered to battle.  In otherwords, defensive war is justified by God.  The converted Lamanite parents were a special case of "conscientious objection" because of their oath.

            While it is tempting to argue that a radical witness against war is needed to show the world how foolish war is-especially when the radical witnesses are themselves made to suffer because of their witness (as during the Civil War)-there is also the argument of equity or fairness to consider.  Is it fair for one person to have to go to war and perhaps be killed in defense of his country while another person escapes this fate because he is a certified "conscientious objector"? The basic unfairness of this position has been recognized by one Ben Seaver, quoted in Gerald Jonas' On Doing Good: "We have intellectually condemned conscription as a fundamentally evil system contrary to basic human rights.  But when it became law we somehow accommodated ourselves to it provided it allowed us an out.... We accepted things which, when you examine them, turned out to be unbelievable: That we should accept the right of the government not only to define religion, which seems to be forbidden in the First Amendment, but also hat we should allow the government to decide that only those who met this definition had a conscience that was worth considering; that others didn't have a conscience." (P. 142.) In other words, acceptance of conscientious objector status condones conscription and the nation's right to wage war, to defer some persons if they meet a certain religious standard, and relegate all other men to the war effort.  Is this not preferential treatment of a religious minority on the very grounds which they themselves decry?

            My third great grandfather, John Sellers, was a practicing Quaker until the Revolutionary War came along.  Because he participated in the war effort rather than maintaining strict neutrality (he printed the Continental money), he was "read out of meeting" or excommunicated.  Did he do right or did he do wrong? I'm convinced that he did right, not only because I believe the colonials had a just cause, but because I believe in self-defense. (We know from D&C 101:79-80 that God "redeemed the land by the shed-ding of blood.") Quakers benefitted from the defense provided by their neighbors (and they still do). In my view it is more honorable to participate in the defense of one's liberty than to stand aside as a neutral-providing only that the cause is just.  Even if the cause is not clearly just (as in the case of the Vietnam War) we are still obliged by our twelfth article of faith to be found "obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." Peace is devoutly to be desired, but not at the price of freedom. Charles L. Seller

Knoxville, Tennessee

 Readers Forum


            Having recently joined the SSMT (Society for the Study of Mormon Theology) in response to their newsletter distributed at the recent Sunstone Symposium, I am pleased to note an impetus which is shared by all modern publications of the Dialogue-SUNSTONE ilk: the notion that rigorous self-criticism is healthy-healthy for the Church as well as each member.

            Criticism is healthy for the Church, despite its exclusivist truth claims, because those claims need objective investigation not only to ascertain (1) historic proof of their existence, but (2) analytical definition of their nature and scope, as well as (3) their changes throughout history. ("Iron Rods" won't like the third category, thinking it an atheistic concession to God's inability to "control" history without change in derogation of God's, omnipotence, but "Iron Rods," frankly, look for personal security more than they look for truth; if they come to realize that God is as much a victim of time's vicissitudes as is man, they would value their individual freedom/responsibility rather than sacrificing it at the altar of "God's unchanging plan for their lives.")

            Criticism is healthy for each member because it keeps him/her "honest." Personal growth occurs for those venturing to "risk" their testimonies against real information in a real world.  A testimony is no better than the information (true or false) upon which it is founded.  Knowledge is fundamental, but only critical knowledge -- knowledge tested (for truth) by hypothetical (or actual) adversariness, i.e. doubt.  Hardly a wonder, then, that there needs be "opposition" in all things.  Opposition criticism, doubt, and the determination to know through it all are the criteria separating a "good" testimony from a lazy one.

            The sweetness of knowing without restriction, in the full and honest light of rigorous self-criticism (regarding all one's sources of knowledge) is the sweetness (perceived truth) powering the venture to know.  It is the hope that religious dialogue (more "opposition" in a pluralist society) will ultimately demonstrate Mormon truth claims to be vindicated among non-Mormon "adversaries" (rendering them converts) as well as demonstrate our individual half-perceptions and fuzzy ideas in mutual refinement of the exact nature of those truth claims.

            J. S. Mill said it best: "But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from that opinion, still more than those who hold it.  If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit [indeed, it's the same thing!], the clearer perception and livelier impression [testimony!] of truth, produced by its collision [opposition!] with error" ("Of Thought and Discussion" in On Liberty, p. 18, emphasis added.)

            A cheer for Dialogue-SUNSTONE and their ilk, which are producing better "testimonies" (perhaps for both Mormons and anti-Mormons, both of whom will be held responsible for their opinions).

            Is there room for creative theological "formulation" (not merely "clarification") from the unwashed multitude in the face of the Church's exclusive claim that direct revelation goes specifically to the living prophet and no one else? Yes.  Mere members can be, and often were for Joseph Smith, the source of his prophetic inquiries of the Lord, inquiries resulting in direct revelation to Joseph.

            Does that mean that the "idea" for that revelation was first "revealed" to the member before it was to Joseph? No.  Truth, like commonsense, knows no official channel.  Ideas are everyone's property.  If the prophet or Lord chooses to "sanctify" an idea by divine revelation, so be it.  Members are still inherently free to speculate and think for themselves.

            Any conflicts which inevitably develop between member speculations and the prophet's revelations are properly manageable without resort to suppression.  Many a truth has ridden into history on the back of an error.  Keeping a stable full of such errors may be intelligent even for a prophet.  The First Amendment precludes suppression of error, so the stable will always be full, anyway.

            Criticism of ideas in the common search for truth is the prerogative of member and prophet.  Neither should think itself infallible (beyond criticism). Neither should be personally offended by the inevitability of free speech, which is the necessary adjunct to free thought.  And free thought (with its honestly self-critical element) is the basis for one's testimony of truth. Gerry L. Ensley

Los Alamitos, California


            I am so grateful for the SUNSTONE which arrived yesterday.  I read most of it before laying it down.

            "How General the Authority?" by Cole R. Capener (vol. 9 no. 2) deserves some response. "Individual Conscience and Defacto Infallibility" reminds me that "truth though buried shall rise again."

            In "Life's Great Guide Book" by Rev.  P. S. Henson, I read these statements: "In the absence of any higher authority man is bound to obey his conscience, even though he have reason to believe that he cannot trust it.  And that conscience is anything but infallible is only too palpably proved by the contradictory judgments it has registered in different lands and ages, touching almost every moral question.

            "One is bound to follow his conscience whether right or wrong, and yet if the conscience be wrong the act is not made right because it was performed conscientiously.

            "But God in great mercy has provided an infallible standard by which to rectify our private judgments, and if we fail to make the rectification, then the failure is at our peril.

            "That standard is his holy Word -- which is the standard for all men and for all time, for the nineteenth century no less than the first, for the world has not outgrown it and never will while the ages roll.

            I cannot understand why Mormon leaders and interpreters refuse to acknowledge these facts, and insist on conformity to their confusing conclusions! Rhoda Thurston

Hyde Park, Utah


            One of the most challenging articles in the recent SUNSTONE is "Understanding the Scope of the Grace of Christ" by Donald P. Olsen (vol. 9 no. 2). The truth from MY standpoint is that I had come to  feel that the term grace is regarded by the Mormon church as a dirty word.  Other churches speak of the grace of God, and there is, of course, that awful hymn: "Amazing Grace," but I never before recall hearing about "grace" from a Mormon pulpit.  I must confess I do not understand the complexities of the subject.  After reading the aforementioned article I still don't understand the principle.  If one's good works do not count toward one's salvation does it mean, I wonder, that God has a favorite people He chooses to save? Didn't the Calvinist Pilgrims believe only a minute fraction of God's children could be saved and that not by virtue of personal works? I've always found this theory impossible to figure.

            I recently viewed a KBYU-TV devotional assembly where Bruce R. McConkie spoke on Jehovah as opposed to Elohim.  After viewing this and after reading "Jehovah as the Father," I've been asking myself if it is necessary to have an understanding of all these things? My own viewpoint is admittedly over-simplified, but it seems to me that the gospel of Jesus Christ was the most simple of doctrines and was preached to the most simple of people.  Does God require that we be so totally nitpicky in our attempts to understand His simple gospel?

            It is perhaps important to explain here that I'm an INACTIVE Mormon. I think it is this very nitpicky style amongst SOME Mormons that persuaded me to be inactive.

            The article which really discombobulated me in this issue was "Are Children Almost Too Much to Bear" by James Tunstead Burchaell, who is as I gather a Roman Catholic professor of theology.  In the index to articles a footnote appears with this title: "Nurture is natural only in virtuous human beings." I, for one, would like to challenge that statement.  I don't think "virtue" as such has anything to do with nurture, or one's capability and ability to nurture.  As "virtuous" individuals we like to think we have an edge on such human qualities as the ability and responsibility to nurture, but it doesn't always follow.  Childhood teachings and indoctrinations are important in determining what patterns one will follow in life.  As a child and young woman, I was psychologized into believing that what I wanted above all was to be the mother of a large family.  It was important to me, therefore, that I should marry a "good" Mormon and prepare to fill this, the ONLY female function as I saw it.  In doing so I made th worst possible choice of a mate (but that's another story). As I was lying on the birthing table for the fifth (?) time, I had a sort of minor revelation as my mind said to me: "This is an awfully stupid occupation for You to be involved in.  You don't even like children!" (Or words to this general effect.) In all my searchings of the gospel and in all my psychologizings I'd never once gained enough self-knowledge to know that I don't like children.  All in all, although I think I can classify myself as a "virtuous" woman, the sad fact remains that I do NOT like to be with children and I'm NOT a natural nurturer.  Oh, I loved my children.  All of them were wanted, and I think I did a passable job in rearing them.  I'm prepared to make great sacrifices to HELP, but I can't stand to be around children as such.  Much of the indoctrination in the Church fails to take into account the fact that what might be "heaven" for one individual would be nothing but hell for another.

            I read the comments of Father Burtchaell and have to agree, IN THEORY, with most of his statements, especially on infanticide.  I disagree with the author's quote from Dr.  Germaine Greer AFTER her journey to the East as a guest of the Family Planning Association of India.  Well, I've never been to India or any other so-called overpopulated country.  But I have read and viewed on TV accounts of cultures where women's lives are given over to continual childbearing and where the mortality rate for infants is tragically high because there isn't enough food, or money, or means to provide the necessary medical care, or where unsanitary conditions contribute to the overall climate of disease.  I think its plain to see there is a problem with overpopulation and also with starvation in various parts of the world.

            I've always been thankful I wasn't called upon to bear a retarded child.  To a woman such as myself, even "normal" children are, as the author somewhat sarcastically suggests, "almost too much to bear." I dread to think how I would have reacted to the responsibility of caring for a retarded child.

            Although I believe it is better to prevent an unwanted conception that to abort a fetus, had I been advised that the fetus I was carrying would be hopelessly deformed or retarded, I would have been very seriously tempted to abort.

            It is relatively easy to teach others concerning the sin of aborting "defective" fetuses or to pass laws to save the lives of such children.  The difficult part is in knowing that one has the RESPONSIBILITY to care for that child all the days of one's life.  Too, I must always worry about what will happen to this child: WHO Will care for him; who Will DEFEND him (from cruelty) when they're no longer around to do these things.

            I thoroughly enjoyed "Words of Wisdom" by James N. Kimball, who must be a relative of the late J. Golden Kimball.

            I read with appreciation the article "How General the Authority" by Cole R. Capener.  This is an article which has personal application to my own life and attitudes concerning the Church.  I feel I can personally endorse it.

            I got a few chuckles out of "The Language of Niceness" by Emma Rebecca Thomas.  Those of us who have lived all our lives "in the Church" tend to forget the narrowness of some of our requirements our language.  I was always embarrassed to refer too often to the name of "Jesus," even though my pronunciation lacked the Southern drawl of the newly converted black woman to whom the author refers.  And often I have been careless in my references to the "Holy Spirit," often using the term interchangeably with the "Holy Ghost." I do understand that Mormons see the "Holy Ghost" as the third personage in the Godhead.  I have always assumed that "He" delegates his responsibilities to some extent.  Also I think of a special spirit of inspiration one sometimes receives as being a manifestation of the "Holy Spirit." Again, I fear I fall very short in the matter of theological preciseness.

            As I recall, I agreed with "Social Responsibility and LDS Ethics" (Courtney Campbell) at the time I read it.

Effie M. Thomas

Provo, Utah


The Theological Influence of Elder Bruce R. McConkie

By David John Buerger

            Several years ago, a prominent LDS religious educator and I were discussing the intellectual history of Mormonism.  We both agreed on the theological prominence of B. H. Roberts and Orson Pratt, after which he remarked: "Ask any ten Mormons on the street who is the Church's leading scholar today, and most-if not all-will say it's Bruce R. McConkie." I had to admit he was right.  Elder McConkie has unquestionably been an influential spokesman for Mormonism during his thirty-eight year tenure as a General Authority.  I recall with great interest the fact that as I was investigating the Church in the spring of 1973, Elder McConkie's book Mormon Doctrine, was the first LDS publication I purchased after the scriptures.  It came highly recommended by my peers.

            Bruce Redd McConkie was born 29 July 1915 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  He served in the Eastern States Mission during 1934-36, then returned to marry Amelia Smith, the daughter of President Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., in 1937. Elder McConkie graduated from the University of Utah in 1937 with a bachelor of arts degree, and in 1939 received a bachelor of laws degree.  His professional career -included work as a U.S. Army security and intelligence officer, newspaper editorial writer, public official, and attorney.  On 6 October 1946 he was sustained a member of the First Council of Seventy.  During 1961-64 Elder McConkie served as President of  the South Australian Mission.  He was sustained a member of the Council of the Twelve on 12 October 1972.

            Out of the seventy-four general conferences held since Elder McConkie's call as a General Authority in October 1946, he has delivered a total of sixty-nine general conference sermons.  With few exceptions, these sermons have dealt primarily with basic gospel themes (see figure 1).  The three most commonly treated subjects



THEME                                                  N                      %T

Joseph Smith Story/Restoration                       15                    21.7

Jesus Christ                                         10                    14.5

Holy Ghost/Testimony/Revelation        8                      11.6

Potpourri                                              7                      10.1

LDS Church True                                              6                      8.7

Chastity/Marriage                                4                      5.8

Priesthood/Authority                            4                      5.8

Missionary Work                                              3                      4.4

Plan of Salvation                                  3                      4.4

Book of Mormon                                               2                      2.9

Death                                                   1                      1.5

Faith                                                    1                      1.5

Foreordination/Election                                    1                      1.5

Justification                                          1                      1.5

Prayer                                                  1                      1.5

Sacrifice/Consecration                         1                      1.5

Temple                                                 1                      1.5 include the Restoration, Atonement, and the Holy Ghost's role in testimony and personal revelation.  Elder McConkie has deviated only twice in giving talks on more narrowly defined subjects: These were sermons on the law of justification and on the doctrine of foreordination and election.  During the first twenty-five years of his service as a General Authority, Elder McConkie's main topical concern was Joseph Smith's first vision and the restoration of the true church of God.

            Since the early 1970s, however, Elder McConkie's talks have often been multifaceted in nature, covering several basic subjects within the same sermon.  His preoccupation with the Restoration during the 1960s was probably due to his perception that members of the First Council of Seventy should speak only on missionary-related topics.  On the other hand, his calling as an Apostle in the early 70s might have been the catalyst to develop broader topics.

            Nonetheless, it is clear that it has not been the particular topics Elder McConkie has chosen to address in his conference speeches, nor the breadth of subject matter, nor the originality of interpretation which has earned him his reputation. instead, the Apostle's impressive influence stems, I believe, from (1) his sources of doctrinal influence, (2) his position as an Apostle, and (3) his authoritative tone. SOURCES OF INFLUENCE

            Elder McConkie's notable doctrinal eminence is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in his many published works.  Clearly the most significant of Elder McConkie's books-at least for the purposes of this essay-is his popular encyclopedia of LDS theology, Mormon Doctrine, first published in 1958 and recently rated among the ten best sellers by General Authorities in the history of the Church.  Rare is the sacrament meeting talk or gospel discussion or lesson without some quote from its two-thousand-plus entries.  Mormon Doctrine is not an interpretive study of those concepts which form the basis of LDS beliefs.  Rather, it is a listing of any and all concepts, topics, or issues considered germane by its author.  Accessibility is its hallmark.  Most of its entries are quite terse; only a few receive extended attention.  The four longest articles are Signs of the Times, Second Coming, Millennium, and Evolution.  Interestingly, many of the articles do not actually discuss doctrine, but deal with historical or biograhical topics.

            In spite of its stature among Church members, this book was neither commissioned nor endorsed by the Church.  Even its author does not claim that his is the official position on any given subject.  Indeed, in 1960, the First Presidency commented that Mormon Doctrine "had been a source of concern to the Brethren ever since it was published," and "is full of errors and misstatements." They concluded, for a time at least, that the book should "not be republished even in a corrected form"-to do so "would be embarrassing to [Elder McConkie] and lessen his influence with the members of the Church." (David O. McKay Office Journal, 7, 8, 27, 28 Jan. 1960: Marion G. Romney to David O. McKay, 28 Jan. 1959.) Of particular concern was the assertion that the Roman Catholic Church was the "Church of the Devil" (pp. 108, 129). Other volatile articles on Catholicism, including Indulgences, Mariolotry, Penance, Supererogation, and Tran-substantiation, were removed in his 1966 revised edition.  Nevertheless, over eighty percen of the changes in this second edition involved cosmetic modifications which changed the tone but ultimately not the meaning of the book's content.

            Such official opposition notwithstanding, the perception persists that Elder McConkie's Mormon Doctrine offers the definitive, even quasi-official stance on all doctrinal matters.  The information in figure 2 may explain why.  Almost half of the book's quotes belong to the Prophet Joseph Smith, representing approximately 33% of the total nonscriptural text cited in the book.  The runner up was Elder McConkie's father-in-law, Joseph Fielding Smith.  However, while Elder McConkie's references to Joseph Fielding Smith's books constituted about 29% of all nonscriptural references, actual citations from President Smith's books only comprised about 60% of the total lines cited in Mormon Doctrine.  About 15% of the book's cited text came from Joseph F. Smith's Gospel Doctrine; almost 10% came from the Lectures on Faith.  Clearly, most Mormons would consider these sources to be authoritative.


AUTHOR                                   BOOK                                       NO. OF REF.

Joseph Smith               Teachings                                215

Joseph Fielding Smith TOTAL                                      178

                                    Doctrines of Salvation              146

                                    Man, His Origin and Destiny     20

                                    Progress of Man                       4

                                    Way to Perfection                    4

                                    Answers to Gospel Questions  1

                                    Essentials in Church History    1

                                    Restoration of All Things          1

                                    Signs of the Times                   1

Joseph F. Smith            Gospel Doctrine                       39

Joseph Smith, et. al.    History of the Church               27

Joseph Smith, et. al.    Lectures on Faith                     22

James E. Talmage        TOTAL                                      16

Misc. G.A. Sermons                                                       14

Misc. Catholic Citations                                                13

John Taylor                  TOTAL                                      12

Milton Hunter               TOTAL                                      9

Catholic Encyclopaedia                                                            8

Disc. of Wilford Woodruff                                             7

Bible Commentaries (several)                                      7

Franklin D. Richards     Compendium                            4

Disc. of Brigham Young                                                            4

B. H. Roberts                Outlines of Eccl. History           3

                                    Hymns/Poems                          3

Orson F. Whitney         Saturday Night Thoughts         3

Parley P. Pratt Voice of Warning                      3

George Reynolds         Are We of Israel                       2

George Q. Cannon       Life of Joseph Smith                 2

Miscellaneous References                                            16

TOTAL                                                                          607

            Estimate 63,000 lines/375,000 words In Mormon Doctrine.

            Following the appearance of Mormon Doctrine, Elder McConkie's next major publication was volume one of his Doctrinal New Testament Commentary in 1965 (hereafter DNTC I). This work, combined with the remaining two volumes of the series, essentially offers a line-by-line doctrinal interpretation of the entire New Testament.  Because a good majority of the book's text consists of lengthy quotations from scriptures and other authors, it is helpful to consider the authorities upon whom Elder McConkie relies to defend his assertion.  Out of 287 nonscriptural citations, it turns out that Elder McConkie's most oft-quoted source is himself.  Approximately 37% of the citations are drawn from Elder McConkie's Mormon Doctrine, 26% from Joseph Smith, 16% from James E. Talmage's books (many of which are quotes from biblical scholars cited by Elder Talmage), 80% from Dummelow's Bible commentary, with the balance representing about a dozen other authors.  All of Elder McConkie's quotations of himself come from Mormon Doctrin.  The next two volumes of his commentary reveal an even more interesting trend.  As shown in figure 3, over 71% of the third volume's references are to Elder McConkie's own publications.  Of this 71% figure, 21% of the references are taken from Mormon Doctrine, 11% from DNTC 1, 37% from DNTC 11, and 2% from DNTC 111. A combined cross-tabulation of all three volumes reveals 60% of the total references come from Elder McConkie, 22% from Joseph Smith, 4.5% from James Talmage, 3.5% from Joseph Fielding Smith, 3.5% from Dummelow's commentary, and the remaining 6.6% from other sources.

            A similar pattern may be seen in Elder McConkie's more recent series of books on the life of Christ, with a couple of variations.  Figure 4 shows Elder McConkie's continued heavy reliance upon himself as a doctrinal authority with Joseph Smith coming in second place.  Because he ventured out of a strictly doctrinal exposition in this series, Elder McConkie had to refer to other experts; his choice of authorities is quite revealing.  The three biblical scholars used most frequently (even more frequently than James E. Talmage) were Alfred Edersheim, F. W. Farrar, and Cunningham Geikie.  These men, incidentally, also served as Elder Talmage's chief biblical authorities in his book Jesus the Christ, first published in 1915. It is significant that all of these scholars' books were published in the late 1800s, their work (including Elder Talmage's) predating the full impact of the biblical higher criticism.  One can't help speculate whether Elder McConkie consulted more recent non-Mormon biblical scholars or reliedexclusively on his predecessor's work.

            It is interesting to note that in Elder McConkie's last volume in the Messiah series-The Millennial Messiah-only 34 non scriptural citations are made throughout the book's 726 pages.  Of these, 85% are to Joseph Smith; only one reference is made to any of the author's other books.

            Other influences on Elder McConkie may be seen in his recent doctrinal expositions.  A good example is "The Seven Deadly Heresies," a talk given on 1 June 1980 at BYU and unquestionably one of his most controversial.  The Apostle's aim in this sermon was to correct what he perceived to be heretical thinking on the part of some Latter-day Saints.  Specifically, Elder McConkie condemned the following ideas: (1) that God is progressing in knowledge and learning new truths; (2) that revealed religion and organic evolution can be harmonized; (3) that temple marriage assures those so sealed of eventual exaltation; (4) that the doctrine of salvation for the dead offers men a second chance for salvation; (5) that there is progression from one kingdom to another in the life to come; (6) that Adam is our Father and our God, the Father of our spirits and our bodies, and that he is the one we worship; and (7) that we must be perfect to gain salvation.

            None of these points are original with Elder McConkie; each has been discussed at some length by previous General Authorities, most especially his father-in-law, Joseph Fielding Smith.  Some agreed with Elder McConkie's positions, some opposed them.  For example, Brigham Young's support for the idea of God's progression in knowledge has been well documented; the origin of Elder McConkie's dissent may be traced to President Young's contemporary, Apostle Orson Pratt.  Elder Pratt's theological thinking also emerges in Elder McConkie's condemnation of Brigham Young's Adam-God doctrine.  While Elder McConkie's adamant denial of progression from one kingdom to another is now usually held to be normative, none other than James E. Talmage suggested the contrary in his 1899 Mormon classic, The Articles of Faith.

            And Elder McConkie's unequivocal condemnation of the theory of evolution has been clearly shown to be but one of many differing beliefs held by General Authorities on the issue. (Perhaps to counteract his sometimes extreme manner of stating positions, the final published version of the heresies talk was substantially altered, indicating that Elder McConkie's spoken views were not to be understood as official statements of Church beliefs.  His strong condemnation of organic evolution, for example, was prefaced in the published version by phrases such as "I believe," "My reasoning causes me to conclude that," and closed with "These are questions to which all of us should find answers.  Every person must choose for himself what he will believe." [BYU Speeches of the Year, 1980, pp. 74-80.])

            Another example of Elder McConkie's indebtedness to previous Mormon thinkers is his 2 March 1982 BYU speech entitled "Our Relationship with the Lord." Elder McConkie's purpose was to condemn the "chief and greatest heresy of Christendom" (i.e., Catholic and Protestant views of God) and to correct the heretical thinking of some Latter-day Saints who had enjoined gaining a "special relationship" with Jesus Christ.  He described the Mormon view of the Godhead with its three distinct, divine beings and concluded with his characteristic directness: "you have been warned, and you have heard the true doctrine taught." (BYU Fireside and Devotional Speeches, 1982, pp. 97-103.)

            Whatever its applicability to the immediate audience, Elder McConkie's oration simply reasserted the Mormon view of the nature of God which had been reconstructed near the turn of the century.  This systematized doctrine was first clearly enunciated by Elder James E. Talmage in The Articles of Faith, later finding official sanction in a doctrinal proclamation made by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve in 1916.

            The doctrinal authorities used in these speeches as well as in Elder McConkie's books clearly are perceived by most Latter-day Saints as proponents of mainstream Mormon theology.  This seems especially true given that Elder McConkie's heaviest reliance is upon Mormonism's founder, Joseph Smith.  Joseph Smith's theology, however, changed a great deal during his lifetime, starting with very conservative, Protestant-like interpretations of the Godhead (for example, the original versions of D&C 20 or the Lectures on Faith) and ending with very progressive, radical theological ideas seen in his King Follett Discourse.  Joseph's theological spectrum was therefore varied, his ideas occasionally disparate.

