Mormon Arts

Arts – Music – Poetry – Cinema – Television

M Gets a Joke

October 1, 2008 | 50 comments
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A while back our household sat down to watch an episode of Monk. We like Monk because not only is it funny, it’s also sad and tender and offers good – sometimes very good – cultural satire. As I fed M she kept turning her head to look at the TV, watching whatever it is she sees when she’s watching something. We’re not sure what that is because doctors have sent mixed messages about her eyesight. But she does see. Read more »

“Mormonism”: A Perfect Storm

September 30, 2008 | 13 comments
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Library Journal this month ran an interesting article offering a big-picture perspective on the world of LDS and LDS-related publishing, highlighting close to 40 books on doctrine, history, sociology, comparative theology and devotional topics, as well as periodicals, video, and internet resources. The article’s aim is to help librarians choose recent, reliable books about Mormonism, whether they work in a public or small academic library. Read more »

Two Texts on a Summer Flood

September 15, 2008 | one comment
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Apropos of the season and storm. Read more »

Doctrines of Localization

September 6, 2008 | 37 comments
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Doctrines of Localization

In April, 1998, President Hinckley visited New York City to speak at a special fireside held in Madison Square Garden, and our stake provided a 100+ voice choir for the event. I remember thinking at the time that with all of the talented Church members in New York City, the choir should be permanent. Read more »

Mormon Language

September 1, 2008 | 46 comments
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I can’t resist telling this one again. Last May in priesthood meeting the photographers collecting photos for the ward directory suggested that the photos might end up on the “Blogosphere.” After they mentioned the word “Blogosphere” three times, I replied: “In the Church, we call it the “Bloggernacle.” To my surprise, this drew gaffaws from the entire room, as if I had invented the term there and then as a joke of some kind. Read more »

The Way to Translation

August 29, 2008 | 34 comments
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Several years ago bookseller Curt Bench put together an annotated list of the 50 most important Mormon books published before 1980. While I won’t claim that everyone will agree with his assessment, I’ll be very surprised if anyone objects to more than 25% of the list. Read more »

What to do about Deseret Book?

August 26, 2008 | 48 comments
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For the past decade, I’ve suggested that Deseret Book is one of the significant impediments to the growth of Mormon culture outside those elements involving worship. LDS books, music, film, art and other cultural products, especially innovative ones, are hampered by Deseret Book’s size, focus and control of the market for LDS materials. What can we do about it? Read more »

What Model for Spreading Mormon Culture?

August 19, 2008 | 29 comments
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Ever been in one of the few LDS stores outside the United States? or in countries that don’t speak English? The selection can be quite discouraging. Read more »

Death and Doctrine, II

August 1, 2008 | 41 comments
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Can you help me a bit more with this topic? . . . Since LDS funeral sermons were given exclusively by men before 1900, they make an interesting comparison with LDS women’s death poetry of the same time period. Read more »

Book Review: The Host

July 20, 2008 | 8 comments
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by Stephenie Meyers (Little, Brown, 2008). 617 pp. WARNING: major spoilers Stephenie Meyer’s foray into science fiction is a well-deserved best seller, and a great piece of Mormon literature. The romantic interaction between Bella and Edward and Jacob—wait, I mean between Jared and Melanie/Wanderer and Ian—uh, hold on a second… Read more »

“What desirest thou?”

June 5, 2008 | 19 comments
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Several years ago I read a delightful book on creativity, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. It was full of interesting questions: “List ten tiny changes you’d like to make for yourself.” “What would you do as a career if you had seven more lives to live?” “If I didn’t have to do it perfectly I would try….” “List twenty things you’d like to do before you die.” Read more »

Why Joseph Went to the Woods

November 1, 2007 | 87 comments
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Joseph Smith went to the woods because he wished to know the truth of his existence. Read more »

Story Time!

