Event: Salt Lake Symposium 2017

Fundamentalist Missionary Work

The panel will share the challenges, experiences, perspectives and success that fundamentalist missionaries have. Likewise they will share the experience of converts and why they accepted the message of Christ Church. They will also include a brief history of the formation of Christ’s Church. Michael Peterson Betty Amrine Alice Lovassen Dana Peterson Atrayu Pickering Joseph …

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Anonymity and the Mormon Searcher

Anonymity provides the ability to protect oneself from reprisal, but it also provides trolls the ability to erode the quality and longevity of an online forum. This online community of over 40,000 subscribers flourishes with information, support, and caring while trying to protect the identities of those just starting to dare to ask questions that …

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Mormons and Trump: An Unholy Alliance?

Mormons have an ambivalent attitude toward Donald Trump. That ambivalence is most clearly seen through the lens of Mitt Romney. Romney was dissed by Trump who called the former candidate for president a “choke artist,” and a “failed candidate.” Then Trump humiliated Romney by pretending to consider him as Secretary of State. Trump seems to …

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The Mormon Heavenly Mother: Helper of the Oppressed

The Heavenly Mother, though acknowledged as legitimate by LDS leaders, nonetheless has been marginalized in practice, referred to mostly as one of the “heavenly parents.” Recently, she also has been challenged by liberal writers who question her value, seeing her as a representative of heteronormative marriage. This paper will contest both views, arguing that the …

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Voice in the Wilderness

The ancient practice of midrash inserts fictional narrative where actual scripture is silent, giving details to characters that are otherwise footnotes. This presentation explores the historical context and current spiritual relevance of midrash. We will examine criticism of its practice, from accusations of cultural appropriation to the hubris of trying to add to scriptural record, …

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Embracing All Genders: Clashes Between Mormonism and the Science of Gender Identity

This presentation provides information about the science of gender identity by: 1) Defining gender-relevant terminology; 2) Providing education about sex and gender—using intersexuality to illustrate the false dichotomies often associated with these terms—and, 3) Discussing what scientific research tells us about gender and gender identity. The presenter will then facilitate a conversation regarding the clash …

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The Kingdom Embraces All

The “kingdom” concept in Mormon theology has narrowed over the 170 years since pioneer settlement in Utah. The law book used by the first government in Utah, The Laws of the State of Deseret, consisted of the Ten Commandments alone. The Decalogue was understood to be a constitutional law document that embraced the hopes and …

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Addressing Mormon Thinking Errors

Last year Jennifer and Natasha presented a popular session called “Mormon Thinking Errors” which addressed typical ways myth and overgeneralizations usually rear their heads in LDS family and ward settings. This session will take the conversation further and offer concrete strategies and ideas to combat these types of messages in our own heads or when …

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