Welcome, dear readers, to the Fall 2021 issue of SquareTwo! We have some very interesting essays for you in this issue.

First, V.H. Cassler gave an address in October at the “Certain Women” art show held in Salt Lake City, dedicated to LDS envisioning of Heavenly Mother and the divine feminine. In the address, Cassler points out how the female gaze changes everything. Cassler notes that one of the most important restorations the Prophet Joseph Smith brought about was the restoration of the truth of the Two, our Heavenly Parents.

Second, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill shares with us an address she gave at Utah Valley University in August 2021 about goddesses. She has undertaken an exhaustive examination of goddesses around the world, and find some interesting commonalities: in the first place, they bring transformative knowledge to their people. What lessons can we take about our own divine destiny as women from such a study?

Third, Becky Holderness Tilton examines menstruation as a divine type suggesting salvific work. In doing so, Tilton changes the discourse around menstruation from being seen as a divine curse to being seen as a divine gift. Temple imagery is also bound up in a truer understanding of menstruation as a divine gift, paid for in blood.

Fourth, Carl J. Cranney pens an insightful book review of Taylor Petrey’s Tabernacles of Clay: Sexuality and Gender in Modern Mormonism. While grateful for Petrey’s compilation of the statements of Church leaders on these subjects over the years, Cranney notes that Petrey conflates sex and gender, which are not the same thing. Petrey therefore cannot admit what is plain to all: there is no room in Church doctrine for mutability of sex and God’s law of marriage as being between a man and a woman will not change.

Fifth, Corey Wozniak notes that from Milton’s Paradise Lost to Lil Nas X’s music video, Satan seems to many to be much more of an interesting character than God. Part of this, according to Wozniak, is that most see God as immaterial. But what if one’s God were “embodied, dynamic, active, and passionate”? What if the truth were that “God is cool. Satan, by contrast, is unembodied, neutered, static, stuck. Damned”?

Sixth, Alicia Alba offers us a cautionary tale about the organization Mormon Women for Ethical Government (MWEG). MWEG asserts it is non-partisan, but in Alba’s extensive experience with the group, it is anything but. Ultimately, Alba “was removed without due process from “nonpartisan” Mormon Women for Ethical Government, not for any rule violation but, presumably, for the crime of ideological non-conformity.” Read her story here.

Seventh, we finish up our serialization of Charles Randall Paul’s review of (Catholic) Stephen Webb’s book Jesus Christ, Eternal God: Heavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics of Matter. In this final installment, we have Webb’s reaction to Paul’s thoughts on his book. Webb opines that, “Mormonism needs Catholicism’s Christological intensity and philosophical density while Catholicism needs Mormonism’s expansive imagination and evangelical exuberance. They need each other to renew and reshape the Christian hope for Christ’s return in all his bodily beauty.” You’ll want to read this piece to understand how Webb reaches this conclusion.

Eighth, B. Kent Harrison reviews The First Political Order: How Sex Shapes Governance and National Security Worldwide by Valerie M. Hudson, Donna Lee Bowen, and Perpetua Lynne Nielsen. The authors won a US Department of Defense grant to produce a comprehensive study concerning whether the situation, status, and security of women is associated with better outcomes for nation-states. The association was very strong and highly significant. What are the reasons for that?

Ninth, we have several comments from our editorial board on the US’ handling of the departure from Afghanistan. Come take a look and add your own thoughts!

Tenth, we have a new Readers’ Puzzle: This calendar year we have, as a faith community, been studying the D&C. Is there something you found in the D&C this year that is changing something within you, or that was a gift to you, or that had great meaning for your life this year? Please leave your comments.

Last, don’t forget our companion blog, The Latterday Crone, penned by our own V.H. Cassler. She is trying an experiment of blogging every few days, also with real-time commenting. Check it out for more of the SquareTwo experience you enjoy, now on a more frequent basis!

Enjoy this excellent new issue of SquareTwo!

Full Citation for this Article: Editorial Board, SquareTwo Journal (2021) "Editors’ Intro, Fall 2021," SquareTwo, Vol. 14 No. 3 (Fall 2021),, accessed <give access date>.

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