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, Nine Exchange Place, 215 Boston Bldg., Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Backstage Library Works - 1180 S. 800 E. Orem, UT 84097
Bradford, Mary Lythgoe
Pages scanned at 400ppi on Fujitsu fi-5650C sheetfed scanner as 8-bit grayscale or 24-bit RGB uncompressed TIFF images. Images resized to 950 pixels wide, 150 dpi, and saved as JPEG (level 8) in PhotoShop CS with Unsharp Mask of 100/.3.
Digital image, copyright 2004, Dialogue Foundation. All rights reserved.
SHIPPS: An "Insider-Outsider" in Zion I 153 investigators to remain detached from the objects of their investigations. An "inside-outsider" surrenders that detachment, giving up the emotional as well as professional safety of the so-called "objective approach" in exchange for the ambiguity and uncertainty that comes with being "in but not of" a strange universe. Even when the exterior of the new world seems reassuringly familiar, this is risky business because it can lead to disorientation and almost surely to misunderstanding. The insiders who allow an outsider to enter also take risks since "inside-outsiders" occupy a platform from which to speak that hardly can be gainsaid. Having stopped standing on the outside looking in, I have to live, for example, with the inevitable descriptions of Jan Shipps as the "Thomas L. Kane of the twentieth century" and the just as inevitable descriptions of me as a "potential Fanny Stenhouse." But, in turn, the Saints have to put up with my observations published in newspapers and newsmagazines about everything from the significance of Mark Hofmann's latest find to the long-range future of the LDS Church.* Because the process of conversion is such an interior one, sometimes it is very difficult to determine exactly when an investigator stops being a "golden" Gentile and starts being a Mormon. As far as conversion is concerned, however, the community has a means of knowing where people stand because baptism is the symbolic line of division between the outside and the inside. Giving up an outsider's detachment is also an interior process. But in spite of Jim Allen's threat to baptize me in a giant pot of coffee, the fact is that no comparable ceremony exists to signify a change in status that is not so clear-cut. A sign not at all like baptism first marked my having left the observation platform. In the spring of 1973 I was informed that I had been elected to the MHA Council, the governing body of the Mormon History Association, in a friendly letter of notification which started out "Dear Jan," expressed gratitude to me, and conveyed the message that the association was pleased to find a non-Mormon who was willing to serve. When I received a letter outlining the agenda for a forthcoming council meeting the next fall, however, at its head were the words "Dear Brethren." As it quite obviously did not refer to my physical characteristics, I took this salutation to be an inadvertent announcement of a change in my position vis-a-vis the Saints. Among more subtle and more significant signals of what was happening were: my being welcomed into rump sessions at professional history meetings where "Brighamites" and "Josephites" sat on beds and floors in cramped hotel rooms and talked together into the small hours of the night; my sharing with Paul Edwards and Doug Alder an early morning walk through the deserted streets of Nauvoo in the tension-filled aftershock of the explosion ignited by Reed Durham's dramatic detailing of the connections between *When news stories about the Saints need to be set in context for the general public, reporters hunt up "outside-insiders," as well as "inside-outsiders." This may help to explain why the national media seems to find the opinions and explanations of persons like Sterling McMurrin or the late Fawn Brodie of greater interest than the opinions and explanations of LDS ecclesiastical authorities.