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.
Reviews 137 rum (82). She also examines the difference between a “political issue” and a “moral issue” and how—in the official LDS context—the former becomes the latter (84–93). In Chapter 4, Bradley provides a dispassionate timeline of the Church’s involvement in the ERA by describing in detail nine anti-ERA documents produced between 1974 and 1981, including: 1. A 1974 address by Relief Society General President Barbara B. Smith, acknowledging the “social wrongs against women” but cautioning that “the ERA was the incorrect approach” because it might nullify protectionist laws (94). While the address reflected her opinion, it also contained language quoted directly from the Church’s in-house position statement. 2. A 1975 Church News editorial published at the beginning of Utah’s legislative session, “the first in a series of statements over the next five years that would officially establish the Church’s opinion” against the ERA (97). Just two months before the publication of this editorial, 63 percent of LDS Utahns supported the ERA. 3. A 1976 First Presidency statement, identifying the ERA as a “moral issue” and asking members to join the fight against ratification (99). 4. A 1978 press release published in the Ensign titled “Reaffirmation of the First Presidency’s Position on the ERA” (103). 5. The Church and the Proposed Equal Rights Amendment: A Moral Issue, a 1980 pamphlet distributed to every adult female member of the Church. The back of the pamphlet contained instructions titled “What Mormon Women Can Do.” Suggestions included: “Actively support political candidates who are honest and trust worthy, and who oppose the Equal Rights Amendment” (108). These documents, along with major addresses by Elders Boyd K. Packer and Ezra Taft Benson left little ambiguity about the Church’s position and expectations of its members. To Bradley’s great credit, she does not caricature the anti-ERA forces, despite their well-orchestrated campaign. She allows anti-ERA leaders within the Church to speak for themselves, revealing incisive differences in style and substance. Men and women, in particular, seemed to have different methods for speaking with women about this issue. For example, Elders Packer and Benson spoke in terms of good versus evil, issuing dire warnings, raising up the “cult of womanhood” as a standard, and