Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Rees, Robert A.
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Reviews I 171 With Mormons, it's sort of an accounting. They pay out x many dollars, so they sit down and count up x many blessings. If they think the blessings are worth the money they've paid, well and good. If they can see that they are going in the hole, they still pay the tithing because they are afraid if they stop, they'll lose what little they have. . . . Mormons pay tithing as if they were paying on an insurance policy. or in a discussion of the United Order with Brother Gardiner: In theory, Brother Gardiner. It's all very beautiful in theory—both the Order and Communism—but either way it doesn't work. . . . There's always the man who only plants one row, but who takes the crops from ten—according to his needs! ... It would be no different now than it was in Orderville. When the lesser lights of the Ward went to the storehouse, everything was picked over by the wives of the Bishops and Stake presidents and high councilmen. However, the validity of the book rests not in the side issue of its audience but in its central purpose—to reveal, to air and examine "the indescribably painful tug of war of heritage, love, and friendship against logic/' which Mrs. Hunter describes as the ambivalence that many thinking Mormons struggle with periodically. A Daughter of Zion accomplishes that purpose with an accurate and affectionate but surface depiction of the real people Mrs. Hunter loved or tolerated in Lincoln Ward and her own honest, highly personal interpretations of or reactions to Mormon theology. The people she loved are unforgettable because they call to mind Saints we have all known, including ourselves: Papa, the closest thing to a true prophet in Rodel-lo's mind; eighty-four-year-old Sister Thompson, beautiful of face and soul; Leone, made of the same fiber as the Saints who girded up their loins and took fresh courage to endure; and Bishop Trauffer, who called Sister Hunter into his office to tell her why he had not called her to a certain position. Also unforgettable are the ones she tolerated: the Bishop's wife who rejected one Saint's offer to teach MIA and confession of coffee drinking with, "Oh, in that case, we won't need you"; Martha Lee Moser, who, "had she been a man, would have been a power in the church"; Mrs. (not Sister) Goring, who resigned a stake position after falsely accusing Rodello of breaking roadshow rules. Mrs. Hunter's ambivalent discussions of Church doctrine and custom are equally honest, though not always as accurate. Take, for example, her comments about meetings: The other days of the week [besides Sunday and Tuesday] are not neglected by the Church. The Latter-day Saint passion for meetings to plan meetings to plan meetings is one that is moaned about throughout Mormondom. And those who should attend each meeting are mightily exhorted to be there so the 100 percent attendance quota can be met. ... I went to the meetings along with the others because I liked basking in the warm sun of approval, and was reluctant to be one of the backsliders who brought down the percentage. . . . There is one great advantage to all of these meetings. It ties the individuals from the wards into the Mormon Stake Family. Or about temple marriage: It hardly seems right that a woman must be sealed for eternity to her first husband when she might love the subsequent more. ... A woman cannot ascend to the highest degree of glory—the Celestial Kingdom—except as the wife of a Priesthood bearer. She cannot attain anything by herself. She only shares her husband's glory. So it seems only right that she should be able to choose whichever husband promises the most glorious future for her in the hereafter.