Where would the world of Mormonism and the world as a whole be without Richard
and Claudia Bushman? I have known and loved them for decades, and they just
keep getting better and better. May they live many more years!
"What is the power that creates that kind of goodwill? [...] I am searching
for the words."I believe that it's the pure love of Christ,
as described in:"A man filled with the love of God, is not
content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world,
anxious to bless the whole human race." -- Joseph Smith,
"TPJS", p. 174and in:"When filled with God's
love, we can do and see and understand things that we could not otherwise do or
see or understand. Filled with His love, we can endure pain, quell fear,
forgive freely, avoid contention, renew strength, and bless and help others in
ways surprising even to us." -- John H, Groberg, GenCon 10/2004
Thank you Dr. Bushman for this excellent article, I'd like to
add that I can already feel this kind of radiant mormonism here in Brazil, where
hundreds of LDS are making their impact for good in our communities.
Bushman is mostly right. Mormondom is an extraordinarily accomplished and
productive part of the population.Why then is that population's
collective response to Donald Trump so inadequate? The LDS collective response
to the Trump threat is somewhere between calculated and bumbling. I keep
waiting for some direction and am getting none.
This is an outstanding article on topics we don't hear much about. The
difference between the critics and the radiant doers has never been more stark.
Kudos to everyone who is doing their part to establish Zion.
Thank you, Dr. Bushman, for a remarkable epistle on the influence of faithful
LDS. It inspires me to do my small part in making the world better. We are
blessed to know you.
Radiant art forms are often expressed in different venues. Some are realistic
and others are delusional and unreal. But their effect or consequence may be
the same like a placebo. Mormonism exhibits many radiant art forms in the
manner of folklore and imagined histories. Like the Book of Mormon story is a
radiant literary art form that is taught as true history. Today most people
understand that it is an allegory of religious believe and not an actual
history. But still many think they must accept it as their ancestors believed
it to be real history. However, times have changed and much has been learned
since the pioneer days when there was an excuse for misunderstandings due to
lack of knowledge and science. But today people can see the truth in more
radiant reality. Change comes hard sometimes, but it is required for progress.
A few years ago, in a message on broadcast, "Music and the Spoken Word",
another forum of Church believing in art, which broadcast will turn 100 next
decade, the great author Henry James was quoted, "It is art that makes
life, and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its
process." Alma 26:22, if you are living right, you can help thousands,
and even reveal things yourself that have never been revealed. That is a
verse on art. Art reveals new things. Morality and art need each other
desperately. Consider all the hobbies out there the Lord has given us. All
prophets seem to have had hobbies to bring peace to the mind.
LJohnson,"Numbers are faltering, but there is ‘a surge of
influence.’ In other words, the lds church is irrelevant . . . . "____________________Mormonism has been under the microscope for so long
that a leveling out is to be expected. It began as an early American phenomenon
dismissed as a heresy. It was forged in the fires of ostracism. An isolationist
nation had produced in microcosm an isolationist people.Mormonism
endured by devising its own self-reliant infrastructure for survival. It was
slowly but steadily transforming from a despised people into a curiosity. As it
grew, it transcended its beginnings as a radical sect of apocalyptic
millennialism and became a bastion of American conservatism. Joseph Smith might
not even recognize it today.Mormonism is still coming to terms with
the larger world of which it is part. It is becoming more realistic and less
condescending. When a devastating catastrophe strikes wiping out homes and
Mormons join other groups in sending aid and assistance, the hungry people being
fed don’t ask if is a Mormon meal, or a Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish
meal. We are discovering our common humanity.
Numbers are faltering, but there is ‘a surge of influence.’ In other
words, the lds church is irrelevant and no one in this world cares enough to get
baptized, even with a record number of missionaries in the field that should be
ripe and ready to harvest. Waste of time and money. TG- The end of lds
oppressive influence is near.
Great article. Peter Pilling was my bishop at BYU. It's great to see his
success at Columbia.
What an excellent article! The salvation of the world is not found in politics,
but in individuals living their best beliefs. And as a faithful Mormon, I
believe strongly that Mormons ought to be the prime examples of that truth.
"Mormon art is art made by artists who identify as Mormons. Though not all
are active in the LDS Church, to some degree or another they exercise a Mormon
influence in the world."____________________That calls to mind
what I’ve heard about the experiences of members of other religions. Some
religious skeptics who had strict religious upbringings years later nonetheless
acknowledge the impact beliefs instilled in them in their youth continues to
play in their social conscience.
Thank you Richard Bushman! This is an excellent, well though out article--one
that I will certainly share. I deeply admire your perspective and wisdom.
Thank you Dr. Bushman for exemplifying the "radiant Mormonism" that you
spoke of in this article. Your projects and books have done a lot of good in
helping the scholarly community to become more familiar with and accepting of
the message of Mormonism.
"We have grown steadily and sometimes quite dramatically through convert and
member baptism until now we are about 16 million members of record. "This is disingenuous and harmful to the credibility of the author. Many
people on the rolls were baptized and never went back to church. You stay on the
rolls for 110 years years, even if you died at 50. Even senior officials
estimate practicing mormons at about 5 million. Many people that have left the
church don't go through the process of having their names removed.
Conflating membership numbers ruins credibility of other, maybe factual points
the author makes.