            The dialectical "thesis-antithesis" inherent in Mormonism's founder went through a preliminary synthesis in Parley and Orson Pratt's writings.  The interpretation of Joseph Smith's theology remained open, however, and despite fundamental agreement on basic Mormon dogma, General Authorities sometimes differed in their overall approach to theology.  This dialectical tension may be seen in cases such as President Brigham Young's progressive ideas on the identity and nature of God as opposed to Apostle Orson Pratt's more conservative understanding of the Godhead.  LDS theologians James E. Talmage, John A. Widtsoe, and B. H. Roberts later provided a doctrinal synthesis which favored the progressive interpretation of the nature of God and man.  Some aspects of this group's theology in turn evoked an antithetical reaction in the works of Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie.  This contrast is especially pronounced in the two schools' discussions of evolution and eternal progression.  While Elder McConkie's thological efforts agree with his predecessors on many, perhaps most, fundamental issues, his books and especially his recent BYU speeches clearly reveal an interpretation of Mormon doctrine reminiscent of Christian conservatism. A HIGHER CALLING

            Elder McConkie's position in the hierarchy has clearly added strength to the authority of his opinions.  When President Smith died in 1972, Bruce R. McConkie was the sole remaining General Authority with a passion for theology.  His elevation later that year to the Council of the Twelve reflected his growing popularity and solidified his position as doctrinal spokesman for the Church.  Both the Church population and he himself seem to have accepted that mantle as his particular calling.  In a 1980 letter to an LDS intellectual, he remarked, "It is my province to teach to the Church what the doctrine is.  It is your province to echo what I say or to remain silent."

            In addition, the apparent lack of interest in theology among other General Authorities has magnified the significance of Elder McConkie's work.  Said he, in his 2 March 1982 speech at Brigham Young University, "It just may be that I have preached more sermons, taught more doctrine, and written more words about the Lord Jesus Christ than any man now living." Certainly Elder McConkie has published more theological books than any of his associates in the quorum.  Beginning with his 856-page Mormon Doctrine, his three-volume Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, and recent six-volume Messiah series, Elder McConkie's books total 6,107 pages.  By comparison, this total is almost two-thirds the number of pages contained in the twenty-six volume Journal of Discourses.

            In addition, Elder McConkie's apostolic calling has extended his influence to the scriptural arena: with Elders Thomas S. Monson and Boyd  K. Packer, Elder McConkie served on the Scriptures Publication Committee which helped to guide the recent major revision of LDS scriptures.  In addition to correcting errors in the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price, this committee produced a new topical index and reference system for the King James Bible, including extensive use of the Joseph Smith Translation.  Significantly, the revised Bible Dictionary included some extractions from Elder McConkie's book, Mormon Doctrine. THE VOICE OF AUTHORITY

            Finally, Bruce McConkie's influence may be due in part to the authoritative tone he employs in his writing and preaching.  A quality of adamant certitude and acrimonious criticism is evident in even his earliest productions.  For example, in 1960, Elder McConkie penned an attack on a polygamous offshoot entitled, How to Start a Cult: or, Cultism as Practiced by the So-called Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times-Analyzed, Explained, and Interpreted; as also: Dissected, Divellicated, Whacked Up, Smithereened, Mangled, and Decimated; or, An Essay Showing Where All Good Cultists Go.

            Within a few years, however, this harshness had vanished.  The tone of Elder McConkie's writings and sermons following his three-year mission in Australia (1961-64) is considerably subdued.  It is interesting to speculate whether the change occurred as the result of a gentle chastening from that most ecumenical of recent prophets, David O. McKay, or some firsthand experiences with non-Mormons.

            Though today the Apostle's tone is perhaps less acerbic, it is no less forceful.  Indeed, while he often denies official approbation for his opinions, his tone conveys precisely the opposite.  One is left with the impression that to disagree with him is to imperil one's eternal salvation.  For example, his conference addresses-especially since his calling as an Apostle-frequently begin by bearing witness that "we are the servants of the Lord," and "I say this not of myself, but in the name of the Lord, standing as his representative, and saying what he would say if he person-ally were here." Elder McConkie's recurring references to the "many false and vain and foolish things [that] are being taught in the sectarian world" of "apostate Christendom" underscore his belief in the moral superiority of Mormon doctrine.  The Apostle believes that people espousing these errant beliefs "have the intellect of an ant and the understanding of a clod of miry clay in a primordial swamp." And speaking to the "intellectuals ithout strong testimonies" who have fallen into heresy, he warns, "These, unless they repent, will live and die weak in the faith and will fall short of inheriting what might have been theirs in eternity."

            Even taken together, however, his theological sources, his position as an Apostle, and his authoritative tone do not completely account for Bruce McConkie's widespread influence.  There is another answer less tangible but likely more compelling.  William James may have said it best: "In the metaphysical and religious sphere, articulate reasons are cogent for us only when our inarticulate feelings of reality have already been impressed in favor of the same conclusion. . . . The unreasoned and immediate assurance is the deep thing in us, the reasoned argument is but a surface exhibition." (The Varieties of Religious Experience, p. 73.) The need for complex theological arguments and discussions seems to have diminished in the last few decades, especially at the level of General Authority.  There seems to be a greater call for practical direction, strong conviction, and swift action than the development of a systematic theology.  All of these Elder McConkie has been able to provide.

            At the 1982 Mormon History Association conference, Professor Peter Crawley made the following significant observation:

            Even though it is a revealed religion, Mormonism is all but creedless. . . . While certain doctrines are enunciated in the standard works and some doctrinal issues have been addressed in formal pronouncements by the First Presidency, there is nothing in Mormonism comparable to the Westminster Confession of Faith or the Augsburg Confession.  Few of the truly distinctive doctrines of Mormonism are discussed in "official" sources.  It is mainly by "unofficial" means-Sunday School lessons, seminary, institute, and BYU religion classes, sacrament meeting talks and books by Church officials and others who ultimately speak only for themselves-that the theology is passed from one generation to the next.  Indeed it would seem that a significant part of Mormon theology exists primarily in the minds of the members.

            Crawley went on to point out that "the absence of a formal creed means that each generation must produce a new set of gospel expositors to restate and reinterpret the doctrines of Mormonism." (Dialogue, Autumn 1982, pp. 20-21.)

            Elder Bruce R. McConkie has risen to that challenge in this generation.  Though his work is not original, revolutionary, sophisticated, or deep, he does offer certainty in a world which has become increasingly relative in its values.  He provides simple answers in a world grown com-plex and chaotic.  With his apostolic position and tone he guarantees the correctness of his positions for faltering Saints confused with alternatives.  He invites Church members to lay down the burden of fighting the intellectual good fight: he will take up the sword against all enemies of truth (both without and within the Church) for us all.  It is no wonder he resides in a position of such importance.

            DAVID JOHN BUERGER is director of the personal computer center at the University of Santa Clara.


The Latter-day Saint Position on Militarism

By D. Michael Quinn

            We often hear that war is evil, but where is the personal evil in young men and women leaving the securities of their society and possibly risking their lives to protect or advance causes in which they sincerely believe? We speak of the inhumanity of war, but where is the inhumanity in the intense personal relations of loyalty, devotion, and affection among comrades in arms who often give their lives to protect their buddies? We may condemn war in general or a specific war as futile, but how do we express that to veterans whose bodies or emotions have been damaged or to families who have only photographs to remind them of the young men and women they sent to battle? It is easy to mouth platitudes about peace during peacetime, but what sacrifices are we willing to make to proclaim peace after our country has declared war? These have been the challenges of the LDS position on militarism and conscientious objection since 1830.

            The first book of LDS scripture is part of the shared Judeo-Christian heritage, and reflects a sharply divided view of war and peace.  The Old Testament glorified both aggressive and defensive wars of God's people against their enemies, and it was a common occurrence for the heroes of these narratives not only to kill captured enemy soldiers, but also to slaughter every man, woman, and child in conquered cities and towns.  These were not aberrations among the Hebrews, but usually occurred in fulfillment of commands by God or his prophets.  In contrast, the New Testament precept and example of Jesus Christ and his Apostles were self-sacrificing and nonviolent even in the face of brutal death.  To those who were unwilling to live such a life of pacifism, the first book of the New Testament proclaims, "all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (Matt. 26:52) and the last book relegates all such to the grisly domain of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Rev. 6).

            Mormonism ignored a thousand years of theological commentary and justification for war in the Judeo-Christian tradition and began anew with the 1830 publication of the Book of Mormon, which provided a synthesis of Old and New Testament approaches to war.  In the Book of Mormon narrative, righteous generals "did not stop making preparations for war, or to defend [their] people" (Alma 50:1), pursued their enemies and "did slay them with much slaughter" (Alma 2:19), did not hesitate to use superior technology against primitively outfitted combatants (Alma 43:18-2-1, 37-38), freely used spies (Mosiah 10:7; Alma 2:21, 56:22), occasionally assassinated enemy leaders (Alma 51:32-36, 62:35-36), and threatened to overthrow and kill their own civil leaders who did not provide material support to the armies (Alma 60:25, 30). Nevertheless, militarism is dominant in the Book of Mormon without  reigning supreme as it does in the Old Testament: At no time in the Book of Mormon were the righteous armies the aggressors, nor did they make preemptive attacks against an enemy that was obviously about to launch a war.  They never waged wars of "national interest" where any issue but immediate survival was at stake, and they never killed or mistreated prisoners.  Moreover, the militantly defensive society of the righteous Book of Mormon people gave honor and protection to pacifists and to selective conscientious objectors, The people of Ammon for reasons of religion and conscience vowed never to kill and were protected militarily by those of the society who were willing to fight and die in war (Alma 47:21-24). The narrative also gives honor to the military leader named Mormon who refused to support or participate in a war that he regarded as unjustified in origin and evil in conduct (Morm. 3:8-16).

            This Mormon synthesis of militarism and conscientious objection was further complicated by the 1833 revelation of Joseph Smith that is published as section 98 of the Doctrine and Covenants.  Aside from the requirement to wait until the fourth attack before retaliating against an enemy, the revelation stated: "And again, this is the law that I gave unto my ancients, that they should not go out unto battle against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, command them" (D&C 98:33; emphasis added). This is the only written revelation instructing the Latter-day Saints of their responsibilities concerning war, and in the document the authority of secular government is conspicuous by its absence.  According to this revelation, the Latter-day Saints would go to war only by the specific command of God, which would be conveyed by the LDS prophet.  Therefore, in matters of war and peace, the Mormon community was to follow the Church president, not any civil ruler.  Two years earlier, section 45 of the Dctrine and Covenants had already indicated that the Latter-day Saints would remain aloof from national wars: "And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.  And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war with another." (D&C 45:68-69.)

            With the theological basis of the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants, Mormon leaders until the end of the nineteenth century pursued an. ambivalent policy toward militarism, war, and peace, which might be called "selective pacifism." In this respect, the twelfth article of faith ("We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law") was meaningless, because a Latter-day Saint revelation had given the LDS church theocratic precedence over civil law and military authority.

            In 1833, Mormons in Jackson County, Missouri, were mobbed by anti-Mormons and did not retaliate.  In 1834, the Prophet organized a military company, Zion's Camp, which he led a thousand miles from Ohio to Missouri to win back Mormon losses by force if necessary.  But when, upon reaching Missouri, he faced a suicidal confrontation with the anti-Mormons, he became conciliatory, and the company returned to Ohio without bloodshed.  In 1836, the Church periodical argued in favor of defensive war by threatened communities, but a month later, Joseph Smith issued a letter that the Mormons "would suffer their rights to be taken from them before shedding blood" (LDS Messenger and Advocate, July 1836, pp. 337-40). And in 1836 the Mormons did exactly that, by allowing themselves to be peacefully expelled from Clay County, Missouri, where they had previously fled from mobs in Jackson County.  In 1838, Joseph Smith authorized the Saints to become more militant, and they engaged in pitched battles with anti-Mormons.  Missouians called this the "Mormon War," imprisoned Joseph Smith, and expelled the Mormons from the state.  At Nauvoo, Illinois, Joseph Smith led his Nauvoo Legion of three to five thousand men under arms (the entire U.S. Army in 1844 had 8,453 men). He surrendered voluntarily in June 1844 to civil officers he was sure would conspire to bring about his death.  Nevertheless, in his last letter from Carthage jail, Joseph Smith commanded the Nauvoo Legion to attack the town and rescue him before he could be killed.  A mob murdered him before the orders could be carried out.

            The first national war of Mormon experience occurred as the Saints were moving westward from Illinois in 1846. The participation of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War has traditionally been heralded as self -sacrificing patriotism responding to the demands of the federal government.  In fact, however, Brigham Young had sent an ambassador to President James K. Polk volunteering two thousand Mormon men to enlist and be paid federal wages as an expeditionary force to precede the Mormon emigration into the Great Basin of Mexico, where he knew according to published reports of John C. Fremont there were no Mexican soldiers or settlers.  Polk trimmed the number to five hundred and put the battalion on a journey along the present U.S.-Mexican border to California.  President Young urged men to volunteer for the economic benefits that would come to the Saints and promised that they would not shed blood.  Apostle Orson Hyde told reluctant recruits that the battalion would result in "the peaceable possession of a ome." The battalion brought more than fifty thousand dollars to the common fund of the LDS church. (Dialogue, Winter 1984, pp. 11-30.

            Before the American Civil War, President Brigham Young condemned all war:

            Our traditions have been such that we are not apt to look upon war between two nations as murder; but suppose that one family should rise up against another and begin to slay them, would they not be taken up and tried for murder? Then why not nations that rise up and slay each other in a scientific way be equally guilty of murder. (Journal of Discourses, 7:137.)

            At the beginning of the secession crisis, Brigham Young telegraphed Lincoln that Utah remained with the Union, and Mormons volunteered to protect the mail routes within Utah territory, but Brigham Young privately acknowledged that most of the Church leaders and members favored the Confederacy.  Publicly, President Young at October conference, 1863, praised the soldiers of the Union and the Confederacy, as well as conscientious objectors from both sides:

            Multitudes of good and honorable men become enrolled in the contending armies of the present American war, some to gratify a martial pride, and others through a conscientious love of their country; indeed, various are the motives and inducements that impel men to expose themselves upon the field of battle; but a portion of those who are peaceably disposed, and wish not to witness the shedding of the blood of their countrymen, make good their escape from the vicinity of trouble.  It is chiefly this class of men who are now passing through this Territory to other parts, and I think they are probably as good a class of men as has ever passed through this country; they are persons who wish to live in peace, and to be far removed from contending factions.  As far as I am concerned I have no fault to find with them. (ID, 10:248.)

            Thus, the Mormons waited out the American Civil War from a position of near neutrality which was consistent with both their theocratic prerogatives and their millennial expectations.

            By the next national war of America's experience, however, profound changes had occurred for the Church and for Utah.  After years of defying federal laws, the LDS church president in 1890 announced the abandonment of the practice of plural marriage.  Within six months, the First Presidency disbanded the Church's political party, the People's Party, and sought to conform Utah to the social, economic, and political expectations of the national government.  These efforts succeeded in acquiring Utah's statehood in 1896, and two years later the nation went to war against Spain to liberate Cuba.  There were a few Mormons like Apostle Brigham Young, Jr., who opposed supporting the war, counseled Latter-day Saints to go on missions rather than volunteer, and publicly urged the Latter-day Saints not to volunteer.  But the First Presidency instructed Apostle Young to cease his antiwar activities and statements, because they felt that the newest state could not fail to vigorously support the call for volunteers and tha Mormons as a minority now seeking accommodation with the larger society should not be perceived as opposing a popular war.  The First Presidency issued the following  statement on 28 April 1898:

            War has been declared, and we have it to meet.  Our citizens are called upon to enlist, and Utah is asked to furnish cavalry and batteries of artillery approximating 500 men.  We trust that the citizens of Utah who are Latter-day Saints will be found ready to respond with alacrity to this call which is made upon our State. (Messages of the First Presidency, 3:299.)

            The War of 1898 was crucial in the history of the LDS church views on war because having surrendered communitarianism, theocracy, and plural marriage in order to survive as an institution within a coercive society, the LDS church leaders also abandoned the theocratic prerogatives of selective pacifism that were provided in section 98 of the Doctrine and Covenants.  From 1898 onward, the official position of the First Presidency would be to decry war, but to support any declaration of war by the government and to urge Church members to support the conduct of war by their government on the basis of the twelfth article of faith.

            This official support of any national war also followed the U.S. government's change of direction in 1898 from an announced war to rid colonial peoples of Spanish imperialism in Cuba and the Philippines to the conversion of those colonies to American control.  This posed a particular problem in the Philippines where many Filipinos expected the United States to help establish their independence after defeating Spain.  Instead, the U.S. annexed the islands, only to find themselves fighting the Filipinos who did not accept the change of colonial overlords.  The Church's Deseret News editorialized, "Are we going to abandon Hawaii and the Philippines to their fate? [independence] . . . [It was God's purpose to] have the influence of the United States felt in . . . those Asiatic countries." (Robert Jeffrey Stott, "Mormonism and War" [Master's thesis, BYU), P. 59.) Mormons who volunteered to fight the Spanish to free Cuba found themselves in the Pacific fighting Filipinos who wanted independence.  In f act, Mormon Wst Point graduate Richard W. Young helped preside over the U.S. military government established during the first years of the "Philippine Insurrection" that continued as a guerrilla war until the eve of the First World War.

            At the outset of World War I, President Joseph F. Smith denied the claims of the British and the Germans that God was on their side and would aid them in the war.  Instead, Joseph F. Smith said, "The Lord has little if anything to do with this war" (Improvement Era, Sept. 1914, p. 1075). But when the United States entered the "Great War" in April 1917, the attitude of the Mormon leadership had to change, according to Church historian B. H. Roberts, who volunteered and served as the oldest U.S. chaplain:

            Had Utah as a state acted reluctantly, or had she failed in any respect to proceed as the other states of the Union and as the whole nation did, the reluctance and failure would have been chargeable to the Latter-day Saints.  Per contra, Utah's promptness in action and the spirit in which she did her part would reflect patriotism, the intensity of the Americanism of the same people. " (Comprehensive History of the Church, 6:4.55.)

            More than twenty thousand Latter-day Saints served in the U.S. and British forces, and about six hundred and fifty died in World War I. But contrary to the 1914 statement of Joseph F. Smith, the role of God had changed in the war, as indicated in the Church magazine, Improvement Era: "when our boys aim [their weapons] they will see as if they looked with the eye of God" and "when the United States army strikes, the blow will fall as if from the arm of God" (IE, Aug. 1918, p. 914; Joseph F. Boone, "The Role of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Relation to the United States Military, 19001975" [Ph.D. diss., BYU], pp. 219-20, 223-25).

            Nevertheless, two months after the U. S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Selective Service Act, the Deseret News editorialized on 27 March 1918: "Governments of, for and by the people are wise when they try to meet [with noncombatant service], in a spirit of fairness, the scruples of those who by training or instinct are averse to the bearing of arms with which to slay their fellowmen." Although federal law provided for conscientious objection, the twenty thousand American conscientious objectors of World War I were turned over to the U.S. military, where they were indoctrinated, harassed, and sometimes physically beaten with the result that eighty percent of the conscientious objectors later chose combatant service.

            Aside from providing for the possibility of conscientious objection, Church leaders in World War I for the first time had to address the situation in which Latter-day Saints were fighting on both sides of a war.  Joseph F. Smith told the general conference of April 1917:

            In speaking of nationalities we all understand or should that in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there is neither Greek, nor Jew, nor Gentile; in other words, there is neither Scandinavian, nor Swiss, nor German, nor Russian, nor British, nor any other nationality....

            You must not condemn the people, however much you may judge and condemn their leaders, who place their people in jeopardy, and demand their life blood for their maintenance in position of prominence and power.  Their leaders are to blame, not the people.  The people that embrace the gospel are innocent of these things, and they ought to be respected by Latter-day Saints everywhere. (Conference Report, Apr. 1917, p. 11.)

            When World War II began, First Counselor J. Reuben Clark condemned it in October 1939 general conference as an "unholy war ... to make conquest or to keep conquest" (CR, Oct. 1939, pp. 11-14). The Selective Service Act of September 1940 had passed the U.S. House of Representatives by only one vote due to strong antiwar sentiment, and in October 1940 general conference, President Clark warned the Latter-day Saints that according to the rules of international law, the United States had committed so many hostile acts against Nazi Germany that the two nations were in a state of undeclared war (CR, Oct. 1940, p. 14).

            At general conference six months later, Elder Richard L. Evans (then a President of the Council of Seventy) raised the possibility that Latter-day Saints might choose conscientious objection:

            Some of our young men, and some of our mothers who are called upon to send them forth into service, wonder why they have to go.  There have been some who have urged the Church and its members to declare themselves conscientious objectors.  There may be some merits in this position, Perhaps we should reserve the right to so declare ourselves at some future time.  I can think of possibilities and circumstances arising for which there could conceivably come some times and conditions for which we might want to reserve that right.

            Then Elder Evans went on to acknowledge that strict conscientious objection had not previously been the position of the LDS church. (CP, Apr. 1941, p. 42.)

            In the remainder of 1941, J. Reuben Clark continued to condemn the support of the United States for Great Britain against Nazi Germany.  In August 1941 he joined former President Herbert Hoover and fourteen other Republican leaders in a national appeal against American war preparation, and in October 1941 President Clark and the rest of the First Presidency wrote the director of the U.S. Defense Bond program that "we do not believe that aggression should be carried on in the name and under the false cloak of defense" (D. Michael Quinn, J. Reuben Clark: The Church Years, pp. 205, 207).

            After the attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II in December 1941, the First Presidency issued its longest and most comprehensive statement on war at the general conference four months later:

            The members of the Church have always felt under obligation to come to the defense of their country when a call to arms was made. . . . In the World War, the Saints of America and of European countries served loyally their respective governments, on both sides of the conflict.  Likewise in the present war, righteous men of the Church in both camps have died, some with great heroism, for their country's sake.

            This Church is a worldwide Church.  Its devoted members are in both camps.  They are innocent war instrumentalities of their warring sovereignties.  On each side they believe they are fighting for home, and country, and freedom. (MFP, 6:157, 159.)

            In World War II, more than one hundred thousand Latter-day Saints served in the American and Allied armed forces, with about five thousand Allied deaths among the Latter-day Saints, and hundreds more deaths among German Latter-day Saints.

            Yet the two counselors in the First Presidency differed markedly about World War II. In October 1942 general conference, President David O. McKay, the second counselor, sought to encourage American LDS servicemen by saying: "We all realize with you, that you are enlisted in a war against wickedness, and peace cannot come until the mad gangsters ... are defeated and branded as murderers, and their false aims repudiated, let us hope forever." On the other hand, at the same conference, First Counselor Clark said, "Hate driven militarists and leaders, with murder in their hearts, will, if they go through to the end, bring only another peace that will be but the beginning of another war." (CR, Oct. 1942, pp. 68, 15-16.)

            As a political conservative of national and international standing, J. Reuben Clark had also become a thoroughgoing pacifist by joining America's oldest pacifist organization in 1939 , and becoming a member of its board of directors in 1944, which position he held to his death.  During World War II President Clark privately encouraged young men who inquired his counsel not to volunteer for the armed services, to go on missions instead, and he carefully monitored the treatment of those Latter-day Saints who were placed in conscientious objector camps (similar to the relocation centers established for the Japanese-Americans during World War II). After World War II he persuaded the Church president to reimburse the Quakers for the expenses of maintaining these Latter-day Saint conscientious objectors, and he did what he could to intercede on behalf of a Latter-day Saint conscientious objector whose local draft board tried to prevent him from going on an LDS proselyting mission following his release from the CO cmp.

            Although J. Reuben Clark's activities for pacifism and conscientious objection had been unadvertised during World War II, almost immediately following the end of the war, the LDS church went public discreetly in favor of conscientious objection and stridently against militarism.  In September 1945, the Deseret News editorialized:

            The earnest, sincere, loyal conscientious objector, who, because of his religious convictions, asked to be relieved of military service which would necessitate his taking the life of a fellowman, is entitled to his opinion just as much as the man who felt that poison gas should be used and the enemy annihilated completely.  And the chances are that the objector would prove to be the better citizen of the two. (DN, 11 Sept. 1945.)

            In December 1945, the First Presidency also issued a statement against universal compulsory military training that was also a severe evaluation of the military itself:

            We shall put them where they may be indoctrinated with a wholly un-American view of the aims and purposes of their individual lives, and of the life of the whole people and nation, which are founded on the ways of peace, whereas they will be taught to believe in the ways of the war. (MFP, 6:240-41.)

            We shall give opportunity to teach our sons not only the way to kill but also, in too many cases, the desire to kill, thereby increasing lawlessness and disorder to the consequent upsetting of the stability of our national society.  God said at Sinai, "Thou shalt not kill."

            (Recently I was reminded of this First Presidency statement as I listened to one of the ROTC groups at Brigham Young University singing the following marching song: "I don't care what the Peace Corps says; I just want to kill some Reds!")

            As the nation began moving into the Cold War with the USSR, the Church's most prominent spokesman against war continued to be 1. Reuben Clark of the First Presidency.  He told a selective service chief that Utah veterans would go to jail rather than serve in another war, and at October 1946 general conference he also condemned the means by which the United States obtained victory in Europe and Asia during World War II.

