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Back to your question , what’s the effect , I think that people have had to do as the cultural tax that you pay with this either or mentality where you lose there emerges out of this tension between what’s coming from Salt Lake City , what’s coming from the heart of our agriculture like hierarchies of of expertise like this isn’t Mormon investors Mormon , so it required a lot of heartbreaking questions for Mali going into the 25th of their.
You about in an afterword written by Jane haven she writes about how the origins of Mormonism as she puts it collide with the origin stories of indigenous people , and I wanted to ask you about that , she says. In the essay that a characteristic of sacred Scripture is that it is true to the culture where it was created .
But what does that mean for indigenous creation stories.
He even says those are not thought of as quote unquote true they are thought of as myths or fables so how does it work. If you are an indigenous person you decide you want to become more men yet you have a culture that has an origin story gives you identity his Mormonism is not , it doesn’t seem like to me anyway , a loose framework that you can just add your own story to it has its own idea of this is where we came from guys and this is the moral behavior that we’re approving here and this is how DNA works . So how do you ditch all the other stuff that doesn’t conform to that , how does that work .
I think that you’ve got 2 approaches and this is what colonized people have to deal with myths and fables stories that are not true but a useful or they are not real but a true and you’re always playing with that there’s a flexibility and playing with those stories nobody sits around and say oh that story that creation story we have of about earth mother in a sky father is there actually true we live Internet because that’s telling us a lot about how to live in the present , and in a cosmology it’s giving us could be huge amounts of wisdom.
It seems like such an American maybe even Mormon thing to ask is that thing , too , did that thing actually happen you you’re saying is , who cares. Yeah , it’s a story that gives us identity and purpose .
And a lot of white Western and American Mormons would benefit from that a digital indigenous its ability they’d stop being agonizing over whether not the truth story was true. Yeah , yeah .
But what’s so how do you then negotiate that how how I guess the , the. Here’s the question : does the church allow that .
The destitute allow it. I think it it has points of resistance to it . You know you know society goes in those flows where there’s a moments of of awakening and let’s bring these these things together and that changes the course of that change populations and population behavior and then institutions like the church will notice it and come in and try and came down so I think wherever they go . That’s the that’s the flax that’s the rhythm and I think one of the most exciting things about looking at the side of the American discourse of the American experience of Mormonism is to see the points of resistance , because I don’t think that if you if you cannot integrate an idea that comes from the United States . It’s not necessary day like becomes a cultural impossibility to include some ways of thinking and being and that has no place in the global church . If we can identify those points of resistance . We can say . Actually , this really doesn’t have any place in the global church . Well , I .
Think that your question calls up and pointed to one of the major challenges that Mormonism has faced in the last 30 years. So basically , what does the Book of Mormon , but an attempt to generate an origin story for the America . As for the Western Hemisphere right out of out of thin air . A new one and that story line was very important to many communities of indigenous people in Mexico , in South America in the Pacific in the desert southwest and then there comes a point you know 20 years ago where the DNA evidence is not all it and we are forest as a community as an entire Mormon people to sit with you know and and the whole the Lord that we generate around what it meant to be a layman like at the same time the church as pulling back heavily from its bureaucratic investment in programs aimed for that and no other mythology has succeeded it . We have not sorted that out what it means to be post Lehman I you know , authors and our book like Angela Barker right to this really beautifully . You know what are you once the layman out met their their hair myth has been demarcated as question of all who do you become . Are you still special . I mean , the church made huge inroads into indigenous communities throughout the Americas and the global south with the story that indigenous people were of this destiny and it has not provided a sequel that is terrible .
And do you know you read about this , he wrote. You you kind of like the idea of being a lame I for a while .
Well , way yes I it gave you a sense of exceptionalism. Yeah , I gave you a sense of belonging in place I mean this is a white church but you had their tradition of missionaries going out into the Pacific and saying you’re part of the story , it makes you feel pretty special what in net at nations ravaged by colonialism , but then what do you do with those stories when native people start asserting their own themselves and owning their own stories and we call it in the book , we call it a pop cultural prosthetic it was good for a time , and I think it has huge benefits . I mean if you look at the research demographic research from Audi Mormon in New Zealand , it’s off the charts , in terms of positive outcomes and well being . So I’m not saying that the machinery is being it’s very good at social mobility taking underclass and pulling them in a working class . But what happens in the next generations Wayne it becomes very important for us to engage with and understand culture and language , and then you say , okay , these 2 things that I’m holding the red letter day St tradition and the indigenous tradition actually been warring for a long time and you notice that and so the space to speak back to the church about that kind of plunder that they do so seemingly innocent way taking away our stories . You know we have to do to develop a sense ability to hear that , and this is the issue . I think the huge issue is that everything comes from this place it goes from center to margin and are we would be hard pressed to say what’s going from magenta Sendai , how is the experience of the most marginalized in this community affecting the experiences of the most privileged and I would say that there are very few because it’s so top down the Stewart very few mechanisms make that available .
Tina call then along with Joanna Brooks they co-edited the book D colonizing Mormonism we’ll take a break and come back in a moment you’re listening to Radio West. Okay . We .
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This is really Western for breezy out today in the program , we’re talking about a book that asks whether the LDS Church really is an international church technically. Of course it is . But more than half of the world’s Mormons now live outside the United States , far away from the Intermountain West so Joanna Brooks and Gina call than have put together a collection of essays called D colonizing Mormonism they joined us to talk about it .
What did the 40th anniversary of them the removal of the priesthood ban recently what did that say to you about the way the LDS Church church leaders dealer don’t deal with with the issue , I mean I wanna had you have this you know people talking about. Look at this beautiful gathering . We have of people of cover color , and it’s some acknowledgment of you know , African American culture and African culture here on stage . Here it is , but no word whatsoever about .
Questions of an apology dealing with the more painful parts of the past , no discussion. It seemed like from leaders about those kinds of difficult things and I’m wondering what you saw in that that makes you think about how this question could play out the questions . You’re asking now .
So I’m going draw parallels and I’m gonna you know introduce it by saying that the 40th anniversary. I think a great time of .