Podcast #15: Of One Heart and One Mind Fireside

On March 8, Russell Stevenson, along with Blacks in the Scriptures and Northstar, sponsored a special event devoted to discussing how the LGBT/SSA/transgender and African-American communities have endeavored to uphold their faith in the face of systemic marginalization.  Participants included Nick Gregory, an active transgender Latter-day Saint, Rod Olson, an active gay Mormon living in Los Angeles, and Marvin Perkins, an African-American Latter-day Saint man and producer of Blacks in the Scriptures. You will also hear stunning musical performances from Catherine Papworth, Rashida Jordan, and Cherie Call.

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Podcast #9: Ordain Women in Mormon History-An Interview with Chelsea Shields Strayer

In this exciting episode, Russell Stevenson interviews Chelsea Shields Strayer, a member of Ordain Women’s Executive Board. We discuss the history of the Ordain Women movement in the broader context of Mormon history and explore the contours of the relationship between Ordain Women and the institutional Church. The discussion that arises is rich, provocative, and illuminative–a journey into the heart of what makes Ordain Women such an important movement for 21st-century Mormons, men and women alike. Stay tuned!

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When Mormon History Fails You

It’s time to ask the tough question: is Mormon history even helpful to the Ordain Women movement?

Like Joanna Brooks has said, this cause isn’t one that burns deeply within my soul.  If President Monson told us tomorrow that women could be ordained to be “Elders” or “High Priestesses,” I would cheer along with everyone else. If it means that women would get their share of anti-porno talks and dating chastisements, I’m all about lovingly retiring the pedestal–and then burning it in the quiet of the night. I can think of “binders full of women” right now who would run my Elders’  Quorum meeting more competently than I ever could. In that sense, I can confidently say that I’m in support of the Ordain Women movement. Continue reading

Plague: The Mormon Opposition to Pornography, 1850s-1966

Mormons have called it a plague, a cursing, a disease, and the surest sign that the modern world loves to gaze at Gomorrah.  For several years, hardly a General conference, stake conference, or even Elder’s quorum meeting went by without at least a passing reference to pornography’s evils.  But pornography hasn’t always been around, and the Latter-day Saints have not always been fixated in destroying it.  At what point did Mormonism begin to conceptualize pornography as one of the greatest evils of our time?    Continue reading