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.
Dialogue Foundation, 202 West 300 North, Salt Lake City, Utah 84103
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Newell, Linda King ; Newell, L. Jackson
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8 DIALOGUE: A Journal of Mormon Thought been reading both! I read both consistently. As fine a job as BYU Studies does, it is still only a limited "voice for the community of LDS scholars." There are some things published in Dialogue over the past five years that might have been published in BYU Studies, but the majority of it would not even have been seriously considered for publication there. Robert A. Rees Los Angeles, California A Note from "Dr. Smith" Recently Heath showed how Henry Eyring dealt with some problems of great concern to Mormon scientists (Autumn 1982). It was interesting to read his excellent account of events of thirty years ago, which I watched from close range as an Eyring associate of that period, the "Dr. Smith" mentioned in the letter from Eyring to Bennion. Certainly Eyring helped many young people stay in the Church and come to terms with it, but I wonder if Joseph Fielding Smith didn't carry the day with Church leaders. There have been some surprising developments in recent years which must bother many a Mormon scientist. First, as Sherlock pointed out in Dialogue (Autumn 1982), both a recent Mel-chizedek Priesthood manual and a Gospel Doctrine text commend for study and discussion some of Joseph Fielding Smith's extreme antievolution views. Sherlock stated that there had been no change in the official position of the First Presidency. The priesthood manual lists no authors but opens with a letter from the First Presidency. Perhaps that doesn't make it official, but many readers must have assumed that it does. Second, Church News editorials regularly let go broadsides at science — not only at biology and geology but even at benign astronomy. We have been told that we should not try to figure out Book of Mormon geography; that there was no evolution even from one lower form to another (1 Sept. 1979); that we need not speculate as to how the earth or the heavens were created (20 Dec. 1980); and that we must not believe the big bang theory of the origin of the universe (17 Oct. 1981). Since the Church urges everyone to subscribe, many readers must assume high-level approval, even though the author is not identified. I find these developments confusing. I was brought up on books by John A. Widtsoe, Merrill, and Pack. Those authors — and Henry Eyring — taught me to see science and Mormonism as extensions of each other. Both are revealed, as Brig-ham Young emphasized. They have developed in parallel because both are essential parts of the dispensation of the fulness of times. (Of course there is some error in science, but there is constant purification.) Now, over a narrow interpretation of a verse or two of scripture, we find much science condemned. What effect does that have on young people studying science? I urge Dialogue to find authors qualified to discuss the Mormonism-science relationship of the 1980s. Are large numbers of Church members still choosing to be educated in science? In biology and geology? How do students and scientists reconcile science and Mormonism today? Are there currently any staunch Mormons hav-ign great stature as scientists? Who are they? How do they view these problems? Henry Eyring dealt with Joseph Fielding Smith. How can we deal with anonymous manuals and editorials? Is anyone trying? Richard Pearson Smith Westfield, New Jersey Addendum on "Truth" Your Autumn 1982 issue was excellent — a testimony that you will carry on the fine tradition established by your predecessors. I am writing to make a number of corrections to my own article in that issue: "Thoughts on the Mormon Scriptures: