The new book is out, Mormon is Global
The problem with associating Mormonism and Americanism is that people expect Mormons to behave like Americans. Of course viewing Mormonism in the context of the United States and its influences upon Mormonism is valid and enlightening. While researching in the British Library recently I passed Patrick Hughes’ optical illusionary book shelves, entitled Paradoxymoron hanging on the wall exemplifying his invention of ‘reverspectives’ where what is nearest to you appears furthest away. Viewing Paradoxymoron from new angles allowed it to morph and move. Scholars of Mormonism study America and its influences particularly in relation to Christianity. Perhaps, though, like Hughe’s ‘reverspectives’ illusion, what seems farthest away is actually closest to us and vice versa. What if our understanding of Mormonism as American is actually an optical illusion? This work intends to reconcile my long time encounter with Asia, my extended family’s strong relationship with Israeli-Palestinian dynamics, my International Relations training in the United Kingdom, and own my Mormonness which first buds in the 1830s-50s.
Read a Segment:
Bouncing thin carrot curls spliced into the gene pool from my Irish grandmother several greats ago. Leaving Ireland and the enduring effects of the potato famine she boarded a ship with the Mormons in Liverpool. In the British immigrant town of Springville, Utah she lived in a small hastily built house in the backyard of her husband and his first wife. Grandma, who knew my Irish grandmother’s children and grandchildren, attested to her grattitude for what she had in Utah, a house, land and children she never would have attained in Ireland.
Britons neighbored her on all sides, many from northern England. Scandinavians also lived in neighborhoods together not far away. Germans, too. Iron workers straight from the mines and factories of northern England resumed their skills in Iron County, Utah further south.
Amidst the thousands of multi-national immigrants in the 1850s it is curious why the Mormon prophet and apostles, the top fifteen leaders of that generation, either were all or mostly all American-born converts. How would apostles comprehend the traumas of the potato famine to administer appropriately to an Irish woman without a British-born convert advising them in their quorum? Britons of the day didn’t seem too concerned, nor did the Germans or Scandinavians or other Europeans. No mass protests, no mass dissatisfaction occurred over the American-born leadership.
[amazon template=add to cart&asin=1518661815]