            In June 1950, the United States joined with other United Nations forces in a "police action" against North Korea, due to its invasion of nonCommunist South Korea.  Approximately eighteen thousand Latter-day Saints served in the Korean War, and Elder Bruce R. McConkie as a chaplain received a letter from a U.S. Army general: "I have the highest personal regard for Latter-day Saints soldiers, and appreciate so much the fine and patriotic service they daily render to their country" (Boone, "Role of the Church," pp. 438-39). But in the middle of the Korean War, the Church's Deseret News published the following editorial on "The Problem of Conscientious Objectors":

            The pacifist ideal is a beautiful one-if everyone would subscribe to it and act accordingly.  But if even half the world went pacifist, they would be at the mercy of the ruthless portion of the other half who could take what they would through violence and force.

            The conscientious objector may have had the will to fight trained out of him; but if he still has the will to serve [in noncombatant duties], he can still render valiant service.

            The craven draft-dodger, or conscience-less evader, is in a different category altogether. (DN, 25 June 1951.)

            As the Korean War ended, America was gradually accelerating its commitment to what would become its longest war, the Vietnamese conflict.  Before the United States sent its armed forces to Vietnam, the Church's elder statesman, President J. Reuben Clark, warned a U.S. senator  against such a commitment to Vietnam (then a part of Indo-China):

            I am impressed as to Indo-China, with this fact: That country is a colony of France.  I am told that France has said she will not send some classes of her troops to Indo-China.  If her colony is not worth her spending her blood for it, it is not worth our spending our blood for it....

            Finally, while unalterably opposed to Communism, I can imagine that an enlightened Communism may be a whole lot better than a decrepit, deficient, corrupt colonial government.  I rather feel that that principle could be applied to very much of the situation in the whole Far East.

            In my personal view, our greatest danger and greatest handicap is the concept, not yet more than half-expressed, sometimes, perhaps, not even fully recognized that we are destined to dictate to and rule the world, though we have not enough sense to rule ourselves wisely.  That is the first step towards the ultimate decay that led to the downfall of Rome, that is carrying forward Britain, France, Italy, and of course, Russia. (J. Reuben Clark to U.S. Senator Henry Dworshak, 17 May 1954, BYU Special Collections.)

            As many as a hundred thousand Mormons served in the U.S. military during America's longest war, about a fourth of them in Vietnam itself, with more than five hundred and fifty deaths.

            Once the United States committed itself to war in Vietnam, the continuity of LDS policy since 1898 produced the expected endorsement of national war.  The First Presidency stated: "We believe our young men should hold themselves in readiness to respond to the call of their government to serve in the armed forces when called upon, and again, we repeat, we believe in honoring, sustaining and upholding the law" (Deseret News Church Section, 24 May 1969, p. 12). Despite the fact that millions of Americans and about ten percent of Mormon youth opposed the Vietnam War, the LDS church could publicly take no other position or it might have jeopardized its already fragile and restricted arrangement with the U.S. government for deferments from the draft for LDS proselyting missionaries.

            But the First Presidency instructed its secretary Joseph Anderson to reply to those who resisted the Vietnam War as conscientious objectors:

            I am directed to tell you that membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not make one a conscientious objector.  As you are aware, there are thousands of young men of the Church assigned to the various services in the military.

            As the brethren understand, the existing law provides that men who have conscientious objection may be excused from combat service.  There would seem to be no objection, therefore, to a man availing himself on a personal basis of the exemption provided by law. (Dialogue, Spring 1968, p. 8.)

            The only public suggestion of a less than enthusiastic response to the Vietnam War (since J. Reuben Clark was now dead) came at the end of Apostle Gordon B. Hinckley's conference talk of  encouragement to Mormon servicemen and their families during the tumultuous year of 1968: "I make no defense of the war from this pulpit.  There is no simple answer.  The problems are complex almost beyond comprehension." (CR, Apr. 1968, p. 24.) Whatever comfort that brief statement gave to Mormon conscientious objectors and to opponents of the Vietnam War was diminished later that same day by Elder Boyd K. Packer, then an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

            Because Elder Packer's conference talk of April 1968 is the only repudiation of conscientious objection ever to be publicly expressed by an LDS General Authority, it deserves close attention.  Elder Packer introduced the subject of conscientious objection by saying:

            There have emerged in our society groups composed mostly of restless, unchallenged young people.  In the name of peace and love and brotherhood, they criticize those who, obedient to the laws of the land, have answered the call to military duty.  It is puzzling to see them renouncing their obligation, repudiating their citizenship responsibilities.  They declare on moral grounds, as an act of virtue, that they will not serve.  One can be sensitive, even sympathetic, to their feelings, for war is an ugly thing-a heinous, ugly thing!

            He then described a Mormon college student who was confused about the war and about the counsel he was receiving from friends and university faculty to become a conscientious objector or draft evader.  In answer to the question, "How can he know which way to turn?" Elder Packer said: "First, the scriptures are not silent on the subject," and he quoted the Book of Mormon in support of Nephites engaging in defensive war.  After quoting the 1942 First Presidency statement on war, Elder Packer stated:

            Though all the issues of the conflict are anything but clear, the matter of citizenship responsibility is perfectly clear.  Our brethren, we know something of what you sense, something of what you feel.

            I have worn the uniform of my native land in the time of total conflict.  I have smelled the stench of human dead and wept fears for slaughtered comrades.  I have climbed amid the rubble of ravaged cities and contemplated in horror the ashes of a civilization sacrificed to Moloch; yet knowing this, with the issues as they are, were I called again to military service, I could not conscientiously object!

            And he concluded with a renewed plea for the young men of the nation to fulfill the obligations of their citizenship by responding to the call for military service.  This was a time in the United States of strident radicalism against all authority and civil disobedience against the draft, and it is therefore understandable that in reaction to this social ferment, this talk on conscientious objection did not include any reference to the f act that the Book of Mormon and prior Church precedent allowed for conscientious objection, nor the fact that Congress had long regarded conscientious objection as consistent with the obligations of citizenship. (CR, Apr. 1968, pp. 33-36.)

            The complement to this unprecedented repudiation of conscientious objection during the unpopular Vietnam War was Apostle Mark E. Petersen's talk that was published by the Church's Military Relations Committee in 1970. To those serving in the Vietnam War, he said: "Now the Church wants to show as much honor to you brethren going into the military service as we show to men going on a mission.... But our good boys who do pass away will be handsomely rewarded by a grateful God whose cause they defend." (Mark E. Petersen, The Church and America, pp. 10, 11.)

            In view of these officially published statements during the Vietnam War, it is not surprising that local leaders and members of the Church began to regard conscientious objectors and other opponents of the Vietnam conflict as disloyal citizens and unfaithful Latter-day Saints.  This became a sufficiently important issue that the secretary to the First Presidency sent out the following clarification in 1971:

            Conscientious objectors may teach in the Church (home teach, Sunday School, priesthood, etc.), provided they are worthy of these positions and with the understanding that they avoid teachings or discussions pertaining to war and their attitude toward it.  The same would apply to the matter of their holding office in the Church.

            There certainly could be no objection to their partaking of the sacrament if they are otherwise worthy.  They could also be given recommends to the temple provided they are sincere in their beliefs and a maintaining the standards of the Church.

            It would be contrary to Church policy to disfellowship men because they have conscientious objections regarding participating in military combat activities. (Joseph Anderson letter, 21 Oct. 1971.)

            The Book of Mormon does not indicate that similar instructions had to be given for the pacifist people of Ammon, and this clarification is one measure of the traumatic divisiveness the Vietnam War brought to LDS church members.  Also noteworthy is the fact that while First Presidency guidelines restricted conscientious objectors from using their Church position as a forum for discussing war and pacifism, other Church teachers were not restricted from advocating military service.

            But America's use of the atomic bomb against Japan heralded a new development that eliminated the combat soldier: the possibility of armchair wars where men pushing buttons could vicariously destroy whole populations thousands of miles away.  J. Reuben Clark was the first to give official condemnation of this during his October 1946 conference address:

            Then as the crowning savagery of the war we Americans wiped out hundreds of thousands of civilian population with the atom bomb in Japan....

            Thus we in America are now deliberately searching out and developing the most savage, murderous means of  exterminating peoples that Satan can plant in our minds.  We do it not only shamelessly but with a boast.  God will not forgive us for this.

            ... And, as one American citizen of one hundred thirty million, as one in one billion population of the world, I protest with all of the energy I possess against this fiendish activity, and as an American citizen, I call upon our government and its agencies to see that these unholy experimentations are stopped, and that somehow we get into the minds of our war-minded general staff and its satellites, and into the general staffs of all the world, a proper respect for human life. (CR, Oct. 1946, pp. 88-89.)

            Thirty-five years later, three other American citizens issued a First Presidency statement condemning the U.S. government's plans for basing the MX nuclear missile in Utah, and added: "We deplore in particular the building of vast arsenals of nuclear weaponry" (DN, 5 May 1981).

            But Church headquarters sent out mixed messages about war in 1981. Following on the heels of this statement by the First Presidency, their press spokesman Don LeFevre made the only public statement emanating from the First Presidency about conscientious objection: "There is no place in Mormon philosophy for the conscientious objector" (DN, 7 May 1981). In view of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, nineteenth-century Church practice, repeated Deseret News editorials and First Presidency correspondence in the twentieth century, such a statement is a curious example of Mormon ambivalence.  But without a public and authoritative retraction, the statement stands in the public record as official.

            Up to this point, I have emphasized the institutional approach of the LDS church toward war, but another meaning of church is the community of believers, those of us who share the Latter-day Saint faith.  And we must acknowledge and give honor to the diversity of honorable responses to war among ourselves.  I will give a personal example of my LDS missionary associates during the Vietnam War.  One of the gentlest, most compassionate missionary elders I ever knew volunteered for the Army Rangers and died during the U.S. invasion of Cambodia.  Another missionary came back to the United States, protested against the Vietnam War, resisted the draft, and became a permanent exile in Canada.  A missionary companion joined the regular army the same day I did, and he served in Vietnam without physical or emotional injury, and later said he had no regrets about that service.  We need to give honor to the conscientious soldiers and conscientious objectors among us, because they are both seeking to live the gospel the Later-day Saints know to be true.

            D. MICHAEL QUINN was in the U.S. regular army for three years during the Vietnam War, and is professor of American history at Brigham Young University.


By Christian Ryder

            Through his ancient prophet Moses, the Lord declared, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). This commandment has been renewed in our dispensation with the observation that  "every man walketh in his own way, and, after the image of his own God, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol" (D&C 1:16). Brigham Young made this modern application explicit when he stated, "I would as soon see a man worshipping a little god of brass or of wood as to him worship his property. . . . and he would as much justified in the sight of God"

            Unfortunately, the danger of idols and idolatry are not limited to graven images and material sessions.  If these were the only false gods we to avoid, many of us might be relatively safe.  However, as President Kimball has observed, "Whatever thing a man sets his heart and trusts in most is his god; and if his god doesn't also happen to be the true and living God of Israel, that man is laboring in idolatry" (Ensign, June 1976, p. 4). If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, idolatry is in the heart of the idolator.  Thus, anything other than God himself can be an idol.

            In recent decades, the Church and its members appear to have fallen prey to a new kind of idol: the traditional family.  Consider, for example, the degree to which our teachings and practices are based, at least in substantial part, upon the assumption that the traditional family is the key to our spiritual progress or approach to God: For the first time in the recorded history of Christianity and Mormonism we are introducing the gospel of Christ with the slogan, "Families Are Forever." We offer a Sunday School course on family relations.  Regular family home evening has become the guarantee for keeping children active in the Church.  We stress temple marriage as the sure foundation for a successful family and a happy life.  We encourage more than ever before family economic preparedness and self-sufficiency.  We teach that the traditional family is the most effective, if not the only, refuge from the wickedness of the world.  We preach that a return to the structure and values of the traditional family is th solution to our present social and moral problems.  We are taught that "no success can compensate for failure in the home," and that "the greatest work we ever do will be within the walls of our own home." Missionary farewells and homecomings have become sacrament meeting spotlights on the family.  In short, the traditional family appears to be the common denominator of the Church; and our religion and church activities have become primarily a family affair.

            In contrast, Brigham Young told departing missionaries of his day to keep their minds "riveted-yes, I may say riveted-on the cross of Christ" (JD, 12:33). Similarly, Jesus applied the first of the Ten Commandments directly to the traditional family when he warned his disciples, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Matt. 10:37). On another occasion Jesus declared: "If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26).

            Not only does such an idolatrous imbalance come between us and God, it also seriously affects how Latter-day Saints view themselves, the gospel of Christ, and the purposes of the Church.  Our preoccupation with the family, for example, has led us to make unsupportable statements to the effect that heaven will not be heaven if each member of the traditional family is not there.  Certainly the casting out of one  third part of heaven did not destroy God's heaven.  While we should teach the gospel to each family member and encourage the practice of family home evening, we cannot promise that no child will ever go astray.  Nearly all the prophets and patriarchs had children who exercised their agency to reject God.  Adam had Cain, Lehi had Laman and Lemuel, Abraham had Ishmael, Isaac had Esau, and Jacob had eleven sons.  It is hard to believe that family home evening would have cured all that.

            More significantly, overemphasis on the family runs the risk of creating a division between those who are part of an apparently successful traditional family and those who for some reason are not, including the adult unmarried, the divorced, the single parent, the widow or widower, the parentless child, the childless parent, the parent with problem children, the child with problem parents, the poor and sick, the needy and afflicted.  These people already suffer under the heaviest financial, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual burdens.  I worry that our constant emphasis on the successful traditional family creates pressures and burdens on the very ones the Church is supposed to help and makes their association with the mainstream family-oriented Church a painful and sometimes unbearable experience.  I fear that our traditional family focus may alienate and estrange the very foreigners and strangers we should be embracing as fellow citizens in the household of God.

            Instead of relegating such individuals to a lower class, perhaps we should be redefining as the common denominator of the Church the special interest of all members in the spiritual family of Christ.  The family of Christ's Church should be knit together by the unity of Christian faith, the ordinances, and the mutual desire to establish Zion and see the face of God.  Jesus warned that a focus on his family would inevitably create divisions in the traditional family: "the father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter and the daughter against the mother," and so forth (Luke 12:51-53). But he certainly never intended the focus on the traditional family to create a division in the family of his Church.

            It may seem incredible to some that something as wholesome and lovely as the traditional family could become an idol.  Yet it is the very goodness of the family that makes it the object of idol worship.  The most dangerous idols are those which are so closely identified with God or bear such strong resemblance to him that worshippers sincerely believe they are honoring the real God.  Thus, while the brass serpent was a graven image which Moses made at the Lord's command (Num. 21:9), it later became the object of idolatrous worship (2 Kgs. 18:4). Likewise, the holy scriptures and even the family of Abraham, in spite of their close relationship to God, became idolatrous obsessions for the Pharisees and other Israelites (John 5:39-40, 8:33, 39).

            How have we come to focus so much attention upon the traditional family? In an 1858 discourse on idolatry, Brigham Young cited examples of idol worship among various peoples and identified a common origin of idolatry:

            What is commonly termed idolatry has arisen from a few sincere men, full of faith and having little knowledge, urging a backsliding people to preserve some customs ... to put them in mind of that God with whom their fathers were acquainted, without designing or wishing the peopleto worship an idol.  Idols . . . were not introduced at once.  They were introduced to preserve among the people the idea of the true God. . . . This is the way that idolatry has sprung up in the world, through a method established to keep the people in remembrance of the God they once worshipped and were acquainted with.

            Brigham also prophesied that future idolatry would likely result from efforts of the Church to keep the Saints from backsliding:

            Let this people backslide-lose their present faith and knowledge, and in after generations, perhaps, a few would cling to the Priesthood with all the vigour we do, and would understand that the people were going into darkness, and would urge them to have some custom, some form, some representation of their former faith and religion. (JD, 6:194-96.)

            Significantly, general conference addresses in recent decades indicate that the leaders of the Church are increasingly concerned about members backsliding, becoming inactive, and falling away from their religion.  I believe that Church leaders at all levels have championed the traditional family out of a sincere belief that the structure and values of the traditional family would protect Church members against the sinful practices of our age, encourage their continued activity in the Church, and help them remember their religion.  At the same time, however, the Saints have been prone to wander and forget their God and neglect truth and knowledge.  The net result is the establishment of familyolatry, at least for those who believe the approach to God is through the traditional family.

            To the extent the traditional family is an idol, what can be done to eliminate familyolatry without smashing the idol? The cure for familyolatry is not the debunking of the traditional family, but the careful and consistent preaching of true Christian doctrine concerning man's relationship and approach to God.  That is, we should not be tearing down the traditional family, but rather building up the family of Christ.

            To do this, our approach to the traditional family must always be tempered by two facts:  (1)          salvation is only in and through the family of Christ; and (2) the family of Christ is not the traditional family.  When Jesus was teaching on one occasion, his mother and brothers approached "desiring to speak with him." Because of the press of the crowd they could not get near him. "Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.  But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall [hear the word of God and] do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." (Matt. 12:4650; Luke 8:19-21.) Though Jesus greatly loved his earthly family, he wanted everyone to understand that the family of God is not the biological family, but the spiritual family made up of those who hear his word and do the will of his father.

            As wholesome and wonderful as our traditional family might be, we cannot afford to confuse it with the spiritual family of Christ.  It is by the name of Christ Jesus that we are saved, not by any other family name under heaven.  It is not through natural birth and maturation in a traditional family that we are made alive and perfect in Christ, but through the waters of baptism, the spirit of justification, and the blood of sanctification.  Regardless of whose seed sired us, we must each receive the penetrating word of God in our hearts and do the will of God to have eternal life.

            We must also resurrect the correct idea of man's relationship to God and the pathway by which he approaches God.  There is a tendency among modern Mormons to believe that since we are the spirit children of God, we have the spark of divinity within us which needs only to be fanned by our good works in the traditional family to become a blazing fire of godlike attributes and righteousness.  The popular notion is that God has given us the raw talent, but we must develop it.  The traditional family is the laboratory or clinical phase of our learning to be gods.

            The problem with this line of thinking is that it ignores the fall of man and trivializes the atonement of Christ.  The Book of Mormon teaches plainly that because of the fall of Adam all mankind, including Mormons, are in a state of nature described variously as "spiritually dead" (Hel. 14:16), "lost," "fallen" (Alma 12:22), "unworthy" (Mosiah 4:11), "hardened" (Alma 34:9), "evil" (Ether 3:2), "worthless" (Mosiah 4:5), "carnal, sensual, and devilish" (Moses 5:11; Mosiah 16:3-4). We are "cut off from the presence of the Lord" (Hel. 14:16), and are unable on our own merit or power to regain His presence.  Although spirit children of God, our spirit family connection will not save us.  Even Satan and the third part of heaven who were cast out can say, "I am a child of God." Because the natural man is as much a devil in embryo as a god in embryo, he is "an enemy to God" (Mosiah 3:19).

            According to the Book of Mormon, the only cure for this condition is to "yield to the enticing of the Holy Spirit and [put] off the natural man and [become] a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord" (Mosiah 3:19). This is accomplished through faith in Christ, repentance of all sin, submission to the ordinances, and enduring to the end.

            As we stress the importance of the traditional family which is in the likeness of God, we must not ignore the infinitely greater importance of becoming part of God's spiritual family.  As we encourage temple marriage and sealing, we must also teach that temple ordinances are not primarily for the purpose of strengthening the traditional family but for endowing us with knowledge, priesthood keys, and power sufficient to approach God and becomekings and priests and queens and priestesses unto him.  When we say that "families are forever" we must always remember that the traditional family is forever only upon the condition that each member is adopted into the spiritual family of Christ.  As we testify of the happiness that can be experienced in a good traditional family, we must remind ourselves that ear hath not heard and eye hath not seen what great things the Lord has prepared for those who join his family.  When we encourage traditional families to make the home a refuge or safe haven from the world, we mus acknowledge that only Zion, a separate society of the pure in heart, can provide such peace and safety.

            We must stop talking as if we Mormons have some monopoly on the traditional family and instead humbly invite all people, regardless of their traditional family status, to join the family of Christ through the priesthood ordinances entrusted to us.  We must bury the notion that we can become like God through our own good works and resurrect the truth about our fallen nature and our total dependence upon the mercy of God through the merits of Christ.

            We may place our love and affection upon any person or thing, so long as it does not come before our love and affection for God.  Nothing -- be it brass serpent, scripture, family of Abraham, or traditional family-is allowed to come between us and him.  Only God can save and sanctify individuals and traditional families.  To this end the Church must be more than a museum to display Saints and model Mormon families; it must also be a hospital to treat the wounds of sinners and broken families and make all well in the family of Christ. CHRISTIAN RYDER is a free-lance writer living in Salt Lake City.


The Role of Women as Prescribed in Aaronic Quorum Lesson Manuals

By Shane B. Inglesby

            We live in a day when enormous attention has been focused on the role of women in society.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been significantly involved in this concern, both as an official opponent to the Equal Rights Amendment and as a target for charges of patriarchy and sexism in its organization and theology.  Throughout the sometimes heated discussion, the Church has repeatedly denied opposition to equal rights for the sexes.  But beyond this publicly held position, what are the attitudes of Mormonism's hierarchy and bureaucracy regarding its female membership?

            An often overlooked means of answering this question is to examine the lesson manuals which the Church prepares to instruct its future leaders -- -the young men of the Aaronic Priesthood.  This priesthood serves as a preparatory calling for the majority of worthy young male members between the ages of twelve and nineteen.  During these years, young Latter-day Saint males meet on a weekly basis to receive instruction regarding the responsibilities of their priesthood offices (deacon, teacher, or priest) and to learn gospel principles.

            While on the average only one lesson per year is devoted entirely to the role of women, many others provide indications of role expectations, particularly in lessons dealing with the family and in the didactic stories which appear periodically in all instructional materials.  Although information prepared for the younger quorums tends to be more general, instruction manuals for deacons, teachers, and priests quorums during the past fifteen years all present a unified picture of the responsibilities of a woman to her family.  Deacons Quorum Manuals

            Every year, the presidency of each deacons quorum is responsible for teaching two lessons to the Blazers, a primary class for boys preparing for ordination as deacons.  One of the questions the presidency is directed to address during the presentation is, "Why is. . . preparation ... to become a deacon so important to you and God?" The manual gives as one of its answers: "You are building the foundation of a home.  A fine Latter-day Saint girl is counting on you to provide the way to exaltation for her and the spirits in heaven that will come to your home to grow in the gospel.  The way you live and serve as deacon will have much to do with the type of husband and father you will be." (Deacons Study Course Series A [1978], p. 184.) Although this statement primarily deals with the role of a young man in the Church, it also suggests that a Mormon girl's entire salvation is based on the righteous performance of one individual, a man.  It tends to diminish the responsibility she has in working out her own destiny

            A similar point is exemplified in a story from a lesson on welfare.  In the story, Rick Barnes learns that his father has been injured in an accident, but will recover.  At first Rick worries about his family's financial needs, but is relieved when he remembers his father's explanation of the Church welfare program.  The lesson later elaborates that since Rick's father was active in the Church, he had prepared his family for an emergency situation by opening a savings account and saving regularly.  Mrs.  Barnes and Rick's sister helped can pears at the cannery, and Mr.  Barnes had made an agreement with his brother that if either of their families was ever in need, the other would help as much as possible. (Deacons Study Course Series B [1971] pp. 155-56.)

            It is interesting to note that the option of the mother working full or part time was never considered.  Mrs.  Barnes was also never given any credit for any of the preparations that had been made.  She apparently relied totally on the support and preparedness of her husband.  It appears that not only is a woman dependent on her husband for her eternal salvation, but for her temporal salvation as well.

            Many of the lessons deal with the family as a whole.  One particular lesson states that the mother and father are both responsible for ensuring happiness in the home by providing wise counsel for their children, creating an atmosphere of love and respect, and providing as best they can for nourishing food and a comfortable home (Deacons Series A [1978], pp. 137-39). This lesson never distinguishes between the roles of mother and father.

            However, several distinctions are made in the roles of mother and father seven lessons later.  The lesson states that they both have the responsibility of raising their children in righteousness, but that the Lord has given each a specific role to play.  The role of a mother is outlined as follows:

            Although mothers do not bear the priesthood, they do share in its blessings with their husbands and have a very important role to play in the family. . . . Mothers can be of great help to priesthood-bearing sons by:

            a.         Helping them prepare their clothes on Saturday for Sunday morning.

            b.         Rising early to prepare breakfast before priesthood meeting.

            c.          Waking sons early enough that they can be on time to meetings.

            d.         Avoiding making family plans which would interfere with attendance at meetings and other assignments.

            e.         Encouraging and supporting her husband in his priesthood assignments, and in holding regular family prayer and home evenings.

            f.  Teaching love and consideration for others in and out of the home.

            g.         Setting an example of LDS womanhood, motherhood, and family living that will inspire their sons to grow in the priesthood. (p. 170.)

            This statement appears to be assigning the mother all of the domestic duties while her husband and sons are busily involved in activities outside of the house.  Two deacons manuals reinforce this idea through use of the Chinese proverb: "A hundred men may make an encampment, but it takes a woman to make a home." Both lessons quote David O. McKay concerning the virtues needed in order to establish such a home: "Motherhood is the one thing in all the world which most truly exemplifies the God-given virtues of creating and sacrificing. . . . the mother who, in compliance with eternal law, brings into the world an immortal spirit occupies first rank in the realm of creation." (Deacons Course A [1983], p. 39; Deacons Series B [1971], p. 218.) Again, the Mormon woman is portrayed as the self-sacrificing homemaker and caretaker.

            A lesson in a more recent manual relates the story of a family which met under the direction of the father to establish a family corporation.  He appointed himself as the chairman of the board and his wife as vice-chairman.  Each of their children were appointed as members of a board of directors. (Deacon Course A [1983], p. 46.) The comparison of a family to a business is not a new one, yet it is interesting to note the difference in job titles between the husband and wife.  Although supposedly equal, their job titles suggest a higher ranking authority in the title of the father.

