Dr. Valerie Hudson joined the faculty of Texas A&M University at the Bush School in 2012 as the George Bush Chair. She is considered an expert on international security and foreign policy analysis, she received her PhD in political science at The Ohio State University. Prior to going to Texas A&M she taught at Brigham Young University. In 2009, Foreign Policy named her one of the top 100 Most Influential Global Thinkers. Dr. Hudson developed a nation-by-nation database on women (http://womanstats.org) that triggered both academic and policy interest including use by both the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and various agencies of the United Nations. Her research and teaching experience is also complemented by three major teaching awards and numerous research awards. She is a founding editorial board member of Foreign Policy Analysis, and also serves on the editorial boards of Politics and Gender and International Studies Review. More information can be found on her website, http://vmrhudson.org. She comes to us today under the nome de plume V.H. Cassler to discuss her article in the 7th Volume of the online journal SqaureTwo found at SquareTwo.org. Welcome VH! Some of the questions Valerie Hudson answers are: Valerie Hudson’s article is a sort of time capsule or cultural snapshot of the current discourse in the LDS world about the roles of women, women in the priesthood, ordain women, etc. Valerie is a self proclaimed feminist which is a designation that has become a very vague concept in some respects. There are different waves of feminism, there are different implications on what being a feminist implies. Valerie says she is a Mormon BECAUSE is a feminist. How can one define themself as a feminist and how does that dovetail with Mormonism. A brief introduction as to what that Journal is and what people can expect to find there. In her book- Women in Eternity, Women in Zion she explore the idea of separating doctrine from culturally accepted precepts. This theme is also addressed in your article in SquareTwo. The article is entitled Zion in Her Beauty Rises: Current Discourse on Women and the Priesthood by Ballard, Dew, and Oaks. To start out you address some of the previously held cultural approaches to the discourse on the role of women in Mormon Culture and doctrine. What are some of those past cultural positions that were held by some? There is a change in the discourse since the 21st century began on the issues of women in the church. General Authorities seem to be more assertive with the doctrines of gender equality. Valerie’s article focuses on recent statements from Elder M. Russell Ballard, Sheri Dew, and Elder Dallin H. Oaks. She gives a brief synopsis of each of these statements. There have been other statements on this issue, so why these three sources, why not just one? There is a temptation when it comes to issues such as gender and where there seems to be some changes in the way things are either viewed and/or operate, to make a chicken and egg kind of argument. That is to give the distinction that the change came because of the protest or pressure of men and women, vs. divine authority. What merit is there in even considering the source of the change? Does it matter? Can’t divine authority be given based on the petition of God’s children? Valerie Hudson concludes with a beautiful and intriguing statement, “I agree with [Sheri] Dew when she predicts that, “the kingdom of God will change overnight” for the better when we move to higher ground on these questions.” The questions here being those surrounding gender roles and doctrines in the LDS Church. Valerie elaborates further on how this is the case? Valerie Hudson, or V.H. Cassler, is the author of a the article Zion in Her Beauty Rises: Current Discourse on Women and the Priesthood by Ballard, Dew, and Oaks that can be found in Vol. 7 of the online Journal SqaureTwo found at SquareTwo.org
Articles of Faith
Prior to graduating from BYU, Craig L. Foster served as a missionary in Belguim and France. Craig L. Foster earned a Bachelors degree in history and MLIS (or Masters of Library and Information Science) at BYU. He is also an accredited genealogist and works as a research consultant at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. He has published books and articles on various aspects of Mormon History. Some of his writings on Mormon History discuss the history and theology of plural marriage within the context of Mormonism. Craig is also on the editorial board of the John Whitmer Historical Association Journal. Craig is the author of the article: Separated but not Divorced: The LDS Church’s Uncomfortable Relationship with its Polygamous Past found in the Interpreter: Journal of Mormon Scripture
Royal Skousen is a professor of linguistics and English at Brigham Young University. He is considered to be a leading expert on the textual history of the Book of Mormon.
Royal Skousen talks about his 25+ year effort on the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project, his findings about the language of the Book of Mormon and his assertion that the text is from the language of the 1600’s, not the language of Joseph Smith’s day–concluding that Joseph was revealed an English text, not taking broad theories and applying them to the language of his day.
Royal is also the author of an article from the Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture entitled Another Account of Mary Whitmer’s Viewing of the Golden Plates. This article articulates the discovery of an additional account of Mary Whitmer’s being shown the Gold Plates from the Angel Moroni. This account articulates a motivation for Moroni’s showing her the plates.
Brian C Hales – Dissenters: Portraying the Church As Wrong So They Can Be Right Without It
Brian C. Hales is a board-certified anesthesiologist in Layton, Utah. He graduated from Utah State University with a B.S. in biology and from the University of Utah, College of Medicine.
He authored Setting the Record Straight: Mormon Fundamentalism (2008) and The Priesthood of Modern Polygamy: An LDS Perspective (1992). Hales has published articles in Mormon Historical Studies, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, and the Journal of Mormon History. Brian Hales is also webmaster of www.MormonFundamentalism.com and www.JosephSmithsPolygamy.com.
Brian has also served as president of the Utah Medical Association and as president of the Medical Staff at Davis Hospital and Medical Center. He is the father of four adult children and author of the 3 volume set, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy.