As some of my readers already know, I have received media attention lately in the Salt Lake Tribune and Mormon Times (published in the Deseret News). Although both stories covered research that I did for my MA thesis, the second article specifically reacts to the presentation I delivered at last month's SLC Sunstone Symposium.
Overall, I am quite happy with these articles. A couple issues that I have are as follows: The Salt Lake Tribune piece mentions how I (as a teenage kid) stole a cross necklace and wore it to church; but then the article gives the false impression that my mother knew about my theft, and was more concerned about me hiding the necklace than returning it. No. My mother never knew that I stole it (until recently, that is).
The Mormon Times piece is also good, but seems to have been overly concerned about Church PR. I understand and empathize with Latter-day Saints who may not like the words taboo / opposition / contempt / aversion. However, I remain convinced that these labels apply (in one way or another) to the general attitude Mormons have had toward the cross. "General" is the key-word here, since I fully understand that some Mormons embrace the symbol--but these people (as I see it) are hardly representative of the Mormon mainstream. The good news, though, is that the Mormon minority seems to be growing, and that the aversion still existing among most Latter-day Saints is softening. Will the Mormon mainstream ever drop their negative perception of the symbol? I suppose only time will tell. For the moment, the Church seems to be moving in that direction.
Image: Amelia Folsom Young (Briaham Young's polygamous wife). Photograph from Utah State Historical Society Classified Photo Collection, no. 14195.
Edit to add:
I am scheduled to appear as a guest for John Larson's Mormon Expressions podcast. The interview should be available September 22nd at the following link: mormonexpressions.com
Also... here is a newspaper article that may be of interest to readers, which I think compliments my research (about Mormon/Catholic relations) quite nicely:
"Catholic-LDS relations through the years - warming trend follows a cold war," Salt Lake Tribune http://www.sltrib.com/lds/ci_12993316
Thanks to Seth Bryant for bringing this article to my attention.