About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the LDS church for over four decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation, and has a particular interest in events in the LDS community associated with "polygamy" between 1840 and 1845.

Fair Mormon Day 2 – The Rest of the Story

For Day 2 of the 2015 Fair Mormon Conference, the following presentations were scheduled. Those that are hyperlinked and marked with a star are covered today. Others may be covered in a few days when the streaming video is made available after the conference.

* Michael R. Otterson – Correcting The Record: Brother Otterson is with the LDS Church Public Affairs office.

* Stephen Webb – Why Mormon Materialism Matters: Steven Webb is a Catholic theologian and author of Mormon Christianity.

* Laura Hales – Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding: Laura Hales become immersed in the matter of polygamy when she recently married Brian C. Hales.

Lynne Wilson – Christ’s Emancipation of Women in the New Testament from their Cultural Background and Baggage

* Cassandra Hedelius – A house of order, a house of God: Recycled challenges to the legitimacy of the church: Cassandra Hedelius is part of the Fair Mormon team and reacts to the gnostics who claim they’ve learned secret truths that indicate the Church has gone off the rails.

* Paul Reeve – From Not White Enough, to Too White: Rethinking the Mormon Racial Story: Paul gives a fascinating description of why early Mormons might have wanted to counteract the image that they were a new and dangerously multi-cultural and degenerate race.

* Dan Peterson – The Reasonable Leap into Light: A Barebones Secular Argument for the Gospel: Dan Peterson shares an outline for the argument that we are not merely random bits of cosmic goo, indicating that it is completely rational to belief in the divine.
Continue reading

The Family of Joseph and Emma

imageSix months ago now, I visited Nauvoo for the Untold Stories Conference, held in Nauvoo the first weekend of February each year. While there, one woman told me I just had to meet her friend, Kimberly Jo Smith, great-great-grand-daughter of Joseph Smith.

This weekend I finally got a chance to spend time with Kimberly Jo and her son Bryan (together on the right, posing with a recent convert after a fireside). They travel around the country giving firesides to help people understand Emma and the circumstances she faced after the death of Joseph. They talk about their own experiences finding the gospel. But most of all, they talk about the misunderstandings that cause hard feelings, and how we can overcome those hard feelings if we listen to the Holy Ghost and choose to love rather than hate. Continue reading

Integrity and Respect versus Sparking Joy

GreenertToday I came across a TEDx talk by ADM Greenert, who is Chief of Naval Operations.

I know something about the Navy, but as I listened to ADM Greenert’s remarks about integrity and accountability, I thought about the individuals who lead our congregations at the ward and stake level.

I thought about a Joseph Smith who took responsibility for the sins of his people, that we all might be saved with our families. And I thought about Eliza Snow and Brigham Young, two of those who had at one time had been deceived by those promulgating spiritual wifery (aka illicit intercourse). 1

I also thought of William Smith, forgiven and counseled innumerable times, who ultimately chose to boldly embrace error rather than submit to the “bondage” of Christ’s leadership.

By contrast, a few days ago the sidebar had a link saying:

Kate and John don’t want you to be miserable anymore

I assumed this piece must be a parody, it was so over-the-top and offensive. But as I have seen others comment as though this is real, perhaps I was wrong to presume that Kate and John had more decency and self respect than to pen such a piece. Continue reading

Notes:

  1. Eliza’s November 1842 poems describe innocence being betrayed by a foul deceiver. “BY” is implicated as having accepted the teachings regarding transgression in William Clayton’s journal, though there is confusion about whether or not BY actually transgressed or not.

Review of William B. Smith Biography

Dr. Kyle R. Walker 1 has produced the first biography of Joseph Smith’s controversial brother, William B. Smith.

William B. Smith: In the Shadow of a Prophet was published in June 2015 by Greg Kofford Books, and offers a thorough and gentle view of the last surviving brother of Joseph Smith.

Dr. Walker seems thoroughly on Team William, focusing on William’s great efforts on behalf of the Church. However Dr. Walker is not willing to hide contemporary documents completely, and gives credence to contemporary reports from Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff regarding William’s unorthodox marital/sexual behavior. Thus Dr. Walker is ultimately unable to avoid recounting facts leading to William’s inability to retain a leading role in the Church William’s brother had founded. Continue reading

Notes:

  1. Kyle Walker has a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Brigham Young University.