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April 7-8, 2017 — Patrick Mason

patrick mason We are privileged to have as our April 2017 speaker, Professor Patrick Q. Mason, Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University.  Dr. Mason is the author of Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt, published by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship and Deseret Book in late 2015. This important work explores 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.

DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, April 7, 7 pm (McKinney)
110 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75070

Saturday, April 8, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE TOPIC:

“Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt”

For all its beneficial advances, our secular age has also weakened some people’s ties to religious belief and affiliation. Latter-day Saints have not been immune to this trend. In recent years, many faithful Church members have encountered challenging aspects of Church history, belief, or practice. Feeling isolated, alienated, or misled, some struggle to stay. Some simply leave. Many people search for a reliable and faithful place to work through their questions. The abundance of information online can make them feel frustrated. Dr. Mason offers people who struggle with questions—and people who love those who struggle—practical ways to stay planted in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Rather than attempting to answer every possible question or doubt, he presents an empathetic, practical, and candid dialog about the relationship of doubt and faith. “We live in an age of doubt, but we need not be overcome. When we are planted in the Savior, we can be nourished as much by our questions as by the answers.”

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THE SPEAKER:

Patrick Q. Mason is Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies and Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at Claremont Graduate University in southern California.  An American religious historian, he earned a BA in History at Brigham Young University, an MA in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and a PhD in History also from Notre Dame. He is the author of The Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South, which examines extralegal violence against Mormons in the South and the limits of religious freedom in late nineteenth-century America. He is also the co-editor of War and Peace in Our Time: Mormon Perspectives, and editor or co-editor of two forthcoming volumes, Directions for Mormon Studies in the Twenty-First Century and Out of Obscurity: Mormonism since 1945. Before coming to Claremont, he held faculty positions at the Notre Dame and the American University in Cairo.

An expert on Mormonism and the historical role of religion in American public life, Professor Mason has often been featured in the national media, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, National Public Radio, PBS, and the Huffington Post. He currently serves as the chair of the Board of Directors of Dialogue Foundation (which publishes Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought), and is a member of the boards of the Mormon History Association, Mormon Studies Review, and the Mormon Studies Group at the American Academy of Religion.

Patrick and his wife Melissa both teach Gospel Doctrine in the Claremont 1st Ward and live in Claremont with their three children.

January 27-28, 2017 — Jill Mulvay Derr

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Jill Mulvay Derr at study group meetings in McKinney on January 27, 2017, and in Arlington on January 28, 2017.  Her topic was: “How Women Created and Negotiated Their Institutional Presence: Emergent Narratives from Key Documents in The First Fifty Years of Relief Society.”

Jill Mulvay Derr speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney on January 27, 2017.

Jill Mulvay Derr speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney on January 27, 2017.

Jill Mulvay Derr visits with study group attendees in McKinney.

Jill Mulvay Derr visits with study group attendees in McKinney.

Jill Mulvay Derr speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendees at a study group meeting in Arlington on January 28, 2017.

Jill Mulvay Derr speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendees at a study group meeting in Arlington on January 28, 2017.

Jill Mulvay Derr speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas in Arlington.

Jill Mulvay Derr speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas in Arlington.

Jill Mulvay Derr speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group attendees in Arlington.

Jill Mulvay Derr speaks with Miller Eccles Study Group attendees in Arlington.

 

January 27-28, 2017–Jill Mulvay Derr

jmderr-2Miller Eccles Study Group Texas is thrilled to announce that our first speaker of 2017 will be Jill Mulvay Derr, coeditor of The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Document in Latter-day Saint Women’s History.

In his always excellent year-end round up of noteworthy books and articles in Mormon History, Ben Park of the Juvenile Instructor blog had this to say about the book: “The CHL’s publication of essential Relief Society documents is a significant contribution not only to Mormon women’s history, not only to Mormon history in general, but to American religious and gender history; the documents contained in those pages are absolute gems.”

Excerpts and other resources related to the book are available on the Church Historian’s Press website.

Please join us for what is sure to be a fantastic evening!

DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, January 27, 7 pm (McKinney)
110 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75070

Saturday, January 28, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE TOPIC:

How Women Created and Negotiated Their Institutional Presence: Emergent Narratives from Key Documents in The First Fifty Years of Relief Society

In March 2016, the Church Historian’s Press released The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History.  The seventy-eight documents in this collection were selected from among the thousands of records available in the Church History Library to illustrate the development of Relief Society across the first fifty years of its existence—from 1842 to 1892. The documents range widely in genre, and include minutes of meetings, sermons by both women and men, annual reports from local Relief Societies, newspaper articles and editorials, political petitions and speeches, poetry, letters, diary entries, and reminiscences. They were produced not only in settlements at church headquarters, but in far-flung settlements in the West and areas as remote as Hawaii and England. The records give insight into the spiritual dimension of women’s lives and their political, temporal, and social pursuits. The documents also provide an expanded perspective on women’s ecclesiastical activities, as they ministered within the church structure through the Relief Society and its sister organizations for young women and children.  The 1842-1844 Minutes of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, the core document in this collection, contain instructions from Joseph Smith that established a mandate and pattern for women’s ecclesiastical participation. After first suspending and then redacting these instructions (1845-1855), Brigham Young reconstituted the Relief Society (1867) and Eliza R. Snow and other society leaders appropriated Joseph’s words to both restore and reinvent the Relief Society and create women-led organizations for younger women and children.

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THE SPEAKER:

Jill Mulvay Derr has studied the history of Mormon women for more than four decades. In 1973 she joined the Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a member of the History Division, directed by Church Historian Leonard J. Arrington. Her association with the Arrington team continued after 1980 when the group transferred to Brigham Young University and became the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History.

Derr was Associate Professor of Church History at BYU and served as Managing Director of the Smith Institute from 2003 to 2005, when she rejoined the LDS Church History Department in Salt Lake City.

Following her retirement in 2011, she continued working with colleagues Carol Cornwall Madsen, Kate Holbrook, Matthew Grow, and many department volunteers to complete a longtime project, The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History, recently published by the Church Historian’s Press. A past president of the Mormon History Association, Derr has published more than two dozen articles in scholarly books and journals and co-authored four books: Women’s Voices: An Untold History of the Latter-day Saints (1982), with Kenneth W. Godfrey and Audrey M. Godfrey; Women of Covenant (1992) with Janath Russell Cannon and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher; Eliza R. Snow: The Complete Poetry (2009) and Eliza: The Life and Faith of Eliza R. Snow (2013), with Karen Lynn Davidson. She and her husband, C. Brooklyn Derr are the parents of four children and ten grandchildren. They reside in Holladay, Utah.

November 11-12, 2016–Ashley Mae Hoiland

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Ashley Mae Hoiland at study group meetings in McKinney on November 11, 2016, and in Arlington on November 12, 2016.  Ashmae’s topic was “One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly“.

Ashley Mae Hoiland reads from her book "One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly" at a Miller Eccles Study Group Texas Meeting in Arlington on November 12, 2016

Ashley Mae Hoiland reads from her book “One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly” at a Miller Eccles Study Group Texas Meeting in Arlington on November 12, 2016.

Ashley Mae Hoiland listens to questions from attendees.  November 12, 2016.

Ashley Mae Hoiland listens to questions from attendees. November 12, 2016.

Ashley Mae Hoiland visits with attendees after her presentation.  November 12, 2016.

Ashley Mae Hoiland visits with attendees after her presentation. November 12, 2016.

November 11-12, 2016–Ashley Mae Hoiland

ashmaehoilandMiller Eccles Study Group Texas is thrilled to announce that our November 2016 speaker will be Ashley Mae Hoiland, who will be speaking about her forthcoming (November 1, 2016) book One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly.

Jill Mulvay Derr, Coeditor of Eliza R. Snow: The Complete Poetry, and upcoming Miller Eccles Study Group Texas speaker, said:

“Through her exquisite poetry and prose, Ashley Mae Hoiland offers what she aptly terms ‘the sacred writ of my life.’ Her intensely personal stories capture the experiences of daughter, sister, wife, mother, missionary, friend, and stranger—all framed within her thoughtful explorations of belief and being. This spiritual autobiography is richly textured with honesty, compassion, and reverence. There is no trite homily here, but rather an abundance of finely turned phrases to ponder. The spare words make their own music while simple line drawings accentuate the poet’s artistry. Hoiland’s reflections are very female and very Mormon, but she sounds a universal ring in her struggle to find God and embrace all God’s children in a world that ‘both is and is not perfect.’ There is wonder here, and wholeness and holiness, that carries the reader into his or her own soul.”

