Dialogue Podcasts

Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought presents enthralling conversations with intriguing people hosted by Dialogue Board member Morris Thurston

In this Dialogue podcast William MacKinnon and Richard E. Turley discuss insights from their research on the Utah War and the Mountain Meadows Massacre. From the Miller Eccles website:

Rick Turley was formerly Assistant Church Historian and is currently managing director of the Public Affairs Department of the Church. Bill MacKinnon is an independent, award winning historian of the American West, who was recently president of the Mormon History Association.

 THE TOPIC: Over the decades, Richard Turley and William MacKinnon have researched and written extensively about Utah’s long, contentious territorial period. They approach the subject from quite different  religious, educational, military, professional, geographical, and even generational backgrounds. Despite (or perhaps because of) such differences, these two historians are close personal friends and respectful colleagues, whose work has been enriched by the informal and stimulating exchange of discoveries and ideas over more than twenty years. Rick and Bill have often shared a platform to discuss their findings and to learn from audiences in such varied settings as the LDS stake center in Norman, Oklahoma  and  annual conferences of the Mormon History Association in many parts of the country.

In this Dialogue podcast Michael Quinn discusses findings from his new book The Mormon Hierarchy: Wealth and Corporate Power. From the Miller Eccles website:

“The first two volumes of Dr. Quinn’s best-selling Mormon Hierarchy series were titled Origins of Power (1994) and Extensions of Power (1997). Now, after 20 years, the long-anticipated third volume of the trilogy, Wealth & Corporate Power, has arrived. Always an entertaining and well-informed speaker, Dr. Quinn’s presentation promises to be one you won’t want to miss.

Christine Durham was the first-ever female Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court. In this Dialogue podcast she discusses how she has dealt with stereotyping and bias based on religion, from outsiders, and occasionally on gender and ideology, from insiders. From the Miller Eccles website:

“Christine Durham graduated from law school in 1971, when fewer than two percent of lawyers in the United States were female. She has spent a large part of her professional and personal life working on gender equality and trying to address the damage done in society by stereotypes and biases. As a Mormon woman, she has also dealt with stereotyping and bias based on religion, from outsiders, and occasionally on gender and ideology, from insiders. These challenges have motivated many national, local, and personal activities over the years addressing gender fairness, particularly in the law and the courts. Most recently, she has focused on the effects of implicit bias on our gender and racial divisions in this country, and how this can also affect our religious experience. She will discuss her own history and experience in the context of evolving understanding about how we make choices, and what we need to make better ones.

Part two of Bryce Cook’s “What Do We Know of God’s Will for His LGBT Children? An Examination of the LDS Church’s Position on Homosexuality.” Note that this is a recording of his version found on Mormon LGBT Questions although it is very similar to his Dialogue article. The recording has been split into two pieces for ease of listening.  Enjoy!

As a companion to Bryce Cook’s Summer 2017 article “What Do We Know of God’s Will for His LGBT Children? An Examination of the LDS Church’s Position on Homosexuality” we bring you a recording of his article for Dialogue podcasts #35 and #36. Note that this is a recording of his version found on Mormon LGBT Questions although it is very similar to his Dialogue article. The recording is split into two pieces for ease of listening.  Enjoy!

In the newest Dialogue podcast Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and Harvard University professor, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, discusses her new book A House Full of Females – Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835 -1870. 

From the Miller Eccles website:

In January 1870, three or four thousand Latter-day Saint women gathered in the old tabernacle in Salt Lake City to protest federal anti-polygamy legislation pending in Congress.  To the astonishment of outsiders, the Utah Territorial Legislature soon granted women the vote, an action that eventually brought them into the most radical wing of the national women’s rights movements. Then, as now, observers asked how women could simultaneously support a national campaign for political and economic rights while defending marital practices that to most people seemed relentlessly patriarchal.

