These episodes don’t happen very often anymore, more than a year and a half after losing Mom. But the grief is always there, gently submerged, biding its time.
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.
“For me, heaven is just as inconceivable without my friends as it is without my family,” says guest blogger Mette Harrison. “If Christ viewed friendship as one of the greatest loves, why wouldn’t we Mormons think the same?”
Many people get more conservative, at least politically, as they age. Unless they are Mormons under age 30, who affiliate overwhelmingly as Republicans.
The Church teaches us on the one hand that a living prophet is more valuable to us than even the scriptures (!), and instructs Primary children to follow the prophet and never “go astray.” But then it also tries to emphasize that a prophet is only a prophet “when he is acting as such,” and that not every teaching is doctrine. Which is it?
Some used to consider it “apostate” to say that Joseph Smith married women who were already married to other men. Now the LDS Church has acknowledged it openly.
Desiree Miller describes the “culturally rule-breaking pants” her younger sister wanted to wear to church growing up. As an adult, Miller ventured forth to church in her own transgressive trousers on Wear Pants to Church Day, wondering what kind of reception she would receive.
I can understand why it seems strange to non-Mormons that our holy garment is underwear, but to me that is exactly the most beautiful thing about it. What article of clothing could we choose that would be more profane, at the end of the day? What could be more tied to the messiness of being human?
When Mormons say we “know the Church is true,” what do we mean? Does it merely *contain* truth, or is it the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
“Inactive people like me don’t need cookies and a half-hearted note,” says guest blogger Alexandra Michelle Rucinski. “We don’t need letters telling us the light is missing from our lives. We need you Mormons to do the thing you sang about in Primary. We need you to try to be like Jesus.”
“Seattle is mirroring what we’ve done in [the] San Francisco Bay Area: throwing the doors open for anyone who wants to join with us on Sunday,” says Mitch Mayne. “That means LGBT individuals are welcome to come to church regardless of where they are in their personal lives — single and living under the confines of the policy as we understand it today, married to a partner of their same gender, or dating someone new every night.”