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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Bradley, Martha Sonntag ; Roberts, Allen Dale
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234 Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought in Japan for about twenty-five years. There are now 646 scouts enrolled in nineteen troops or units under church auspices.26 The number of Latter-day Saints on the faculties of Japanese colleges and universities has reached a score. Indeed, a new revision of the LDS scriptures (just published) was accomplished with the important participation of three professors who are specialists in Japanese language and linguistics. One sign of the strength and vigor of the Japanese LDS community is often overlooked—the growth and activity of the private or "unspon-sored" sector. From at least the 1960s on many Japanese Saints have published books dealing partly or wholly with LDS topics, such as autobiographies, collections of testimonies, histories of local units, travelogues, novels, and poetry, numbering more than twenty so far. The Beehive Shuppan, begun in 1992, in collaboration with Bookcraft in Salt Lake City, translates and publishes LDS books. So far it has published six, including two on Ezra Taft Benson and others written by David O. McKay, Neal A. Maxwell, and Dallin H. Oaks.28 About ten years ago musical compositions on gospel themes began to be marketed on tapes and disks through such private LDS channels. Other private enterprises periodically organize tours to Salt Lake City and to Jerusalem. In 1988 the independent semi-annual journal Mormon Forum was first published and is now edited by me. An LDS electronic network on Nifty-serve (Japan) was started in 1990 and carries a lively and intense exchange of information and opinions.29 This electronic forum proved especially useful during the Kobe earthquake in January 1995. Limited as such enterprises are, even among the Saints themselves, they all contribute to the social network and the bonds that hold together the LDS community in Japan. They help also to build a separate Japanese Mormon identity— separate both from the rest of the Japanese and from other Mormons. Ultimately, both the growth and the retention rate in the church will benefit. I conclude with an observation about an analogy between the global U.S.-Japan relationship and that between Americans and Japanese in the church. Throughout the Cold War, Japan, living under the shadow of the United States, was content to leave in American hands the most difficult 26. Asia Scouting Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Way of Scouting, Dec. 1994. 27. For periodic lists of all such privately published works by LDS writers, see Mormon Forum, Spring 1990; Fall 1990; Spring 1993; Fall 1994; and Spring 1995; or contact me. 28. The six translated books (all from Bookcraft in Salt Lake City) are: Frederick W. Bab-bel, On Wings of Faith, 1972; Elaine Cannon, Boy of the Land, Man of the Lord, 1989; Neal A. Maxwell, A Wonderful Flood of Light, 1990; David O. McKay, Secrets of a Happy Life, 1967; Preston Nibley, LDS Stories of Faith and Courage, 1957; and Dallin H. Oaks, Pure in Heart, 1988. 29. Mormon Forum and the e-network on Niftyserve (Japan) are both described briefly in Bryan Waterman, "A Guide to the Mormon Universe: Mormon Organizations and Periodicals," Sunstone 17 (Dec. 1994): 44-65.