In the newest Dialogue podcast Matthew Garrrett, Professor of History at Bakersfield College and winner of the 2015 Juanita Brooks Prize in Mormon Studies, discusses his research on the Indian Student Placement Program sponsored by the Church and documented in his recent book, Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program, 1947-2000, published by The University of Utah Press.

From the Miller Eccles website:

Dr. Garrett traces his adventures as a Native American history scholar meandering into the world of Mormon Studies, with special attention paid to the various perspectives and conflicts of both his own personal academic journey as well as those of the LDS Indian program he studied. From 1970s era protests over colonization, to conflicting views of Indian participants and church administrators, Professor Garrett will survey some of the past disputes that ultimately led to internal acrimony that destabilized, eroded, and finally terminated the LDS Indian programs.

John Christopher Thomas is a Pentecostal who studies the Book of Mormon. He spoke at the Miller Eccles group on his new book A Pentecostal Reads the Book of Mormon: A Literary and Theological Introduction, published by CPT Press. Enjoy his fascinating insights in this newest Dialogue podcast.

From the Miller Eccles site: “Dr. Thomas (PhD, University of Sheffield) is Clarence J. Abbott Professor of Biblical Studies at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tennessee, and Director of the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies at Bangor University, in Bangor, Wales, UK. He also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies.


In this final session of the “Spirit of Dialogue” conference, Marlin Jensen and Greg Prince dialogue about “The Future of Faith.” Transcript included.


In this sixth session at the Spirit of Dialogue conference, Darius Gray, Alice Faulkner Burch, Paul Reeve, Greg Prince, and Margaret Blair Young look at “Letting our Differences Make a Difference: Dialogue’s Role in Mormon Diversity.”


In this fifth session at the Spirit of Dialogue conference, past editors Kristine Haglund, Jack and Linda Newell, Bob Rees, and Charlotte England discuss “The Dialogue Reality.”

These special Dialogue podcasts, released in honor of our Dialogue Jubilee on September 30, has writers, thinkers, scholars, historians, advocates, editors and leaders presenting their ideas on what has made Dialogue strong in the past 50 years and what will continue it’s legacy in the coming decades. In this fourth session, Armand Mauss discusses “The Dialogue Dream: From Inception to the Present.”


These special Dialogue podcasts, released in honor of our Dialogue Jubilee on September 30, has writers, thinkers, scholars, historians, advocates, editors and leaders presenting their ideas on what has made Dialogue strong in the past 50 years and what will continue it’s legacy in the coming decades. In this first session, essayists and bloggers discuss “Grappling with Groupthink: Dialogue’s Role in Addressing Critical Social Issues.”

Original work by Leslie O. Peterson in honor of the 50th Anniversary.

The 31st Dialogue podcast, released in honor of our Dialogue Jubilee on September 30, has past editors reminiscing and “Celebrating 50 Years of Mormonism’s Leading Journal” as recorded at the Sunstone session of the same name. From the Sunstone abstract: “Beginning with its first issue, which showed two people sitting under a tree engaged in
conversation, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought has encouraged dialogue by publishing leading-edge scholarly articles, personal essays, fiction, poetry, sermons, and other writing that have engaged Latter-day Saints on vital subjects within Mormonism and in its interface with the world. Join founders, editors, and others in this retrospective celebration.


Dialogue sat down with writer Carol Lynn Pearson to ask what Dialogue has meant to her.

Find some of Carol Lynn Pearson’s Dialogue work here:

Review of Beginnings.

Review of Will I Ever Forget This Day? Excerpts from the Diaries of Carol Lynn Pearson.

Photo essay including Carol Lynn Pearson.

And be sure to watch for excerpts of Pearson’s newest book Ghosts of Eternal Polygamy in the Fall 2016 Dialogue.

1002497_10151944138363296_1551919275_n-copy-450x359The 30th Dialogue podcast features Board Member Gregory A. Prince, who spoke on his new book, Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History, published by the University of Utah Press at a recent Miller Eccles presentation.  From the Miller Eccles website: “Dr. Prince earned doctorate degrees in dentistry and pathology from UCLA. A prodigious student of Mormon history, he is also a prolific author of numerous articles and books on Mormon topics.

