Sunstone coincides with emeritus G.A.


    By Robert Hall

    The Sunstone Education Foundation, a group that has met much controversy for its discussion and publications on Latter-day Saint issues, began its annual symposium Aug. 7 at UVSC in Orem.

    Since its inception in 1974, Sunstone has had its share of issues to deal with.

    “The Church has never officially mentioned by name,” Dan Wotherspoon, editor of the Sunstone magazine and executive director of the Sunstone Education Foundation.

    “In 1991, they did issue a statement on symposia, which was basically a warning to the church members that sometimes if you did go to these unsponsored church events you”ll hear opinions or hear discussions that in some cases the church considers to be sacred and should not be topics for discussion, ” he said.

    The Church of Jesus Christ has made no further statements since 1991, Wotherspoon said.

    “There does seem to be an unofficial idea among many BYU departments that their faculty should not participate in our symposium,” he said.

    Witherspoon said he strives to get a balancing or counterpoint voice for any potentially touchy topics, published or in a forum.

    Of interest to symposium gatherers was a speaker, Emeritus Elder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Marion D. Hanks.

    However, Elder Hanks did not speak at the symposium but at a coinciding event, the Eugene England Religious Studies Lecture Series.

    “The reason we”re here (at UVSC) today is because he”s speaking here tonight,” Wotherspoon said. “He is a General Authority that”s been loved and respected by many Latter-day Saints.”

    Wotherspoon said the rest of the annual symposium would be held in Salt Lake City at the Sheraton Hotel.

    Claude Heater, who attended the symposium, said the session he attended was about “having the courage to write your true feelings, visualizing your audience, and not having the fear to write what you feel.” Heater attended a session titled “Writing Against the Silence.”

    BYU instructor Donlu Thayer, a former participant of symposium, said initial feelings about the event created much excitement for her.

    “Dialogue started my first year at BYU in 1966,” Thayer said, referring to an intellectual journal that was a forerunner to Sunstone magazine.

    “We were so excited because it was going to be a place for intellectual Mormons to publish their works.”

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