            Only one lesson for the deacons deals with their social interactions with girls, perhaps reflecting the presumed level of interest in most boys that age.  Its main premise is that boys feel awkward around girls, and its objective is to teach 'the roles of common courtesy and good speech" (Series A, Priesthood Study Course, Deacons Quorum [1971], p. 173.) The lesson encourages deacons to treat girls with more respect by talking about things which interest them, opening doors, using proper language, being polite, and always walking with the boy nearer the street.  This lesson suggests that girls feel they should be treated differently from boys.  An interesting change can be noted in a more recent deacons manual.  In the older manuals, women were never quoted, but in 1983 at least two quotes from women are cited: Elaine A. Cannon and Kathleen Lubeck (Deacons Course A [1983], pp. 54-55, 99). However, neither of these quotes, taken from New Era articles, addresses the roles of women. TEACHERS QUORUM MANUALS

            The lessons in the teachers manuals present essentially the same amount of material on women's homemaking role as the deacons manuals.  One lesson in the 1983 manual presents this information in the form of a quiz entitled, "What Do You Know about the Patriarchal Order?" Many of the answers to these multiple choice questions help the teacher further define family roles:

            The father is the head of the home because

            a.         He is more worthy and qualified

            b.         It is his divine role

            c.          It is a question of law and order. [Answer:] (b) and (c)

            "The patriarchal order is of divine origin and will continue throughout time and eternity.  There is, then, a reason why men, women, and children should understand this order and this authority in the households of the people of God. . . . It is not merely a question of who is perhaps best qualified.  Neither is it wholly a question of who is living the most worthy life.  It is a question largely of law and order." (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, p. 286.) (Teachers Course A [1983], p. 107, emphasis in original.)

            It is interesting to note the use of the words merely and wholly in this statement.  It succeeds in reducing the role of individual qualifications and righteousness in determining who will be head of the home, yet does not fully diminish the influence of these qualities in the selection process.  While this is perhaps intended to allow women a more prominent leadership role where the father is unworthy, this usage can also be taken to mean that men meet more qualifications and live more righteously resulting in their calling as heads of the home.

            The same lesson also states that the mother is the head of the home "if there is no father." However, unlike all other assertions in the lesson, no authoritative discourse is presented to justify this statement.  The quiz continues:

            In the Lord's plan

            a.         There is full equality between men and women

            b.         The man is more important because he holds the priesthood

            c.          The Lord loves his daughters as much as he loves his sons

            ù[.Answer:] (a) and (c)

            "In the church there is full equality between man and woman.  The gospel... was devised by the Lord for men and women alike. . . . The privileges and requirements of the gospel are fundamentally alike for men and women.  The Lord loves His daughters as well as He loves His sons." (John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, Vol. 1, p. 24 1.) (Pp. 106-7, emphasis in original.)

            Men and women may be equal in the sight of the Lord, but women's responsibilities differ greatly from those of men.  Some statements indicate that a woman's salvation will be determined by the manner in which she fulfills these responsibilities: "Women do not possess the priesthood any more than men attain motherhood, the feminine equivalent of the priesthood.  Motherhood is the great talent and calling given to women, and upon their magnification and use of this calling depends their exaltation" (Series A, Priesthood Study Course, Teachers Quorum [1970, 1972], P. 151).

            An earlier lesson from the same manual explains the responsibilities she has as a wife and mother:

            Although the mother does not bear the priesthood, she shares in its blessings by supporting her husband in his duties.  Since the mother spends most of her time in the home, she has a special responsibility to maintain it as a clean, peaceful, and comfortable place to be.  A righteous mother can do no more than anyone else to create a home as a haven of rest from the pressures and tensions of the world.  She is the individual to whom we turn when illness comes.  She is compassionate, kind, and unselfish in her interests in our welfare.

            After this explanation of feminine responsibility, the lesson focuses on four main responsibilities of a mother, which David O. McKay outlined.  These responsibilities include watching out for the physical welfare of the family, teaching children through parental guidance and warning, ensuring proper spiritual guidance for children, and applying wise financial management in the home. (P. 147.)

            A woman is not only responsible for the spiritual well-being of her family, but the temporal well-being as well.  One lesson listed the duties of a mother as (1) counselor, (2) "heart of the home," (3) child bearer, (4) helpmate, (.5) homemaker, (6) preparer, (7) partner (Teachers Study Course Series B [1973], p. 69). A later lesson from the same manual lists characteristics of a true woman which include a loving spirit, a desire to be protected, chastity, femininity, friendliness, and beauty.

            In the 1976 manual, a story intended to show the adverse effects of disharmony in a family also establishes role expectations for husbands and wives.  The husband's responsibilities are to put in a hard day's work and then come home  and relax.  The wife, on the other hand, is portrayed as being responsible for cooking, washing, and childcare (Teachers Study Course Series A [1976], p. 105.)

            The role of a woman is closely, if not synonymously, related to the role of a mother in all the teachers manuals.  She is encouraged to focus essentially all her attention on her home and family.  Successful completion of these responsibilities will allow her to become like our Mother in Heaven.  While this concept is not frequently referred to, the 1970 and 1972 manuals do discuss the desired ultimate destiny of the Mormon woman-godhood (Teachers Series A [1970, 1972], p. 151).

            Considerable emphasis is placed on social relationships in the teachers lesson manual compared to that of the deacons.  The majority of these lessons deal with "respecting" or "honoring" women.  The apparent concern of these lessons is to help the young priesthood bearer gain social acceptance with girls.  For example, a 1971 manual reported the following:

            Several seminary classes of junior and senior girls were asked what they liked least about the way they were treated by the young men of the church, At the top of the list was the statement, "The boys treat us like we are boys.  They still treat us like we like to play football and push us around like they would one of their mate friends. " In other words, girls want to be recognized as being females and be treated accordingly.  They will soon be assuming a very important role in families, as wives and mothers, and resent the fact that boys do not recognize that they are different and want to be treated with respect. (Teachers Study Course Series B [1971], p. 218.)

            The differences between boys and girls emphasized here are elaborated further in a manual published in 1973:

            It is helpful in learning to respect young women their own age if they understand something about the differences in their attitudes and rate of growth.

            1.         Young women of this age [fourteen and fifteen years old] are usually more mature than young men.

            2.         They a" apt to be more interested in boys than boys are in them.

            3.         They are apt to be more interested in social activities.

            4.         They a often more interested in planning for the future

            5.         They are usually more strongly influenced by their friends.

            6.         They are often less self-conscious than young men.

            7.         Young women are usually more comfortable in a one-boy-one-girl situation, while young men are usually more comfortable in groups.

            8.         Young women usually enjoy talking and visiting more than young men do.

            9.         Most young women find it easier to talk about themselves than young men do.

            10.       Young women place more importance on politeness than do young men.

            11.       Young women are usually more openly affectionate than young men.

            12.       Young women appreciate a friendly relationship with other young people

            13.       Young women are usually more emotional than young men

            14.       Young women usually find it easier to accept advice from parents and other elders than do young men.  They enjoy being protected. (Teachers Series B [19731, p. 73.)

            These fourteen statements provide many roles for both young men and young women to live up to.

            There is an interesting contrast between the manuals published before 1976 and those published afterwards.  Before 1976 any lesson examining boy-girl relationships referred to them as friendships: "Surely young ladies have much to offer as friends.  They can help each of us [teachers] in becoming a better gentleman." (Teachers Series B [1971], p. 217.) Since then, however, there is an apparent willingness to admit that these young men are preparing for dating and "should be given some guidelines from the girl's point of view." The instructor is encouraged to solicit the aid of a panel of young women who will answer any questions the quorum members might have.  Panelists are also asked to talk about how boys can show respect for girls: "Girls enjoy associating with boys who treat them well."

            Greater concern for the morality of the youth in the Church appears to have accompanied this openness.  Teachers are admonished to respect the virtue of a woman.  A daughter is referred to as "the most precious thing I own," and compared with a white gardenia who should' be returned from a date "fresh and sweet" and not "brown and shriveled" (Teachers Series A [1976], pp. 48, 129, 130). "Every young woman has a perfect right to feel safe in going out with a young man holding the priesthood, knowing that he will respect and protect her in every way" (Teachers Series A [1983], p. 48). PRIESTS QUORUM MANUALS

            The priests manuals both echo and expand the views of women's role given in the deacons and teachers manuals.  For example, many of these lessons deal with the family organization, making reference to the woman's "very special physical and spiritual calling" and stating flatly that "her role is that of homemaker." (Priests Study Course [1972], p. 210.)

            But unlike lessons in other quorums, these lessons also describe marriage as a "partnership" (p. 210). This appears to contradict the notion stressed so strongly elsewhere that "the man is the head of the family unit by virtue of his priesthood." However, one manual resolves this contradiction by observing that "leadership may be a partnership.. . . A husband will seek the interests of his wife and confer with her on matters of mutual concern. . . . All counsel completed, however, the decision is with the father, for to him goes the recognition for success, or the criticism  for error." (Priests Study Course Series B [1971], p. 123.)

            That men have the final say while women occupy the subordinate role of "counselor" is reaffirmed in the following: "As a young man matures, he may find some empathetic girl companion who will listen to his hopes and aims and desires.  He will develop complete confidence in his sympathetic listener.  He may even be willing to heed her counsel and advice." (P. 140.) This suggests that counsel or advice which is offered by a woman is only accepted in those moments when a man feels so inclined.  Consideration of such advice does not appear to be an important dimension of the husband-wife relationship.

            Many of the lessons in the priests manual which discuss the role of women allude to an either abbreviated or expanded version of David O. McKay's four major responsibilities of a mother.  One such expansion considers the ways in which womanhood contributes to the priesthood.

            1.         Plays an essential part in creating and maintaining the family-the basic tenet of the Kingdom of God.

            2.         Supports the husband and children in church work, encourages acceptance of responsibility and punctuality.

            3.         Sets the tone of spirit in the home.

            4.         Teaches and guides children in both spiritual and temporal matters on a day-to-day basis.

            5.         Gives emotional support to husband and family in all their activities.

            6.         Assumes an active role in church auxiliaries.

            7.         Participates with husband in sacred, eternal priesthood ordinances.

            8.         Assumes her position next to her husband at the head of an eternal family. (Priests Study Course [1972], pp. 209-10.)

            This elaboration is meant to show how women can, in fact, help support the priesthood in their own personal activities. "It is true that a woman cannot perform ordinances in the church, but she does a lot to get members of the priesthood ready to do it" (Priests Series B [1971], p. 139).

            Another lesson in this manual provides a specific instance in which wives can support their husbands:

            Priesthood bearers who are husbands and fathers have been counseled not to do church work to the extent of neglecting their family.  Nevertheless, the support of a faithful wife and mother allows the priesthood bearer to devote the considerable amounts of time to church activity that the Lord expects of him.  During periods of the father's absence from the home, the wife carries a particularly large share of the burden of caring for the children. (P. 199.)

            Interestingly, this passage seems to contradict the Mormon concept that families are more important than the Church.  Moreover, it implies that fathers can justify neglecting their families if their wives can fill in for them while they are away performing Church assignments.

            Although women are to support priesthood bearers, there are also several ways in which she is dependent on them.  For example, priests manuals indicate that women must depend on priesthood holders for emotional and spiritual companionship, protection, financial support, the reception of priesthood ordinances, and the performance of certain physical tasks beyond her abilities.

            Aaronic Priesthood manuals mention little about women pursuing interests outside of the home.  In exception to this, the 1972 priests manual briefly addresser, this issue: "There is no objection to a woman's entering and participating in any and all things which contribute to the fullness of her womanhood, and increase her upbuilding influence in the world.  But the important realm of home, in which woman's influence should always be felt, should never take secondary position to her other interests." (Priests Study Course [1972], p. 211.) Such statements do not provide much incentive for women to look elsewhere in pursuit of greater personal fulfillment.

            The priests manuals focus considerable attention on the social relationships of boys and girls, men and women.  Part of the purpose for this is to explain differences between the sexes and why they exist.  For example, one 1971 lesson provides the following outline:

            For a very wise purpose, man and woman were created by God to play different roles.  Boys and girls and men and women are different in many ways

            1.         Difference between the sexes was designed to provide individuality to all God's children.

            2.         Differences complement each other to make a happy and interesting home life.

            3.         It makes for maximum interest and vitality of personal relationships.

            4.         It provides a realistic and functional approach to carry out the various functional aspects of life.

            5.         There are emotional, spiritual, and mental differences between the sexes.

            6.         Differences occur in special interests.  Young men like physical activities and masculine things as they prepare to assume their roles as husband and father and provider.  They become protectors.  They become leaders.  Young ladies, by comparison, are feminine in nature.  They do the things they like to do to prepare for the role of mother in the family. (Priests Series B [1971], pp. 132-33.)

            Such a presentation tells young men that men and women are different in almost every aspect of life.  It also states that because men participate in "masculine activities" they will become leaders and protectors, implying that women can never have these qualities.

            Nevertheless, one lesson does acknowledge that leadership is one of the many capacities women possess.  As a result, women are justified in assuming leadership over priesthood bearers  when directing speeches, dramatics, or dance. (Priests Study Course Series B [1970], p. 140.) Nevertheless, their authority and ability to lead is not considered as great as that which men require to direct the affairs of a stake, ward, or branch.

            Another reason the priests manuals discuss social relationships is to emphasize that in spite of inherent differences, the same moral law applies to both sexes:

            "In the Latter-day Saint Church there is but one standard of morality.  In the world many people protect their girls and daughters, irrespective of religion.  They know what it means for young girls to be treated as slaves, as playthings, and they shield their own daughters from the ravages of men.  But their boys are too often left free to prey upon helpless creatures who are not so protected.

            Thus, in the world you have a double standard, but in the Church of Jesus Christ there is but a simple standard.  It applies to the boys as well as to the girls." (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals.) (Priests Study Course Series A [1975], pp. 75-76.)

            This same type of thought was expressed in an earlier manual: "Realize that somewhere there is some girl presently living that will some day cross your path.  She is keeping herself for you and for you alone just as she expects you to be keeping yourself entirely for her.  She would not want you as a husband if you are not as clean and pure as she." (Priests Series B [1971], p. 135.)

            Like the teachers manuals, the priests instructional materials for both 1973 and 1983 list ways a priest can honor women with whom he associates.  This list includes helping her "live, not break the commandments," showing respect and manners, and treating her "as an equal, an

            ...         not ... as an inferior" (Priests Course A [1983] p. 25).

            Three different lessons also devote sections to those qualities each priest should look for in his wife.  One lesson emphasized that a girl's appearance, homemaking skills, educational intent, hobbies, and maturity should comply with standards which have been established by the Church (Priests Study Course [1972], pp. 196-97). It is believed that adherence to such standards will improve the quality of the marriage, and help ensure that the couple gains eternal life and exaltation.

            Another lesson states that when a Mormon man thinks well enough of a young lady to ask her to be his wife, that he is asking her to become the following:

            1.         Your consort and companion who brings all the characteristics and strengths of femininity into masculine life.

            2.         Your friend and partner.

            3.         Your counselor.

            4.         Your general manager and vice-president in charge of operations.

            5.         Your purchasing agent.

            6.         Your hostess and social secretary.

            7. Your housekeeper.

            8.         Your dietician.

            9.         Your cook.

            10.       Your bookkeeper and financial adviser.

            11.       Your children's nurse or doctor.

            12.       A practical nurse.

            13.       Your children's teacher.

            14.       Your children's counselor.

            15.       The mother of your children.

            16.       Above all, your partner in the Kingdom of God.

            In other words, after marriage the woman would lead a life of total domesticity.  This section of the lesson continues by stating: "The total services this young lady will perform for you, if measured on a monetary basis, will be worth from $15,000 to $20,000 per year.  Keep this to yourself.  If she knows that you know it, she may ask for a raise.  She will generally be satisfied for all this effort, and these services with a few words of love and affection on your part.  This you cannot afford not to give." (Priests Series B [1971], p. 141.) This statement apparently tries to use humor to bring out the worth of such services rendered in a household.  Regardless of its manner of presentation, there is no denying that the Mormon woman is expected to devote her heart and soul to her home and her family. CONCLUSION

            The role of Mormon women as prescribed in the Aaronic Priesthood manuals contains all elements of Victorian role expectations.  Women are expected to be domestic, pious, pure, and submissive.  Such expectations are believed to be natural because of God-given feminine traits which differentiate women from men.  In today's society many might argue that such differences are nonexistent, and for this reason women should free themselves from such expectations.  In apparent response, one Aaronic Priesthood manual printed this comment: "Someone has stated that when women eventually realize that the object of their emancipation is to make them not more like men, but more powerful in womanly virtues, the implicit demand and need of women for a world based on human principles may break through as the most important influence upon history" (Priests Study Course [1972], p. 210).

            It is this type of idealistic view that has allowed for little change in the definition of the role of women in the Church.  While changes in society and individual circumstances will no doubt persuade many women to abandon their traditional roles, it appears the LDS ideal will continue to be inculcated into rising generations of Mormon males through Aaronic Priesthood quorum meetings. SHANE B. INGLESBY is majoring in business at the University of Utah.


How do Church manuals affect our teenagers' search for identity? By Karla S. Gunnell and Nicole T. Hoffman

            Although few people would deny there are obvious sexual differences between men and women, there is a great deal of disagreement concerning the meaning of those differences with regard to sexually predetermined roles and behavior patterns.  Certainly natural biological characteristics attend the birth of every child, male or female.  But the gender traits that develop subsequent to birth are heavily influenced by the child's environment (social circumstances and culture). Were this not so, we would not find such a vast variety of gender roles as we compare other societies with ours.

            The teenage years are a crucial time in establishing role identity.  Messages received during this period, both overt and implied, have a significant impact on self-awareness and developing gender-role patterns that persist into the adult years.  Teens look to the example of parents and friends, as well as respond to more obvious discussion, teaching, and advice from these and other sources.  Latter-day Saint teenagers also receive input from Church-sponsored activities and lessons specifically designed to influence. their search for identity and awareness.

            What do LDS teenagers learn from Church instruction that will influence those crucial processes? A partial answer to this question may be found by examining the lesson manuals used to teach the priests (young men, ages sixteen to seventeen) and the Laurels (young women "of corresponding ages") in the Aaronic Priesthood Young Women program.  The teenagers are taught separately in this program, in contrast to their Sunday School classes, where they meet together.  Therefore, it is instructive to examine the lessons for both groups, comparing and contrasting them with regard to course objectives,  lesson topics and content, and manner of presentation.

            The objective of Laurel Course B is set out at the beginning of the manual:

            By studying the lessons contained in this manual, each young woman should better understand her relationship to her Heavenly Father and the Savior, herself, her family, and others.  She should learn to honor the priesthood and those who bear it.  She should also learn more about living the principles and laws of the gospel, particularly with regard to dating, the temple covenants, and eternal marriage. (Laurel Course B [1977], p. 1.)

            Motherhood and marriage receive the major emphasis in this course of study.  Of the twenty four lessons outlined, seven deal directly with a young woman's preparation to become a wife and mother.  Lessons such as "Power of Creation," "Motherhood: A Divine Calling," and "Preparing for Motherhood" seek to help the girls to "develop greater respect for . . . the power of creation," to show "that motherhood is the noblest of all [their] callings," and to prepare them "to teach [their] children the gospel" (pp. 31, 47, 52). In spite of this emphasis on preparation for motherhood in these lessons, the manual nowhere discusses the role and responsibilities of fatherhood.

            Lessons not directly pertaining to marriage and motherhood nevertheless have direct bearing on the topic of relations between the sexes.  Three lessons in the Laurel manual deal with the priesthood, its duties, obligations, and powers.  Presumably, young women who have a clear understanding of the responsibilities of the priesthood can assist men in being worthy of their callings.  This idea is clearly spelled out in lesson 15, "Women and Priesthood Bearers." Here the relation of women to men is defined as supportive.  In a chalkboard discussion, the lesson leader is to ask the girls what they can do "to actively support a young man who holds the priesthood." Suggested responses include this list:

            1.         Concentrate on his good points.

            2.         Supply ideas.

            3.         Treat him as you want him to become.

            4.         Have a listening ear.

            5.         Be honest in your praise.

            6.         Support him in projects and callings.

            7.         Be a counselor, when asked.

            8.         Do what is delegated to you.

            9.         Sustain him with your prayers.

            The following "true story" is also included in the lesson:

            Lynne had been called as Laurel class president in January to replace a girl who had moved.  It seemed to her that the priests left most of the work for the Laurels.  Lynne became frustrated and impatient.  She had to phone the young men and remind them of almost everything so she felt like a nag.  She disliked being pushy in getting them to help, but she was afraid if she didn't call them, nothing would get done.  Her adviser suggested that she change her attitude.  She suggested that Lynne first improve herself and develop a positive attitude about her responsibilities and her relation shipto the young men who hold the priesthood.

            Lynne accepted the counsel and with a prayerful heart went to work to determine what her responsibilities were in each assignment and how she could carry them out quickly and effectively.  She then took the attitude that the young men would accomplish their responsibilities just as quickly and efficiently.

            Her positive approach and attitude worked.  The fellows responded because she treated them as responsible priesthood holders.  Once they knew the young women were depending on them and would support and encourage them, they led out.  They began doing their full share of the work.  Instead of nagging or pushing, Lynne began to be led by the priesthood.  It was a wonderful feeling! (P. 66, emphasis added.)

            The third general area of emphasis in this series of lessons is gospel principles.  Although overtly doctrinal in content, the lessons subtly imply appropriate gospel-related roles for women.  The first lesson in the manual, for example, stresses a "Personal Relationship with the Savior." Even the statement of objective implies a passive, receptive role, rather than an active, seeking one: "Each young woman will strive for a deeper understanding of how she is affected by the life and mission of Jesus Christ" (p. 7, emphasis added). The lesson content considers Christ's patterns for living, pointing out several "characteristics of the Savior ... that can teach us the things we ought to do" (p. 8). Of the wide variety of traits that could conceivably be discussed, the lesson stresses these, many of which are considered traditionally "feminine" behaviors: "Had firm priorities; resisted temptations; studied the scriptures and quoted from them often; understood right from wrong; put his mission above personal gratfication. . . . loved to help people. . . . spent time with little children, blessed them.. . . took time for fervent prayer. . . . [showed] concern for his mother, even when he was suffering."

            Other lessons on gospel principles imply a broader area of spiritual concern than the content ultimately delivers.  Although "The Word of Christ" has as its lesson objective to help "each young woman determine how the word of God can be used as a standard in coping with the world" (p. 77), the bulk of the lesson focuses on birth control, abortion, marriage, parenthood, and divorce.

            Social relations also receive strong lesson emphasis.  Lessons such as "Developing Yourself," with the objective, "each young woman will strive to become a more interesting person by developing her talents" (p. 22), teach social skills and behaviors.  Yet even here, the emphasis  is subtly directed toward marriage.  For example, the lesson "Young Men: A Time for Every Purpose" teaches the girls that good courtship relations in this life are a preparation for eternal courtship and warns, "If a young woman's day-to-day behavior is such that it could cause differences with her mate, then her marriage may have problems, if she does not change" (p. 36, emphasis added).

            As the young women prepare themselves socially and spiritually for marriage, what are the young men learning? According to the Priests Study Course B, "the purpose of this course of study is to help each priest see himself as a son of God, endowed with the priesthood, which, if used worthily, will help him and others become like the Heavenly Father" (Priests Study Course B [1973], introduction).

            In support of this objective, the priests lessons discuss similar principles to those taught the Laurels, but with a substantially different emphasis.  The preponderance of the young men's lessons deal with priesthood and priesthood obligations such as missionary work and genealogy.  Other topics include general gospel principles, social relations, and marriage and relations with women.  Nineteen of the forty lessons deal directly with preparation to serve a mission for the Church.  Eight emphasize aspects of the priesthood-its functions, responsibilities, and powers.  Typical lesson objectives include helping the "priest see the magnificence of receiving all that the Father has, of becoming like him through the priesthood," and helping "the priests realize that their ultimate goal is exaltation, which is impossible without the priesthood" (pp. 29, 67).

            Both series of lessons emphasize preparations for adult life.  But in contrast to the somewhat inwardly focused girls' lessons, with their emphasis on developing a pleasing temperament and personality which will make them successful wives, the boys' lessons are more outward looking.  Lesson 34, for example, is entitled "I Can Help My Family Gain Exaltation by Striving to Bring Love, Understanding, and Order into My Home." A series of four lessons on choosing a vocation or profession "teaches that a priest's primary goal in his occupation is to serve his fellowman and thus extend Christ's Kingdom on earth" (p. 155).

            Other young men's lessons have a more doctrinal emphasis.  An outstanding feature of this group of lessons is its insistence on the boy's individual, personal responsibility for his salvation. "In Order to Successfully Complete My Life's Mission, I Must Realize That, As a Free Agent, I Will Be Held Responsible for My Actions," asserts lesson 17. Action is emphasized as 'a result of understanding. "I Must Commit Myself to Christ and to the Living of His Gospel If I Am to Develop a Personal Relationship with God," states another title.  Six lessons are devoted to gaining an understanding of Christ. "The priest must seek a personal relationship with God if he is to become like him," states one objective (p. 7). "The facets of the Christ like life" considered in that lesson include "courage, joy, love, and adventure." "Other facets of his personality are faith, beauty, charity, sacrifice, loyalty, self-regard, justice, service" states the lesson, although these ideas are not developed (pp. 8, 9).

            Most interesting to examine are the lessons concerning gender identity, marriage, and relations with women.  The objective of lesson 35, entitled "I Must Understand the Proper Role of Manhood If I Am to Magnify My Priesthood and Help Others Become Like God," is "to help each priest understand what true Christian manhood is and show him that this manhood is basic to his priesthood" (p. 147). Marriage, rather than being treated as an end, as it is in the Laurel manual, is discussed in three lessons as a priesthood ordinance which is essential to men, enabling them to become God.  In contrast to one fourth of the Laurel lessons which stress motherhood, none of the lessons in the priests manual discuss fatherhood.

