Podcast #3 – History of Mormon Dance

In this podcast, Russell Stevenson and Kate Harline discuss an aspect of Mormon cultural art that is easy to overlook: dancing.   Though seemingly recreational, Mormon dance in fact highlights deeper issues in the development of Mormon identity: theologically, sexually, and even racially.  They analyze how Mormon dance has served as a cultural “contact zone” between the Mormon community and outsiders.  They also interview Katherine Winder, a full-time professional Mormon dancer from the Repertory Dance Theater of Salt Lake City.  She tells how she came to be a dancer, how her faith informs her art, and her touching experiences as a dance instructor in a leper colony in India.  Join us for this compelling exploration of the Mormon people have used dance both to celebrate and control their bodies over the past 180 years.


Faith Crises: A Believer’s Guide

So you don’t  really care about Mormon history.  “People are people and the gospel is the gospel,” you say.  What’s the point? You have a lot of things on your plate. And whether Joseph Smith used a rock, some plates, or a pink kangaroo to translate the Book of Mormon, you read them, you love them, and you live by them.  What’s the point? Continue reading

First Book of the Week: Massacre at Mountain Meadows

Hi, my name is Russ.  Yes, this blog might be another one of the crowd.  But not if I have anything to say about it.

I just finished working at the Church History Library.  I handled Brigham Young’s diaries, documents, and letters on a daily basis. I do have an axe to grind (why else would people blog?).  I have no sympathy with either those who seek to tear the Church down or those who seek to cover our history up.  Most of all, I want the Saints to feel secure in studying their history.  It’s not scary, gutsy, or “apostate.” This is our story.  It’s there, and we can own it. I love our people in the great times and in the shameful times.  “The spirit of love casteth out all fear.”

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