Why I Do What I Do

I love the Mormon people.  And I love our history.  It’s all fulfilling, both human and divine, both visionary and mundane.  Every word of it.  This is Mormon history for people who have been told that studying history makes you unfaithful, edgy, or “unorthodox.”  I’m here to tell you that the truth is exactly the opposite.  Studying our history is a sign of faith, a sign of trust, and even a sign of love.  We’re not here to rehash what you learned in Mia Maids or Priesthood.  We’re here to learn how to love our people more deeply and more richly.  And we all know that those we love the most are those we know the best.  We “get” them.  I want us all to “get” Brigham Young, to “get” Brother Joseph.  I like my history straight.  The old Sunday School story hold true: no one wants to drink water after the cows have waded in it.

But learning to love someone (or a group of people) can be scary at times.  They can surprise us, excite us, encourage us, and, sometimes, even disappoint us.  But as G.K. Chesterton once said, “love is not blind…love is bound.  And the more it is bound, the less it is blind.”

For my latest work, see Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables–a biography of Mormonism’s first black priesthood holder. 

2 comments on “Why I Do What I Do

  1. Susan Ryland says:

    I have been listening to an interview you did for Mormon Stories on 13 September, 2013 (yesterday here), about Elijah Abel. I want to thank you for opening up ideas, for me, about the ban on black people holding the priesthood. You have given me a lot to ponder and study and also some empathy for the early saints. Elijah Abel seems like a truly good, good man. Thank you for letting me know about him.

  2. Andy says:

    Great interview you did with John Dehlin recently on Mormon Stories. You presented a scholarly and creditable account about a very fascinating man. I never had heard or read of any detail about him nor of how he figured into the church narrative. Now that I know of you I will be looking for more great works from you over the years to come.

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