A Road Trip with Living History…

A few years ago, I was driving across the state of Wyoming with a friend. It was a long road trip from Casper to Cody and we were remembering the many trips we had taken across some of our “flatter states,” like Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas, etc. As one drives across the state of Nebraska you can’t help but count fence posts. Driving across the Mojave desert of California, one can see creosote bushes for hundreds of miles across the flat terrain and not much else. We both agreed that one’s traveling companion could either make or break the road trip.

Our conversation then drifted into a discussion of who we would prefer to have in the car with us. Since we began the trip at the Mormon History Association annual conference in Casper, our conversation naturally began with “who in Mormon history (living or deceased) would you like riding shotgun with you on a six hour car ride along 1-80 through Nebraska?”

What would it be like to speak to Emma Smith for six hours, listening to her memories of the early founding events of the church. What did she think of polygamy, Brigham Young, William Law, and others?  What was life like in Nauvoo after the majority travelled west? What questions would you ask Zenas Gurley and William Marks? I think about Sidney Rigdon’s daughter, Nancy, and her Nauvoo experience, Joseph Smith III and his battle to save his father’s legacy, and Alice Smith Edwards. So many incredible people that could easily consume a long ride across the Nebraska plains. Continue reading

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A Defining Moment for Community of Christ Young Adults?

In President Veazey’s recent address, “A Defining Moment,” he focused a significant portion of his sermon on the needs and ministry of the Community of Christ’s young adults. In his call to action, he spoke directly to this audience saying, “Young adults, the church needs you. We need you now. We need you to help us become who we are all yearning to become.” As I heard the address and listened to the exclusive invitation I could not help but appreciate being a young adult within this denomination. Now is a defining moment, we have an opportunity to be leaders in the Church.

As I travel through the church community, I continue to hear from young adults who feel as though local and world church leaders do not hear their thoughts and opinions. They say that they feel marginalized and that their voice is not being taken seriously. I have often heard young adults lament that, at a local level, they are not given the leadership opportunities they seek. There appears to be consensus that while they feel emotionally and socially connected to “their parents’ church,” young adults struggle to identify with a movement that they feel is becoming increasingly conservative.  Continue reading