10002306Editor Boyd J. Petersen spoke at a recent Miller Eccles group on “Landing Instructions How to Navigate (or Help Someone Navigating) a Faith Crisis.” Petersen is the Program Coordinator for Mormon Studies at Utah Valley University and the newly appointed editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. He is also a prolific essayist who will draw from his book of essays titled Dead Wood and Rushing Water: Essays on Mormon Faith, Family and Culture.

The newest Dialogue podcast features Dr. Jared Hickman, Assistant Professor in the English Department of Johns Hopkins University. Professor Hickman speaks on his essay “The Book of Mormon as Amerindian Apocalypse,” which was published in American Literature, a literary journal published by Duke University Press. Hickman-Jared

From the Miller Eccles website: Recent official statements have left some doubt about the traditional understanding of the Book of Mormon as a history of “the Indians.” This presents us with two especially important tasks: 1) to understand why the “Indian question” seemed important enough, both politically and theologically, in Joseph Smith’s time and place, to claim such attention in a new scripture; and 2) to pay closer attention to the Book of Mormon text, which itself, in emphasizing the “Indian question,” offers a new narrative for understanding what it means. If we read with such questions in mind, we can recognize in the Book of Mormon a vision (or program) for Native American resurgence radically opposed to the European and American colonialism of Joseph Smith’s time.

Cory_alt-446x450The newest Dialogue podcast features Dr. Cory Crawford, Assistant Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Ohio. He discusses his new article, “The Struggle for Female Authority in Biblical and Mormon Traditions,” published in the 2015 Summer issue of Dialogue — A Journal of Mormon Thought. From the Miller Eccles website:

“The Old Testament refers to righteous women exercising authority, such as Deborah, the Prophetess and a Judge of Israel (Judges 4). Likewise, in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul mentions righteous women as fellow servants, such as Phebe, Junia and others. Yet many statements attributed to Paul concerning the role of women in the primitive church are contradictory.

Patrick-MasonThe 26th Dialogue podcast features Dialogue Board Chair Patrick Mason discussing his new book Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt and how Mormons can better live with questions while holding onto their faith. From the Miller Eccles website:

Professor Patrick Q. Mason, Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Mason is the author of a much-anticipated book scheduled for release in December — Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt. This important work will explore the challenges many LDS members face when Church doctrines are opposed by worldly influences, or seem opposed to current scientific knowledge, possibly causing doubt, disbelief, inactivity, or formal opposition.

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In the 25th Dialogue podcast, Russell Stevenson looks at Nigeria and the Africanization of Mormon Identity.  From the Miller Eccles website:

The Nigerian Mormon story enjoys a fascinating cachet in Mormon thought. Often cast as “a people prepared” and “Saints without baptism,” standard Mormon narratives cast Nigerian Mormonism as an expression of racial dispensationalism in the grand arc of the Church in the latter days. But when understood on its own terms, Nigerian Mormonism defies such easy categorizations. Contrary to the narratives of racial dispensationalism, Nigerian Mormonism enjoys legitimacy independent of its attachment to the institutional Mormon community.

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In the 24th Dialogue podcast, Dr. Lisa Olsen Tait discusses the accomplishments and impact of Susa Young Gates, both in the Church and in Utah society. usa Young Gates was a remarkable woman; preeminent in a generation of eminent Mormon women—a writer, editor, Church leader, genealogist, temple worker, political operative, and dynamic personality who claimed she was called the “thirteenth apostle.”

Paul Reeve Photo 
Professor W. Paul Reeve, author of the recently published book, Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness, published by Oxford University Press discusses “Black, White, and Mormon: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness” at this Miller Eccles presentation.


