Welcome, dear readers, to the Summer 2014 issue of SquareTwo! The full table of contents can be found on our archives page here.
First up, we have Valerie Hudson's review of Neylan McBaine's game-changing new book--just released from Kofford Books--entitled, Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women's Local Impact. According to Hudson, this is the book you need to be giving to your bishops and stake presidents right now. Turning to practice (instead of doctrine), McBaine suggests that individual wards and stakes in the Church have been creatively integrating women as full partners with men for some time, and invites us to learn what is being done by enterprising leadership around the world.
Second, Susan Madsen writes of her generation's struggle to self-identify as "feminists." Her recounting of how manstream LDS women have felt a deep ambivalence to the term is poignant, and her decision to find out for herself what "feminism" means and how she stands in relation to it, makes for a compelling read.
Third, Brooks Wilson undertakes an in-depth empirical analysis of LDS Church growth and retention. Wilson asks whether the institutional context of each country might play a role, and find strong statistical support for that argument. Countries with more inclusive institutions face lower Church growth, but higher retention. Countries will less inclusive institutions face faster growth, but lower retention. The global reduction in fertility affects each context differently, as well.
Fourth, Jenne Erigero Alderks explores how the concerns of Church members can reach the highest level of general Church leadership. If writing letters directly to the Church presidency gets them sent back "down," what procedures are in place to send them back "up" again? We bet you will learn some things you didn't know before by reading this article!
Fifth, Morgan Wills reviews a new book from Deseret Books called Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Courageous Women from the Bible. In it, authors McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding, along with illustrator Kathleen Peterson, provide a healthy new take on the stories of Eve, Deborah, Mary Magdalene, and other strong women from the Bible who took a stand for the right, even under difficult circumstances. Put this on your Christmas list for that favorite daughter or granddaughter!
Sixth, Valerie Hudson reviews the film "Maleficent," starring Angelina Jolie. Hudson finds it to be a magnificent and moving film, one that causes us to ask what we, an older generation of women, are willing to discard from our lives in order to truly love the younger generation of women.
And last but not least, we have a moving and insightful set of comments for our most recent Readers' Puzzle from our readers about their experiences with the divine feminine. Some of the insights offered are unforgettable, and we are grateful for those who shared, and we are happy to post any further comments our readers might have on this topic.
And as always, we offer a new Readers' Puzzle for the Summer 2014 issue: Cliven Bundy is LDS from Nevada and feels he has been called by God to civil disobedience against the BLM. Senator Harry Reid is LDS from Nevada and calls Bundy a "domestic terrorist." What are the limits of the 12th Article of Faith? Is there an LDS approach to civil disobedience? Share your thoughts with us, and we will publish them in the fall!
Full Citation for this Article: Editorial Board (2014) "Editors' Introduction to the Summer 2014 Issue," SquareTwo, Vol. 7 No. 2 (Summer), http://squaretwo.org/EditorsIntroSummer2014.html, [give access date]
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