In a wonderful new book, Future Mormon: Essays in Mormon Theology, Adam Miller sets his spirit and intellect loose on the important task of helping clear away debris and then suggesting some possible new framings for Mormonism that might appeal to coming generations. As he writes in the Introduction, “Every generation must live its own lives and think its own thoughts and receive its own revelations. And, if Mormonism continues to matter, it will because they, rather than leaving, were willing to be Mormon all over again. Like our grandparents, like our parents, and like us, they will have to rethink the whole tradition, from top to bottom, right from the beginning, and make it their own in order to embody Christ anew in this passing world. To the degree that we can help, our job is to model that work in love and then offer them the tools, the raw materials, and the room to do it themselves.”
In this episode, Adam Miller, Rosalynde Welch, and Jim McLachlan join Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon for a discussion of Future Mormon and various themes in Adam’s thinking. What common question asked and heard in Mormonism seems too thin to lead us to “load-bearing” answers that might serve us well in the midst of “white knuckle” prayers? Is “truth” static, sitting in God’s mind or heart like a vault waiting to be opened and shared, or is the ideal approach to truth something more dynamic, something that calls on us each, in our lives, to “make” an idea or movement true, to see how far a truth can carry us? Are there more powerful ways to think of “grace” beyond its role in the Atonement and questions about our salvation? Have we in Mormonism skipped over some elements that the apostle Paul might claim are essential, “Christianity 101” kinds of things—and how can these animate our lives in fresh and powerful ways? The discussion moves fast, and at times perhaps might seem a bit too “insider-ish” (as the four panelists talk about things in a book most listeners will not have read), but those moments quickly pass and this is an immensely enjoyable conversation.
Please help continue the conversation by sharing your thoughts and questions below!
Adam S. Miller, Future Mormon: Essays in Mormon Theology (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2016)
Adam S. Miller, Grace Is Not God’s Backup Plan: An Urgent Paraphrase of Paul’s Letter to the Romans (2015)
Adam S. Miller, Rube Goldberg Machines: Essays in Mormon Theology (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2012)
absolutely loving this conversation so far but had to comment on “thick/thin” descriptions….have no idea how it has developed for religious ideas but this is what gets me up in the morning…the thick descriptions of the thinly describe events of one’s life…and the thick/thin ideas of Clifford Geertz that informs my teaching of Narrative theory…. I really imagine that I am going to be listening to this podcast over and over again so I can “thicken” up my experience! As always, thank you.
I’m glad to hear the ‘coming to realize’ that, eventually, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be realized by the membership that it is a 100% Grace oriented church. Works have nothing to do with salvation. Thank you, Elder Uchtdorf for your last two conference messages. I thought I would always be alone.
The podcast still isn’t showing in the iTunes podcast app. Would you resubmit it?