The 22nd Dialogue podcast features Eric D. Huntsman Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU, Coordinator for Near Eastern Studies, Kennedy Center for International Studies, and Affiliated Faculty, Classics and Near Eastern Studies. In this engaging talk, Huntsman looks at “The Search for the ‘Real’ Jesus of Nazareth:The Jesus of Faith, History, and Revelation.”

The 21st Dialogue podcast features Neylan McBaine, founder and editor-in-chief of the Mormon Women Project, a continuously expanding digital library of interviews with LDS women from around the world speaking about her latest book Women at Church. From the Miller Eccles site: “The last several years have offered fertile ground for conversations about women, the Church and how the two intersect. Offering a call for understanding and unity and a path for more local inclusion of women, Neylan McBaine takes a middle ground between insisting all is well and advocating priesthood for women. McBaine will discuss what this middle ground looks like in the Church today and why it is important that we focus our practices to see, hear and include women more fully in our administration and services.

The 20th Dialogue podcast features Associate Professor of Religious History at Harvard Divinity School David Holland speaking on “Full of Eyes Both Before and Behind: Joseph Smith as American Prophet and Ancient Historian.” From the Miller-Eccles website: “When writing about Joseph Smith, observers almost reflexively invoke the term “incomparable.” The Latter-day Saint prophet can indeed make comparison difficult. And this may be particularly true of his engagement with antiquity. Smith’s forays into the ancient world, from Abrahamic papyri to American Mulekites, often appear so distinctive or peculiar as to resist analogy. 

The 19th Dialogue podcast features BYU Professor Craig Harline, whose primary field is European religious history. From the Miller-Eccles website: “Dr. Harline has published a number of historically-based books that have been popular with readers and are held in high regard by critics (see below). Most recently he has turned his narrative skills to writing a memoir of his mission to Belgium in the 1970s.


The 18th Dialogue podcast features Professor Adam S. Miller who spoke on his recent book, Letters to a Young Mormon, published by BYU’s Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at the recent Miller Eccles lecture. From the site: “Adam wrote the book as a way of expressing his Mormon philosophy in a style that would make sense to young adults, but it would be a mistake to conclude the essays are simple minded—they are sophisticated, insightful pieces that will resonate with Mormons whether they are 17 or 71.”

johnson As one of the founders of Dialogue, Wes Johnson has a unique view of the journal and what it has been and what it has become. He sits down with Brandt Malone to discuss it’s history and his part in that history in the newest Dialogue podcast.


Valerie Hudson headlines the 16th Dialogue podcast in her stop at the Miller Eccles group. There she discusses her new book Sex and World Peace (co-authored by Valerie Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli and Chad Emmett). From the Miller Eccles site: “(this book) unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. Much of the data underlying Dr. Hudson’s research comes from the WomanStats Project, a research and database project housed at BYU that ‘seeks to collect detailed statistical data on the status of women around the world, and to connect that data with data on the security of states.’ This database has the most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of women in the world.”

In April, the Miller Eccles group welcomed Dr. David Stewart and Matthew Martinich, authors of a new Church almanac that provides an in-depth look at membership, retention, activity and much more, to speak about the idea of the church being the fastest growing church in the world. From the Miller Eccles website: Chances are …

Brandon Plewe brings his cartographic expertise to discuss his latest work: Mapping Mormonism: An Atlas of Latter-day Saint History in the 14th Dialogue podcast, recorded live at the Miller Eccles study group in March.


Dr. Philip Barlow exclaims “The Joseph Smith in our heads is too small!” in the 13th podcast recorded at the Miller-Eccles Group in February. As explained at the website: that is an astounding claim, given the international derision and devotion he has inspired among millions. Yet the scope, nature, and radicalism of his prophetic project is more vast and more radical than his followers or critics generally grasp. He was correct in more ways than he may have intended when he said, “No man knows my history.”

Bokovoy-David-1David Bokovoy discusses various aspects of biblical scholarship in this new Miller-Eccles presentation. As Morris Thurston explains “This timely presentation will be a great way to kick off the year of Old Testament study in your Gospel Doctrine class.”

