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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Peterson, F. Ross ; Peterson, Mary Kay
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Newton: Almost Like Us 15 Glorious Standard," I would have no quarrel with it; but to me the assumptions of the heading that appeared are that either I am expected to recognize only the American constitution or that the Ensign is really only for American members. Just a few months ago, an irate father showed me a page his child brought home from Primary —a sharing time activity from the November 1989 Friend with pictures illustrating our blessings. Prominent among six-year-old Natalie's supposed blessings is a picture of the American flag. How difficult would it have been to print the outline of a flag and allow children around the world to fill in the symbols of their own country? These instances are merely symptoms of deeper attitudes. When the Church News (or This Week in Utah as it is known to the underground and irreverent in Australia) tells us that the purpose of the Tabernacle Choir is to promote "the American family and the American dream" (25 March 1989, 7); when a mission president warns his elders not to become involved with Australian girls, not because their missionary work might suffer but because they might end up living in Australia and, horror of horrors, might even lose their American citizenship; when American missionaries in the Australia Perth mission wear p-day tee shirts emblazoned, "I Know I'm Going to the Celestial Kingdom —I've Been to Hell Already," we are getting the message all over again that the Church is not really meant for us, that at best we are still only fringe dwellers in the kingdom. Perhaps none of this has been particularly damaging to the Church in Australia. It has not even been unanimously resisted; many Australian members and leaders do not see any problem at all, and some have told me that they would never question the American aspects of various programs because they feel that whatever comes from Salt Lake City is the Lord's will. Others, usually but not always women, wholeheartedly embrace Americanism and adopt an American accent at baptism along with the title of "sister" or "brother." A few Australians have been heard to object to the use of Australian sealers in the Sydney Temple because "it just doesn't sound the same as when an American says it." One Australian bishop holds annual Fourth of July socials and November Thanksgiving dinners, although Australia Day and Anzac Day are never mentioned in his ward. Some of his ward members support him, some object openly, and others object privately but will not voice their objections for fear of criticizing the Lord's anointed. Nevertheless, even if no actual harm has been done to anything but the patriotic feelings of some Australian members, the real point is that the Church has surely progressed more slowly and been less effec-