            One lesson of the forty is devoted to women.  This lesson's objective is "to help the priest understand the part women play in his life and how he can honor them" (p. 151). It is worthwhile to examine this lesson closely, since it is the only lesson on women and since, by implication, it defines the calling and responsibilities of women.

            The lesson's first major point is "A Priest's Mother Stands at the Center of His Life." The manual suggests the instructor "Emphasize in the discussion that it is a priest's mother who washes and irons the clothes, cooks the food, keeps the house clean, nurses the sick, and does much to establish the quality of the home.  She also encourages him on to high accomplishments, is willing to overlook his faults and failings and is usually the last to give up hope for him if he goes astray." He is then to ask the young men to "share some of the experiences from your relationship with your mother that illustrate the above qualities of motherhood." (P. 152.)

            The notes to the adviser at the beginning of this lesson warn, "While it may be natural for a priest to show some embarrassment in talking about the goodness and the sacrifices of his mother, he should recognize the important role she plays in his life" (p. 151). It is interesting to speculate why a young man should be embarrassed to discuss the sacrifice of his mother.  Could it mean that up to this point his Church instruction has not discussed this topic frequently and therefore the young man is sensitive to it?

            The lesson's next point is that "The Example of the Savior Requires a Priest to Honor Women." The instructor is to ask, "What caused the Savior to extend such respect to women in such an age as his?" Then he is to "let the priests think deeply about this [and] help them arrive at the conviction that this was part of his program to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

            Following these assumptions, the lesson asserts, "A Priest Should Particularly Honor the Young Women He Dates." The lesson leader is to "point out that a priest's attitude toward the young women he dates will probably reflect his attitude toward women in general.  Either he regards them as daughters of God and potential wives and mothers, or he regards them simply as something for his own pleasure and physical gratification" (p. 152). The possibility of regarding them as other members of the human race is not mentioned.

            Another point of contrast between the two manuals is the rhetoric, both in matters of lesson presentation and in details of diction and style.  The statements of objectives, for example, differ markedly.  In the priests manual, the objectives emphasize achievement of goals.  Lesson 1 states, "We imitate the people we know best and have a personal relationship with.  God wants the priest to be like him, and therefore this personal relationship is necessary.  However, before a priest can have such a relationship with God, he must sincerely desire and work for it." (P. 3.) Laurel objectives, on the other hand, focus on receiving rather than initiating the action.  These objectives imply that the nature of woman is essentially passive, that people and principles influence her life.  The lessons emphasize the empathetic and coping skills necessary for fulfilling such a passive role.  For example, Laurel lesson 1 states, "Each young woman will sense the magnificence of the priesthood." The objective of Laurel lesso 3 declares, "Each young woman will determine how the word of God can be used as a standard in coping with the world." By contrast, a similar young men's lesson reads, "Living the Gospel Helps Me Progress toward Perfection."

            Even more explicit is the contrast between the lesson objectives which outline a person's relationship with the Savior.  As stated earlier, the central idea of the young women's lesson on this topic is, "Each young woman will strive for a deeper understanding of how she is affected by the life and mission of Christ" (emphasis added), while the young men's lesson, entitled "Learning to Understand Jesus Will Help Me Become Like the Father," asserts, "The priest must seek a personal relationship with God if he is to become like him." Thus, women are to understand and be affected; men are to seek and to become.

            Not only in matters of word choice, but also in basic structure, the lessons differ.  Almost all the Laurel lessons establish their main points through stories or object lessons which illustrate the desirable behavior being discussed.  For example, the lesson on Young Men is introduced to the Laurels by asking a girl to frost an uncooked cake, then when she has finished, asking another girl to frost a "nourishing" baked cake.  The activity illustrates the idea "a time to every purpose." Priests lessons, on the other hand, establish their main points by logical doctrinal support and scripture study.

            Parallel lessons about the Holy Ghost further illustrate this point.  The young men's lesson centers around "scripture reading and marking" and discussion, supplemented by statements from latter-day Church leaders.  The young women's lesson consists mainly of a lengthy "account of how guidance from the Holy Spirit saved several lives." The story is told about and related by a man.  A similar number of scriptures support the lesson concept, but the girls are not actively involved in locating them, nor are they involved in any other kind of intellectual doctrinal activity.  Rather they are invited to share "moments in your life-no matter how brief when you felt the influence of the Holy Ghost."

            Thus the very structure and method of presentation of the lessons reinforces implied roles the boys actively study and seek out scriptural support for their ideas; the girls passively listen to stories and share their experiences-no matter how brief-with each other.  This is not to discount the importance of shared personal experiences as a teaching tool.  But to use this technique to the exclusion of other methods of active participation is revealing and has behavioral implications.  Girls are taught by being shown a behavior which they should imitate; boys are encouraged to initiate appropriate behavior.

            The fundamental objective of each course of study is the same: exaltation of each person.  Yet the prescribed methods for reaching that exaltation are implicitly different.  Exactly what female exaltation is must be deduced by the Laurel, or perhaps is deemed inconsequential, for it is never discussed in the lesson manual.  Instead, the lessons prescribe roles of wife and mother who will rely on the priesthood to guide them into exaltation.  Conversely, priests are encouraged not only to develop priesthood relationships to family, but to quorum and community as well.  Their life's mission is to serve mankind and thus extend Christ's kingdom.  Their hope for the future is to become like God. KARLA S. GUNNELL is a free-lance writer living in Colorado Springs.

            NICOLE T. HOFFMAN is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah and former associate editor of SUNSTONE and the Sunstone Review.

  The Law of the Land


Jay S. Bybee

            A couple of years ago while a law student, I was teaching a Sunday School course in the Doctrine and Covenants when I was struck by that work's occasionally legalistic language.  I have since discovered that our modern-day scriptures contain a myriad of terms which might catch the eye of Latter-day lawyers, including references to rights, duties, powers, privileges, covenants, and agency to say nothing of repeated emphasis on the law itself.  While I would not try to understand the gospel on the basis of Coke, Blackstone, or Hohfeld, certain concepts familiar to the common law have given me additional insights into certain passages of scripture.

            On this particular occasion I was fascinated by the striking declaration in Doctrine and Covenants 132:7 that "all covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise . . . are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead." The succeeding verses make it clear that if the new and everlasting covenant is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, the covenant is not valid in the hereafter (D&C 132:15, 18-19).

            The nature of this promise becomes more clear in light of a common law practice once called 'the mystery of the seal." This practice, adopted from the Roman empire but dating back even earlier (Gen. 38:18, Esth. 8:8, 10), consists of placing some kind of identifying mark or seal on certain documents.  In early Medieval times a cross or other symbol was used to signify assent to the document.  As people became more literate, the identifying sign used most frequently was a signature.  Later, the signature was accompanied by a formal seal.

            The traditional documentary seal was a wafer-like piece of wax which was attached to the document and then stamped with a signet ring engraved with an heraldic crest, initial, flourish, or bird.  Seals were normally used only by persons of nobility (both laymen and churchmen) and were very distinctive so that they were difficult to duplicate.  The story is even told of the peculiar seal of King Edward III who conveyed certain lands to a hunter "and in witness that it was sooth, he bit the wax with his fore tooth."

            Familiar seals today include the Great Seal of the United States (illustrated on a one-dollar bill) and other ornate seals used by municipalities and states.  Corporations typically have a simple corporate seal with the name of the corporation and perhaps its date of incorporation.  And, of course, notary publics, a vestige of the era when common people needed some way of authenticating their signatures with an authorized seal are still used today for certain documents.

            The act of sealing a document generally served three purposes.  First, the seal served as an indication that an individual had ratified or assented to the documentary agreement.  This was particularly true in the days when a signature was only a form of the seal.  This function is closely related to the second function, that of authenticating the document.  Because seals were difficult to duplicate, the fixing of the seal served to prove to all interested parties that this was a valid document which bound the sealing party.  So important was the seal that at one time the seat represented the obligation itself.  Thus when a wax seal was lost or destroyed from the document, the obligation was similarly destroyed.  With such enormous store placed in the mark of the seal, the seal-bearer for an important person such as a king had to be a trusted aide. (Witness the rightful heir's difficulty in reestablishing himself because he could not find the seal in Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper.) Even in more moderntimes, the law has required that an agent purporting to fix a seal on a contract on behalf of his principal must himself show a sealed instrument as evidence of his agency relationship.

            Finally, the contract under seal was the most solemn of all contracts in the law.  It was a formal contract which could be voided only under the most egregious circumstances.  Certain important contracts, such as transfers of land, were required to be placed under seal, and no oral modifications to the contract were recognized.  While the contract under seat no longer commands the reverence today that it once did, most states still have a longer statute of limitations for contracts under seal than for ordinary contracts.

            It seems to me that some of these practices are echoed in scriptural references to important covenants.  Indeed, the original meaning of "covenant" in the law, as distinguished from other forms of contract, was a formal promise under seal.  In the passage in Doctrine and Covenants 132 quoted above, the Holy Spirit of Promise must ratify the contract to demonstrate that the Lord assents to the new and everlasting covenant.  Such witness further serves to authenticate the covenant, to prove to all who know of it that such covenant is in fact a godly covenant.  And it solemnizes the entire event by reminding those who enter into the covenant that such a covenant cannot be taken lightly without breaking the seal and destroying its effect.

            Other references to sealing power reaffirm these principles.  Doctrine and Covenants 98:2, for example, states that our prayers are recorded with the "seal and testament" that they shall be granted.  Here again the seal serves to ratify and authenticate a particular promise so that all will recognize its source and efficacy.  The solemnizing function can also readily be seen in scriptures referring to the sealing of a testimony, such as by the shedding of one's own blood, as proof that the witness was true (e.g., D&C 135:1, 7). Certainly such a testimony would be the most solemn of all sealed witnesses.

            While this does not exhaust all the functions of the Holy Spirit's ratifying seal, it does illustrate the value of examining the ordinary words and phrases which comprise the revelations.  In this case, such a study can serve to remind us of the seriousness of our own transcendent covenants made under seal.

 Issues of Intimacy


By Marybeth Raynes

            Members of the Church are well acquainted with the exhortation that it is better to remain single than to marry outside of the Church.  In addition to not having one's mate in the eternities, we are warned that marriage outside the fold results in the loss of shared spiritual moments, common daily rituals, and jointly held values which are the sweetest thing this side of the celestial kingdom.

            But the difficulties of a mixed religious marriage can also occur for committed and active couples who marry in the temple.  I have come to know many couples personally and in my clinical practice who, after months or years of marriage, find themselves in great conflict about religion.  The way couples experience their religious differences varies as widely as types of marriage.  But at least two types are fairly common.

            One mixed marriage occurs when one spouse reveals or develops religious questions or doubts after the marriage.  For example, one woman, after growing up with an active-member mother and a nonmember father earnestly sought a returned missionary from an active family so that she would not have to face the conflict her mother experienced.  When her husband started to question some Church policies, she was shocked and disillusioned.  Her alarm deepened when his doubts did not go away and in fact increased as their arguments about the Church intensified.  Now she carries a deep sense of betrayal as his activity has become sporadic.  She wonders how he can really love her as much if he doesn't love the Church.  The husband, on the other hand, reports that his feelings for her, their marriage, and the children have not changed as his feelings about the Church have.  He wishes she would relax and enjoy what they have in common.

            The breach in such cases often becomes very wide as the Church, each person's value, and the core of their caring and commitment to each other is called into question.  The more believing or orthodox spouse may protest, "Does our marriage have meaning now that my spouse doesn't believe? How can we rear the children effectively and be together in the eternities if we are not united now? I feel abandoned now that my spouse won't attend Church and pray with me all of the time.  I am not narrow minded because I am satisfied in my faith and do not want to question anything." The more dissenting spouse laments, "Why does my spouse equate everything good with the Church? I am not bad because I have questions.  Is love so conditional that I am only loved if I conform to the Church?" Although polarized on religious issues, both partners may be enduring common feelings of betrayal, loss, confusion, and criticism.

            Not every mixed marriage contains a Believing Saint and a Doubting Thomas.  Another mixed marriage occurs between two active Mormons who define Church doctrine or practices differently.  Another couple, both very active in the Church, interpret doctrine and policies quite differently.  In one such instance, the husband declares that loving the Lord means living the commandments and programs exactly as the Church prescribes with no individual interpretation.  The wife, however, says that gospel principles are paramount and the Church is primarily a vehicle for living those principles, therefore different policies and practices are open to question.  For couples like this, whether tithing is paid on the net or the gross, which family activities should the husband decide as patriarch, how Sabbath activities should be conducted, and the amount of time spent in Church callings become serious issues.  The value of the Church and the marriage are not challenged, but each person's character and testimony are.

            For these types and others, balancing a split in belief and/or actions with the intimate and practical needs in a marriage is a double load and often puts both spouses in double jeopardy.  Outer stability and inner turmoil rarely go hand in hand, and a marriage can crack if one or both partners cannot tolerate the emerging differences

            Paradoxically, our Church culture  may foster some of the factors that create these mixed marriages.  For example:

            The Way We Marry.  We exhort eligible members to marry with an eye to Church commitment, which often means external guidelines.  Activity in all meetings and programs, living the commandments, and a testimony of the Church are prerequisites (with a premium placed on having been on a mis-sion, being from an active Mormon family, or attendance at BYU or other Church schools). But we often make the mistake of equating religious orthodoxy with marital compatibility.  In actuality there may be as many ways of being Mormon as there are Mormons.

            Romantic anecdotes in testimony meetings also show our tacit approval of brief courtships.  But in such instances, there is often no opportunity to discover the patterns of each other's belief and practice, so no conflicts emerge.  Worse still, some become aware of differences in background patterns or disagreement about Church matters but do not explore further.  They enter an illusory agreement that the marriage will bring more unity.  That illusion is often forcefully stripped away in the first year or with the advent of children.

            Additionally, we extol the benefits of temple marriage but give little notice to the universal crises and conflicts in marriage.  Though well informed on issues of finances, sex, children, etc., few Mormons know that it is normal to experience periods of turmoil and reintegration and to rethink all areas of life - including spiritual - throughout adulthood.  Without this information, a spouse may unknowingly stifle his or her partner's growth in the Church or propel a larger disaffection from the Church than otherwise likely by demanding that religious thought and life follow a certain mold.  Conversely, a person can push the spouse into a corner by insisting that she or he join the period of doubt and questioning even when it is not in the partner's interest.

            The Demand for Similarity.  With a strong emphasis in the Church on finding a right and wrong way for everything, identical religious thought and action between marriage partners is encouraged.  Where there are differences, one spouse must be wrong.  Ironically, any church that has many criteria for goodness sets up as many points for conflict as for congruency. (This is true generally: the more areas two or more people want to share, the more areas for potential disagreement emerge.  This is why friendships often work better than marriages; we sharply limit the number of concerns which overlap with our friends and often become really close to only those with whom we agree.) We may be unwittingly sharpening a double-edged sword as we increase the number of rituals and programs a couple must share as a condition for a happy marriage.

            Sometimes the demand for similarity is a symbolic issue in the marriage, not the real one.  It may be that the two personalities are so different that religion is only one struggle among many.  When personalities sharply contrast, the effort to share important issues in an intimate way becomes more difficult.  It is easier to want someone's views to coincide with ours, forming a closeness out of an already existing similarity.  Unfortunately, doing so locks us in the prison of our own strengths instead of building bridges across our divergent ways of being.  Such an approach also keeps us from facing such difficult but important questions as How can the qualities I struggle with in my spouse enrich my life? Do I need to expand my arena of belief? Do I need to change?

            The Expectation That Marriage Will Be Happy If We Live Right.  Marrying alike and living a similar lifestyle certainly increases the chances for a happy marriage.  Mormons married in the temple enjoy one of the most stable marriage rates in the U.S. and a high percentage report that they are happy.  But it is not a guarantee.  To expect that tragedy will never happen, divorce cannot occur, and religious difference can not crop up provides only temporary mental security.  Such a belief can be a set up for disappointment and is like denying the coming winter and the need for insulation and sufficient fuel.  Most marriages go through at least one, if not several, winters.  Every good marriage I know has been hammered out, and each spouse has been stretched beyond her or his former attitudes and actions.

            If mixed marriages are not unusual, what options are there? I think people in these circumstances are faced with some hard choices, maybe even a Hobson's choice (a decision with no good alternatives). Here are three:

            1.         Separate or divorce.  Occasionally, the differences are just too great, and the differing action of each spouse are seen as so wrong or manipulative that remaining married causes more torment than satisfaction.  Even though few couples divorce solely on the grounds of religious differ- ence, it is possible that separating and searching again for the intimacy that similarity can bring is a better option.

            2.         Stay in conflict.  Many people can neither give up their belief -- nor doubt.  In the words of one man, "I can change my actions; I can become more active in the Church to please my wife, but I cannot just change my feelings and they contain strong positive beliefs about the Church and also serious doubts." Those who will not or cannot accommodate their views enough to bridge the marital differences remain on a seesaw of conflict, each trying to convince the other or retreating to separate worlds without satisfying contact or intimacy.

            3.         Redefine one's marriage.  Faced with serious dissonance between the ideal and reality, most people make some ideological or behavioral shifts.  But the process generally occurs over a long time and in several stages.  It is as difficult to redefine what we want in marriage and feel good about it as it is to move to a different culture and feel at home.  The internal meaning of our soul's wishes is hard to alter successfully.

            Yet at times this is the best course of action, particularly if we consider that our expectations may be quite narrow.  A piece of wit from a long-forgotten source says, "We bring a list of expectations  to marriage, and when the reality doesn't fit the list, we often tear up the person instead of the list."

            I think it is possible to live satisfactorily in a mixed religious marriage.  But doing so requires some accommodating.  To begin with, both partners must leave all judgments to the Lord and not to their own opinions.  Each must acknowledge, "Your beliefs are as important to you as mine are to me, and our differing beliefs and actions do not make us bad or evil." In addition, both should agree on such practical details as the rearing of children (there is a tendency for one spouse to oversee the children's religious activity), issues with in-laws, and flexible attendance to Church functions.  Surprisingly, some couples find that their accommodated patterns can bring as much richness as their former hoped-for, identical patterns.

            Respect, trust, and love are redefined, but very much present.  And for some, a similarity of viewpoints is gradually achieved.

            These choices are not made easily or without a good deal of confusion.  It often takes years to reach resolution about an issue that is the core of the meaning of life for so many Mormons.  But for many the resolution can bring invigorating personal growth and new leaps of faith. J. Golden Nuggets


By James N. Kimball

            Uncle Golden's struggle with the Word of Wisdom was really not his alone.  Another member of the First Council of the Seventy, Brother B. H. Roberts, had problems with alcohol.  Perhaps that was one of the reasons they were such good friends.  They often traveled together.  Uncle Golden said that when they were back in the hotel room after a long day of preaching and teaching the gospel and meeting with the Saints, Brother Roberts would ask Uncle Golden to go get him something so that he might imbibe and relax and sleep better.  Uncle Golden was happy to do this.  But he mentions in his diaries that after several drinks Brother Roberts became very morose and depressed.  He told Uncle Golden how terrible he felt that he had this problem and how hypocritical he was to represent himself to the Saints as a leader while struggling with this temptation.  Uncle Golden would try to help him through the night.  On one occasion Golden went over and put his arm around him and said, "B. H., I want you to know something. Even when you're drunk, you're a helluva lot better man than most of the Brethren are sober."

            Uncle Golden's struggles with the Word of Wisdom sometimes forced him into ironic circumstances.  On one occasion, he was asked to go to Cache Valley where the stake president had decided to call all the Melchizedek priesthood holders together for the purpose of emphasizing the importance of the Word of Wisdom.  Uncle Golden didn't realize this was going to be the theme until he got there.  As a matter of fact, he didn't know what he was to speak about until the stake president announced it in introducing Uncle Golden: "J. Golden Kimball will now speak to us on the subject of the Word of Wisdom." Uncle Golden didn't know what to say.  He stood at the pulpit for a long time waiting for some inspiration; he didn't want to be a hypocrite and he knew he had problems with this principle.  So finally he looked at the audience and said, "I'd like to know how many of you brethren have never had a puff on a cigarette in all your life.  Would you please stand?' Well, Uncle Golden related later that much to his amazemen most of the brethren in that audience stood.  He looked at them for a long time and then said, 'Now, all of you that are standing, I want to know how many of you have never had a taste of whiskey in all your life.  If you have, sit down.' Again, to Uncle Golden's amazement, only a few of the brethren sat down.  The rest of them stood there proudly looking at him and then there was a long silence.  I guess Uncle Golden thought they looked a little too self-righteous, because his next comment was, "Well, brethren, you don't know what the hell you've missed."

            At another conference, where again the theme was the Word of Wisdom, the presiding authority at the conference, a fellow General Authority, got off on the subject of the Word of Wisdom and berated everyone there for not observing it sufficiently.  He ended his talk by saying, 'I want to know who in this audience keeps the Word of Wisdom, the absolute letter of the law.  I want to know who it is that faithfully keeps the commandment.  Would you all please stand?" Well, most of the congregation stood.  Then, for some unexplained reason, this General Authority began counting heads.  When he found that the task was a little too much for him, he turned to Uncle Golden, who was sitting behind him. "Golden,' he said, "would you come up here and count everyone seated on this side of the audience?" Uncle Golden didn't move; he just began to count from where he was seated.  In a few minutes the brother turned again and said, 'Golden, come here and help me count these people." Not wanting to be a hypocrite, Uncle Goldenresponded, "Oh, brother, I can see them all seated right here."

            I don't believe he ever overcame his problem with coffee.  At least there's no recorded evidence that would suggest it.  But he did make a statement or two about his life as he reflected on it that may give us some understanding about the man.  He wrote, "I'm no saint.  I have struggled with righteousness all my life, but after I'm gone I hope the Saints will remember this about me: I may not walk the straight and narrow, but I try to cross it just as often as I can."

 Queries and Comments


By Jeffrey E. Keller

            A similar question was addressed on a national level early In 1981, when the United States Senate convened hearings to determine when "human life" begins.  At issue was a statement in an anti-abortion bill sponsored by Senator Jesse Helms which read, "Present day scientific evidence indicates a significant likelihood that actual human life exists from conception."

            Although several distinguished scientists, philosophers, and theologians spoke in the congressional hearings on both sides of the issue, the Senate committee was unable to substantiate Helms's claims regarding scientific evidence.  The National Academy of Sciences subsequently declared that Helms's bill dealt "with a question to which Science can provide no answer." Leon E. Rosenburg of the Yale Medical School added, "I believe that the notion embodied in the phrase 'actual human life' is not a scientific one, but rather a religious, metaphysical one." (Science News, May 9, 1981, p. 293.)

            As the original question implies, the religious, metaphysical issue of "human life" in Mormon theology may boil down to the question of when the spirit enters the body.  If, as Mormons believe, physical death is that moment when the spirit leaves the body, it follows that a fetus is not yet alive in the fullest sense until it unites with a spirit to form a living soul.

            There are basically three periods when a fetus could acquire its spirit: 1) at conception, 2) at "quickening" (the first movements of life felt by the mother, usually in the fourth month of pregnancy), or 3) at birth.  Interestingly, each of these three periods has had its supporters among the leaders of the Church.

            The idea that the spirit enters the embryo at the moment of conception logically entails the corollary that abortion is tantamount to murder, with the same eternal implications of killing an adult.  While never directly addressing the issue of spirit-body, many leaders of the Church in the middle to late 1800s equated prenatal killing with infanticide.  John Taylor, speaking of abortionists, wrote, "They are murderers and murderesses of their infants.... and you that want them, take them, and you that do will go with them, and go to perdition with them and I tell you that in the name of the Lord." (Journal of Discourses, 22:320, 1881). In 1884, George Q. Cannon stated, "They [abortionists] will be damned with the deepest damnation; because it is the damnation of shedding innocent blood, for which there is no forgiveness" (JD, 26:14-15). As late as 1916 Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, "It is just as much murder to destroy life before as it is after birth, although man-made laws may not so consider it; but there i One who does take notice and his justice and judgment is sure" (Relief Society Magazine, 3:367-68). Seven months later, the First Presidency gave their "unqualified endorsement" of Elder Smith's writing. (RS Magazine, 4:68).

            However, unlike other antiabortion groups such as the Catholic Church, which recognized a fixed period of "ensoulment," the Mormon Church's position has never been derived from an assumed time when the spirit enters the body.  Brigham Young also associated abortion with infanticide, although not as explicitly as did John Taylor and George Q. Cann on (see ID, 12:120-121); still, President Young did not believe that the spirit enters the body until the time of quickening, though he did not differentiate between abortion before quickening and abortion after quickening. (see Bush, "Birth Control Among the Mormons," Dialogue, Autumn 1976, pp. 12-44, for a complete discussion of early attitudes towards abortion). As quoted by Joseph F. Smith in Doctrines of Salvation (2:280-81), President Young stated, "When the spirit leaves them [mortal bodies] they are lifeless; and when the mother feels life come to her infant, it is the spirit entering the body preparatory to the premortal existence." (emphasis in original.  Se also ID 18:258). The First Presidency of Joseph F. Smith was likely referring to Brigham Young when they wrote, "True it is that the body of man enters upon its career as a tiny germ embryo, which becomes an infant, quickened at a certain stage by the spirit whose tabernacle it is, and the child, after being born, develops into a man." ("The Origin of Man," Messages of the First Presidency, vol. 4, p. 205). A scriptural precedent for this view may be inferred from Luke 1:41, "when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe [John] leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost," although this scripture has not been explicitly quoted for this purpose

            Unfortunately, although "quickening" has been a popular concept, there is no scientific phenomenon recognizable as quickening.  The fetus begins to move as soon as the biochemical contractile proteins actin and myosin come together, and the mother does not feel this movement until months later.  Perhaps in part because of this, modern Church authorities have not publicly supported President Young's hypothesis.

