Indigenous Perspectives on the Meanings of “Lamanite”
On August 4-6, 2022, the Mormon Studies Initiative at the University of Utah hosted a workshop of scholars from around the globe who study Indigenous Perspectives on the Meanings of “Lamanite”. Two of the events were open to the public and are now publicly available below.
Keynote address : “My Search for a Lamanite Identity: the Mexican Revolution, Rama Mexican, Margarito, Eduardo, Aztlan, and The Sant Antonio 4th Ward”
delivered by Dr. Ignacio M. Garcia
Reflections on Discourses about “Lamanites”: A Panel Discussion
with Dr. Robert Joseph, Sarah Newcomb, Dr. Thomas Murphy, and Dr. Amanda Hendrix-Komoto
Building Bridges Conference
Building Bridges for Sexual and Gender Minorities in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
In an address in 2017, President M. Russell Ballard identified the importance of LGBTQ+ Latter-day Saints having “a spiritual home” in the LDS Church. This annual forum brings together academic, ecclesiastical, and community voices in a way that broadens what is too often an entrenched debate around the experience of sexual and gender minorities and the LDS Church. Without minimizing the conflict or offering simplistic solutions, this annual forum invites all participants to dig deep into new ways of thinking about the issue.
Click Here for the Conference Program
Black, White, and Mormon I & II Panels
On June 8, 1978, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced President Spencer W. Kimball’s revelation extending the lay priesthood to “all worthy male members…without regard for race or color.” To mark this event and analyze the LDS church’s ongoing efforts to achieve racial equality, the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah hosted “Black, White, and Mormon II: A Conference on Race in the LDS Church Since The 1978 Revelation” in the Salt Lake City Main Public Library.
In collaboration with the College of Humanities’ Simmons Mormon Studies professor of history Paul Reeve, the multidisciplinary conference continues the discussion of race and the LDS church following the 2015 conference by the same name.
The conference began on June 29, 2018, with the Sterling M. McMurrin Lecture on Religion and Culture delivered by African-American writer, historian, activist and member of the LDS church, Darius Gray. Gray joined the Mormon church in 1964 and has been a central figure in pressing for racial change and serving as a voice for African-American Mormons.
On June 30, 2018, scholarly and community panels will explore how African American Mormons understand America’s current racial and religious climate, examine the Mormon church’s racial policies and practices, and survey the impact of the 1978 revelation.
“This conference continues our focus on race and the LDS church,” said Bob Goldberg, director of the center. “Timed to this special anniversary, it considers how far black saints have come and how far they may still have to travel toward equality. These questions, in fact, must be raised in regard to all aspects of American society.”
Black, White, and Mormon I Panels
Black, White, and Mormon II Panels
Getting Past the Racial Past: This panel addresses racial issues in the LDS Church since the 1978 policy change. It asks what progress has been made, what has stayed the same, and what still needs to change. Reeve will outline the historical context and examine the lingering impact of "whiteness" on Mormonism. Corbitt will address the Church’s outreach toward blacks and what that outreach might suggest about contemporary senior Church leaders’ perspectives on blacks in the present and future of the Church. Wain Myers was recently released from the Genesis Presidency and is the author of From Baptist Preacher to Mormon Teacher. He will consider the role of Genesis on the African American community from the perspective of Salt Lake City and from his experience in Genesis outside of Utah. Alice Burch will discuss her work as the president of the Genesis Relief Society.
Lunch Plenary: Dr. Marcus Martins, Associate Dean of Religious Education at BYU-Hawaii, speaks at the lunch plenary session for "Black, White, & Mormon II". Filmed at The Leonardo in Salt Lake City, UT Saturday, June 30th, 2018.
Coming of Age Under the Revelation: This panel addresses the racial and religious issues facing Mormons who came of age after the 1978 revelation. Rugh will address the sociology of race and Mormonism and how this impacts its young, black members and the work he has done with students at BYU on race education and integrated classrooms. Remaining panelists will detail their generations' experiences in the LDS Church and consider how America's current racial and religious climate influences their faith.