August 14, 2007 | 94 comments
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The day before the cliff swallows return to traditional nesting sites in canyons near where I live in southern Utah, the sky hangs quiet, with only a few ravens, hawks, and eagles spiraling through. The next day, whoosh! Swallows arrive reeling in their folklorico like revelers at an unseen party spilling onto a quiet street. Read more »

Field Notes #4

August 10, 2007 | 41 comments
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It is the destiny of mint to be crushed. –Waverley Lewis Root June 12, 2007 Rained most of the night. Morning’s cool and sweet. Good day to venture into a canyon. Because the storm has left behind puffy white seeds that could blossom suddenly into rain, I replace my extra water bottle with a rain poncho. In honor of the sky, scrubbed to a deep, shining blue, I wear my turquoise tee shirt. Usually I wear a white one with sleeves, but I like to wear this color when I hike. Weather permitting, I do. Read more »

Field Notes #2

July 21, 2007 | 3 comments
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We might use language in our attempts to set boundaries, but language contains in microcosmic acts the macrocosmic thrust toward new form. November 4, 2006 The trail into the canyon is rougher at November’s threshold; run-off from recent storms took the same trail to the canyon’s main water course that I must take. Read more »

Quothing the Raven

July 19, 2007 | 30 comments
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Some weeks ago a friend (an archaeologist and therefore a man of science) and I were discussing a nature writer who was coming to town to promote his latest book. I asked my friend if he liked this writer’s work. He said he did. I said that I did, too, and that I thought this writer one of the better nature writers out there. My friend agreed then added, “Although I wonder if a lot of them aren’t actually writing fiction.” Read more »

Field Notes #1

July 15, 2007 | 13 comments
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Remember the silence around Pueblo Alto in Chaco, so heavy you felt blanketed by its snows, and the desert landscape spread out below, unmoving for miles? That was silence. Not even a breeze singing on the stones. June 8, 2006 Hiked in the rain this morning. Read more »

Sweat

July 13, 2007 | 36 comments
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All winter I plotted how to improve the garden, my first focal point for exercising “good stewardship” over the acre plus we moved to a year and a half ago. Last year’s garden had gone all right. I loved every minute in it, especially the time spent with animals, like Woodhouses’ toads and cliff swallows, which helped keep the garden in good order. But I got a late start and the harvest fell short. This year, I pushed to start my tomatoes on time along with other herbs and veggies that don’t mind sprouting indoors. I schemed how to... Read more »

MWS: Brandon Sanderson

June 11, 2007 | 12 comments
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Brandon Sanderson is the Campbell-nominated author (twice-nominated now) of the fantasy novels Elantris and Mistborn: The Final Empire. His novel Well of Ascension, second in the Mistborn trilogy, will be published in a few months. Other projects (including the playfully titled Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians) are on the horizon. Brandon also recently released another full novel in draft form, Warbreaker, which is available for free at his website. He blogs at BrandonSanderson.com and posts frequently on the message board at The Official Time-Waster’s Guide. Brandon graciously agreed to be interviewed, as part of our ongoing Mormon Writers Symposium.... Read more »

MWS: Shannon Hale

May 29, 2007 | 10 comments
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Shannon Hale is a Newbery Honor-winning, New York Times bestseller-listed author of youth and fantasy fiction, most particularly Goose Girl and Princess Academy. This week sees the release of her latest novel Austenland, her first adult fiction novel. She is a returned missionary and lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and two under-three-years-old children. Read more »

MWS: Doug Thayer

May 23, 2007 | 15 comments
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Douglas Thayer is one of the pioneers of what Eugene England called “faithful realism” in his definitive study of Mormon literature. Besides having taught literally thousands of Mormon writers during his fifty years as a professor of English at Brigham Young University, his short story collections Under the Cottonwoods and Mr. Wahlquist in Yellowstone have become a template for those writing about the interior life of Mormons today. He has also published the novels Summer Fire and The Conversion of Jeff Williams. Read more »

A Mormon Writers Symposium

May 22, 2007 | 18 comments
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Thirty years ago this summer, President Spencer W. Kimball gave us his “Gospel Vision of the Arts”: Read more »

Tooth Bugs

January 26, 2007 | 73 comments
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Recently my husband and I came across a set of rather old LDS song books. As my ward’s primary chorister my favorite was The Primary Song Book: Including Marches and Voluntaries. The edition is missing the title page and so I’m not sure when it was published (and am at a loss as to how I would find out). Let’s just say that it’s really old. Among the very few songs that have survived from this edition to the current one are, “Give said the little Stream”, “I Thank Thee Dear Father”, “Can a Little Child Like Me”, and... Read more »

Crunch the Catalog

October 24, 2006 | 163 comments
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The hidden meaning of the Deseret Book Christmas Catalog. Read more »