I thought I’d give a quick rundown of my first day here at the Mormon History Association meetings here in Independence, Missouri, and tell you of some of the cool people I’ve met here. The first activity we had was to go to the Harry S Truman Library. I didn’t realize President Truman grew up in Independence, Missouri. I enjoyed going to the museum and meeting several people there. As I have learned more people on the bloggernacle and Mormon history, I recognized Emily Jensen of the Mormon Times. As I introduced myself to her, I was surprised to learn than she had read my brief blog post from yesterday. I had just posted it a few hours prior, and she told me that she knew that Mormon Heretic was here at MHA, and she was hoping to meet me! I was really surprised when she told me that she reads my blog regularly.
She pointed out John Hamer to me. John was part of the evening plenary session last night; he gave a fascinating presentation called “Latter-Day Saint Churches and the New Jerusalem in Missouri.” I spoke with John after his presentation, and thanked him for participating on my blog here with the Interview with the Community of Christ. He said that he blogs over at By Common Consent, and said he has had a request to comment on differences between LDS and RLDS. He said that Mormon Heretic has already compiled a wonderful interview, and encouraged others to review that. It was a pretty cool compliment.
I also spoke to Community of Christ prophet/president Stephen Veazey. He discussed the recent revelation. I told him I really admired the Community of Christ’s push to encourage a “prophetic people”, and I liked how the members contributed to the canonization of the recent section 164 of their version of the D&C. I am really looking forward to attending the devotional on Sunday at the Community of Christ Temple in Independence. I even asked him if he knew FireTag, and he said he did! I am amazed at how intimate the membership seems to be in the CoC.
Jon Taylor gave an interesting presentation on the Harry Truman neighborhood, and the religious churches of the area. The CoC and Baptist churches have received exemptions to tear down and expand in the neighborhood that was originally designated a historic district. There have been some hard feelings by residents of the area that these 2 churches received exemptions.
I told Kathy Daines that I really enjoyed her book, More Wives than One. Apparently she is working with Sarah Gordon on a new book that I am sure will be interesting. I also have received a press release from Signature Books, but I promised not to say anything about it until tomorrow, so you’ll have to see my breaking news! It’s been a fun conference so far, but I’m still suffering from lack of sleep due to my early morning flight yesterday.
This morning, I ate breakfast with Adam Jortner, a professor from Auburn University. He is presenting “Families in Ancient America: Or, What the Spaulding Story Really Tells Us.” I learned he is not a Mormon, but really has studied the Spaulding Theory; I told him Dale Broadhurst stopped by my blog when I discussed it earlier. He told me he appreciated that Mormons don’t whitewash their history, like many other churches (such as Baptists) do. I was surprised, because so many on the bloggernacle claim the opposite.