Please join us for what is sure to be an enlightening and memorable evening.

DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, November 11, 7 pm (McKinney)
(at the office of Dale Drake)
110 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75070

Saturday, November 12, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE TOPIC:

“One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly”

Mormons are a record-keeping people. But while much of our writing has been focused on the product of that writing and the impact it may have on inspiring faith in future generations (e.g. “we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” 2 Nephi 25:26), there is much more to be said about the process or act of writing itself.  In the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship’s “Living Faith” publication One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly, Ashley Mae Hoiland explores how writing can be both an act of devotion and a process whereby we seek the spiritual and sacred in our own lives. In this presentation, Ashmae will share some of the original poetry, essays, and artwork included in the book, and she will encourage those in attendance to consider how the expectations of our writing imposed by pre-conceived notions of orthodoxy may interfere with the process of honest writing, and how honest, complex and nuanced representations of our personal faith can help us find a deeper relationship with the divine.

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THE SPEAKER:

Ashley Mae Hoiland (“Ashmae” to her friends) received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio arts and a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.  She has written and illustrated several children’s books and also founded “We Brave Women,” an initiative to educate youth about important historic women. She has two small children and currently lives in Palo Alto California where her husband Carl is pursuing a PhD in geology at Stanford University.

 

September 16-17, 2016–Morgan Davis

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Morgan Davis at study group meetings in McKinney on September 16, 2016, and in Arlington on September 17, 2016.  Morgan’s topic was: “Religion in the Real World: Mormonism and Islam“.

Morgan Davis speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney on September 16, 2016.

Morgan Davis speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney on September 16, 2016.

Morgan Davis speaks in McKinney on September 16, 2016.

Morgan Davis speaks in McKinney on September 16, 2016.

Morgan Davis speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington on September 17, 2016.

Morgan Davis speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington on September 17, 2016.

Morgan Davis making a presentation to attendees of Miller Eccles Study Group Texas in Arlington on September 17, 2016.

Morgan Davis making a presentation to attendees of Miller Eccles Study Group Texas in Arlington on September 17, 2016.

September 16-17, 2016–Morgan Davis

Morgan DavisMiller Eccles Study Group Texas is excited to announce that our September 2016 speaker will be D. Morgan Davis. By virtue of Morgan’s educational background in Arabic and Islamic Studies, and his professional experience as head of the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative at the Maxwell Institute, Morgan is singularly qualified to speak on this topic of current political and international interest. You won’t want to miss this timely and informative presentation.

DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, September 16, 7 pm (McKinney)
(at the office of Dale Drake)
110 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75070

Saturday, September 17, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE TOPIC:

“Religion in the Real World: Mormonism and Islam”

Latter-day Saints in the United States have a lot to think about these days. In Europe and the Middle East there is an ongoing humanitarian and refugee crisis involving millions of people displaced by war who we have been counseled to care for, even as politicians here and abroad raise questions about whether it is safe to give refuge to Muslims when Islamic terrorists are avowedly looking for ways to strike in the West. In addition to these concerns, leaders of the Church warn of growing secularism within the U.S. and teach that religion has been and must continue to be a primary force for good in our society and that religious freedom needs to be carefully defended. They include Islam as one of the religious communities with which we should partner in such efforts. But how are we to understand and implement this counsel? What is the role of faith in a world driven by fear? How can we be both realistic and charitable as we confront these various issues as disciples of Christ?

With training in Arabic and Islamic Studies, Morgan’s research is focused on what scripture is and how it functions within religious communities, particularly those of Mormons and Muslims. For this presentation, he will offer an opportunity learn more about Islam and how Mormons and Muslims can build bridges of understanding while being faithful to our respective traditions.

THE SPEAKER:

Morgan Davis is an Assistant Research Fellow at Brigham Young University’s Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. He holds a PhD (2005) in Arabic and Islamic studies from the University of Utah, an MA in history from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BA in Near Eastern Studies from Brigham Young University.