David Bokovoy holds a PhD in Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East and an MA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies both from Brandeis University. He received his BA from Brigham Young University, majoring in History and minoring in Near Eastern Studies.

In what is sure to be a popular podcast, Robert Kirby spends an evening at the recent Miller Eccles gathering regaling the audience with amusing story after story–with a delightful dash of unconventional testimony.

Maffly-Kipp-Laurie-1-367x450 Laurie Maffly-Kipp recently co-edited Proclamation to the People: Nineteenth-Century Mormonism and the Pacific Basin Frontier with Reid Neilson, a book of essays dealing with this crucial aspect of Church history. She shares some of her findings with us in the 10th Dialogue podcast taken from a lecture presented to the Miller-Eccles group.

Back in 2011, six women came together around a virtual Round Table to discuss issues pertaining to Mormon women and womanhood in attempt to model ways women with very different opinions could positively and proactively dialogue. Due to the increased coverage of the issue surrounding women and the priesthood, the Round Table was again convened.

Join Emily W. Jensen, Chelsea Shields Strayer, Lisa Butterworth, Neylan McBaine, and Saren Eyre Loosli as they examine the Ordain Women movement and the myriad of ways women can work to become more visible.

Bentleys-2-450x336_1 The Bentleys discuss the fascinating story of how the BYU Jerusalem center came to be in this 9th Dialogue podcast taken from a lecture presented to the Miller-Eccles group. They also reported on the current state of Church activities there.

MaussArmand L. Mauss, emeritus professor or sociology and religious studies at Washington State University and author of several books and a great many articles on a variety of Mormon issues, including his seminal The Angel and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle with Assimilation (1994) took questions from a panel of Miller-Eccles readers posing questions to Armand relating to his recently-published memoir, Shifting Borders and a Tattered Passport: Intellectual Journeys of a Mormon Academic.

Kimball, J. GoldenDrawing from his book, The J. Golden Kimball Stories—the first scholarly analysis of J. Golden Kimball stories in their cultural, psychological, and historical context—professor Eric A. Eliason shares and elucidates old favorites, as well as some little known but quite delightful “Uncle Golden” yarns.

Givens-Fiona-Terryl-1-450x337The writing, production, and responses associated with The God Who Weeps reveal something of the multiplicity of “Mormonisms.” In this podcast, Terryl and Fiona discuss some of the ways in which we construct our faith identity, and how we might rethink the interconnections of Mormonism as an institution, a community, a belief structure, and a devotional template.

Gordon, Sarah BarringerIn a departure from our usual format, this podcast is a recording of a recent presentation given by Dr. Gordon to the Orange County, California, Miller Eccles Study Group. The subject of her presentation is “The Legalization of Utah for Statehood.”

On Thursday, December 6, the LDS Church released a new website www.mormonsandgays.org , which has been met with both praise and criticism from both Mormons and the media.  Coincidentally, this site was unveiled soon after the third Dialogue podcast featuring Dr. Bob Rees and Dr. Caitlin Ryan, who talked a lot about ideas embraced within the site. Today, as a follow-up, join Morris Thurston, Dialogue Board president-elect, as he hosts a podcast roundtable with Bill Bradshaw, Bob Rees, and Mitch Mayne as they examine this new site.

Learn more about the panelists for this special roundtable:

In this third Dialogue podcast, Morris Thurston, Dialogue’s board president-elect, interviews Dr. Robert Rees, former Dialogue Editor, and Dr. Caitlin Ryan. This podcast seeks to further continuing dialogue between LDS families and Church leaders on issues relating to sexual orientation and same-gender identity and attraction.

In this second Dialogue podcast, Morris Thurston, Dialogue’s board president-elect, interviews Dr. John G. Turner, assistant professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University.

In this inaugural Dialogue podcast, Morris Thurston, Dialogue’s board president-elect, interviews Dr. David E. Campbell, associate professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame and founding director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy.