Mormon Studies Weekly Roundup (MSWR)

By September 22, 2013

Time for another weekly news roundup!

Since it?s college football season, what no better place to start than with last night?s BYU v. Utah game. (I am going to make the assumption that a fair share of our readers watched or at least knew about last night?s game in which Utah came out victorious with a score of 20 to 13). This article from KSL features an interesting map of where the highest concentrations of Utah and BYU fans live along the Wasatch front. In summary: if you are a Utah fan avoid Highland and if you root for the Cougars avoid Cottonwood Heights.

After you?re done perusing the map move along to Peggy Fletcher Stack?s article that outline?s the church?s newer and subtler ?post-Prop 8? strategy to deal with proposed gay marriage legislation in Hawaii. In a September 15th letter, LDS leaders in Hawaii urged church members to review ?”The Family: A Proclamation to the World? in addition to contacting member of the Hawaii Legislature to voice their opinions.

In 2007, the local church administration in Brisbane, Australia cut its Samoan language services and declared that singing, praying, and testifying should only occur in English. In reaction, some Samoan church members have taken a case to Australia?s court of appeal and even reached for support from Samoa?s prime minister and government.

Back in Utah, it looks like the run formerly known as the ?Utah Undie Run? is being forced to changed its name and reschedule its event due to issues of trademark-infringement issues with a San Diego race that holds the trademark for the term ?Undie Run.? Because of the renaming, the Utah Undie Run founder Nate Porter had to reschedule the event to next available date. The date just happens to be day of the Sunday of conference weekend.  This probably won?t be the last time you hear about the run in the weekly news roundup!

At Peculiar People, Taylor Petrey suggests that embracing an approach to religion that examines spiritual practices would help us understand religion as social phenomenon rather than only a private and personal relationship between a person and their individual beliefs.  Furthermore, through refocusing on belief as a religious practice also allows for a more solid understanding of how individuals use their  beliefs to assert their place or lack of in a particular religious group. Susanna Morrill?s piece exhibits how many regional identities in the United States are often tied to a unique religious history that shaped a region (for example Puritan heritage in New England and Mormon history in Utah). She ponders why various regions? inhabitants are so focused on these perpetuations of exceptional and unique identities in lieu of focusing on the more critical components of their cultures and/or religions.

And over at the Religion in American History blog, Laura Arnold Leibman writes that ?Christians are not the only Americans to argue at least implicitly for a soul gender.? In this fascinating and detailed post, Leibman explores how Jewish American have used gender to represent the resurrection and how that is complicated by the doctrine of transmigration of the soul. Lots to ponder especially within the context of comparative religious history.


John Hamer posted a useful list of links to a variety podcasts from the last few years in which he has been a participant.


The Utah Division of State History announced its Annual Awards recipients.

The Society for Textual Scholarship is accepting proposal for its March conference at University of Washington, Seattle by November 1st.

Another reminder that the deadline for the Mormon History Association conference is October 1st.

Last but not least

The citizens of Las Vegas should be relieved to know the streets will hopefully be a bit safer when the two robbers posing as Mormon missionaries are arraigned on September 24th.

Let us know if we should be aware of anything else in the comments!

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. Great job, Natalie. Thanks!!

    Comment by J Stuart — September 22, 2013 @ 9:44 am

  2. Great roundup!

    Comment by Saskia — September 22, 2013 @ 10:11 am

  3. Thanks, Natalie.

    Comment by Christopher — September 23, 2013 @ 8:04 am

  4. Thanks, Natalie.

    Comment by David G. — September 23, 2013 @ 11:25 am

  5. The Samoan language story is interesting. What actually happened is that there was a Samoan language ward in the Stake and someone (Area presidency) as an experiment decided to do away with the Samoan ward and integrate the Samoan members into the Australian wards. Many of which still have Samoan Sunday school classes etc.

    A group of Samoans didn’t accept this and continued to meet as a group and were certain that when the Prophet heard of their plight he would fix it. This group also took the Stake President and a couple of Bishops to court charged with racial discrimination.

    That seemed to be all over but the Samoan group have a new lawyer, and it is off and running again.

    There are wards in Brisbane that are 80% Samoan, and they are not healthy places for Australians to be.

    Comment by Geoff - A — September 25, 2013 @ 11:15 pm


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