Most Mormon Matters listeners are, as consumers of LDS-related websites, blogs, podcasts, Reddits, Facebook groups, and other social media platforms, enmeshed in the world of “uncorrelated Mormonism.” Whatever is happening in any part of the Mormon world, most of us have ready access, not only to the news but also a great number of comments—many of them hastily made and most without attempts to present a balanced viewpoint. On any given day, we have at our disposal in these uncorrelated spaces (as well as in official church platforms) more information and opinions than anyone might possibly consume with any chance at enjoying the richness of the various items in the feast, which leaves us with the exasperated question, voiced by Stephen Carter in this podcast, “What do we do with all this?”
This episode centers on one of Mormonism’s most important clearinghouses for highlighting, amplifying, and steering us to good discussions of things related to the Restoration that began with Joseph Smith: Sunstone. In its magazine and symposiums, Sunstone brings together the voices of people from all over the Mormon spectrum to share “their” story, to offer chances for all of us to truly “meet” each other and to digest more slowly and with a much better signal-to-noise ratio things happening within wider Mormonism. There is certainly much content about the organization and its upcoming Salt Lake Sunstone symposium (July 25-28) in this discussion with Sunstone’s executive director Lindsay Hansen Park and publications director Stephen Carter, but it also features much broader reflections on the story and changes in emphases of Mormonism’s nearly 200-year history of discussions, especially in its uncorrelated sector. How have the questions changed through the years? What tasks were more important during other periods of Mormon history than what seems to be needed now?
Through listening to these thoughtful, articulate leaders in Mormon discussions, we are given explicit permission to locate ourselves “as ourselves,” as our own “threads in the Mormon tapestry” (the symposium’s theme this year). Lindsay and Stephen offer 10,000-foot views of Mormon discussions taking place “at the margins,” as well as share very personally about their attempts to find and be themselves in today’s wider Restoration world. And, yes, you’ll also hear specifics about what is coming soon to the Sunstone symposium and that will be available for you to read or listen to shortly after the event ends. If you are overwhelmed by all that is going on within the uncorrelated Mormon spaces you engage with, let Sunstone be an oasis for you—a place to stop, rest, and sample in slower, more personal ways, the ideas and writings of many who are wrestling, just like you, with “What do I do with” all this information?
Link to registration and other information to the 2018 Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium
Learn more about the Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir