I love the Mormon people. And I love our history. It’s all fulfilling, both human and divine, both visionary and mundane. Every word of it. This is Mormon history for people who have been told that studying history makes you unfaithful, edgy, or “unorthodox.” I’m here to tell you that the truth is exactly the opposite. Studying our history is a sign of faith, a sign of trust, and even a sign of love. We’re not here to rehash what you learned in Mia Maids or Priesthood. We’re here to learn how to love our people more deeply and more richly. And we all know that those we love the most are those we know the best. We “get” them. I want us all to “get” Brigham Young, to “get” Brother Joseph. I like my history straight. The old Sunday School story hold true: no one wants to drink water after the cows have waded in it.
But learning to love someone (or a group of people) can be scary at times. They can surprise us, excite us, encourage us, and, sometimes, even disappoint us. But as G.K. Chesterton once said, “love is not blind…love is bound. And the more it is bound, the less it is blind.”
For my latest work, see Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables–a biography of Mormonism’s first black priesthood holder.