Davis has been affiliated with the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative (METI) since its launch in 1993, supervising the translation, editing, and publication of dual language editions of works from the Classical Islamic world in which Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scholars all flourished. He has served as the project’s director since 2010. Davis is also an associate editor of the Mormon Studies Review.

His areas of research include Arabic/Islamic philosophy and theology, as well as comparative scripture, with a particular focus on the Qurʾan and it’s interest to the Latter-day Saint tradition. With Andrew C. Skinner and Carl Griffin he coedited and contributed to Bountiful Harvest: Essays in Honor of S. Kent Brown (Provo: Maxwell Institute, 2011) and has published articles in BYU StudiesThe Religious Educator, and Studies in the Bible and Antiquity. At BYU he has taught classes on the Book of Mormon, Islam, Arabic philosophy, and the history of the Middle East to 1800.

An avid traveler, runner, hiker, and mountain biker, and an occasional tenor soloist, Davis is married to the former Kristina Nelson, and they are the parents of four sons and two daughters.

July 22-23, 2016–Gregory A. Prince

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Gregory A. Prince at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, July 22, 2016, and in Arlington on Saturday, July 23, 2016.  His topic was “Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History”.

Gregory A. Prince speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, on July 22, 2016.

Gregory A. Prince speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, on July 22, 2016.

Gregory A. Prince visits with a Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendee.  July 22, 2016.

Gregory A. Prince visits with a Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendee. July 22, 2016.

Gregory A. Prince speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington on July 23, 2016.

Gregory A. Prince speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington on July 23, 2016.

Gregory A. Prince, July 23, 2016.

Gregory A. Prince, July 23, 2016.

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July 22-23, 2016–Gregory A. Prince

Greg PrinceMiller Eccles Study Group Texas is thrilled to announce that our July 2016 speaker will be Gregory A. Prince.  Greg will be speaking on his recently released book, Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History, published by the University of Utah Press. A prodigious student of Mormon history, he is also a prolific author of numerous articles and books on Mormon topics. Please join us!

DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, July 22, 7 pm (McKinney)
(at the office of Dale Drake)
110 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75070

Saturday, July 23, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

 THE TOPIC:

“Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History”

Many consider Leonard Arrington to be the foremost twentieth-century historian of Mormonism. But Arrington’s career was not without controversy. A new in-depth look at this respected historian gives readers insight into the workings of the LDS Church in the late twentieth century. In 1972, Arrington was asked to serve as the official church historian, thereby becoming the first—and thus far the only—professional historian to hold that title. While the output of and from that division moved Mormon studies to a new level, the shift of historiography from faith promotion to scholarly research and professional analysis was unacceptable to some powerful senior apostles. In 1980 the History Division was disassembled and moved to Brigham Young University, where Arrington’s broad influence on Mormon history remained strong. This biography is the first to draw upon the remarkable Arrington diaries (over 20,000 pages) and it is supplemented by Prince’s interviews of more than 100 people who knew or worked with Arrington. The book provides background to continuing LDS struggles with member scholars, while illuminating the life of one dedicated historian.

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THE SPEAKER:

Greg Prince was born and raised in Los Angeles. He served a mission to Brazil and then attended UCLA for six years, earning doctorate degrees in dentistry and pathology. He moved to Maryland in 1975 to work at the National Institutes of Health, and over a four-decade career in biomedical research, co-founded a company that pioneered the prevention of RSV pneumonia in high-risk infants. He has published more than 150 scientific papers, and, importantly for us, also published several books on Mormon history, including the remarkable David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, which won the Mormon History Association’s Best Biography award in 2006.

Dr. Prince is currently serving as the Interfaith Liaison in the Washington, DC Stake.  He and his wife, JaLynn Rasmussen Prince, are the parents of three children, the youngest of whom (Madison) is autistic.  JaLynn and Greg now spend their time heading the Madison House Autism Foundation (madisonhouseautism.org), through which they hope to address national issues facing autistic adults and their families.

May 20-21, 2016–Zina and Boyd Petersen

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Zina and Boyd Petersen at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, May 20, 2016, and in Arlington on Saturday, May 21, 2016.  Their topic was was “One Long Shout of Hallelujah: Hugh Nibley and the Vastness of the Gospel“.

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Boyd Petersen speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on a May 21, 2016.

 

Zina Petersen speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on May 21, 2016.

Zina Petersen speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on May 21, 2016.

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