Seattle Mormon Celeste Carolin wants to marry the love of her life. Under current LDS policy, that means her options are to either be excommunicated or to voluntarily resign from the Church. “I will choose neither,” she says. “I choose to stay.”
Author Archives: Jana Riess
About Jana Riess
Since 2008, Jana Riess has been an acquisitions editor in the publishing industry, primarily acquiring in the areas of religion, history, popular culture, ethics, and biblical studies. From 1999 to 2008, she was the Religion Book Review Editor for Publishers Weekly, and continues to write freelance articles and reviews for PW as well as other publications.
She holds degrees in religion from Wellesley College and Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in American religious history from Columbia University. She speaks often to media about issues pertaining to religion in America, and has been interviewed by the Associated Press, Time, Newsweek, People, the Boston Globe, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and Newsday, among other print publications, as well as “Voice of America,” the "Today" show, MSNBC, and NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Tell Me More,” and “Talk of the Nation.”
She is the author, co-author, or editor of books including The Twible: All the Chapters of the Bible in 140 Characters or Less . . . Now with 68% More Humor!; Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor; What Would Buffy Do? The Vampire Slayer as a Spiritual Guide; Mormonism for Dummies; and The Writer’s Market Guide to Getting Published. She blogged for Beliefnet before coming to RNS in 2012.
The Baltimore fast reminded me of two important truths, the first being that most Mormon people are eager to be mobilized for good. The second is that I need to reconfigure my own faulty understanding of the Church.
Half a century after the civil rights movement, black people are still dying in America’s streets at the hands of whites. Is it too much to expect that a prophetic religion that wants to offer God’s voice to us today would go out on a limb and say that, in general, this is wrong?
Roll out the emerald-green carpet. Irish singer Alex Sharpe is back in the U.S. touring with Celtic Woman, and she’s particularly excited to see fellow Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City.
“When will I *know* the Church is true?” Brighton Capua wondered. Without that knowledge, she found herself in the midst of a painful faith crisis. Now she understands that she was never supposed to know.
Seer stones. Plural wives. Masonry. Folk magic. Conflicting First Vision accounts. If you have questions about any of these, professional Mormon historians are standing by to assist you.
Movies aren’t just entertainment; they’re memories of life and love. When I see a movie a second time I am always thinking about where I was and who I was with the first time. And Mom and I aren’t making those memories anymore.
We need Mormon youth dances not just because they help teens learn to socialize, etc. We need them because we’ve lost nearly every organized activity that once existed in the Church purely for the sake of fun.
Has the Mormon definition of “modesty” become so impoverished that we buy into every consumer message of the surrounding culture with the single exception of the one about showing shoulders and cleavage?