            Interestingly, since Joseph Fielding Smith's 1917 statement, the Church has also rejected the notion that abortion is murder.  In answer to the question "is produced abortion termed as murder or not?" Elder David O. McKay wrote in 1934, "To this question the Church has not made an authoritative answer.  It does, however, condemn abortion as a very sinful act." (Letter to Tiena Nate.) Nearly forty years later the First Presidency affirmed this position:

            As the matter stands, no definitive statement has been made by the Lord one way or another regarding the crime of abortion.  So far as is known, he has not listed it alongside the crime of the  unpardonable sin and shedding innocent blood.  That he has not done so would suggest that it is not in that class of crime and therefore that it will be amenable to the laws of repentence and forgiveness. (Church News, 27 Jan, 1973, p. 7).

            One possible reason why abortion is not classed with murder is the possibility that the spirit has not yet entered the body.  Not surprisingly, David O. McKay believed that the spirit enters the body at birth.  In the same letter quoted above, he wrote:

            Undoubtedly the nearest approach we have to definite knowledge on this subject is the statement made by the Savior, 3 Nephi 1:13, wherein he said: 'Tomorrow come I into the world.' This indicates that the spirit takes possession of the body at birth.  Life manifest in the body before that time would seem to be dependent upon the mother.

            President J. Reuben Clark, citing the same scripture, similarly stated, "But it seems possible that the spirit may not be present in the embryo till at least shortly before birth, whether the birth be regular or premature." ("Man: God's Greatest Miracle," BYU address June 21, 1954, reprinted in pamphlet form). Another scripture not cited by the brethren that may refer to the spirit's inhabitation of the body at birth is Moses 6:59, ". . . ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, . . ."

            A second reason why abortion is viewed differently from murder is an idea propounded by Brigham Young-that the union of body and spirit prior to birth, or even shortly after birth, is reversible.  As recorded in Wilford Woodruff's journal, October 15, 1867, President Young said:

            When some people have little children born at 6 & 7 months pregnancy & they live but a few hours then die they bless them &c. but I dont do it for I think that such a spirit has not a fair chance for I think that such a spirit will have a chance of occupying another Tabernacle and developing itself.

            Whether intentionally or not, Elder Bruce R. McConkie refuted Brigham Young's sentiments as well as indirectly supporting the notion of spirit-body association at birth when he recently wrote, "Mortality is fully upon us when we first breathe the breath of life." (Ensign, April 1977, p. 3).

            Despite the various opinions voiced by General Authorities on when the spirit enters the body, or perhaps because of them, the First Presidency of Joseph Fielding Smith's era concluded in 1970:

            We may say that there is no direct revelation upon the subject of when the spirit enters the body; it has always been a moot question.  That there is life in the child before birth is an undoubted fact, but whether that life is the result of the affinity of the child in embryo with the life of its mother, or because the spirit has entered it remains an unsolved mystery." (Letter to W. Dean Belnap, Feb. 22, 19 70.)

            This admission, however, has in no way diminished the Church's abhorrence of abortion.  Indeed, although the Church did not directly address the Senate Hearing on Human Life in 1981, previous editorials in the Church News indicated the Church would support the proposition that human life exists from conception.  A Church News editorial from August 3. 1974, approvingly quoted Sen.  James Buckley of New York: "Anyone with the biological facts knows that a fetus, from the moment of conception, is a living human." (See also the CN editorial January 1, 1975.) Elder James E. Faust supported this view in the April 1975 general conference; at the same time he explicitly disassociated the concept of "human life" from any dependence on a spirit-body doctrine:

            Some say, as did the Supreme Court of the United States, that it is only a theory that human life is present from conception.  This is contrary to insurmountable medical evidence.... Because she feels it, every mother knows there is sacred life in the body of her unborn babe.  There is also life in the spirit, and some time before birth the body and spirit are united.  When they do come together, we have a human soul. (Ensign, 5:27-29, May 1975)

            Three years later, Patriarch Eldred G. Smith intimated for the first time since 1916 that abortion may be murder, although he was probably speaking to the concept of "human life" rather than spirit-body and did not intend his remarks to represent a change in Church policy.  After quoting Doctrine and Covenants 132:19 ("And if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood"), Patriarch Smith stated, "What do you think He's talking about? Is it possible that He was referring to abortion? Think about it! Is there more innocent life than that of the unborn child? And why is murder referred to when the Lord is talking about marriage?" (Ensign, May 1978, pp. 29-30).

            It should be noted, however, that despite the sentiments expressed above that human life exists from conception, the fetus has never been accepted as having full individual rights by society in general or the Church in particular.  For example, if human life truly begins at conception, the embryo, from the moment of conception, would enjoy all of the rights any individual has in our society, such as inclusion in the National Census, and medical aid and Social Security payments under Aid to Families with Dependent Children.  In the case of a miscarriage, birth and death records should be filed and the fetus buried in a cemetery as is customary for other, older, individuals.  In the Church, such a miscarried fetus would be entitled to a name, a blessing and a burial, none of which are currently given.

            From the perspective of the medical profession, the concept of human life from conception is also fraught with difficulties.  First of all, there is no consensus about when conception (the beginning of pregnancy) actually occurs.  The dictionary definition of "conception, "which presumably most of the commentators quoted above had in mind, usually refers to the moment when an egg is fertilized by sperm.  However, the medical profession does not recognize the beginning of pregnancy until the dividing, developing egg implants itself in the uterus some six days after fertilization.  This is the earliest point at which pregnancy can be detected clinically.  Thus, the Food and Drug Administration labels the I.U.D., which works by preventing implantation of the fertilized egg, as a contraceptive (preventing pregnancy) rather that as an abortifacient (inducing abortion). (To date the Church has not singled out the I.U.D. as being  less acceptable than other forms of contraception.) Other points when 'conception" may occur are (1) at two weeks, when the possibility of twinning is past (thus no "individual" exists until then), or (2) when the fetus demonstrates awareness of or responsiveness to external stimuli, spontaneous muscular movement, reflexive action or a positive brain scan (EEC). Any of these criteria would negate a finding of "death" according to the report of the Ad Hoc Committee of Harvard Medical School. (See Wardle and Wood, A Lawyer Looks at Abortion, 1982, chap. 2.)

            No matter which definition of conception is used, once a decision by society or the Church is made to recognize human life from conception, any medical procedure which increases the rate of miscarriage could be viewed as involuntary mans laughter.  This would include amniocentesis, x-rays, cancer chemotherapy, and medications for the mother.  An interesting case along these lines involves the hydatidiform mole, which is a potentially cancerous cluster of cells sometimes found in a woman's uterus.  Removal of this mole theoretically could be murder, as it is nothing more than a fertilized egg gone awry.

            In conclusion, then, the Church's stand against abortion apparently does not derive from a doctrine fixing the time when the spirit enters the body.  Further, although General Authorities have held various opinions about the subject of spirit-body, no "orthodox" view exists in the Church; it is a "moot question." An interesting corollary doctrinal point developed in the process is that life can exist without direct spiritual inhabitation, through "affinity" with another spirit, in this case the mother's, may be required.  Finally, although the fetus does not enjoy all of the rights of other individuals in the Church, the Church has generally affirmed its right to live.

            NOTE: U.S. Senator Jake Garn, (R) Utah, has reinstated a Constitutional amendment "to prohibit the practice [of abortion] except when the life of the mother is threatened."

            According to the release, Garn's so-called "Human Life Amendment" has been introduced in the past four Congresses and currently has twenty cosponsors.

            Garn says he is "disturbed by the 'outrageous' claims made by many abortion proponants which would lead people to believe that the enactment of any human life amendment 'will result in women being put in jail for having miscarriages.  We even hear such extreme references as 'coerced maternity.'"

            "The crucial fact too often overlooked in this debate is that once a woman becomes pregnant, she already has a baby.  The human life was established at the moment of conception. . . . Medical and biological science teaches unequivocally that life begins at conception, not a [sic] birth."

            Says Garn, "May people insist that the right to choose is paramount even over a right to life.  Aside front the obvious fact that the right to choose is meaningless until the right to life has been guaranteed there must he some sort of limit on the type of behavior that can be justified by some all-encompassing right to choose."

            JEFFREY E. KELLER will graduate from the, University of Utah medical school in May of this year.  He is the father of two.

            "Queries and Comments" welcomes suggestions for topics from readers.  Contact Gary Bergera, "Queries & Comments" editor, in care of SUNSTONE. Article Digest


By Martha Bradley

            New endeavors always seem to demand some sort of a justification.  In this case, it's easy.  Every year several fine articles are published on various aspects of Mormonism and religion.  They come in a variety of different forms.  Some are historical, some are sociological.  Others are simply the fascinating ramblings of an interesting mind.

            What is almost always true, however, is that many really important articles slip by unnoticed or unabsorbed because we were either too busy to read them or perhaps because they appeared in journals that we did not have access to.

            On the other hand, sometimes something we read grabs our interest, and we want more-but don't know where to go to get it.

            This new column will attempt to satisfy both these concerns.  First of all we want to call certain outstanding studies to your attention, giving a short synopsis of the most important and intriguing points that the author has presented.  And next, we'll provide a short bibliography of other interesting articles that have been written on similar subjects.  Hopefully it will both help you and inspire you to do additional in-depth reading.

            Allen, James B. "'Good Guys' Vs. 'Good Guys': Rudger Clawson, John Sharp, and Civil Disobedience in Nineteenth-Century Utah." Utah Historical Quarterly 48 (Spring 1980): 148-74.

            In "Good Guys" vs. "Good Guys" James B. Allen addresses the paradox faced by nineteenth-century Mormons in the wake of antipolygamy legislation.  He asks what conditions justify disobedience  to civil laws when they appear to be morally reprehensible at the same time assuming the importance of upholding and honoring the law?

            The policy of civil disobedience as announced by John Taylor in 1879 was part of a greater American tradition of dissent among those who found certain laws offensive to fundamental values and beliefs.  The Mormons argued for a higher law as the only true basis for judging the value of any single piece of legislation.

            Allen suggests that the duality implicit in this question lines up "good guys" against "good guys" on opposite sides of the issue -- using the examples of Rudger Clawson and John Sharp to illustrate how the Church dealt with both.

            Rudger Clawson was the first polygamist to be tried under the Edmunds Act.  He adopted the loyal mainline Mormon approach which was to avoid confrontation but when caught accept conviction without denying the principle.  In so doing he received the warm and consistent support of Church leaders and in the years immediately following ascended to a leadership position in the Church hierarchy as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

            By contrast John Sharp became a "dissenter from the dissenters." He chose in the confrontation to give up the principle rather than continue to disobey the law.  Sharp was looked upon by many as a traitor to the cause and found his Church position affected by his decision to succumb.  He was eventually asked to step down from his position as bishop where he had served for more than twenty years.

            For both men the question was one of conscience.  Each evidenced the fact that private and public morality are for many one in the same and that one's personal integrity rests upon the complex relationship between one's actions and one's sense of right.  Finally, Allen suggests that the moral rightness or wrongness of any decision is not always absolute and that one should reserve judgment and carefully examine motives, intentions, and integrity.

            Cannon, Kenneth L. II. "Mountain Common Law:' The Extralegal Punishment of Seducers in Early Utah." Utah Historical Quarterly 51 (Fall 1983): 308-27.

            When Howard Egan killed his wife's seducer and the father of her illegitimate child he was executing extralegal measures familiar to many Americans who assumed that vigilante action best served justice.

            According to Kenneth Cannon Utah's Mormon majority condoned such measures.  The cases of those who killed seducers, as well as editorial reaction in the press, attest to the existence of continued support for such extralegal activities.  In fact, in the period between 1851 and 1877, there were no convictions of men who had extralegally punished a relative's seducer or rapist.

            As defense attorney in the Egan case, young George A. Smith voiced the justification for the extralegal punishment of seducers, a principle of "mountain common law, when he said: "The principle, the only one, that beats and throbs through the hearts of the entire inhabitants of this territory, is simply this: The man who seduces his neighbor's wife must die, and her nearest relative must kill him!"

            Although there was not universal approval of the practice, many prominent community and Church leaders seemed to support extralegal measures to compensate for the inadequacies of legal statutes and institutions.  Mormon historian B. H. Roberts found the frequent turning to the "unwritten law" a tribute to the "high sense of honor, the virility, the strength, and the courage of the community's manhood."

            Cannon says that although vigilante justice in territorial Utah was similar to the experience in other parts of the country-it did attempt to bring order to society and to control crime-for the Mormons controlling seduction had the additional benefit of being good public relations.  In a time when many in the nation were accusing the Mormon patriarchy of licentiousness, this intolerance of seduction seemed to be tangible evidence of the high moral standards of the Church.

            This article won the Dale L. Morgan Award for the best scholarly article published in Utah Historical Quarterly during 1984.

            Linford, Orma. "The Mormons, the Law, and the Territory of Utah." The American journal of Legal History 23 (July 1979): 213-35,

            Throughout its history America has had a tradition of legalism which holds a special regard for the law as both idea and a system of institutions.  As one legal historian put it "People in the United States were anxious to reduce public issues to legal issues, and to justify their notions of policy by appeal to legality.  Behind such thinking was a widespread popular conviction that in a meaningful sense men had 'rights' which they could go to court to enforce."

            In this article Orma Linford asks several questions about the Mormons and their relationship to the law.  How did the Mormons reject this tradition of legalism and why? How was Mormon Utah different from the rest of the country? What was the legal system created by the Church in Utah?

            By the time the Saints had settled in the Great Basin, they had developed an elaborate philosophy about the law, lawyers, and legal institutions.  Much of this thinking was developed through experience.  The Latter-day Saint church's history of confrontation with the law began with the Prophet Joseph Smith, who was accused of various crimes, including imposture, banking law obstruction, treason, murder, arson, robbery, and a number of other felonies.  In Kirtland, in Nauvoo, and wherever they settled, the Saints seemed to invite trouble and experienced repeated legal confrontations.  They even discovered the insufficiency of court systems led by their own men, following laws of their own making.

            In territorial Utah the Mormon majority began to work outside the legal parameters of the law and created parallel law enforcement bodies with their own jurisdiction, authority, and laws which clearly constituted a challenge to federal authority.

            The law and the legal institutions  which made it possible for the rest of American society to have their civil rights and liberties secured did not in the same way meet the needs of the Mormons.  The resulting concept of law was quite different from the traditional American interpretation of the rule of law as a protector of private rights and a regulator of civil society.  To the Mormons, individual rights were subordinate to the good of the group.  The establishment of order had already been accomplished through God's laws.  To them, laws, both spiritual and temporal, were created for the growth of the kingdom.  The Mormons' special contempt for judges and for the law itself was directly in opposition to the typical nineteenth-century American viewpoint.

            Linford concludes that this relationship was also different because of Latter-day Saint idealism, utopianism, and the complete merging of Church and state which in the rest of the country were so carefully separated. SELECTED WORKS

            Allen, James B. "'Good Guys' vs. 'Good Guys': Rudger Clawson, John Sharp, and Civil Disobedience in Nineteenth-century Utah." Utah Historical       Quarterly 48 (Spring 1980): 148-74.

            Cannon, Kenneth L. II. "Mountain Common Law: The Extralegal Punishment of Seducers in Early Utah." Utah Historical Quarterly 51 (Fall 1983): 308-27.

            Church, Al and Janice Perry. "The Long Arm of the Lawyer." Utah Holiday, February 1979, 26-35.

            Dyer, Robert G. "The Evolution of Social and Judicial Attitudes Towards Polygamy." Utah Bar Journal 5 (Spring 1977): 213-35.

            Ellsworth, Paul. "Mobocracy and the Rule of Law: American Press Reaction to the Murder of Joseph Smith." BYU Studies 20 (Fall 1979): 71-82.

            Galliher, J. F. and L. Basilick. "Utah's Liberal Drug Laws: Structural Foundations and Triggering Events." Social Problems 26 (1979): 284-97.

            Gardner, Martin R. "Illicit Legislative Motivation as Sufficient Condition for Unconstitutionality under the Establishment Clause-A Case for Consideration: The Utah Firing Squad." Washington University Law Quarterly (Spring 1979): 435-99.

            Gardner, Martin R. "Mormonism and Capital Punishment: a Doctrinal Perspective, Past and Present." Dialogue 12 (Spring 1979): 9-26.

            Gee, Elizabeth D. "Justice for All or for the 'Elect'? The Utah County Probate Court, 18,55-72." Utah Historical Quarterly 48 (Spring 1980): 129-47.

            Grime, Mary Cochran. "Chief Justice Daniel Gantt of the Nebraska Supreme Court: Letters and Excerpts from his journal, 1835-1878." Nebraska History 61 (Fall 1980): 280-309.

            Linford, Orma. "The Mormons and the Law-The Polygamy Cases." Utah Law Review 9 (Winter 1964): 213-35.

            Linford, Orma. "The Mormons, the Law, and the Territory of Utah." American Journal of Legal History 23 (July 1979): 213-35.

            Moody, Eric N. "Nevada's Anti-Mormon Legislation of 1887 and Southern Idaho Annexation." Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 22 (Spring 1979): 21.

            Schweikart, Larry. "The Mormon Connection: Lincoln, the Saints, and the Crisis of Equality." Western Humanities Review 34 (Winter 1980): 1-22.

            Swenson, Raymond T. "Resolution in Civil Disputes by Mormon Ecclesiastical Courts. . ." Utah Law Review 23 (1978): 573-95.

            Wells, Merle W. "Law in the Service of Politics: Anti-Mormonism in Idaho Territory." Idaho Yesterdays 25 (Spring 1981): 131-54.

            Winder, Lori. "LDS Position on the ERA: An Historical View." Exponent II 6 (Winter 1980): 6-7.



            George had had Alsina for

            But few years when their fifth was born.

            Their lore was sealed with years of days

            And nights beneath the quilt she'd made.

            The white and yellow pillowslips,

            The laced crocheted embroidery

            Were threads that tied the time to her

            And witnessed all the angel-love

            That could not be contained within

            The fragile vessel that she was

            And so, flowed into crewel blooms --

            (Little lilacs on the sheets.)

            Their fifth had brought brain fever.

            He held her pulsing hands in his

            And rubbed her fingers in his palms.

            Her cheeks were Winter's early flowers:

            Poinsettias bright on snowy banks;

            The lines around her mouth and eyes

            Impious tracks through virgin snow

            Unjustly dark, unjustly deep.

            Her eyes, half-open, stare at him.

            Her little mouth stuck to her teeth.

            He moved his hands to touch her hair

            And let his fingers press her head.

            He thought about the Priesthood pose,

            The way and words to bless, to heal . . .

            He kissed her dark and gleaming strands.

            "I have the power to call on God,"

            He whispered to her needlepoint.

            "I'll use my strength to make you well.

            Lord knows I'll wilt without you here."

            Her breaths were loud, laborious.

            "I'll never be the same," she said.

            "Oh, George, my love, please let me go."

            He held her close and breathed, "I can't."

            Alsina turned her head away.

            And when George laid her down again,

            She cried and stained the pillowslips;

            The thread that tied her down. -Margaret Blair Fox




Huebener Group Lauded in Hamburg

            Helmuth Huebener would have been sixty years old on 8 January 1985. But he was executed at the age of seventeen for masterminding a scheme to distribute anti-Hitler flyers around Hamburg in Nazi Germany.

            Anti-fascists now revere Huebener as a national hero.  On the anniversary of his birth last month, the Vereinigung der Verfolgtendes Naziregimes (VVN), an antifascist group, and the government of Hamburg saluted Huebener and two co-conspirators who survived him.  Karl-Heinze Schnibbe and Rudi Wobbe, fellow Mormons now living in Salt Lake City, were greeted as celebrities, for a week-long commemoration honoring the so-called "Huebener Group."

            It all began when Huebener became disillusioned with the National Socialist Party.  He observed members of the local LDS branch becoming obsessed with Nazism.  For example, the branch president at one time mounted a sign on the chapel door which said, "Jews not allowed to enter." On occasion Hitler's radio broadcasts were part of Church services-the door to the chapel locked to insure attendance.

            In the summer of 1941, Huebener invited Schnibbe and Wobbe, who shared similar sentiments about the Nazis, to listen to an illegal BBC radio broadcast.  During the next nine months Huebener used the information learned from such broadcasts to produce some twenty-nine leaflets which were distributed by Wobbe and Schnibbe around Hamburg.  When Huebener attempted to expand the operation by inviting others to participate, the Gestapo was informed.

            Huebener, Wobbe, and Schnibbe were arrested on February 5, 1942. Ten days later the branch president wrote "excommunicated" on Huebener's Church records.  It was believed at the time by most Church members that Huebener had defied the Twelfth Article of Faith which admonished members to support the government.  Noted as a "mistake," Huebener's membership was later reinstated.

            As ringleader of the group, Huebener was sentenced to die.  He was beheaded on October 27, 1942. Schnibbe and Wobbe were both sent to labor camps on charges of conspiracy to commit high treason and for aiding and abetting the enemy.  Wobbe was liberated from Hahnoefersand concentration camp by the British in 1945 and Schnibbe, inducted into the German army four weeks before the end of the war, was captured and spent four years in Soviet labor camps.  Schnibbe has recently published a book about his experiences.  Co-authored by Alan Keele, The Price is reviewed in this issue.

            Both Schnibbe and Wobbe have visited Hamburg since their immigration to the United States.  However this is the first time the men have been publicly honored for heroism.  Says Wobbe, "After forty years, to come back to a city that had actually put us away in concentration camps and prisons ... now to be honored and taken around as guests of the city with the members of the government . . . it was surprising-even a bit uncomfortable."

            Schnibbe and Wobbe visited the two prisons where they had been incarcerated.  When they visited Glasmoor, a labor prison located in the wetlands, they were asked to address the prisoners.  Says Schnibbe, "We told them how easy they have it now compared to then.  When we were here in the 1940s we spent more than a year in the most  terrible conditions.  The prison was not so clean and nice-it seems more like a hotel now."

            "I had a flashback," recalls Wobbe, "about going down that long hall to the interrogation room where I had been beaten.  At least this time I could leave when I wanted without getting shot."

            Wobbe and Schnibbe also placed flowers at Ploetzensee, the site of Huebener's execution.  The Berlin prison is now a memorial to the victims of the Nazi Regime.

            At a banquet held at Helmuth Huebener Hall in Hamburg, Wobbe and Schnibbe were asked to retell the story of their fight against Hitler.  They were then awarded certificates "for outstanding opposition to the National Socialist terror regime and the restoration of Freedom and Democracy earning the praise of the VVN." Schnibbe and Wobbe were also given two medals each for "distinctive and honorable service."

            Wobbe visited the branch in Hamburg where he spoke in sacrament meeting and taught the lessons in Sunday School and Aaronic priesthood meeting.  Not only was he asked to relate his experience, but for the priesthood lesson he was specifically assigned to teach about the Twelfth Article of Faith which reads, "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

            While quite a bit of international and local publicity surrounds them, Wobbe and Schnibbe have noticed that none of it comes from the LDS church.  In fact they feel the LDS church has tried to "whitewash" the whole story.  They suggest several possible reasons.  Wobbe believes that there are presently some members of the Church in Utah and in Europe who were Nazi supporters during the war.  Now these members want to forget their past and have solicited the support of the Church hierarchy in this effort.  They feel the leaders may also be afraid that promoting Schnibbe and Wobbe as Mormon antifascists may thwart the Church's effort in East Germany and other Eastern bloc nations.  Since communists are antifascists, Schnibbe insists this could not happen. "We are the heros of East Germany, and we are Mormons," he says. "That would help the Church much more than what they do -- shun us."

            To illustrate, Schnibbe and Wobbe refer to at least two instances.  In 1976 the play "Huebener" by Thomas F. Rogers closed after a short but successful run amid rumors that Rogers had been instructed to forbid further performances.  When asked to comment on the incident, Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Council of Twelve Apostles said, "Who knows what was right or wrong then? I don't know what we accomplish by dredging these things up and trying to sort them out."

            Schnibbe and Wobbe maintain they knew-as all Mormons should have known-what was wrong then.  They believe that even though the LDS church sustains the Twelfth Article of Faith, this should not preclude following one's conscience.

            They cite Doctrine and Covenants 134 verses 2 and 5: "We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free will and exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life" and "We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside ... and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedomof conscience."

            "We just had to 'do what is right, let the consequence follow"' Schnibbe echoes an LDS hymn.

            Certainly "It was an experience that matured us before our time," says Wobbe. "But we'd do it again in a second.  There is no excuse for denying what's right.  No way."


            Since "it is important for us as Church leaders to be aware of the changing life experiences of Latter-day Saint men and women, both in the Church and in society at large ... the Council of the Twelve has asked the Correlation Department to conduct a national survey in order to hear directly from a cross-section of Church members about the impact of these changes on their lives."

            So proposes the cover letter of a thirty-six-page survey which asks participants to freely, honestly, and anonymously respond to personal questions concerning some of the most thought-provoking social issues facing Church members today.

            The letter, dated October 29, 1984, assures participants that the survey has "no right or wrong answers, and no trick or hidden meanings in any of the questions." Indeed the questions are very straightforward, usually requiring the participant to agree or disagree with a statement on a scale from one to five.

            For example one section asks the participant to indicate how closely each of the following statements describes their experiences as members of the Church:

            It is unlikely that I can be heard at the Church headquarters through the formal channels.

            I feel that Relief Society lessons and activities are not relevant to my needs and interests.

            It is insulting to women to have the 'obey' idea remain in the marriage relationship.

            Women should worry less about their rights and more about becoming good wives and mothers.

            Women should be strong, independent, thinking individuals.

            I have felt pressure in the Church to fit into a mold rather than be an individual.

            Other questions are directed to single parents who are asked to agree or disagree with such statements as "My children have been left out of some social activities at Church because I am single" and "Sometimes going to Church makes me feel guilty because I am a single parent."

            Married participants are asked to agree or disagree with such statements as the following:

            My marriage has not measured up to what I thought it would be.

            Our sexual relations are unsatisfying.

            Women and men should have the same chance to seek education and develop their abilities.

            Husbands and wives should have an equal say in decisions in their marriage and family.

            "How often has your spouse done any of the following during the last year?" reads one section.  Participants may answer from never to once a week or more to such options as "sulked, or refused to talk about an issue? Insulted you or sworn at you? Threw, smashed, hit, or kicked something? Pushed, grabbed, or shoved you? Kicked, bit, or hit you? Beat you up? Threatened to use or did use a weapon on you?"

            Another section queries: "in general, who do you think has more natural ability to do the following tasks? Men, women, or both are equally capable? Organizing, cleaning up, getting work done, administering programs, having good ideas, teaching youth, planning, sensing the needs of others, explaining doctrine, caring for children, communicating well, training leaders, conducting meetings, making decisions?"

            Participants are also asked to "indicate how well you think the efforts listed below help increase women's sense of their own contribution to the Church":

            Recent talks by General Authorities have made efforts to speak to women in all types of circumstances, whether never-married, divorced, employed etc.

            Last April, the LDS Church's General Conference included women speakers in each of the sessions.

            The Church's policy was changed a few years ago that opening and closing prayers in sacrament meeting could be offered by men or women.

            Bishops have been told they can issue temple recommends to both single men and women who qualify but have not served a mission

            Motherhood and homemaking are spoken of highly by the leaders of the Church.

            "When you hear a General Authority talk about women's roles," begins one section, "do you almost always or almost never feel motivated, disappointed, angry, understood, confused, guilty, pleased, or confined?"

            Participants are also asked whether certain specified practices in the Church seem "the way you would like it to be":

            Ward dinners are usually chaired by women.

            Gospel Doctrine classes are taught mostly by men.

            Generally, young women are not encouraged to serve fulltime missions.

            The amount spent on Young Men's programs and activities exceeds the amount spent on Young Women's programs and activities

            Primary Presidents are always women

            Sunday School Presidents are always men.

            Nursery workers are usually women.

            As a rule, women do not give talks or pray in General conference.

            A husband's permission is sought before a call is discussed with his wife, but a wife's permission is not sought before a call is discussed with her husband

            Home teachers are encouraged to pray with families they visit; visiting teachers are not encouraged to do so.

            Finally, one section asks for personal statistics: childhood and parental religiosity, tithing payment, marital and employment status, and current Church activity.  Participants are also asked to describe in their own words, "the  most troublesome problem facing you at this time?" "What do you think is the most troublesome problem for women in the Church today?" The survey concludes with an invitation to make additional comments in a space provided.

            Sources say that at this point about 51 percent of the surveys have been returned.  It is unknown how many were asked to participate in the survey.


            Among Mormons, higher education does not necessarily have a secularizing effect on religiosity.  In fact, according to a study by Brigham Young University sociologists Stan L. Albrect and Tim B. Heaton, there seems to be a positive relationship between education and church activity.

            In the summer of 1981 Heaton and Albrect sent a survey to a random sampling of 7446 adults whose names were taken from a computerized membership list kept at Church headquarters.

            Heaton and Albrect acknowledge that a number of previous studies indicated that "educational achievement impacts negatively on religious commitment and that increased levels of education often lead to apostasy as individuals encounter views that deemphasize spiritual growth and elevate scientific and intellectual achievement."

            However, Albrect and Heaton note that such studies have treated all religions as a homogenous group-which they say "ignores important denominational differences."

            Although Mormons, Episcopalians, and Presbyterians are similar in their correlation between education and church attendance, Mormons have the highest overall attendance of all the groups considered.  And even though Mormons with no college education are not "exceptionally high attenders ... Mormons with college experience have attendance notably higher than any other group."

            For example, Church attendance among highly educated Mormon men reaches a 77.3 percent level compared to Episcopalians with 27.8percent and Presbyterians with 37.4percent.  Among women, the attendance rate for Mormons was 78.9 percent with Episcopalians at 38.1 percent and Presbyterians at 51.4 percent.

            In addition the study shows that for Mormon men measurable indicators of religiosity such as Church attendance, scripture study, tithe payment, and personal prayer increased significantly from a 34 percent Church attendance rate among grade school educated men to 80 percent among those with graduate school experience.

            Women increased their Church activity from grade school through college (48 to 82 percent), but the level fell to 76 percent among women with graduate school experience.  Albrect and Heaton were unable to explain this decline.

            In examining the various reasons for the results of the study, the sociologists discount the idea that Mormons may attend Church for "status attainment." Highly educated Mormons are not religiously active because of peer pressure.

            Heaton and Albrect admit the explanation may be that when LDS college-age students attend Church-owned colleges and universities, "almost 90percent report weekly attendance, ranking them 18-20 percent points higher than those who do not go to a Church university."

            Yet another factor may be that educated men and women often serve in the "lay-clergy" in various leadership and administrative capacities. "Successful performance in these callings requires a great variety of skills including things like bookkeeping, teaching, organizational management, and interpersonal relations.  Some skills are acquired through an educational system.  Since one's success in one's calling is such a central aspect of church participation, the link between education and participation comes as no surprise."

            Because of the study, Albrect and Heaton conclude that increased education among Mormons positively affects the expression of religiosity, activity, and commitment to the LDS church.

 Speeches & Conferences


            "It seems to me that the point that needs to be made is that two non-Mormons could never do an appropriate book on the Church," observed Robert Gottlieb, co-author of America's Saints: The Rise of Mormon Power, to some 400 persons attending the 31 January meeting of the B. H. Roberts Society at the University of Utah. "We would never be able to understand the spiritual side of the Church."

            Besides, continued Gottlieb, other books had already explored that dimension of the Church. "There is very little if any literature dealing with the modern history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however.  America's Saints describes the nature of the contemporary Church and its impact on society-not only Mormon society but society at large."

            Gottlieb then went on to reminisce with the audience about his experiences with co-author Peter Wiley in the dogged pursuit of information about the Church.

            When the Public Communications department turned down twenty-eight out of thirty requests for interviews with LDS General Authorities, the authors devised other means of gathering information.  For example, Gottlieb and Wiley developed the "two-track" approach: they went around Public Communications and independently set up interviews with individual Church leaders.  On one occasion, however, an appointment which had been set using this method was promptly cancelled when as a matter of courtesy the General Authority informed Public Communications.  After all, said Gottlieb, "The purpose of the Public Communications department is to keep journalists at bay.  And although relations with Public Communications were courteous, such incidents magnified the level of inaccessibility.

            "There is a deeply entrenched journalistic myth," he explained, "that one cannot write about the Mormon church because of the level of secrecy." He and his co-worker ignored the myth and discovered the "vast network of gossip," which "contains a volume of information."

            "That is not traditional journalism," he conceded, "but it is very open and far from the idea of 'closed' information." In fact, he says, they had to eliminate a great deal from the book because of the overabundance of documented material.

            At the same time, Gottlieb admitted the most valid criticism of America's Saints is that they didn't spend enough time researching the book. "There was so much more we wanted to do," he says.  For example he had wanted to expand their treatment of women in the Church and the Church in third world countries, specifically Central and South America, but they did not have the financial resources. "The answer for us is to continue to write about the Mormon Church in magazines, newspapers, books," he concluded.

            When questioned by members of the B. H. Roberts Society audience, Gottlieb discounted specific accusations of possible inaccuracies in America's Saints.  He responded to the rumor that Elder James E. Faust of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles had complained about being quoted directly in the book although he had never been interviewed by Gottlieb and Wiley.  Gottlieb explained the quotes were taken from Faust's oral history which is available in the Church Archives.

            When challenged on the book's assertion that Quorum of Twelve member Neal Maxwell had been extensively involved in the organization of the Church's Correlation Department, Gottlieb stood by the information documented in America's Saints.  He says although Maxwell was not serving as a Church official at the time, sources, including Elder Maxwell, support the book's interpretation.

            There have been some legitimate questions about the book and about the intentions of the authors, said Gottlieb. "it has been said we're not out of the anti-Mormon fashion tradition, nor are we writing a faith-promoting book." "What is our perspective?" is a  very good question, he admitted.  The answer, he maintained, can be found in the last chapter of the book: "What is so rich in terms of the Mormon culture and which will strengthen it in years to come, is when there is a space and when there is autonomy-that sense needs to exist in the Church and in any other institution in our society."

            Jack Newell, co-editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and dean of the college of liberal education at the University of Utah agreed with Gottlieb when asked to respond to America's Saints.

            Newell concurs that the LDS church "is beset with enormous problems dealing with scales." By trying to regulate the affairs of the Church's nearly six million members, Newell believes "the organization is bound to become highly bureaucratic."

            Newell says the book accurately describes such problems as the "untrained and relatively entrenched" lay clergy.  When inexperienced bishops and stake presidents have questions about doctrine or policy, they tend to take it to a higher level, such as General Authority.  This tendency "raises authority higher and higher which results in less autonomy down lower."

            A loss of autonomy also takes place when so many converts are regulated into full membership into the Church in such a short period of time.  Newell indicates this puts a great deal of responsibility on the Correlation Department of the Church because they have to write material and manuals for people who are very unfamiliar with Church doctrine and society.  Indeed, converts are supposed to be able to "learn Church history and scripture, understand organizational demands and become able to take on positions of responsibility in the Church leadership" almost immediately after baptism. "This can be very challenging for new members of the Church," says Newell. "This," he laments, has led to the centralized organization of the Church," which he and Gottlieb agree has tipped the scale from an emphasis on personal independence and autonomy, to the Church's stress on authority and obedience.



            Gary Bergera and Ronald Priddis are a seemingly ubiquitous and inseparable team.  They met in 1981 when Bergera was editing a special issue of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought; Priddis had contributed an article to the issue.  That year they helped to organize the Seventh East Press, a no-longer existing independent BYU student newspaper.  Along with writing, editing and producing the tabloid, they both served on the Board of Trustees.  Since then the two have been co-authoring a book which recounts the thematic history of Brigham Young University.  In the midst of working on it, however, Bergera and Priddis were hired as publisher and production/business manager of Signature Books-the same press that commissioned them to author the book.

            Priddis and Bergera had been serving on the Board of Directors of Signature along with the company's owner, George Smith, Lavina Fielding Anderson, Allen Roberts, Everett Cooley, D. Michael Quinn, and Richard VanWagoner.

            As publisher, Bergera succeeds Scott Kenney, one of the original founders of SUNSTONE. Kenney has returned to BYU to pursue a Ph.D. in history.

            Bergera, 30, a history and LDS church doctrine buff, graduated in 1980 with a BS in psychology and completed a masters in Public Administration at BYU in 1982. The Provo native has published articles in SUNSTONE and the Utah Historical Quarterly, and he won a Mormon History Association award in 1980 for an article titled "The Orson Pratt-Brigham Young Controversies, 1854-1868," which appeared in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.

            Priddis, also 30 and from the Bay Area, graduated from BYU with a degree in Food Science and Nutrition.

            Since Signature's founding in 1981, the Salt Lake City-based company has published some twenty titles.  One of their best-selling works is the nine-volume Wilford Woodruff Journal, edited by Scott Kenney.  Over 450 copies have been sold at $400 a set, says Bergera.

            Other popular Signature books include Orson Scott Card's Saintspeak, Summer Fire by Douglas Thayer, and Saints Without Halos by Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton.

            Bergera maintains that the purpose of Signature is "to publish scholarly works on Mormon history, arts, and letters which would not find an outlet with established LDS-oriented publishers."

            With that in mind, the company plans to produce at least four new titles a year.  In 1985 we'll see such works on the bookstands as Priddis and Bergera's BYU history and Richard Van Wagoner's analysis of polygamy from the 1830s to the present.

            Meanwhile Bergera says he finds his new responsibilities "exciting, yet uncomfortable because they're so new." He also says he looks forward to tapping from the "vast readership Signature has the potential of reaching."


            The Mormon church has taken a very clear and firm stand on the issue of homosexuality.  Church leaders have called it "wrong in the sight of God," "a dark sin," and "unholy."

            Because of the Church's rigid position, the topic of "gay Mormons" has been publicly discussed by few people.  However, in 1982 a two-part series on homosexuality at BYU was published in the Seventh East Press, an independent student newspaper.  The articles, containing interviews with gay students and information on how the problem had been handled both by BYU and the Church, are believed to have been partially responsible for the eventual demise of the paper.

            According to Maxine Hanks, advertising manager and co-founder of the Seventh East Press, the articles were not well accepted by either the advertising community or a sector of the campus community.  The Press became "somewhat tainted as a gay paper" for a time.

            In August of 1982, four months after the Press articles, KBYU, a student operated public television station, produced a series on homosexuality.  The first of the three-part series dealt with homosexuality in general, the second with homosexuality in Utah, and the third with homosexuality at BYU. The first two were aired as scheduled, but the third was not released.  The station manager, Joe White, told the staff this was because it did not meet with the station's "standard of journalistic accuracy."

            More recently, an in-depth three-part series on homosexuality was printed in the University of Utah student newspaper, The Daily Utah Chronicle.  The first part of the report written by Marilyn Abildskov focused on the experiences gay Mormons have in dealing with their sexuality and spirituality.

            John Cooper, a life Mormon, described the depression which beset him as he struggled with what he perceived as an "evil" problem. "A lot of people are able to compartmentalize their lives and can live a gay lifestyle while they still go to church.  I was never able to do that," Cooper told the Chronicle.

            Duane Dawson, a former BYU student, said, "I understand the Church has to have standards to live by but we all have to live with ourselves too."

            A former president of the Lesbian and Gay Student Union at the University of Utah, Michael Aaron, noted that "nowhere else is the remedy as tough for gays as in the Mormon church."

            The LDS posture on homosexuality was detailed in the second part of the Chronicle series.  According to the article, the Church's belief that homosexuality is a "choice" matter and can be cured" is often attacked as being too simplistic.

            One "disillusioned gay Mormon" wrote of the Church's stand, "Attempting to apply theological dogma to a complex human condition (like homosexuality) often does violence to both theology and the condition."

            An LDS Institute of Religion instructor, who wished to go unnamed as did all of the Church leaders interviewed by Abildskov for the article, stated that it would be a mistake to embrace solutions "because we know so little about homosexuality." He also said that Latter-day Saints need to be more Christian in their treatment of gays.

            What does the future hold for gay Mormons who are struggling with the dichotomy which exists between their church teachings and their sexuality? This question was addressed in the third part of the report.

            Most observers agree that the LDS position on homosexuality is unlikely to change.  Because of this, a number of gay Mormons in the Salt Lake area have chosen to attend services of other denominations where they feel more accepted.

            According to the article, the Salt Lake Unitarian Church, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, and the Metropolitan Community Church all have "large numbers of gay members already participating in their congregations."

            These churches view homosexuality quite differently from the LDS view. "I don't look on homosexuality as an illness.  It's not a matter of choice," said Reverend Anthony Auer who is the pastor of the Mt. Tabor Church.

            In comparison with previous articles, Abildskov's series received almost no negative reactions.


            "I feel completely cleared and vindicated," exclaims Norman Hancock after settling his $18 million defamation lawsuit against the LDS church out of court.

            As reported in SUNSTONE Volume ten number two, the Mesa, Arizona man had asked that his name be removed from the membership records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He claims that instead, local leaders summoned him before a 16-member Church court where he was "humiliated" and "slandered" with "false" accusations of "illicit, improper, and immoral conduct."

            According to Hancock, within weeks of the hearing scheduled for March 1, 1985, he met with Regional Representative Kenyon Udall and Phoenix, Arizona Stake President Kent Turley, who, as a lawyer, was acting as legal representative for the Church Hancock says the men had "been in touch with" at least five of the Twelve Apostles and LDS church attorney Oscar McConkie before the meeting where it was agreed Hancock's name would be removed from membership records and his excommunication proceedings dismissed.  In exchange, Hancock dropped the lawsuit.

            Says Hancock, "Hopefully now anybody who wants to get out of the Church will use this as a precedent without going through the excommunication process."

 Washington Corner


            The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has joined a campaign seeking to ban or curtail all alcohol advertising.  Other civic and religious groups involved in the effort include the National Parent-Teacher Association, the National Council on Alcoholism, and the Baptist Church.

            These groups, concerned about the negative effects alcohol advertising produces, are led by an offshoot organization of the Center for Science in Public Interest called SMART-Stop Marketing Alcohol on Radio and Television.  SMART brought the issue to public attention two years ago by submitting 600,000 signatures to Congress asking for either a ban on beer and wine commercials or for equal air time to advertise the dangers of alcohol abuse

            A well attended hearing, scheduled by Mormon Senator Paula Hawkins (R-Florida), was held before the Senate Subcommittee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse February 7. At the meeting, none of the senators, including Hawkins, took a definite stand on the matter.

            A Church statement submitted to the subcommittee was entered into the hearing record.  The statement expresses concern for America's youth, saying they "deserve our best efforts to protect them from drug abuse."

            "Existing scientific evidence of the far-reaching harmful effects of alcohol abuse requires that the public interest be protected by measures to restrict the excessive advertising of this tragically abused drug," reads the release.

            Despite Church endorsement of the ban, Mormon Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Chairman of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, does not support the proposal.  Ed Darrell, press secretary to the majority committee on human resources, said that while the Senator does not like the advertising and is concerned with alcohol abuse, Hatch does not believe the  proposal will have success in Congress.

            Darrell noted that the alcohol industry has been very receptive to concerns about advertising.  Since Hatch met with the Distilled Industry Spirits Council of the U.S. in 1977, the industry has targeted the responsible social drinker in their advertising and have actively campaigned against alcohol abuse, said Darrell.

            The current drive for a ban has not been ignored by the broadcast industry which, according to the New York Times, receives in excess of $700 million in advertising revenue from the alcoholic beverages manufacturers.

            The National Association of Broadcasters, the major lobbying force fighting the proposal, plans to "demonstrate that the industry is capable of addressing the issue voluntarily," reported the Times.  Over the past year broadcasters have increased the number of public service announcements on drunk driving and alcohol education.

            The Justice Department has scheduled a conference this month with hopes of outlining a voluntary resolution which will be agreeable to both sides.  In any case, it is clear the Church will continue to push for at least a "stringent curtailment of alcohol advertising on all media." D. C. TEMPLE SPOTLIGHTED

            On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Washington, D.C. temple dedication, an article titled "The Temple By the Beltway" appeared on the front page of the Washington Post Style section.  Architecture critic Benjamin Forgey told SUNSTONE he felt the anniversary was "a natural time to take another look at an outstanding building." Forgey noted that the large structure, which rises high above the surrounding foliage to startle oncoming traffic on the Capital Beltway, is "outstanding" in more ways than one.

            In his November 17, 1984 article, Forgey detailed his impressions of both the exterior and the interior of the temple.  He compared the exterior to Neuschwanstein, Emerald City, and a 1920s New York City skyscraper.  He described it as being "Neither Great Architecture nor High Art," but an "almost bizarre combination of sophistication and sincerity, knowledgeability and naivete.  Above all it is a memorable and likable building."

            But when he toured the building before its dedication, he was somewhat disappointed with the interior. "Many may have been as surprised, as I was, not to find on the inside the great sanctuary space traditional in Christian cathedrals.  After all, from the outside the building suggests a soaring interior room," he wrote. "In actuality, the interior is much like a six-story office building."

            Describing the decor, Forgey wrote, "in general the interior is undistinguished, and the appointments ... run somewhat depressing gamut of motel modern and hotel rococo."

            His article received no reaction in the form of letters to the editor, but a number of people commented to Forgey.  It is a building about which people tend to feel very strongly, he noted.

            Coupled with Forgey's article was another one titled, "The Temple as a Neighbor." The writer, Lloyd Grove, interviewed several residents living in close proximity to the temple.  Except for one man who was annoyed that his television reception to Baltimore had been cut off, most of the people were not opposed to the temple's presence in their neighborhood.

            One boy and his friends saw the templeground as a sort of adventureland.  They called the temple the "Witches Castle" and said they often sneaked through the fence surrounding it to play within its boundaries.





DOUBLEDAY, 1984. $19.95, 394 PP. Reviewed by Marvin S. Hill

            Within the mind of most of the Mormon people who came west to Utah, Emma Smith, the wife of the Prophet, has indeed seemed an enigma.  She was devout in many ways-the "elect lady" in the early Church, leader in the Relief Society, a woman who endured hardship and adversity and retained her love of Joseph-yet wavered in her faith when the doctrine of plural mar-riage was introduced into the Church in the 1840s.  Emma then turned against Joseph and the Church, and upon the Prophet's death seized property belonging to the institution, refused to follow the leadership of Brigham Young or go west, and assisted in the establishment of an apostate organization.  Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery have deliberately set out to reconsider this negative image, to see Emma as an individual rather than a symbol, writing, as they say, "neither to support nor to dispute doctrine" but to allow "the line of condemnation or justification to fall where it may." The amazing achievement of this biography is how well thes two distinguished scholars have succeeded in their objectives.

            By any standard this is a fine biography, informative, insightful, and at times provocative.  Newell and Avery have done meticulous research in original sources and are well read in the latest findings of the "new Mormon" historians.  A review of some of their new information and fresh insights will suggest how extensive their reading and research has been and how arresting some of their conclusions.

            They tell us that newspaper sources show that Joseph Smith sought membership in the Methodist Church in Harmony, Pennsylvania.  In the spring or summer of 1829  but that Emma's cousin bitterly opposed this because Joseph was a "practicing necromancer" who would be required to renounce his "fraudulent and hypocritical practices" to qualify for full membership.  Joseph's name remained on the class rolls for six months but he never attained membership.

            According to David Whitmer, Emma was disgusted at the spitting of tobacco juice by the elders in a school in Kirtland which was held above her kitchen.  She said, "It would be a good thing if a revelation could be had declaring the use of tobacco a sin." The elders countered against Emma and the ladies by suggesting that the revelation should also provide for abstinence from the use of tea and coffee.  When "Joseph's revelation came," Newell and Avery write, "it advised against the use of strong drinks or tobacco."

            Newell and Avery provide several examples of Emma's devotion to Joseph, of the many personal sacrifices she made, of the hardships she endured, and of her thoughtfulness and compassion for others.  To make ends meet financially on more than one occasion she took in boarders, was left alone frequently to deal with family difficulty and crisis, was driven from her home and endured long periods of deprivation.  It took its toll.  After fleeing Far West she wrote of her flight to Illinois with a touch of bitterness:

            No one but God, knows the . . . feelings of my heart when I left our house and home, and almost all of everything we possessed. . . . the reflection is more than human nature ought to bear.  If God ... does not avenge our wrongs on them that are guilty, I shall be sadly mistaken.

            These authors challenge the widely held view that it was Emma who was largely responsible for Joseph's return to Nauvoo and to martyrdom after he had escaped across the Mississippi on the night of June 22, 1844. Pointing out that the content of the letter which Emma wrote, supposedly in protest against his flight, is not precisely known and that Hyrum was the one who urged Joseph to return to Nauvoo, perhaps because his daughter was getting married that night, they present strong evidence that Joseph had intended going eastward rather than west when he crossed the Mississippi.

            Emma inherited Joseph's debts upon his death, and these plagued her for years.  Joseph had not always distinguished what property was his and what belonged to the Church, and this proved a sore spot between Emma, a needy widow, and Brigham Young, whose concerns were primarily for the Church.  Brigham said Emma owned property in Nauvoo worth $50,000, but Newell and Avery insist that  Brigham inflated its value.  By the time Emma paid her taxes in 1847 she had land worth only $8,000, and two years later it was worth half that much.  At this time Emma was still responsible for about $70,000 worth of Joseph's debts, so that she had hardly prospered at Church expense.

            They argue plausibly that James Arlington Bennett authored the oft-cited letter to the New York Sun in November 1845 in Emma's name, in which she purportedly said she never believed in her husband's revelations and thought him laboring with a diseased mind.  As they argue it, Bennett, who had championed Mormonism for a time in New York while Joseph was alive, used this means to disassociate himself from what he saw as an unpopular cause by having Emma say that he told her he actually had no intention of joining the Church nor going west with them.

            But it is in relationship to Emma and plural marriage that these authors focus their greatest attention by devoting some 47 of their 309 pages to its treatment.  Certainly from Emma Smith's standpoint it was her greatest trial and the primary issue which prevented her from moving west with the bulk of the Saints.  The topic is considered with great candor and sensitivity.  Making use of the diaries of Helen Mar Kimball, Eliza Snow, the Partridge sisters, and many others, they give us the most intimate look at plural marriage in Emma and Joseph's life that we have.  They indicate that Joseph may have felt some sense of guilt in the matter , that he promised salvation and exaltation to those who became his plural wives, that he did not provide for them materially but treated them with concern and made them feel important to him, that he attempted to inform and educate Emma to the principle, but after anguish and vacillation she in essence repudiated it, and that Joseph was forced to guarantee its discontinuanceto preserve his marriage.  But he told William Clayton at this time that he did not intend to give the practice up and continued to enter into many marriages without Emma's consent and without her knowledge.

            After his death Emma had to find ways to reconcile her personal knowledge of some of Joseph's relationships with her concern for her young, maturing family.  She could never admit to her sons that their father was a polygamist, and they carried this belief with them into the Reorganization movement in the 1860s.  Much of the pain and torment that plural marriage brought to Emma Smith is reflected in her confession to her son, Joseph III, "I have always avoided talking to my children about having anything to do in the church, for I have suffered so much I have dreaded to have them take any part in it".

