Sharing the Sacred: The Paradox of Revelation in Contemporary Mormon Culture

Tom Mould
January 28, 2010
All Day
311 Denney Hall


Personal revelation is a cornerstone of the Mormon faith. All faithful members can expect to receive revelation from the Holy Ghost in both their spiritual and temporal lives. Yet despite the centrality of revelation, contemporary Mormons must navigate a complex web of competing religious and social norms in the act of sharing these revelations. In this talk, Mould will explore these various norms with particular attention to the narrative strategies people use to edify their fellow church members on the one hand, and preserve the sacred on the other.

Tom Mould is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Elon University and director of PERCS, Elon's Program for Ethnographic Research and Community Studies. He is the author of two books on Choctaw narrative—Choctaw Prophecy: A Legacy of the Future and Choctaw Tales—and has published on issues of generic boundaries and constructed identities, particularly in the study of oral narrative. He has also produced numerous video documentaries for public television on folk art and culture in Indiana, Kentucky and North Carolina. His current research explores prophecy and revelation among Latter-day Saints.