We think we know what it means to “believe” or to “have faith.” But do we? Has the current ways we use these terms remained stable throughout history? No, says Frances Lee Menlove in an important essay in her new book, The Challenge of Honesty: Essays for Latter-day Saints. She argues further that these changes have had a large negative impact for many Christians and Mormons today, but she hopes that through better understanding of these shifts and opening ourselves to the terms original meanings we might begin to undo some of the damage that has been done—damages done by anti-intellectualism, dogmatism, the invention of the idea of “heresy,” and all other things that keep us from uniting in fellowship with each other, which Menlove suggests is the call of both original Christianity and early Mormonism.
Another place of strain for many Latter-day Saints today is the seeming devaluation of testimonies that assert “faith” in gospel teachings rather than a “knowledge” that they are true. It has come to the point that many who don’t’ feel they “know” this or that is true feel out of step, or less “acceptable” as a Mormon than those who claim sure knowledge. Can this be another area where more examination can help relieve some pressure—much to the good of the overall church and culture?
In this episode, we are thrilled to have as panelists two important voices in the history of free and unfettered discourse about Mormonism—Frances Lee Menlove, one of the five founders of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon History, and D. Jeff Burton, author of the seminal book, For Those Who Wonder, and author of nearly fifty “Beyond the Borderlands” columns in Sunstone magazine—to talk about these important subjects. Both guests teach powerfully through by word and example, and we are sure you will feel well-rewarded by listening in on the great conversation we had with them.
We hope you will listen and then share you comments below!
Frances Lee Menlove, The Challenge of Honesty: Essays for Latter-day Saints by Frances Lee Menlove, ed. Dan Wotherspoon (Signature Books, 2013).
D. Jeff Burton website (includes ordering information for the book, For Those Who Wonder, as well as free pdf version; also links to his Braving the Borderlands columns)
AML Review of The Challenge of Honesty