In this two-part discussion, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and panelists Julia Hunter, Chelsea Strayer, and Chelsea Fife explore insights from myth and ritual studies and the ways these ideas help illuminate aspects of Mormon devotional and cultural experience. Can having a better understanding of ritual structure, how ritual functions in social life, and ritual’s intent to lead us out of everyday rhythms and ways of relating to each other and into new head and heart spaces in which we learn and feel things of significance in different ways help us gain deeper appreciation for Mormonism’s many rituals?
In Episode 40, the panelists discuss these broader features of ritual and begin to explore their own experiences with LDS ritual. Then in Episode 41, they turn their attention primarily to the Mormonism’s most significant rituals—those performed within its temples. What is each panelist’s experience? How do these experiences differ from some their friends, especially women? This second episode also explores ideas for making ritual an even more powerful part of one’s personal and communal devotional life.
In exploring ritual within Mormonism, and especially whenever attention was turned to temple rituals, each participant in these podcasts maintained a strong respect for the significance of and sacred role the temple plays within the Mormon tradition and in the lives of its members. As you listen to these recordings and then perhaps choose to participate in the blog conversation, we encourage you to also maintain a high level of circumspection.
Note: Here is a link to Chelsea Strayer’s Exponent II blog post, “Rituals of Adulthood and Equality,” that was mentioned a few times during the discussion.