Every year my family makes the obligatory Mormon-Hajj from the mission field to Zion.  We usually make it a point to meet with a few of our permabloggers and if possible, to make it to the summer Sunstone Symposium.   Here is a photo-journal of our visit to the Promised Land:

 

PART I: CHILLIN’ WITH THE PERMAS

 

 

lashawn

Rational Faiths’ permablogger LaShawn Schultz.  LaShawn is a therapist at Wasatch Family Therapy, adjunct professor at Salt Lake Community College, and board member for the Mormon Mental Health Association.  LaShawn said she would only meet with us if we had gelato. So we complied with her stringent request. Just kidding. Dessert was our idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

townsend

Great food with Rational Faiths’ permablogger, Colby Townsend,his wife, Kelsey, and their son, Jude. Jude really wanted the gelato. I mean, really bad

 

 

 

PART II: AUTHOR SIGNING AND PANEL DISCUSSION WITH JOHN DOMINIC CROSSAN AT WRIT AND VISION

 

 

You know.  Paul and I just hanging out with New Testament scholar, John Dominic Crossan at Writ and Vision in Provo.  John Dominic also spoke at Sunstone two days later.

You know. Paul and I just hanging out with New Testament scholar, John Dominic Crossan at Writ and Vision in Provo. John Dominic also spoke at Sunstone two days later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You can’t pitch your tent on the middle of an interstate and then say God is punishing you. There are consequences!” John Dominic Crossan

 

John Dominic's new book

John Dominic’s new book

..signed copy of his book

..signed copy of his book

 

 

Hangin' with Brad Kramer, LDS scholar and owner of Writ and Vision in Provo

Hangin’ with Brad Kramer, LDS scholar and owner of Writ and Vision in Provo, UT

PART III: SUNSTONE SYMPOSIUM 2015

“It’s like a mix between a family reunion and a rock concert!” – Gwen Hutchings

Yes, Paul is the real M.C. Hammer. He's 2 Legit 2 Quit.

Yes, Paul is the real M.C. Hammer. He’s 2 Legit 2 Quit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Dominic Crossan and Michael Quinn discussing the role of dissent within the Christian community

John Dominic Crossan and Michael Quinn discussing the role of dissent within the Christian community

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ordain Women board member and wife of Rational Faiths' permablogger (Jared Mooney), Danielle Mooney.   Yes, their daughter, Thea, is as cute as all her pictures make her look to be.

Danielle Mooney is an Ordain Women board member and wife of Rational Faiths’ permablogger (Jared Mooney).  Yes, their daughter, Thea, is as adorable as she looks in this picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rational Faiths' contributor, Father Tom Roberts.

Rational Faiths’ contributor, Father Tom Roberts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Father Tom Roberts presenting on "Little Known Similarities Between Mormons and other Christians."

Father Tom Roberts presenting on “Little Known Similarities Between Mormons and other Christians.” Lorie Winder Stromberg moderated.  Random dude scratching his neck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, that's Gina Colvin's aura. So much glory

Yes, that’s Gina Colvin’s aura. So much glory.  Gina runs the LDS podcast, A Thoughtful Faith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gina Colvin presenting on, "Finding Wisdom Amidst the Quest for Certainty."

Gina Colvin presenting on, “Finding Wisdom Amidst the Quest for Certainty.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Christofferson.   Tom recently contributed a blog post to Rational Faiths.

Tom Christofferson. Tom recently contributed a blog post to Rational Faiths about returning to the Church as a gay man.  He is the brother of  LDS apostle, Elder Todd D. Christofferson.  Tom is so kind.  He acted like we all have known each other for years even though we just meet that day for the first time in person.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barker -Stephen Carter- sandwich.  Stephen is the editor of Sunstone Magazine.

Barker -Stephen Carter- sandwich. Stephen is the editor of Sunstone Magazine and creator of Iplates.  Iplates is a comic book version of different Book of Mormon stories.  My daughters love them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace Pool is almost smiling.  We will take it. Grace is a long time friend, Medfordite, and past fellow ward member. She is now Sunstone's office manager.

Grace Pool is almost smiling. We will take it. Grace is a long time friend, Medfordite, and past fellow ward member. She is now Sunstone’s office manager.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tresa Edmunds, John Hamer, and Jody England Hamer. Tresa is a permablogger at Feminist Mormon Housewives and a past contributor to Rational Faiths. John is a member of the Community of Christ, scholar of Mormon History, and past contributor to Rational Faiths.  Jody is a regular contributor to several LDS podcasts and is the daughter of LDS scholar, Eugene England.

