In his recent book, Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt, Patrick Q. Mason offers an optimistic vision for the future of Mormonism, even given the number of Latter-day Saints experiencing faith crisis. He points to as a bright sign the Church’s release of a dozen new Gospel Topics essays dealing with difficult topics in Mormon history and thought, but he is most pleased that these and other factors have led members of the Mormon community to talk now more than ever about the role of faith and church in their lives. With a dual audience of both church members facing faith crises as well as their church leaders and people who love them, the early chapters of Planted offer a terrific overview of the types of issues and questions and struggles that many church members are facing, with later chapters focusing on a robust vision of the gospel of Christ and Mormonism that can make a wonderful home for Latter-day Saints of all faith types and at all levels of development.
In this Mormon Matters and A Thoughtful Faith podcast co-release, Patrick Mason and fellow scholar and teacher of Mormon Studies Boyd Jay Petersen join co-hosts Dan Wotherspoon and Gina Colvin for a discussion of several key topics from the book’s early chapters. They focus on the need for books like this and various reasons faith becomes challenged, the emphasis on “belief” and historical challenges as key elements of many crises and how things might be framed more broadly, the potential positive role that doubt plays in a faith journey, faith challenges that arise because of differences in how we as Latter-day Saints experience God and Spirit, and much more. It’s a terrific conversation! A second episode with Mason and Petersen will be released in the coming few weeks with a focus on themes in the book’s second half.
Please listen and share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Patrick Q. Mason, Planted: Faith and Belonging in an Age of Doubt (Maxwell Institute and Deseret Book, 2015)
Boyd Jay Petersen, Dead Wood and Rushing Water: Essays on Mormon Faith, Culture, and Family (Greg Kofford Books, 2013)