            Newell and Avery spell out Emma's plight in great detail and with great sympathy yet succeed at the same time in avoiding any overt condemnation of either Emma or the Prophet Joseph.  Later in her life Emma learned that her second husband, Lewis Bidimon, had fathered a child by another woman, but she did not divorce him and even allowed the child to come and live at the Nauvoo Mansion.

            The complexities, the controversies, some of the corruptions, and the incredible idealism and devotion of these days and these people are placed here in full view.  Some may feel uneasy, even disillusioned, at some of this.  Wherever one falls in this continuum of response, Newell and Avery have written a book that cannot be ignored.  They have contributed one of the finest biographies we have in the field of Mormon studies.

            MARVIN S. HILL is a professor of history at Brigham Young University.




ORION BOOKS, 1984.135 PP.

Reviewed by Edward A. Geary

            The publication of Levi S. Peterson's The Canyons of Grace by the University of Illinois Press in 1982 was a major event in Mormon letters.  It was the first collection of short fiction on Mormon subjects to be issued by an important "outside" press since Virginia Sorensen's Where Nothing Is Long Ago (1963), and it won the Association for Mormon Letters Short Story Prize for 1982-83. Reviewing the book for BYU Studies, Eugene England declared that it "may well be the best collection of Mormon stories yet." Bruce W. Jorgensen wrote in his Dialogue review, "Levi Peterson's stories may be the first Mormon fiction in this generation" to "seriously grapple with Mormon theology." Further evidence of the book's importance may be found in the difficulty some Utah libraries are reportedly having in keeping it on their shelves as self-appointed censors steal or mutilate copies as fast as they can be replaced.

            The reissuing of The Canyons of Grace for the Mormon market by Orion Books presents an appreciative occasion to reconsider Peterson's achievement and make a tentative judgment (though it is still very early) about how well the stories "wear" on re-reading.  For me, the first impression that this is a significant contribution to Mormon letters is in no way diminished, but I do find myself valuing the stories somewhat differently as I read them again. "Trinity" struck me on first reading as the weakest story in the book, and it still seems so today.  Not that it is badly crafted, but it has a kind of "undergraduate" flavor, as though the author has just discovered the abyss looming beneath the bright surface of life. "The Christianizing of Coburn Heights," which I liked at first for its savage humor and incisive satire on Mormon pretensions, is less satisfying on re-reading, and so is "The Shriveprice." "The Road to Damascus" remains impressive, as does "The Canyons of Grace," despite its flaws.  But the most mmorable story is still "The Confessions of Augustine," which has stayed in my mind with the vividness of a lived experience ever  since I first read it in the Denver Quarterly in 1978 and which loses none of its power on rereading.

            "The Confessions of Augustine" is the only first-person narrative in the collection, and the voice Peterson creates for his narrator--protagonist, Fremont Dunham, is one of his finest achievements.  It is an engaging voice yet also detached, brooding, searching.  The voice allows Peterson to introduce sizeable passages of theological discourse into the story without the loss of dramatic effect.  As Jorgensen has remarked, "because Fremont Dunham needs such ideas to account for himself, the ideas become not footnotes but part of the story's action." It is a voice also that can accommodate an impressive range of mood and incident, beginning with a matter-of-fact account of the roots of Fremont's sense of sinfulness:

            I was raised in Snowflake, a Mormon village in northeastern Arizona.  My home was a two-story brick structure built in pioneer times of native red brick.  A silo, corrals, and barn were at the back, and an ample vegetable garden to the side.  One summer morning when I was small I stood at the crack of a door peering at my mother, who sat in a rocking chair breastfeeding my infant sister.  Mother covered her breast with her apron and called me into the room.  I entered crestfallen and redfaced

            "Won't you be a clean boy?" Mother asked. "You mustn't peek at Mama.  God doesn't like dirty boys. "

            Thus begins an existence hedged in by a censorious God.  But there is also another formative impulse in Fremont's childhood: the immensity of the landscape which surrounds the village and which seems to be "beyond the realm where God and my mother were sovereign." In this way the thematic poles of the story-and of the book-are established early: on the one hand the grace of God, providing a kind of security but at the cost of self-denial, even of spiritual mutilation, and on the other hand the natural grace of the wilderness, offering a kind of freedom but also a kind of terror.  The two forms of grace are irreconcilable, and either or both may be illusory.

            Recalling the time when, just out of high school, he left the chartered confines of the Mormon village for a summer job in a lumber camp, Fremont spells out this central tension:

            God holds the earth in vassalage.  We call him Lord because we hold our lives and lands from Him.  But if God chooses to neglect a demesne, it grows unruly and wild.  There is in nature an impulse to be and to grow regardless of God.  If you had asked for my conscious belief at eighteen, I would have said that God constantly superintends the tiniest pocket and farthest corner of the universe.  But on that May evening when I drove to the blue mountains, my feelings were those of an outlaw coming into the security of an ungoverned land.  It was my delight to be in a profane world.

            Peterson's own feeling for wilderness is deep and powerful, and the finest passages in the book are those in which he evokes the free life of nature.  For example, here is Fremont Dunham on his life in the woods:

            How can I summarize wilderness? It is an entity composed of infinite variety.  A single ant, a fern, a cluster of pine needles speaks, and an attentive person can listen endlessly.  When I found a seep of water in a narrow, dark canyon, it was like the face of a friend I had not seen in years.  My lust for sensation, for color and texture and configuration, was fed by the glint of dew on bending grass or by the stark red-rust branches of the manzanita. . . .

            But Fremont also has "intimate, personal, mystical" feelings for the machines that are cutting through the wilderness and which also seem to have a life of their own, for example "the great circular saw mill":

            Balanced on its arbor, it was as high as a man.  A hundred filed, offset teeth gleamed on its circumference.  When the muffled diesel behind it worked and the broad rubber belt whirred on pulleys, the great blade sang with an almost imperceptible timbre, like crystal that has been lightly struck.  In motion the teeth blurred into the iridescence of hummingbird wings.  At the elevation of the sawyer's finger, the carriage man ratcheted a log into position, and suddenly it hurtled into the saw.  The teeth shrieked, the sawdust spurted, an

            irresistibly a plank fell away.

            It is important to keep in mind that this is a retrospective nar-rative.  Fremont Dunham is remembering these scenes twenty years later, when he is a lumber-yard Operator in Salt Lake City and a high councilman, well disciplined to the yoke of obedience, long after he has learned that the self-existent wilderness is an illusion.  There is thus in these descriptions a powerful nostalgia for a lost presence, for a time when freedom and wilderness had seemed to be real and sufficient.  Indeed, there is a nostalgia beyond nostalgia, as evidenced in the description of the saw as though it were a natural organism.  Even in the remembered moment of youth there is the post-romantic longing for a sentient universe.  No wonder Fremont Dunham's voice carries the brooding note of a long exile.  He is, indeed, doubly exiled: exiled from the wilderness which is itself an exile from a lost Eden of perfect security and perfect freedom.

            Thus alienated, it is perhaps not surprising that Fremont should come to believe "that moral volition is an illusion." When his feelings for Annie Fergusson, a non-Mormon girl with whom he has fallen into "a harrowing cycle of penance and fornication," suddenly turn to revulsion one stormy night, Fremont attributes the change not to something flawed in his own will but to the overpowering will of God, a rationalization he preserves into the present time of the narration: "I did not know that God would hang me on a trellis of His own choosing and prune away that part of me that loves you." It is this view that largely accounts for Fremont's fondness for the Confessions of Augustine, who similarly attributed his abandonment of his mistress to the irresistible grace of God.

            Irresistible grace in the Augustinian sense is not a familiar notion to Mormons, and since it holds a prominent place in several of Peterson's stories we may wonder whether this is indeed Mormon fiction.  Definitions of Mormon literature vary widely, from Richard Cracroft's insistence that it "in short, has the Holy Ghost" to Bruce Jorgensen's wider net that would gather in "any works . . . by authors whose background  I believe to be Mormon, regardless of the authors' former or current church standing or condition of belief." Peterson's stories are "Mormon" in the sense that the protagonists, with one exception, are Mormons at some crisis of their, religious life.  And perhaps in a further sense.  Jorgensen claims, "The idea that centrally engages [Peterson's] fictive imagination is one promulgated in the 'King Follett Sermon'-that both matter and each human intelligence are as I self-existent' as God and hence qualify or limit God's omnipotence." This idea is explicitly present in "The Confessions of Augustine" though less clearly so in the other stories, and Peterson is obviously interested in exploring the problematical implications of Joseph Smith's finitism.  But he brings none of Joseph Smith's optimism to his treatment of the idea.  Joseph Smith's God, as far as I can tell, is not jealous of the wilderness or of the human will.  Indeed, in the view of Lehi, God is absolutely committed to the freedom of the human wil: "And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon . . ." (2 Ne. 2:26).

            This view runs through other stories as well. "Road to Damascus" is another parable of irresistible grace and the loss of the wilderness and freedom.  In "The Shriveprice" Darrow Sevy's faith returns "without warning or solicitation" in his seventieth year after he has spent half a century alienated from his Mormon heritage.  But the recovery of belief brings no joy but rather the sense of sinfulness so deep that the only possible solution to "the problem of damnation" seems to be blood atonement.

            "The Confessions of Augustine" is more successful than these other stories because the protagonist is more complex and fully realized and because the themes are clothed in a denser fictional texture. "Confessions," unlike the other stories, cannot be reduced to a single idea.  Although Fremont Dunham has in theory bowed his back to the divine rod, the workings of grace remain significantly incomplete:

            Sometimes, when I am awakened in the night by the wail of a locomotive or the barking of a dog and my Christian will is at its lowest, I think of Annie.  I remember her clearly.  I see her brown knees beneath the hem of her denim skirt.  I remember her happy laughter and the glint of the sun upon her hair while we loped horses across the grass and through the junipers.  Though I am ashamed to say it, I remember in the cup of my hand the weight of her soft, round breast.  God will exact payment from me for these memories; after the purging of Judgment, I will have them no longer.  It is part of my perversity that this very thought makes them more precious.

            Nostalgia, again, for a lost presence whose value is affirmed by the very act of denial.  It is passages like this that make the story resist any simple interpretation and leave it resonant in the reader's mind.

            The concluding story in the collection, "The Canyons of Grace," is Peterson's testament of wilderness, a counterpart to "The Confessions of Augustine." However, it does not quite come off for me, despite some brilliant passages.  Whereas Fremont Dunham is remembering his encounter with grace twenty years later, Arabella Gurney experiences her crisis in the present time of the story.  There is nothing necessarily wrong with that.  Indeed, one might expect a gain in dramatic effect.  But the third-person interior point of view lacks the emotional cohesiveness of Fremont's first-person narration, and Arabella is not sufficiently credible as a character to bear the thematic weight of the story.  Part existentialist philosopher and part suburban Mormon girl, she is capable of saying, "There has to be a God.  No one else can save me, though the price He asks is my integrity," and following a few lines later with "Gol ... how do I know if I want to marry anyone?" Like Peterson's other protagonists, she possesses an bundance of self-hatred which she has turned to hatred of a violent, selfish, and unforgiving God.  She feels contempt for her conventional Mormon parents but is more than a little conventional herself, as evidenced by the fact that she has reached her thirtieth year full of rebellious feelings but still a virgin:

            Arabella could not remember having ever heard from either of them the slightest admission that they knew each other sexually, though the fact was visible enough in their ten children.  Her father and mother were amazingly alike: reverent in the extreme, scrupulous in keeping the commandments, and doubtful of their salvation.  Arabella loathed them for their subservience, yet she also loved them, needed their approval, and understood perfectly that God was to be feared.

            In a sense, Arabella begins where Fremont Dunham ends, with a feeling of powerlessness before the divine grace.  That is largely what allows her to fall into the power of the ruthless "prophet" of a polygamous cult, Reuben Millring, in whose face, "aflame with conviction, wrathful against sin, touched by the promise of a remote salvation," she sees "the face of God." And she ends where Fremont begins, in the freedom of the wilderness.  But whereas Fremont Dunham mourns the lost presence of a wilderness that seemed to have a life of its own but which was really entirely controlled by God, Arabella Gurney experiences the death of her tyrant-God and in Peterson's most powerful prose enters a wilderness that is itself absolute, at once devoid of transcendence and incredibly beautiful, filled with a natural grace, not divine:

            Looking at a berry-laden juniper and a tall-stemmed yucca, she could almost believe they were friends who regarded her with warm affection.  The wilderness bore her no grudge, was still willing to bless her.  She was alive and the universe was holy.  She would mourn for Reuben, who was dead, and for all the others who could not bear to know of their ultimate extinction.  As for herself, she had decided to be courageous.... Anxious to cover ground while the day was cool, she strode to the edge of the ridge to take her bearings.  An ephemeral predator upon a minor planet, who went forward free and filled with grace.

            EDWARD A. GEARY is a professor of English at Brigham Young University and editor of BYU Studies.




            S T. MARTIN'S PRESS, 1983. $14.95, 243 PP.

Reviewed by Levi S. Peterson

            This novel, a detective story set in contemporary Utah, succeeds nicely in the essentials of its genre, offering satisfying portions of fast action, tough talk, seamy personalities, mystery, violence, and sex.  The matrix of its conflict and suspense is underground Mormon polygamy, as the title, derived from Doctrine & Covenants 132:61-62, suggests.  Although slanted toward a non-Mormon audience (its author, a former native of Utah, is a professor of theater at Indiana State University), it will make fascinating reading for those many Mormons hungry for an R-rated interpretation of the Utah homeland.

            Tough New York private investigator Gabe Utley returns to Salt Lake City at the request of his high school sweetheart, who believes her daughter has been kidnapped by the leader of a polygamist cult.  She won't involve the police because she fears for the reputation of her husband, a lesser official in the Mormon church with aspirations toward an apostleship Gabe's search takes him along the back corridors of Salt Lake, through remote Utah villages and ranches, and into the wilds of the Escalante canyon.  Very early he joins forces with a pretty and worldly reporter for The Deseret News, Mona McKinley, with whom he shares sources of information, beds, and ready-mix affection.

            An expose Mona has written for The Deseret News asserts that the polygamist sects of Utah have in common not only their hostility to the official church but also a belief in the eerie doctrine of blood atonement. "These people," Gabe concludes upon reading the expose, "believed that the righteous should kill sinners." The foremost practitioner of blood atonement (and, after Gabe, the most important personality in the novel) is Jedediah Kimball, the cult leader who Gabe believes has taken possession of his friend's daughter.  A Machiavellian prince of the Utah underground, Kimball employs brutal force in his attempt to unite numerous cults.  Before the novel opens he has assassinated one of his brothers in a power dispute, and as the novel advances he executes another before the horrified eyes of Gabe and Mona.  Knowing persons attribute to him a wide variety of malign events-the assassination of a Salt Lake doctor, leader of a rival group; the inexplicable murder of a sixteen year old polygamist girl; the attmpted dynamiting of a car which Gabe and Mona are about to enter; and a host of mysterious threats, shadowings, and beatings.

            Could all evil happenings derive from this Rocky Mountain Tamburlaine? As the action proceeds, it becomes apparent that the practice of killing or maiming one's opponents in the struggle for religious leadership is not limited to fugitive cultists.  Endemic violence and subversive religious politics undermine conventional law and order in the Utah of this novel, which brims and jostles with Mafia-like brigades and religious warlords, one of whom is a highly placed Mormon official.  As a church security man, a descendant of Avenging Angel Porter Rockwell, tells Gabe, "You don't find a whole lot of sentimentality among those tough old birds who run the Church." Although Utah readers will recognize all this as a considerable distortion of reality (it seems to many locals that the tough old birds who run the real Mormon church have an excess of sentimentality), they will likely agree that, fictionally speaking, a Mormon apostle who behaves like a cardinal of the Italian Renaissance is an ingenious idea, making fo complicated motivations and sustained suspense.

            Moreover, this novel offers an incidental variety of amusing, pro-vocative, and enlightening photographs snapped from the oblique angle of its outsider narrator.  Gabe's characterization of Salt Lake lowlife-gays, barflies, and pushers-is vivid and believable.  He makes a wry evaluation of Utah art, encountering in a city plaza a sculpture garden that looks like "frozen images of the Osmond family dressed in 1950s clothes." He warns out-of-state drinkers: "Any Utah bar that serves something stronger than 3.2 beer at your table has to be a private club.  You want a strawberry daiquiri, you become a member or you come in with a friend" (pp. 15-16). He leaves a small town waitress a big tip, "quite aware that it would do nothing for the wistful sense of loss in her eyes.  Something had passed her by." Despite his cynicism, he is warmly appreciative of an elderly matriarch, one of the novel's most memorable characters, who has a "smiling, knowing, and fulfilled face" and who declares "innocence blooming with possbility" to be the major premise of Mormon polygamy.  In summary, The Tenth Virgin is recommended light reading for Mormons, offering fast-paced, suspenseful action, plenty of mystery, and an interpretation of Utah life that, despite fictional distortions, often rings true.




HARPER & ROW, 1982, $14.95, 276 PP.

By Cathy Luchetti

            Prejudice against women in the church is nothing new.  Paul the Apostle enjoined women to "keep silent" in church.  The disciple Timothy advised his early sisters to be of a "quiet spirit." Unfortunately, such prejudice persists.

            In Women of the Cloth, authors Jackson W. Carroll, Barbara Hargrove, and Adair T. Lummis explain in precise and analytical manner the attitudes, strengths, concerns, and frailties of modern women with a calling.  To amass their scholarly presentation, they interviewed over 1300 clergymen and women, seminary faculty, church executives, and lay members.  Some findings were unexpected, and some depressingly predictable.

            They found that gender defines status within the church and that the appearance of women in a traditionally masculine role created a "clash of expectations" for churchgoers.  The authors hypothesize that as women continue to move from pew to pulpit, the profession itself will lose status.  They claim that salary, advancement opportunities, and social prestige of the ministry have already decreased while the costs of obtaining a seminary education are higher than ever.

            On the bright side, the authors report appreciable gains by women, and these select and upbeat examples should provide happy reinforcement for any woman yet undecided about a career in the pulpit.  In spite of powerful traditions, the numbers of seminary women have doubled - even tripled-in the last decade, and women entering after 1970 have reported fewer obstacles and greater acceptance than the pioneer entrants of the 1960s.  As sociologists and theologians, the authors treat, through the issue of woman in the church, a broad range of social concerns. BY SAMUEL EPSTEIN, LESTER BROWN, AND CARL POPE

SIERRA CLUB BOOKS, 1983, $12.95, 593 PP.



By Peter Wild

            There is a sinister side to the blessings of technology, and much of it has to do with the poisonous wastes of so-called progress.  True, nature produces its share of poisons-the venom of the black widow spider, the toxins in many an innocent-looking mushroom.  However, in the give and take of aeons, nature has learned to adjust to them.  To the contrary, many industrial wastes are new, entirely outside natural cycles.  Confronted with them, ecosystems break down, and human bodies become hosts forcancers, mental diseases, and horribly deformed babies.  Some 80 billion pounds of toxic wastes are dumped over the United States each year, a staggering figure.

            The purpose of Hazardous Waste In America is to help avoid such a pessimistic reaction.  Since the widely publicized disaster at Love Canal a few years ago, a number of books have made clear that similar tragedies are happening-or are ready to happen-across America.  Often, their stories are gruesome.  They have been able to move communities and Congress into united action with the urgency that shock can stir.  While the approach is valid, Hazardous Waste takes a needed and somewhat different tack.  The attempt is not to spur readers with fright.  Rather, the volume is a carefully assembled overview, a sourcebook that documents the problems and goes into the political, economic, and biological issues behind them.  Various sections provide case studies, probe the legal ins and outs, explain the technology, and present the prospects for the future of waste control.  Simply put, the book is the most comprehensive guide on the subject available to the general public.

            Meanwhile, what can individuals do to safeguard themselves against the pollutants' daily attack against them and their families? Fortunately, the answer to that question is tackled by Well Body, Well Earth.  The beauty of the book is that it suggests common sense and not terribly complicated ways to survive this man-made galaxy of poisons in which we all live.  It also discusses ways to reduce stress.

            Chances are that we can't eliminate beeping horns and sonic booms overnight, but our lives are not totally out of control.  We can turn off the television when no one is listening, and we can take time out to relax, exercise, and set our sights on reasonable goals.  We can cut down on, if not eliminate, red meat, sugar, and food additives from our diets.  Though this goes counter to the whirling squirrel cage of our society, so be it.  Samuels and Bennett fault frenetic consumerism for creating many of our ills.  Sensibly avoiding its traps will point us toward health and, more importantly, peace of mind.




By Cathy Luchetti

            "Tell me Chuck, are you okay?" wondered Charles "Chuck"

Colson's Washington attorney one humid New England night.  But Chuck was NOT okay.  Then, and throughout his lengthy conversion experience he trembled, perspired, and sobbed uncontrollably.  He wrestled wordlessly with himself over the bitter memories of Watergate and emerged (at the end of the chapter) "cleansed and cooled" by his tears of relief and whispering the prayerful words "take me".

            Colson's story is one of fifty heartfelt and well-told conversion experiences dating from 280 A.D. to 1931, embracing the lives of missionaries, philologists, an apostle,  an ex-slave, a 1960s revolutionary, an evangelical baseball player, and the Methodist evangelist E. Stanley Jones who organized the first "Christian Ashrams" in the U.S. but was, admitted a fellow worker, "a mess apart from the Holy Spirit."

            Also included are Dorothy Day, Peter Cartwright, Leo Tolstoy, Teresa of Avila, Dag Hammarskjold, Clair Boothe Luce, and Malcolm Muggeridge, each describing in fast-paced, primary narrative the particular events of his or her spiritual odyssey.

            Christ's image flitting across the face of the moon transfixed Eldridge Cleaver and caused his spiritual wraparound.  A child's voice chanting "pick it up and read it, pick it up and read it" turned St.  Augustine's attention to an open Bible lying mysteriously beside him on an outdoor bench.  The rest, of course, is history.

            The editors have put together an insightful and highly diverse testimony to the great spiritual wind that, as Christ promised, "blows where it wills

 . . . THE PRICE



BOOKCRAFT, 1984,126 PP. $6.95

By John Sillito

            I remember how stunned I was one day to see photographs of Heber J. Grant speaking in a German branch with a swastika draped over the pulpit.  That photograph-more than anything else-brought home to me the struggle confronting the German Saints as they faced the demands of church and state.

            Recently, Karl-Heinz Schnibbe, with the assistance of two of BYU's finest scholars, Alan F. Keele and Douglas F. Tobler, has produced an autobiographical account of his years in prison camps and his involvement with the young German Latter-day Saint who defied Nazism.

            Helmuth Huebener engaged Schnibbe and Rudi Wobbe to listen to BBC broadcasts and distribute anti-Nazi leaflets.  In less than a year they were arrested by the Gestapo.  Wobbe and Schnibbe received harsh prison terms and Huebener was beheaded.

            Although much of the book deals with Schnibbe's experiences following his arrest, most of us will be fascinated by the light shed on Huebener, clearly, a bold, charismatic figure who attracted companions by the force of his personality and the brilliance of his mind.

            Of additional interest is the description Schnibbe provides of life for Mormons in Nazi Germany.  Some Saints tried to bring Nazism into the ward house believing Hitler had brought "a sense of destiny and purpose." Others supported the government in power because of their belief in the twelfth article of faith and the fact that the Nazis were anti-Communist.  Schnibbe is not overly critical of his fellow Saints.  It was a difficult period he says, and the initial cautious optimism of the German Mormons toward Hitler changed as the U.S. entered the war and as German armies suffered major defeats.

            The Price is not a detailed historical or scholarly account of Huebener and his comrades, nor is it even remotely a survey of the tensions facing German Mormons at a traumatic time.  But it does not try to be that kind of a book.  Ultimately, The Price is the story of a survivor.  And it has an important message for us all as we seek to understand the difficulties caused when one defies the status quo.



By Duane E. Jeffery

            If Mormons read only one non-LOS religious book this year, in my opinion it ought to be this one.  So far it is the only major work by theologians responding directly to creationism, and while it makes no mention at all of Mormons, it is loaded with meaning for us.  In addition to an honest and up-beat statement from Pope John Paul 11 summarizing what the Roman Catholic Church has learned from its encounters with luminaries such as Galileo and Magnus, we are treated to works by eleven scholars with solid backgrounds in theology and scripture, several of whom have extensive science training as well.  Though each is a devout believer in creation, they are clear that such belief does not make one a creationist and share the concern that, in Vawter's words, "Demonstrably, (creationism) has done nothing so well so far as to bring biblical religion into disrepute and make it sound ridiculous and obscurantist". Further, from Young, "'Proving' the Bible or Christianity with a spurious scientific hypothesis can only b injurious to the cause of Christ.  We do not defend truth by arguing error in its behalf." Gilkey eloquently posits that knowledge exists on a variety of levels and that that from religion and from science do not share the same level; both are indispensable, but they are not comparable.  He points out the excesses of claims made by creationists as well as by scientists such as Sagan and Bronowski who on occasion forget the nature of their data base and reminds us that both science and religion have both demonic and creative forms.  Hyers's essay is fraught with implications for LDS readers; Sarna's will at once titillate, alienate, and stimulate.  One is astonished to find an 1880 speech by Asa Gray and saddened in reading it to see how pitifully short a distance we have progressed in the century-plus since.  In short, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, B. H. Roberts, David O. McKay and like minds would and will find huge blocks in this book to like, along with some that will stimulate us all to additional productve thinking and study.  Highly recommended.

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