Tresa Edmunds, John Hamer, and Jody England Hansen.
Tresa is a permablogger at Feminist Mormon Housewives and a past contributor to Rational Faiths. John is a member of the Community of Christ, scholar of Mormon History, and past contributor to Rational Faiths. Jody is a regular contributor to several LDS podcasts and is the daughter of LDS scholar, Eugene England.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jerilyn Pool presenting at Sunstone

Jerilyn Pool presenting at Sunstone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pool sweat shop.  Mica photo-bomb!!!

The Pool Family Sweat Shop. Mica photo-bomb!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besties.  Jerilyn still wearing her outfit from her presentation, "Mormon Food 2, the Electric Boogaloo."

Besties. Jerilyn still wearing her outfit from her presentation, “Mormon Food 2, the Electric Boogaloo.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rational Faiths' reader, Chuck Simmons.  We love meeting our readers!!

Rational Faiths’ reader, Chuck Simmons. We love meeting our readers!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rational Faiths super-fan,  Josh Allred.  It was cool to meet an RF reader.

Rational Faiths super-fan, Josh Allred. It was cool to meet an RF reader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watercolors of all of Joseph Smith's polygamous wives.  Artist is Leslie Olpin.  Leslie painted these portraits as she listened to Lindsay Hansen-Park's series on polygamy.  The New York Times was there taking pictures. Very powerful display.

Watercolors of all of Joseph Smith’s polygamous wives. Artist is Leslie Olpin. Leslie painted these portraits as she listened to Lindsay Hansen-Park’s series on polygamy. The New York Times was there taking pictures. Very powerful display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie Olpin's portrait of fourteen year old polygamous wife of Joseph Smith, Helen Mar Kimball. Notice the tears.

Leslie Olpin’s portrait of fourteen year old polygamous wife of Joseph Smith, Helen Mar Kimball. Notice the tears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devery Anderson is an editor at Signature Books, independent scholar of LDS history, and author of  soon-to-be-released book, "Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement"

Devery Anderson is an editor at Signature Books, independent scholar of LDS history, and author of soon-to-be-released book, “Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ya this happened.  I leaned in to try to get a kiss from Cathy, but she didn't' take the bait.  Photo was taken by our friend, Gwen Hutchings

Ya this happened. I leaned in to try to get a kiss from my wife Cathy, but she didn’t’ take the bait. Photo was taken by our friend, Gwen Hutchings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retired  BYU professor of biology and all around great guy, Bill Bradshaw.  Bill has done a lot of important work with regards to the biology of homosexuality.

Retired BYU professor of biology and all around great guy, Bill Bradshaw. Bill has done a lot of important work with regards to the biology of homosexuality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trevor Jeffs was raised LDS.  He is the nephew of FLDS prophet, Warren Jeffs.  Tevor has since left his church community and his family.  One of the most heart-wrenching and fascinating stories.  He was interviewed by Lindsay Hansen-Park on her podcast series about polygamy.

Trevor Jeffs was raised LDS. He is the nephew of FLDS prophet, Warren Jeffs. Tevor has since left his church community and his family. One of the most heart-wrenching and fascinating stories. He was interviewed by Lindsay Hansen-Park on her podcast series about polygamy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kristyn Decker.  Kristyn was Born into the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB also known as the Allred group).  Her father was the past prophet of that polygamist group.  She has since left the AUB and has written about her experiences in her book, "Fifty Years in Polygamy: Big Secrets and Little White Lies."  She has also been interviewed by Lindsay Hansen-Park on Lindsay's podcast.

Kristyn Decker. Kristyn was Born into the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB also known as the Allred group). Her father was the past prophet of that polygamist group. She has since left the AUB and has written about her experiences in her book, “Fifty Years in Polygamy: Big Secrets and Little White Lies.” She has also been interviewed by Lindsay Hansen-Park on Lindsay’s podcast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stan Shepp was raied Catholic, converted to Mormonism and then later joined the Mormon polygamist group, Centennial Park

Stan Shepp was raied Catholic, converted to Mormonism and then later joined the Mormon polygamist group, Centennial Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I joked with Paul and Natasha Helfer-Parker that Mormon polygamy is Mormonism turned up to 11.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What?  Barker-Parker sandwich.  Natasha Helfer-Parker. Natasha is the podcast host of, "Mormon Metal Health," family and sex therapist, and President of the Mormon Mental Health Association.

