What Do You Contribute to Mormon Culture?
by James Goldberg
We all agree that there’s a difference between the gospel and Mormon culture. And we know the gospel is good, so culture takes the blame whenever something drives us crazy.
But what is culture? In a broad sense, it’s the values, attitudes, folkways, and traditions of a people. Sometimes the word culture is used more specifically to refer to the aesthetic traditions of a group—their art, music, literature, food—probably because the stories and images we find beautiful say a lot about our values and practices.
If you are one of the many people who is satisfied with Mormon faith but unimpressed with Mormon culture, what are you doing about it? What stories or artworks are you sharing and celebrating or even creating to help build a more aesthetically adorned Zion for our children and grandchildren?
I believe deeply that the scriptures call on us to develop a culture that better reflects the beauty, richness, and depth of the gospel values that bind us together. I believe that we as a community have a lot to gain by developing our own storytelling and other traditions.
And I’m doing something about it. Twice a year, I help run a contest for short Mormon poems and stories and essays and comics and whatever else comes out of creative Mormon minds. If you have a talent in creative writing or know someone who does, check out the submission guidelines for the Second Annual Mormon Lit Blitz.
Submissions are due April 27th. We’ll start publishing the finalists on May 13th.