What? Barker-Parker sandwich with Natasha Helfer-Parker. Natasha is the podcast host of, “Mormon Metal Health,” She is also a marriage and family therapist, sex therapist, and President of the Mormon Mental Health Association.  This picture was taken right after a session that the three of us attended and where we may have shared some inappropriate jokes. She also likes to wear Nephite sandals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chillin' with Boyd Petersen.  Boyd is the program coordinator for Mormon Studies at Utah Valley University and incoming editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.  He is married to BYU professor, Zina Petersen and is the son in law of Hugh Nibley.

Chillin’ with Boyd Petersen. Boyd is the program coordinator for Mormon Studies at Utah Valley University and incoming editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. He is married to BYU professor, Zina Petersen and is the son in law of Hugh Nibley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me and my twin, Brandt Malone.  Brandt was one of the founders of the podcast, "The Mormon Expositor."  He now runs the Mormon News Report.

Me and my twin, Brandt Malone. Brandt was one of the founders of the podcast, “The Mormon Expositor.” He now runs the Mormon News Report.  He’s a good hugger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We found D. Michael Quinn, famed LDS historian.  If you don't know who Michael Quinn is, we still love you and forgive you.  He's probably the most influential historian on Mormonism.

We found D. Michael Quinn, famed LDS historian. If you don’t know who Michael Quinn is, we still love you and forgive you. He’s probably the most influential historian on Mormonism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fatimah Salleh might be the only reason I came to Sunstone.  She's a good friend who preaches like no other Mormon can.  She's presently attending Duke Divinity School.  Amazing woman.

Fatimah Salleh might be the only reason I came to Sunstone. She has contributed in the past to the Rational Faiths bog.  She’s a good friend who preaches like no other Mormon can. She’s presently attending Duke Divinity School. An amazing woman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fatimah was full of the spirit as she preached

Fatimah was full of the spirit as she preached

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A sacred text is a description of a people’s walk with God, not a prescription.” Fatimah Salleh, Sunstone Symposium, July 30, 2015

Lisa Butterworth, founder of Feminist Mormon Housewives, also spoke at the same session as Fatimah.

Lisa Butterworth, founder of Feminist Mormon Housewives, also spoke at the same session as Fatimah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farrah Keeler and her hubby, Josh, are fans of Rational Faiths and love Mormon beards.

Farrah Keeler and her hubby, Josh, are fans of Rational Faiths and love Mormon beards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

beard

While I was chatting with Farrah Keeler, she showed me this amazing family portrait with her husband’s, Josh, amazing beard. So, I asked Josh if he would send me the picture along so I could include it today’s post. Just amazing. Beard-envy. To quote Josh in his message to me: “Aaahhh, those were the days. Times were simpler back then..”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mitch Mayne came screaming onto the Mormons scene when he gained notoriety as an openly gay Mormon serving as his ward's Executive Secretary.   He now works tirelessly to make the LDS Church a safer place for those who identify as LGBTQ.

Mitch Mayne came screaming onto the Mormon scene when he gained notoriety as an openly gay Mormon serving as his ward’s Executive Secretary. He now works tirelessly to make the LDS Church a safer place for those of the LGBTQ community.  He thanked us for the work we do, which made me feel really good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fatimah Salleh, Mica Nicole, and my brother and sister in laws, Sherry Williams and Troy Williams.  Mica has contributed to the Rational Faiths podcast.  She is presently finishing up her PhD in psychology from BYU.

Fatimah Salleh, Mica Nicole, and my brother and sister in laws, Sherry Williams and Troy Williams. Mica has contributed to the Rational Faiths podcast. She is presently finishing up her PhD in psychology from BYU.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two most handsome men in Mormonism: Colby Townsend and Loyd Erickson.  Colby is a Rational Faiths permablogger who is finishing up his bachelor in comparative literature and religious studies.  Loyd is the editor of Kofford Books.

The two most handsome men in Mormonism: Colby Townsend and Loyd Erickson. Colby is a Rational Faiths permablogger who is finishing up his bachelors in comparative literature and religious studies. Loyd is the editor of Kofford Books.

 

 

 

 

 

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Miguel is a Guatemalan-American Mormon living in the Northwest with his family. He is one of the proprietors of the Rational Faiths blog.

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